Have you seen those little smart cars driving around town? They are kind of cute, and they get really good fuel mileage. Of course most people need a little but more space, so what if they had a micro minivan? Did you know that in many other countries these little mini vans are driving around? They have them in Europe, Asia, India, and in many countries in South and Central America. Why not in the United States?
Is it because we have so many rules and regulations with regards to automobiles, or do people just want more power in their cars? Do people in the United States travel further distances with more stuff in them? Do we want everyone to have a large minivans so when they go to the store they buy more? It’s hard to say why we are not using these fuel-efficient vehicles in our own country.
There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal on May 11, 2011 titled “GM Bets Large on Rural China Markets – Success of Microvans Prompts Push to Manufacture Other N0-Frills Vehicles for Emerging Consumers” by Norishiko Shirouzu. The article discusses how GM wants to sell 5 million of these microvan vehicles by 2015 in China, and do you think they can do it, well, I certainly do. Apparently, according to the article they sold 2.35 million in 2010.
You see, China’s middle class continues to grow. By the way in China living in the middle class means making about $1500 per year, so it’s a lot different than here in the US, but now something like 500 million people in China are now there. Interestingly enough, these microvan type concepts are not only hot items in China, but also in India where Tata Motors has recently announced the new Magic IRIS as a substitute to all those 3-wheeler type vehicles folks are now driving around to carry their goods.
In the city I live in, it is legal to drive your golf cart on the road, and we have extra big bike lanes that allow people do this. In fact it’s kind of funny on the bike lane it has a picture of a bicycle stenciled in, along with a picture of a golf cart. It’s quite hilarious actually but it works. People take their golf carts to the grocery store, to Starbucks, and even taken through fast food drive thrus, it works.
If people just have short distances to go, why do they need a full-size car, and why do they need to spend all that money on insurance and monthly payments? They don’t. It makes no sense really. So, I dare to ask the question; why aren’t we selling these micro minivans in the United States of America? US companies are making them, why aren’t they selling them here too? If you have the answer to my question then shoot me an e-mail, in the meantime please consider all this and think on it.