When you consider a business start-up these days, you probably think of something like a restaurant or a clothes shop. No one, but no one, is going to think about manufacturing cars. Much like an old fashioned car itself, an auto manufacturer will likely splutter along and or come to a grinding halt.
As much as it might feel like most modern auto-makers have simply always existed, the truth is they started the same way you or I would try our hand at being a restaurateur. Imagine yourself in the olden days making a go of it at making cars. It might help to have a history of a few car businesses beginnings.
Henry Royce of Rolls Royce fame started an electrical and mechanical business in 1884. He only started manufacturing and selling cars twenty years later. Starting up in another type of machine shop and then specializing in the newest product is a smart move, and you may notice it as a theme in this post.
Daimler trained as a draughtsman before becoming a workshop inspector for the Mercedes Benz company. It’s a smart idea to apprentice before buying your own company.
Renault originally consisted of Louis, Marcel and Ferdinard Renault. The skills of working in their textile business assisted them in creating a car company, though the connection is not immediately apparent. At least get some skills in business before starting your car company.
Nissan began as a truck making company for the military. Only when the idea of the personal car ownership became possible did the founder Masujiro Hashimoto move into automobile manufacturer. It’s the old entrepreneur’s mantra of seeing a need. When you can get a fat military contract do it.
Another Japanese company, Toyota has its origins as a creator of looms, or cloth weaving devices in 1924. It was the capital gained from this that they invested in a car factory.
Porsche has some similarities with Nissan in that it started with military vehicles, though Ferdinard Porsche the founder had experience in building coaches. After that he designed cars for Daimler before coming up with the automobile which is synonymous with him.
BMW originally made airplanes before moving into – no, not cars – motorcycle engines, railway brakes and various pieces of home equipment. BMW didn’t found an automobile empire so much as buy one, purchasing Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach in 1928.
Soichora Honda’s experience before running a factory was a mechanic at a garage for racing cars. Honda’s responsibility was to finely tune the cars to make them fit for the race.
The Eastern European business Skoda had simple origins, as a bicycle factory which in turn bought a motorcycle factory before developing cars for the Czech patron. Despite a few misstarts as a business, such as not knowing whether to concentrate on front or rear engine vehicles they are now a classic name all over Europe and beyond.
Range Rover also started as a bicycle concern, but they also manufactured tricycles. They were based in Coventry in England. John Kemp Stanley inherited a sewing machine factory. The logic for turning it into a bike factory must be there, but you might need to study how these factories work to figure it out. Again they went into motorcycles before turning to automobiles. Almost an echo of other car factory stories.
The moral of this seems to be if you want to be able to run a car factory, try running some other form of factory first. Otherwise try to work with a different type of car firm or with military vehicles of some sort.
It is probably one of the most highly competitive industries in the world and makes billions every year. Good luck.