The automobile changed history. Getting from Point A to Point B in a motorized vehicle made life easier for millions of people. It’s an industry that’s forever changing with technology. Let’s take a look at the evolution of the automotive industry.
In the early 1900s automobiles were around, but barely anyone could afford one of these luxury items. Covered wagons and trains were the way most people travelled. Cars were expensive and took lots of time to produce. In 1908 the Ford Motor Company rolled out the first car marketed for the everyday man, the Model T. This was the first car to be mass-produced on an assembly line meaning cars were more affordable. Before the Great Depression, the automobile was making a boom in the world. Consumers were rushing to buy their first car. Many automotive companies began to spring up leading to over five million vehicles produced and sold each year.
The Great Depression Stall
Though the Great Depression stalled vehicle sales, military vehicles needed to be produced by the automobile industry. During World War II, automotive manufacturers were entrusted to produce military items as well as millions of military vehicles. Tires and gasoline were rationed for civilians so they were forced to take care of their present cars until after the Depression. After the war, the demand for cars skyrocketed.
No Assembly Lines
The assembly production line for cars changed into making a platform vehicle. In the 1980s, automotive companies created numerous models of cars from the same platform base. The body size will look the same on all of the same size cars, but the interior and exterior will be different.
The first cars didn’t have all of the bells and whistles that came later. Speedometers and windshields weren’t even a part of these automobiles. The first turn signals were installed by Buick in 1939. These cars didn’t have air conditioning. Power steering was included in many cars in 1951. Cruise control began in 1957. The 1960s brought light to safety features that weren’t yet installed in cars. The first seatbelts were installed in the early 1960s by the Studebaker-Packard company. Vehicles were created with more power and space.
Heated seats were installed in some cars at the end of the 1960s. Fuel economy at this time was not a worry. The first airbags were installed by Oldsmobile in 1973. Vehicles at this time weren’t yet required to have airbags. As more and more vehicles hit the roads, safety features began to increase. By 1998 all passenger vehicles had to include dual front airbags on even their basic model.
The entire car has changed over time including the tires. As cars flew off the assembly lines, the rubber tire was a part of the basic car. Over time as safety measures changed, the tire changed along with them to keep drivers safe even when the tread was worn or a tire was punctured. Nowadays as fuel saving is at max, tires are made to help the environment and work to maximum capacity without using so much fuel. Things like zip pay tyres are made to withstand the toughest terrain and help the car stay in mint condition.
Today’s body styles of vehicles are vastly different from those first models without doors or a windshield. There are three main types, the sedan, sport utility vehicle and hatchback. They’re practical, yet modern. Then there are all sorts of mutations from these main types. From the small passenger minivan and the sports wagon to the monster truck and the crossover SUV.
The past few decades have focused on fuel efficiency and engine output. Back in the 1980s, a fast sports car produced 200 horsepower. In today’s world of cars, this is standard for many “regular” cars. Many sports cars produce an amount of horsepower that would knock some to their knees in shock. Electric cars hit the market as a way for drivers to leave a minimal carbon footprint. Hybrid cars give many drivers exactly what they want with the perfect balance of gas and electric.
Technology in today’s cars is also a far cry from cars even a few decades ago. Once outfitted with audio cassette players then CD players, now with MP3 players and DVD players. GPS devices show drivers the way while wireless internet keeps the entire car hooked up to the entire world. Some cars are even able to drive and/or park themselves.
It’s easy for most drivers to make calls via Bluetooth talking as they go down the road. Satellite radio lets drivers and passengers listen to any radio station no matter their location. Things are always changing and always evolving in the automotive world to keep up with the changing times.