26 Aug 2013

In an ideal world - What do you want to see from car manufacturers?

The car industry exists as a commercial enterprise.  It builds cars to make money.  The market determines what cars are made and manufacturers react accordingly to supply the market with that demand.

Different markets demand different cars, but sometimes other markets see those cars and want a piece of the action.  Also, its often not worth making a specific car for a specific market, as GM and Ford have found in Australia, unless that market is as large as India or China.

Add to that that development times for new cars are in the order of 3 to 5 years - and cost $billions.  Add a pinch of conservatism and the desire for manufacturers to offer the world a corporate identity.  Oh, and don't forget legislation in the form of environmental and crash/safety regulations and the fact that some countries have insane tax schemes that restrict certain models - see the US' Chicken Tax.

So we consumers get what the market demands, and this is often at odds with what car enthusiasts want.

We attach emotions to commercial product and find ourselves wanting manufacturers to make different cars from what they actually produce.

We all have different wants and desires and find ourselves frustrated that the market doesn't produce them - or that the market does produce what we don't want them to - and we moan endlessly about it on social media and forums.  I did just that recently with a couple of like minded petrol heads about the current spate of SUVs from a certain Bavarian manufacturer.

But that manufacturer only produces those cars because the market demands it - and no matter what we say they will continue to do so.

Here's my 'in a ideal world' list.  What's yours?

In an ideal world Porsche would only sell sports cars.

In an ideal world German car companies would be less conservative in their design and would feel more free to flex their design flair.

In an ideal world Chris Bangle would have dropped out of university and become something less destructive, like a motoring journalist.

In an ideal world Lamborghini and Ferrari would make a £30k sports car for the masses.

In an ideal world Porsche would green light the baby Boxster project and bring it to market later this year.

In an ideal world front wheel drive would be banned on any saloon or estate car.

In an ideal world diesel would only be used in commercial vehicles.

In an ideal world Subaru would still be in the WRC with a version of the BR-Z, and the rules would have been changed to allow it and make it competitive.

In an ideal world the entire motoring industry would have seen the success of the Toyota GT86 and brought out a lightweight, front engined, rear wheel drive, sports coupe.

In an ideal world only Land Rover, Toyota, and Jeep would be allowed to make SUVs.

In an ideal world modern cars would weigh no more than their 1970s counterparts, but with the modern safety levels.

In an ideal world the Honda Jazz would only come with a V8.

In an ideal world all front wheel drive cars would come with a mechanical limited slip differential as standard.

In an ideal world Porsche would make a modern version of the 924/944/968.

That's my list.  Please tell me yours

Article by Matt Hubbard