Automobiles have gone through a large number of changes since Carl Benz’s 1886 Motorcar. Numerous milestones and significant automotive events have made vehicles more efficient, comfortable, and reliable.
|Timeline of Automotive Milestones|
|1769- 1770||Nicholas Cugnot built and demonstrated the Cugnot steam traction engine.|
|1876||Nikolaus Otto developed the four-stroke engine.|
|1886||Carl Benz patented the world’s first practical motorcar.|
Daimler-Benz Company formed.
|1892||Rudolf Diesel patented the diesel engine.|
|1895||The word “automobile” coined.|
|1897||Automotive insurance introduced.|
Olds Motor Vehicle Company organized.
|1900||Steam and electric vehicles more popular than gasoline powered vehicles.|
|1901||Ransom Olds used an assembly line to build the first mass-produced automobile, the Curved Dash Oldsmobile, which sold for $650.|
|1902||American Automobile Association (AAA) formed.|
Cadillac Automobile Company organized.
|1903||Ford Motor Company formed.|
Buick Motor Company founded.
Windshield wiper invented by Mary Anderson.
|1908||Model T introduced and sold for $850.|
General Motors Company organized.
|1911||Chevrolet Motor Company organized.|
Self starter invented.
|1914||Cleveland, Ohio the first city with traffic lights.|
Henry Ford raised the minimum daily wage from $2.30 to $5.00.
|1916||Brake lights installed.|
|1917||The all-steel wheel developed.|
|1937||Toyota Motor Company, Ltd. established.|
|1938||Volkswagen Beetle produced.|
|1939||Nash Motor Company offered air conditioning.|
Hydra-matic (automatic) transmission introduced.
|1942- 1945||U.S. automotive manufacturers supported Allied Powers by producing airplanes, tanks, etc.|
|1948||Honda Motor Co. formed with $3,300.|
|1951||Power steering installed in cars.|
|1954||Fuel injection used on Mercedes-Benz 300SL.|
|1965||Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act passed, the first federal emissions standards.|
|1973||Arab oil producers imposed U.S. export ban of oil.|
|1997||Toyota Prius introduced and sold in Japan.|
|1999||Honda Insight Hybrid introduced in U.S.|
|2006||Ford Motor Company planned to cut North American workforce by 25%.|
|2007||Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) required.|
|2009||General Motors and Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.|
|2010||Tesla Motors launched its IPO (initial public offering) and became a publicly traded company.|
|2011||Average age of a U.S. vehicle was 10.8 years old.|
|2013||The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) require new fuel economy and environmental label for all new cars and trucks.|