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The history of car making began many years ago as many inventors strove to invent horseless carriage. As time went by automotive production expanded worldwide. The history of car manufacturing can be divided into periods: veteran era, brass era, vintage era, pre-WWII era, post- war era, and modern era.

At the beginning of the 19th century an engine that generates motive power by the burning of gases was invented. Throughout the century many attempts were made to find out which fuels were suitable for the internal combustion engine. The engines were gradually modified and pioneers of vehicle production used them to construct ‘real’ automobiles to carry people.

The history of serial car production began in 1886 after Karl Benz constructed three-wheel car suitable for daily use. His cars weren’t unique, though that was the very first car production.

In 1887 French manufacturer, Panhard et Levassor, was founded. It was the first European company which aimed at exclusively automobile production. In 1893 Charles and Frank Duryea founded the first car manufacturing company in the USA, Duryea Motor Wagon Company. Shortly after that Olds Motor Vehicle Co. became the leader in car production. This era is also famous for Winton, Cadillac, and Ford who launched mass automobile manufacturing.

By the year of 1900 the development of automotive industry spread across Europe and the United States and automobiles were produced in thousands. As time went by car production experienced revolutionary changes and different notable models went down in history. Due to implemented technologies some models lost favor and newcomers became mainstream vehicles. Inspired with innovations and modern styling, automobile manufacturers put on the market mass-produced cars, automobiles for the wealthy and sports cars to suit consumer segments and different markets.

The first automotive manufacturers pioneered in Germany, then in France, in the United Kingdom, in the United States of America and in course of time automotive production was set up throughout the globe. Nevertheless successfully established automotive industry in the USA remained the leader up to the 1950s. Until the 1960s the USA had produced more than 80% of motor vehicles, but then Japan, Germany, France and UK increased the volume of produced automobiles. After the oil crisis in 1973 Japan became the car making leader. Japanese manufacturers were concerned about fuel efficiency and produced small economy cars. In the 1990s South Korea and China increased car production. China gradually overcame Japan, the United States, all European countries and became #1 in motoring world.

According to International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) in 2014 China, Japan, Germany, USA and South Korea are the top five automotive manufacturers.

Best selling cars in the United States

Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in June 1903. Its headquarter is in Dearborn, Michigan. The second largest U.S. automaker sells automobiles under Ford and Lincoln brands. Lincoln was founded in 1917 and that division of the Ford Motor Company manufactures luxury automobiles.

The Ford Motor Company

Ford logo emblem symbol

The Ford Motor Company has joint ventures: Ford Lio Ho and Changan Ford Mazda in China, AutoAlliance Thailand, Ford Otosan in Turkey, and Ford Sollersin Russia. The company has about 90 plants worldwide. Moreover Ford owns blocks of shares in Aston Martin (the United Kingdom), in Jiangling (China) and in Mazda (Japan). Besides cars and crossovers, hybrids and electrovehicles, the company produces buses and trucks, earlier it also manufactured tractors and components. In 2014 Ford sold 2,376,841 cars in the U.S. with the market share of 14.4%. So General Motors was the only company which surpassed Ford.

Chevy

Chevrolet logo emblem symbol

The Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company is known as Chevy. Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant founde the Chevrolet Motor Car Company with the hepl of two investors William Little and Dr. Edwin R in 1911. The company was named after Swiss race car driver Louis Chevrolet. Initially Chevrolet-branded vehicles were sold at a reasonable price to compete with legendary Ford Model T and managed to outpace in 1929.

General Motors, producing and selling a wide range of Cevrolet-branded vehicles, is represented worldwide except Oceania. As in Australia it’s subsidiary Holden. In the United States Chevrolet sold 2,033,442 automobiles in 2014 and proved itself the second best selling brand with the market share of 12.3%.

Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota logo emblem symbol

Toyota Motor Corporation was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937. Its headquarter is based in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. Toyota Motor Corporation is number one automotive manufacturer in Japan which produces more than 10 million cars every year. Toyota produces vans, trucks, sedans, coupes, hybrids, crossovers and all in all about 70 models are manufactured under its name. Moreeover Toyota is the largest manufacturer of hybrid electric vehicles.

