“I will build a car for the great multitude.” This was a quote from a man many believe to be an autocrat, but also a remarkable renegade who revolutionized, not just the automotive industry, but the world of manufacturing with the advent of the assembly-line process thanks to his Model T. The man was Henry Ford and, amongst his admirers was an individual, almost 20 years later, followed Ford’s infectious words by commissioning “the people’s car” that became the VW Beetle. That man was Adolf Hitler who adorned a life-size image of Ford on his office wall.
The Model T was a practical car. As Ford illuminated, “You can have the car in any colour as long as it is black.” What is more impressive is his understanding of human behaviour – views that would not be out of place today. He believed that if he had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. This resonates with people’s immutable and unshakable babble regarding our digital age, where speed and convenience are the only essential needs. Speaking of speed, the Model T moved at a rate of mammal evolution. Still, it was faster than the horse and buggy.