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The Automobile Industry

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The Automobile Industry

World Almanac and Encyclopedia 1903

The Census Office reported the following production in the United States in 1900:

New Jersey8248$452,655
New York21624471,547

The production since 1900, however, has largely increased.  The output of American factories in 1901 was probably 10,000 vehicles, valued at $10,000,000.  The New York Sun collected statistics for 1902, and reported that during the first eight months 19,000 vehicles were manufactured, valued at $20,000,000.  There are 300 automobile manufacturers actually engaged in building complete vehicles in the United States, and about 2,000 manufacturers who, in addition to their other business, make component parts and accessories for automobiles.  The figures for eighty-six principal manufacturers were as follows

Fifty firms made 10,040 gasoline automobiles which sold for $10,431,250.  This would make an average price slightly above $1,000 apiece, but if the one firm which turned out nearly one-half of the total number at a much lower price is left out of the figuring, there remain 5,040 gasoline vehicles costing $7,182,250, or an average of about $1,400.

Twenty-seven manufacturers of steam vehicles produced 6,180 carriages, valued at $6,525,500, an average of slightly more than $1,000.

Thirteen makers of electric vehicles produced 1,835 trucks and carriages, sold for $2,262,500, the trucks bringing the average up to between $1,200 and $1,300 a vehicle.

It is estimated that there were 40,000  vehicles in the United States at the close of 1902, including foreign imported vehicles.  It is expected that the output will be greatly increased in 1903.

The London Daily Mail Year-Book for 1902 gives the number of motor cars in use in Britain as 40,000.  Extensive manufacturing is in progress, in France and Germany. Statistical information about automobiles is as yet in a crude state, and only approximate figures can be given.

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