- Source: BMW

Australia Has A Car Culture Problem

Australia used to be really good at motoring. We used to have one of the most vibrant and celebrated automotive industries and cultures on earth. We got two international motor shows per year. One of those shows was used to release a slather of new Australian built motoring model. We also used to have and abundance of content from those shows, in an age where the content wasn't in the slightest bit popular.

Today the industry shows a very different problem. The hardcore enthusiasts are being forced to live their dreams of Concours and car shows online. And those who wish to view are left reading articles on Drive.com.au about the New York Motor Show, SEMA or the Gumball 3000. All events which we as Australians are desperate to have a go at.

Of course, there are fantastic and consistent efforts at bringing events like those to Australia. Like the Modball event, car shows surrounding the Formula 1, Motorclassica (which admittedly is becoming bigger by the year) car clubs that run all-manufacturing days and even smaller races like the Geelong Revival. I'm not mentioning our very own Supercars events held all over Australia. But they always feel so inaccessible and not consistent.

It makes me feel like we in Australia do have a car culture problem. Those who truly want to celebrate are shoved to the side of society as bogans due to Australia's harsh societal reality. And those who want to watch do so on Instagram. The question is though, how do we fix it? What actually comes next?

Well overseas, events like Goodwood and Ville D'este are driven by heritage. The rest is driven by the manufacturers want to have a single location for car reveals and consumer contact. Is there any reason though that Australia can't be the same? Is there any reason our automotive fringe of society can't become mainstream again? I'd hope not. We've come a long way from the world where the Sydney and Melbourne International Motor Shows were cancelled due to lack of funding and ticket sales.

Those events were held in a world where exclusive events like Motor Shows and Concours were fringe. They were also highly inaccessible. The internet and internet marketing hadn't grown to a point where you could get a message across the world at a very low cost.

A full decade later the world is a different place. YouTube, for example, served me a recommended video from Krispy Media (a fantastic producer from the US with a slant for street and car culture) which was actually based in Australia. It was for an underground event named Status, which I'd never heard off. But once I'd watched the movie, I wanted to check it out (hit me up for 2020 lads).

But the point I'm trying to make today is that the lads from Status shouldn't have to be rendered to the fringe of society. The fact is, street and car culture are mainstream not just in the US but all over the world. Their event should be so massive it should sell out completely. And that's Australia's automotive culture in a nutshell at the moment. We should still be holding massive car shows and industry events. Just because we don't manufacture these cars anymore doesn't mean we still shouldn't be at the forefront of what they are.

So I suppose today is a call to action to those who have the money, time and means in Australia. Maybe it's time to wow the world with our automotive prowess again. Maybe it's my responsibility as well. It sure would be something special, and it's not like we don't have the venues, roads and locations to hold these events. Some of our locations are the best on earth.

The day that Australia does come back to the forefront of automotive, to the forefront of the world, it'll be something special. It'll get everyone involved, not just those who love cars. And I love that. The truth is everyone loves cars, but not everyone wants to admit it.