It was way back in 1769 when a steam-powered automobile was created for transport purposes. The next important year was 1806, when cars were running on fuel gas and was powered by internal combustion engines. Later electric cars came into the industry during the 20th century; However it became popular only in 21st century when consumers and government were more concerned about low-emission vehicles.
Phases in automobile industry:
• Steam automobiles (Cugnot Steam Trolley)
• Electric automobiles (The Henney Kilowatt)
• Internal combustion engines (Benz Patent Motorwagen)
• Veteran era (Renault Voiturette)
• Brass / Edwardian era (Ford Model T, Mercer Raceabout, Bugatti Type 13)
• Vintage era (Austin 7, Bugatti Type 35, Lancia Lambda, Cadillac V-16)
• Pre-World War era (Alvis Speed 20, Ford V-8, Bugatti Type 57, Volkswagen Beetle)
• Post-War era (Morris Minor, Jaguar E-type, Ford Mustang, Datsun 240Z)
• Modern era (Toyota Corolla, Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 3 Series, Ford Taurus)
The largest automakers in US are General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler. US ranks third after Japan and China under the list of world's top 20 motor vehicle producing countries.
The future of cars is overloaded with high end technologies which are eco-friendly and cost effective for customers. The auto manufacturers are spending a lot of money in R & D (Research and Development) to create a product that is safer, sustainable, energy efficient and less polluting. Alternatives to fuels like hydrogen cars, electric cars, compressed-air cars, etc are entering the market to give high mileage at low cost which is beneficial for owner of the car and environment too.
Latest technologies like BMW's Turbosteamer, Regenerative braking, Installation of Vortex is used which helps in saving energy and thus cost. To improve the quality and strength of automobiles, the auto manufacturers are replacing steel with materials like fiber glass, carbon nanotubes, duralumin and carbon fiber. Few other technologies like platoons, automated highway systems and vehicle infrastructure integration enhances road safety and traffic flow.
Automobile industry was deeply affected by the recession which recently occurred. However, it is reviving and it will soon come back to normal in the near future.