Top 10 automotive milestones of the last decade
The end of old school and the rise of innovation
Image from Saab
1. Attendance check: The death, births, and mergers
The last decade has been an excellent turmoil for brands and holding groups, thanks to the 2008 Global Stock Market Crash. The 2008 meltdown caused rather incompetent brands to be wiped out, such as Saab, Pontiac, Hummer, Saturn, and Mercury. All of these companies were no small-volume niche carmakers, but rather big names in automotive history. Saab developed safety and turbocharging technology, Hummer was born to be a civilian version of the Humvee, Saturn, Mercury, and Pontiac have been an American icon back in the days, but all of the past glory is now gone.
Image from Flickr
Some brands managed to survive the crisis but now are on the verge of extinction. The Holden name lives on but is no longer an independent car manufacturer as they no longer produce original vehicles. Furthermore, the long-loved Commodore lineup is to be retired due to the growing demand for SUVs. Lancia is even worse; their old glory days with WRC victories are long gone, and all they now sell is the Ypsilon, and the whole brand is planned to go defunct in a few years.
Image from DeTomaso
Thankfully, there were some new faces on the game too. Although it was never dead, Alfa Romeo made a flashy comeback with their 8C, 4C, Giulia, and Stelvio along with Quadrifoglio versions. Renault’s performance division, Alpine, came back with their retro-inspired A110. De Tomaso was back with their stunning P72, which even came with a manual gearbox. Most of all, TVR returned with their stunning Sagaris with a 5.0L V8 under its bonnet.
There were some major mergers, acquisitions, and alliances between companies too. The fight for the control over VW AG was won by the Porsche family as Porsche SE got control of VW AG, one of the world’s biggest auto manufacturers. Fiat and Chrysler merged to create FCA, and FCA is now planning to merge with PSA. Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance had a bit of turbulence as Carlos Ghosn was dismissed from both Nissan and Mitsubishi and arrested. Therefore, by the end of the decade, most of the automotive industry was under 10 big companies, VW AG, Toyota, RNM, GM, Hyundai, Honda, FCA, PSA, and Suzuki.
Image from Tesla
2. The rise of the electric power
The last decade was also an era of transition. Petrol-powered cars have always been the dominant force in the automotive world, but as concerns about the environment grew, we began to see an alternative to it: electric vehicles. Of course, the first EV was not produced in the 2010s but rather dates back to the late 1800s. However, it was the 2010s where EVs finally entered the mainstream.
Image from EV Compare
There have always been small niche market EV builders like Fisker, but Tesla changed the game with their Model S. The Model S had a different approach to the EV market; instead of producing ‘economy vehicles’ for tree-huggers, they built a luxury executive saloon which was quiet, refined, and eco-friendly at the same time. Although customers were unsure about Tesla’s unique approach, Tesla’s take on the EV market was hugely successful.
Image from Tesla
The reason Model S and Tesla could succeed was because it had a justifiable price. Small EVs that were built to target urban commuters were deemed to be overly expensive(mostly due to the lack of cost-saving technology), which meant people ended up buying a Corolla instead. Although the Model S was expensive as an E-Class, it had a massive touchscreen(revolutionary at the time when it was released), and refined ride quality. Soon enough, the Model S became America’s number 1 dream car.
Image from ABB Formula E
It was not only Tesla who took a new approach to electric vehicles. ABB started a new top-class racing series known as the Formula E. Although the first phase of Formula E only allowed a fixed chassis and battery built from Spark Racing Technology, soon regulations loosened, allowing manufacturers to use their own powertrain. Soon, numerous manufacturers showed interest, such as Nissan, Jaguar, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Nio, and Mahindra, making Formula E one of the most competitive manufacturer-supported motorsport of the era.
Image from The Motley Fool
By the late 2010s, more manufacturers began to take an interest not only in top-range EVs but also more affordable daily commuters. The Volkswagen ID.3 is expected to be the future ‘Golf’ of the electric era, while Hyundai Kona Electric ventured into the EV crossover market. Tesla revealed the Model 3 at an astonishing price, and the SUV version of it, the Model Y is expected to follow.
