History of the World Automobile Industry

History of the automobile industry
Latest update date: February 18, 07

Automotive industry is a complex industry that encompasses many different areas, from design and development to manufacturing, marketing and sales. The industry plays an important role in the global economy, creating millions of jobs and driving technological innovation.

The history of the automobile industry spans more than 100 years, originating from the first inventions such as steam-powered cars and internal combustion engines in the late 19th century. However, it was the mass production revolution caused by Henry Ford's initiative in the early 20th century really brought cars closer to the masses and promoted the rapid development of the industry.

From its early days focused in the US, the auto industry has expanded to Europe, Japan and other regions, becoming a global field with fierce competition as well as cooperation between automakers. . Technological advancements, changing consumer preferences, economic factors and government regulations have all helped shape the industry's evolution over the decades.

In 2022, total car production: 80,1 million units. Main production areas: Asia (35%), North America (27%), Europe (21%) – According to the world association of automobile manufacturers.

To better understand the important milestones of History of the automobile industry, see details in the following article!

History of the automobile industry
History of the World automobile industry

Origin and Birth of the Car

The automobile industry originated from the invention of steam-powered cars to 4-stroke internal combustion engines with the first cars such as: Benz Patent-Motorwagen (1886), Duryea Motor Wagon (1893).

Over time, engines, transmission systems, tires... gradually improved, turning cars from a luxury vehicle into a popular transportation choice.

1. Automotive inventions and the premise of the automobile industry

In 1770, Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot (French) successfully built the world's first steam-powered car. Although this car moved slowly (about 2.3 miles/h) and operated unstable, it paved the way for later automobile inventions.

In 1876, German engineer Nikolaus Otto invented the 4-stroke internal combustion engine, marking an important turning point in the development history of the automobile. Otto's engine was 30% more thermally efficient than previous engines, creating a solid foundation for the birth of the modern automobile.

- History of the World Automobile Industry
Prerequisite invention of the automobile industry

Pioneering Inventors:

  • Karl Benz (1844-1929): German inventor and engineer, considered the father of the automobile industry. He invented the first gasoline-powered car in 1886.
  • Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900): German engineer who, along with Karl Benz, is considered the founder of the modern automobile industry. He improved the internal combustion engine and applied it to vehicles.

2. The first cars

The first cars were born at the end of the 19th century, typically:

  • Benz Patent-Motorwagen (1886): The first car in the world, built by Karl Benz, had 3 wheels and an internal combustion engine.
  • Duryea Motor Wagon (1893): The first car commercially produced in America, built by the Duryea brothers.
- History of the World Automobile Industry
The world's first car

3. Initial improvements of the automobile industry

Early technological innovations such as the internal combustion engine, transmission system, pneumatic tires, etc. contributed significantly to the development of the automobile.

  • Internal combustion engine: Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach improved the internal combustion engine, creating more powerful V2 and V4 engines. In 1889, they developed a V2 engine with a capacity of 1,5 horsepower and a speed of 600 rpm. In 1890, the V4 engine was born with a capacity of 5 horsepower and a speed of 800 rpm, creating a breakthrough in automobile engine technology.
  • Transmission system: In 1898, Louis Renault (France) invented the direct drive transmission, significantly improving the performance of cars. This system helps increase maximum speed to 50 km/h, while reducing fuel consumption and engine vibration.
  • Tires: In 1888, John Dunlop (Scotland) invented the pneumatic tire, replacing the traditional solid tire. Pneumatic tires help improve smoothness, traction and increase wheel life. According to research, pneumatic tires help reduce rolling resistance by 70% compared to solid tires, thereby improving car performance.

The above inventions and improvements have laid a solid foundation for the outstanding development of the automobile industry, turning cars from a luxury vehicle into a popular transportation choice for people around the world. gender.

Era of Mass Production

The era of mass production initiated by Henry Ford was revolutionary, transforming the automobile from a luxury item into a popular means of transportation. The development of the automobile industry has promoted economic growth, created jobs and improved people's quality of life.

- History of the World Automobile Industry
The era of mass production of automobiles

1. Henry Ford and the Model T

In 1913, Henry Ford (1863-1947) revolutionized the auto industry by introducing moving assembly lines at his Highland Park factory. As a result, the production time of a vehicle is reduced from 12 hours to 93 minutes (87%), significantly improving productivity.

Launched in 1908, the Ford Model T was the first low-cost automobile available to the masses. From 1917 to 1927, nearly half of all automobiles built in the United States were Ford-branded. As for the "T model" car, the production rate was 10 cars in 16 minutes and in 19 consecutive years, 15 million cars were built.

