What does owning a car mean in 2010 -- shouldn't we all be tootling along in hovering jet-like crafts to get from A to B? You might think this if you grew up watching cartoons in the 70s, but sadly this is yet to be the case.
Instead, we became obsessed -- with good reason! -- with what it is for a vehicle to be "green", or environmentally friendly. This led to the hyrid vehicle -- a car that runs on both petroleum and electricity. Toyota's Prius was the first hybrid model to become a mainstream entity.However, a fully electric vehicle is considered to the future of road travel.
In fact, Nissan will soon be releasing the first mass produced electric vehicle. Some have suggested that the car will be a saviour to the struggling motor industry and prompt manufacturers to start reimagining the automobile and the experience of driving itself. It may even create a new sector in theindustry -- most traditional mechanics will most likely need extensive training to deal with the new electric drive systems. These vehicles could also have an impact on a garage's motor trade insurance.
As cars have become more modern and sophisticated, they have lost a lot of the features that endeared them to drivers in the fist place. Even mechanics miss repairing engines without onboard computers getting in the way. Amazingly it's the faults in cars that we often grow to love -- having to rev the engine just to keep it ticking over in traffic, having to get into the car using the passenger-side door. Yeah sure, it's a pain at the time, but as we replace these older and apparently inferior vehicles with a new, state-of-that-art model we begin to miss the character of our old car. Perhaps, that's the next step: cars with personality?
What about the present in the motor trade industry? Sales of new cars in the UK have been relatively promising thanks to the scrappage scheme. However, with the scheme recently drawing to a close, tough times are predicted for the industry.
Interestingly, many pruchases made by those scrapping their older motor were in fact downgrades -- buyers swapping bigger, more powerful vehicles for smaller 'city cars'.
This trend has seen some manufacturers, which had never previously been big players in the UK market excel. In particular two Korean brands, Kia and Hyundai have done partiuclarly well in the current climate. Perhaps one reason for their success is the length of warranty offered on their vehicles -- up to seven years on some models. Despite the vehicles being some of the cheaper cars on the market, they're still full of modern features..
It will be interesting to see how the next few years sculpt the industry and how well electric cars are favoured by the public -- is there even a small chance that we'll see car manufacturers returning to designs that we loved 30 years ago, or working on getting traditional petroleum engines as eco-friendly as possible?