The game changer for the television was the moving from a cathode ray tube to LCD. The car hasn't had that sort of massive change, and in some ways are the same today as the earliest examples. The auto industry has used production volume to reduce costs, brands have merged and cost shared in development and some have worked together on projects. Some claim more could be done on the last point.
The move to autonomous pods would change the car from an emotional acquisition to a conveyance, possibly not even owned by the individual. That would throw in car industry in turmoil and one would imagine huge job losses coupled with company closures. The joy of car ownership would end too.
|Many basic elements are still the same|
Buying a new, regular car (using NZ pricing) of say $35,000 will be worth something like $20,000 in two or a bit more years. 35k is a lot of outlay, and 15k depreciation so quickly is a punch in the solar plexus. 20k initial price and say 12k after the same period would lessen the financial commitment and and what is lost in depreciation. It would also give the industry new customers who could now see their way to buying new. It would ultimately get rid of very old cars off the road too as lower prices filtered down. Can it be done?
The problem is how to get the car top that lower threshold. Greater co-operation between brands would help greatly. You may think that your Audi is streets ahead of a similar VW, Skoda or SEAT, but it isn't. Perception is everything and the boffins at Audi have done a fine job making their car seem worth what you pay. I say it is a good way to save costs and more of it should be done, even outside a company. Could Jaguar make an SUV for Alfa Romeo. Why don't Peugeot supply a car to Mitsubishi? They sure need some help in that department. Handled well and the cost savings would be substantial for any such alliance.
It's up to the car industry but I know I am reluctant to splurge out on a new car as I cannot see the value. Life is too short to spend my time working to pay for personal transport, when there are so many more important things that can be done with it.