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Those of us at Beach Boulevard of Cars in Huntington Beach are all about cars, so here are some fun facts about your favorite way to get around Orange County and beyond.
How many vehicles?
About 1.41 billion vehicles, including cars and trucks, drive around the world as of 2019. Asia has the most autos with 510 million on the road followed by Europe with 413 million. North America, which includes the USA, has 345 million vehicles. But per capita, North America leads with 710 vehicles per thousand people followed by Europe with 520.
When did SUVs first appear?
Did you say 1935? That’s when Chevrolet made the world’s first SUV, the Carryall Suburban. This brand mainstay has survived for 11 generations and is continuing into 2022. But the term Sport Utility Vehicle wouldn’t appear in brochures for the full-sized 1974 Jeep Cherokee SJ. You’ll still find the Jeep Cherokee and the Jeep Grand Cherokee next year.
Who is the biggest automaker in South Korea?
Hyundai takes its name from the Korean word for modernity, which matches its slogan: New Thinking. New Possibilities. Since 1998, this company acquired Kia, whose name means Rising from the East.
When did the first RAM truck appear?
If you’re a Millennial, the birth of your generation coincided with the first Dodge-Ram truck, which appeared in 1981. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ram departed from the Dodge banner but remains part of the family.
What was the evolution of the key?
Back in the day, you had to wind a crank to start a car engine. The ignition key wouldn’t be invented until 1949 by Chrysler. Chevrolet improved on ignition technology with the first factory-direct remote start in the 2004 Malibu.
Just the most fun of facts:
If you wanted to ride a Dodge in 1896, you’d have to settle for a bicycle because that’s what they were making back then. When they closed the bicycle shop in 1900, the Dodge brothers founded a machine shop for creating stove parts. Car parts for the Ford Model T followed in 1910. They wouldn’t create their first independent auto until 1914.
Speaking of the Ford Model T, the first mass-produced car in the US, the vehicle with the same distinction in Japan was the 1934 Datsun Type 15, produced by Nissan.
The company that produced the most motor vehicles globally as of 2020 is Volkswagen, with 9.33 million. That output includes passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, heavy trucks, buses, and coaches.
Honda, too, produces the most vehicles but of the two-wheeled variety. Since 1959, the company has been the biggest manufacturer of motorcycles.
The best-selling car in the world is the Toyota Corolla, with a sale every 15 seconds in over 150 countries and regions.
Ford manufactured a Soybean car in 1941. It weighed a thousand pounds lighter than a steel car because it was mostly made of plastic. We don’t know if the vehicle was either edible or recyclable because the formula for the plastic has disappeared.
The stars in the logo of Subaru are the Pleiades star cluster, which is also known as Subaru in Japanese. Although you see six stars, they’re called The Seven Sisters from Greek myth because one of the stars is too hard to see with the naked eye.
Lastly, there was only one Japanese car to date to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans — the Mazda 787B. This last fun fact notes that the Mazda 787B was the only vehicle that won that race with a rotary engine.
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