Image from Treehugger
Nobody expected EV technology to develop this fast in the last 10 years, as at the start of the decade, EVs were nothing more than cars for tree-huggers. Nevertheless, the EV market has grown extensively, whether you like it or not. Electric is definitely the future for the next decade, but who knows whether hydrogen cars will be the EV of the next decade?
Image from Wikimedia Commons
3. VW's Dieselgate
The development of technology, the spread of charging stations, and lower production costs definitely contributed to the rise of EVs. Still, the biggest reason behind the EV trend of the 2010s was rather because of the biggest automotive scandal of the decade, the VW Dieselgate scandal.
Image from Wikipedia
Diesel has been viewed as the future for powering cars since the late 1990s to the early 2010s. Audi dominated Le Mans with their turbodiesel LMP1 cars, the VW Golf TDI was one of the best selling compact cars, and diesel was definitely becoming a significant threat towards traditional petroleum-powered vehicles. The reason behind the huge success was mainly thanks to astonishing fuel economy, fewer emissions(or at least they claimed so), and low prices, both for fuel and cars.
Image from Motoring Research
In 2014, a group of scientists at West Virginia University conducted a test on three diesel cars, a VW Passat, VW Jetta, and a BMW X5. Instead of standard laboratory-based testing, the researchers used a portable emissions measurement system to measure the real-world emissions data of diesel cars. The results were shocking as BMW was “at or below the standard,” and the Jetta and the Passat exceeded the regulations significantly. It was later found out that VW’s cars were engineered to activate emission curbing systems in a ‘test environment’ where there were no steering inputs.
It was not only VW’s own problem. VW shared their diesel engines with Audi, Skoda, and Porsche, thus meaning most diesel Audis and Skodas and Porsche Cayenne and the Panamera were also affected. VW initially responded by stating it was a technical glitch, but later accepted their wrongdoings. Soon, numerous executives were fired, VW was fined around the world, and the whole “Das German” reputation fell to the ground along with the diesel engine.
Image from The Verge
Regulations for diesel cars became way stricter than before, and multiple countries decided to phase out diesel in their country eventually. However, this was not the end of the whole Dieselgate scandal. In 2019, Daimler AG was fined $1 billion for 700,000 cars that were programmed to cheat the emissions test. At the end of the day, it became evident that auto manufacturers have been using numerous loopholes instead of dealing with environmental problems properly.
Image from Guide Auto
4. The alternative to EVs: Hybrid vehicles
With diesel being bashed into the dump while electric cars being too innovative and expensive for most people, the automotive world came up with a consensus; hybrids. Like diesel-powered cars and EVs, the 2010s was not the decade in which hybrid technology was invented. Nonetheless, it was the decade in which it flourished.
Hybrid cars had two advantages over EVs, being cheap and easy to use. Firstly, having a smaller battery enabled it to have a more consumer-friendly price tag, thus lowering the entry wall for many consumers who wanted a cheap, fuel-efficient, and environmental car. Secondly, quite a lot of hybrids did not need charging, which was the Achilles’ heel for EVs. Of course, there were plug-in variants, but they were a minority within the hybrid market until the late 2010s arrived with the widespread of charging infrastructure.
Image from Youtube
Nevertheless, it was not only the commercial car market that the hybrids succeeded. Hybrids became the dominant powertrain in both motorsport and high-end supercars. The Troika of the 918 Spyder, LaFerrari, and the P1 was not only ‘cleaner’ than conventional gas-guzzling supercars, but also incredibly faster thanks to improved acceleration and torque vectoring. Furthermore, in WEC, both Audi, Porsche, and Toyota participated in the LMP1 class with their hybrid race cars, easily obliterating privateers’ petrol-powered ones. In Formula 1, the KERS system was incorporated and is still a fundamental part of the powertrain.
