Automobiles are one of the major components of our modern society. They play a very important role in our daily life without which luxuries of the modern world cannot be imagined.
The automobile is a self-propelled passenger vehicle, usually consisting of four to eight tires and is powered by an internal combustion engine or an electric motor. The branch of engineering which deals with the manufacturing and technology of automobile vehicles is called automobile engineering.
History of Automobiles
The first automobile was developed in 1886 by the German inventor Carl Benz. His design incorporated several innovations and was considered to be the first commercially successful automobile.
By 1891, Emile Constant Levassor had adapted the Otto engine to the three-wheeled car, making it possible for manufacturers to create larger and more powerful models. During this period, other European car makers such as Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler were developing their own designs.
In America, the automobile gained wide adoption in the early twentieth century and was soon considered an indispensable part of the American way of life. It also led to the creation of new industries and jobs, and shifted the economy from a scarcity-based to an affluence-based model.
In the late twentieth century, the American national automobile market reached saturation. To maintain unit sales, General Motors instituted annual model-year design changes in order to convince car owners that they needed to buy a new replacement each year. A trend toward oligopoly in the industry, observable since 1912, accelerated as economies of scale and the vertical integration of operations became more essential for survival.