The Importance of Technical Knowledge in Modern Auto Sales Training

Technical knowledge is becoming increasingly more important in modern auto sales training. In the past it was sufficient for salesmen and women to be able to explain to customers how their cars should be serviced and answer general everyday questions such as what the carburetor does.

In fact, even these questions were few and far between because cars driven by gas (petroleum) powered internal combustion engine had not changed much since Karl Benz’s invention in 1885. Yes, various aspects of car design had changed significantly but not the way they were powered. Today we have alternatives.

Staff selling automobiles today must be trained in the differences between the various fuel types: gas, diesel, electric, LPG and whatever else is developed. The days are gone when new developments in automobiles and other vehicles take years to come into production, let alone become available to regular customers.

Potential Questions on Modern Automobile Technology

Here are some of the technical aspects of automobiles about which your sales staff are liable to be asked, and for which they will be expected to have expert knowledge.

  • What’s the difference between diesel and gas?
  • Is diesel cheaper than gas and are diesel cars harder to maintain that regular cars?
  • What’s a hybrid?
  • How do hybrid running costs compare to diesel and gas?
  • How do I change from gas to electric in a hybrid?
  • Where is the nearest electric car charging point to me?
  • Will an electric car get me to my work every day for less cost than another fuel?
  • What’s a hydrogen cell?
  • Are hybrids/electric/hydrogen cell cars easy to maintain – can I fix faults myself?

If you sell vehicles that use any of the above alternative energy sources then visitors to your dealership or car lot will expect you to be able to answer these questions – or questions like them. You can likely think of several more – perhaps through experience!

Importance of a Car Sales Course

Do you have a training course that helps your staff find out where to get this information? Do you teach your staff – or even yourself – these basic fundamentals of modern car technology? Or do you expect them to teach themselves? It is extremely important that your auto sales personnel are aware of each of the above auto fuel options and are able to answer questions about them. But that’s not all they must know!

Another aspect of auto sales knowledge that has changed in recent times is the interaction between prospect and salesperson. Has every member of your sales staff been trained in how to approach and communicate with a new visitor to your lot or showroom? If the first approach and interaction goes wrong, then you can forget about that prospect becoming a customer.

The days are well gone when you could take on a new salesmen or women with little or no sales experience and expect them to learn on the job. Effective auto sales personnel are now well-trained people who understand sales psychology as well as every car on the lot! They can answer questions on hybrids and power cells, and offer advice based on sound technical knowledge.

Sales Staff Auto Sales Training

However, it’s the approach that counts, and how auto sales personnel can interact with prospects that make the difference between a sale to a happy customer and a disgruntled prospect walking off the lot to go somewhere else. A car sales course can make the difference between success and failure, and by sending staff to an auto training course, you can make a significant improvement to your sales figures.

If you are an individual with a desire to make auto sales your chosen career, a recognized car sales course can make all the difference to you as well. By showing a prospective employer your course diploma, you will put yourself ahead of all those applicants without one.

So what is needed by successful car sales staff today – male or female? It is a knowledge of cars and their alternative power sources, and also proper training in how to sell the; how to approach visitors and convert them into new customers; how to retain the customers you have and how to send everybody way so impressed that they will sing your praises to everybody willing to listen! A car sales course can offer most of this – if not all!

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Current Economic Condition of Auto Industry Affects Steel Market

Steel, the biodegradable super-metal, is incorporated into countless facets of human life. One of the most widespread uses for steel is the manufacturing of automobiles. The cars that we drive are made up of this lightweight, durable material. However, due to the current faltering condition of the auto industry, steel manufacturers are seeing a drop in sales due to decreased demand for consumer automobiles. 

In the United States, the automotive industry accounts for a large portion of steel manufacturing business. In North America alone, automakers produced 16.5 million units in 2006. The projected output for 2009 is 10.5 million units, a 36 percent decline. For those of us living in the Midwest, this economic crisis hits close to home. Detroit and the surrounding area has always been a hub for automobile producers, home to Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. Due to their close link with the auto industry, steel producers and manufacturers are also hard-hit. MCN, or Metal Center News, recently published a survey of 45 toll processing and steel manufacturing companies. The results indicated that a majority of the respondents (57 percent) sighted their business being down by an average of 22 percent in 2008. However, 16 percent claimed flat revenues and 27 percent recorded gains.  So, even though the general market trend is headed in a downward slope, there are still companies that site profit. 

