Monday, May 4, 2009

Cars are getting bigger to save the environment

At the lights tonight I pulled up alongside a Toyota Yaris sedan. I haven't really paid any attention to these cars before but it struck me how big it was. Now the Yaris was a replacement for the ity bitty Echo and I was looking at this car that was easily the size of what I would associate a Corolla. But hang on Corollas have now grown to the size of Camrys and Camrys are now competing pretty much head on with Commodores and Falcons. Then you get the softroader/off roader categories. The Rav4 traditionally for girlies and hairdressers is now the size of a Kluger, Kluger: Prado, Prado well that hasn't been changed for a while so it hasn't grown yet and 100series would have to borrow some of the adjacent lane if it were to grow any more. So what is happening? This isn't just a Toyota thing, look at the latest Rover Freelander, again traditionally also a contender for the hairdressers' dollars is now huge. The ubiquitous Forester has also been hit with the big stick and there are many more as well.

Here's my theory.... now the car manufactures have looked at the market over the last few years and the over-riding criteria has been how to be environmentally friendly (ie drive a smaller car) without compromising on the driving experience. This may have changed post financial collapse, but would have been true 3-4 years ago when the cars we would be buying now, if we could get finance, were being developed. So Fred the Camry driver walks into the dealership and can 'down size' to a Corolla thereby doing his bit for the environment and doesn't have to compromise because 'hey, this car feels just as big as my old Camry'. And while a big 4X4 Prado is now getting to be socially unacceptable even in Mosman a softroad Kluger is just fine. Afterall it is a massive 25mm shorter than the Prado even if it is 6cm wider.

No comments:

Post a Comment