Automotive Hall of Fame and Its Inductees
Sep 09 , 2022

The NBA has a famous Basketball Hall of Fame. Likewise, there is also an Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit, USA, to honor people who had great contribution to automotive innovations around the world.

Lamborghini's founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, has recently been inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, which has attracted a lot of attention in the automotive industry.

Being one of the figures in the Automotive Hall of Fame is the highest honor for people in the automotive industry. So what is the Hall of Fame and what kind of people would be honored?

The Automotive Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that recognizes leaders and innovators in the automotive industry in the form of awards. Founded in 1939 in Dearborn, Michigan, USA, the Automotive Hall of Fame has, as of this year, honored nearly 800 people from around the world who have had a profound impact on cars and mobility.

Henry Ford, the King of Automobiles

The founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford was selected for his revolutionary Model T that put the world on wheels and for inventing the world's first automobile production line. His use of the assembly line for car mass production made the automobile a mass consumer product.

As a child Henry Ford had a great interest in mechanics and built his first steam engine at the age of 15. He was employed as an engineer by the Edison Lighting Company, and later he established the Detroit Motor Company with others fellows, subsequently founded his second automotive enterprise, the Henry Ford Company, which later became the Cadillac Motor Company. It was not until 1903, when he founded the Ford Motor Company, that Henry Ford began his legendary life. In 1908 the first Ford Model T hit the road. It was perfectly suited to the needs of the public, inexpensive, reliable, easy to maintain and better to control on rough roads. Ford built these cars cheaply and efficiently using automated mobile assembly lines. In 1923, more than half of cars in America were Model Ts.

Thomas Edison, the king of inventions

As a world-renowned American electrician and inventor, Edison patented more than 1,000 inventions and contributed greatly to the automobile industry, in addition to inventions such as the phonograph and electric light.

Edison always loved cars and was particularly interested in electric cars. Not only did he invent direct current, but he also developed an alkaline battery. His invention of the battery and other automotive essentials such as electric light laid the foundation for future cars. That is why he was selected into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

In addition, when it comes to direct current, it's important to mention Tesla, who also invented alternating current at that time, both of whom made significant contributions. Nowadays, Elon Musk is a tech geek who founded the Tesla electric car, an electric car company that has influenced the world. Elon Musk has made many contributions to the automotive industry, and who knows if he will be selected in the future.

Karl Benz, founder of Mercedes-Benz

Karl Benz, whose greatest achievement was the invention of the automobile, was one of the founders of the famous German car company Mercedes-Benz, one of the pioneers of the modern automobile industry and is known as the 'Father of the Automobile'.

After graduating from the German Technical Institute in 1871 and working in a machine shop, Karl Benz developed a commercially successful and functional two-stroke engine. He then designed a three-wheeled car and a four-stroke engine to power the car. Mercedes-Benz patented his car in 1886, and before the opening of the Munich Engineering Fair, Benz's wife tested his husband's great invention and drove the first three-wheeled car for 144km. The news cheered Karl Benz up, and the first Mercedes-Benz test car was presented at the Munich Engineering Fair a month later, and it was a stunning sight to behold. After inventing Mercedes-Benz, Karl Benz partnered with Gottlieb Daimler and found the Mercedes-Benz Motor Company.

Karl Benz was brave enough to challenge horse-drawn carriages and steam cars, and automated the vehicles by use of the internal combustion engine, which brought human society into the present automobile era.

Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of Toyota

The founder of Toyota Motor Corporation, Kiichiro Toyoda, was also a pioneer of the Japanese automotive industry and his major contribution to the industry was in the scientific management of the production process.

Kiichiro Toyoda visited Europe and the United States to learn the state of car production and returned home with the determination to develop his own car business. At that time, Toyota's main business was still the textile machine industry, but after working tirelessly to set up an automobile department, Kiichiro Toyoda realized that there was a need for cheap cars in Japan, and he began to prototype car engines, buying vehicles from abroad for research, and built the first Toyota GI car in August 1935. Later he set up the Toyota Motor Industry Corporation and began car mass production.

Kiichiro Toyoda often went to the factory to talk to the workers and to draw up suggestions for improvements. He later developed the concept of Just-In-Time (JIT) production for the production of automatic looms, known as the Toyota Production System, which effectively increased the productivity of Toyota's factories. Since 1980, Japan has produced more than 10 million cars a year, making it the world's largest producer of automobiles, ahead of the United States. This was further improved and developed by the company's Vice President, Naichi Ohno, into the perfected "Lean Production", which has transformed not only the Japanese automotive industry, but also the global automotive manufacturing industry.

First Chinese Inductee - Lu Guanqiu

The first Chinese to be honored into the Automotive Hall of Fame is Lu Guanqiu, the founder of Wanxiang Group, which has become the world's largest automotive parts supplier.

With excellent quality and low prices, Wanxiang's products were not only recognized in the domestic market, but were also well received in the USA. Under Lu Guanqiu's leadership, the company has expanded its business to 22 states in the US, with one out of every two cars in the US using parts made by Wanxiang.

In addition, Lu Guanqiu also attached great importance to clean energy, not only establishing Wanxiang Billion Energy Power Battery Co Ltd as a joint venture and acquiring A123 Systems, the largest new energy battery manufacturer in the US at the time, but also acquiring Fisker in the US and establishing Karma, an ultra-luxury electric car, all from Lu Guanqiu's "dream of building cars "The company's dream of building a car. Although Lu Guanqiu's dream of building a car has not yet been realized, it will be continued by his son Lu Weiding.

The history of these honorees shows that in order to be selected by the Automotive Hall of Fame, not only do inductees need to have a relentless spirit of innovation, but they also need to have made significant contributions to the automotive industry. Of course, the chances of being selected are high for industry figures such as Tesla founder Musk, and global automotive glass supplier, Fuyao Glass founder Cao Dewang who have made significant contributions in their respective fields.

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