Today, dependence on automobiles has increased more than ever. Factors such as increasing incomes, growing industrial development, and liberalization of finance markets are contributing towards the increasing demand for vehicles (both passenger and commercial). United States is among major automobile manufacturing regions in the world. It is a homeland of many popular auto manufacturers such as Chrysler, Chevrolet, Ford Motors and many more.
American automobile industry ruled the world’s automobile sector during the first half of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the 20th century, automobiles were limited to only few people as they were time-consuming to produce and too costly for the general public. With the introduction of the Model T Ford by Henry Ford in 1908, Americans developed a passion for manufacturing vehicles in the world. The vehicle industry started with the introduction of many manufacturing companies, but by the end of 1920s, it was dominated by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.
Vehicles produced by American automakers are known as they are powerful, high on quality and safe to drive. There always lies quintessential American-ness in their vehicles. So, let’s look out for top 5 American automakers that are recognized for producing magnificent vehicles.
HQ- New York city, New York, United States
With the history of more than 100 years, Cadillac is known for its uncompromising performance, design and groundbreaking technology. The company that was first to offer drivers a color other than black was formed as the remnants of the Henry Ford Company. After a dispute with his investors, Ford left the company along with his partners in 1902. Ford’s partners William Murphy, Lemuel Bowen, along with Henry M. Leland formed an automobile company on 22nd August, 1902 named, the Cadillac Automobile Company. The company was named after French Explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, who founded Detroit in 1701. The first automobile manufactured by Cadillac was two-seat horseless carriages powered by 10hp single cylinder engine, called the Runabout and Tonneau in 1902.
In 1905, the company merged with the Leland & Faulconer Manufacturing to form the Cadillac Motor Company. Later on in 1909, the Cadillac Motor Company was purchased by the General Motors conglomerate and became its division for the manufacturing of large luxury vehicles. In 1915, Cadillac introduced a 90-degree flathead V8 engine with 70hp at 2400rpm and 240Nm of torque. That was fastest in comparison to others at that time. In 1928 using constant mesh gears, Cadillac introduced the first clashless Synchro-Mesh manual transmission.
Primary markets of Cadillac car was the United States, Canada and China. However, the company’s vehicles are branded in 34 additional markets worldwide. The biggest selling point of Cadillac vehicles are their reliability and precision manufacturing. With its stylish finish and luxurious design, the cars of Cadillac are among the world’s finest cars.
HQ- Detroit, Michigan, United States
This American automaker that is officially known as FCA US LLC was founded by Walter Chrysler in 1925 and is owned by Italian automaker Fiat. The first car manufactured was the 1924 Chrysler Six that came with a light, powerful, high-compression six-cylinder engine. It was with this car that four-wheel hydraulic brakes came standard with passenger cars. The car also featured aluminum pistons, replaceable oil and air filters, full-pressure lubrication, tubular front axles, shock absorbers and indirect interior lighting. In 1928, Chrysler acquired the Fargo truck company and the Dodge Brothers Company and started selling its vehicles under those brands. In the same year only, it established the Plymouth and DeSoto automobile parts. The company sells its vehicles under the brand Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram. The automotive parts and accessories division is known as Mopar and the performance automobile division is known as SRT.
In 1998, it merged with the German automobile manufacturer Daimler-Benz AG to form Daimler Chrysler. But the merge turned out to be contentious and the company was sold to Cerberus Capital Management and renamed Chrysler LLC in 2007. During automotive crises the company became bankrupt, however, managed to remain in the business. It emerged from the bankruptcy proceedings with the United Auto Workers pension fund, Fiat S.p.A., and U.S. and Canadian governments as principal owners. On 1st January 2014, Fiat purchased the remaining Chrysler from United Auto Workers retiree health trust. On January 21, 2014, Chrysler Group became a subsidy of Fiat S.p.A. Same year in May, Fiat S.p.A. merged into the company to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, NV. Chrysler Group LLC renamed FCA US LLC on December 15, 2014 to reflect the Fiat-Chrysler merger.
HQ- Detroit, Michigan, United States
Chevrolet, casually referred as Chevy and formally the Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company, is an American automobile division of the American manufacturer General Motors. In 1910, GM founder Durant was forced out from the company, but he regrouped with other partners to form another car company. On 3rd November 1911 in Detroit, Michigan, road racer Louis Chevrolet and General Motors founder Billy Durant created Chevrolet. The first car launched by the company was the Series C Classic Six that came up with electric starter and electric headlamps. In 1917, Chevrolet merged into General Motors as a separate division. After its merger with GM, the company launched model D in 1918 that came with V8 35hp engines. The engine became popular because of its reliability and earned the nickname, “cast iron wonder”. Few years later, Chevrolet entered into the market of SUV with the Suburban Carryall. Weighing around one and half tons, it has the seating capacity of eight passengers and sporting rough terrain riding capabilities.
