Is The Car Market Fading?

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This article by The Washington Post, titled ‘Cruising Towards Oblivion’, paints a dim picture of the automotive world in the US, highlighting how the current generation is more obsessed with the smart phone and eco commuting, then cars in general.

“The automobile just isn’t that important to people’s lives anymore,” says Mike Berger, a historian who studies the social effect of the car. “The automobile provided the means for teenagers to live their own lives. Social media blows any limits out of the water. You don’t need the car to go find friends.”

“Instead of Ford versus Chevy, it’s Apple versus Android, and instead of customizing their ride, they customize their phones with covers and apps,” “You express yourself through your phone, whereas lately, cars have become more like appliances, with 100,000-mile warranties.” Mark Lizewskie, executive director of the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, Pa.

It’s only part of the story.
The two comments above seem really dismal and depressing and if you took them on their own, you would think the age of the automobile is coming to an end.
But like any viewpoint, it’s only part of the story.

It’s true that the automobile once was the conduit to freedom and going where you want, when you wanted.
While a teenager of the 60s and 70s bought their first vehicle as an open ticket to freedom, so do teenagers today, it’s just that they have far more distractions.
If you look around the country, from the young to the old, cars are still part of the social make-up. From a simple transportation device to a highly prized possession. The numbers may become less as we move forward, but oblivion, I don’t think so.

Car Sales, The highest for Years.
Most financial reports will tell you that car sales are the highest they have been for years, but the worry now is that the bubble may burst. Also, although car sales are at a high, they have not peaked past the highest point of over 35 years ago.
This may seem worrying to some, but the figures are still healthy and as we are really concerned about the health of the muscle car market here. That seems to be more popular than ever, especially with the current crop of new muscle cars.

One car morphs into another.
From the model T to a 2016 vehicle, cars have changed with the times and now car manufacturers are looking to the future with their electric vehicles, due to our ever decreasing supplies of our beloved car juice.
We will always need transportation devices and we will always want our own personal transportation devices, no matter how good public transport gets, the distractions or how many people live in the cities.
More people may move into the cities and suburbs, but I think the car will always be used as personal transportation in one form or another.

It may be that the continuation of the car may look completely different in another 50 years and we can only really guess what the automotive landscape will be at that time, but up to this point, the car is too culturally ingrained and useful to be overshadowed by the latest techy devices.

Yes, we can instantly contact your friends anywhere at any time via the Internet, but nothing bonds humans together than on a cruise in a car.

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