Peak Car?

Discussion in 'Auto News' started by Eunos_Cosmo, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    5,660
    Location:
    Iran
    I've seen a lot of discussion on the internet (including this board) about whether or not cars as we know them are starting to trend out or at least down. This article is an interesting one. The fact that prime borrowers are electing to choose pre-owned in unprecedented numbers should be a pretty big alarm bell to auto makers, I would think. I myself have been holding off on buying a new car because of a general unease about the economy over the next few years, so I do wonder if that sentiment is widespread and also a component of the slowdown. Then of course there is the problem of cars getting really expensive as automakers try desperately (I assume) to pad their margins.

    Thoughts? Are you planning to purchase a new car any time soon?
     
  2. Tornado

    Tornado

    Messages:
    37,628
    Absolutely. The fear that the market is going to have an immediate and sudden contraction is partially why automakers have been culling their lineups so much in order to chase wider margins instead; as well as the plant closures.
     
  3. kikie

    kikie Premium

    Messages:
    18,565
    Eunos_Cosmo likes this.
  4. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

    Messages:
    5,660
    Location:
    Iran
    I see Honda's Urban car being one viable path forward for cars, at least in (appropriately) Urban contexts. But I don't mean via ownership. The Urban could function as basically the car equivalent to a bird scooter. Small, functional, ubiquitous. I don't think the car, as currently designed, is suitably durable, but I think the concept of it is nigh-on perfect for Getaround-type carsharing. I wonder if US cities will ever begin experimenting with legalizing lower-tier cars (yes, with 4 wheels) that do not meet traditional federalization criteria, with restrictions such as geo-fencing them to the city and limiting their speed to something like 40mph. With how nearly-impossible it is to own a car in places like NYC or SF (granted, that's a small portion of the car buying American public) I think getaround makes a lot of sense. With electric cars which could presumably be battery swapped or charged in-situ, I think could be a winner. Honda...please bring the Urban!
     
  5. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

    Messages:
    26,155
    My biggest concern right now is that small cars - compact, frugal, relatively light on resources cars, the kind of cars that actually we should probably be buying rather than large, expensive, two-ton electric SUVs - are going to disappear from the market in the mid-term because it's getting harder and harder for manufacturers to make money on them, due (ironically) to emissions regulations pushing up the cost of powertrains.

    In larger cars you can cover the cost, but margins are already tiny on smaller cars (thanks to quality and safety improvements over the last few decades) and consumption and emissions regs could eliminate profits entirely. Cars like that Honda "e" will probably be expensive enough to avoid it, and electric power is looking like one of the few solutions out, but I think we're going to witness a future where small cars are either EVs, or don't exist at all.
     
    Eunos_Cosmo likes this.