The best way to illustrate the difference in perception of cars between Europeans and Americans is the following example. Not long after I established myself in the US my lovely wife told me that a Porsche, Mercedes and a certain Jaguar were cute little cars? Cute little cars I thought? That's a very classy and fancy sports car I told her and I assured her that nobody in Europe would think or say something like that when seeing a car as mentioned in this paragraph.
Which brings me automatically to my observation,opinion and question about America's car park. Why do Americans love to drive those big SUV's, pick-up trucks and other cars which in some cases require a gas wagon behind it. Don't get me wrong, a Porsche, Mercedes or any other sports car are willing to drink gas as quickly as they can as well but it's still nothing compared to the monster trucks a lot of people drive in the US. And to be quite honest, what's the beauty of those cars? Maybe you can educate me because I don't see any style or beauty in an let's say a Lincoln Navigator. Just a square ugly looking monster on wheels although the luxury is more than good. And what's up with the fact that everyone needs a V8 or V6 engine? Let's face it. Some people drive those cars only from home to work and back and use them for some groceries now and then. That's not cost efficient and before the engine even gets warm it cools off again. Yes, some people only live two miles away from where they work and I don't comprehend that. I mean, a Suzuki Swift will do the same job, bringing you from A to B and back. It will do it as fast, more efficient and cleaner. Win, win and win.
Did no one learn the lesson from the bailouts of the automobile industry? There's a reason it went wrong and besides complete mismanagement the American car industry kept building those big cars instead of really thinking about consumers needs and taking the downfall of America's economy in consideration. And consumers kept buying those cars while they should have known better as well. A desperate program like " Cash for Clunkers" had to come to the rescue. That was quite hilarious to say at least.
And what is up with those pick-up trucks? I'm not saying they don't come in handy but I see people driving them who live in an suburban upper class neighborhood and they never use the pick-up part. Is it from a male point of view a macho thing? An extension from who you are? The more silver on it the better it looks? I'm not trying to be sarcastic here, I just hope someone can give me an answer on that. I see women who are 5'3 stepping into a Yukon XL and they just disappear in it. It looks like the Yukon ate them and I see a little head just poking above the steering wheel while trying to man oeuvre themselves through a drive-through. That just doesn't look right and on top of that I think a woman should drove something smaller and more sophisticated but that's just my humble opinion and a piece of culture difference that's still stuck in me.
Maybe the most annoying thing for me is when I hear people complain about gas prices at the gas station or anywhere else for that matter. Don't they have the right to complain? Of course they do but maybe a smaller car with a smaller engine could solve some financial issues as well. It won't take away the fact that gas prices will go up so now and then but the personal effect will be significant less.
I just want to make sure that I have no intention to offend people with publishing this article. I might have been a little bit sarcastic so now and then but it's an honest, straightforward observation and question at the same time.
And now it's your turn to tell me how wrong I am or educate me on how Americans choose their care and what the criteria are for making certain choices?
Thank you and drive safe!