Automobiles are wheeled vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine, using gasoline as the fuel. They have seats for one to seven people, and typically four wheels. There are more than 590 million automobiles in operation worldwide. Most are built in the United States. Although the first automobiles were developed in the late 1800s, it was Henry Ford who brought mass personal automobility within the reach of most Americans. He innovated modern manufacturing techniques, including the assembly line at his Highland Park, Michigan plant. He paid his workers $5 a day, less than the average annual wage at that time, and made his Model T runabout affordable for middle-class buyers.
Owning a car is an expensive investment and requires significant responsibility. But it also gives you the freedom and independence to travel to work or school, run errands or go out with friends. It can save you a lot of time and hassle as opposed to taking public transportation, which often involves long waits and unpredictable delays. And it makes it easier to visit family and friends who live farther away.
In the 1920s and beyond, many manufacturers diversified their product lines to meet market demand for cars at different price levels. They also standardized parts so that the same parts were used in different models produced by the same company. This enabled consumers to “move up” to a better model as their income increased.