America’s love affair with cars is losing its steam.
As city living makes a comeback and new transportation options emerge, the appeal of buying a new car fades. After decades of growth and record years, auto sales may have reached a peak or will get there soon.
The auto industry is trying to prepare itself for an inevitable decline and is investing in mobility services and self-driving cars. This worldwide trend marks the end of an era and the beginning of a quest for the next disruptive innovation.
Video Spotlight: Peak Car?
This post is based on a Bloomberg article, Car Troubles: This is What Peak Car Looks Like, by K. Naughton and D. Welch, February 28, 2019; and the YouTube video, Peak Car?, by Financial Times, January 26, 2014. Image source: Ionut Iordache/Getty Images
1. What factors have contributed to the decline in private car sales?
Guidance: Factors include increasing numbers of people migrating to large cities where cheaper and more convenient transportation options abound; higher car prices; scarcity and cost of parking; young people’s dwindling interest in driving; and a growing elderly population for whom driving has become risky and stressful.