Automotive Manufacturers – Old and New

How many automotive manufacturers can stand the test of time? I love attending old car shows and swap meets, perusing old cars and car parts of yesteryear. Being at old car shows make one understand that auto manufacturing is a rough business. Think of the following antique car clubs: Plymouth, Pontiac, Studebaker, Tucker, Oldsmobile, Nash, Edsel, DeSoto, Austin-Healey, etc. The list of defunct automobile manufacturers is quite long – USA List and UK List.

New Car Companies

Some recent new car companies still need time to determine their viability. Companies like Fisker and Coda had struggles. While another startup, Tesla Motors, is on fire right now with their new Model S. But what will this 10 year old company look like in 20 years…50 years…or 100 years?

Car Companies with History

Let’s look at two car companies that have stood the test of time. Ford in the USA and Vauxhall in the UK. Incidentally, both car companies started in 1903.

Ford Motor Company

One hundred ten years is a lot of history.  Ford, in the US, has had quite an interesting history. Did you know at the first stockholder meeting Henry Ford wasn’t actually elected as President? He was the Vice-President. Before Ford Motor Company was formed, Henry Ford creating two previous auto manufacturing companies – the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899 and the Henry Ford Company (which was reorganized as Cadillac) in 1902.

Vauxhall Motors (General Motors UK Limited)

Like many early developers of the automobile, Vauxhall actually started as a different type of manufacturer – marine pumps and engines as the Alex Wilson and Company in 1857 and then later as Vauxhall Iron Works in 1897. But with the massive paradigm shift from horse drawn carriages to the automobile in the early 1900s, many companies couldn’t resist testing this new market. In 1903 Vauxhall produced their first automobile. In 1925, General Motors acquired Vauxhall.

Purchasing Cars

When you reach the point when you need to purchase a new or used auto, you can check out the numerous auto manufacturers’ direct websites, dealer websites, or an online exchange & mart. Either way, compare models and ask yourself…will this auto manufacturer be around in 50 or 100 years? Something to ponder!

About the Blogger

Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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