Why do auto manufacturers all make the same mistake year after year
Every year I wait for the announcement. A big reveal. The exciting news. But to my disappointment, it never comes. And I’m not sure why. Year after year, with every brand’s announcement of next year’s lineup, I hope to learn of the introduction of some clearly missing car genres. The easiest example is the Jeep Wrangler. A convertible 4×4, fun in the sun, capable in the snow, been around forever, no frills, automobile genius. How did this go without a competitor for so long. What in the world took Ford so long to introduce the newest Bronco? This was a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been waiting anxiously for years until someone, anyone, gave the Wrangler a run for it’s money. It took Ford’s reintroduction of an old idea for Jeep to worry about market share. But Jeep’s still ahead of the pack with the four door convertible pickup, which is still in a genre of its own (unless you look to an old school Land Rover). How’s it possible that other manufacturers don’t see the utility here. The fun. The cool. Why do they continue to ignore the success of a convertible truck-like thing and pass on the possible income stream..
A truck-like car that offers utility, excitement and style is among the many automobile genres that today’s car manufacturers could revisit from
There are obvious other genres that should be freshly built for today’s automobile market. Or perhaps, revitalized from times past. Like what you ask? How about a big, fat, comfy, four door, two wheel drive, convertible, cruising chariot. Something you, your significant other, and another couple can take when you go out on a gorgeous Saturday evening to a night out on the town. Think 1961-1969 Lincoln Continental convertible. What am I missing here? Why can’t I buy a brand new version of one of these. This a great, wind in your hair, exciting, family car. Great for a bachelor to cruise out with some buddies, or a crew of girlfriends heading out for an evening celebration, a day long road trip to a the beach with the fam, and I could go on. I’m waiting for a manufacturer to smarten up and learn from history’s successes on this one. Any manufacturer can do this, but instead, they miss out.
I’ll spare you the list of my target audience fantasies and stick straight to my list of manufacturing’s genre oversights. Atop the list is a cool minivan. All you have to do to turn a minivan into an oh-so-popular SUV is to extend the hood, raise the body a tad, and exchange the better, more convenient sliding door, to a regular swing-open, hinged entryway. Why’s it so hard to make a minivan that’s socially disconnected with soccer moms and adult responsibilities. I owned a minivan and took great pleasure in sliding the door open, putting my mountain bike inside the sucker and cruising away with very acceptable horsepower. All the while, never having to worry about dinging the car door next to me. A minivan’s utility make perfect sense. Make a cool one a I’ll be the first to pat you on the back. What’s the holdup? Make the hinged, swing-out doors obsolete is my stance.
Further down my list of creative neglect is a neat version of a luxurious Smart Car kinda thing. Surely a design team can come up with a tiny economical, simple to park, around-the-town putter that doesn’t make you look and feel your car matches your empty studio apartment. A station car for a millionaire. Fiat was close with the latest, but now failed 500, but I think Mercedes or Lexus should give it a go.
The disappointments continue and I can go on and on, but this rant’s coming to an end. Auto manufacturers continue to miss the mark with new, unique and large ideas outside of technological advances. The follow the heard mentality is in full effect. I hope the day comes soon when a platform arises that offers car companies a confidence to develop a dune buggy one day, an amphicar the next, then a new, El Camino-ish muscle car to finish the year.
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