Get Behind The Wheel With Popular Car Manufacturers

Car manufacturers contribute a great deal to the economy, as they provide jobs for millions of people and spend money when they buy parts from other manufacturing companies. These manufacturers also make it possible to get almost anywhere in style and comfort. From the basic budget model to a sleek luxury sedan, car manufacturers give consumers many options and amenities. The wide range of models available makes it possible for people to get where they need to go without breaking the bank.

Ford

Henry Ford started Ford Motor Company in 1903 with just $28,000. Just five years later, he introduced the Model T. Ford produced more than 15 million of these cars before ending production on the model in 1927. World War II resulted in a big increase in business for Ford, as it started making vehicles for the U.S. military. In 1942, Ford switched from making civilian vehicles to producing military-vehicles full-time. This lasted until 1945, when the company returned to civilian production. The company went public in 1956, selling more than 10 million shares of stock. Throughout its history, Ford responded to changes in consumer needs by introducing new models. Some of the most popular Ford models in history include the Model T, Mustang, F-150, and Focus.

  • A Timeline of Ford Motor Company: This article from National Public Radio lists some of the most important events in Ford’s history.
  • Ford Motor Company Heritage: The Ford website allows users to read the history of famous Ford vehicles and learn about some of the most important people in the history of Ford Motor Company.

Chrysler

The history of Chrysler is lined with highs and lows. Walter Chrysler, a former railroad engineer, started Chrysler in 1925. In the late 1940s, Chrysler had a reputation for producing well-engineered cars. Despite its good reputation, Chrysler was never able to overtake other manufacturers. In the late 1970s, financial difficulties forced Chrysler to ask for government loans to pay off debts. When the company introduced K-cars and minivans in the 1980s, it was able to repay the loans. One of the most notable events in Chrysler history was its acquisition by Daimler-Benz in 1998. This lasted for almost 10 years, but Daimler sold Chrysler to an investment fund in 2007. In 2009, Chrysler had to ask for another government bailout due to the effects of the economic downturn. Some of the most popular Chrysler models include the Town & Country, Chrysler 300, LeBaron, and Crossfire.

  • Chrysler: A Short History: This article gives a brief overview of the history of Chrysler.
  • The Chrysler Story: This resource has an interactive timeline that allows users to click on a year in history and see what happened at Chrysler during that year.

General Motors (GM)

William Durant founded General Motors in 1908. He used his experience as the manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles to get into the motor vehicle business. When Durant first started the company, it only consisted of Buick Motor Company. General Motors would eventually buy Cadillac, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and more than a dozen other car manufacturers. One of GM’s earliest mottos was “a car for every purse and purpose,” signifying its commitment to producing models at a wide range of price points and styles. The economic downturn of 2008 had a significant effect on GM’s bottom line. The company had to take a loan from the U.S. government with the promise of restructuring the company. The company closed several divisions to cut costs and improve profitability. Some of the most popular GM models in history include the Buick LaSalle, Chevrolet Bel Air, Cadillac Escalade, and Chevy Volt.

Honda

Honda is one of the most well-known car manufacturers, with its reliable Civic model paving the way for thousands of loyal customers. Soichiro Honda established the Honda Technical Research Institute after World War II. He was able to raise capital by producing 2-cycle engines for motorbikes. He used the capital to produce his first motorcycle, which marked the beginning of Honda Motor Company. Honda eventually got involved in manufacturing automobiles in 1963. The first model produced by Honda was a mini pickup truck called the T-360. The first production car introduced by Honda was the S500, also released in 1963. The Honda Civic is one of the best-known models from this company, but other popular models include the Accord, Odyssey, Fit, and CR-V.

  • Honda History: Honda offers a history of the company organized by decade.
  • Honda Civic History: Edmunds takes readers through the history of the Honda Civic, one of Honda’s most popular models.

Chevrolet (Chevy)

Louis Chevrolet and William Durant – the founder of General Motors – founded Chevrolet in 1911. Chevrolet distinguished itself from other manufacturers by offering high-tech features to consumers at an affordable price. The first Chevy model was the Series S Classic Six, which had electric headlamps and an electric starter. Chevrolet quickly implemented new innovations in its vehicles, making it the world’s fourth-largest car manufacturer. Some of Chevy’s most popular models include the Bel Air, Colorado, Silverado, Suburban, Lumina, and Tahoe.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen got its start in 1937, when it was founded in Germany. Like several other car companies, World War II resulted in a production boom for Volkswagen, as it switched from making consumer vehicles to producing armaments for the military. The Volkswagen Beetle, arguably the most popular VW model, was introduced after the war ended. Throughout its history, Volkswagen has broken several records, one of which was the record for world car production. Production of the Beetle surpassed production of Ford’s Model T in 1972. Some of the most popular Volkswagen models are the Beetle, Passat, and Golf.

Nissan

Nissan Motor Company started out in 1933 as “Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd.” The name was changed to Nissan Motor Company in 1934. The first Datsun came out of the plant in April 1935, the same time the company decided to export vehicles to Australia. Nissan was one of the first manufacturers to develop overseas manufacturing operations, with Nissan establishing production companies in Taiwan and Mexico in 1959 and 1961. Auto manufacturing is not Nissan’s only strength; the company also conducts significant research and development efforts. Some of the most popular Nissan models are the Altima, Maxima, and Versa.

Kia

Kia is one of the car manufacturing companies most known for its affordable models. The company got its start in South Korea in 1944, making it the oldest car company in the country. The company originally manufactured bicycle parts and steel tubing. In 1951, Kia moved on to manufacturing complete bicycles. Production of motorcycles did not start until 1957 and production of cars did not start until 1974. The company developed a U.S. presence in 1992, when Kia Motors America was formed. A dealership in Oregon was the very first to sell a Kia model in the United States. The most popular models produced by Kia include the Sportage, Amanta, Sorrento, and Sedona.

  • Kia Corporate History (PDF): This document outlines the history of Kia Motors Corporation.
  • History of Kia: This interactive timeline allows users to explore different periods in Kia Motors Corporation history.

Hyundai

Hyundai has a reputation of producing affordable cars that get excellent gas mileage. This South Korean manufacturing company was formed by Chung Ju-Yung in 1947, but Hyundai Motor Company was formed in 1967. The first Hyundai model was the Cortina, which was a model produced with the Ford Motor Company in the late 1960s. The company started selling cars in the United States in 1986, with the Excel making its way onto the list of “Best Products” in Fortune. Today, Hyundai is one of the most valuable brands in the world and has a good reputation for quality and affordability. Some of the most popular Hyundai models include the Excel, Accent, Elantra, Sonata, and Santa Fe.

  • About Us: Our Company: Hyundai USA offers readers a glimpse of its high-tech production facilities.
  • Hyundai History: This interactive timeline allows users to go back in time and see how Hyundai developed into the popular manufacturer it is today.

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