Cars and Water – A Good Mix?

It would go without saying that automobiles do not go well with water – or do they?

Design

Most car design is inspired by planes, but are they any that are inspired by boats? Rolls Royce’s Nautical Wraith is one, but it may be a one-off. All we know about availability is – not for the UK. Possibly US? It has a dashboard made of Tudor Oak. For those who don’t know, Tudor Oak is a dark green version of oak with a noticeable number of knots.

Before the Wraith came the Nautical Phantom which had an anchor design.

Rolls Royce is being a bit cagey on the price of the Wraith too. It has a blue shade (known as Arabian blue) with a white roof. Definite a nod to a millionaire’s yachts.

Rolls Royce is one of the few bespoke car manufacturers to actually try their hand at boats – Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini have also produced examples too.

Yacht Rock

A now forgotten type of car was known as Yacht Rock. It was used in the 1970s and early 1980s and was named after certain jazzy songs on the West Coast, known as the West Coast Sound.

Acts Associated with Yacht Rock:

Yacht rock is a broad music style and aesthetic commonly associated with soft rock, one of the most commercially successful genres from the mid-1970s to early 1980s. 

Wikipedia

Examples of such cars are Lincoln Continental and Chevrolet Caprice. It’s not immediately clear the connection with nautical matters apart from the yachts in the background of their marketing.

The cars drew inspiration from the music, which drew inspiration from the yachts. There’s a certain feel to smooth music that suggests a nautical environment, which somehow made some people think of fast cars. The cars were mainly American, although there were some Japanese and British pretenders which also wanted to embody this type of music.

The Jeep Wrangler??

The Jeep Wrangler is inspired by a light sailboat which is apparently the reason for its strong white color. The interior resembles a sailboat too with naval white leather (naval officers generally wear white) as well as a deck floor mat. It also comes with a white awning.

Moving from cars slightly linked to water to those immersed in the substance…

Many cars that get caught in floods do not have the correct insurance, though if you usually park in a place and it suddenly becomes flooded then it should be covered by insurance.

When they are sold they tend to be in a substandard state—all dried out, but does that mean they’re good as they were before?

To repair a flooded vehicle requires an experienced mechanic. To do it yourself will cause too many problems. Even when they are fixed there will be chances of electric defects and so on.

You need to look at the suspension joints, which can be rusted, and get the car cleaned to remove mold. The lights and the brakes may also need replacing.

But all this is useless if it is flooded with sea water. Despite what you remember from James Bond films it’s completely undrivable and should be scrapped.

If the fuse box was submerged it should be replaced as should the control modules. The control modules are the various electrical engineering of the vehicle. If you don’t replace them it will fail after a while, even if it works okay now.

They are probably best being scrapped in any case as the interior will stink!

The Future of Racing

There’s not much coverage of electric cars in racing, we tend to associate it with gas guzzlers, even if these types of racers are out there. It’s noteworthy that hybrid powertrains replaced diesel more or less from 2014 on, so EV’s could be the future. As long as the car is lightweight the power source is open to interpretation. Unsurprisingly the racing fraternity is always after the next best thing so electric may just be the start.

Many countries and cities are looking to ban combustion engines so eventually electric cars will be the standard for all races.

Potential Adaptations

Just because the car is electric doesn’t mean needs look that different from a traditional racing car, which might surprise some early EV designers. One thing that is true of EV’s is that the lack of noise creeps out most people, so racing will need to find a way to add some noise or risk driving away their fans. Now the noise of traditional racing is excessive, potentially giving ear damage to pit crews, so maybe they don’t need to be as loud as they are now, but some accommodation must be made.

EV’s require charging a battery, presumably a race car would require more powerful chargers than domestic EV cars.

What Likely Won’t Change

Future cars will likely still be made of carbon fiber and they have to fit legal standards. Aerodynamics is important but each race also has a set of rules which you have to comply with. Le Mans for instance has more leeway than the more conventional races, such as Formula One.

Social media presence will remain a big component for teams. Pictures are currently uploaded to places like Facebook as well as “access all areas” content. (It’s not literally access to all areas by the way there will always be secrets withheld.)