Image from Toyota Gazoo Racing
Despite the rise of EVs in the late 2010s, it is expected that hybrids will still remain a significant part of the automotive world for the next few years. WEC’s Hypercar class welcomes hybrid hypercars, while WRC is expected to go hybrid in 2022. Furthermore, when noticing the drastic displacement downsizing of DTM vehicles, it is possible that DTM could go hybrid. Most of all, not a lot of people are entirely comfortable about owning an electric car due to range and certain safety concerns. Of course, it is evident that hybrid will eventually be phased out by electric power. Regardless, it is still too big of a market to ignore.
Image from Nature
5. Autonomous driving, who's to blame?
Back in the 1950s, people envisioned that we would be able to go on trips to the moon, have personal flying transportation methods, and talk with aliens. Despite the rapid development of technology and human intelligence, we still have not achieved quite a lot of what they had expected. Still, one of the things mankind managed to accomplish, or at least partially, was autonomous driving.
Image from Driving-Test.org
Autonomous driving is classified into six levels, according to SAE’s definition. From level 0, where the car issues warnings and momentarily intervene to level 5, where no human intervention is required at all. Currently, humanity has not reached level 5, but the progress that we made is more than astounding. Most cars nowadays are equipped with lane-keeping systems, adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, and emergency braking, which are level 1 features. Tesla, the innovator in the market, is currently positioned in level 2 autonomous driving, also known as the ‘hands-off’ level.
Image from Twitter
Although autonomous driving is definitely a useful feature for daily drivers, the controversy surrounding it has also grown with several incidents. Multiple Tesla owners crashed while using autopilot, but most of the incidents were not fatal. However, in 2018, Elaine Herzberg was killed after being hit by an autonomous driving Uber test vehicle. It was concluded that the car failed to assure a clear stopping distance within its radius of vision, but the aftermath of the incident was massive.
Image from Giphy
It has always been a constant debate of who is responsible for autonomous cars, whether it is the driver, the vehicle, or the manufacturer. The death of Herzberg sparked numerous discussions, as although the driver of the car was clearly not focusing on driving, she was not charged with manslaughter nor Uber, who was responsible for the development of the vehicle. Furthermore, the incident showed drivers’ over-reliance on autonomous driving technology, thus indicating that we are sharing the road with tons of ‘idiots’ who fail to concentrate on driving.
Image from ElekTrek
At the status quo, it is required for the driver to focus on the road, as the level of autonomy is low. Nevertheless, as technology develops, there will be less or even no driver input, and that is where the dilemma arises. At the end of the day, as long as the question of ‘who is to blame’ and ‘where the legal and ethical guidelines lie’ is unresolved, autonomous technology will definitely be a double-bladed sword.
Image from Bimmerpost
6. A new breed: SUVs and crossovers
Now, here we come into an even more controversial topic. SUVs and crossovers. To clarify, SUVs itself originally meant a “rugged automobile built on a light-truck chassis”, at least in American English. However, with the widespread of crossovers, which are built on passenger-car platforms, the two terms are currently used interchangeably as the traditional ‘rugged SUVs’ are now usually called offroaders or 4x4s.
Image from Flickr
It was the 1990s and the early 2000s that we have seen the rise of crossover SUVs with the famous RAV4, Explorer, and the M Class. By 2003, there were 76 million SUVs and light trucks on the road, representing 35% of the total vehicles. Despite the success, the power of the all-time market leader, the sedan segment was still triumphant. However, two ‘game-changers’ that came in the 2000s completely changed the fate of the next decade.
The first car was the Porsche Cayenne. Debuted in 2003, the Cayenne managed to stir even more controversy than their siblings, the 986 Boxster, which was deemed sacrilege by Porsche fans, and the 996 911, which was also considered as heresy. The Cayenne was not only ugly but also big and fat, which meant it was nimble as an obese man in their 50s. Despite being torn down by numerous Porsche fans and journalists, the market liked the Cayenne. A lot.
