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Are We Losing Our Love for Cars? Study Raises Questions | Posts: 10,059
edited December 2014 in General

imageAre We Losing Our Love for Cars? Study Raises Questions |

America's reliance on the automobile may be in a downward spiral, according to a new study from University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Read the full story here


  • The fact that the Toyota Camry is the number 1 car in America proves we have long lost our love for driving/cars.
  • I partially agree with thepuff. Enthusiast cars have never really been the top sellers in the US, and those who are buying Camrys aren't the type of people that ever had a passion for cars in the first place, but it's still not something for us to be proud of.
    Also there are people living in the 30 largest cities in the country who rely on taxis, public transportation, and walking instead of driving? You don't say. I love cars & driving but if I was living in a metropolitan area I probably wouldn't own a car either. I wouldn't be able to stand all the traffic or always fighting to find a parking space.
    In reference to people owning less cars, I'd say that's because, as a whole, cars are getting better. There are fewer compromises. Your weekend toy can be your daily driver or vice versa. Personally I had a C5 Z06 that was my daily driver for 2 years.
    Lastly, it's not a surprise that people are driving fewer miles. With gas prices as high as they were no one wanted to spend the money for fuel for frivolous trips. Road trips and sunday drives are, sadly, a thing of the past. And with those other reports saying that teenagers have no desire to get their licenses, this isn't likely to change any time soon.

    end rant.
  • jeffinohjeffinoh Posts: 156
    I wonder if the study looked at the ratio of cost to income. I have the sense that a car is a larger investment than it has been in the past, but I haven't seen the numbers. When I look at new cars, I tend to think of them as "not for me," and wonder if this is increasingly a common attitude.
  • Good point jeffinoh...just like the housing market, buying a car is a much higher investment today (dollar for dollar) than it was a decade ago. Credit is harder to come by for a lot of people and the cost of a new car seems exuberant...leasing tends to be the current and future trend for most.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    "Holding" costs are high too. At least gas has gone way down but insurance hasn't and even the cost of a simple oil change can easily hit $50 to $100. Heaven forbid your ECU bites the dust out of warranty.
  • thepuff said:

    The fact that the Toyota Camry is the number 1 car in America proves we have long lost our love for driving/cars.

    Right, because the Cutlass Supremes of the 80's were such sports cars..
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 11,276
    edited December 2014
    It was the Cutlass Supreme of the '76 and '77 model years, primarily, that were America's best-sellers, not te '80's. They weren't sports cars, but geez they had a lot more personality than a Camry IMHO. For many years, the Impala was America's best-selling car...from '59 to '75, and then the Impala/Caprice was again the best-seller in '78 and later. In '83, on the seventh year of the basic body and chassis, the Caprice Classic was on Car and Driver's "Ten Best Cars" list. Just sayin'.
  • reminderreminder Posts: 383
    Here's something else that comes to mind. How many people/families take road trips to far away places? Driving to the relatives for the holidays has been replaced by air travel. Video & telecommunications brings people together artificially. Less of a need to jump in a car and meet face-to-face.
    Sad, but true.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I don't think we've lost our love for "cars" per se, and especially not the older ones, but we have lost our love for driving----and with good reason.

    There is a very definite trend going on in America---young people are migrating to large metropolises en masse---and most cities like to punish car owners whenever possible.

    So I'd say it's more about whether we "need" a car or not---not so much about "wanting" one. (unless you're 16 and dying to get away from your parents surveillance tower). :)

  • As Yogi Berra might say: No one is driving cars any more... There is too much traffic
  • patrickwpatrickw Chicago, IL and Evergreen, COPosts: 32
    @davechapin: An observation worthy of The Yogi :-)

    One wonders how much influence on this trend is due to electronic 'nannies, disappearing manual trannies, and those who would rather instagram than drive. When there is no challenge, I find myself quickly bored.
  • cbrandicbrandi Posts: 21
    In Europe people buy small frugal but also fun to drive cars. Americans go for large size, expecting living room type comfort and isolation from driving. Only in a few places such as the NE and West Coast does car culture still exist. Times they are changing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Some people have no choice. They HAVE to drive in traffic. But they don't have to like it.

    it sort of makes sense that adverse driving conditions would turn cars into game rooms rather than driving machines.
  • I love driving and I love cars. I also love living in New York City (my apartment is in Queens). When I moved here after college over 2 years ago, I kept my Jeep for the first year and a half. I loved having the option and freedom of leaving the city when I wanted or easily driving out to my families home on Long Island instead of taking the LIRR. With that said, the subway station is on my corner, I work in manhattan, I have a monthly unlimited metro card ($112/month) which I use several times throughout the day. My Jeep sat on the street most of that year. When it wasn't sitting, it was constantly being moved for street cleaning or accumulating parking tickets. During last years awful winter it basically sat frozen under a sheet of ice and snow for about a month. I was over it. My brother got his license that spring. My jeep is now in his hands. I now have a zip car account. Cities hate cars. I love the city and I love cars. I guess I'm the minority.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    it would be tough living with a Jeep in Queens NY. The perfect Manhattan car would be an AWD Mini Cooper with push bumpers.
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