The long and winding road must have been uphill in the days before the cars. Leonardo da Vinci played the concept of transport vehicles in the 15th century but horse drawn carriages and old reliable walks were the most efficient means of transport. Fortunately in the late 18th century inventors concluded there must be a better way. For more than two hundred years and counting the art of transport has evolved. With a host of patents inventors mechanics and scientists are thankful todays modern fuel injected safety efficient car light years away from the heavy hazardous steam engine driven vehicle in the early days.
There is not a clear cut inventor for single credit with the cars invention although there are a lot of opinions about why some inventors should get that credit. Contributions from Scotlands Robert Anderson Frances Nicholas Cugnot Germanys Karl Freidrich Benz and Charles Duryea from the United States helped to mold the first cars to provide true transport.
When the concept of car transport had been realized the next effort went to the way to produce these vehicles. These were days far ahead of standardized parts so mass tools were a problem. Individual parts needed to be of even size and material to make the production process more effective. Competence work was the next biggest challenge in order to enable each home to own a car. Henry Fords vision to build cars for the big deal helped ignite a flood of nearly 500 car manufacturers in the US market while Mercedes and Oldsmobile helped fuel the fire around the world.
Mass production of one of the worlds most historical advances was not a small task. The Mercedes people needed seventeen hundred workers to produce a thousand cars a year. Henry Fords introduction of the first assembly line in 1913 revolutionized the business of producing cars. Greater advances in machinery and technology made the process of building cars open to many new car manufacturers. But in 1927 Ford was a winner of fifteen million units.
When the car had been designed established and mass produced the focus shifted on how to make the most of it. In addition to the evolution of steam to power to gas powered engines and the introduction of the first automatic transmission the performance of the cars actual performance was almost not as dramatic. In fact cars could only be driven in summer because frost protection had not yet developed. On the other hand the great landscape in the United States transformed the desire for car transport to the need for car transport.
Cars enabled school systems to improve improve healthcare systems and improve lifestyle standards simply by connecting the city to the countryside and the United States as a whole. The ability to transport building materials as well as people helped build communities and expand cultures.
By the 1900s the United States had long established a tradition of manufacturing success. For this reason it was logical that the production of cars in America would lead to greater volumes at lower prices than in Europe. Of the 485000 cars produced in 1913 the United States produced 606000 of them. As a consequence the market for domestic to import cars has clearly been established. Imported vehicles obviously cost more to buy but also cost more to manufacture. In 1912 model T sold about 600 kronor which was less than the average wage per year in the United States. The introduction of Mercedes Grosser undoubtedly defined the difference between luxury cars and economy cars. This distinction during the economically attempted times of war further developed the class system which to date is still defined by the type of vehicle that a person owns. The Mercedes focus was shifted from providing only transportation to provide transportation in the most luxurious way. Luxury or Economy The United States was declared autonomous in the 1980s because almost every household owned one if not two vehicles.
The development of the automotive industry is a truly fascinating one that has not yet reached its final chapter. Under the research programs aimed at designing less environmentally harmful vehicles and the business programs aimed at producing the cheapest cars the simple transportation charge is almost gone. Finally the opportunity to travel the long and winding road in comfort is truly a gift.