Future Types of Races

Many sports have gone entirely virtual. The rise of Esports has created leagues in every traditional sport from bowling to basketball, as well as gladiatorial first person shooters. Racing is no exception and seems a natural fit since the racing industry pours millions into virtual simulators to enhance their ability to win IRL races.

Also many racing events are exceedingly short, about five minutes and so people tend to look at the esports or displays of rally cars at the track.

Esport play areas have proved popular in recent years, but you can also use computers to look at aerodynamics and performance as well as the physics of engines.

Future Broadcast

You could broadcast events on free to air channels which rely on advertising, a brilliant way to show the race to as many people as possible. Or we could see an uptake in Pay Per View events, or online only events coming out of Covid Lockdowns—however the latter seems extremely unlikely.

Future of Drivers?

Racing using automatic cars is quite a new phenomenon, the first Roborace, as it was called, was in 2015. Instead of relying on a driver to win, the strategy depends on programming the reflexes to be as strong as possible. Robodrivers all for analysing and re-analysing the statistics to see what works. Despite the name roborace its intention is to mix the skills of virtual and physical technology together.

The teams too are unfamiliar, namely the sponsors Arrival, Acronis, Michelin, Nvidia and Trimble. The robocars are built around a teardrop shape running on four electric motors using optics and radar in order to reach the speed of about 190mph.

The Near Future of Racing

For the new season of conventional racing which is due to start in 2022 they are looking at virtual design, experimenting with altering environmental changes such as weather in the simulated world, even looking at stress testing and which tires are the best.

The industry may be moving from America and towards Asia. There’s always a huge amount of competition out there; things will always evolve.

The First Time Driver’s Problems

A first-time driver should look to own a car that is both inexpensive and easy to maneuver. Although no safe car is truly inexpensive, when you are young it’s still important to get something reasonable.

When to Start Driving

Is 18 the best age to start driving? The most common answer is that it depends on how responsible you are. Not on is operating the vehicle a big responsibility but so is where and when you choose to drive. There’s also the matter of affording it. Gas prices are high, but for your drivers the insurance is the big expense.

Many people don’t have much choice, they land a job and need the transportation. Others might need to drop a younger sibling off at school for a parent that works odd hours.

Again, the insurance is the big cost for young drivers, so maybe you should only start driving when you can afford to do so?

On the Topic of Insurance

It’s always a good idea to have one of your parent’s names on the insurance even if they don’t drive it just to keep the premiums down. Many states require all licenced drivers who live in the same home to be insured on all the vehicles registered to that address. It must be nice to be in an industry where you get to assume things about your client’s behaviour and charge accordingly.

Black Box Insurance

You see insurance companies advertise how you can get a great rate by letting them plug a device into your car that monitors your driving. You may be inclined to try it out, but is “black box” insurance worth it? It depends on how good a driver you are and what time you drive. If you are a bad driver, it can give you feedback on your driving but also penalize you with high premiums. It will give your insurance company information on whether you drive late at night and will penalize you for it. Most students have work nights after school so it doesn’t work out as a good idea.

There are problems too if you exceed your stated mileage for a year this will also mean your premiums increase. Other information gathered by the “black box” is how well or how badly you accelerate, your braking skills and the errors you perform while attempting to park. Skills a young driver may be yet to acquire. It also knows when you speed so to sum up it’s not a good idea for most young drivers.

Taking your Car to College

When you take a car to college it’s so much easier to run errands like filling up the fridge but then again you are spending a sizable amount on gas and maintaining the vehicle. There’s the dilemma over where you park it too. If you are parking on campus, there will almost certainly be a charge.

SmartCar

Finally, onto Types of Cars.

Smart ForFour has the advantage of a turbocharged engine located in the trunk. Another plus point is its turning ability, helpful if attempting this maneuver has ever caused you to stall.

The Mini Hatchback may not be ideal for the first-time driver’s budget unless you are a late starter or have rich parents. Still there are a huge number of customizing options – just more a second or third car really.

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 has rather a vintage feel, though your fellow students may not like sitting in the back-it feels more like a family car in this respect. There’s a range of pastel hues to choose from, though a student might be interested in red.

