The Invention Of The Automobile Industry

915 Words4 Pages
Dan Rather once famously said that “Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.:” There is a long and significant bond culturally in the United States (US) with the automobile. It has often been pictured in media as a staple of the middle class life, a sign of prosperity, and a symbol of freedom. The birth of the worldwide auto industry happened in the US. Cars in some form or another had already existed around the world but they were labor intensive to produce and without a supply the market considered them more of an interesting novelty than a must have product. Henry Ford revolutionized the nascent automobile industry with the development of the assembly line to mass produce the vehicles in the US to sell to the world. Since then the US has been one of the leading countries for the manufacture of automobiles until the 1970’s. Since then there has been a marked increase in global competition which has dropped the US to 3rd in annual production of vehicles for 2014 behind China and the European Union (EU). What could have caused this shift? In 2007 and 2008 the worldwide markets suffered a significant downturn resulting in two of the biggest US manufacturers Chrysler and GM to file for bankruptcy. They were immediately offered relief by the US government but the damage done highlighted just how shaky their footing was that they could not weather a recession. Today the average US autoworker makes just under $16 a hour
Get Access