CEOs of major automotive companies together with German chancellor Angela Merkel
at the Electromobility Summit 2013 in Berlin. F.r.t.l.: Neumann (Opel), Varin (former PSA), Zetsche (Daimler), Wan Gang (China)
The automotive industry refers to the design, manufacture, marketing and selling of motor vehicles. It is one of the world's biggest economic sectors in terms of the money it makes.
The automotive industry began in the 1890s with hundreds of manufacturers making the "horseless carriage". The Ford Model T was one of the first cars to be sold for very little money. For a long time, the United States was the biggest producer of automobiles.
In 1929, before the Great Depression, the world had 32,028,500 automobiles in use.
The U.S. automobile industry had produced over 90% of them. At that time, the U.S. had one car per 4.87 persons.
From the 1960s, Japan became the second biggest producer of automobiles in the world. China became the world leader in making automobiles in 2009.
Images for kids
Thomas B. Jeffery automobile factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, c.1916
President Barack Obama delivers remarks about the American automotive industry in the Grand Foyer of the White House, 30 March 2009
Howard Harary (right), director of NIST's Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory, accepts the Automotive Industry Action Group's Chairman's Award from AIAG Chair Brian Vautaw, 8 October 2009
Global automobile import and export in 2011