The word "Automobile" has its origins in Greek and Latin and it has become an integral part of every man's life. It has become so indispensable that on an average, a person spends at least 3 hours in his vehicle every day. Automobile was once thought of as a luxury and only a select few could indulge in. Now, the times have changed and automobiles have become a means of transportation catering to the vast majority.
The transformation from luxury to inevitability
Automobiles, in general, refer to the humble car and the estimates suggest that there is a car for every eleven persons on earth amounting up to 590 million passenger cars. There are various variants of automobiles that cater to every cross section of the population. There are variants that could set you back by a couple of million dollars and other models that cost you a few thousand dollars.
The technological advances in the automobile sector have been tremendous in the last 100 years. The century's greatest invention or advancement should definitely belong to the automobile industry. One of the earliest pioneers of the automobile Industry was Ransom Olds from the Oldsmobile factory. In the early 1900's, he introduced the Production Line concept, thus churning out vehicles every few minutes. This idea was greatly revolutionized and implemented by Henry Ford, who elevated automobile industry to the next level. Ford quickly grew in the first half of 20th century and slowly but steadily spread globally.
Growing along with time
With advancement of age, the automobile industry gradually grew in continental Europe and England. Japan introduced quality initiatives that further enhanced the industry. Toyoto from Japan were the pioneers of Total Quality Management and Six Sigma, which have been the guiding principles of the automobile industry for the last 50 years. Today, Toyoto are the world's biggest automobile company according to recent market estimates.
The global boom of the 1980's was largely because of the automobile revolution. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, the big 3 automotive giants of America, had a huge say on the country's economy. They decided the health of the economy and the recent global economic recession has affected them badly. This has made them approach the government for loans and benefits, which have been fulfilled by the government after placing appropriate clauses.
Advent of technology and innovations
Automobile has transcended from being a medium of transportation to a medium of entertainment after the advent of super fast cars competing against each other. NASCAR and F1 races are huge crowd pullers every year. People have made fortunes and drivers of these machines have made their name in history. The fact that automobile racing involves huge costs has made the racing industry reel in these uncertain economic times. The sport has seen tragedies with loss of life in some instances. This has made room for strict safety regulations, which are now mandatory for all the automobile shows.
The negative part
Although man has made a huge leap forward with automobiles, there is a downside to this technological wonder. The emissions from these machines have raised serious environmental concerns with calls for more eco-friendly vehicles. Automobile companies have invested hugely in research and development of eco-friendly vehicles. Except for this single downside, there is slightest of doubts to say that automobiles have been the find of the previous century.