Custom «Automobiles» Sample Essay
In the modern world, technologies and inventions develop extremely rapidly. People have instant access to information from around the globe. Advances in modern medicine have neutralized dangerous diseases. A person can go a long way in a few hours and even get into space. It is possible due to inventions and the desire of people. These days, many people consider the automobile the best and the most useful invention of society. Automobiles became a commodity after Henry Ford had implemented mass production that would later be introduced in the automobile factories around the world.
Today, the capitalist system is dominated in many countries of the world. It is the main basis of the market. In fact, purchase and sale of manufactured goods and services are conducted directly on the market. The modern market offers customers a wide range of commodities. These days, there are goods that bear not only a massive but also serial and exclusive character. Modern manufacturers have learned to meet the needs of any person, even the most capricious one. Nowadays, the automobile is also a widespread good. However, a few decades ago, it was not a commodity. Henry Ford became the first person who had begun commodification of automobiles.
Currently, people perceive the freedom that an automobile gives for granted, forgetting how much effort they previously had to apply to overcome a distance of only a few of kilometers. In the XIX century, a horse could hardly move on trails and improvised roads (Bailey, 2015). As Cronon (2012) states, “Even when roads were in decent condition, the only vehicles that could use them were horse-drawn wagons, which had limited capacity and became uneconomical for moving agricultural produce over any great distance” (p. 59). However, automobiles changed everything. Thus, according to Weeks (2010), “In a large sense, the history of the rise of the automobile has been a history of some of the foremost inventors, mechanical engineers, manufacturers, and active business men of more than a full century” (p. 5). An automobile became a new weapon in the battle against the distance. The first cars were toys for the rich. They were assembled by hand and, thus, were highly expensive. However, Ford wanted farmers and workers to afford to buy a car (Bailey, 2015). He was the first who had introduced a method of mass production (Bailey, 2015). Ford started to produce cars in such quantities that the economies of scale allowed him to make them accessible to a wide market.
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The turn of XIX-XX centuries is considered the starting point for the development of mass production. Henry Ford made automobiles as means of the commodity. As Curcio (2013) explains, “His method was mass production, which took raw materials and processed them by rational means into sophisticated industrial products” (p. 2). Based on the principle of planned production, Henry Ford created an innovative, science-threading system of mass production that was introduced in the automobile factories of the company. Since that time, the automobile has become a commodity. Henry Ford solved the problem of the production technology of automobiles. Many factors of the efficiency increase of the production can be successfully implemented only with careful study of technological processes. Henry Ford introduced fundamentally new technological methods such as the use of the pipeline, standardization, and specialized machines. These factors made the production of automobiles centralized. Moreover, because of these factors the automobiles became one of the most popular commodities worldwide. Thus, Curcio (2013) affirms that “The underlying principle of Ford’s system distilled into a single word is ‘movement’: continuous, uninterrupted, compressed, rational, efficient, economical, repeatable movement” (p. 2). However, it became the reason that automobiles began to look the same. All of them were made on the pipeline. In such a way, cars lost their individuality. Automobiles have the same set of functions and accessories and, thus, the same price. All automobile productions have the same features. They include flexible processes to react to varying desires of consumers. Commodity signifies that there are no preferences. Two cars produced in the same year, having the same color and accessories can be sold in one place at the same price.
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Car owners received new opportunities regarding employment, education, and health care. This fact contributed to the growth of cities, which, in turn, demanded new roads. In the emerging consumer society, an automobile quickly became a symbol of not only practicality and convenience but also a social status. As a symbol of freedom and prosperity, a car became one of the components of the American Dream.
Nowadays, the American Dream has received a global nature. In the Chinese cities, people used only bikes in the old times. However, these days, there are a great number of private cars in China. Wide urban highways barely cope with the increasing traffic flow. Before 2011, when the Beijing authorities had introduced special restrictions, every day, 1,000 new cars and trucks appeared in this city alone (Bailey, 2015).
These days, cars are indispensable. Every year, more and more automobiles are produced worldwide. In the modern world, automobiles have the largest value in the overall transport system of any economy. They are widely used in all sectors of the economy. An automobile has become a high-speed transport. Therefore, people have the ability to overcome great distances, transport a variety of cargo in standalone mode for the shortest possible time as compared to other modes of transport, and get into the most inaccessible corners of the world. Road transport is used for the transport of such important cargo as grain, construction materials, and others to the railway stations, seaports, and river wharves. It is used for the delivery of cargo arrived at the station, in the ports, and on the dock to consumers. Automobiles are widely used on the main lines, relieving railways from the cargo transportation at a relatively short distance. In urban areas, cars serve industrial and commercial enterprises, and in rural areas – farms (Weeks, 2010). Passenger traffic is another important function of automobiles.
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Nowadays, many countries around the world have huge factories for the production of automobiles. Motorcar construction is at the forefront of the technological development. Almost all the major economies of the world such as Germany, the United States, France, Japan, and China include the developed automotive segment. Annually, more than 60 million cars are produced around the world, 40% of which are exported (Nieuwenhuis & Wells, 2015). With the emergence and further development of the machinery industry, a huge amount of new professions employed in this sector has appeared. These days, about 60 million people are employed in this industry (Nieuwenhuis & Wells, 2015). 75% of cars produced are passenger vehicles and 25% are trucks (Nieuwenhuis & Wells, 2015).
The automobile was the most important invention of the first half of the XX century. The result was impressive. The car changed the landscape and the notion of the distance. It demanded the construction of highways worldwide. As a result, the role of the railways was reduced, which had a great importance in the XIX century. These days, automobile companies produce a commodity product. It is associated with the fact that an automobile has reached its evolutionary best.
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