In this dismal economy, it is important to remember the positives. Chrysler, one of the United States’ top three auto producers, has recently declared bankruptcy.  However, on May 30, 2009, the auto giant entered into federal bankruptcy protection. With help from President Obama and government funds, Chrysler has partnered with Fiat and will continue to produce automobiles for the American market. Many of these auto companies are forced to merge, considering that current economic conditions will not allow them to stand on their own feet.  These collaborations can yield positive and negative returns for steel producers.  When one company partners with another, two clients then turn into one, which may result in decreased profits.  However, steel producers benefit because Chrysler did not go under. The company is still producing automobiles, which means that they will still need steel to make these cars, which is good news for steel producers. 

TAG LINE

The author of this article is a representative of Capital Steel & Wire, an international distributor of steel bars, steel wire and wire rods. Visit them on the web at capitalsteel.net.  

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How to Jump Start an Automobile Battery?

There can be several reasons due to which car batteries can lose their ability to start an engine. It is possible to recharge the batteries by undertaking a jump start. While undertaking a kick off start it is essential to follow a methodical process. By means of following a systematic process, it is possible to ensure personal safety and avoid electrical problems. Automotive batteries are subjected to frequent explosions. This is the main reason as to why one should wear protective goggles while undertaking any kind of repair work. Mishaps can frequently occur in these devices as they contain hydrogen gas. It is a fact worth mentioning that exploding batteries are an extremely rare phenomenon. In order to impart a jump start, two vehicles are required. It is necessary to park the booster vehicle in close proximity with the vehicle that needs the kick off start. After that, it is necessary to apply brake on both the automobiles. One should ensure that one end of the jumper cable is attached to the red clamp while the other end is fixed to the black clamp. The metal clamps should be free of corrosion.

While making the connections, it is necessary to connect the red clamp to the positive terminal of the malfunctioning power unit. One should make sure that the connection is secure. The other clamp should be connected to the positive terminal of the battery of the booster automobile. The black clamps of the jumper cable should be connected to the negative terminal of the booster automobile. The last free clamp should be fixed to a metal ground on the engine. By following the above mentioned steps, it is possible to successfully set up the connection. Batteries are known to lose charge on a regular basis. It is necessary to jump start them on a regular basis. In order to ensure the safety of the vehicle it is mandatory to follow the above mentioned guidelines.

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Know Why Transponder Keys Are Reliable

Some tools are optional and some tools are not when it comes to safety. Today, transponder keys are one of the indispensable tools and the best option there is if you want a reliable and easily connectable wireless sensor for monitoring, safeguarding, presence sensing as well as other control applications.

Modern automobiles that come with a transponder key are definitely a good investment because it guarantees safety. Standards and rules of automobile manufacturing using keyless operations are becoming more harmonized and widely accepted for the reason that more and more people are realizing that automobile safety pays instead of costs. Additionally, a growing number of end users are demanding it, too. Automobile safety is becoming a top level and must-have service that’s essential for manufacturers to deliver.

A receiving and transmitting device that relays signals can also be equipped with an immobilizer system. This is a factory installed antitheft technique that utilizes RFID technology to “immobilize” a car since a transponder is a part of a technology that utilizes labels that generate radio signals to identify things like in the case of automobiles. The system is the basis of almost all up to date original equipment manufacturer immobilizer systems. This type of key is considered an electronic equipment communicating with radio and is fixed in place in the transponder key. They system stores an inimitable alphanumeric code required to start a car. The transponder key is the most frequently serviced part of the system.

