The Alco Company produced vehicles from 1909 through 1913, but their history began a few years prior. During the early 1900's, the American Locomotive Company was the largest producer of steam locomotives in the world. By 1905 they began exploring automobile production and shortly thereafter they contracted with a European company to produce a French car known as the Berliets. This agreement lasted until 1909 when the American Locomotive Company decided to discontinue its contract and began producing the Alco. The Alco automobiles were built in similar Berliet fashion; they were built to high standards and quality. It took over a 1.5 years to complete each vehicle with the rear axle requiring 6 months. The vehicles were the pinacle of technology and the coachwork was unmistakably elegant. The company boasted that they were the most expensive car built in America. Though the engineering and coachwork were impressive, the $6000 to $7000 price tag was too much for most people to afford. When buyers purchased the car, they were purchasing it from a company that produced luxury cars, taxi cabs, trucks, and locomotives. This did not sit well with many since it took away from the ambiance of the vehicle. After just 5000 cars had been produced, the company ceased production.
Even though the price tag was high, it was estimated that the company lost nearly $500 on each vehicle. With over 50 different body styles it was nearly impossible to be efficient or cost effective.