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Eco/360 Auto Industry Overview Essay

4101 words - 16 pages

Automobile IndustryBy studying the behavior of the U.S. automobile industry in reference to its relationship with macroeconomics, we seek to provide an important understanding of the changes and the growth that has taken place in the industry throughout the years economically and otherwise. What are the forces that drive our economy? What are the forces driving automobile sales? Are the forces that are driving the economy and auto sales the same? By understanding the key role that macroeconomics has played in the automobile industry historically and currently, we gain a better understanding of the direction and future of the industry in relation to the future of our economyBrief History of the IndustryThe history of the automobile industry started as early as 1680 when Christian Huygens designed, but never built, an internal combustion engine that was to be fueled by gunpowder (The History of the Automobile, n.d.). The very first self-powered road vehicles were powered by steam, and by that definition Nicolas J. Cugnot of France built the first automobile in 1769 (The History of the Automobile, n.d.). As the years went on, gas powered engines became the popular design. In 1876, Nikolaus A. Otto invented, and later patented, a successful four-stroke engine (The History of the Automobile, n.d.). Henry Ford was not the inventor of the assembly line; although his was the fist to add a conveyor belt-based system to his plant around 1913-14, thus giving way to the more affordable automobile (The History of the Automobile, n.d.).Industry OverviewThe U.S. automotive industry is a strong and competitive industry, and is changing more than ever before. The pace of rapid innovation often creates sudden changes and future problems in an industry that seemingly continues to overcome such difficulties caused by trends in technology, the recent developments on labor, industry capital requirements, the status of vehicle manufacturer suppliers and dealers, and the issues concerning mass transit, marketing and competition. The prices of goods and services, including vehicles, constantly fluctuate in response to supply and demand. The auto industry is a good indicator of the economy's stability as people purchase automobiles, according to either their desires such as a prestigious, luxury car or out of necessities such as an economy vehicle that is affordable and gets good gas mileage.The demand for certain types of automobiles will usually change if there is a change in consumers' incomes, tastes, and preferences, or a change in the prices of related products such as gas or interest rates. One would consider a vehicle a substitute product; for instance if a customer was considering a sports car made by one manufacturer and a has chosen a different make and model. Along the same lines, an automobile offered by another manufacturer who offered marginal benefits such as a better interest rate, better gas mileage or more options for the same price. The supply of a...

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