Auto Competition

2155 Words9 Pages
Auto Competition Intro When an auto manufacturer needs to cut costs it will sometimes look for help from another manufacturer. This process results in a merging between companies in order to benefit one another. Companies may merge to be cost efficient or even to gain entry into another market segment. Either way, manufacturers try to gain instant results by merging. Auto manufacturers compete with each other to give consumers the state of the art safety systems that they demand. Parents are becoming more concerned about their family's safety with the lifesaving abilities of airbags. Consumers are looking at airbags as a very important option when making a vehicle purchasing decision. Not only must the automobile come equipped with one, but consumers also want a way to disengage the passenger side of the system if needed for children and infants. Description of Industry In the 1960's, automotive safety began with a man by the name of Ralph Nader. In November of 1965 Nader wrote Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-in Dangers of the American Automobile. The target of this book was General Motors' Corvair Nader claimed the rear suspension was faulty and made it possible to skid violently and roll over (Bollier). After Nader made the public aware of safety concerns, automotive manufacturers started putting items such as power disk brakes as standard equipment on new automobiles. GM started impact testing and designed side beam guards in the late 1960's (General Motors website). Nader's continued crusading into the 1970's made GM realize that it had to be proactive in the safety movement. The result of the movement was designing an airbag in 1973. Volvo had already introduced the airbag in 1972 on its 240/260 series (Volvo History). Companies, realizing that Nader was not going to be disappearing anytime, soon decided to look for suppliers that were safety conscious. Automotive manufacturers began buying safety glass, which reduced injuries from large glass shards in accidents. The introduction of the steel belted tires reduced the amount of tire blowouts, which can lead to rollovers. In the 1980's the public started to listen and jump onto Nader's bandwagon. The public was demanding automobiles equipped with life saving safety features. GM introduced the rear lap/shoulder belt in 1986 as standard equipment. Also in 1986 Volvo introduced a detachable seat for children up to the age of four.
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