Model T to TT – The back story
Model TT to TT – The Allianz connection
Allianz Insurance started business in 1890 in Munich, which is located near to some major car manufacturers – this proximity has led to Allianz having a close association with the automotive industry and insuring cars. The famous Model T Ford was produced between 1908 and 1927 and exported from the USA all over the world, introducing car-owning to many more people. During the 1920s Allianz became Germany's largest motor insurer.
The Audi TT is an iconic sports car of the modern era, first introduced in 1998, 90 years after the Model T. It is one of the many different cars that Allianz now insures, covering more than 50m cars across the world.
Henry Ford’s vision for the Model T
"I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces."
Audi TT - Link to the Isle of Man
The Audi TT takes its name from the long-running motor racing tradition of NSU in the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) motorcycle race. NSU began competing in the TT in 1911, and later merged into the company now known as Audi. The TT name has also been linked to "Technology and Tradition".
Audi TT Design Origins
The Audi TT design originated in an Audi concept car called the Avus launched at the 1991 Tokyo Motor Show. The Avus was named after a 1930s grand-prix racetrack in Berlin and evoked the design of the German speed-record cars and gran turismo roadsters of the 1930s.
“Vorsprung durch Technik”
“Vorsprung durch Technik” is the Audi advertising slogan in the UK, introduced in 1982. It means “Progress through technology” and became a catchphrase of mid-1980s Britain. In the original British television commercials, the phrase was voiced by Geoffrey Palmer.
10 key facts about the Model T
- The Model T brought in major innovation to industrial production and car manufacture – it was the first car to be mass-produced on moving assembly lines with interchangeable parts.
- The new assembly line made the Model T cheaper to produce, so it was the first car that could be marketed to the middle class at an affordable price, dramatically expanding car ownership.
- The “T” in Model T didn’t stand for anything special – it was just that this model followed on from one called the “Model S”!
- The Model T had a 20-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, reached a top speed of 45 mph, and delivered between 13 and 21 miles to the gallon.
- More than 15 million Model T's were built in Ford plants in Detroit and Michigan between 1908 and 1927. By 1918, half of all cars in the USA were Model T's.
- Henry Ford was a pioneer of "welfare capitalism", introduced on the one hand to improve conditions and pay for his workers and on the other hand to reduce employee turnover that meant they were recruiting 300 workers per year to fill 100 jobs. In 1914, Ford introduced a $5 per day wage, more than doubling the previous $2.34 daily pay. In this way, Ford retained the best workers, reduced training costs and further improved efficiency.
- The car was introduced at a price of $850. As production efficiencies increased, the Model T was later sold for as little as $260, due to production savings passed on to customers.
- Henry Ford called the Model T "the universal car," a low-cost, reliable vehicle that could be maintained easily and could cope with the poor roads of the era.
- The Model T came in a total of nine body formats, all built on the same chassis.
- Henry Ford famously said "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black". Black was used because of its faster drying time and the need to move cars off the end of the assembly line as quickly as possible to maintain efficiency.