Automobile Industry Environment

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The current environment for the American auto industry is very complex. In 2015, over 17.4 million automobiles were sold in the US, of which over 746,000 automobiles were sold by the “big three” US automakers of General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Philipps, 2016). Getting a true understanding of an environment as large and complex as this could take months of research, but I will provide my summary understanding focusing on competition and environmental concerns.
The competitive landscape from global competition in some ways is more simple than it has been in decades, but in some ways it is also more complex than ever. The simplification is a result of the reduction of brand choices on the consumer side.
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The first new technology, which continues to expand within the auto industry, is the use of electric motors to power automobiles with the goal of increasing overall miles per gallon. Electric motors are being employed in two ways. One being a gas/electric “hybrid” approach, where electric motors power the car at lower speeds (typically up to 20-25 miles per hour), and then the gasoline motor turns on to power the car at higher speeds. The second is a “plug in electric car”, in that the car runs completely off of electric motors and therefore must be plugged into an electrical source to recharge the internal battery stores. These new approaches to powering cars have greatly reduced the amount of emissions emitted from cars that have this …show more content…
One being cars fueled by hydrogen fuel cells. Utilizing hydrogen as a fuel has great potential as it is very clean. Field test models of cars utilizing hydrogen have been built and are on the roads today, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but utilization is very low since it is a test.
While there are many environmental positives of utilizing hydrogen as a fuel, from the automobile emissions point of view, there are many hurdles to cross before hydrogen could be used in a widespread manner. The two largest are hydrogen production challenges and building of fueling

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