By Steven Parissien
During this e-book Steven Parissien examines the effect, improvement and importance of the auto over its turbulent and vibrant 130-year background. He tells the tale of the car, and of its creators, from its earliest visual appeal within the Eighteen Eighties - as little greater than a powered quadricycle - through the early pioneer carmakers, the advances of the interwar period, the 'Golden Age' of the Nineteen Fifties and the long-lasting years of the Sixties to the many years of doubt and uncertainty following the oil hindrance of 1973, which culminated within the international mergers of the Nineteen Nineties and the bailouts of the early twenty-first century. this isn't only a tale of horsepower and function. The lifetime of the auto is a story of individuals: of intuitive carmakers equivalent to Benz, Agnelli, Royce and Citron; of particularly talented designers corresponding to Issigonis, Lefebvre, Michelotti and Bangle; and of visionary industrialists equivalent to Ford, Tata and Porsche.
Above all, The lifetime of the auto demonstrates how the epic tale of the auto mirrors the background of the fashionable period, from the courageous hopes and hovering objectives of the early 20th century to the cynicism and ecological matters of a century later.
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Additional info for The Life of the Automobile: A New History of the Motor Car
The crisis simply decelerated some of these processes, but during the next decade these trends could regain strength, together with the expected higher growth rate of CEE economies and the increasing purchasing power of their consumers. These different trends within Europe are strictly related to the different saturation of the local market. Western European countries have a vehicle park with around 50 cars per 100 inhabitants, and an average income between $30,000 and $40,000 (in purchasing power parities, according to IMF data).
This represents the biggest single investment in Hungary’s 26 Sustaining Industrial Competitiveness after the Crisis history and one of the few examples of Mercedes production in emerging markets. Central Eastern European countries are in general particularly competitive in the small segment, in which labour costs are a higher proportion of the total value of a vehicle. Many of the local facilities only manufactured economy-class cars: there were many examples, including the Fiat Panda and 500 in Poland, Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1, or Peugeot 106 in the Czech Republic, Renault Twingo in Slovenia, the Logan in Romania and several others.
Ghemawat, P. (2005) ‘Regional strategies for global leadership’. Harvard Business Review 83(12), 98–108. , Mourougane A. and Chatal, O. (2010) ‘The automobile industry in and beyond the crisis’. Economic Department Working Papers, No. 745. Paris: OECD. , Knupfer, S. and Pinner, D. (2009) ‘Electrifying cars: How three industries will evolve’. McKinsey Quarterly 3, 87–96. Jurgens, U. and Krzywdzinski, M. (2009) ‘Changing East–West division of labour in the European automotive industry’. European Urban and Regional Studies 16(1), 27–42.