Then, why did people like the Cayenne so much? It was the Porsche badge. People want to say they drive a Porsche, not a boring Acura. Sadly, as you get older, your spine gets weaker, and you have your family to take care of. Therefore, it was simply impossible for a lot of rich people to drive a Porsche frequently. However, the Cayenne was comfortable, quite fast in a straight line, and had a luxurious interior, ticking every box of a middle-aged man’s wish-factors.
Image from Lamborghini
The success of the Cayenne opened a new market sector known as the luxury SUV sector in the 2010s. BMW M and Audi S jumped in, followed by Bentley, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, and Ferrari. Although these big brutes are not the purest thing to drive, it shows one that investing a bit more in cars can give you a big grin on your face regardless of your driving skill.
Image from Cars.com
The second game-changer was the mid-sized SUVs. While pre-2000 SUVs were mostly full-size SUVs meaning they were hard to park and had not-so-good fuel economy. Mid-sized SUVs allowed customers to have the same benefits a typical SUV driver would have, a high seating position and lots of luggage space while being easier to drive, park, and pay for. Soon, this mid-sized SUVs further branched off into a 2010s trend, compact SUVs.
Image from Mazda
Compact and mid-sized SUVs might seem like a pointless vehicle segment as the advantage you get over a typical economy car is not huge, but the market response was the opposite. Soon, compact SUVs began to replace the traditional economy cars and hatchbacks, which led Ford to end their non-SUV sales in North America. The situation was no different with mid-sized and full-sized cars, thus resulting in most manufacturers focusing on their SUV lineups compared to their hatchback and saloons. The Ford Mondeo and Taurus, Mitsubishi Lancer, Chevy Cruze, Cadillac CT6 and XTS, and the Jaguar XJ have been discontinued or will be discontinued as a side effect.
Image from Ford
The question is, when will this craze for SUVs and crossovers end? We have seen major shifts in the automotive industry for the last 70 years, which shifted from station wagons to minivans, then to saloons, and now into SUVs. The SUV boom has been around for about 20 years since the new millennium, meaning the change is near. At least, we will soon be able to see whether Ford’s decision to axe their saloons and hatchbacks were the right thing.
Image from Motortrend
7. The Korean Troika: Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia
It is not an often occasion to have a certain brand being listed as an ‘automotive milestone’. Regardless, Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia, which are under the Hyundai Motor Company, have shown jaw-dropping improvement over the last decade. Of course, “I drive a Hyundai” is not the best thing you could say about yourself, but wait for a few more years. It will soon mean something different.
Yes, it says 'Cortina' in Korean... Image from Hyundai
Although one might not have expected, Hyundai and Kia have been in the automotive market for a long time. Kia was established in 1944, while Hyundai was founded in 1967, which puts them on the same level as post-WWII car companies in terms of heritage. Sadly, Hyundai and Kia were not exactly the manufacturer that had the technology and the capital to develop their own vehicles from the start. Most of the early cars were rebadged Nissans, Mitsubishis, or Fords.
Image from Hyundai
In 1975, Hyundai produced their very first vehicle developed by themselves, the Pony. Since then, Hyundai and Kia continued to develop their lineup of vehicles, mostly focusing on the economy car market. Hyundai and Kias were cheap, reliable, and did most of the things you wanted in a car, but they never really had the ‘appeal’ factor except for their price. Later in 1994, Kia was incorporated into Hyundai after being bankrupt.
Image from Wikimedia Commons
Until the late 2000s, Hyundai continued to make rather boring cars, with the exception of a few niche cars like the Tiburon and the Genesis Coupe. Furthermore, Genesis, who proclaimed that they were a ‘luxury brand’ failed to follow the German trio both in terms of build quality and technology. However, in 2015, one word, N, changed the fate of Hyundai forever.
