Automobile Industry

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The automobile industry is among the most significant economic sectors of the world. This industry deals with the design, manufacture, repair, maintenance, sales and dealerships in automobiles like cars, buses, motorcycles, auto rickshaws, etc. The industry is so vast that it provides various types of business opportunities not just in sales and dealerships of automobiles, but also in several types of service businesses. The pervasiveness of automobile usage among the general population makes it a very lucrative business to get in. The world’ demand for cars and other passenger automobiles in on the rise and China, U.S. and Japan are among the biggest manufacturers of automobiles. While automobile production involves considerable investment and can be undertaken only by big business houses, there are many other opportunities in the industry to be explored by smaller businesses. Production of automobile components and dealerships in new and second-hand cars are profitable areas for entrepreneurs to venture into. The scope for service businesses in this field is also enormous. Repair and maintenance shops, car rentals, automobile financing, online car dealerships, etc. are among the exciting new avenues that many business people have entered into. This section gives you information about the personal and professional lives and works, through biographies and timelines, of various famous automobile entrepreneurs from all over the world.

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 1 
Elon Musk
(CEO of Tesla)
Elon Musk
18
Birthdate: June 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa

Entrepreneur, engineer and industrial designer, Elon Musk, is famous as founder of the electronic payment firm PayPal, and the SpaceX spacecraft company. He is also the CEO of Tesla Motors. Elon Musk has plans to revolutionize transportation on earth as well as to space through futuristic technology.

 2 
Ratan Tata
(Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons)
Ratan Tata
8
Birthdate: December 28, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Surat

Ratan Tata is a well-known Indian industrialist and the former charman of Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Sons. His reign as chairman was marked by acquisitions of iconic global brands, such as Tetley, Jaguar Land Rover and Corus by the Tata Group. Ratan Tata was instrumental in turning Tata Group from a largely India-centrist group into a global business.

 3 
Henry Ford
(The Founder of the ‘Ford Motor Company’)
Henry Ford
8
Birthdate: July 30, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Springwells Township, Michigan, United States
Died: April 7, 1947

Business magnate and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford is credited to have made the automobile an accessible conveyance for Americans in the 20th century. Following the success of his company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He also became known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I.

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 4 
Carroll Shelby
(Automotive Designer & Racing Driver Known for His Modifications of Cars 'AC Cobra' and 'Ford Mustang')
Carroll Shelby
4
Birthdate: January 11, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leesburg, Texas, United States
Died: May 10, 2012

An automobile designer known for his involvement with the AC Shelby Cobra and Ford Mustang, Carroll Shelby was also a well-known racing driver, and a successful entrepreneur, who established Shelby American after a heart ailment put an end to his racing career.  Meanwhile, he also ran a a high-performance driving school and published a memoir entitled The Carroll Shelby Story.

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 5 
John DeLorean
(Engineer Known for His Work at 'General Motors' & Founder of the 'DeLorean Motor Company')
John DeLorean
4
Birthdate: January 6, 1925
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: March 19, 2005

John DeLorean was an American inventor and engineer. Highly regarded for his work at General Motors, John DeLorean was an influential figure in the US automobile industry. He is credited with founding the popular American automobile manufacturer, The DeLorean Motor Company. DeLorean’s life inspired a couple of documentary films, including Framing John DeLorean where he was played by Alec Baldwin.

 6 
Lee Iacocca
(Businessman)
Lee Iacocca
6
Birthdate: October 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: July 2, 2019

Automobile executive Lee Iacocca became known for developing the Ford Mustang and Pinto cars while working for the Ford Motor Company in the 1960s. In his later career, he served as the president, CEO, and chairman of Chrysler. Revered for his brilliant leadership skills, he was named the 18th-greatest American CEO of all time by Portfolio Magazine. 

 7 
Bernie Ecclestone
(Business Magnate)
Bernie Ecclestone
4
Birthdate: October 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bungay, Suffolk, England

Bernie Ecclestone is a British business magnate. Often described as F1 Supremo by the media, Ecclestone served as the Formula One Group's former chief executive. Between 2007 and 2011, he also co-owned the English soccer club, Queens Park Rangers. In the early-2000s, Bernie Ecclestone refused to accept a knighthood, stating that he does not deserve the honor.

 8 
Edd China
(Television Presenter)
Edd China
9
Birthdate: May 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Edd China is best known as the host of the Discovery Channel show Wheeler Dealers. He has also been part of Fifth Gear and Top Gear. He established Cummfy Banana Limited. After racing a motorized sofa at 148 km/h, China set a Guinness record for the fastest furniture.
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 9 
Ferdinand Porsche
(Automotive Engineer and Founder of the ‘Porsche AG’)
Ferdinand Porsche
7
Birthdate: September 3, 1875
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: ratislavice nad Nisou, Liberec, Czechia
Died: January 30, 1951

Ferdinand Porsche was an Austrian-German automotive engineer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular car companies in the world, Porsche AG. He is also credited with creating the Lohner-Porsche mixed hybrid, the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle. During World War II, Porsche was a prominent contributor to the German war effort.

