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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.