Shifting away from a gas economy

The past month has been a particularly trying time for executives at many American corporations, including car manufacturers. On the back of a general economic slowdown and housing slump has come the season of announcing half-yearly numbers. We won’t get into the details, which are only too well-known from the general media. But the multi-billion dollar losses announced seem to have sounded the death-knell of the big American truck, with both Ford and General Motors announcing the shift to smaller, lighter and more fuel-efficient types like that typified by the new Renault Koleos shown below, which we drove in Morocco.

The last time this sort of paradigm shift away from gas-guzzlers came was in the early 1970s, on the back of a supply problem. History, as we now know, does repeat itself and human beings just never seem to learn. The catch is that all the mistakes that have been made by developed countries are now out there, ready to be repeated by the new giants on the block – Brazil, Russia, India and China – and will continue to be repeated till we hit a BRIC wall.

But it is this sort of mindset which will help the mega-corporations out in this time of ill-cheer. Already sales of cars to these countries (and to us in the affluent Middle East) is becoming the life-line on which the assembly line worker in the US is drifting. The weak dollar and strong exports can help turn the tide for US-domestic producers, but in any case the product has to be right. In the absence of that we will see them having to sell the companies to those who are doing the right thing.

What we need today is a prime mover that takes its power from the Sun, doesn’t cost the Earth and which appeals to the Stars of Hollywood. The company that makes such a device will be the one that is assured a life in the 22nd century.

Until then, we hope that there is still a full model cycle left to enjoy the more powerful internal combustion engine cars of today – like the select 10 that we have showcased for the coming model year.

On a different note, we hope you enjoy the issue and look forward to receiving feedback on all the new initiatives we have incorporated. And yes, do avail of the subscription offer carried from this issue.

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