N was Hyundai’s performance division, like Mercedes’ AMG and BMW’s M. Hyundai venturing out into the performance vehicle segment meant that they were more than eager to raise their brand value and awareness. With the launch of the N brand, Hyundai was not only more able to focus on their WRC efforts(despite entering since 2014), but also create performance vehicles such as the i30N and the Veloster N, which were praised by numerous journalists.
Image from Genesis
Genesis and Kia opted for performance vehicles too; Genesis debuted their G70, while Kia presented their Stinger, which was pretty much the same car. Both cars were the first performance saloon from a South Korean marque, and although there were not equipped with a V8, the 3.3L turbocharged V6 was punchy enough to have some fun on the roads. Furthermore, these cars were uncomparably cheaper compared to German counterparts, thus having a greater appeal to customers. As a result, the G70 was nominated the Car of the Year in 2019 by Motortrend.
It was not only the performance division that had a great leap. The Hyundai Palisade and the Kia Telluride(again, pretty much the same car) challenged traditional full-sized SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator, while the Elantra was doing a great job within the highly competitive C-segment.
Image from Naver
Still, there are lots of room for improvement too. Despite the G70 and the Stinger are a great car, the performance figures are still lacking compared to the Germans. The G70 has 20 less horsepower compared to the C43 AMG, which isn’t even a fully-fledged AMG model. The only strength the G70 has was their price tag, which will be the Achilles heel of Hyundai and Genesis at the end of the day.
Image from Kia
Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia’s competitiveness came from their cheap price tags, not necessarily their quality. If they really want to be a competitor to Mercedes, BMW, and Audi, they should go straight out with what they have, instead of hiding behind their price tags. As long as Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia try to sell their ‘luxury’ vehicles by their price advantage, they will never be the true luxury brand they have envisioned. There are rumours of a Sonata N coming, and we more than hope Hyundai will be able to nail it this time.
Image from Motor1.com
8. The growing demand for limited edition super/hypercars
There have always been limited edition performance vehicles, most of them usually being built for homologation purposes or for special customers. With the rise of classic car investment, the demand for ‘future classics’ has significantly increased together. Thanks to the increase in demand and the manufacturers willingly supplying them with limited edition super/hypercars, we have experienced one of the most ‘diverse’ decades in terms of special edition cars.
Image from Autoevolution
These limited edition super/hypercars were usually offered only for loyal customers of the brand who owned multiple cars from the brand and were sold at often triple or sometimes even quadruple the price of the base vehicle. Then it was resold in a few months, at an even higher price, as people who were not able to get their hands on were willingly paying heaps of cash for it.
Image from McLaren
Numerous marques were involved in this win-win act, but some managed to succeed, while some only ended up depreciating the value of their cars. For example, McLaren made it mandatory for potential Senna owners to have a 720S before applying. Yes, it was financially beneficial as they were able to sell 500 more 720S, but quite a lot of the 720S ended up being resold in the market with few or even no kilometres on the clock, depreciating not only the car’s financial value but also its name value.
Although I am in no position to judge McLaren’s decision, it seems McLaren failed to realize they were going the wrong way or at least did not bother to care about it, as they only ended up making the 570S MSO, then the special edition 600LT, only to be followed by the 620R. Used market price analysis shows that every time a new special edition based on the 570S debuted, the average price of a standard 570S dropped even further down, compared to the typical depreciation rate of a supercar.
In contrast, Porsche was able to catch two birds with one stone, successfully selling their limited edition 911s while having minimal impact on entry-level 911s. For example, the 911 had numerous limited-edition models in the last decade, but none of those hardly impacted the price of a base Carrera. It was rather the production models that affected the secondhand value of these limited edition cars as Porsche debuted the GT3 Touring and the Carrera T to limit the constantly inflating price of the 911 R.
