Thursday, 8 January 2009

UK’s motor vanity fair (9) [Bâlciul deşertăciunilor cu motor din UK]

I’m dedicating this first blog post of 2009 to a not-so-new piece of news, but one that will keep recurring in 2009 – the car industry in the UK (as well as anywhere else in the world) is in dire straits or, quite probably, in its death throes.

In my view, irrespective of the current economic crisis (see more about this specific industry’s decline in 2008), the automakers’ problems are simply well-deserved, and it was about time that they started dying.

Obviously, no one could be happy about this bad news, nor remain unsensitive to the social aspect of this issue (the hundred thousand workers that are to remain jobless throughout the EU and the US), nevertheless, this industry is doomed – maybe not necessarily to extinction, but at least to a serious reduction in size.

In the UK, some of the darkest clouds seem to be gathering (like in the first picture) above the iconic brand Jaguar (another true ‘motor idol’ for many), as the rescue’ effort of Tata Motors (the company’s owner since March 2008) proves to have been futile.

The Indian takeover only delayed the outbreak of current problems, but it couldn’t avoid them on the long term – see about it: here or here.

Apart from central London – where, thanks to the Congestion Charge, it’s a delight to see few cars – other UK cities seem to have plenty of cars. Maybe traffic is far more civilised than in Bucharest, and streets don’t seem to be suffocated with motor vehicles like those of the Romanian capital, however, the Brits have too many cars as all the civilised (?!) nations of the EU do.

Many people are mourning for the presumably unjust death of the car industry, but I am wondering how much longer could anyone imagine its survival to be.

People don’t change even TV sets or refrigerators every couple of years, let alone their cars, yet millions of new cars get produced every year. How many more vehicles can this civilised (?!) world take? Aren’t there far too many already?

Isn’t this EU overwhelmed with cars? In the 25 EU countries of 2004, there were no less than 216 million passenger cars, let aside vans, trucks, buses, tractors, fire fighter cars, and other special vehicles… And these four years old figures are not taking into consideration the 10-14 million cars (again, from relatively old data!) produced every year in Europe! Two cars for every five EU citizens is already too much in my view...

[For all the episodes of this series, and all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate episoadele din această serie şi toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]


Un roman in Canada said...

In Canada I believe there are two cars per person. I know is gonna sound insane but that's the truth :P

MunteanUK said...

I know that there is always room for worse, and in Norhtern America even more cars fill the roads!

But - as you put it - I just think it's insane, and Europe simply doesn't need that many vehicles! I understand the need of Americans and Canadians, since distances are absolutely huge there compared to the distances in Europe...

I find it's completely stupid to suffocate European cities with so many motor vehicles, and then 'mourn' the collapse of the automakers!