Auto Motive

Few inventions have wrought change on such as a massive scale as the automobile. Cities, style, relationships, spare time, our idea of ourselves, the countryside, the way that we work - all have been touched by the car.


0101The Machine That Changed The World20030804

But, as Peter Day hears in the first episode of this series, when the car first appeared a hundred years ago, it was little more than an expensive toy for the idle rich.

0102Life On The Line20030811

It took less than two decades for the car industry to move from early experiments with mass production to become a business which redefined the way people lived. In the second part of this history of the car and its influence, Peter Day traces the rise of the American auto giants, and hears at first hand about the workplace struggles they provoked. Both sides of the industry changed the way business worked forever.

0103Going Global20030818

Cars achieved mass market status in America in the 1920s - and it took decades for other parts of the world to catch up.

Peter Day looks at the story of how country after country decided that it too had to have a car industry.


Cars brought unique personal freedom to the drivers of the 20th century, but then it disappeared in clouds of exhaust and acres of tarmac. Peter Day continues the story of the motor industry with a look at the troubles the car brought in its slipstream.

0105Any Colour You Want20030901

Mass production shaped the cars of the 20th century, but many of the giant car manufacturers appear to be running out of road. Peter Day asks if the car industry still knows how to give drivers what they want.

0106 LASTRunning On Empty20030908

After decades of success, the car industry is in a global crisis. There are too many plants making too many cars, bringing too much gridlock to too many towns and cities. But there's no sign of an end to the worldwide appetite for the automobile. In the last programme in this series, Peter Day looks at the future of the machine that shaped the 20th century.