Rotterdam's first woman with her own car
The garage at Sonneveld House has room for two cars. The family drove expensive American cars: Mr Sonneveld initially had a Plymouth and later a Chevrolet and Mrs Sonneveld had a Packard convertible. Their choice of cars reflected their American taste. Mr Sonneveld had a chauffeur, who came to the house almost every day to drive him to the Van Nelle Factory. Mrs Sonneveld drove herself; she was the first woman in Rotterdam with he own car.
Unlike larger European countries, there was no significant automotive industry in the Netherlands in the interwar years. Spyker, a Hilversum-based firm of carriage makers, was the only Dutch manufacturer to carve out a place in the luxury car market in the first decades of the twentieth century. However, this brand ceased production in 1926. The Dutch market was dominated by foreign cars, especially American brands.
It was not until the 1930s that cars became more popular with the general public. Manufacturers such as Austin, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Opel and Renault targeted the middle-class market while luxury brands such as Cadillac, Isotta Fraschini, Lincoln, Minerva, Packard and Rolls-Royce catered to a wealthier clientele. Many companies built only a single model. In this period most industrialised countries began to lay extensive systems of motorways.