Interesting Facts about the Automobile Industry

We all know that the automobile industry is a very important sector of every country in the world. The growth of this sector helps increase the Gross National Product of a country and gives a huge amount of employment opportunities to unskilled laborers and semi-skilled workers. So we thought it would be interesting for you to know about facts about the Automobile Industry so that you can get an idea about its importance. Let’s get started

1. American Commuters Spend An Average of 54 Hours In Traffic a Year

American Commuters Spend An Average of 54 Hours In Traffic a Year

According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute report, an average American spends 54 hours stuck in traffic. However, these 54 hours do not include the time they spend driving without traffic, but only when there’s a traffic jam or when roads are congested. [1]

2. 55% of All Cars Globally were Once Made by Ford

55% of All Cars Globally were Once Made by Ford

Henry Ford founded the company 120 years ago, and it has dominated the automobile industry ever since. Established in the US, the company quickly became global. In 1911, they established a factory in the UK and then in France in 1913, and eventually covered most of the globe.

Ford F-series, Ford Escort (UK), and Ford Model T are the 2nd, 5th, and 8th most sold cars, respectively, of all times as of 2013. [2]

3. In 2021, there were About 1.446 Billion Active Cars in the World

In 2021, there were About 1.446 Billion Active Cars in the World

The total number of cars sold in the world is approximately 1.446 billion, with most of them being in China. China has the highest number of cars in the whole world as of 2019, reaching about 23,754,875. It is followed by the US with 17,175,893 cars and then Japan having 5,271,985 cars.

According to A plus, there might be about 10 billion cars, but they are not in use or on the road. They are likely packed up in storerooms instead. [3]

4. 65% of Drivers in the World Drive their Cars on the Right Side of the Road

65% of Drivers in the World Drive their Cars on the Right Side of the Road

About 160 countries and territories in the world drive on the right-hand side of the road compared to 73 countries and territories that drive on the left side.

The US, Russia, and China, among other countries, drive on the right side, while the UK, Australia, and India drive on the left side of the road. [4]

5. The Chance of Dying in a Car Accident is Much Greater than Dying in a Plane Accident

The Chance of Dying in a Car Accident is Much Greater than Dying in a Plane Accident

In a plane crash, the odds of dying are approximately 1 in 16 million flights. Cars accidents, on the other hand, are more common. The chances of dying in a car accident are 1 in 114. According to statistics, about 1.3 million people die every year globally due to car crashes and road accidents.

Factors such as speeding, drunk driving, or driving while being distracted all contribute to the high number of car accidents every year. [5]

6. The First Car was Manufactured in 1886 By Karl Benz

The First Car was Manufactured in 1886 By Karl Benz

The car was a 3-wheeled vehicle and was powered by a gas engine. Being the first of its kind, patent number 37435 is considered the car’s birth certificate.

The car could travel at a top speed of about 10mph and had an engine speed of 400/minute. An improved version of the car was taken on a long-distance journey, the first one of its kind, by Bertha Benz, in 1888. [6]

7. From 1909 to 1927, Ford Built More than 15 Million Ford Model T cars

From 1909 to 1927, Ford Built More than 15 Million Ford Model T cars

As soon as it was released, Ford Model T became the most popular car of its time because of its affordability and design. 

Initially, it took more than 12 hours to assemble a Ford Model T, but by 1913, they were able to assemble one in just 8 minutes. By 1927, they were assembling one in just 24 seconds, causing a decrease in its prices and hence an even more increase in its popularity. [7]

8. The 2010 Lexus SC 430 was the Last Car Ever to Have a Cassette Player

The 2010 Lexus SC 430 was the Last Car Ever to Have a Cassette Player

The cassette player in cars was already declining when the 2010 Lexus SC 430 became the last car to have this feature. The fact that the car had a cassette option as recently as 2010 was surprising to many. [8]

9. American Drivers Discard Approximately 280 Million Tires Every Year

American Drivers Discard Approximately 280 Million Tires Every Year

The figure amounts to about 1 tire per American. From these 280 million tires, 30 million are renewed and used again.

Most of the discarded tires belong to cars and some to trucks. Many of these worn-out, old tires are recycled as various other products, including shredded tires or a crumb or ground rubber product. Many are also exported to foreign countries. [9]

10. World War II Changed the Automobile Industry in the US

World War II Changed the Automobile Industry in the US

Inspired by warplanes, many post-war vehicles became much bigger, fancier, and heavier. Most people enjoyed the design of these luxury vehicles, but it was not without its drawbacks.

