During the first half of the twentieth century, the automobile industry grew rapidly. The industry became one of the most important industrial sectors in the United States. Its impact was felt in all areas of the economy, including the steel and petroleum industries.
By the mid-1920s, the automobile industry accounted for more than 80 percent of the output of the entire American manufacturing industry. This was due to the mass production techniques that Henry Ford had developed. These techniques made cars more affordable for middle-class families.
The automobile industry also helped to break up rural isolation and promote outdoor recreation. It was the catalyst for the growth of tourism. It brought better schools and medical care to rural America. It also encouraged the mechanization of industrial processes.
In addition, the automobile industry provided one-sixth of all jobs in the United States in 1982. It is estimated that Americans drive 4.8 trillion kilometers (3 trillion miles) each year. The industry has become a global industry. Today, there are over 1.4 billion passenger cars in the world.
The automobile industry has evolved over the years from the development of new technologies to safety legislation. Manufacturers have developed better bodies, chassis, safety systems, and emission control systems. They have also improved the engine.
The automobile industry in the United States is considered one of the largest industries in the world. It accounts for one-quarter of all passenger cars in the country. It is also the chief consumer of many industrial products, including steel.