As a global industry, the automotive industry is sensitive to external factors such as trade deals and tariffs. These can affect the cost of imported goods and the flow of goods within the supply chain. Social and economic changes also affect consumer demand, changing traditional trends. For example, customers are leaning toward electric vehicles and better fuel economy. This could disrupt traditional trends within the supply chain.
The auto industry employs over 1.7 million people and consumes goods and services from many other sectors. It is responsible for nearly 4 percent of the U.S. economy and supports 4.5 million jobs directly and indirectly. It also invests approximately $16 billion to $18 billion in research and development each year, with 99 percent of the research funding coming from the industry itself.
Historically, the automotive industry has been at the epicenter of each major industrial revolution. It has undergone many different technological advancements and innovations, changing from a labor-intensive industry to an industry with multiple levels of automation. Currently, the automotive industry has already introduced many new technologies and methods, such as additive manufacturing and robotics. The next major revolution in the automotive industry is expected to be end-to-end digitization of the entire value chain.
The automotive industry is composed of companies in two main categories: car manufacturers and car parts manufacturers. Modern vehicles are much more complex than their predecessors, involving more electronic components and requiring many different parts from suppliers. This constantly evolving industry relies on a wide variety of professionals and the expertise of numerous people. With such a diverse workforce, opportunities are plentiful in the automotive industry.
Today, the automotive industry has evolved and adapted to global markets and environmental concerns. Many of the companies that have helped make the automobile have been located in the United States. The largest automakers in the U.S. include Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Many other leading companies are now located in other countries.
Marketing and sales are important parts of the value chain for car manufacturers. These activities include advertising, distribution, sales force management, and customer relationship management. The goal of these activities is to spread awareness about a product’s features to the target consumer segment. Marketing and sales use traditional marketing channels to do this. The automotive industry has a large impact on economic growth and jobs in many other sectors.
While the automotive industry has made progress in recent years, the industry is still facing significant challenges. In 2011, the International Organization for Standardization released ISO 26262, a standard designed to safeguard electronic control units (ECUs) in vehicles. This device is critical to the operation of most vehicles, and attacks on ECUs can affect safety. ISO 26262 also provides a lifecycle for vehicle security, covering management, production, operation, and decommissioning. Moreover, it offers a variety of safety-oriented analysis tools, including the Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) classification.
The automotive industry began in the late 1800s, when German inventors developed the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine. At the time, automobiles were relatively expensive. In the 1930s, Henry Ford invented the assembly-line method, making mass production possible. As a result, automobiles became more affordable and accessible for more people.