What Would You Do To Fix The Car Industry?

Image: Bentley
Image: Bentley

Car enthusiasts always have gripes when it comes to the production of new automobiles. Obviously we know better than the executives and planners that spend their entire day working out the trajectory of a company and the development of future product. We have plenty to lament about, like the disappearance of the convertible, the wagon, the sports car, the manual transmission, and the very concept of an affordable car. Then there’s the whole environmental destruction angle, and the rising pedestrian deaths, and the distracted driving problem.

So if you had one day to fix some things, but not everything, what problem is at the top of your list? What are you doing first?

Given my druthers, as overmaster of the automobile industry, I would institute a sweeping ban of cell phones in cars. Either the vehicle couldn’t turn on until your phone had been shut off, or the phone would de-activate when traveling faster than a sprint runner’s pace. This would have many wide-ranging effects, including saving thousands of lives, preventing millions of dollars in damage, and maybe reducing the number of views on TikTok. With drivers now able to put more attention into the task of driving, perhaps demand for manual transmissions would rise and we could have some fun and inexpensive sports cars again. A guy can dream.


Maybe, if I had some more time as Car Czar for the day, I’d mandate at least five percent of every manufacturer’s annual production be convertibles, and I’d reduce the maximum weight limit on standard driver’s licenses in the U.S. at 4,000 pounds. If you want to drive a 6,000-pound truck, you need special instruction and a higher graduated tier of license. Maybe even as far as a CDL.

Okay, so that’s my idea of what I’d do if I had the power. But now you’ve got the touch, the power, to shape the auto industry in any image you so choose. Let’s hear it, what’s your big idea?

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