The transponder microchip is also called a “pellet” inside the system which contains all the codes thus when the key is put into the ignition lock an electromagnetic field produced by the transmitter fires the pellet located in the transponder key then convey an alpha numeric code back to the automobile. If the code that was sent out matches an earlier saved code, the car will start. Be aware that for transponders, absolutely no two systems are alike hence don’t work the same. Various car manufactures employ exclusive legal rights for authenticating the alphanumeric code stored in each transponder key. Transponders are equipped with 2 types of security codes which are:

1. Rolling Code which is transmitted to the car each time it is started.

2. Fixed Code that is transmitted to the car each time the key is utilized.

If you happen to own a vehicle that comes with a coded car key, you sure know that your car’s key code is incorporated in the purchase paperwork of your vehicle, so when you lose your transponder, you can look for a trustworthy locksmith that is skilled at making or reproducing coded keys for automobiles. You need to bring the purchase paperwork of your vehicle because you need to show the locksmith how to cut the key to make it precise to your car type and brand. In making new transponder keys most key makers use the vehicle identification number instead of the code. It would still be best to contact your car dealer before you go to have a new key made for your car.

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Automobile Appraisal Expert Witnesses For Litigation

According to the latest US census data, there were 10.8 million traffic accidents in 2009, with similar numbers seen in other years. Those are a lot of auto insurance and personal injury claims, each one requiring expert auto appraisers to evaluate the vehicleular damage. If the insurance company has reason to reject any claims, the same experts could be asked to take the stand as auto appraisal expert witnesses.

Unfortunately, too many auto accidents are also the result of criminal negligence. Such cases usually involve serious charges, such as DUI, speeding, reckless driving, and even vehicular manslaughter. During the trail, lawyers will often rely on automobile appraisal expert witnesses to help prove their interpretation of the facts.

When is an auto appraisal expert needed?

Broadly speaking, an accident can be caused either by a mistake by one or more drivers, or due to some malfunction or failure in one of the vehicles. Since vehicles are often badly damaged and torn apart in the aftermath of a high-speed crash, how can the court decide what was responsible for the accident?

A qualified automobile professional can look for tell-tale signs of common problems, even in the worst damaged vehicles. Experience is also important, and a senior auto appraiser can use accumulated practical knowledge to analyze an accident scene.

Some cases require auto appraisal expert witnesses with a narrow focus of expertise. For instance, if a lawyer is convinced that her client's accident was caused due to a particular car model's faulty design, she will look for auto experts with long-term experience of that brand and model. Such expert witnesses can give first-person testimony based on real, practical experience.

Finding the right automobile expert

Really, it depends on the case. However, good lawyers follow some basic guidelines in selecting auto appraisal expert witnesses to support their side. This is because a court trial is an adversarial situation, where both sides will try to bring the better, more qualified expert.

When it comes to vehicular accident cases, both lawyers and juries seem to prefer practicing professionals from the automobile industry over non-professional and academic experts. Lawyers also look for auto experts who have the highest industry qualifications. It helps if the expert is also able to demonstrate an ongoing interest in updating and improving professional skills.

Lawyers are also interested in the candidates' personality and appearance. In court, the experts have to be able to communicate complicated concepts, present their own opinions and conclusions, and defend them against cross-examination (which can get quite forceful!)

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Allocation of Bluesky – Goodwill in an Automobile Dealership Sale

The IRS defines goodwill as “the value of a trade or business based on expected continued customer patronage due to its name, reputation, or any other factor.” IRS Publication 535: Business Expenses, Ch. 9, Cat. No.15065Z.

The American Society of Appraisers defines goodwill as: “that intangible asset arising as a result of name, reputation, customer loyalty, location, products, and similar factors not separately identified.” And as “that intangible asset arising as a result of elements such as name, reputation, customer loyalty, location, products, and related factors not separately identified and quantified.”

Goodwill, however, can be separated into personal and business (enterprise) goodwill. Unlike enterprise goodwill, personal goodwill is the intrinsic value of services of a specific and identifiable person to a business.

The distinction between personal and enterprise goodwill is important insofar as: (a) saving taxes in the sale of businesses; and (b) dividing assets in a marriage.

