Designed to carry passengers and goods, automobiles are a critical part of modern society. Automobiles are also essential to economic and social growth. They are a complex technical system that incorporates thousands of component parts. In the United States, the automobile industry exploded in the first half of the twentieth century. The automobile is also the most commonly used form of transportation in society.
Automobiles began as bicycle-like contraptions in the late 1800s. German automobile pioneer Gottlieb Daimler and French automobile pioneer Emile Levassor were early pioneers in the field. After World War II, automobile production in Europe soared. The automotive industry in the United States benefited from the influx of cheap raw materials and a chronic shortage of skilled labor. The lack of tariff barriers encouraged sales over a wide geographic area.
In 1908, the first American-made automobile, the Model T, was introduced by Ford. The Model T was a four-cylinder, fifteen-horsepower car and was priced at just over $600. Ford’s mass production techniques revolutionized the automotive industry. This allowed him to build 100 cars per day. He opened a new plant in Highland Park, Michigan, in 1910. Ford outpaced his competitors by incorporating a state-of-the-art design at a reasonable price.
The automobile was also the first gasoline car to be made in the United States. A bicycle builder, Sylvester Howard Roper, created a similar contraption in 1867. The Stout Scarab was a precursor to the minivan. It was designed to carry numerous passengers and was modeled after a beetle.
Automobiles became a global industry by the 1980s. Today, there are about 70 million new passenger cars built annually. These vehicles are used for passenger transportation, goods transportation, and for trading. In the United States alone, 243 million automobile registrations are recorded each year. The demand for vehicles is growing.
The automotive industry in the United States quickly surpassed that of Europe during the first half of the twentieth century. The United States had higher per capita income than Europe, which encouraged demand for automobiles. The United States also had a better manufacturing tradition, which enabled automobile manufacturers to produce vehicles at a lower price.
The Model T’s mass production techniques were quickly copied by other automobile manufacturers. This facilitated the creation of the first “big three” automakers, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. These companies accounted for approximately 80 percent of the automobile industry’s output. By the 1930s, however, European automakers had yet to adopt mass production techniques.
Today, modern automobiles are extremely complex technical systems that are designed to perform as a lifeline for humans. The vehicle’s engine is one of the most important parts of the vehicle. The size of the engine, the weight distribution and the location of the engine in the vehicle all affect the stability and performance of the vehicle. In addition to the engine, there are hundreds of component parts that make up an automobile.
During the 1920s, it was a difficult time for the automotive industry in the United States. A chronic shortage of skilled labor encouraged mechanization of industrial processes. This led to a spike in demand for automobiles. But the automobile industry was hit hard when the United States entered World War II. During this time, manufacturers funneled resources to war efforts.