Women who revolutionized the automobile industry
  • 07/03/2022
  • 10

Women who revolutionized the automobile industry

Women who revolutionized the automobile industry

In 1886, the modern car was born. Karl Benz, a German innovator, revolutionized the way people moved about, and men have dominated the automobile industry ever since. Automobile designing or focusing on aesthetic performance and utility comfort of automobiles were being seen as the next great opportunity. Women, on the other hand, were instrumental in shaping the automotive industry by taking automobile designing to the zenith. Women have left their mark on this sector in various ways, including the invention of critical auto parts, vehicle interior and exterior design, and top-level management positions.

Mary Barra became the first woman to lead a major automaker when appointed CEO of GM in January 2014. Since then, she’s established herself as one of the most powerful CEOs in industry heavyweight General Motors. During the times when automobile designing was proving to be the crucial deciding factor of competition, she aced the game with innovative management approaches, sometimes perceived as a little radical by few, and provided a completely new dimension to the automobile industry.

As CEO of GM, she added a new chapter in automobile designing for the company by the acquisition of Strobe, providing driverless and electric-powered cars. Who doesn’t know Tesla, the leader in electric cars?. You would be surprised to know that GM under Mary Barra had actually beat Tesla by beginning to sell Chevy bolt EV, the first electric car priced under $40000 and having a range of 200 miles. She held a large number of administrative positions in GM and earned $21.96 million in total remuneration in the year 2017.

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Barra’s hiring came as a surprise in an industry where women have risen to senior managerial positions far too rarely. However, a closer examination indicates that women have played a more significant part in the automobile industry specifically in upping the ante of the automobile design of the organisations, despite overcoming systematic impediments. And, all too frequently, their achievements have been disregarded or buried on purpose.

Strate School of Design set out to find and honour some of the industry’s most influential women.

Elena Ford

Elena Ford is Ford’s Chief Customer Experience Officer. This position entails collaborating with the company’s Customer Service Division and Quality Organization to offer an industry-leading experience for all of the company’s customers.

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She was the first female member of the Ford family to occupy the post of Vice President before taking on this new responsibility. On two occasions, she was also named on Automotive News’ list of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Automobile Industry. Elena has earned her position, although her name may lead you to believe she is where she is due to her family. Her achievements and industry recognition show that she has earned it. She can be considered as a chief proponent for advising redefining transportation as a service concept in Ford.

In her own words- “I think people will definitely own vehicles. I think they will own them and use them but they may use them in a different way,” Ford said. “I think what is really important is transportation as a service, which is much bigger than the transportation of today, will be an opportunity for people.” This statement was delivered in the context of the launch of Ford Pass, a mobility solution that was launched in April.


Jessica Strafford

In 2017, Autotrader promoted Jessica Strafford to Senior Vice President and General Manager. She started working as digital marketing with Autotrader in the year 2007 and then went on to acquire multiple different roles.

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For her work in marketing Autotrader and helping to improve its position on the used and new car market, she has been named one of THE Rising Stars by AdWeek and has also featured on Auto Remarketing’s 40 Under 40 and Top Women in Remarketing.

Suzanne Vanderbilt

Suzanne Vanderbilt was one of six women called “Damsels of Design” by General Motors. By today’s standards, it’s revolting, but keep in mind that we’re talking about the 1950s. General Motors engaged six women to design the interiors of its automobiles to cater to their rising female demographic. Many of Vanderbilt’s ideas, such as retractable seat belts and glove boxes, are still used today. Vanderbilt stayed with GM for the next 23 years, eventually rising to chief designer for Chevrolet. She owns three patents: an inflatable seat back, a safety switch for car panels, and a motorcycle helmet design.

Mary Anderson

Mary Anderson believed there had to be a better way after seeing trolley drivers step out and wipe their windshields in the rain. Anderson created the first manual wiper lever that could be operated from inside the vehicle. We can drive more safely in the rain thanks to her foresight!

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Margaret A. Wilcox

Margaret A. Wilcox created the automobile heater in an era when being a mechanical engineer was uncommon—and even more so for a woman. We must thank Wilcox for warming up your cold extremities behind the wheel on a freezing winter day.

Wilcox then began playing with a fantastic idea. She reasoned that because engines produce a lot of heat, she could run a channel of air through them and then return it to the rail cars. It was a brilliant idea that had never been explored before. Wilcox was granted a patent for her invention in November 1893.

Wilcox’s concept is still used in car heaters today, and it was the first thing engineers thought of when trying to adjust the temperature in a vehicle.

We can add more women from today’s modern world to this list.

Strate School of Design’s Transportation design program is not merely a car design course; it is a new way to redesign and reimagine future mobility solutions. Aesthetics is now the ruling theme of the automobile industry as more and more automobile users are using design parameters for purchase. Our transportation design courses aim to encourage the students’ creative potentials in both conceptual and stylistic dimensions.

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We don’t just produce automobile designers who transform a sketch through computer rendered graphics into the design. We produce artists who can envision the design of automobiles based on the aesthetic acceptance, the comfort of users and transform that concept into a masterpiece with state-of-the-art technologies, computer-aided design, simulation software, and more. That’s why we are the top transportation design college in India and the best automobile design course in Bangalore.

For more details on the admission and fees, visit our website strate.in. Our academic counsellors can guide you through the program details and admission process.

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