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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 04-Mar-09

 


Wednesday 04-March-2009

Cars are not cars

Oh no -- cars are much more, and especially for men. Cars are love objects, risk vehicles, status symbols, conversation pieces, 'bird-pullers' and more. And I'm a man and should know.

Cars also have a functional purpose in getting you from A to B, safely, reliable, economical and so on. But if that was all, then we would all be driving updated Model Ts, which Henry Ford proudly sold as 'Any color, as long as it's black'.

In the early motoring days, whilst Ford was mass-marketing, William Durant and Alfred P. Sloane at General Motors were differentiating, selling through different brands and models to different lifestyle segments. Whilst Ford was selling to the sensible head, GM was marketing to the fickle heart.

Generally speaking, as people get more affluent, their basic needs are supplemented by social needs, and so cars become less transportation devices and more identity boosters. This is a great big opportunity with regard to the baby boomers who are now ageing and affluent and looking for fun, as well as the young and fashionable who are still on mate-hunts, seeking to look good and stand out.

I have a BMW Z3, about which I have waxed eloquently in the past. Apart from occasionally turning over the engine, it sits under wraps over the winter. But the days are getting longer and my ego is calling. So one day soon I'll take off the cover, polish it until it gleams, and then drive around with a stupid grin on my face again.


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