When you buy the first car look into such items as emergency braking and how reliable it is. Do you have the option of low-rate finance? As with any car it’s always best to take it for a test drive before you commit, and get it examined by a car inspection service like Tire Kickers.

How Does Marriage Affect Car Driving?

One good thing about marriage is that it’s improves your ability to finance a car. Well maybe that’s not a good reason to get married, but a happy biproduct none the less. The co-borrower has to be a spouse, in order to take joint responsibility for the car they own. But is owning one car together good for your marriage? Does it create togetherness or strife?

More and more, a wife is responsible for her own car, but it all depends on how much she earns. Gone are the days of a “little woman” who can wait to go to the supermarket until the bread winner comes home from work. Women have their own incomes and buy their own cars, which is a reality that car makers are well aware of. They market to women, but single and married.

The x-factor is that married women often arrive at major purchase decisions as part of a team, so car makers must market at the couple in many cases. Though you are allowed to buy a car for your spouse, and you needn’t involve your spouse at all.

Cars that Market to Married Couples:

Married men may look to something like the Alfa Romeo which is marketed both for a couple and a young family. It has a choice of twin turbo or 2 liter, but both have a large amount of trunk space and legroom. So is the Porsche Panamera, though it may be thought of as a pre-family car.

Passat Arteon

The married woman may look towards a VW Passat Arteon in a strong yellow. A popular family car is the SUV such as Jaguar’s new F-Pace. It is seen as aggressive but apparently wife friendly, according to reports on the vehicle.

F-Pace by Jag

This all seems like strange old-fashioned marketing, but it’s out there. And possibly men still buy more cars for their wives than wives buy cars for their husbands. (It’s not clear where this leaves gay couples, maybe there’s a bit of cross over but there’s not currently stats on what cars market specifically gay couples.)

Car makers do market specifically to newly married couples differently than longer married couples. The latter opting towards a family car.

Different Driving Habits and Reputations:

On the topic of being old-fashioned, they are still stereotyping of woman being bad drivers and this unfortunately does seem to hold water as far as married women are concerned. Aviva, a car insurance company found that 53% of women feel nervous and even stressed when driving in front of their husband which in turn affects their driving.

Only 41% of men said their driving suffered with their wives in the car, though it could be that men may be more used to driving in front of their spouse.

More information may be gained (possibly misinformation?) from a poll in 2018 from Budget Insurance. Women were concerned more about aggressive driving from their spouse, which 27% decided was bad enough to be known as “road rage” and men felt they had the opposite predicament: their wives were too cautious.

The poll also stated that 20% of those surveyed felt their partner was dangerous behind the wheel, though more – 25% – had refused a trip with their partner due to fears over their safety. Many did state they could talk to their partner about their misdeeds.

There was other interesting things to learn from this poll: women worried about anger as well as speed, but with men it was total lack of ability, “doing silly things like hesitating at junctions”… Around 75% of men said they were the better driver, less than half of women (43%) said they were the better driver which means a sizable minority of couples consists of two people who think they are both the better driver and their partner can’t drive. Sounds like potential for fireworks.

So, what can we learn? It seems the secret to successful marriage is each partner having their own vehicle, and married couples know this because they buy more cars It best if they should stay away from each other’s vehicle as much as humanly possible. That’s if they wish to stay in marital bliss.

Car Explosions – Fact & Fiction

Op-Ed from Editors (Wimsett & Bunch)

I think my mom watched too many episodes of chips in the 80’s. She’s pretty sure that if you hit a curb at 25 MPH the car will flip into the air, roll three times and land on its top, only to explode instantly. Try as I might, nothing seems to change her beliefs around cars and explosions. (The following post contains references to some of the ways in which journalists have reported car explosions, which have mislead the public into believing they’re driving about in a bomb.)

The Truth

When a car explodes, something is definitely wrong. It’s reassuring that a car can’t simply blow up, something needs to happen first.

Cars do catch fire, in fact, they’re quite flammable and they burn quickly. But an explosion tends to be a slow process which always starts with a fire. Even when the flames hit the gas tank it doesn’t always explode. As long as you attempt to remove yourself from the car as quickly as possible before calling 911 you should be fine.

But they can explode, right?

