Automobiles are vehicles that people use to transport themselves, or cargo. They are powered by an engine that can be gas, diesel, or electric and have four wheels. Various definitions exist, but most specify that automobiles are designed to run primarily on roads and have seating for one to six passengers.
The first automobiles were invented in Germany and France in the late 1800s, but America came to dominate the industry during the early 1900s. Henry Ford innovated mass production techniques that revolutionized the car industry. His Model T runabout was less than half the price of a luxury imported European automobile, making it affordable for millions of Americans.
A robust automotive industry is a key driver of our nation’s economy, supporting a total of 9.6 million American jobs, or 5 percent of all private-sector employment. From cutting-edge factories that assemble millions of cars each year to transportation infrastructure that exports these vehicles around the world, the auto industry is an essential part of our everyday lives.
OPENS UP YOUR WORLD
Prior to the advent of the automobile, where you lived directly determined your lifestyle. With a car, you can travel great distances with ease, expanding your life radius and opening up a whole new set of work opportunities and social possibilities. Plus, owning a car means you can avoid relying on others for rides, avoiding the personal hygiene issues of fellow commuters or the unforeseen expenses of taxis.
CARRIERS FOR STORIES
A car is a powerful tool for self-expression and empowerment. During the civil rights movement, women used their cars to drive boldly for equality, decorating them with “votes for women” banners to advocate for female voting rights. In 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke rode in a car across the country to campaign for suffrage, the right of women to vote. These women knew that if they wanted to make their voices heard, they needed to get there on their own—and a car was the perfect vehicle for the task.
The car is also a symbol of freedom, providing individuals with a sense of control over their daily schedule and the ability to reach locations far away from home. It offers the opportunity to escape from the pressures of a hectic work life and to take time out for pleasure. Having access to a car makes it easy to attend concerts, sporting events and other special occasions that may be otherwise difficult to experience. And a car is an invaluable resource in the event of an emergency, such as a sick child or an unexpected problem at work. Having a car means that these situations can be dealt with quickly and efficiently, no matter what the weather or situation might be. It is a true mobility solution for every person. And there is nothing quite like the feeling of independence that comes from owning and driving your own vehicle. Having a vehicle opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you and your family.