There are few industries more diverse and complex than the automotive industry. In addition to being one of the largest manufacturing sectors worldwide, it also impacts our lives in many other ways. It contributes to local air pollution, global issues such as climate change, and a variety of other concerns. Its management practices, organizational forms and response to environmental pressures are important benchmarks for other business industries to follow.
The automobile, or auto for short, has transformed the way Americans live. No other invention affected everyday life in the 20th century as much as this mighty four-wheeled machine, which was both promise and peril for the American family.
The scientific and technical building blocks of the modern automobile go back several hundred years, to the time when Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens developed an internal combustion engine sparked by gunpowder. But it was Henry Ford who brought the automobile into most Americans’ everyday lives. The Model T, introduced in 1908, was the first modern motorcar that combined advanced design with affordability and reliability. Ford lowered the price of his car to $5 a day, and thus put it within reach of most working class Americans. He also employed the idea of the assembly line, which allowed him to turn out more cars than any company had before.
With the advent of the Model T, most of America’s independent automobile manufacturers went out of business. The remaining big names—Nash, Hudson, Studebaker, and Packard—could barely compete with Ford’s bargain. During the 1920s, the number of registered automobiles nearly tripled and demand for rubber and steel skyrocketed. The development of a national road network, including interstate highways, further fuelled the expansion of the auto industry.
During the same era, as the automobile came into widespread use, more and more families formed, and the American home began to shift from its rural roots toward a suburban lifestyle. The car made it possible to commute long distances for work, bringing suburban amenities such as schools and medical care to rural America and making the traditional family farm obsolete. In urban centers, it changed the architecture of neighborhoods and the composition of residential communities, altered the design of buildings and commercial space, and freed homemakers from their narrow home confines.
Despite their many problems, such as noise, pollution and high maintenance costs, automobiles have become the primary means of transport for millions of people around the world. In addition to enabling a better quality of life and providing convenience, they have become the main way for individuals and families to connect with each other. They are a vital tool in helping us face life’s unforeseen circumstances and provide peace of mind to our loved ones. However, owning a car comes with a lot of risks and it is essential to consider all the factors before deciding to buy an automobile. Fortunately, there are a lot of tips to help you make the right decision when it comes to buying an automobile.