Toyota vehicles are assembled in throughout the world under 5 brands: Toyota, Hino, Scion, Lexus, and Ranz.
As other companies Toyota suffered losses caused by the global financial crisis of 2008 and the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Nevertheless in 2014 Toyota sold 2,004,373 cars in the United Stated with the market share of 12.1%.

Honda

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Honda is one of the best Japanese brands. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. produces automobiles, motorcycles, garden equipment, electrical generators, marine engines, robotics and other equipment. The motorcycle builder Soichiro Honda founded his company in Hamamatsu in 1948. Honda company manufactured motorcycles, achieved worldwide fame in the 1960s and made its debut with the first automobile, mini pick-up the T360 in 1963. In the 1970s the company began to produce fuel-efficient cars and in 1973 introduced the Civic model, which became very popular. In 1976 Accord went into the market and gained popularity in the U.S. Honda introduced its luxury brand, Acura, in 1986. Since the 1970s the company’s sales have grown exponentially and in 2014 Honda sold 1,373,029 cars in the United States with the market share of 8.3%.

Nissan Company was established in 1933 and the automobile manufacturing under the name of Nissan began in 1934. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. is headquartered in Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan.

Nissan

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Nissan produced its first Datsun in 1935. Its predecessor, Dat Car, was manufactured in 1914. Initially Nissan specialized in small passenger cars but during the WWII began to produce military vehicles and trucks. Throughout the 1950s-1960s Nissan expanded worldwide. New Datsun models Bluebird (1959), Cedric (1960) and Sunny (1966) gained popularity abroad and by 1970 Nissan became one of the largest exporters of automobiles in the world.

Nissan built an alliance with French car manufacturer Renault since 1999. The carmaker releases its cars under the Nissan, Datsun, and NISMO (Nissan Motorsport International Limited) brands as well as it’s luxury Infiniti brand. In 2014 Nissan sold 1,269,565 cars with the market share of 7.7%.

Hyundai Group and Kia Motors

Hyundai logo emblem symbol

Hyundai Group has the number of business units along with car manufacturing. Hyundai Motor Company was founded in 1967. Its headquarter is in Seoul, South Korea. Currently Hyundai Motor Company and Kia comprise the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group. Hyundai sold 725,718 cars in the U.S. in 2014 with the market share 4.4%.

Kia logo emblem symbol

Kia Motors Corporation is one more South Korean most famous car maker along with Hyundai Motor and Daewoo Motor. Kia was formed in 1947 and produced steel tubing and bicycle parts. Later the company began to manufacture motorcycles, then trucks and in 1974 it set up car production.

In the 1980s Kia’s Pride model was sold in the U.S. under the Ford Festiva name and the Kia Avella as the Ford Aspire. In the1990s Kia spur sales in the United States under its own brand. A subsidiary of Hyundai, Kia is still popular amongst Americans as in 2014 580,234 cars were sold in the U.S. with the market share of 3.5%.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

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Jeep is currently owned by FCA US LLC which is a division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Its history of goes back to 1941. The first Willys MB Jeeps were the pioneers of sport utility vehicles. Initially only military vehicles were produced for the United States Army and Allies nevertheless throughout its history Jeep cars were manufactured for military and civil puproses and currently only off-road vehicles and SUVs are launched. In 2014 it was reported that 692,348 Jeeps were sold in the U.S. with the market share of 4.2%.

Chrysler logo emblem symbol

The Dodge Division of Chrysler Corporation, or simply Dodge, was founded in 1900 and supplied Detroit automakers with spares and assemblies. The company set up automobile manufacturing in 1915. In 1928 Dodge was sold to Chrysler. After the oil crysis in 1973 the company switched from producing trucks and full-size vehicles to fuel efficient mid-size automobiles. In 2014 Dodge was in top ten American best selling cars with the market share of 3.5%. All in all 574,155 Dodge cars were sold in the U.S.

Tokyo-based Fuji Heavy Industries was formed in 1953 after the merge of four Japanese companies. The firstling was produced in 1954 and got the name the Subaru 1500. Since then the car makers launched various models, which enjoyed popularity in different countries. In 2014 Subaru sold 513,693 automobiles to the U.S. customers with the market share of 3.1%.

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