Okay, so cars are rarely explosive, but it does happen, only not like it happens in movies. A car hit by bullets for instance wouldn’t necessarily explode.

When the battery blows up it looks like the car explodes. An oil leak can cause fires, as can faulty wiring in items like car stereos. It’s important that a mechanic deals with all of these as well as making sure any seals are secure. Shoddy work is more likely to lead to a fire.

The problem is that journalists aren’t explosive experts or mechanics, they don’t always come up with the real reason a car explodes.

This explains reports in the media of items like car fresheners causing explosions, when in fact only the front window was blown out (which may have had more to do with the heat). Whatever the real cause a blown-out window is not an “explosion.”

Can a car explode by hitting a lamp post? Reports seem to suggest so, but it may well have had more to do with the gas leak.

A car may also explode if it should crash through a house and hit the natural gas line. Sometimes explosions are a complete mystery, or at least according to the reporter.

Obviously, cars can be exploded.

Some cars are the victims of controlled explosions if they are in the wrong place or believed to have something explosive in it.

It is possible to trigger an explosion by attempting to unlock a door by laser if there is an acetylene tank in the car. Fortunately, not many people carry acetylene tanks in their car.

So, what does it take for a car to explode on it’s own?

A build-up of pressure inside a gas cylinder leads to a gas explosion. It may shatter nearby windows.

Sometimes the car explodes from the gas in gas stations. But the flames around petrol do not always lead to an explosion. The fumes from gas are more explosive than the liquid gas, however the pressure needs to reach a certain point.

It’s more dangerous when an electric car catches fire. So, it’s especially important to keep away from these types of fires.

On screen Explosions

It should come as no surprise that when a car explodes on-screen things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes it’s only a plastic shell with nothing inside it. Or it may be swapped for a much older model just before the explosion.

Alternatively, a car could look pristine outside but suffer from some kind of damage inside (water damage, no seating and so on).

There are some explosions which aren’t explosions at all – it’s pure CGI (computer generated imagery), allowing the car to look as photogenic as possible despite exploding into bits.

This goes to show that what films well in the movies isn’t really like real life, but at least in this instance it should put our minds at ease.

Car charms

Op-Ed by Paul Wimsett

The interior the came with your car is just a place to start—you may want to customize it a bit, you know add your own touches. For many people this means more bohemian.

Perhaps a pair of dice or a pine tree hanging up from your rear-view window but no, that’s not enough. And some of you drivers go a whole lot further.

An example of charms are those made of silver and crystal. A silver charm has the advantage of making your interior look more expensive, but a crystal charm (or glass) may be too distracting. A simple cross is less ostentatious, but just try things out and see what works for you.

Some charms display wealth too much and do you really need diamond charms hanging from your car especially when you’re not there. You want to attract attention, thieves will certainly notice.

Common Cultural Charms:

There are several cultural charms out there, for instance if you’re Turkish charms to ward off the Evil Eye. What exactly is the Evil Eye? It goes back to Greek myth (Greece being a country next to Turkey) about the 6th century. It gives a glare to someone who is unaware they are being looked at, though what an Evil Eye can do to an individual is less clear. Wearing a charm or having one in your car is one way of avoiding it.

Seasonal Charms:

Some people decorate for their favorite seasons. You could hang Christmas decorations in there to give a seasonal feel, no doubt the odd individual chooses to keep the decorations up all year, despite most saying that this a bad luck symbol, each to his or her own.

Lucky Charms:

You may not see it as a charm, but some people hang a symbol of their baseball team, basketball ball team, or American football team up there. There are probably no end of symbols which people believe bring them luck, or as said before, make their cars more individualistic.

Should you wish to make your own charms you could do worse than check out craft websites, which repurpose feathers and old stones and crystals in its taste. One of the ideas located was a crocheted steering wheel cover, but that may be too individualistic for most.

Other Ideas:

Other ideas suggested are woolly car hangers made from macramé. Dreamcatchers, also known as the spider web charms, tend to be associated with Native American cultures; it is willow hoop hung with feathers and beads. Traditionally they were hung above cradles, but they can be positioned in cars too, usually in the back window.

