Besides being one of the world’s largest industries, the automobile industry is also a highly technical system that combines thousands of component parts to create vehicles. Moreover, automobile manufacturers employ scientists, engineers, and research and development personnel to improve the body, chassis, drivetrain, safety systems, emission-control systems, and more.
Traditionally, the automobile was a four-wheeled vehicle, but they are now used in a variety of designs. The design depends on the intended use and location. For example, the stability of the vehicle is dependent on how much the engine weighs and the weight distribution.
The modern automobile was developed from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Its origins lie in the Dutch inventor Christiaan Huygens’s invention of the internal combustion engine, a system sparked by gunpowder.
In the United States, bicycle mechanics J. Frank and Charles Duryea invented the first American gasoline car in 1893. By 1920, the gasoline-powered automobile had overtaken the streets of Europe.
In the United States, economic and social development led to the need for automotive transportation. The higher per capita income of the American population created a demand for cars. By the mid-twentieth century, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler became the “Big Three” auto companies.
Ford’s commitment to producing large numbers of cars in large quantities was a key factor in the company’s success. He used mass production techniques to reduce the price of his cars.
He built a new plant in Highland Park, Michigan, in 1910. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, his company had produced more than 100 cars a day. This allowed him to outpace his competition in combining state-of-the-art designs with a reasonable price.