The controversy still remains, as there are views that the whole limited edition supercar market is a bubble ready to burst. For example, the Bugatti Divo was $5.8 million, which was about $2 million more than the base Chiron, with new bodywork and more horsepower, only to be trumped by the Centodieci, which was priced $8.9 million and the La Voiture Noire which had a price tag of $18.7 million. I mean, we all know that buying a Bugatti is about flexing, but paying $15 million just for a new bodywork and more horsepower just seems too much. But sadly, it is evident it is a trend that will carry on to the next decade.
Image from Motor1.com
9. The classic car market bubble, is it about to burst?
Now, here’s another controversial ‘trend’: the boom, overheating, or whatever way you phrase it, of the classic car market There have always been enthusiasts who enjoyed classic vehicles. But they were mostly one of the two types. The first type is an affluent collector, and the second type is people in their 50s~70s who were enjoying the nostalgia. Therefore, except for certain vehicles, the value of antique vehicles usually remained low, thus being accessible to the average consumer.
Image from RM Sotheby's
However, since the 2010s, the average market value for these classic vehicles began skyrocketing. The main reason was the stabilizing of the economy after the 2008 crash, meaning people were able to invest in collectibles. The fad started with the fetish towards pristine German performance vehicles, like AMGs, Ms, and Porsches of the 60s to late 70s. Soon, it spread into Italian/French classics, pre-war to 60s American luxury vehicles, Japanese performance coupes, and finally into ‘Youngtimers’.
Image from HiConsumption
Although the recession plummeted the value of most of these vehicles, by early 2014, most of them retained their original pre-recession value and continued to rise. But as the profitability of the classic car market substantially increased, the demographics and the environment of the market also changed significantly.
Image from Classic Car Journal
Among the two types of pre-2010 classic car buyers, a third type emerged, also known as the ‘Vultures’. The Vultures are semi-affluent people who solely focused on the investment side of the car. Which means, they are especially picky about their purchases and scarcely drive them. For example, whenever you go around on BaT, it is easy to spot those who complain about rather minor things about the car, such as wear on the driver’s seat and personally I have seen people complaining about carpets that do not match the option code.
Image from Top Speed
Of course, it is natural for a buyer to care about minor details of the car. Nevertheless, it must be noted that for a vehicle that is more than 30 years old, it is absolutely normal to have wear and tear. Sadly, the influence these vultures have on the market is unignorable, as they are the driving force of the market. Therefore, the standards of the cars being sold have become higher, thus requiring a higher standard of maintenance and restoration. This resulted in a higher overall market price, making it nearly impossible to find a cheap, beat-up exotics then restore it.
One of the most overpriced generation despite being a Porsche fan... They're good for sure, but even the Carrera models are demanding quite a lot of money... Image from Porsche
Furthermore, this huge influx of capital from these vultures resulted in a frequent over-evaluation of their cars from sellers. Not all of these vultures are keen on classic cars, meaning they often rely mostly on the service records and the description of the vehicle. Therefore, quite a lot of buyers often hype up the prices of their cars, waiting for a foolish vulture to take a bite on their bait. Compared to the past, where most sellers and buyers were classic car enthusiasts, not investors, the whole marketplace have turned into a battlefield to get the best price.
Then, will this fad continue to the next decade? The answer is both yes and no. To begin, the classic car market has seen a downturn since 2015; hence the graph presented above. The global economy has turned into a phase of recession and due to increasing uncertainties regarding Brexit and US-China trade wars, thus forcing potential investors to ‘step off the gas’.
Image from Mecum Auctions
Furthermore, the generation change in the market will also play a significant role. It was the baby boomers who have been the driving force of classic car prices, whether it was pre-recession or post-recession. They were the ones who were able to afford these cars, and they had more ‘connection’ towards these antiques as they ‘grew up’ with these cars. However, with the boomers exiting from the game in 10 to 15 years, the future of the classic car market is uncertain.
Image from Mohrimports
Most millennials and the younger Gen Ys do not know how to drive a manual gearbox, and furthermore, they have less connection with these classic vehicles as they are from a different era. To add, while quite a lot of the older generation knew how to work with their cars, while more and more people do not even know how to change a winter tire. Regardless, the most significant problem is that most millennials and the Gen Ys are still priced out of the market.
