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Author Topic: Is this the beginning of the end for the car?
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted July 09, 2011 23:44      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(apologies to Cal for plagiarising his thread title, couldn't resist)

It seems car use in Australia (and many other developed countries) peaked 7 years ago, by 2009 it had decreased by 11%.

Meanwhile, the public transport system here in Melbourne is struggling to cope with record passenger numbers, and 'bike friendly' cafes are springing up along popular bike paths into the city.

Is this the beginning of the end of our love affair with the private car?

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Posts: 10448 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted July 10, 2011 01:14      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
perhaps in some places, but there are a billion chinese that will soon be middle class and all wanting a car as a status symbol, amd don't get me started on the americans.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted July 10, 2011 02:29      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It depends.

In metropolitan areas, it is a very likely scenario. I would be less inclined to think so in more rural parts of any country.

But....

I do think that the type of cars will begin to change. I think we will begin to see the decline (not disappearance) of large heavy vehicles. Or at the very least in places like the states, people that classically only used large trucks/SUVs/V8s will begin to mix large vehicles with small efficient vehicles.

For example, have a pretty good amount of caravaners out here in the states, so I doubt we will start seeing those people replace their F350's with Fiat 500's. Though I am lusting after an Abarth 500...

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted July 10, 2011 06:03      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree w/Shroom, w.r.t. metro vs rural/suburban areas.

In my neck of the woods, a car is pretty much a necessity. Mass transit is almost nonexistent, or at least so infrequent as to be useless (the bus doesn't stop in town on Sunday). Also, the distances and roads around here are not extremely bike friendly - most cyclists around these parts are doing it for recreation, not utility.

However, when it comes to car vs. truck, that's a different story. (Car vs. SUV, well...that's still a bit of a losing battle.) Up the North, the only people with trucks are those who actually *need* them. We've got a schmuck from the South who drives his sorry sack to work in a Tundra or equally big beast for no practical purpose. Shortly after arriving here, he made some silly comment "Why don't y'all drive trucks around here?" Why would we? Gas isn't terribly cheap around here, and unless you need to schlep stuff around, the only point is for 'status' and well, probably a bit of fun. (I must admit that I borrowed a real beater of a truck for some legitimate work stuff a few years ago, and it was kind of fun...but not enough to trade away my wonderful Corolla.)

Like Shroom, I'm kind of interested in the new Fiat's, but alas, Big Auto might not be nearly as clever. This utterly galled me last week:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-05/gm-s-widening-truck-inventories-risk-return-to-bad-habits-of-2008-cars.html

I'd like to say "I can't believe GM is that stupid," but unfortunately...I can.

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