In 1886, the German inventor Carl Benz patented his motorised tricycle. A few years later, Rudolf Diesel laid the foundations for the engine that went on to be named after him. However, it was only in the early twentieth century that the car began to take on a shape that distinguished it from earlier means of transport and started to be mass produced. The Model T created by Henry Ford’s factory in the US paved the way for the new industrial system.
Car manufacturers focused on developing models that the average person could afford. The years leading up to the Second World War saw the launch of the Fiat 500 in Italy and the Volkswagen Beetle in Germany. The prototype for the Citroën 2CV also took shape during the same period, leading to its debut in 1948.