The Automobile Industry - A Few Facts

It all started in 1769 when Nicolas J. Cugnot, a French engineer, tested his uncommon invention - a device which can be considered as the first automobile to run on roads. It consisted of a self-powered, three-wheeled, military tractor equipped with a steam engine. However, the automobile invented by Cugnot was not fit for the roads, being too heavy and large. Nevertheless, despite its ample starting point and the limited time it could run, Cugnot's automobile made its way into history and opened the road for all those to follow.

Other remarkable names in the history of the automobile are those of Robert Anderson, the Scotsman who invented the electric carriage between 1832 and 1839 or of Thomas Davenport and Robert Davison who created more applicable automobiles which used non-recharging electric batteries. It was Henri Ford who, in 1914, introduced the bulk production of cars. From then forward, the car was no longer an icon dedicated to the rich, but it started to be available for the masses as well.

During the years, the industry developed rapidly, more and more countries decided to manufacture cars, the infrastructure has developed accordingly and the initial American supremacy has gradually faded as more European or Asian companies developed. At the moment, industries such as India and Brazil are flourishing and they are threatening the selling of other existing producers. In fact, world auto industry is now concentrating on markets such as those of Asia, Eastern Europe or South America, focusing mostly on Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC).

The economic climate that is governing the world nowadays has determined the major players of the world auto industry to adopt certain measures so as to make themselves known. As a consequence, we have reduced selling prices for the cars together with a better offer for after-sales services, to attract as many clients as possible. Moreover, more and more car producers opened manufacturing factories in such countries in order to take full advantage of the cheaper work force and effective costs of production as well as shipping charges.

In terms of production, the EU can be considered the world's largest producer of automobiles. The automotive industry makes a major contribution to EU's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with exports higher than the imports. As such, there are a series of principles and norms which help promoting the cars produced in one EU country among the rest of the EU without, say, additional costs. However, the competition in the automobile industry is tougher than ever which is eventually to the benefit of the customer who can buy, lease or hire a car at a competitive price.

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