Audio Books on the History of the Auto Industry

May 19, 2011

Whether you can spot a kit car in a line of classic automobiles, or your only criteria when purchasing a car is the color of the paint and the ornament on the hood, you likely have an ongoing love affair with the machines that have allowed us to embrace the spirit of individuality endemic in American culture.  In either case, you’ll no doubt enjoy these audio books that cover some of the history of the automotive industry and the cars that have changed our lives.

  1. Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster by Paul Ingrassia.  This is not a comprehensive text on the 100+ year history of the automotive industry, but it does touch on the pioneering spirit that made the first automobiles viable and turned the personal transportation device from an oddity into an everyday item.  Ingrassia continues from there, exploring mistakes and rivalries that started early on, leading to the eventual toehold of foreign imports and the subsequent backslide of American automobiles.  Anyone interested in the progression of the auto industry in America, and the mistakes that got us where we are today, should definitely pick up this audio book.
  2. Ford and the American Dream by Clifton Lambreth.  Henry Ford did it first with his assembly line, and some still say his company does it best (while others tell a different story).  Lambreth draws on his 20+ years of experience as a Ford employee to tackle the issues that have brought this colossal company to its knees (and possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy).  He discusses mistakes that cost the company billions and speculates on what the erstwhile Ford mogul would think of the company that bears his name if he could see it today.  Surprisingly, Lambreth finishes on a hopeful note that urges corporate America to take accountability, make changes, and save the future of the American dream.
  3. Great Blunders in History: The DeLorean by The History Channel.  The audio version of this program delivers just what the title promises: the story of a revolutionary car (it was best known as the time machine in the Back to the Future films) that nonetheless lost billions of dollars for the British people when the government backed the machine that was doomed to failure.  The “ethical sports car” was not only ill-timed (released during a recession) but mismanaged, leading to its status as a footnote in automotive history.
  4. The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer by Jeffrey Liker.  To say that this audio book is historical is a bit of an understatement, considering what has happened to the titular company since 2004 (when it was published).  But this behind-the-scenes look at the philosophy that made this car-manufacturer the best in their field for years provides interesting insight into what may have caused them to fail so spectacularly, but also why they may be able to pull themselves back from the brink of disaster.
  5. Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future by Iain Carson and Vijay Vaitheeswaran.  Most of the audio books on this list are about how the automobile industry got to its current state.  This audio book explores where it’s going.  With a dependence on foreign oil and a reluctance to commit to cleaner burning and/or sustainable fuels, America is already facing big problems where automobiles are concerned (from both rising fuel prices and pollution) and they’re only going to get worse.  Luckily, there are plenty of emerging technologies and green fuel sources in development, if only the government would consider them.

Sarah Danielson writes for car insurance comparison where you can find cheap car insurance rates that will suit your needs.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: