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Scroll below the slideshow for more about the Model T.
All photos © Ford Motor Co.
Modern Photos By: Sam VarnHagen

The Model T Turns 100

Provided By WorldNow

On Oct. 1, 1908, Ford Motor Co. introduced the Model T, generally regarded as the first affordable automobile and the car that industry experts say "put America on wheels." The first Model T, produced for the 1909 model year, was assembled by hand and sold for $850. The demand for the cars was so high that Ford started producing them on an assembly line, enabling it to turn out a Model T every 10 seconds. Between making automobiles available to the common man and its use of the assembly line, it is no wonder that many consider the Model T to be the most influential car of the 20th century.

As the automotive industry has grown since 1908, so has America. In the statistics below, provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, take a look at how America has changed since the Henry Ford introduced the world to the Model T.



The number of registered vehicles in 1905, shortly before production of the Model T started. About 77,000 were passenger cars, and 2,000 were other types of motor-driven vehicles. By 1925, near the end of the Model T's run, there were 20.1 million registered vehicles, including 17.5 million passenger cars.


The number of passenger cars manufactured in 1910. Ten years later, the number was 1.9 million.

89 million

U.S. population in 1908.

John and Mary

Most popular baby names in 1908.

... And now

244.2 million

The number of motor vehicles registered in the United States in 2006. About 134 million of them were cars.

33.2 million

The number of registered vehicles in California in 2006, the most of any state. Texas was second with 17.5 million, followed by Florida, 16.4 million; New York, 11.3 million; and Ohio, 10.8 million.

304 million

U.S. population in 2008.

Jacob and Emily

Most popular baby names in 2007.

At the Factory


The number of workers employed in the auto industry in 2006. Of these, 577,728 made parts, 150,284 worked on bodies and trailers, and 205,756 were in the assembly plants.

$48.3 billion

The auto industry's annual payroll. That works out to $51,715 per employee.

$480 billion

Value of shipments (motor vehicles and parts) in 2007 for the nation's auto industry.


The state that in 2006 continued to be the undisputed industry leader among the states in employees (36,796), payroll ($2.9 billion) and shipments ($49.9 billion) in motor vehicle manufacturing.

In the Showroom

16.46 million

The number of new motor vehicle sales in 2007. Of these, about 5.2 million were domestic cars, 2.3 million were imported cars and 7.1 million were domestic light trucks.


The number of franchised new-car dealerships in the United States in 2007. This number was down from 24,825 dealers in 1990.

$693 billion

Sales by franchised new-car dealerships in 2007. Sales included 7.6 million new cars and 18.5 million used cars.

2.7 million

The average annual inventory of domestic cars at franchised new-car dealerships in 2007, a 67-day supply.

1.1 million

The number of employees in 2007 at franchised new-car dealerships.

Hitting the Road


Percentage of households with at least one vehicle available.


Excluding those who worked at home, percentage of workers in 2006 who traveled to work in a car, truck or van.


Among workers who used a car, truck or van to get to work, the percentage whose commute took less than 20 minutes. For 14 percent, the commute lasted 45 or more minutes.

$87.6 billion

Estimated revenue in 2006 of the nation's automotive repair and maintenance businesses.

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