Jeffery automobile factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, c. For many decades, the United States led the world in total automobile production. Inbefore the Great Depressionthe world had 32, automobiles in use, and the U. At that time the U.
Computer technology has been incorporated into automobiles. Computers are involved as CAD systems not only in the design of cars but also in the manufacturing and testing process, perhaps making use of CIM technology.
By the beginning of the 20th century, German and French manufacturers had been joined by BritishItalianand American makers. Developments before World War I Most early automobile companies were small shops, hundreds of which each produced a few handmade cars, and nearly all of Automotive industry and production abandoned the business soon after going into it.
The handful that survived into the era of large-scale production had certain characteristics in common. First, they fell into one of three well-defined categories: The kinds of machinery included stationary gas engines Daimler of Germany, Lanchester of BritainOlds of the United Statesmarine engines Vauxhall of Britainmachine tools Leland of the United Statessheep-shearing machinery Wolseley of Britainwashing machines Peerless of the United Statessewing machines White of the United Statesand woodworking and milling machinery Panhard and Levassor of France.
One American company, Pierce, made birdcages, and another, Buick, made plumbing fixtures, including the first enameled cast-iron bathtub.
Two notable exceptions to the general pattern were Rolls-Royce in Britain and Ford in the United States, both of which were founded as carmakers by partners who combined engineering talent and business skill.
In the United States almost all of the producers were assemblers who put together components and parts that were manufactured by separate firms. The assembly technique also lent itself to an advantageous method of financing. It was possible to begin building motor vehicles with a minimal investment of capital by buying parts on credit and selling the finished cars for cash; the cash sale from manufacturer to dealer has been integral in the marketing of motor vehicles in the United States ever since.
European automotive firms of this period tended to be more self-sufficient. The pioneer automobile manufacturer not only had to solve the technical and financial problems of getting into production but also had to make a basic decision about what to produce.
After the first success of the gasoline engine, there was widespread experimentation with steam and electricity. For a brief period the electric automobile actually enjoyed the greatest acceptance because it was quiet and easy to operate, but the limitations imposed by battery capacity proved competitively fatal.
Especially popular with women, electric cars remained in limited production well into the s. One of the longest-surviving makers, Detroit Electric Car Company, operated on a regular basis through Steam power, a more serious rival, was aided by the general adoption, afterof the so-called flash boilerin which steam could be raised rapidly.
The steam car was easy to operate because it did not require an elaborate transmission. On the other hand, high steam pressures were needed to make the engine light enough for use in a road vehicle; suitable engines required expensive construction and were difficult to maintain.
By most manufacturers of steam vehicles had turned to gasoline power. The Stanley brothers in the United States, however, continued to manufacture steam automobiles until the early s. As often happens with a new technologythe automotive industry experienced patent controversies in its early years.
Most notable were two long, drawn-out court cases in Britain and the United States, in each of which a promoter sought to gain control of the new industry by filing comprehensive patents. In Britain the claim was rejected by the courts infive years after the patent application.
In the United States there was a legal battle between Ford and the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers over the Selden patent, which the association claimed as a basic patent on the gasoline-powered car. The main consequence of the decision was the formation of the predecessor of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to supervise an agreement for cross-licensing patents, which was ratified in Mass production The outstanding contribution of the automotive industry to technological advance was the introduction of full-scale mass productiona process combining precision, standardization, interchangeability, synchronization, and continuity.
Mass production was an American innovation. The United States, with its large population, high standard of livingand long distances, was the natural birthplace of the technique, which had been partly explored in the 19th century.
Lelandfounder of the Cadillac Motor Car Company and the man responsible for this feat of showmanship, later enlisted the aid of a noted electrical engineer, Charles F. Ketteringin developing the electric startera significant innovation in promoting the acceptability of the gasoline-powered automobile.
Ford and the assembly line The mass-produced automobile is generally and correctly attributed to Henry Fordbut he was not alone in seeing the possibilities in a mass market. Olds made the first major bid for the mass market with a famous curved-dash Oldsmobile buggy in Although the first Oldsmobile was a popular car, it was too lightly built to withstand rough usage.
The car was the so-called Model Tthe best-known motor vehicle in history. It was built to be durable for service on the rough American country roads of that period, economical to operate, and easy to maintain and repair.Discover all statistics and data on U.S.
Automotive Industry now on benjaminpohle.com! Automotive News is the leading source of news about the global automotive industry. Automotive industry: Automotive industry, all those companies and activities involved in the manufacture of motor vehicles, including most components, such as engines and bodies, but excluding tires, batteries, and fuel.
The industry’s principal products are passenger automobiles and light trucks.
The Growing Role of Mexico in the North American Automotive Industry Trends, Drivers and Forecasts Bernard Swiecki Debbie Maranger Menk Center for Automotive Research. Discover all relevant statistics and data on the global Automotive Industry now on benjaminpohle.com! Statistics & Facts on the Global Automotive Industry Global sales of passenger cars are forecast to hit million vehicles in Along with China, the United States is counted among the.