My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

Become a Fan

« Will Cars Fly? | Main | Revolt Against Student Debt »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8345276b569e20167678ff072970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Car sales down 20% in Germany:

Comments

D. P. Lubic

Looks like this is the original article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/business/global/opel-and-german-workers-near-deal.html

As is often the case, the story is ostensibly about something else (a closing of an aging plant and union agreements), but little things do slip in. . .if you know to look for them. . .

D. P. Lubic

More on the shift:

http://heresheisboys.com/2012/03/23/nobody-on-the-road/

The link above came from this article, which in turn came from the "cars still matter" article. This is one of the most interesting things I've seen on the subject, for what it reveals to those who know what is behind the curtain (specifically, how clueless our executives can be). And take the time to look at the comments! Wow! I'll agree with some of the people there, GM should drop the MTV marketeers, read those comments for some GOOD advice that's free--FREE!--and like I said, GOOD advice too. That advice includes acknowledging that driving is a horrible experience anymore, and that GM should expand its own options--by building electric cars, bicycles, and railroad gear! Whooee!!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/business/media/to-draw-reluctant-young-buyers-gm-turns-to-mtv.html?_r=2#commentsContainer

D. P. Lubic

Well, ran into something else, an opinion piece that essentially says the problem is that modern cars aren't "exciting:"

http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/11/ingrassia-engines-change/

I again am struck by this opinion that we need a car that is "exciting" to younger people. My question is, how do you make it exciting? Speed? Done that. Overall performance? Even "boring" cars like a Camry aren't bad; really hot cars can be more than most drivers can handle, even with computer-aided traction and braking control. Besides, how can you really use such a machine on the crowded roads we have today?

Long distance cruiser? Again, interstates are boring, a chore to drive on, and you still have to stop occasionally, which really cuts down on average speed. Besides, you can't be using those electronic gizmos and still drive.

I think a big problem comes back to something I just mentioned--too many cars. I just took a bit of a drive today (checking out a steam railroad, naturally!); travel time was a bit over an hour. I hated the drive. Too much traffic, too many drivers who drive crazy. But on the return trip, to avoid some of that nonsense, took another route that was slightly longer (but avoided a construction site I had to work through before), and was on a nice, well-engineered secondary road in Maryland, able to run 50 to 60 mph through beautiful countryside and enjoy the ride. Why? NO OTHER TRAFFIC.

How many places can that be done today? And why bother when it takes at least half an hour or more to reach that secondary road that may not take you where you want to go?

Hrrumph, as you said, it sounds like more denial from the older set. . .

D. P. Lubic

As is often the case, the comments that follow can be most interesting:

***********************************

Peeple - 06/20/12 04:11 PM
ROFL!!! OMG is this how clueless the automotive industry is? Generation Y is "enjoying an unemployment rate between 30-50% (depending on whos stats they use) of those that CAN afford to move out of their parents basement they are living hand to mouth. Of those that can AND want to afford a car their choices are some tiny ass brand new POS or a better, bigger, lighter (and usually with the same gas mileage) used car. People ask me why I STILL drive around a 1997 240 after 8 years it's because the only brand new car in my price range is some shitty POS econobox. Sorry engine swaps are cheaper and the car is cooler than anything new priced under 25k

CarsAreNotFun - 06/11/12 03:51 PM
My partner and I own one car between us, but it's a 2001 model and we're milking it for all it's worth. We'd happily get rid of it and go completely car-free if our city wasn't so far behind on mass transit and bicycle infrastructure. Basically, like many of our friends, we view the car as nothing but an unfortunate (and expensive!) necessity - not something we're excited about. I don't think any change in marketing from the auto companies will change that. The days of cars being 'cool' or status symbols are over for most of us. We're smart enough to know that just about any chump can lease a fancy car, and all it really shows is that you're not smart with your money.

If our city would only make some real investments in mass transit and bicycle infrastructure so we could ditch the car entirely, we'd happily leave the highways to the 'car enthusiasts'. Enjoy!