If you pass your driving test there are special charms out there for your keyring. Or you can obtain a St Christopher figure, which is the patron saint of travelers. As with the charms in the car it may be more about making your keyring more personal to you than giving you any actual luck, but then again, who knows?

What Is The Car Etiquette?

People aren’t always sure of the etiquette in cars and sometimes they test the driver’s patience, or the driver tests the passengers’ patience. Here are some rules suggested from sites around the internet…

Generally Good Advice

  • You shouldn’t smoke or eat in another person’s car. (If you are the driver you shouldn’t eat or drink while you are driving.)
  • Do not keep giving the driver instruction from the back seat.
  • If you borrow someone else’s car make sure it is fully insured and then top off with gas before returning.
  • You should pay attention even when you are not in motion, the lights may change suddenly or the traffic in front may alter quickly.
  • It’s not a good idea to bang doors especially the trunk doors shut, just close them firmly. Speaking of doors, do not look into other people’s door compartments, it’s just nosy. Try to stay out of their glove compartment too.
  • Do not use the climate controls without the driver’s permission. Many of them don’t like you touching the radio or music system either.
  • You are allowed to move the seat but it’s best to move it back when you’ve finished the journey.
  • Another source of complaint for drivers is touching the windows or leaving trash lying around so make sure you clear up after yourself.

It’s sounding as if most drivers are temperamental, but drivers are ultimately responsible for what happens in a car and knowing expectations ahead of time will help keep the peace.

Who Gets Shotgun?

Let the lady or the most senior member of the party sit in the front seat. Other people suggest that the guest should have the first choice. After that you should offer them the seatbelt. Most people do try to open the door for a lady and close it for them.

Because of the amount of legroom, it is best for a pregnant woman to sit on the back seat, though other etiquette experts suggest a couple always have to sit together. This may be interpreted as saying that a couple always want to sit together, but this is not always the case. Ultimately it is up to the driver to decide.

Children shouldn’t be allowed to sit on the front seat until they are 13 years old. 8–10-year-olds need a booster seats though it is dependent on their size.

If you are in an Uber it is best to travel in the back as it helps you to exit quicker, you can use either door. It’s possible to sit in the front seat in Ubers, but don’t feel obliged to do so. Lyft often invite passengers to sit up front as a way of differentiating themselves from Uber, but the practicality of sitting in back often trumps that.

Rideshare Etiquette

Also, on the subject of Uber it’s hard to specify a female driver (presumably you can ask for one) for Uber and Lyft cars. With Safr you can.

Many people don’t know you can request more than one stop with Lyft or Uber by pressing the + sign after typing in the first destination. Remember though like a taxi waiting time will be added to the price of your journey.

A Couple Final Thoughts

If you are on the back seat with pets you should make sure they do not disturb the driver. There’s some logic here, no one wants the driver to lose control.

You should respect that sometimes the driver may need to concentrate at certain points in the journey and conversation needs to be kept to a minimum.

Most of this stuff is common sense, but maybe it’s worth reiterating as people forget. We are only human so give each other some grace.

TTC Electric buses

As with all Electric Vehicles Manufactured today, there are a number of electric bus innovations out there and they still come with pluses and minuses.

TTC Electric Bus

There is a market for these electric buses. The Toronto Transit Commission is participating in a new pilot program aimed at reducing carbon emissions by using electric buses for public transit, and the city of Gothenburg ordered 145 electric buses from Volvo.

The TTC is still trying to weigh the cost of the new busses verses the cost of fuel and despite the huge purchase Gothenburg still has 65% of their fleet traditional diesel buses.

The idea of Zero City sounds appealing but there is a long way to go. Okay zero emissions is appealing but zero noise may be a worry if you are a pedestrian. As referenced in the video below, drivers have to honk to notify pedestrians of the bus’s approach.

Pros:

A battery electric bus provides better acceleration than a diesel and can climb hills better than diesel vehicles, they also have less maintenance costs. Diesel vehicles are a contributor to air pollution.

Cons:

They can only run for 100 miles generally before they need for recharging 4-5 hours. Plus the whole, silently running over pedestrians thing.

According to Reuters the running costs appear to be better than diesel, but as mentioned above only urban buses can run on electric power.

