People and what they drive Category

When a motor manufacturer spends money on designing a new model, it always hopes for big sales. Sadly, not all designs are a success. Many models sit on dealers’ lots unsold. The manufacturer monitors sales performance. The measure is called the average days in inventory. The longer the time the model sits unsold, the less profit for the manufacturer and the dealers. This is not good news. Often millions of dollars in capital are tied up and not producing a return. When this happens, the dealers are reluctant to carryRead More
There seems to be an unjustified assumption infecting most of the marketing for new makes and models. They are all naturally proud of the improvements of the car safety technologies. These developments help make our vehicles safer to drive or, if you prefer, the onboard computers can seize control of the vehicle when human drivers do something really stupid like drive round a corner too fast or speed on a slippery road surface. There’s also great excitement from car insurance companies. If drivers are to reduce the burden of theRead More
From the Stone Age onwards, humans have been trying to predict the weather. Will this be one of the good days to go out hunting and gathering or will we need to take umbrellas? Well, over the centuries, we’ve grown reasonably good at looking up into the skies and deciding what weather is coming. Now there are satellites looking down, we can watch the storm clouds gather and track the storms as they move across the sea toward the land. Science has arrived. It’s the same when it comes toRead More

Posted On September 9, 2013By adminIn People and what they drive

What makes for a good design?

Whenever a manufacturer sits down to plan the next models, the first question it should be asking is what would take the good designs we have now and turn them into great designs. The plan should be for each new design to outdo the last rather than playing safe to tweak the existing models and so reproduce the current success. It’s called conservatism. The problem is that, without innovation, the brand grows stale and eventually people tire of buying it. There will be competitors who are not complacent and pushRead More
You’ve almost certainly seen the headlines. Americans are driving less. It’s the end of the world as we’ve known it as the young fall out of love with owning a vehicle. Yet, if that’s the case, why were there lines of vehicles bumper-to-bumper on all the major roads over the Labor Day weekend? If America is no longer driving as many miles, how come there are so many vehicles blocking our way? The answer, according to a new study titled The Car Connection, is you’re going to have to adjustRead More
The evidence would seem to show Americans steadily falling out of their love affair with the idea of personal transport. Although the population is growing, the total number of miles people drive has been declining — it peaked in 2007 and has been falling ever since. At an individual level, in 2004, people were driving an average of about 900 miles per month. By 2012, that had fallen to 820 miles per month. That’s about where we were as a nation back in the 1990’s. From this you’ll understand theRead More

Posted On August 22, 2013By adminIn People and what they drive

Why drive a diesel car?

If you were to ask the average driver about diesel, they would wrinkle their noses to indicate a problem with the smell of the fuel and thoughts about the clouds of black smoke that come out the tailpipe of trucks. Against this background, it’s interesting to see GM entering the market with a diesel version of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze: Not that this should influence American buyers, but this would not be the reaction in Europe. Whereas only 3.2% of sales to Americans are of diesel models, 51,8% of salesRead More
The most comprehensive recent overview was published by the US Department of Transportation in June 2012. You can find it here. It’s an analysis of the data from 2010. Let’s get the headline out of the way. That’s one person killed in a traffic accident every sixteen minutes. As a percentage of the population, that’s actually a significant improvement in the rate of fatalities, in part resulting from the increasingly high percentage of both drivers and passengers using seat belts. In the good old days, people were driving vehicles thatRead More
Although it’s an expensive way of testing for auto safety, driving a car into a static object is the best way to see how well the vehicle would react to a real-world collision. The question, of course, is whether there are differences between the different crash tests. Both the federal government and the insurance industry do “independent” tests. The results differ because the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has more stringent tests than the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration when it comes to front-end testing. The NHTSA carriesRead More
Now that the halfway point has been passed and the slippery slope to 2014 is accelerating you into the future, everything in the media is getting ready for the launch of the 2014 models. Let’s be clear. Not all the manufacturers have had a great 2013. Some have had issues with their current models. Others still have legacy issues with their brand. Both successful and less than successful manufacturers are therefore pinning their hopes on the new range of vehicle due to hit the showrooms in the fall. It’s alreadyRead More