These cars were extremely inefficient in terms of fuel and less economical. They also compromised safety and were more likely to cause accidents and fatal injuries. [10]

11. Sperm Whale Oil Was Once Used in Cars But Got Banned in 1973

Sperm Whale Oil Was Once Used in Cars But Got Banned in 1973

Whale oil was used as an additive in the car’s transmission fluid. It was considered useful to use whale oil as it prevented rust and had excellent heat stability.

However, when the sperm whale was recognized as an endangered species, the US government amended the Endangered Species Act. The new law then banned using sperm whale oil for automobiles which put the practice to a stop. [11]

12. The First-Ever Electric Traffic Signal was Installed in 1914

The First-Ever Electric Traffic Signal was Installed in 1914

In the early days of the automobile industry, roads in the US had cars, trolleys, pedestrians, and horse carts, all competing on the roadsides. This prompted the people of Cleveland, Ohio, to set a traffic signal to prevent road accidents.

It consisted of four pairs of green and red lights attached to a wire which were all manually operated by a switch. [12]

13. A Majority of Cars Sold in Norway Are Hybrid or Electric Vehicles

A Majority of Cars Sold in Norway Are Hybrid or Electric Vehicles

In 2020, 70% of all registered cars in Norway were electric vehicles, while just 9% were based on diesel.

This country has the highest number of electric cars used in the world. This is mainly because of their government’s policies of reducing tax on such vehicles as well as offering them free parking and much lower annual fees compared to other cars. [13]

14. Volvo’s 3 Point Seatbelt Design Has Saved More Lives than We Can Imagine

Volvo’s 3 Point Seatbelt Design Has Saved More Lives than We Can Imagine

The modern seatbelt design was invented by Nils Bohlin 1959, a Volvo engineer. His design made using seatbelts safer as well as easier, saving countless lives.

Volvo conducted a study that showed that people not wearing a seatbelt suffered lethal injuries at the time of a car accident. The 1967 study also showed that none of the people wearing the 3-point design died. [14]

15. Toyota Corolla is the Top Selling Car In The World

Toyota Corolla is the Top Selling Car In The World

Since the car initially entered the market in 1966, 44.1 million Toyota Corollas have been sold until now. Interestingly, if all these cars were lined together, they’d cover about 5 rounds of the Earth. A Toyota Corolla is sold every 15 seconds globally (in over 150 countries). [15]

16. The Mercedes Benz W125 Broke the Record For the Highest Recorded Speed of 268.8mph in 1938

The Mercedes Benz W125 Broke the Record For the Highest Recorded Speed of 268.8mph in 1938

What is more impressive than the high speed of 268.8mph managed in 1938 is the fact that the car held this record for 80 years. Managing that speed in 1938 wouldn’t have been an easy task, especially on a public road!

The record was later broken in 2018 by Koenigsegg Agera RS. It traveled at about 276.9 mph. [16]

17. The Inventor of Cruise Control was Blind

The Inventor of Cruise Control was Blind

The automatic system to control cars’ speeds was invented by Ralph Teetor in 1948. He is said to have invented the life-saving system as he was annoyed at his driver speeding up and then slowing down every time he talked. [17]

18. The First Recorded Motor Vehicle Accident Occurred in 1891

The First Recorded Motor Vehicle Accident Occurred in 1891

The driver John William Lambert was driving around Ohio City when the accident took place. He hit a tree root, went off course, and hit a hitching post. He suffered only minor injuries. He was driving a self-invented car called the Buckeye Gasoline Buggy. [18]

19. The Number one Cause of Traffic Accidents is Distracted Driving

The Number one Cause of Traffic Accidents is Distracted Driving

About 80% of accidents occurred because the driver was somewhat distracted and wasn’t paying attention to the road. It was either due to cell phone use or drowsiness. 65% of near-crashes were also said to be due to a lack of attention. 3.142 lives were lost in the US due to distracted driving in 2019. [19]

20. In 1896, Walter Arnold Got the World’s First-Ever Speeding Ticket

In 1896, Walter Arnold Got the World’s First-Ever Speeding Ticket

The incident occurred on January 28th, 1896, in Paddock Wood, England. Walter Arnold was driving at an unbelievable 8mph speed while the speed limit was 2mph. 

The speed limit wasn’t the only law Arnold was breaking. He didn’t even have a man preceding him with a red flag to warn other people. He definitely had it coming! [20]

21. The First ‘No Left’ Sign was Installed In Buffalo, New York, In 1916

The First ‘No Left’ Sign was Installed In Buffalo, New York, In 1916

The sign was one of the first traffic regulations that became necessary as the automobile industry grew. Larger cities, especially, started facing congestion on roads, and accidents were looking inevitable. 

