A History Of Manufacturers

It’s easy to forget that the motor car as we know it is now well over 100 years old. You probably know that the first car manufacturer was Mercedes Benz, formed in 1886 by Karl Benz, but do you know who the second manufacturer was? No?

It was Peugeot, who produced their first car powered by an internal combustion engine in 1889 after a brief and unsuccessful attempt at a steam-powered tricycle. It would take another ten years before Fiat, Renault and Opel realised the potential of the motor car and started their own production.

You might also be surprised to know that the first American car company wasn’t Ford but was actually Cadillac. It was founded by Henry Leland in 1902 and it took Henry Ford another year to start his own company. At the same time as Henry was starting to think about the Model T, the first of the British manufacturers started up under the name of Vauxhall.

Did you know that the two giants of today’s market, Volkswagen and Toyota, were both late to the party? They didn’t start production until 1937 and yet, despite the late start and the turmoil of the Second World War, they have since grown to dominate the modern motoring world.

All these facts, and many more, are available on a fascinating interactive timeline of all of the motoring manufacturers. You can find it over at MoneySupermarket.com and it’s definitely worth a few minutes clicking around. The biggest shock for me – being reminded that before Volkswagen bought out Lamborghini, its previous owners were … Chrysler!


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Author: Chris Auty

Voted the Breakthrough Blogger of 2013 by SEAT and the Guild of Motoring Writers , Chris has lived and breathed cars since he was old enough to say 'faster'. With a penchant for hot hatches and an allergy to public transport, he would much prefer to drive a bad car than never drive at all. Fortunately his family has learned to put up with this obsession and the internet has provided a channel for his ramblings.

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