The first practical automobile with a petrol engine was built by Karl Benz in 1885 in Mannheim, Germany. Benz was granted a patent for his automobile on 29 January 1886, and began the first production of automobiles in 1888, after Bertha Benz, his wife, had proved with the first long-distance trip in August 1888 (104 km (65 mi) from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back) that the horseless coach was absolutely suitable for daily use. Since 2008 a Bertha Benz Memorial Route commemorates this event.
Soon after, in 1889, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Stuttgart designed a vehicle from scratch to be an automobile, rather than a horse-drawn carriage fitted with an engine. They also are usually credited as inventors of the first motorcycle, the Daimler Reitwagen, in 1885, but Italy‘s Enrico Bernardi, of the University of Padua, in 1882, patented a 0.024 horsepower (17.9 W) 122 cc (7.4 cu in) one-cylinder petrol motor, fitting it into his son’s tricycle, making it at least a candidate for the first automobile, and first motorcycle.:p.26 Bernardi enlarged the tricycle in 1892 to carry two adults.:p.26
Until 2005, the U.S.A. led the world in total automobile production. In 1929 before the Great Depression, the world had 32,028,500 automobiles in use, and the US automobile industry produced over 90% of them. At that time the U.S. had one car per 4.87 persons. In 2006, Japan narrowly passed the U.S. in production and held this rank until 2009, when China took the top spot with 13.8 million units. By producing 18.3 million units in 2010, China produced nearly twice the number of second place Japan (9.6 million units), with the U.S. in third place with 7.8 million units.
Today’s vehicles are graded on stricter and more precise parameters than ever before from weight to safety to durability and anywhere and everywhere in between. New materials have brought out new techniques for construction and vehicle design. The introduction of plastics has advanced the technology used for making newer vehicles. New plastics technologies allow manufactures to answer to the call for advancements. Plastics can be used in various technologies on vehicles for structural safety to visual appearance. These new plastic innovations allow new technologies to be used in vehicles for safety to comfort purposes. Plastics also allow for cost effective changes to be made to newer vehicle while still maintaining high safety and comfort requirements of the industry. These advancements in plastic material usage in modern vehicles are the footholds for the future of the automotive industry.
Around the world, there were about 806 million cars and light trucks on the road in 2007, consuming over 260 billion US gallons (980,000,000 m³) of gasoline and diesel fuel yearly. The automobile is a primary mode of transportation for many developed economies. The Detroit branch of Boston Consulting Group predicts that, by 2014, one-third of world demand will be in the four BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Other potentially powerful automotive markets are Iran and Indonesia. Emerging auto markets already buy more cars than established markets. According to a J.D. Power study, emerging markets accounted for 51 percent of the global light-vehicle sales in 2010. The study expects this trend to accelerate.
sumber : wikipedia