UnitedLife 01

History of mass production


Filip Orth
Student at Santa Clara University, Freelancer
Bratislava, Slovakia

Mass products started to appear in the world in the late 19th century in time, when population started to grow multiple faster thanks to science-technical revolution. A pioneer of mass products in automobile industry was Henry Ford (founder of carmaker Ford) and the first mass made vehicle was called “Model T”.

An idea of Henry Ford was to change the whole branch which was that time making only piece series of automobiles. And he succeeded – he enabled the car to wide masses because they could afford it. Up until starting of production of vehicle “Model T” the car was a symbol of higher social status, only people from higher class could afford it. With the starting of mass production it was not already only a domain of rich people but it became an usual part of the middle class.

At that time (1896-1930) there were approximately 1 800 automobile companies in the USA, however many of them went bankrupt in crisis years 1928-37. Ford survived just thanks to mass production, because he introduced flow production by his car “Model T”. At that time he not only employed thousands of people but enabled to his workers in factory to afford the car as well. Because it had one big advantage, it was very cheap. Overall it was a big progress at that time. “Model T” was humble, handy and simple automobile made from solid materials and standardized parts.

   Ford was not the only one who started a revolution in mass production. Many other mass product companies were founded later, such as Procter & Gamble or Unilever. These two companies were engaged mainly in food-stuff industry and on the market with domestic chemical cleaners.

   Science-technical development helped to create the possibilities for many people, not only for the rich population, and so the mass products gradually started to penetrate to all fields of business. Product industry enlarged later so much that most of todays products are owned just by mass product companies.

   In my opinion the mass product industry will concentrate and consolidate in the future more and it will have a bigger share in market. This opinion is supported also by Olduvai theory, which says that industrial period should be since year 1930 to 2030. The development of new products will create for their parent companies a wide scale of products.

   Another phenomenon came with the mass products, namely the vertical and horizontal integration. According to vertical integration, companies making the mass products will at first gain a dominant position on the market and later they will buy competitive companies for the purpose of gaining a monopoly position. By horizontal integration thewhole process around services or product is controled by companies whichare connected to the same owner and so it comes to control of process of production and price.

In the end I would like to emphasise the contribution of mass products to todays society. The biggest is perhaps that the mass products enabled, that also in the most remote country the products which are global presented and easy to distinguish by customer are at disposal.

Filip Orth


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