Products You Didn’t Know Car Companies Made
Right now, the automotive world is buzzing with rumours of a possible Apple car. Apple certainly has the funds and the power to create a vehicle, but many people are dismissing the idea. Why? Apple has no business making cars, they make phones. What many people don’t realize is that cars often come second in the manufacturing process. There is a wide range of products you didn’t know car companies made, stretching back hundreds of years. Here we’ll list some popular manufacturers, and give you a glimpse into the world of products you didn’t know car companies made.
Chrysler: Known best for their Town & Country vans, 300 series luxury sedans, and the big HEMI engine. The modern HEMI engine was developed in the 1950’s, right in the middle of the cold war. A HEMI engine is loud, and very powerful. Engineers determined that by attaching horns to the HEMI engine, an incredibly loud sound could be produced, and thus the Chrysler Air-Raid Siren was born. The siren was created to warn cities of a pending nuclear attack. Fortunately, the sirens were only ever used for testing. Some still exist to this day, but very few remain operational.
GM: The GMC or Chevrolet lineup of pickup trucks represent powerful machines used to carry a heavy payload. What else does this job? Trains. GM has a history of producing both passenger and freight trains, and was an early producer of diesel locomotives. GM created the Aerotrain in the 1950’s, which was a passenger train outfitted with modified buses as passenger cabins. Due to the rise of automobiles and passenger air travel, the trains were discontinued after a decade of service.
Hyundai: One of the fastest growing automakers, Hyundai is known best for smaller, more economical vehicles. So when it comes to products you didn’t know car companies made, you’d naturally assume Hyundai would be the producer of the world’s largest shipping vessel, right? Based on the average weight of shipping container contents, and the amount of containers Hyundai’s world leading shipping vessel can carry, Hyundai’s new ship could carry an estimated 912 million pounds of cargo, or roughly 360,000 2015 Hyundai Accents.
Honda: So far, we’ve seen companies that make engines make, well, bigger engines. To really look at products you didn’t know car companies made, look no further than Honda. Everyone knows Honda is a big producer of reliable, economical cars. Honda also makes the autonomous, humanoid robot known as ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative MObility). This is more than just a computer with legs, ASIMO is capable of all sorts of complex human feats, such as navigating stairs, throwing or kicking a ball, helping the elderly with daily routines or even helping out around the office.
Jeep: One of the most common products you didn’t know car companies made is the bicycle. Pick any European manufacturer and it’s very possible their roots can be traced in some way to the bicycle. What is unique is what Jeep did (or helped do) with the bicycle. Known for their off-road capabilities, Jeep took the bike and made it All Wheel Drive. The Jeep Rubicon Bicycle is an AWD version of a traditional mountain bike. The design has the traditional chain drive for the rear wheel, with an internal shaft drive powering the front wheel. While the bike does excel in climbing up treacherous slopes, the extra effort needed to power both wheels makes most people skeptical of any benefits.
Lamborghini: The ultra sleek, ultra fast hyper car manufacturer is an icon in speed, design, and luxury. Luxuries like touch screen controls, six cylinder tuned engines, and a lifting capacity of 10,000 kg in the rear and 4500 kg in the front. OK the last specs you won’t find on the Huracan, but you will find it on Lamborghini’s very capable tractor lineup. Lamborghini has been producing farm tractors almost as long as it has been producing cars, and their current models are some of the most technologically advanced models available. If you’ve got more field than asphalt, you can still own (and race) a Lamborghini!
Mitsubishi: After bicycles, many products you didn’t know car companies made include various aircraft or aircraft components. Mitsubishi is especially well versed in this area, being the creator of the Zero fighter plane. This wasn’t just a plane that flew in some reconnaissance missions, the Zero was the Japanese plane that out gunned and out manoeuvred Allied pilots during the early years of WW2. It took until 1943 for the Allies to catch up to the speed and manoeuvrability of the ZERO, thanks in part to recovering a mostly intact specimen. Once the ZERO started to show its age post 1943, the aircraft was configured to fly kamikaze missions against the allied forces. Since the war, Mitsubishi has branched out into several other areas. Anyone who has eaten “three diamond” or “ace of diamond” tuna has eaten a Mitsubishi product. The three diamonds are what make up Mitsubishi’s logo.
Toyota: Known for their incredible reliability, Toyota switches gears with their products you didn’t know car companies made. Toyota continues to produce high quality textile looms, or the machines responsible for creating fabric. Toyota also produces several other industrial items, such as forklifts and pallet jacks.
Cars You Didn’t Know Product Companies Made
With many people speculating just how a phone maker like Apple could make a car, regular companies have produced vehicles before:
Swatch: A Swiss watch maker, engineers at swatch are actually behind the pocket sized Smart Fortwo and other Smart Cars. Swatch CEO Nicolas Hayek believed that people wanted a small, city car that was economical. After being rejected by the likes of BMW, GM, and FIAT, the idea eventually was backed by Volkswagen, and later by the Daimler group. Today, the smart car is rapidly gaining popularity, and is sold by Mercedes.
Samsung: A phone maker can’t make a car, that’s absurd. Except, it has already been done. Samsung is one of the largest companies in Korea, and it has been making cars there for over 20 years. While financial troubles in Korea lead to Samsung’s vehicle lineup filing for bankruptcy in 2000, it was kept alive with part ownership from Renault, a french automaker. The vehicles are sold in Korea and Chile, proving a consumer electronics maker can produce vehicles after all.
The List Goes On
While other companies like Porsche and Ferrari brand everything from phones to watches to hair dryers, these are some examples of just how diverse and broad the products you didn’t know car companies made can be. A lot of technology and innovation goes into creating a car, and it’s because of that technology that companies are able to expand into such a wide range of areas.
Have more products you didn’t know car companies made? Let us know in the comments!