In defense of the private car


The automobile companies a long time ago that they are starting to diversify their business areas, not only will they live of the sale of vehicles and their maintenance. Other products have been emerging, such as the financing (traditional banks), car sharing, mobility services, etc

The key word is “mobility”; – to give services, not just products

Since then the future will impose great changes in the automotive industry today. The car has allowed humanity a mobility never before known, which has completely changed the modern societies. It has come to a point in which the vehicles have reached a high number, and the system can’t absorb many more. In fact, in Spain, the fleet of vehicles peaked a few years ago. Other countries are increasing theirs at an alarming rate.

The majority of the cars are at a standstill during the greater part of the day, and it is also frequent that they are moving below their maximum capacity. The average occupation does not reach two passengers (or 1.5). Having them on the property is a huge stream of costs that not all are willing to assume, and grow the followers of a style of life that does not pass by have own vehicle.

The technology expert Enrique Dans has published an interesting dissertation on the relationship of the automobile with the companies that live off of rent cars short-term (such as Car2Go), or provide mobility on time to their customers (such as Lyft and Uber). Considers that the current model is finished, but I dissent from your opinion.

Since then the car won’t live only manufacture cars, but you’ll spend a lot of time until it is greater the volume of business of the mobility itself, in the time of the manufacture and maintenance of vehicles. The automotive industry makes numbers in large volumes or at high prices, because the development costs are brutal today.

Manufacturers such as Saab were not able to survive due to lack of volume and revenue

If this industry suffered a bleeding mass of customers, it would start to implode. Only will survive the manufacturers more solid and have a business model that is profitable. Since then like to take positions in new areas of business, but when it comes to danger to the current paradigm, half an abyss. Need a cultural change wild, that will take more than a generation to achieve. Such a change would be in front one of the productive sectors more important in the developed world.


In Venice, of course you can live without car but not without vehicles for transport – Photo: Luftphilia (Flickr) CC BY

we Can imagine cities with streets, pedestrian scale, public transportation works very well, and the mobility needs covered by autonomous cars, taxi drivers or chauffeurs. That model would still not give response to the needs of a huge amount of the population, although you can expect to get very well to most urbanites who live near the centers of large cities. Enrique Dans gave the example of Venice, a city that survives without cars. What if the we empty of tourists? The reasoning, as a minimum, will falter.

The cars have been allowed to relieve the population of the major urban centres, diverting population to cities bedroom as peripheral, at the cost of increased travel times. Having a car on property to use it bit is a nonsense, but do so usually have justifications for profitability, and not just the economic one. I am referring to a payoff in terms of comfort and availability.

A car of their own has a total availability, except that it may have become. You can use at any time without major restrictions. It is immediate, does not mean a process of reservation, or payment, or availability (unless used by several people). You can live without a car where public transport has capillarity sufficient, or where walking distances are reasonable. For other needs, right now, it makes no sense to live without car, or it becomes very uncomfortable.


The automotive industry moves too much money and employment, governments will do whatever it takes to not lose that capital, technical and human, using formulas more sustainable

Also takes a lot to remove the car as symbol of ostentation. It is precisely the rise of the todocaminos as vehicles aspirational has a explanation social: the show a higher status, because they are more expensive and larger than normal. The desire of showing off what we all, with and without the car, just have to see what happens in the social networks, an invasion of selfies, and messages on what we do, did or will do.

we Live in the society of the postureo

finally, although not least, keep in mind that the car supplies a needs strictly rational, but also other irrational. The pleasure of driving by oneself, or show off a particular model, or simply have it in a garage parked, it is not something that can be supplemented with autonomous cars, rented or shared. If we reduce it all to a component to be rational, the analysis will be incomplete.

In Japan, going many years ahead in many things, the cars have lost prominence, but it remains as the fourth market most important world behind China, the USA and the European Union. There, where public transportation is the best in the world, and where having a private car is a real pain in the neck, there continues to be a major culture around the car. The japanese lose before the interest in sex or marriage, the interest in the cars.


go Back to the period prior to the model T Ford has a number of advantages and disadvantages that are worth evaluating before you propose massive changes in the system

In my humble opinion, the car does not want to stay outside for new business opportunities, especially if they can aprovecharde of it and not give that cake to third parties. Can we switch to a paradigm that is more sustainable, since then, but to reverse the current up to the situation at the end of the NINETEENTH Century, I honestly don’t see it. Equal to the XXII Century, yes, but I’ll already be dead, just like you, dear reader.

Of the nearly 8,000 billion humans that populate the world, not everyone can or should have a car. It has to reach to a level of balance, defined with rational criteria. And at that level of balance should be in private vehicles, even if it was only used on Sundays and holidays. As I have already said, supply needs that cannot be met by rational arguments.

I’m Not saying all this as turned lobbyist, or because the topic stay without a job. I am simply reminding you that a product seemingly perfect you can not satisfy all customers. Hardly see the car at the same level that the recreational boats, or horses, not if we want to go back to the same situation that we were 100 years ago. The car may have been a historical error (as described in an article in the Washington Post), but there is an error amendable.