The evolution of cars was rapid. Hundreds of small manufacturers competed for the world’s attention. Charles Kettering was responsible for developing the electric ignition for the Cadillac, which was first sold in 1910. He also created independent suspension, four-wheel brakes, and self-starting engines. Marketing plans often influenced the design of mass-produced cars. Alfred P. Sloan’s Companion Make Program helped General Motors produce a wide variety of automobiles that matched consumers’ preferences.
In 1900, most wealthy people purchased cars for comfort and status. Many doctors also purchased inexpensive cars because they were more reliable than horses and easier to maintain. In addition, rural Americans liked cars because they could easily cover long distances without trains. Farmers could carry their produce to market and buy food from stores in town, and they could plow fields. Families bought cars to run errands, visit relatives, and go to church. They also enjoyed family trips to the country.
Today, modern automobiles are complex machines with thousands of parts that must all work together. Unlike the cars of yore, modern cars are too complex to be made entirely by hand. Researchers in the automotive industry employ scientists and engineers to improve the safety, efficiency, and footprint of the automobile. These innovations are essential in keeping our planet healthy. We all benefit from these improvements. If you’d like to learn more about how cars are made, head to the Toyota Children’s Web Site. It’s a fun way to get started on the topic of cars and how they are made.
As far as materials go, there are several. In addition to plastics, aluminum and steel, cars are made of various metals and alloys. The metals used in cars differ in strength and aesthetics. As a result, cars made of different materials have different properties and purposes. Ultimately, the best way to determine the value of a scrap automobile is to find out what it’s made of. You may be surprised to discover that your scrap car is worth much more than you think!
As a result of these innovations, cars have grown more sophisticated. The car’s engine has more complex controls than it did just a few years ago. For example, a car may have multiple types of lights. Headlights, which illuminate the road ahead of the car, have red or amber bulbs that indicate when the driver is braking. Daytime running lights, which are optional in some jurisdictions, are used to signal the intent to turn and indicate when to stop the vehicle. Interior lights are also commonly installed and help the driver to see what is happening inside.
Henry Ford’s invention of the assembly line is considered the beginning of mass-production. This innovative technique allows automobiles to be assembled more efficiently and affordably. Today, assembly lines are still used in many car factories. Automated carts shuttle products from one station to the next. Several workers perform specific tasks on each vehicle as it moves from station to station. Because of this method, dozens of cars can be produced at one time. Once the cars are assembled, the production process is nearly finished.