Last Updated 13 Feb 2021

Assembly Line Essay

Category Cars, Consumerism
Words 1385 (5 pages)
21 views

From the beginning of times, most markets and products have been targeted to the bourgeoisie and/or anyone who could easily afford these products. But in the early 1900’s, an individual named Henry Ford, decided to change this idea and dared society to work for the success of the proletariat and the lowering of costs. Henry Ford, along with other individuals, created the highly praised “moving assembly line” and started the mind change in the targeting of markets.

The assembly line was a way in building a final product using various people that would build particular parts, and then would assemble them together as a whole; this was a success and revolutionized the world of manufacturing. Although many opposed to this idea in the early stages, and many independent builders suffered from this method of building, the assembly line was one the best things that could have happened to the U. S. because it lowered costs of products, completed products faster, helped middle class people succeed and helped the U.S. economy grow in many different areas of economical and business productivity. Meryl Davids, journalist of the Journal of Business Strategy stated that “the conveyer-belt system was not only a marvelous way to save workers' precious time, but, in one of the great business decisions ever, it was also a way to decrease expenses and prices, thereby increasing demand among the middle class”. The idea of working together to build a product faster and in a more efficient way was something that had gone through many minds at the time.

But using the conveyor belt system along with the assembly line method of work to speed the work process, was not only something that was ingenious, but was one of the greatest ideas that any entrepreneur could have had at that time. Putting the assembly line in action, and specifically assigning each person to do a specific job, broke the ideal of a “one person job” task (a job in which one person only would start and finish a product), and presented the idea of working in cooperation with brought efficiency and speed that businesses needed to grow in a massive way.

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Ford’s philosophy was simple, mass production requires mass consumption, and mass consumption requires more products. This philosophy, along with the ideal of providing to the middle class clientele, was the beginning breakthrough of the assembly line and the breakthrough of affordability to middle class consumers. In the early 1900’s, as today, people were looking for affordability and a better way of living. So productivity for businesses, meaning more sales and more costumers was crucial for business’ growth, but most important, it was growth for workers, because this meant more work and more payment for the time worked.

According to Timothy Taylor, 1996, “In 1905, there were more than 50 companies each year trying to break into the automobile business”. But as these companies were going bankrupt or were barely making it in because of hard competition and focus to the wealthy only, Ford changed the direction of the demand in business and sold affordable cars to middle class people. His idea of the assembly line, and the way it would decrease costs, allowed Ford to focus on the middle class clientele, and allowed cars to be sold for lower prices to working class people.

The Model A, (first car produced) mainly called “the everyman car,” took ten workmen to build in a converted wagon factory in Detroit, and was a success to the working class because of its affordability and good looks, which was new to the middle class clientele. In 1901, and in the next fifteen months to come, 1,700 Model A's were sold making it very popular to the middle class and its buyers. But as this progressed to sell, the Ford Company decided to keep improving the car, and after vast improvements, the first Model T came out of the factory in 1908.

Its cost was $850 and compared to others, the affordable price and the demand of this product, produced 10,660 sales that year, and beat other car companies even though it was only the first year of this model in the market. As this was a popular vehicle, this model was mainly focused in the affordability and time it could be produced. Along with the idea of faster productivity and affordability, another great idea that Mr. Ford had was that if everyone earned a decent wage, and he produced more cars in less time at an affordable price, then everyone in the country would buy his cars.

Focusing on the middle class clientele, their affordability, and his own workers to buy his own products, he decided to raise the workers wages from $2. 50 to $5. 00 overnight, virtually making him a hero to all middle class workers, because he gave the working class an open door of opportunities to grow and buy. In Henry Ford's times, pay was presumably highly significant for job satisfaction, and people did not mind working at the assembly line if they were well paid.

This was an excellent business tactic, because this triggered his workers, and other middle class people, to buy his cars. The affordability of these, and the massive demand the Model T (final mastered product), made the Ford Company massively grow in a matter of years, and helped the U. S. economy raise in an enormous way. The demand among the middle class, and affordability of products, were in fact one of the causes that drove the economy to grow in the early 1900’s, and made the assembly line successful.

As business was growing, more factory workers were needed which meant that more cars were being sold and the economy rose. By 1914, 3,000 people were working in auto plants in Detroit, but amazingly by 1919, that number had increased to 75,000. According to Crews, 1999, “Ford built 308,162 cars in 1914, which exceeded the number produced by all the other automobile manufacturers”. And just to have an idea of the demand of this product, the 1913 Model T (after being revised from model A to S), grew from 78,000 to 248,000 vehicle sold per year in one year only.

The massive growth of these not only demanded more vehicles to be made, but also caused more people to buy which benefited the economy. The growth of the “assembly line,” and the success of Ford’s ideals and of vehicles being sold to middle class people, attracted other companies to do the same, producing a massive turnaround in the industrial revolution and growth goods in many different areas. Companies like General Motors or Cadillac adopted the assembly line method of building, and decided to raise wages to workers so they could imitate Ford’s plan.

The assembly line not only benefitted the work force, but also the country in many different ways. Not only this opened the eyes that cars were not meant only for the rich only, but also cars were for the ones that actually built these, and other middle class social groups who could afford them. The assembly line, Fords ideals of progress, and the way of how he decided to make a company work faster and more efficient, not only benefited the business world on its own, but also helped the US and middle class workers to raise themselves to a better life.

The assembly line method, along with the conveyer-belt system, was not only a magnificent system to combine, but it also increased productivity and speed of work in a massive way. Other businesses that adopted this method of working saw the benefit that this had caused, and joined the pack in finishing a product faster, and with less cost. The assembly line, and the opportunities that this brought along, opened many doors to the proletariat, and helped them progress to a better life in a matter of a few years.

Without middle class people not progressing, many new companies would not have been built, and many benefits of this would have not been found. Due to the cut of costs, demand of products because of its prices and quality, and more people being able to afford these, the assembly line helped the US form a stronger capital economic market. Furthermore opening many companies eyes to follow this method of working, producing more work, but most important, more spending and more buying.

Assembly Line Essay essay

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