Have recent events changed the way you think about cars?

The Twin Cities Auto Show opened last weekend after a year that rocked the car industry with government takeovers, safety recalls and volatile gas prices. Today’s Question: Have recent events changed the way you think about cars?

  • Zebulun

    Cars should be seen for what they are, transportation. Our society fed an industry that reacted to the need for a personal connection to our cars. Many people were looking for a vehicle that gave others insight into what kind of person they were. Something to make a statement. Consumers wanted their cars to be individualized to them. Too many choices and options spread the automakers too thin. The restructuring of the companies was the best thing that could have happened to everyone involved.

    Gas prices will be an issue as long as we use internal combustion engines in our cars. Period.

    Safety recalls will also be an occurrence that will always be around. There are massive recalls that have existed prior to Toyota’s that posed just as much danger of which were not known because of the lack of media coverage or possibly interest. Because Toyota was on top of the auto industry the situation was inflated. Even though we like to think so, perfection is not one of our strong points.

  • Gary F


    Ford has a better idea. Yes, that was a commerical of theirs years ago, but it rings so true today.

    I will NEVER by a Government Motors or Chrysler car built after 2008. NEVER.

    Chevy had a commercial years ago, “its not just you car, it’s your freedom”. Which with lemon socialism in today’s hopey/changy world, Chevy can no longer say that line.

    Ford for me.

  • bsimon

    Mostly no. I’m more inclined to consider fuel economy when making a decision, but the rest is largely irrelevant. On safety, for instance, every time you’re behind the wheel you have to be ready for unanticipated events, which may be caused by other drivers, weather conditions, road conditions, or the mechanical soundness of your own vehicle. People seem to have the unreasonable expectation that nothing will ever go wrong.

  • T

    My primary transport is by bicycle. Better for me and my community. Less time in an automobile makes for a good day.

  • Steven

    No. I’ve known for a long time that auto makers, enormous multinational corporations that they are, are more interested in extracting the highest possible profits from the economy than in producing quality products that help people live better, and that without proper adult supervision in the form of government regulation they’re going to cut corners (e.g., faulty accelerators) and try to addict us to costly stuff we don’t need (e.g., SUVs).

  • Dianne

    It has concerned me somewhat, because my parents have a Toyota. I am concerned that other cars have also been affected and that no other investigations have been done to see if the electrical/computer systems are contributing to the problem. I am more bothered by the fact that, for years, that auto industry has talked about more fuel-efficient cars, but have not produced them.

  • Clark

    No. I would still buy a Honda or Toyota any day vs the crap GM produces.

    They should have left GM and Chrysler go out of business as they still make crap for cars.

    At least with Honda and Toyota you know the car will actually last longer then 5 years before major repairs are required.

  • Jesse M

    Not recent events.

    Air pollution, expanding wastelines, and traffic jams changed the way I think about commuting.

  • Lawrence

    Absolutely. The automotive industry has always had safety problems, especially with new models. That probably won’t change. But the government take over of General Motors, preceded by Ford Motor Companies struggle at the beginning of the 21st Century, and Chrysler’s financial problems during the 1990s is of great concern because the automotive industry is one of our largest employers, and, to this day, are most reliable manufacturer. Our economy simply can not afford poor private mismanagement of these behemoths. Because gasoline costs are still high, we need to a car that can produce the energy current cars do using only a quarter of the power if we hope to a) innovate the industry, and b) make cars affordable and fashionable for people to buy them again.

  • Khatti

    I’m a science fiction person, and I’ve recently reread Heinlein’s “The Roads Must Roll”, so what I’ve been thinking about lately is what will happen with transportation over the next fifty years.I wonder if we are, or will be anytime soon, ready to build a Japanese or European style high-speed rail system?

    I can’t see national, public transit being a big hit with the Tea Party types. High-speed rail will involve massive infusions of public cash. Also there is an identity issue. Like guns, I think that cars are emblems of identity for a great many Americans: extract them and these people stop being who they want to be– and start being what people like me require them to be.

    That public transportation makes sense on many levels (better for the environment, reduces traffic congestion in cities) is simply not important to the low-taxes and guns types. I don’t have any elegant solutions to this mess. I would be interested in what other Nprs think about this.

    And to think, you wanted to know what I thought about cars!