Saturday, 13 December 2008

Cars that nobody wants

A picture that worths a thousand words...or pounds.

Today, while I was reading the Daily Mail, I came across a rather awful picture, of a huge airfield completely clogged with unsold cars. Apparently, the credit crunch blow has been too much for the market,who can't shift enough cars. So they store them in an airfield in Oxfordshire.

There must be on that picture, THOUSANDS of cars, shown in an aerial photograph that pictures the entire runway, completely full of brand new vehicles. This must be something serious as it is one of the most intriguing automotive pictures I have ever seen in my life.

According to the article, the industry worldwide is facing a blant recession, and all the car makers are going through difficulties. Ford in the USA, has told that they are allright by now, but expect some troubles in the next few weeks. The senate, has already reject a bail out of the government to help the industry. But according to the the article, not every car maker is doing bad. Mini and Rolls Royce, are doing well, it says.

Apparently, car makers have lost some important time focusing on building gas guzzlers that no one wants. After a period of time that was "cool" to drive a pick up or an SUV, the running costs associated to a certain "bad image", targeted by the green activists and lobbies, made the idea of having a money pit lump parked in the drive, that vaccums all the money available for not much in return a very sad idea.

The average improvement of the car manufacturing process, took the reliability and durability of a car way beyond where it was ten years ago, where the cars started to rot as soon as they left the dealer. There isn´t much need of a new car now, as families keep hold of their still in good condition vehicles. This also helped to the recession.

The question of a bail out, as it happened in the banking, raises equally some questions: Are this companies going to produce some more society focused cars, or , as we see today, will persevere on making models for a niche, that no one wants, and expect the next time to get bailed out again? What will happen to these cars, built almost some months ago, lying around in an airfield, and getting older by the day? Scrap is the word that comes to mind.
Maybe it was a good ideia , if we start to produce cars that people need and seek for, and don´t just go producing because we must have a SUV in our range, because every maker has one...

No comments: