Automobiles are vehicles that are designed for transportation purposes. They are four-wheeled, self-propelled vehicles, and carry up to four passengers. Some people also consider motorcycles to be automobiles. However, the definitions of the two are very different.
The term automobile has been used interchangeably with the word motor vehicle, which is a broader term. In most cases, a car has a steering wheel and is operated by a driver. It may also be run on gasoline or diesel, and has a battery. There are a variety of styles and sizes, and a car can be fitted with side cars or trailers.
The first automobile was invented in Germany in the late 1800s. Later, the industry took off in France and in the United States. After World War II, production soared in Europe and Japan. Cars have become the standard mode of transport in modern society. Many countries have a high percentage of vehicle ownership. People use their automobiles to travel, shop, and go on vacation.
During the first half of the twentieth century, the American automobile industry dominated the world market. By the 1920s, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler had become the “Big Three” automakers. Those companies introduced aircraft-inspired body styles and industrial materials. As the automotive industry developed, so did technology, which trickled down to motorcycles.
While the automobile has become the most common form of transport in modern society, its growth has been challenged by the rise of electrified vehicles and the increasing competition of foreign automobile manufacturers. This has made it difficult for Honda to expand into new markets. Still, the Japanese automaker has an impressive presence in Africa and Latin America, and could expand into Argentina and Colombia in the near future.
Despite its challenges, the automotive business is a crucial segment for Honda. It has been profitable for five years, and the company is continuing to increase its dividend payments to reflect the improved conditions. Additionally, the company’s net cash balance continues to mount. Although its cost structure has been weighed down by heavy indebtedness, management is confident that margins will improve over time.
Currently, Honda operates in five continents, and is the largest auto manufacturer in Asia. Honda’s market share in the region is more than seventy-five percent. And the company is making progress in supply chain efficiency.
One of the key factors determining Honda’s success in Asia is its three-wheeled automobiles. These vehicles are highly efficient and are ideal for both light and heavy traffic. In 2010, sales of new automobiles in Thailand jumped 45.8 percent, and the country became the car capital of Southeast Asia. Even though the automobile industry in Thailand has been hit hard by the economic crisis, the country remains an important manufacturing center.
While motorcycles are considered automobiles in some cases, they are not governed by the same regulations as other vehicles. For example, they are not required to meet emissions standards. Motorcycles are also not required to have sidecars.