In divorces, enterprise goodwill is considered marital property and can be divided, while personal goodwill is the sole property of the individual. See: May v. May, 589 S.E.2d 536 (W. Va. 2003) and Ledwith v. Ledwith, 2004 Va. App. LEXIS 488 (October 12, 2004).

When a C Corporation is sold the enterprise goodwill is taxed at the corporate rate (which could be as high as 35%), and then again as a dividend (another 5 – 15%) when it is distributed. Not including any state taxes that may be owed, a $3,000,000 gain could result in only $1,500,000 after-tax dollars to a shareholder.

With some exceptions, sales involving S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships or other pass through entities, blue sky gets taxed only once as a capital asset. Note: One can also incur C Corp. tax with an S Corp, if the S Corp. is not at least ten years old and does not have, for example, adequate built in gains. (Visit your accountant for the fine details).

In this article we are interested in car dealership sales and are looking at assigning a portion of the sale proceeds to personal goodwill because, as CPA Carl Woodward notes in the Spring 2006 publication of The AutoCPA Group’s “Headlights”: “For some dealerships, much of the total blue sky value is due to this personal goodwill.”

The concept of separating goodwill with personal and enterprise distinctions first appeared in the 1986 Nebraska case of Taylor v. Taylor 386 N.W.2d 851 and then spread to other states. See: Beasley v. Beasley, 518 A.2d 545 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1986); Hanson v. Hanson, 738 S.W.2d 429, 434 (Mo. 1987); Prahinski v Prahinski, 75 Md App 113, 540 A2d 833 (1988); In Re Marriage of Talty 166 Ill 2d 232, 652 NE2d 330 (1995) and Martin Ice Cream Co v. Commissioner (110 T.C. 189 1998).

In 1998, Norwalk v. Commissioner TC memo 1998-279 held personal goodwill stems from an intangible asset that is the property of the individual, not the corporation, and that personal goodwill could be paid to owners because the employment contracts of the individuals expired when the corporation was sold.

(Some courts suggest a seller enter into a non-competition agreement to protect the value of personal goodwill, however, if the personal goodwill portion of a purchase price was paid for a non-competition agreement, it would create ordinary income rather than capital gain.

Also, while Norwalk held personal goodwill is not transferable without a covenant not to compete, in most states and the Restatement of Contracts non-competition agreements are controlled by, among other things, standards of “reasonableness.” And, in some states, enforceability is questionable.

Personal goodwill allocations have ranged between 10% and 90% of the total purchase price. In sale of Tresco Dealerships, Inc., roughly 40% of the goodwill was allocated to the dealer principal as “personal goodwill,” resulting in a tax savings of approximately 27 cents on the dollar.

In on case a medical practice had a total appraised value of approximately $600,000, with hard assets of $165,000. The appraiser then allocated $165,000 to the equipment and supplies, $35,000 to corporate goodwill, and $400,000 to the personal goodwill of the doctor.

When structuring asset sales of “C” corporations, buyers are usually agreeable to such allocations because it does not produce adverse tax consequences to them.

The IRS’ evaluates personal goodwill in the context of the facts revolving around each sale and the selling corporation’s contracts, articles, minutes, and such. Did the shareholder, for example, have a non-competition agreement with the corporation? Was there an employment contract that gave the corporation the benefit of the shareholder’s personal goodwill? Did the buyer think he was purchasing personal goodwill? Did the seller think he was selling it? (See: Private Letter Ruling 9621002).

This article is limited to discussing “personal goodwill” and is not intended to cover all of the tax-saving methods available in the sale of a dealership. Talk to your accountant and tax attorney about other options, such as installment sales and such.

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Decorative Car Floor Mats: Get Them In Your Automobile

The beauty is something that is reflected through your eyes. It brings shine and sense of satisfaction in your eyes. It is not the external beauty that always matters. One should give the same importance to internal beauty, which is most of the times not visible. The case is similar in automobiles. Everybody appreciates the external prettiness of the car, but nobody cares or even pays attention towards its internal beauty. There are so many things that contribute to this internal beauty. These objects vary from interior lights, seats, steering wheel and floor mats. People mostly wonder how floor mats can contribute in enhancing the external splendor of any automobile. Let’s understand how the floor mats and car liners are significant for car interior.