Longer Range E-Buses

An example of a bus which is more effective than the regular electric bus is the Proterra, a 40 foot bus which can drive up to 329 miles on full charge. They have been producing electric buses for more than 10 years and their sales copy says that it is designed “for the rough terrain of the US.”

Electric buses have a surprisingly long history; the first electric bus was operating in 1807 between Victoria and Liverpool Street stations, which is a 22 mile journey. So, running out of battery wasn’t that much of a problem there.

Green Washing?

There seems to be various reports of a single bus to a single city, for example Gulfport, surely a token gesture. Electric buses shouldn’t be underestimated but why a single bus if they cost the same amount to run? One theory is that not all routes are compatible with the low range on an E-Bus.

A more eco-friendly idea is to make all school buses electric. It’s a positive change, but then why concentrate on school buses? Once again, it comes down to range limits. School busses generally have shorter routes.

CA E-School Bus

The state of California is due to get half its electricity from “renewable resources” so it seems logical that they should have electric buses too. The increase in heavy duty E-Vs (electric buses and trucks) means more industry jobs in assembly, which given the need for more employment is surely a vital necessity? However, many argue that the new jobs are really just traditional bus makers moving to make E-Busses and don’t represent an expansion of employment.

As well as looking at the fuel, the Columbia company (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_Transportation) reduced the height of the step, expanded the door space and made the entry ramp as flat as they could. They specialise in students commuting through the campuses of various US cities. This is a clever look outside the box at what can be done when the large diesel motor goes away.

Other Bus Controversies:

Tesla Cobalt Mine

It’s no use talking about the type of fuel a bus uses if you don’t mention a key controversy around buses—ridership. Empty buses running around hoping someone gets on represent waste no matter what powers them.

The city of Luxembourg has created another innovation: It is one of the first cities it’s size to become fare-free. It is not known as yet if it is a lone wolf or other cities will join it. This should increase ridership, and any idea that can counter pollution is probably a good idea, but where exactly does the financing come from? It looks like we shall have to wait and see.

Are EV’s Truly Environmentally Sound?

One of the more stylish e-buses is arguably the eCitaro G which runs on solid state batteries. Although they currently contain cobalt there are plans to phase this out, again for the sake of the environment.

Ecitaro G Bus

The process of extracting the materials to make batteries and the lack of a good way to recycle or dispose of worn-out batteries poses a serious threat to the soundness of any EV including E-Buses. At least E-Buses don’t require a massive infrastructure build to put powering stations everywhere there is fuel stations currently.

Additionally, renewable energy is an odd term. Technically dams run on water that’s renewable in places it rains, yet environmentalists aren’t happy about dams. Windmills kill birds, create noise pollution, cost more to produce electricity, require acres of land compared to other forms of generation and tend to wear out before they produce the amount of energy it took to make them.

However, environmentalist scientist’s express faith that these problems will one day have an answer. Faith…doesn’t sound like science. Only time (and billions of tax dollars) will tell the fate of E-Buses.

Passenger and Commuter Cars

Op-Ed By P. Wimsett

Does it matter if you commute in a passenger car or drive your family in a commuter car? Probably not, but we still have these distinctions.

Do commuter cars just exist for lonely single people who desire an extra mile per gallon in exchange for not being reminded that you don’t have a family to fill the rest of your vehicle. What happens if you neither commute nor have a family?

To complicate matters…

…All cars may have the description “passenger cars,” since all commercially produced cars these days can carry passengers. By that token, all cars are commuter cars since they are transportation after all. An alternative to the commuter car and the passenger car is the pleasure car, one used purely for weekends but it’s yet to catch on with the general public.

There are other ways to define cars – a minicompact, a compact and midsize, though a midsize vehicle can also describe pickups and vans.

The truth is it’s hard to market anything that’s all things to all people so it’s practical to put a primary use forward when describing your car to the marketplace—even if consumers don’t always use a certain car for that purpose.

Then the question is, is there a design difference between Commuter and Passenger Cars? Yes! But not a huge one. Passenger cars make a priority of seating capacity, with legroom, smoothness of ride and gas milage a bit behind in the design priority list.

So, what is a Good Commuter Car?

