Ideas Of Automobiles Essay, Research Paper
Ideas of Automobiles
The first true components of an automobile may have
come from Otto Von Guericke, a 17th century German
physicist. Guericke was noted as the first person to make
metal pistons, cylinders, and connecting rods, the most
basic components in a reciprocating engine.
But the first automobile was believed to be the 1769 Cugnot
steamer, a three-wheeled tractor. Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot
invented the Cugnot steamer. The steamer was noted to have
ran for 20 minutes at a speed of 2.25 miles per hour.
The Automotive Industry
The automotive industry started in 1893 when Charles and
Frank Duryea designed and built the first gasoline-engine-
propelled motor vehicle. This invention practically
started the whole automotive industry. During the next 30
years, many people tried to enter the industry, but only a
few were successful.
During the early years, every car was built entirely by
hand. This process was very slow and also very expensive.
This is the main reason so many early innovators went out
of business while the other ones were not profitable enough
to expand their business. Henry Ford changed that when he
introduced the assembly line. This both increased
production speed and decreased cost. This idea of mass
production revolutionized the automobile industry. Soon
all of the top auto producers would have an assembly line
of their own. The lower costs and faster delivery meant a
lower price, and the average family could afford and get
one. Ford’s Model T soon became the most popular car of
In 1929, America experienced a crash in the stock market
that left the thriving country poor and desperate. With
the decline in income, the demand for new automobiles
almost stopped. This huge decrease in demand for new
vehicles forced major cutbacks in spending, factories were
shut down, employees were laid off, and production was
almost halted. Many of the smaller plants couldn’t afford
to stay in business. The United States time of prosperity
During the early 1940s, as Hitler rose to power in Germany,
our relationship with Japan grew more and more tense. When
Hitler invaded France and started the war, the United
States responded quickly. The United States started
producing many different pieces of war equipment. The auto
industry was the first to respond by reopening many of
there shut down plants and producing troop transport
vehicles, tanks, planes and just about anything else the
government wanted. By the order of President Roosevelt,
Ford Motor Company built a huge assembly plant in Michigan
to produce B-29 bombers. The war pulled the United States
out the great depression and started to improve the economy.
The war ended in 1945 and brought a fallen country back to
its feet. With the economy in great shape and prosperity
on the minds of many Americans, the auto industry thrived
again. The big three slowly took form. The big three
included General Motors, Chrysler, and the Ford Motor
Company. In the late 1950s, the United States saw the
beginning of foreign cars being imported. This posed very
little threat to the market share held by the big three
because the quality of the foreign cars, at this time, was
The 1960s are best remembered as the muscle car era. This
was a time of low gas prices and high horsepower. During
this time, many new and exciting cars were built such as
the Pontiac GTO, Chevrolet Camero, and the Ford Mustang.
The Ford Mustang was, by far, the most popular car of the
decade. It was during this time that the automotive
industry became more sensitive to the demands of the
consumer, and product lines changed almost every year. The
cars kept getting bigger and faster. This was an era of
powerful and fast cars.
In the early 1970s, the United States felt a huge increase
in the price of gas. This marked the end of the muscle car
era and the beginning of the compact and sub-compact car
era. While the big three were hurrying to release a car
with better gas mileage, Honda introduced the first compact
car in the United States. In the early 1970s, Ford
introduced the Pinto. In hurrying to get a compact car on
the market, the quality people had come to expect had been
taken away. The Pinto was one of the most dangerous cars
It wasn’t until the 1980s that the big three had changed
almost all of their cars to a smaller better gas mileage
type car. Ford had the Escort, Chrysler had the “K cars,”
and Chevrolet had the Nova. All of these cars also used a
front wheel drive system. During the 1980s the gas prices
stabilized, and the country experienced a period of
prosperity. This also changed what people looked for in
their cars. They wanted more power and innovation. At the
end of the decade, new improvements such as anti-lock
brakes, cruise control, and fuel injection had been put
into the cars.
The 1990s are an exciting time. In the world today
automobile makers are putting more effort in making the
consumer happier and loyal. They have introduced many new
innovations such as dual airbags, better rust protection,
and greater performance. With the millennium almost
turning, the most vital aspect of any company is its
ability to meet the changing demands of the consumer.
Ford Automotive Company
In 1896, Henry Ford built his first motor vehicle: the
“Quadricycle.” The Quadricycle was an automobile with a
two-cylinder, four-horsepower engine. This invention was
what marked the beginning of a legacy.
In 1908, Ford introduced the Model T. The Model T was the
most successful automobile in the country. This success
was due to the assembly line that Henry Ford invented.
This approach not only lowered the production costs but
also increased the amount of cars produced. By 1916 Ford
had produced one million cars. When Ford Motors released
the Model T they established itself as a leader in the
automotive industry. Ford continued to produce the Model T
until 1927. Ford produced about 16 million Model T s.
During the great depression, the demand for cars in the
United States dropped to an all-time low. Ford was forced
to shut down plants and lay off thousands of employees.
Ford found hope in the market overseas. Ford opened two
new plants, one in Germany, and one in England. In 1932,
Ford built the Model Y, a car designed specifically for
The United States entered WWII in 1941, and was the same
year, that Ford started making utility vehicles “jeeps” for
the U.S. Military. In 1942 Ford Motor Company halted all
production of civilian car output and shifted to total
military production. During the war Ford built everything
from jeeps to airplanes. When the war ended in 1945 Ford
began to produce civilian vehicles again. WWII helped pull
America out of the great depression and give Ford a hand in
rebuilding its United States plants.
During the 1950s, the public began to want bigger cars.
Ford introduced the Thunderbird in 1954 and the Continental
Mark II in 1955. These cars helped satisfy the public’s
demand for a larger, roomier car. During the 1950s, Ford
became a publicly traded company and also introduced the
Ford credit program.
By 1960 Ford had sold 50 million cars. The 1960s were the
muscle car era. During this era the public’s demand had
shifted gears to a faster more sporty style car. Ford
introduced the Mustang in 1964 at the New York World’s
Fair. The Mustang was one of the best selling cars that
Ford had ever built. It was small, sporty, and cost about
30 percent less than people expected to pay. With the
Mustang leading the way Ford enjoyed the muscle car era
with good growth and market share.
The 1970 gas shortage took the United States by surprise
and the public’s demand changed overnight. The cry for a
smaller car with better gas mileage was heard throughout
the country. Ford responded with the Pinto, a small
economical car with one very large flaw; it was very unsafe
in a rear collision accident. This mistake would haunt
Ford for many years to come.
In the 1980s, Ford introduced both the Escort and the
Taurus; two of America’s best selling cars. The trend in
the automotive industry was getting back to power and
comfort with the baby boomers getting older. Most of the
cars Ford introduced were front-wheel drive, a trend that
started in the late 1970s. During the 1980s, the Ford F-
Series trucks were the best selling trucks.
Ford entered the 1990s strong and quick to meet the
changing demands of the consumer. Ford continued to remain
a leader in the 1990s. The Ford Taurus was named the best
selling car many times. The Ford F-Series trucks were also
named the best selling vehicle for 10 years. The latest
trend in the 1990s is in sport utility vehicles. Ford
recognized this market and is the industry leader in SUVs
with both the Ford Explorer and the Navigator.