Car Mats are designed to protect the floor of the vehicle from dirt, dust, wear and salt corrosion. Manufacturers equip them to keep the vehicles clean for long. These mats are considered as an imperative car accessory that does not always come with the car. You have to buy them from the companies dealing in car parts and accessories. These experts produce this special car accessory by properly following Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) guidelines and ensuring manufacturer credibility and quality. Factors that are considered vital during the manufacturing of car floor mats and liners are:

• Durability

• Odor Release

• Performance at various heat levels

• Anti-slip bottom side

• A heel pad for added safety

• Wear and tear proof

Car Mats are available in a range of materials that not only have ample strength but also increase the interior aesthetics. These consist of:

Cloth Mats: Cloth Mats are available in different colors. These are soft and have a rubber back which avoids slipping. These mats are supple, washable and highly absorbent which make them idyllic for rainy and muddy conditions.

Rubber Mats: Rubber mats are recognized for their toughness, but the drawback of these types of mats is that they cannot absorb water and mud like cloth mats.

All-Weather Mats: All-weather mats are porous, and the turned edges put a stop to the water from leaking over the sides. Therefore, these mats are better than basic rubber mats. These are most commonly used floor mat type. Designer all-weather mats contain company logos, advertisements or cartoon characters.

One will find universal and custom fit mat options where the universal mats can fit into multiple cars. On the other hand, custom fit mats are specifically designed for a car brand and model. The features and specifications of these mats remain the same.

These mats are:

• Waterproof

• Mould and mildew resistant

• Stain and fade resistant

• Long-lasting grade of carpet

• Come up non-skid rubber backing

• Easy to customize in the way you want with different custom selection options

• Available in sets of 2 front or 4 front and rear mats

• Accessible with Greek Lettering styles

• Obtainable with the monogram of your initials, name or favorite saying

Make sure that the car mats you are buying are designed to handle the scorching heat and effects of salt.

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Uses Of Automotive Equipment And Tools

Automotive equipment and tools are a very important part of the automobile industry. They can range from simple hand held devices to large structures that can even lift a heavy truck. The uses of these equipments in the world of automobiles cannot be undermined. For carrying out repairs, for changing a tire, for lubricating, for servicing, for charging up the battery, and for cleaning the vehicles, these equipments are very important.

Here Is A Brief Note On Some Of The Uses Of These Equipments.

Automobile Equipment Usage

* Automotive Lifts: Hydraulic lifts are very common in the industry and are used in showrooms, repair shops, and automobile factories. They generally come in the form of a platform fixed on a zigzag leg that can be raised or lowered as required. Heavy vehicles can be raised by the use of this equipment. These are how cars reach the first or second floor of a showroom or how the repairs to the lower part of vehicles are carried out in a mechanic’s shop. These lifts can be of different types like motorcycle lifts, runway lifts, drive on lifts, in-ground lifts, etc.

* Lubrication Equipments: As the name suggests, these are used to lubricate parts of the vehicle. There is a long list of lubrication equipments available and each is used for different lubrication purposes. Oil and grease reels, grease guns, oil drains, and oil and grease pumps are all examples of such commonly used equipment. Blacrank is a good brand when it comes to these equipments. Blacrank oil pumps are indisputable masters of the group.

* Compressors: Air compressors are used to do various works on automobiles. Generally, air compressors give additional pressure to drive in screws and give more power to tools like wrenches and nail guns. These are also used to remove dirt from the vehicle.

* Service Equipments: A vehicle needs to be serviced from time to time to ensure its proper running. This is where service equipments come in. These are battery chargers, fuel transfer device, brake fluid exchangers, coolant service equipment, tire changers, etc.

* Reels: These come in different shapes and sizes and are an important member of any automotive equipment list. Reels could be air reels, exhaust hose reels, grease reels, etc. Reels help to keep the pipes and hoses in place and also to extend its life. They can be easily reeled out to the required size and stored by reeling back.

