23 July 2014

Finland Top 4 Brands : 1960-69

The Escort was a runaway success for Ford Europe

There were some big movements of sales in the 60's in Finland. Only 23,500 cars were sold in 1960, which climbed to 99,900 in 1965. The fell back to 48,300 in 1968, before rebounding nearly 75% to 84,500 in '69. Moskvich started the decade on top, but was not able to quite maintain it although always comfortably in the top 10 during the decade.

I don't have a full list of brand sales for each year. Therefore a company like BLMC that had a few brands under it cannot be fully assessed. Austin and Morris brands were strong sellers during the 60's, but without the rest of the brands known, they have to be kept separate. As to whether BL ever got into the top 4 I cannot say, but they certainly would have at the very least gone close.

Toyota surprised me with how they able to reach this list so early. I believe the brand only started selling cars officially in Europe in 1963. Nissan (then Datsun) arrived a year earlier and were soon regularly at 6th in Finland in the latter part of the decade, but for that reason don't show here.

Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1960 Moskv 5,337 Škoda 3,332 VW 1,668 Ford 1,432
1961 Moskv 5,525 Škoda 3,714 VW 2,969 Ford 2,053
1962 Moskv 6,062 VW 5,049 Škoda 4,748 Ford 4,083
1963 Ford 7,733 VW 7,592 Fiat 3,755 Simca 3,587
1964 Ford 13,062 VW 10,010 Fiat 6,959 Opel 4,922
1965 VW 17,255 Ford 14,397 Opel 8,134 Fiat 8,042
1966 VW 14,137 Ford 10,714 Opel 6,513 Fiat 6,461
1967 VW 12,188 Ford 9,580 Fiat 5,572 Moskv 4,242
1968 Ford 9,190 VW 6,714 Fiat 4,526 Toyota 3,399
1969 Ford 13,929 VW 10,284 Fiat 8,509 Toyota 7,480

Data source: Thanks to Autolan Tiedotuskeskus.
For other decades: 1956-59, 1970-79, 1980-89, 1990-99, 2000-09. and 2010-19.

A 1969 Corolla model

20 July 2014

Sweden Top 4 Brands : 1990-99

The Volvo 960. More like a barge than a car

The downturn Sweden experienced hit car sales hard. It seemed to hit Volvo less as its market share climbed, then fell back again as things improved. VW consolidated its position as the decade passed and Saab got to a comfortable third.

The economic slump of the 90's was the worst since the 30's. Restructuring of the economy steadied the ship and things started to improve. Total sales hit a low of 124,500 in 1993, but were back to 295,000 by 1989. Volvo's sales - while not back to late 80's numbers - improved markedly.

The S80 was a move to a more streamlined look

Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1990 Volvo 47,599 Ford 23,389 Saab 19,545 Opel 19,323
1991 Volvo 37,904 Ford 18,597 Saab 18,151 VW 14,853
1992 Volvo 35,803 Ford 14,842 Saab 13,888 VW 12,726
1993 Volvo 33,056 Saab 12,542 Ford 12,498 VW 10,668
1994 Volvo 42,757 Ford 19,012 Saab 17,979 VW 13,459
1995 Volvo 48,982 Saab 18,423 Ford 17,541 VW 15,545
1996 Volvo 43,221 VW 20,635 Ford 19,064 Saab 15,528
1997 Volvo 51,441 VW 23,454 Ford 22,413 Saab 16,783
1998 Volvo 53,598 VW 32,284 Saab 19,556 Ford 18,719
1999 Volvo 64,104 VW 33,204 Saab 26,303 Ford 19,269

Data source: Thanks to BilSweden.

For others in the series, please click on the years: 2010-19. 2000-09, 1980-89,
1970-79, 1960-69, and 1950-59.

16 July 2014

The Driverless Car - A Layman's View

The driverless - or automated - car is considered a future reality. I have asked people about it and everyone has said "No way. I want to be in control". It may in fact show that people enjoy driving anyway, and they prefer that independence. They also may lack confidence in technology to deliver them safely to their destination.

Some benefits: 1) Fewer traffic accidents in basic driving conditions such as motorways. 2) A relaxed journey for the driver. 3) Age, disabilities and intoxication would not be issues in using cars. 4) Reduced traffic police and less insurance. 5) An automonous car could come to pick you up or drive to a garage for servicing without any passengers.
Maybe you prefer a driverless pod

Some drawbacks:
1) People wanting to be in control as mentioned above. 2) A driver losing driver sharpness when constantly being driven around then having to suddenly take the wheel when necessary.
3) Litigation against the car maker if the system fails to stop an accident. 4) Cyber security and communication issues.
5) When the system breaks down, then being able to take over and drive' for example a disabled person. 6) Having the ability to negotiate more difficult road conditions. In other words, computers cannot think. How will they handle sudden, unpredictable situations? 7) With a road obstruction, knowing whether to wait or reverse and take another route.

In summary: On motorways and town roads, I could see the automated car coping. I don't on open roads such as we have in New Zealand that are challenging. The ability for the human brain to suddenly make a decisions for something that could not be predicted is something a computer cannot do. It has to be preprogrammed or it won't know what to do.

Frankly, I see this as a possibility in certain situations but for all scenarios a long time away, perhaps never. There is no doubt more to this than I know, but even a layman's overview shows up the complexity of the subject, both technically and emotionally.

But what about twisty back roads and sudden challenges?