Interesting Facts about the Automobile Industry

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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. 1913 and an international sales branch in Paris in 1908; eventually reaching most corners 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 in the world; not all of them 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 163 countries and territories in the world drive on the right-hand side of the road compared to 78 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

Statistically speaking, it’s more likely to sustain a major injury or die from a car crash than a plane crash. The International Air Transport Association reported that there was only a single major flight crash for every 7.7 million flights according to 2021 data. The overall fatality risk in flying was around 0.23 in 2021, meaning that people may expect to take a daily flight for 10,000 years before experience a fatal airplane crash.

Compare this with the 1.34 in one million odds of passing away due to a car crash in 2020. However, we also have to keep in mind that the commercial air carrier trips are also included in these calculations. These flights are under very stringer federal regulations.

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 first car was a 3-wheeled vehicle and was powered by a gas engine. With this car 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 output of 0.75 hp or 0.55kW. 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 1908 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 1914, that time dropped to just 93 minutes.  [26] [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 feature in cars was already at a decline when the Ford Crown Victoria became the last car to have this feature. The fact that the car had a cassette option as recently as 2011 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.

From all the discarded tires, most 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 rubber 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

After and during World War II, the US automobile industry saw some major changes. During the war, the government halted commercial car production. Car parts were melted down and factories force to change their production lines for supporting military efforts. From this era, we got the military Jeep.

After commercial car production was allowed again, the industry took inspiration from warplanes and stared introducing a lot of chrome, large tail fins, and other luxury features to cars. There were also more innovations on the inside, including power windows and automatic transmissions. [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 as it prevented rust and had excellent heat stability.

However, when 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 unless they were travelling at high speeds above 60 mph. [14]

15. Toyota Corolla is the Best 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 as of 2016. 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. AJ Willingham, CNN. (2019, August 22). Commuters waste an average of 54 hours a year stalled in traffic, study says. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/22/us/traffic-commute-gridlock-transportation-study-trnd/index.html
  2. Top Ten Best Selling Cars of All Time. (n.d.). Www.infoplease.com. https://www.infoplease.com/world/travel-transportation/top-ten-best-selling-cars-all-time
  3. shelly. (2022, February 25). Quick Answer: How Many Cars In The World. Seniorcare2share. https://www.seniorcare2share.com/how-many-cars-in-the-world/#How_many_cars_are_in_the_world_in_2020
  4. Countries that Drive on the Right 2022. (n.d.). Worldpopulationreview.com. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/countries-that-drive-on-the-right
  5. Roman, M. (2022, July 12). Is Flying Safer than Driving? Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers. https://romanaustin.com/blog/is-flying-safer-than-driving/
  6. Group, M.-B. (2022). Benz Patent Motor Car: The first automobile (1885–1886). Mercedes-Benz Group. https://group.mercedes-benz.com/company/tradition/company-history/1885-1886.html
  7. History.com Editors. (2018, August 21). Model T. HISTORY; A&E Television Networks. https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/model-t
  8. Satara, S. (2019, September 8). 5 Incredible Automotive Facts. TopSpeed. https://www.topspeed.com/cars/5-incredible-automotive-facts-ar182495.html
  9. Scrap Tires – Material Description – User Guidelines for Waste and Byproduct Materials in Pavement Construction – FHWA-RD-97-148. (n.d.). Www.fhwa.dot.gov. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/infrastructure/structures/97148/st1.cfm
  10. Hertz. (2018, October 3). Life in Wartime: How World War II Changed the Auto Industry. Hertz Travel Blog. https://www.hertz.com/blog/automotive/life-during-wartime-how-world-war-ii-changed-the-auto-industry/
  11. DeSantis, G. (2020, October 30). You Won’t Believe How Whale Oil Was Once Used in Cars. MotorBiscuit. https://www.motorbiscuit.com/you-wont-believe-how-whale-oil-was-once-used-in-cars/
  12. History.com Editors. (2009, November 13). First electric traffic signal installed. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-electric-traffic-signal-installed
  13. Norway: electric and hybrid cars number 2012-2020. (n.d.). Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/696187/electric-and-hybrid-cars-number-in-norway
  14. Bell, D. (2022, October 12). Volvo’s Gift To The World, Modern Seat Belts Have Saved Millions Of Lives. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/douglasbell/2019/08/13/60-years-of-seatbelts-volvos-great-gift-to-the-world/?sh=2aa317f022bc
  15. TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION. (2016). Corolla by the Numbers | Toyota Motor Corporation Official Global Website. Toyota Motor Corporation Official Global Website. https://global.toyota/en/corolla50th/history/by_the_numbers/
  16. 80 Years Ago, The Mercedes W125 Hit 268.9 MPH On A Public Road. (n.d.). Motor1.com. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://www.motor1.com/news/228309/mercedes-w125-80-years-anniversary
  17. The blind man who invented cruise control. (2018, September 10). EIT | Engineering Institute of Technology. https://www.eit.edu.au/the-blind-man-who-invented-cruise-control/
  18. The Supreme Creation of an Era: Ohio and the Early Auto Industry. (n.d.). Ohiomemory.ohiohistory.org. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://ohiomemory.ohiohistory.org/archives/2866#:~:text=The%20first%20traffic%20accident%20involving
  19. Findings Released On Real-world Driver Behavior, Distraction, Crash Factors. (n.d.). ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060420233031.htm
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  21. Halliday, D. (n.d.). Halliday: Traffic signal lights. Marshall News Messenger. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://www.marshallnewsmessenger.com/opinion/columns/halliday-traffic-signal-lights/article_23a5a343-9de9-59f5-9346-0051083adda8.html
  22. https://www.facebook.com/thoughtcodotcom. (2016). The First Cars Were Powered by Steam! ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-steam-powered-cars-4066248
  23. August 1888: Bertha Benz takes world’s first long-distance trip in an automobile. (n.d.). MarsMediaSite. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from 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. Smith, M. N. (n.d.). The number of cars will double worldwide by 2040. Business Insider. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://www.businessinsider.com/global-transport-use-will-double-by-2040-as-china-and-india-gdp-balloon
  25. src=”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/ae17aacd67c8732b551cc9c8623fb039?s=50, img class=”avatar” alt=”Jen M., #038;d=mm, Nov. 13, 038;r=g” width=”50″ height=”50″>Jen M., & 2020. (2020, November 13). Why Do Americans Drive Automatic—But Most of Europe Drives Manual? Reader’s Digest. https://www.rd.com/article/why-americans-drive-automatic/
  26. (2022). Study.com. https://study.com/academy/lesson/fords-model-t-production-line-lesson-quiz.html

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