Nicktyelor - 06/07/12 04:48 PM
As a young person, I will tell you the problem flat out. Gas. I love driving, but I can't afford to fill up my tank so often.I cringe after I get that quick feeling of joy from going flat out on the highway or passing. I've become a much more tame driver in order to keep my mpg manageable.

And I don't even have it rough. I have a job to pay for the gas, but my insurance is paid by my parents for now (I only drive my car when I come home for the summer from school). Maintenance is pretty simple for me. '99 Accord has held up great, but I can see where kids driving older cars could be swamped with maintenance costs.

And I think inevitably, car transportation will lessen over time. People in cities don't always need personal vehicles to get around. Unfortunately, I feel like this recession has somehow rocked the real core of how we value and divide our priorities. Getting from point A to point B the most cost efficient way is putting the car at stake.

***********************************

I think this fellow gives his age away:

***********************************

stanczyk - 06/07/12 03:09 PM
Less boring Camrys, Fiestas or VW-agens .. and nouvo-riche Bentley SUVs , ugly a$$ hell Panamejras and "hatch-back" Ferraris ...
than more fun or stylish cars: Mustangs, SRT8 Jeeps , RS Megane Renaults , CTS coupes, 500 FIATs , Scions GT86... etc ...
...
Youngsters don't know what the "diving pleasure" is, they like "virtual" (games like NFS .. ...

***********************************

So many of the comments are goodies, good for laughs, that is:

***********************************

Phoenix5454 - 06/07/12 04:39 AM
How could people not want to drive? Freakin Hippies. lol jk I just love cars to much to fathom not owning at least one vehicle.

IBx1 - 06/07/12 04:55 AM
There's nothing interesting to buy anymore. All the cheap and cheerful cars that honda and toyota used to make are dead, American brands still don't have anything that looks like something their parents WOULDN'T own, and the only thing germany has to offer is the jetta and golf, which are unreliable, lackluster, and cheap.

IBx1 - 06/07/12 08:03 AM
bcwells09, the new generation hasn't been shown that cars can be driven spiritedly, not with all these corollas running around. They get a taste of driving a bland car like that and assume all cars are like that. It's not smart to not buy a car.

elephantparty - 06/07/12 11:06 AM
Here is another thought about the relative cost effectiveness of public transportation: A monthly pass for San Francisco's MUNI is $74. It takes nearly that much to fill up the tank of my Fusion for a week and a half. Public transportation costs are heavily subsidized. But, the employees of those agencies are unionized, and receive VERY generous pay ($60K and above to drive a bus?!?!?), and VERY generous retirement plans that are bankrupting municipalities.

Here in Kern County where I live, because of massively increased retirement costs (approaching $215 million this year alone), the Roads Department stated that because of these increases in employee costs, they will pave/reconstruct 10 less miles of road this year!

There you have it...public transport may also be contributing to our deteriorated roads because of government mismanagement.

masermanjem - 06/07/12 12:45 PM
I'm part of generation Y and from my experience, part of the problem is laziness. Quite a few of my friends wouldn't even consider owning a car if they could bum rides all the time, and the ones that do own cars only have them because they're parents were generous enough to buy them for them.

Most of them (if they had the money) would buy a self driving car right now if it meant they never had to drive again. I just don't understand how they can be that lazy.

L-Finesseness - 06/07/12 01:46 PM
Stupid hipsters! Elephantparty and masermanjem, you're both absolutely right! People are getting lazier and lazier; dumber and dumber. The movie Idiocracy was originally a joke, but now it's starting to look more and more eerily relatable.

***********************************

Sheesh!! "Stupid hipsters!!" I guess we know where we stand with this bunch. The funny thing is, I'm probably the biggest square I know!!

D. P. Lubic

More on young people driving less--from Motor Trend, no less:

http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2012/1208_why_young_people_are_driving_less/

William A. Draves

D.P, yes I agree that denial is a big part of societal thinking right now for older adults. Reality vs. Denial a huge conflict right now.

D. P. Lubic

Unfortunately, the "big wheels" will say it's due to economic conditions, not a generational shift.

Reality is probably both, but the business bunch won't admit the generational part.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment