Environmental Challenges Facing American Auto Industry Essay

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Environmental challenges facing American Auto industry

Introduction

The first gasoline powered automobile was built 1885 in Germany. The first car was engineered by Henry Ford in 1896. He took things a notch higher by establishing an assembly line which enabled him to mass produce the vehicles thus making them affordable to the consumers.

The use of automobiles has since increased in the US and other parts of the world. By 1999, the US alone had over 200 million passenger cars and light trucks. The number of cars worldwide grew thrice faster than the human population. The increase in the number of automobiles has become a matter of great concern as it leads to serious air pollution. For instance, European Environment Agency reported that transportation emission presents a huge threat to the environment.

Global competition in the industry:

During the first half of this century, automobile imports were negligible on American roads. For instance in 1950s, only 21,287 automobiles were imported and local manufacturers ignored their presence in the belief that the imports were small and low quality. However, foreign automobiles have since set the quality benchmark and in 1986 reached an all-time high of 4.1 million units. In 1980s the big three auto makers (Ford, General Motors, and Fiat/Chrysler) formed joint ventures with Japanese automakers in order to capitalize on consumer attitude towards foreign automobiles. In 2004, the automobile manufacturers formed the
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