2. Impact of the T model

The T model helps reduce production costs, increase output and has a profound impact on the economy and society of the 20th century.

  • Cost reduction: With Henry Ford's new production method, the assembly time for each T series car is shortened eight times (from 12 hours/car to 1,5 hours/car). This helps significantly reduce production costs and product prices.
  • Increased production: In 1912, Ford's car production was 170.000 cars and just two years later it reached 308.000, but just two years later, in 1916, production reached 730.000 cars. In 1914, Ford's production rate was 308.162 cars, eclipsing the number of cars produced by all other automakers combined.
  • Social change: The Ford era ushered in a revolution in industrial production worldwide. This deeply affected the economy and society of the 20th century.

3. The development of major automobile companies

Founded in 1908, GM quickly became Ford's biggest competitor. With a product diversification strategy, GM owns many famous brands such as Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac, gradually dominating the market. In 1927, GM surpassed Ford in market share and became the world's largest automobile manufacturer.

Walter Chrysler (1875-1940) founded Chrysler Corporation in 1925. He is famous for technical innovations such as the 6-cylinder engine and hydraulic brakes. Chrysler grew rapidly and became one of the "Big Three" of the American auto industry, along with GM and Ford.

- History of the World Automobile Industry
The automobile industry develops through each stage

The Booming Period of the Automobile Industry Worldwide

The European and Japanese automobile industries have made great contributions to the development of the world automobile industry. While European car manufacturers are famous for their luxurious design, high performance and advanced technology, Japanese car manufacturers make their mark with outstanding quality, high reliability and optimal production efficiency. pros. Competition between car manufacturers from Europe, Japan and the US has promoted the continuous development of the auto industry, bringing many benefits to consumers globally.

1. European automobile industry

  • Pioneering automobile companies

Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler, two German engineers, merged their companies in 1926, creating the famous Mercedes-Benz brand. Today, Mercedes-Benz is one of the world's leading luxury car manufacturers, with sales reaching 2,31 million units in 2019.

Founded in 1899 in Turin, Italy, Fiat (short for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) quickly became the leading automobile manufacturer in Europe. In 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sold approximately 4,41 million vehicles globally.

Alfa Romeo was founded in 1910, famous for its racing and luxury cars. Alfa Romeo has won five manufacturers' world championships in Formula 5 racing (1, 1925, 1932, 1933, 1934).

- History of the World Automobile Industry
Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler
  • Characteristic of European cars

European cars are famous for their sophisticated, luxurious designs, showing the class and aesthetic taste of the user. Car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi are highly appreciated for their high-end interior and exterior designs.

With advanced technology, European cars often have outstanding performance, bringing an enjoyable driving experience to users. For example, the 911 Porsche 2021 Turbo S can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 2,7 seconds.

  • Contribute and compete globally

European cars are often at the forefront of safety technologies such as airbags and ABS anti-lock braking systems. Mercedes-Benz was the first car company to introduce airbags in the S-Class in 1981.

Brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche are famous for their luxury cars and high-performance sports cars. In 2020, BMW sold more than 2,3 million vehicles globally, of which the 7-Series luxury cars and M-Series sports cars are very popular.

Thanks to quality and reputation, European cars compete strongly with rivals from the US and Japan in the global market. In 2020, German car manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are among the top 10 largest automobile manufacturers in the world.

2. The rise of the Japanese automobile industry

  • Toyota and the Toyota Production System (TPS)

TPS is based on the philosophy of continuous improvement (Kaizen), focusing on eliminating waste and optimizing manufacturing processes. Kaizen helps Toyota continuously improve quality, reduce costs and increase productivity.

TPS applies lean manufacturing principles such as Just-in-Time and Kanban (pull system). This helps reduce inventory, shorten production times and increase flexibility.

Thanks to TPS, Toyota is famous for high quality products, good reliability and outstanding production efficiency. In 2020, Toyota sold 9,53 million vehicles globally, with revenue reaching 248,09 billion USD.

  • Other Japanese automakers
Car manufacturer Establish Featured
Nissan 1933 – Durable, fuel-efficient vehicle
– Famous car models: Sunny, Bluebird
Honda 1948 – Fuel-efficient engine
– Famous car models: Civic, Accord
Mazda 1920 – Rotating engine technology (Wankel)
Subaru 1953 – Symmetrical engine (Boxer)
– Full-time 4-wheel drive (AWD) system
Mitsubishi 1917 – Famous off-road vehicle model: Pajero
  • Global impact and success

Japanese cars are famous for their high quality, good reliability and long life. In Consumer Reports' 2020 reliability survey, Mazda, Toyota and Lexus (Toyota's sub-brand) topped the rankings.

