Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Come, D'Artagnan. We're saving the Queen!"

Ok, so we're really not saving the Queen. A) I'm not in England, and B) She doesn't need to be saved. However, automobile manufacturers have to be saved, and not just from poor money-management and a collapsed demand structure.

The automakers need to throw away the notion that attractive cars must have tons of horsepower and performance ability. Practicality and desire and all those psychological reasons why Ferrari, Audi, Aston Martin, etc., design their cars the way they do needs to be revamped across the industry. Look, Mercedes-Benz and BMW already have- great cars that look absolutely horrible.

Seriously, why- in all that is petro- do "econo-box" cars look so horrifically, and utterly banal? Why do cars destined for commutes, where owners choose MPG over OMG, or entry level cars end up looking like it was designed by whoever designs oil bottles.

Some of the entry/commuter cars do need to be quirky enough to attract buyers. Quirky does work, but the car has to be quirky. The Scion xB (I'm a previous owner) was quirky. The Prius *was* quirky, but now it's mainstream.  The Yaris? It looks like a reject from the Dig Dug arcade game. Nissan's LEAF? Juke? I used to like Nissan's designs. Not so much. It just looks that automakers are forcing a "quirky" look, making all the cars the same- ugly. I love Audi cars. Look at the line-up. They all share common lines and looks. BMW, similar. Ford SUVs as well. Automakers need to pare down the designs and build the "look" of the nameplate.

Basically stop making ugly entry cars. There should never be another Aveo, Fiesta, Sonic, Yaris.  There's nothing wrong with building an attractive econo-box. Volkswagen's been doing it for years.

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