Originally an invention of Karl Benz in 1886, the modern automobile was the result of the invention of the internal combustion engine. The exploding fuel pushes a piston down to turn wheels.
The automobile industry is one of the largest industries in the world. It provides one out of every six jobs in the United States. Its production totals 70 million new passenger cars every year. It has also helped improve medical care, schools, and tourism in rural areas. It is now one of the most universal modern technologies.
The automobile industry revolutionized the petroleum industry. It made automobiles affordable for middle-class families. In the 1920s, the automobile industry became the backbone of the new consumer goods-oriented society. It also helped revolutionize the industrial manufacturing process.
The automobile industry introduced the mass-production technique of assembly lines. The factory of Henry Ford became the first automaker to use this technology. The company was able to produce 100 automobiles a day.
After World War II, the automobile industry continued to grow. In Japan, production increased dramatically. The automobile industry helped provide one in five jobs to Americans in 1982.
The United States quickly overtook Europe as the world’s leading automotive manufacturer. The automobile industry made a huge contribution to the production of 75 essential military items during World War II.
The automobile industry was also a major contributor to the First World War. During the war, the industry supplied more than one-fifth of the nation’s war production.