Thousands of component parts go into a modern automobile. They include a body, a transmission, a hood, fenders, a trunk, and safety features.
The automobile industry is the leading consumer of many industrial products. It provides jobs for millions. Its production and distribution is important to society. It has a major impact on the environment.
The automobile industry started in Germany in the late 1800s. Its first cars, powered by steam engines, were heavy and difficult to drive. After World War II, automobile production soared in Europe. By 1980, Japan had become the world’s largest automobile manufacturing country. It is estimated that 70 million new passenger cars are built every year worldwide.
In the early 20th century, automobiles were powered by electricity. In Europe, the automobile industry grew as it became the main customer of the steel industry. The United States experienced greater demand for automotive transportation than Europe because of its higher per capita income.
The automobile industry emerged as the backbone of a new consumer goods-oriented society in the 1920s. The automobile industry provided one out of six jobs in the United States in 1982.
After World War II, Japan began competing with American car manufacturers. The automobile industry in the United States became the lifeblood of the petroleum industry. In the 1920s, the automobile industry was the chief customer of the steel industry. In the mid-1920s, the automobile industry ranked first in value of its product.
The automobile industry produced 75 essential military items during World War II. It also revolutionized the petroleum industry. The industry provided one-fifth of the nation’s war production.