Dacia Duster

Now to commuter cars, you need a way of dealing with excess amount of traffic such as the infotainment system. The greater the size the greater fuel bills. Commuter cars tend to be vehicles such as a subcompact or coupe. There’s no reason to have a big car if you only use it to commute.

SEAT Terraco

Dacia Duster and Toyota Corolla are two examples of regular commuter cars. Electrical alternatives include the SEAT Terraco and the Audi 35 TFSH. If you have an especially long commute you need to look at air conditioning and possibly heated seats for your own sanity and maybe health. Look for a car noted for comfort, cruise control, wifi and hotspots, look at the Vauxhall Insignia or the Ford Focus which has eight engines and a strong EcoBlue color.

The Toyota Hybrid may not have the best hood, because it is a crossover, not a regular SUV.

Another Toyota, the Camry makes the most of not being a hybrid in terms of its four cylinders.

Can you do Both?

Sure, the Vauxhall Passat for example, has features you don’t automatically expect – those being the spacious seat area and the trunk. It’s a good all-rounder rather than purely a commuter car? Who said sorting out these cars was easy?

VW Jetta

The VW Jetta is a small sedan which offers a smooth ride with its supportive and stylish seats. Its selling point is that some people don’t like a hatchback. (The VW Golf has cornered the VW hatchback niche). According to Volkwagen’s own figures it has sold about 14 million units of this model since it was introduced in 1980.

The passenger and the commuter car owner want different things from their car. True there are more convenient ways of dividing the drivers; no one can convincingly say there are two types of driver.

In the end, it’s nice to have a primary function a car was designed around as a handy starting point when you start searching for a car.

Why The Car Industry Is So Vital

OP-ED By P. Wimsett

The building of cars is the number one industry in the US and other countries. This is why in a pandemic economy it has been protected by the government.

There’s more to it than that though. You need to able to travel to school or work. Then you have business conferences, expos and similar. Added to this, various aspects of the entertainment, travel & leisure industry/hotels, theaters and sports arenas…the list goes on and on. It’s all about people being at the right place when you need to be there. So, there is a definitely an argument to be made that transportation impacts ever other industry on some level.

But is domestic manufacture vital as an industry?

The History of American Car Making

The mass production of cars was famously begun by Henry Ford. He also created large plants or super factories as well as moving assembly line. This was the only way a Model T could be created every 24 seconds.

The superfactory infrastructure was also vital in getting the time down, having a glass factory and a steel mill as well as a number of other plants in the general vicinity. If you have to rely on deliveries the process breaks down.

There is an argument for assembling cars one at a time in a shed using parts (glass frames, radiators etc) but it would be very unlikely to make a profit. Some luxury sports cars are made this way. This business model relies on having a car ordered in advance of making it and these cars are by definition, luxury (not needed) meaning if they aren’t made the buyer can simply get a different car elsewhere.

If we’re only looking at vital cars, then we’re looking at affordable cars or vehicles built to a vital purpose like hauling goods to market. Affordable cars need to be mass produced not made to order. A modern car factory needs to work at 80% capacity just to break even. You also have the difficulty of maintaining working conditions in a small environment. So, a superfactory is better.

Well, this might be an exaggeration as it would be hard to visualize the big-name cars being “clinker-built.” It wouldn’t be safe, it wouldn’t be quick and it wouldn’t be economical. So, it could be said that the superfactory system is the only way.

As well as the factories you also need showrooms and forecourts (auto lots) as well as the annual motor-shows for the system to work. With motor-shows being cancelled (most notably the one in Detroit but there usually hundreds around the world) and car lot sales so restricted that sales in general are breaking down.

Detroit

To examine how vital the industry is, it is probably worthwhile to focus on the city of Detroit. What sort of city would it be without the Big Three-General Motors, Ford and Chrysler? And what would the US economy be without these three names? There are so many questions and because we are still living through it, so few answers as yet.

Although the Big Three are no longer the biggest names in car processing they are still big enough to the US economy to be protected.

So, this is where we are, in a non-industrialized state of limbo. For our own good this state of affairs cannot continue for that much longer. There is the health risk, true, but poverty in a country causes mental complications. How long can the US economy survive on handouts from the government, which is really barrowing against the future? No one knows, but it appears we’re going to find out.