Production line of Chevrolet includes SUVs, crossovers, trucks, vans, diesel vehicles, hybrid vehicles. The launch of the electrically driven Volt was the world’s first mass produced electric vehicle with gasoline-powered extended range providing 379-miles of total range.
Throughout its history of 100 years Chevrolet has manufactured many cars and trucks and has always known for their style, precision and comfort. Since then the brand symbolizes the best of American automobile originality, giving customers the quality they want and the value they need. The company has earned reputation for performance, durability and value.
- Ford Motor Company:-
HQ- Dearborn, Michigan, United States
Henry Ford’s initial attempt at a car company under his own name was the Henry Ford Company on November 3, 1901, which became the Cadillac Motor Company on August 22, 1902. Ford built his first gasoline-powered vehicle “Quadricycle”, which consisted of a light metal frame fitted with four bicycle wheels and powered by a two-cylinder, four-horsepower gasoline engine in a workshop behind his home in 1896. In 1903, Ford introduced Ford Motor Company with other prospective stockholders. A month after the company was established, the first Ford car was assembled at a plant on Mack Avenue in Detroit. In 1908 with the introduction of the Model T or (“Tin Lizzie” as popularly known as) Ford introduced the engine with a removable cylinder head and achieved his mission to produce an affordable and reliable automobile for everyone. To meet the increasing demand for this vehicle, Ford introduced a new mass-production methods, including large production plants, the use of standardized, interchangeable parts and, in 1913, the world’s first moving assembly line for cars. In 1914 in order to improve the company’s productivity, Ford introduced the $5 daily wage for an eight-hour day for his employees (up from $2.34 for nine hours), setting a standard for the industry.
In 1927, the first car with safety glass in the windshield was introduced by Ford named; Model A. Ford launched the first low priced V8 engine powered car in 1932. During 1960s the competition in the automobile industry increased, and to remain as the major automaker Ford came out with Ford Mustang in 1964, a compact semi GT with four seats. Ford acquired Jaguar Cars in 1990 and Aston Martin in1994. Ford has manufactured many vehicles some of them are Thunderbird, Model T, Fairlaine, Galaxie, Falcon, and Mustang.
- General Motors Company:-
HQ- Detroit, Michigan, United States of America
General Motors popularly known as GM is an American Multinational Corporation that designs, manufactures, distribute vehicles and vehicle parts and sell finances services. The General Motors Company was founded on September 16th, 1908 in Flint, Michigan as a holding company for the American automotive brand Buick, which was under the control of William C. Durant. Along with the co-founder, Charles Stewart Mott, Durant acquired Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Elmore, Oakland (later known as Pontiac). In 1908, GM acquired the Reliance Motor Truck Company and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, which led to the foundation for the General Motors truck. Years later, Durant lost the control of GM, and co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Car Company in 1911 with Louis Chevrolet. Meanwhile, General Motors with the 1912 Cadillac launched the electric self-starter. Durant returned back to the company and re-organized the company into the General Motors Corporation and introduced the first GM vehicle under the Chevy brand name: the 1918 Chevrolet 490. Due to World War I, during 1917-19, GM shifts the production to trucks. Through the 1920s, the General Motors expanded into a global market. It acquired Vauxhall Motors Ltd. of Great Britain and Adam Opel AG of Germany in 1925 and 1929 respectively. In 1930, GM began the design and manufacturing of aircraft by buying Fokker Aircraft Corp of America (U.S. subsidiary of Fokker) and Berliner-Joyce Aircraft, merging them into General Aviation Manufacturing Corporation. And in 1932, the company formed a new subsidiary, United Cities Motor Transport (UCMT) to finance the conversion of streetcar systems to buses in small cities.
During World War II, GM produced a huge fleet of armament and military vehicles, both for Allied and Axis forces. By the early 1940s, GM became responsible for almost half of all the cars being made in the U.S. At one point GM had become the largest corporation registered in the United States. In fact, in 1955, General Motors became the first American corporation to pay taxes of over $1 billion. From 1960s onwards General Motors had a difficult period as many of its products came under attack for poor workmanship. The period of hardship continued through the 90s and was affected more by stiff competition from Japanese companies. However, in the late-1990s the company went back on the way to recovery, with increasing stock and sales stabilizing. However, the company again failed after 11 September, 2001. The company survived hardship for the next few years, until the recession of 2008 put it on the brink of bankruptcy, which was finally was bailed out by the Federal government. From electric and mini-cars to heavy duty full-size trucks, monocabs and convertibles, General Motors offer a broad range of vehicles in more than 120 countries across the world and is definitely one of the important automobile manufacturers.