* Jacks: Jacks are important not only in the shop but also for every vehicle owner. They enable the person to lift up the vehicle for the purpose of changing tires or doing some emergency repairs on the vehicle.

The list of automotive equipment is quite long and their uses quite large. Companies who sell such equipments also deal in car parts, thus making the store a one stop place for all things related to automobiles. Nowadays, there are thousands of online stores selling these equipments making them more accessible to all in need.

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Have You Seen a FBI Surveillance Van Parked in Your Street?

What do FBI surveillance vans look like? Such a vehicle may look like a flower delivery van, or a utility truck, or a black van that appears to be a stuffed bear delivery company. If the FBI is breaking the law and not using a marked van, the plate will begin with the letters SV, following a five-digit number which identifies its van number. But, in the real world the FBI can use any type of vehicle such as a RV and a Mini Cooper, to be more precise. These two vehicles can be loaded with cameras and dumped in your street for months for carrying out passive surveillance.This area is under cctv surveillance. Consequently, these vehicles are transformed into big cameras with wheels!

So, how can you identify these vehicles that are being use by the FBI for surveillance? You can usually tell if the FBI is equipping automobiles with cameras by how many are lined up at any residence. For example, if a home has four or five automobiles parked before its front lawn, this is a sure indication they are equipped with a superabundance of cameras. Another indicator: if you see a relatively new automobile parked in the street corner with a sale sign, the car might be fitted with cameras. Another indicator: do you see the same car models parking constantly around you? Do you see the same car models parked everywhere you go and around your neighborhood? If yes, this is yet another indication they are carrying cameras. Anything connected with a public service like school buses, post office, and UPS may be participating in covert surveillance operations by their vehicles being fitted with cameras. Here is yet one more indicator: automobiles that are positioned strategically for surveillance, often collect massive amount of dirt from immobility; they stand out like a sore thumb. If you see two very familiar car models parked directly across one another, this is probably a tactic of surveillance that resembles a checkpoint.

The FBI uses highly advanced surveillance radio equipment to spy on anyone. Though government surveillance is wrong and it should be clear why government surveillance of citizens is bad, some people are ignoring the vast negative consequences of big brother spying on you day and night. Government officials claim surveillance is needed to combat potential terrorist attacks, but that just a pretext, a lame excuse to justify and to keep the machinery of aggressive surveillance going strong.

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The Automobile: Profit and Status, Waste and Pollution

Originally used as basic transportation for home and business the automobile has become much more since the days of the Model T Ford. Today it supports a major industry as well as a wonderful convenience and better standard of living for so many. But the negative aspects of this great invention are now becoming more apparent.

Consider the mess that cars are making of our beautiful natural world as they spread fumes and noise into a once serene environment. And in their production and usage, cars chew up Mother Nature's resources at an increasing rate.

As in other industries the car companies' drive towards achieving greater profits has changed the way cars are produced, marketed and sold to consumers. The product that manufacturers want to sell most is not your basic transportation needs, and the advertising departments work feverishly to influence your choices. They have done a good marketing job over past decades as new owners proudly park impressive, shiny newer styled cars in their driveways, much like the TV commercials.

Automobiles are marketed aggressively for maximum corporate sales and profits as in other areas of merchandising. As long as companies need to increase their bottom line their efforts to sell products, good and sometimes bad, will be strenuous in the presence of strong competition.

This bigger, pricier car sales strategy is not new. In a dealer showroom way back in the 50's I had my mind set on a certain economy model but I was continually steered away from it. In fact the salesman refused to sell me the smaller model and I left. 35 years later and in a showroom helping my daughter with her concerns about choice and cost, the salesman turned to me and asked; "Who's buying this car, you or her?" As we headed to another dealer I remarked that he must have some personal problems, perhaps at home, maybe with his sales manager.