With advanced technology, Japanese cars often have low fuel consumption and reasonable operating costs. In 2020, Toyota Prius and Honda Insight are the two most fuel-efficient hybrid models with consumption of 4,52 liters/100km and 4,67 liters/100km, respectively.

Thanks to quality and competitive prices, Japanese cars quickly dominated the global market, surpassing competitors from the US and Europe. In 2020, Toyota surpassed Volkswagen to become the world's largest automaker, with 9,53 million vehicles sold.

Questions Related to the Automobile Industry

1. What trends are changing car usage habits and behaviors?

Trends such as car-sharing, ride-hailing services (Uber, Lyft) and multi-modal transportation integration are changing car usage habits and behaviors, reducing the need to own cars. personal car.

2. What technologies are shaping the future of the auto industry?

The future of the automotive industry is tied to technologies such as:

  • Electrification (electric and hybrid cars).
  • Autopilot and artificial intelligence.
  • Internet connectivity and Internet of Things (IoT).
  • New materials and advanced manufacturing techniques (3D printing, composite materials).

3. What environmental challenges is the auto industry facing?

The automotive industry is facing environmental challenges such as:

  • Air pollution caused by exhaust fumes from cars.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change.
  • Pressure to transition to clean and sustainable energy.

4. What solutions are automakers applying to reduce environmental impact?

To reduce environmental impact, automakers are applying solutions such as:

  • Developing electric and hybrid cars.
  • Engine improvements to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
  • Use recycled and environmentally friendly materials.
  • Towards a circular economy model (reuse, recycle, reduce waste).

5. What regulations and policies are impacting the auto industry?

The auto industry is affected by many regulations and policies such as:

  • Safety regulations and emission standards.
  • Policies to encourage the development of electric cars and renewable energy.
  • Regulations on corporate social and environmental responsibilities.

6. How does the auto industry adapt to changing consumer needs and behavior?

To adapt to changing consumer needs and behavior, the auto industry needs to:

  • Invest in research and development of new products to meet diverse needs.
  • Switch to a service business model (e.g., providing mobility solutions instead of just selling cars).
  • Partner with technology companies and startups to develop innovative solutions.

7. How can the auto industry contribute to sustainable development?

The automotive industry can contribute to sustainable development through:

  • Develop and produce environmentally friendly cars (electric, hybrid, biofuel cars). Read the article now: Why electric cars are an inevitable trend shared with you in the most detail,
  • Apply energy-saving production processes, minimizing waste and emissions.
  • Collaborate with governments and stakeholders to build sustainable and efficient transportation systems.

8. Where to buy used/new cars with good quality and prices?

If you want to buy and sell quality used/new cars at good prices, you can't miss it Thanh Phong Auto. There are a variety of vehicles from many famous brands around the world, with clear and legal documents. See article details: Buy used cars/trucks – Pricing instructions, procedures and notes when buying are shared on the website.

Customer benefits when buying cars at Thanh Phong Auto:

  • Support for owner registration and name change of car ownership.
  • There is a thoughtful warranty policy by professional technicians and modern machinery.
  • Competitive, transparent, no hidden prices.

Contact us for more detailed information!

Rate this post
Thematic: General Blog


Your email will not be displayed publicly. Required fields are marked *

Cars Care Service Price Sheet At Thanh Phong Auto HCMC VietNam:

* The cars that we have mechanics: Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Kia, Daewoo, Hyundai,Ford, Nissan, Volkswagen, Porsche, Chevrolet, Rand Rover, Innova, Fortuner, Vios, Fiat, Bugatti, Ferrari, Bentley, Hummer , Chrysler, Dodge, Renault, Cadillac, Volvo, Subaru, Daihatsu, Ssangyong, Roll-Royce, Peugeot, Smart Fortwo, Tobe M'car, Luxgen, Zotye, Haima, Geely, Baic, Hongqi, Cmc, Mini Cooper, Buick, Opel, Acura, Aston Martin, Vinfast, TQ Wuling, BYD.


To keep your vehicle running properly at all times, we offer a number of services that are carried out by our certified, expert auto service and repair technicians who have years of experience performing everything from oil changes to a complete engine overhaul.