During the first half of the twentieth century, the automotive industry grew rapidly. This industry provided jobs for thousands of Americans. It also contributed to the development of new industries. The automobiles used fuels such as gasoline and diesel. The automobiles also impacted the environment.
The invention of the internal combustion engine revolutionized transportation. Initially, the engines were steam powered. But, the technology did not allow for efficient usage. The cars also had a lot of shortcomings. Some of the first cars did not have seat belts, rear view mirrors, or windshields.
After World War II, the automobile industry saw a rebound. Automakers became more competitive and affordable. It was then that people began to take pride in their vehicles.
The United States developed its own manufacturing tradition, which resulted in lower prices for the automobiles. The demand for gasoline pushed the automobile supply industry to develop. This increased the need for automobile parts and made it possible for people to purchase a car.
By the late 1970s, the number of people employed in motor vehicle and equipment manufacturing topped one million. The increase in employment in this industry was attributed to the fact that more people had access to vehicles.
The automobile played a huge role in the suburbs. Suburban growth required fast and convenient transportation. In addition, women began to gain access to jobs that were traditionally male-dominated. This gave them more freedom.
The American cars were more stylish and fuel-efficient than Japanese cars. However, the American automobiles still faced a number of problems during the 1960s. These included the economical aspect of gas guzzling cars, the quality of safety, and nonfunctional styling.