Automobiles and Motorcycles
Automobiles are a type of vehicle designed to carry passengers. It can be a four-wheeled or two-wheeled automobile, and it can be either gasoline-powered or diesel-powered.
In the first half of the twentieth century, the automobile industry emerged as the leading industry in the United States. This was due to cheap raw materials and mechanization of the industrial processes.
The industry was also the backbone of a new consumer goods-oriented society. It also revolutionized the petroleum industry. As a result, the United States surpassed Europe in terms of its need for automotive transportation.
By the end of World War II, the automobile industry accounted for 80 percent of the nation’s total output. At the same time, it reshaped the petroleum industry and the steel industry.
In addition to becoming the world’s largest consumer of many industrial products, the automobile industry also played a critical role in the war. Manufacturers produced 75 essential military items.
By the end of the 1920s, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler had emerged as the “Big Three” auto manufacturers. These companies, along with Packard and Hudson, dominated the market.
During the Great Depression, the automobile industry lost many independent manufacturers. But the three major auto manufacturers kept the industry alive. They developed new technology and improved their production equipment.
After the war, models began to come out with hydraulic brakes and syncromesh transmission. Some cars also incorporated balloon tires.
Cars also became heavier and more expensive. However, the automobile’s popularity diminished as the country became more urbanized.