I was thinking about the cost of new cars on this morning's commute. I think now more than ever before, the car manufacturers are simply pricing themselves out of the market. Are the number of *new* cars being sold into the retail channel (not to corporate & rental fleets) going up or down? I'm still seeing a lot of new cars on the road - but I don't see how most people can afford them. I suppose the 5 year lease with massive residual charges and low mileage allowances are the way it's being done - leverage the future to satisfy your current desires. Typical short-sighted human thought processes.
I was also thinking about another question...
Let's suppose that you wake up one day, and ALL the cars and people in the world are GONE. They aren't dead and there are not bodies and wrecks strewn over the roads - they have just disappeared. The streets, roads, highways and interstates are completely WIDE OPEN - not a soul anywhere to be found.
OK, now, in that world here's my question: How fast would you drive? There's no traffic and no traffic laws. How fast would you go?
I suspect that in this scenario, the vast majority of people I see on the road would drive exactly the same speed. The don't seem to *drive* their cars, they simply ride in them with the absolute minimum amount of brain power devoted to the operation of the car and the road around them.
It's probably more than just the desire to drive - the vast majority of cars (excluding exotics) are now designed with the typical highway cruising speed in mind. These cars are NOT happy when they are actually *driven*. The transmissions now assume you want to cruise at 60 MPH and never need to pass another car. So - if the manufacturers could remove the road speed restrictions AND the cluttering of the roads with all those other cars, would they build cars that are more comfortable cruising at higher speeds? Would you drive these new cars at the higher speeds? How high?