 10 
Ferruccio Lamborghini
(Founder of Automobili Lamborghini)
Ferruccio Lamborghini
9
Birthdate: April 28, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Renazzo di Cento, Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Died: February 20, 1993

Born to a farmer, Ferruccio Lamborghini started fiddling with his father’s tractors and was soon able to make full tractors out of scratch. He gradually created an auto empire named after him that is world-renowned for its luxury sports cars and SUVs. He retired to devote himself to winemaking later.

 11 
Soichiro Honda
(Japanese Industrialist, Engineer and Founder of the Renowned Automobile Manufacturer, 'Honda Motor Co., Ltd')
Soichiro Honda
3
Birthdate: November 17, 1906
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
Died: August 5, 1991

Soichiro Honda was a Japanese industrialist and engineer. He is credited with establishing the world-renowned automobile manufacturer, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. He is also credited with overseeing the company's growth from a wooden shack manufacturing unit to a multinational conglomerate manufacturer of motorcycle and automobile. Soichiro Honda was made an inductee of the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1989.

 12 
William C. Durant
(Co-founder of the General Motors and Chevrolet)
William C. Durant
5
Birthdate: December 8, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: March 18, 1947
 13 
Giorgetto Giugiaro
(Automobile Designer)
Giorgetto Giugiaro
3
Birthdate: August 7, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Garessio, Piedmont, Italy
 14 
Walter Chrysler
(Business person)
Walter Chrysler
3
Birthdate: April 2, 1875
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wamego, Kansas, U.S.
Died: August 18, 1940
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 15 
Eddie Jordan
(Businessman)
Eddie Jordan
5
Birthdate: March 30, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
 16 
Ferdinand Piëch
(Austrian Business Magnate and Former Chairman of Volkswagen Group (1993 - 2015))
Ferdinand Piëch
3
Birthdate: April 17, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 25, 2019

Remembered widely as the grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche, Ferdinand Piech later joined Audi. He is also known for converting Volkswagen from a loss-making firm to one of the world leaders in the global automobile scene. He had apparently fathered 12 children with several women.

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 17 
Karl Benz
(Entrepreneur)
Karl Benz
2
Birthdate: November 25, 1844
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mühlburg, Karlsruhe, Germany
Died: April 4, 1929

Karl Benz was a German engine designer, automotive engineer, and entrepreneur.  He designed the Benz Patent Motorcar, for which he received a patent in 1886. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe before venturing into developing motorcars. His Benz Patent Motorcar is widely regarded as the world's first production automobile. 

 18 
Bill Ford
(Executive Chairman of Ford)
Bill Ford
3
Birthdate: May 3, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
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 19 
Horacio Pagani
(Businessman, Engineer)
Horacio Pagani
1
Birthdate: November 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Casilda, Argentina
 20 
Alfred P. Sloan
(CEO of General Motors Corporation)
Alfred P. Sloan
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Haven
Died: February 17, 1966
 21 
Horace Elgin Dodge
(Industrialists)
Horace Elgin Dodge
3
Birthdate: May 17, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Niles, Michigan, United States
Died: December 10, 1920
 22 
Herbert Quandt
(Former industrialist who is regarded as having saved BMW when it was at the point of bankruptcy and made a huge profit in doing so)
Herbert Quandt
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pritzwalk, Germany
Died: June 2, 1982
 23 
Pierre S. du Pont
(Entrepreneur)
Pierre S. du Pont
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1870
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware, United States
Died: April 4, 1954
 24 
Ransom Eli Olds
(Automotive designer)
Ransom Eli Olds
3
Birthdate: June 3, 1864
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Geneva, Ohio, United States
Died: August 26, 1950
 25 
Nav Bhatia
(Business people)
Nav Bhatia
3
Birthdate: July 9, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Delhi, Delhi, India
 26 
George Skakel
(Businessperson)
George Skakel
3
Birthdate: July 16, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: October 3, 1955
 27 
Taiichi Ohno
(Japanese Industrial Engineer and Businessman)
Taiichi Ohno
2
Birthdate: February 29, 1912
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dalian, China
Died: May 28, 1990

Japanese businessman and industrial engineer Ohno Taiichi is remembered for his efforts toward the reduction of muda, or waste, and the implementation of the kanban, or just-in-time system in Toyota. His popular books on manufacturing include Toyota Production System and Just-in-Time for Today and Tomorrow.

 28 
Charles Rolls
(British Motoring and Aviation Pioneer & Co-Founder of 'Rolls-Royce')
Charles Rolls
2
Birthdate: August 27, 1877
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berkeley Square, London, England
Died: July 12, 1910

British automobile and aviation pioneer Charles Stewart Rolls is remembered for co-founding Rolls-Royce. The Cambridge alumnus was the first pilot to fly across the English Channel and back without a halt. He died in a plane accident at age 32 and was the first British aviator to do so.

