Monday, August 11, 2008

Then and Now: 1908

The Census every now and then produces these fact sheets that highlight changes and progress in the United States.

The latest one is a comparison of the dawn of the automotive age with present day.

Some highlights:

On Oct. 1, 1908, Ford Motor Co. introduced the Model T, generally regarded as the first affordable automobile and the car that industry experts say “put America on wheels.” The first Model T, produced for the 1909 model year, was assembled by hand and sold for $850. The demand for the cars was so high that Ford started producing them on an assembly line, enabling it to turn out a Model T every 10 seconds. Many consider the Model T to be the most influential car of the 20th century.

The number of passenger cars manufactured in 1910. Ten years later, the number was 1.9 million.

16.46 million
The number of new motor vehicle sales in 2007. Of these, about 5.2 million were domestic cars, 2.3 million were imported cars and 7.1 million were domestic light trucks.

89 million
U.S. population in 1908. One new car sold for every 491 people.

304 million
U.S. population in 2008. One new car sold for every 18.5 people.

$480 billion
Value of shipments (motor vehicles and parts) in 2007 for the nation’s auto industry

$87.6 billion
Estimated revenue in 2006 of the nation’s automotive repair and maintenance businesses.

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