Selling products: it’s all about dragging the customer in, keeping them there, and eventually getting them to buy your merchandise. Rather like trying to attract a mate, car manufacturers are vying for your affection and love every time they release a new car. So, what makes one car more attractive than another?
Is it all in the look? The way it sounds? How comfortable it is? Practical? How much it costs? How well it drives? If the stereo is good?
Well, just as everyone has their own taste in a partner, so too do car buyers have their own taste in vehicles and what they deem important to them. For some, money is no object: they simply want something that looks incredible and goes just as incredibly fast. There are cars for people like that. For others, it’s about saving as much money as possible and getting from point A to point B with as little fuss and money spent as possible. There are cars for people like that, too.
So, how do manufacturers cater to it all? How do manufacturers hope to sell as many cars as possible when the buying public is so varied and scattered in terms of wants and needs?
For starters, they offer complete lineups that have everything from hatchbacks to full-size SUVs and possibly even pickups. But then even that can ostracize certain buyers (what if there’s a pickup buyer out there who really needs to tow and haul but just can’t afford the gas?).
Here’s where the jumble of vehicles we see today comes in to play: We want it all (just as we do in love) and we aren’t willing to compromise. And so, manufacturers are trying to offer it all. Take all-wheel drive convertibles for example. Yes, read that sentence again. Or what about cross-cabriolets (which are convertible crossovers, God help us)?! Hybrid Tahoes, and Hyundai Accents with heated steering wheels, pickups with EcoBoost engines … it all seems a bit ridiculous, and yet a tad wonderful all at once. Never has more been available for “less.” Never have we had as much choice as we do now.
And so, as we learn in the marketplace that compromise is unnecessary, do we then apply that to the rest of our lives? I’m not sure this “you can have it all” attitude is healthy for any of us. I think it was better when we knew econoboxes were just that (like the bare-bones Nissan MICRA I love so much), and pickups were gas-guzzlers, and sportscars were driven with manual transmissions only. Those were simpler days, easier days.
I can’t help but see this get-it-all-from-anyone attitude in the car market correlate directly with how we look for love these days, too. Like Tinder is to falling in love (ha ha), shopping for a car has almost become as frivolous -- and that’s a bit sad. Purchasing a car is a big deal (as is falling in love… at least it used to be), and should be taken a bit more seriously. I don’t think it’s right that every car offer everything. How are we supposed to make a unique, solid connection? How are we supposed to find the right fit? The One?
Since when did multiple soul mates become a thing?