In the early days of automobiles, no one drove their cars during the winter because of the unreliability of the machines. It was normal for car engines to stop working at low temperature. Moreover, the lack of roads was also an issue.
So, cars were put up on jacks, and dealers shut down their businesses during winter. Norval Hawkins (1867 – 1936), the first sales manager of Ford, related that one small dealer in South Dakota kept sending orders through the winter months. In his words, the man was a “big, awkward, gangling, farmerlike youngster who confessed that he just didn’t know that he wasn’t supposed to sell cars in the winter time!”
This gave Hawkins an idea. He also pushed his own dealer organization to continue selling cars during winter. Incidentally, at the time, new manufacturing techniques and technological advancements had significantly improved the quality of car engines and more roads were being built. Hence, people buying and driving cars during winter slowly became the norm. After a few years, January became the peak month for selling cars.