What kind of car do YOU drive?

If you’re anything like the folks in my immediate neighbourhood, I’ll tell you what you don’t drive.

Chances are your car looks nothing like this:

Pink car
Photo (cc) by llee_wu

I decided to go for a stroll earlier, on this lovely summer-like day (even though the calendar says October 22). For some reason I started noticing all the parked cars… and their brand names. Guess what? About nine out of every ten were Japanese or South Korean makes.

One after the other marched the Toyotas, Hondas, Mazdas, Mitsubishis, and a lone Suburu. Plenty of Hyundais and Kias. I believe I saw a Volkswagen or two.

There’s no polite way to say this: WTF?!?

I well remember when North America was synonymous with car design and manufacturing. See the U-S-A / In your Che-vro-let…, went the catchy ad jingle of yesteryear. Yes, I know that the modern car was invented in Germany by Karl Benz in 1886. But Wikipedia tells me that the first car for mass consumption was made in 1908 by Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company. And the U.S. never let up their position of motor-vehicle leadership for decades: Ford/Mercury, General Motors (Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Buick et al.) – and Chrysler (Dodge, Plymouth), at least until later years when  it was forced to merge with more profitable imports.

What happened? Is it just the cost of labour? Are foreign vehicles better? Finer design, more cost-effective, easier on gas?

Well, all I can tell you, is that my 30-minute walk was disconcerting – import after import after import. Not one Chevy in the bunch.

What does the future hold? I wonder.

11 thoughts on “What kind of car do YOU drive?

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