Automobiles and Motorcycles
Generally speaking, automobiles are four-wheeled vehicles, designed for passenger transportation. They are usually equipped with a steering wheel, brakes, and a transmission. In some cases, power is transmitted through shafts, belts, or the clutch.
Automobiles were first designed as bicycle-like contraptions, with horizontal single-cylinder gasoline engines and drive chains. One such contraption was invented by Edward Butler in 1884. A bicycle builder named Sylvester Howard Roper later created a similar device.
In the mid-19th century, the first automobiles to be powered by an internal combustion engine were developed in Germany. These automobiles were not much different from the first motorcycles.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, the automotive industry had become a highly competitive business. Manufacturers competed with one another to create new designs and improve upon existing technology. During this time, automakers were required to meet stricter standards.
After World War II, the automobile industry started to recover. The demand for cars increased due to increasing per capita income. In addition, the price of gasoline rose as the supply of oil declined. During the 1970s, oil shortages caused the price of gasoline to rise.
During the 1970s, the United States began losing ground to Japan and other Asian automakers. As a result, more and more citizens relied on imported cars. In the early 1980s, the United States’ auto industry suffered.
During the 1990s, the United States’ auto companies gained back some of the ground they had lost to foreign manufacturers. Despite this, the auto industry is still heavily taxed.