Cars were first invented and perfected in Germany and France in the late 1800s, although Americans quickly dominated the auto industry in the first half of the 20th century. Henry Ford made the breakthrough. New techniques in mass production became the norm, and Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler became the “big trio” of automobile production in the 1920s. Manufacturers turned their resources into the military. the team during World War II, then automobile production in Europe and Japan skyrocketed to meet growing demand. Once crucial to the expansion of America’s urban centers, the industry became a shared global business with Japan’s rise to become a leading automaker in 1980. Read more about automotive history.

When was the car invented? The 1901 Mercedes, designed by Wilhelm Maybach for Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, deserves to be recognized as the first modern automobile in all respects.

Its 35-horsepower engine weighs just 14 pounds, and it hits a top speed of 53 mph. In 1909, with the most integrated car factory in Europe, Daimler employed about 1,700 workers to produce less than 1,000 cars a year.

Nothing exemplifies the superiority of European design better than the stark contrast between this early Mercedes and the Ransom E’s single-cylinder, three-horsepower, tiller, curved-wheel drive. Olds of the years 1901-1906, which was just a motor vehicle. horse-drawn carriage. . But the Olds sold for just $650, making it within reach of the American middle class, and the production of 5,508 Olds in 1904 exceeded any previous automobile production.

Brief History of the Automotive Industry

Henry Ford And William Durant

Bicycle mechanics J. Frank and Charles Duryea of ​​Springfield, Massachusetts, designed America’s first gasoline-powered automobile in 1893, then won the first American automobile race in 1895, and then sold the first American-made gasoline-powered car. Next year.

Thirty American manufacturers produced 2,500 motor vehicles by 1899, and about 485 companies entered the industry over the next decade. In 1908, Henry Ford introduced the Model T and William Durant founded General Motors. The growing difficulties of the auto industry

Ford’s mass production techniques were quickly adopted by other American automakers. (European carmakers didn’t start using them until the 1930s.) The greater capital costs and larger sales volumes that this required ended the era of easy market entry. ease and free competition among many small manufacturers in American industry.

Car Sales

In 1927, the demand for new car replacements exceeded the combined demand from new owners and many car buyers. With earnings at the time, automakers could no longer rely on an expanding market. Installment sales were started by affordable automakers in 1916 to compete with the Model T, and by 1925 about three-quarters of all new cars had been purchased “on time” on credit. use.

GM Launches ‘Planned Obsolescence’

To meet the challenges of market saturation and technological stagnation, General Motors, under the leadership of Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., in the 1920s and 1930s renewed the obsolescence of planned products and put a new focus on style, exemplified in the predominantly cosmetic annual model. change – a major three-year restructuring is planned to coincide with the economy of the dead and with small annual changes in between.

World War II And The Auto Industry

The automobile industry played an important role in the production of military vehicles and war materials during World War I. During World War II, in addition to producing several million military vehicles, American automakers produced about 75 essential military items, most of which were unrelated to motor vehicles. These materials total $29 billion, or a fifth of the country’s war output. Because the production of vehicles for the civilian market ceased in 1942 and tires and gasoline were severely limited, motor vehicle travel was greatly reduced during the war years. Cars that had been cared for during the Depression long after they were ready to be thrown away would receive further repairs, ensuring a strong pent-up demand for new cars when the war ended.

Rise Of Japanese Automakers

Postwar engineering depended on the questionable aesthetics of non-functional style at the expense of economy and safety. And the quality deteriorated so much that by the mid-1960s, American-made cars were delivered to retail buyers with an average of 24 defects per vehicle, many of which were safety-related. Furthermore, the higher unit profits Detroit earned from gas-guzzling “long-distance cruise ships” came at the expense of society due to increased air pollution and the depletion of dwindling oil reserves. depletion of the world. American automakers are retooling.

In response, the American auto industry in the 1980s experienced a large-scale reorganization and a technological renaissance. Management revolutions and plant and personnel cuts at GM, Ford, and Chrysler have resulted in leaner, tougher companies with lower break-even points, allowing them to maintain profitability. profits with lower output in increasingly saturated and competitive markets. Thus, the Japanese automakers rose and changed automotive history by launching better cars in the market.

The Legacy Of The American Auto Industry

The automobile was an important force for change in 20th-century America. During the 1920s, the industry became the backbone of a new consumer-focused society. In the mid-1920s, it ranked first in terms of product value, and by 1982 it provided one-sixth of the jobs in the United States. Cars ended rural isolation and brought urban conveniences – most importantly better medical care and schools – to rural America (while ironically, farm tractors made the traditional family farm obsolete). The modern city with its surrounding industrial and residential suburbs is the product of automobiles and trucking. The Americans introduced new and comfortable automobiles that will be remembered in good words in automotive history.

Cars changed the architecture of the typical American home, changed the design and layout of the urban neighborhood, and liberated housewives from the narrow confines of their homes. No other historical force has so revolutionized the way Americans work, live, and play.