Automobile Industry

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Automobile Industry, industry that produces automobiles and other gasoline-powered vehicles, such as buses, trucks, and motorcycles. The automobile industry is one of the most important industries in the world, affecting not only the economy but also the cultures of the world. It provides jobs for millions of people, generates billions of dollars in worldwide revenues, and provides the basis for a multitude of related service and support industries. Automobiles revolutionized transportation in the 20th century, changing forever the way people live, travel, and do business. The automobile has enabled people to travel and transport goods farther and faster, and has opened wider market areas for business and commerce. The auto industry has also reduced the overall cost of transportation by using methods such as mass production (making several products at once, rather than one at a time), mass marketing (selling products nationally rather than locally), and globalization of production (assembling products with parts made worldwide). From 1886 to 1898, about 300 automobiles were built, but there was no real established industry. A century later, with automakers and auto buyers expanding globally, automaking became the world's largest manufacturing activity, with nearly 58 million new vehicles built each year worldwide. As a result of easier and faster transportation, the United States and world economies have become dependent on the mobility that automobiles, trucks, and buses provide. This mobility allowed remote populations to interact with one another, which increased commerce. The transportation of goods to consumers and consumers to goods has become an industry in itself. The automobile has also brought related problems, such as air pollution, the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, congested traffic, and highway fatalities. Nevertheless, the automobile industry continues to be an important source of employment and transportation for...
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