What really interests me about manufacturing is the way the raw materials gain value as they progress from manufacturer to consumer. Take my own industry, fragrances. A key raw material in perfumes is patchouli oil, 95% of which comes from Indonesia. Here's a rough idea of the process:
Indonesian farmer gathers a ton of patchouli leaves and takes them to the field still.
Distiller extracts a few kilos of oil and give the farmer his cut.
Distiller takes all the oil to village and sells to a merchant.
Merchant takes a drum of oil to town and sells to bigger merchant.
4 big merchants collect all the oil in their Jakarta warehouses and drum it up.
Many tons of oil are shipped, shipping agent, shipping line, clearing agent, importer all take a profit.
Oil is trucked to UK importer/merchant in City of London who rectifies and blends it then sells as a commodity.
Essential oils merchant (EG: FD Copeland) sells a ton to perfume manufacturer.
Perfume manufacturer puts a few kilos in a batch of industrial perfume and sells the perfume to an eau de toilette manufacturer.
Manufacturer mixes the perfume concentrate at 7% with water and alcohol, chills, filters and macerates and bottles.
Manufacturer sells the finished perfume to distributor. (If overseas, shippers and various agents also take their cut)
Distributor sells to retailer.
Retailer sells to customer.
That original ton of patchouli leaves is now diluted down to a tiny fraction of its original volume yet at every stage of the route to market, people have been adding value to it and making profits. I'd imagine a similar process happens with a complex product like a motor car.