Just read this quote in a report I'm reading about the future of cities, so it probably relates more to city/urban living than rural, but it got me thinking:
‘I think it used to be a greater status symbol certainly to have the car but I think there’s an emerging set for whom the status symbol is not to have a car. A lot of this is driven already by consumer preferences but to some extent it’s driven by government policies and I think the politicians are far behind the populous on some of these issues.’
Rachel Weinberger, Director of Research and Policy Strategy,
Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, New York.
As we communicate more and more by phone and online, and commute less because of the ability to shirk from home, and as our disposable incomes fall, and as the environmental damage from cars becomes more urgent to deal with, the desire for a car for regular use is beginning to fall + people demonstrate their 'smartness' by not owning a car.
In the Noughties, I believe BMW 3-series became the best-selling car in the UK.
I had a friend working for BMW Finance who pointed out they were borrowing the money from the wholesale markets to lend to their customers to buy their cars...
This new model of car financing (rather than buying outright) probably meant more people could afford 'premium' brand cars, which actually makes them less attractive to those who used to buy premium cars as a status symbol 'every Tom, Dick and Harry has one which means I no longer stand out above the crowd'
So now that so many people have premium cars, people who want status will get it from elsewhere, coupled with the fact that we're driving less and therefore the opportunity to display our status with our cars is becoming smaller...
This might be wishful thinking from a cyclist who'd just like to ride in peace and quiet... what's the STW hive mind think?