A Very Brief History of the American Automotive Industry

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Purchasing a car is one of the biggest and most important decisions that someone will make during their lifetime. Over the past several years, the prices of a vehicle have increased significantly due to the rise of inflation. Economists compare averages of vehicles to calculate and determine the cost of every vehicle that ends up on the car lot. To determine the cost they interpret all the above information and include everything from the cost of making the vehicle to the time of selling it. In the long run, the demand for vehicles is inelastic because they become a necessity for many people. However, in the short run, the demand is elastic because the purchase of a new vehicle can be put off for a while. After the steam engine was created in the early 17th century, many people and companies tried to take that same technology and apply it to automobiles. Nobody was successful until a British inventor by the name of Richard Trevithick created a multi passenger automobile that ran on a power source that was driven by a steam-propelled piston at high pressure (Bellis). Up until the mid 1900’s cars were only produced by specifically skilled blacksmiths, and were very expensive. There were only about 4,000 cars produced from the 1890’s to mid 1900’s (Bellis). In the 1920’s the United States economy was booming, and a famous man by the man of Henry Ford came along and had an industry changing idea. He set up the first production line style for producing automobiles. Each assembly line worker had one or two specific tasks to complete on the cars that came through. The process began with a skeleton on the car, and as it went down the line from worker to worker it slowly gained more and more pieces finishing the automobile completely... ... middle of paper ... ...yself, will be trading in their “gas guzzlers” for more fuel efficient and eco friendly cars. Works Cited "Industry Facts." AAPC. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. "Auto Economics." Auto Alliance. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. "Automobile Industry." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008, Ed Dinger, "Automobile Industry." Dictionary of American History. 2003, "Automobile Industry." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S, "United Automobile Workers of America." Dictionary of American History. 2003, "automobile Industry." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed.. 2013, and "United Auto Workers." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. "Automobile Industry." Encyclopedia.com. HighBeam Research, 01 Jan. 2008. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. Bellis, Mary. "Automobile History - The History of Cars and Engines." About.com Inventors. About.com, 05 Mar. 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.

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