Image from TVR Car Club
When the car prices plummeted in 2008, the baby boomer money was still in play, quickly correcting the market price. But now, although the prices are starting to fall, the boomers are not going to be around to prop the market up again. As the baby boomers exit from the market, their cars will stay, but their ability to spend will not. Therefore, it is how the millennials and Generation Ys will affect the value of these classics at the end of the day. So a top tip, do not risk paying too much for an overpriced classic, mainly British and American classics, as their fanbase will be gone soon.
Image from Drivetribe
10. The widespread of accessible car culture
Last but not least, the most significant change the automotive world went through was the rise of accessible car culture. The thing you should focus on is not ‘accessible car’ but ‘accessible culture’ here. Quite a lot of people worldwide were able to own a car, after the 2000s with the economic success of Southeast Asian countries and China. Of course, being able to own a car is definitely a privilege, but for a long time, not a lot of people had access to car culture.
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The rise of accessible car culture is mainly connected to the widespread of the internet, Youtube, and social media. The automotive industry was very closed, meaning not a lot of the information was open to the majority. However, with the widespread of the internet, numerous journalism sites, reviewers, and gurus in the area began publishing stories, information, and photos about these not-so-well-known cars and stories about the industry overall.
Also, with the rise of Youtube, we were able to see numerous car reviewers step into the game, as all you needed was a car(That’s the hardest part…), a camera(or a camcorder in the old days), and enough talent to gather viewers. Furthermore, manufacturers themselves also utilize Youtube for publicity, often producing documentaries and short films about their cars and the history of the brand.
Image from The Truth About Cars
It was not only the ‘passive’ experience that we received in the last decade. Affordable motorsport became widespread, such as autocross and LeMons. Autocross enabled people to enter motorsport without worrying about insurance, crashing their car(well some do, but most don’t), and the costs of it, while giving the chance to hone their skills. LeMons, which is a parody of Le Mans, is a humorous take on endurance racing, but this time with old beaters instead of state-of-the-art race cars. Both of these events helped people with shared interests, and hobbies gather together and create a welcoming community.
Image from Youtube
The widespread of accessible car culture was undoubtedly beneficial for numerous petrolheads, but it never came without a price. As anyone could be part of an automotive community, we have seen the rise of ‘illegal’ content, such as speeding, dangerous driving, and street racing being shared on the community. A responsible driver would hardly be influenced by these content, but young drivers, and especially teenagers, often ‘glorified’ these acts as bravery. Of course, I am not saying all teenagers and young drivers are condoning illegal behaviour. But it is hard to say that it had absolutely no effect on it.
Image from Odyssey
Still, we are the ones who manage and grow our own automotive communities. If we can keep a healthy, welcoming, and law-abiding environment, the automotive community will be able to flourish without a doubt. The rise of accessible car culture and communities definitely helped petrolheads gather together, and when people gather, it is natural to have problems within it. However, what is essential is not the problem itself, but how we solve it. Speeding, street racing, and illegal behaviour will never be gone, but the automotive community can at least do something to prevent it, just like what ABT does with safe-modifications.
Image from Lotus
At the end of the day...
Overall, we have seen an incredible decade, and it can only be explained by the word ‘transition’. We have seen the transition from petrol to hybrids, then to electricity. We also have seen the change in how the preference of customers changed into SUVs. The car market, whether new or used, had also experienced transition, and the automotive communities are and will be facing challenges along its journey. We have lost a few beloved brands, but we have also seen the rise of brands that we now love.
The lesson we have learned in the last decade is to be open to change. Charles Darwin once stated, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” Yes, not all of us like electric vehicles or crossovers, but change is here, coming towards us like an incoming tide. However, whether you choose to buck the trend and buy and enjoy the nostalgia or follow the wave and be an early adapter, both makes sense. Do what you want, enjoy your cars, and keep driving.
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