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Facts for Features
CB08-FFSE.04
Aug. 7, 2008

*Special Edition*
Model T Centennial (Oct. 1)

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. Many consider the Model T to be the most influential car of the 20th century.

Then

79,000

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.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States, Table 1439 <http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/statab1995_2000.html> (1999 edition)

181,000

The number of passenger cars manufactured in 1910. Ten years later, the number was 1.9 million.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States, Table 1442 <http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/statab1995_2000.html> (1999 edition)

89 million

U.S. population in 1908.
Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/>

John and Mary

Most popular baby names in 1908.
Source: Social Security Administration <http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/>

... And now

244.2 million

The number of motor vehicles registered in the United States in 2006. About 134 million of them were cars.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 1058 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

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.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 1058 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

304 million

U.S. population in 2008.
Source: Population estimates <www.census.gov>

Jacob and Emily

Most popular baby names in 2007.
Source: Social Security Administration <http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/>

At the Factory

933,768

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.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 997 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

$48.3 billion

The auto industry's annual payroll. That works out to $51,715 per employee.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 997 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

$480 billion

Value of shipments (motor vehicles and parts) in 2007 for the nation's auto industry.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 977 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

Michigan

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.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 998 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

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.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 1021 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

20,770

The number of franchised new-car dealerships in the United States in 2007. This number was down from 24,825 dealers in 1990.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 1019 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

$693 billion

Sales by franchised new-car dealerships in 2007. Sales included 7.6 million new cars and 18.5 million used cars.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 1019 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

2.7 million

The average annual inventory of domestic cars at franchised new-car dealerships in 2007, a 67-day supply.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 1019 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

1.1 million

The number of employees in 2007 at franchised new-car dealerships.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 1019 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

Hitting the Road

91%

Percentage of households with at least one vehicle available.
Source: 2006 American Community Survey <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>

90%

Excluding those who worked at home, percentage of workers in 2006 who traveled to work in a car, truck or van.
Source: 2006 American Community Survey <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>

45%

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.
Source: 2006 American Community Survey <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>

$87.6 billion

Estimated revenue in 2006 of the nation's automotive repair and maintenance businesses.
Source: Upcoming 2009 Statistical Abstract, Table 1244 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2009/>

Special Editions of the U.S. Census Bureau's Facts for Features are issued to provide background information for lesser-known observances, anniversaries of historic events and other timely topics in the news.


Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014