Last Reviewed: June 19, 2024


The following information reflects the history of the American automobile industry. If you would like to comment please send us an email at

The idea of motorizing vehicles did not originate in the America but we are responsible for most of the innovations that have occurred since. The first engines were steam powered monsters created for commercial uses in fixed locations but the gasoline engine led the way mobile uses. You can read more about the evolution of cars, trucks and recreational vehicles here:

From its inception and vitalized by the affordable model T Ford, the automobile has become the foundation of American industry. It's needs are met by a workforce of millions and the resulting advent of new styles and innovations have become the hallmarks of mechanical progress. The growth of the American automobile industry came in spurts, interrupted by Great Depression of the 1930s and two world wars, and the divisions are not always agreed upon. Here are the eras and definitions we have adopted:

The history of the American Automobile industry is intwined with most every other American industry and the events that transpired due to their innovations. Here are three timelines of the American automobile industry and relevant events.