 29 
Edward Henry Harriman
(Railroad Executive)
Edward Henry Harriman
2
Birthdate: February 20, 1848
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hempstead, New York, United States
Died: September 9, 1909
 30 
Harley Earl
(Automotive designer)
Harley Earl
2
Birthdate: November 22, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: April 10, 1969
 31 
David Dunbar Buick
(American Inventor Best Known for Founding the 'Buick Motor Company')
David Dunbar Buick
2
Birthdate: September 17, 1854
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Arbroath, Angus, Scotland
Died: March 5, 1929

David Dunbar Buick was a Scottish-born American inventor best remembered for establishing the popular Buick Motor Company, which went on to become the basis of the General Motors empire. In 1974, Buick was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame for his immense contribution to the automobile industry in the United States of America.

 32 
Robert Nardelli
(Businessman)
Robert Nardelli
2
Birthdate: May 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Old Forge, Pennsylvania, United States
 33 
André Citroën
(Industrialist and the founder of French automaker Citroën)
André Citroën
2
Birthdate: February 5, 1878
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 3, 1935

André Citroën was a French industrialist. He is credited with founding the popular automobile company Citroën and is best remembered for making Citroën cars. He also helped his company become the world's fourth-largest automobile manufacturer by the beginning of the 1930s. In 1998, he was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

 34 
Henry M. Leland
(American Machinist, Inventor, Automotive Entrepreneur and Founder of Automotive Brands ‘Cadillac’ and ‘Lincoln')
Henry M. Leland
2
Birthdate: February 16, 1843
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vermont, United States
Died: March 26, 1932

While initially working in the machine plants and firearms industries, Henry M. Leland gradually mastered the art of toolmaking and manufacturing. He later revolutionized the auto industry and was the man behind the car brands Cadillac and Lincoln. He introduced inventions such as the electric starter and the V-8 engine.

Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach
2
Birthdate: August 13, 1907
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Essen, Germany
Died: July 30, 1967
 36 
Louis Renault
(Founder of Renault)
Louis Renault
2
Birthdate: February 12, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris
Died: October 24, 1944

Louis Renault was a French industrialist. A pioneer of the automobile industry, Renault is remembered for co-founding the popular automobile manufacturer, Renault Group. Renault is credited with building factories that contributed immensely to the war effort during the First World War; the Renault FT tank, the first tank of modern configuration, was created and manufactured by his company.

 37 
Jacques Nasser
(Ford’s CEO and President (1999 to 2001))
Jacques Nasser
2
Birthdate: December 12, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amyoun, Lebanon
 38 
Ralph Gilles
(CEO of Street & Racing Technology)
Ralph Gilles
2
Birthdate: January 14, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 39 
Ghanshyam Das Birla
(Indian businessman)
Ghanshyam Das Birla
4
Birthdate: April 10, 1894
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pilani, Rajasthan
Died: June 11, 1983
 40 
Harold Stirling Vanderbilt
2
Birthdate: July 6, 1884
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oakdale, New York, United States
Died: July 4, 1970
 41 
Brooks Stevens
(Industrial Designer)
Brooks Stevens
1
Birthdate: June 7, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: January 4, 1995
William Morris, 1st Viscount Nuffield
2
Birthdate: October 10, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Worcestershire, England
Died: August 22, 1963
 43 
Sergio Pininfarina
(Automobile Designer)
Sergio Pininfarina
1
Birthdate: September 8, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: July 3, 2012
 44 
Charles Stewart Mott
2
Birthdate: June 2, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: February 18, 1973
 45 
Bill Cullen
(Businessman)
Bill Cullen
1
Birthdate: February 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Summerhill, Dublin, Ireland

The story of Irish business magnate Bill Cullen is one of the rags-to-riches kind. Born to a fruit seller mother, he started trading at an early age. He struck gold with Ford dealership and later also owned Renault Ireland. He has penned a bestselling memoir and hosted the show The Apprentice.

 46 
Elwood Haynes
(Inventor)
Elwood Haynes
1
Birthdate: October 14, 1857
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Portland, Indiana, United States
Died: April 13, 1925
 47 
Samuel McLaughlin
(Businessperson, Philanthropist)
Samuel McLaughlin
1
Birthdate: September 8, 1871
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Enniskillen, Ontario, Canada
Died: January 6, 1972
 48 
Errett Lobban Cord
(Business Executive)
Errett Lobban Cord
1
Birthdate: July 20, 1894
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warrensburg, Missouri, United States
Died: January 2, 1974
 49 
Alexandre Darracq
(French Investor, Engineer, Cycle Manufacturer and Automobile Manufacturer)
Alexandre Darracq
1
Birthdate: November 10, 1855
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: November 2, 1931
Alexandre Darracq was a French engineer, investor, cycle manufacturer and automobile manufacturer. He established Automobiles Darracq France in Suresnes and was one of the first to plan mass production of motor vehicles. By 1904, Darracq was producing more than ten percent of all automobiles in France. He also built racing cars and founded a school for racing drivers.
 50 
Walchand Hirachand
(Businessperson)
Walchand Hirachand
0
Birthdate: November 23, 1882
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Solapur, Maharashtra, India
Died: April 8, 1953