The invention of the ‘No left’ sign was along the time when America standardized the Left-hand side drive. [21]

22. Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot Invented the World’s First Self-Propelled Vehicle in 1769

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot Invented the World’s First Self-Propelled Vehicle in 1769

Nicolas was a French engineer, and he built the vehicle as a military tractor. The French army used it to drag weapons which it could do at a speed of about two and a half miles per hour. A steam engine was designed to power this vehicle. [22]

23. The World’s First Long-Distance Journey Was Carried Out by Bertha Benz

The World’s First Long-Distance Journey Was Carried Out by Bertha Benz

Bertha Benz and her two sons embarked upon the daring endeavor on a patent vehicle designed by her husband, Carl Benz. The journey took place from Mannheim to Pforzheim, Germany, in August 1888. She took the journey in a modified version of the Benz Patent Motor Car without the knowledge of her husband. [23]

24. According to the Research House of Bernstein, The Number of Cars In the World Will Reach 2 Billion By 2040

According to the Research House of Bernstein, The Number of Cars In the World Will Reach 2 Billion By 2040

Bernstein has stated that the number of cars worldwide will increase rapidly in the coming years. According to him, the highest number of cars will be in India and China, countries with a very high populations.

He also said that demands for vehicles will likely decrease in the West due to the high cost of transportation and the service-led nature of economic growth in the US, UK, and other developed countries. [24]

25. Automatic Transmission Cars Are More Common in the US than in Europe

Automatic Transmission Cars Are More Common in the US than in Europe

Less than 3% of cars in the United States have a manual transmission, while 80% of the cars in Europe have manual transmission. 

According to Lauren Fix, an expert in the field, there are several reasons for this. He stated that Americans tend to multitask while driving; therefore, they prefer using automatic cars as they are easier to manage. Europeans, on average, are less likely to perform any other tasks while driving. [25]

Conclusion

The automobile industry is one of the most profitable businesses. This business also faces many difficulties in understanding and solving every problem. Not only related to the business but also related to the lifestyle of people in different countries. Car manufacturers can struggle if they don’t know how many cars will be sold in the future, what kind of cars manufacturers should manufacture, the price of the car, etc.

Whether you’re an automobile fanatic or not, these facts are worth knowing.

References

  1. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/22/us/traffic-commute-gridlock-transportation-study-trnd/index.html
  2. https://www.infoplease.com/world/travel-transportation/top-ten-best-selling-cars-all-time
  3. https://www.seniorcare2share.com/how-many-cars-in-the-world/#How_many_cars_are_in_the_world_in_2020
  4. https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/countries-that-drive-on-the-right
  5. https://www.lesserlawfirm.com/is-flying-safer-than-driving.
  6. https://group.mercedes-benz.com/company/tradition/company-history/1885-1886.html.
  7. https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/model-t
  8. https://www.motorbiscuit.com/the-2010-lexus-sc-430-ended-a-historic-era/
  9. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/infrastructure/structures/97148/st1.cfm.
  10. https://www.hertz.com/blog/automotive/life-during-wartime-how-world-war-ii-changed-the-auto-industry/
  11. https://www.motorbiscuit.com/you-wont-believe-how-whale-oil-was-once-used-in-cars/
  12. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-electric-traffic-signal-installed.
  13. https://www.statista.com/statistics/696187/electric-and-hybrid-cars-number-in-norway.
  14. https://www.forbes.com/sites/douglasbell/2019/08/13/60-years-of-seatbelts-volvos-great-gift-to-the-world/?sh=2aa317f022bc
  15. https://global.toyota/en/corolla50th/history/by_the_numbers/v
  16. https://www.motor1.com/news/228309/mercedes-w125-80-years-anniversary.
  17. https://www.eit.edu.au/the-blind-man-who-invented-cruise-control/
  18. https://ohiomemory.ohiohistory.org/archives/2866#:~:text=The%20first%20traffic%20accident%20involving,were%20injured%2C%20though%20not%20seriously.
  19. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060420233031.htm.
  20. https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Walter-Arnold-Worlds-First-Speeding-Ticket/
  21. https://www.marshallnewsmessenger.com/opinion/columns/halliday-traffic-signal-lights/article_23a5a343-9de9-59f5-9346-0051083adda8.html
  22. https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-steam-powered-cars-4066248.
  23. https://group-media.mercedes-benz.com/marsMediaSite/en/instance/ko/August-1888-Bertha-Benz-takes-worlds-first-long-distance-trip-in-an-automobile.xhtml?oid=9361401
  24. https://www.businessinsider.com/global-transport-use-will-double-by-2040-as-china-and-india-gdp-balloon
  25. https://www.rd.com/article/why-americans-drive-automatic/