Saturday, 22 October 2016

Share my car

Every now and then I browse the periphery of car world, mainly because cars reflect social and political trends at least as much as the technology under that glossy paintwork. The most interesting trend is control, cars are evolving into agents of political and social control. The days when Scott Fitzgerald could depict car ownership as a surge in personal power have faded into the dreams of petrolhead nostalgia.

An element of vast importance had made its appearance with the summer; suddenly the great thing in Basil’s crowd was to own an automobile. Fun no longer seemed available save at great distances, at suburban lakes or remote country clubs. Walking downtown ceased to be a legitimate pastime. On the contrary, a single block from one youth’s house to another’s must be navigated in a car. Dependent groups formed around owners and they began to wield what was, to Basil at least, a disconcerting power.

F. Scott Fitzgerald - He Thinks He's Wonderful (1928)

Take this piece on a new car to be produced by Chinese company Geely which owns Volvo. The new car is branded Lynk & Co and among various uninteresting features we are told.

A ‘share my car’ button on the touchscreen gives other drivers the opportunity to rent your vehicle, using a digital key. Visser expects it to be a popular feature. ‘Many traditional car buyers may not like the idea of sharing their car, but that’s changing. Today’s customer wants mobility, not necessarily to own a car.’ Younger people – unexcited by today’s cars – are a key target, adds Visser.

Nothing wrong with that, but it is significant that the option comes built-in. One to watch. Perhaps there is a suggestion behind it that you should share your car. It is your social duty, the caring thing to do. You are a caring person aren't you? 


Michael said...

Yup, I'm a caring person, and nobody is getting into my car like that! Would you do the same thing for your house?

I like giving lifts to chums though, because they decided years ago that they would never want to drive.

Sam Vega said...

I want one with a "clean my car" button.

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - we give lifts to chums too, but that's as far as it will ever go. We might need an emergency trip to Tesco.

Sam - we usually take ours to one of those hand wash places.

Edward Spalton said...

There are already too many damned gadgets and controls on new cars - far more, at any rate, than my pre-electronic age brain can
master. I would be bound to switch thus damned thing on by mistake.

I have just acquired a Vauxhall Astra. The performance and economy from a one litre, three cylinder engine is outstanding but the number of bells and whistles - OMG! ( as I believe the fashionable abrieviation is)

James Higham said...

Chinese company Geely which owns Volvo.

Does it really? How sad.

wiggiatlarge said...

Add the recent aquisition of 34% of Mitsubishi motors by Nissan themselves part owned by Renault and this list is not far of the mark as to current ownership.

BMW owns: Mini and Rolls Royce.

Fiat owns: Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Ram and SRT.

Ford Motor Company owns: Lincoln and a small stake in Mazda.

General Motors owns: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC. GM owns a controlling interest in Opel and Vauxhall in Europe and Holden in Australia. (The U.S. Treasury Department is in the process of selling off the remaining GM stock holidngs.)

Honda owns: Acura.

Hyundai owns: Kia.

Tata Motors (India) owns: Jaguar and Land Rover.

Mazda mostly independently owned (Ford has small stake)

Mitsubishi is independently owned.

Daimler AG owns: Mercedes-Benz and Smart.

Nissan owns: Infiniti. (Nissan, in turn, is owned by Renault.)

Saab is owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS).

Subaru: Owned by Fuji Heavy Industries with Toyota a minority partner.

Tesla: Toyota is a minority partner. Partnership with Daimler AG.

Toyota Motor Company owns: Lexus, Scion, Daihatsu and Hino Motors, with a stake in Fuji Industries (Subaru's parent company) and Isuzu.

Volkswagen owns: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, and overseas-brands SEAT and Skoda.

Volvo is owned by Chinese-automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, aka Geely.

On top of that many comanies not associated by financial ties share components especially platforms, many quite suprising, Fiat 550 - Jeep !

Demetrius said...

I always wanted a Riley. One of life's lost dreams.

A K Haart said...

Edward - today I pressed the key fob unlock button and all the windows wound part way down. Held it on too long apparently - it's a feature.

James - news to me too. It is sad.

Wiggia - some years ago I read a prediction that eventually there would only be five global car companies.

Demetrius - for some reason I still check the price of old Rileys. As you say, one of life's lost dreams.