What made Ford's Model T - introduced in 1908 - so innovative? Besides the fact that this was one of Ford's first successes in the car world, the vehicle itself was quite unusual for its time, causing waves throughout the industry. Just what makes the Model T so special?
Most people who know cars know of the Model T autel. Kids in school even learn about how Henry Ford made mass production possible. America has more cars than any other country in the world, and it's no longer unusual for a family to own two cars. You can thank Henry Ford and his Model T for that. The first thing most people think of when they think of the Model T and innovation is the assembly line. Though Henry Ford wasn't the only one adopting assembly line production during this time, when Henry Ford was able to mass produce a high value item and reduce the cost to a reasonable price, he changed the car world forever.
This innovation went on to change the face of manufacturing as we know it Autel MK808. With the introduction of the assembly line in manufacturing, goods could be mass produced. The Model T is the reason kids can have a toy in their happy meal and household can own more than one TV.
The Model T also changed transportation. Regarded as the first affordable automobile, the Model T was an inexpensive car to purchase, which allowed many families to be able to afford their first vehicle. The standard 4-seat Model T cost $850 in 1909 (equivalent to about $20,000 today). By the 1920s, increasingly efficient production techniques allowed the price to fall to just $290 (roughly $3,258 in today's dollars). This car was much easier and cheaper to drive than any other vehicle on the road at that time. Known for being easy to learn to drive, replacement parts were also easy to come by thanks to the manufacturing process. The Model T was also more fuel efficient than other cars of its time. According to Ford, the vehicle achieved 13 to 21 mpg; this would put it ahead of many modern cars.
Because of the speed and low cost of traveling from place to place, people could live farther away from work. This lead to urban sprawl and the creation of the suburbs. With the introduction of affordable automobiles like Ford's Model T, people could work in the city but commute to the suburbs. Prices for goods also dropped as transporting those items became cheaper and faster. Though it was introduced more than a century ago, to this day the Model T affects our daily lives.
What about the actual vehicle made it innovative? The Model T was an upgraded version of the models N and S. Perhaps surprisingly, the design of the vehicle itself did not offer many innovations over these earlier models. Henry Ford's approach was to get things right the first time and then keep the design the same.
Named the "world's most influential car of the twentieth century," by 1918 half of all cars on the road in the United States were Model Ts, and the model continues to be popular with vintage auto enthusiasts.