Automobiles are highly complex technical systems, involving thousands of component parts. They are powered by an internal combustion engine. They can be used as passenger vehicles, military vehicles, fire engines, ambulances, and other types of transport.
The automobile revolutionized the way Americans lived and worked. It helped create an economy of consumer goods. This led to the creation of the modern city and its infrastructure. In addition, it spurred the growth of tourism and tourism-related industries.
By the mid-1920s, the automobile industry had become the largest user of many industrial products. It also became the main customer of the steel industry.
Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler dominated the industry in the 1920s. These companies introduced new mass-production techniques that made the cars affordable to middle-class families.
After World War II, automobile production soared in Japan and Europe. In the United States, demand for vehicles rose as the income of its residents grew.
By the end of the twentieth century, the automobile industry was global and ranked first in the value of its products. More than 80 percent of its output came from American factories.
Despite their mass-production techniques, American automobile manufacturers remained innovative, introducing many new designs. They improved their engineering, drivetrain, safety, and emissions control systems.
During the First World War, the automobile industry contributed significantly to war production. Manufacturers produced 75 essential military items.
In the 1930s, the American automobile industry began using new mass-production techniques. These methods required heavier outlays of capital, but they allowed car companies to offer cars at a lower price.