The automobile industry is a prime example of how shrewd marketing can sell maximum corporate benefits. Consider the car commercials on TV; They are not seriously trying to sell small and plain autos that use up the least resources. Most are for bigger and flashier styles, and with extra features that your friends will envy. Hybrids or electric cars may take the lead in future years but they will be made expensively and sold to generate maximum profit. Most by far will not be modest in design.

Along with continually remodeled styles the newest products can include frivolous gadgets and features that apparently are good selling points if marketed just right. And there has been a strategy where a model's size grows year-by-year until it's time to buy again; then your favorite model has grown in size and features and cost, and you gotta ante up considerably more than expected. Because what will your neighbors think if the choice is downsizing to a more practical purchase as the one you want to trade in?

Car commercials are amongst the noisiest on TV and can interfere with the family conversation if they are not muted. But the invasive annoying clamor attracts attention and results; It's how so much of advertising works. Rude and in-your-face works for them. In targeting the young and young at heart, commercials often sensationalize performance showing high speed maneuvers on city streets and highways. They are sending the wrong message considering the lives lost to excessive driving speeds. This is callous and harmful but it sells product. One has to wonder where the conscience of the corporate manager is hiding; Perhaps ethic is a detriment in rising to top managerial positions with some businesses.

The general outcome of many years of this massive marketing effort is that cars are now commonly purchased for superficial status, even though they may be too costly when excessive to the owner's budget or needs.

It's unfortunate that in the richer areas of the world consumers are so infatuated with these environmentally unfriendly, sleek, roomy, gadget featured, 'Look At Me' cars. But that's what they have been telling us to buy, most days of the year; and we are like sheep as we are herded towards industry showrooms.

We are being taken for a ride.

Marketing and branding are continually at work, and so the ongoing push to consume more steel, plastic, oil, and gas. But why would industry promote a basic product that represents modest, caring and friendly lifestyles when it would shrink business?

On TV during an earlier oil crisis a smiling spokesperson from the Automobile Association was defending why they aren't marketing more smaller cars. "People couldn't just sell their cars and buy smaller ones." The TV commercial which immediately followed the newsbyte was for a flashy full size SUV. Funny and grim.

Friendlier vehicles are coming off the design board as public interest in the environment rises. Can consumers resist the persuasions towards pizazz and extra extras that they could drive into the workplace parking lot? Can we practically expect them to change to economy autos? Granted, there is a case for increased comfort for longer commutes, but where is the practical limit?

Let's face it, this inefficient, costly and unnatural way to get around must be changed. It may be necessary to own a car to get to work, school and shopping; That's the way planning has designed our urban layouts, but that has turned out to be one big mistake.

Even if we are inclined to use public transportation it probably isn't there or not practical to use if the government has had other interests. And if it is available and convenient it probably still isn't what most of would consider; every one else is driving and peter has a new super spitter xyz !!

The public's desire for improving the way we live and treat the environment will change, but it will not be easy if we are continually confronted with massive persuasions to consume more. This necessary means of transportation needs a review of its design, marketing, and effects on society. The average person does not need luxury on wheels when spending only a few hours a week in the car. Nor does the car require fast speed and polluting power to drive within the speed limit. A description of the fuel efficient car should include: The smallest vehicle that will suit your transportation needs in reasonable comfort.

The automobile must take a less destructive and healthier place in our society, but can it happen? When the car industry hit a brick wall during the financial crisis the bailed out industry reorganized, redesigned and retooled for energy efficiency to some degree. Then came the familiar and glitzy, 'Show Me Off' ads. There is little advertising of small and simple transportation – so they can later proclaim that people did not want to buy them.

Why not review your automobile requirements to see if you can make some changes to more basic, downsized selection. And consider a reduction in usage. If public transit is available give it a try. I have been positively surprised at how convenient and relaxing transit riding can be. The ride is free time, and there are no expensive parking requirements when you arrive.

Businesses must continue to make money and so a drive into a brick wall may lie ahead unless politicians make a serious timed effort to tackle these problems for society and nature.

If the emerging economies follow the same pattern that we have, won't this world be one big ugly mess?

Albert Einstein once noted, "We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive." We had better start changing soon as we are running out of time.

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