“I’ll take a car—any car will do”. Most car salesmen will agree that is not a statement they are likely to ever hear. That’s because in America, as in other countries, a car is rarely just a means to get from one place to another. Here, a car is also a reflection of its driver—a rolling personal statement about you and your lifestyle. So, what kinds of people drive what kinds of cars? The answer is as diverse as the vehicles on the market today.
One of the most basic factors that determines the type of car one needs is how many passengers will be traveling in it. This is why families with 3 or more children almost always go for a minivan or SUV. Most passenger cars can fit three rear occupants, but when car seats and sibling rivalry are added to the mix, the result is a tight fit and unhappy passengers (mom and dad included)!
“Green” vehicles, cars that run partially or wholly on fuel other than gasoline, are becoming especially popular these days. Typically, green vehicles have been driven by the young, single segment of the population whose concern for the environment extends beyond pollution issues. The recent fuel crises, however, nearly guarantees that the popularity of hybrids and other alternative-fuel vehicles will continue to grow, and will cross over to the general population.
What about cars that are status symbols? You know the ones—the flashy Mercedes Benzes, Jaguars and Rolls Royces that scream “Look at what I can afford”! Surprisingly, most people who go for status symbol cars are from middle and upper middle class backgrounds and will often go into debt to afford their pricey vehicles just to “keep up with the Joneses”. Studies have shown that the true wealthy, who could afford any vehicle they want, often choose comfort and practicality over status symbols when it comes to their cars.
Yes there truly is a car to fit every lifestyle. And with the variety of vehicle styles, features and fuel choices ever changing, there may soon be two (or three) cars for every lifestyle!