The Automobile, Engrained In Our Lives, Culture And Economies
The automobile has been with us for over a hundred and thirty years and as you see from the images to the right in many ways not a lot has changed. Certainly the product has become extremely refined with an abundance of new technologies, making our journeys safer, better connected and more comfortable.
Today we are also beginning to see the first serious propositions for self-driving cars and we will experience more automotive development in the next ten years than we have seen in the last fifty.
Our relationship with the car is deeply rooted and the automobile industry is also deeply entrenched in our economical and social worlds.
The automobile industry employs hundreds of thousands of people, in the factories, the development centres, the dealerships and the brands, either directly for the car companies or for the myriad of suppliers that deliver to them.
The OEM brands are under contract to supply a 'product' for the factories to make, to keep the company going and often an entire region in work.
These factories are designed and equipped to build cars, even to the point that the dimensions of the production lines dictate how big the new cars can be.
When a car factory closes an entire region can be left devastated with tens of thousands of jobs lost, with huge economic and social repercussions.
The Romance Of The Automobile
Automobile travel used to be a romantic notion of adventure filled journeys, discovering new places and the relief of arriving at your destination without breaking down.
The styling of the cars during this period reflected this pioneering spirit and many say that car design ended in the 1960's, as our cars became more of a disposable item (and more reliable) as we entered the 1970's and beyond.
The continual growth of the classic car industry is proof of our deep relationship with older cars and this bygone romantic period.