Model T In Australia
Model T came to Australia and established a new class of car-owners
When the Ford Model T got to Australia in 1908, it quickly became the go-to for those who could afford it; which was a large portion of the population. The reason the car achieved so many sales and popularity was largely due to its affordability. The easy-to-use cars were preferred by many over horses and buggies. It was especially welcomed among doctors and clergymen who had to make house calls.
The affordability of the Model T was a novelty during a time when cars were considered a luxury reserved only for the rich and privileged. The cheapness of the cars was due to the production strategy adopted by Ford.
The knock-down kits were brought to Australia and then assembled in the country, making it cheaper to produce, and of course, cheaper to sell. The Model T proved to be a very great challenge to a lot of other cars as most competitors could not keep up with the pricing system of the car.
The Australian masses were welcoming of the Model T and it soon became a necessity, rather than a luxury for most Australians. These categories of people include doctors, clergymen, traders, farmers and even families.
The comfort and convenience offered by the Model T was a novelty in Australia during those years. Imagine not having to feed, water, house, clean and take care of a horse every time you get back home. The feeling was surreal and the Australian masses embraced it.
Surely, the arrival of the Model T in Australia was not all a bed of roses. Early Australian drivers were faced with several challenges. This included getting used to fuel the cars, learning to drive cars and difficulties in fixing the cars when they develop problems.
These problems stemmed from the scarcity and high cost of fuel in those days. Also, very few people had learned to fix the cars so, when they developed problems, it posed very great problems to the unknowledgeable drivers.
A year after the sales of the Model T started in Australia, institutions such as the Melbourne School of Motoring opened to teach car-owners how to drive their cars. Before this time, cars were owned mainly by the rich who employed uniformed chauffeurs to drive them around. The process was not an easy one.
Farmers, who contributed to a large percentage of the new owners of the Model T, had difficulties adjusting. Many of them were used to their horses having semi-autonomous control of the journey, so they expected the cars to steer clear of obstacles on their own.
The roads also proved to be a problem when the Model T got introduced to Australia. Most of the roads were not tarred and dust was a problem for the motorists. Men had to bundle up in jackets, caps, goggles, and leather gloves while women donned dust coats and scarves. That problem was later solved when screen glasses were introduced.