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The Big Car Con

The Big Car Con

Автором Chris Rainsford

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The Big Car Con

Автором Chris Rainsford

92 pages
58 minutes
Dec 7, 2014


Why do car manufacturers spend so much on advertising and model changes?

After decades of extensive road building why is congestion still such a problem?

Why do so many motorists buy over-priced, over-powered gas-guzzlers?

Imagine a world where cars were designed by teams that were led by thinking, rational engineers rather than by the marketing department.
‘The Big Car Con’ shows how it is possible to both improve our road transport system and at the same time lower costs for the private motorist.

‘The Big Car Con’ is a discussion of modern car design.

1.It considers car design first from the point of view of the marketing department, who want to make maximum money for the minimum of product. It illustrates the ploys used to persuade us to make buying decisions with our emotions rather than with our intelligence.

2.Then it considers design from the point of view of a pragmatic, rational design engineer who wants to design the best product for a fair price. An engineer considers the actual functions required of the product and then uses ‘best engineering practice’ to design the right tool for the job.

Current models are then graded by their engineering quality based on their efficiency/emissions. Estimations are made of the fuel wasted by inefficient gas-guzzlers.

The effects of the two approaches to design are discussed and suggestions made to raise standards in car design.

This is a pro-motorist book that considers the interests of the driver above those of the manufacturers marketing department. It encourages the car buyer to make intelligent choices when buying a car rather than being duped by marketing fluff.

Buy this book! Cut your motoring costs and save the world!

Dec 7, 2014

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The Big Car Con - Chris Rainsford

The Big Car Con



Copyright 2013 Chris Rainsford

All rights reserved

Smashwords Edition

Website: http://www.chrisrainsford.com/


Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: If the Design Team was led by the Marketing Department

Chapter Three: If the Design Team was led by Engineers

Chapter Four: Appraisal of current models

Chapter Five: Discussion





Have you noticed that some technologies, such as telecoms and computing have made huge advances in the last 30 years whereas many of the problems facing today’s motorist are similar to those facing a motorist in the 1960s?

Many people are killed or injured on the roads. Cars are expensive to buy yet they depreciate rapidly. They are expensive to run due to the cost of fuel, insurance and maintenance. Health problems related to air pollution are on the increase. Congestion is still a problem despite decades of road building and upgrading. Parking and car-crime are a problem in some areas.

Car designers have made a significant impact on some of these issues, e.g. better brakes and tyres improving road safety.

In the future better design can further improve the quality of the road transport system, however, there is a tension between the requirements of good engineering design (i.e. safe, efficient, long lived with value for money) and the requirements of the accounting and marketing departments of car manufacturing companies i.e. maximum profit for minimum outlay.

The best design engineers want to design the best possible product giving value for money to the end user. Conversely the marketing department are committed to obtaining the maximum profit from the consumer.

In this context, ‘a design engineer’ is a technically skilled pragmatist who will prioritise ‘best engineering practice’ in the field of road transport i.e. would design the right tool for the job. The engineers’ priorities are safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness. The interests of both the motorist and other road users are considered. Success is defined by making a well-engineered product at a fair price.

The marketing department or ‘Marketeers’ are only interested in the profit. They use an array of psychological tools and images to encourage motorists to pay more for their motoring.

Techniques used to beguile the motorist include:

1. Seductive adverts, often depicting the car on empty roads in an exotic Mediterranean location, (whereas the car is more likely to be used on the M25 on a wet Monday)!

2. Many of the brand names have a mystique associated with that particular manufacturer. Their reputation may be based on the quality of their products or it may be based upon the quality of their advertising.

3. There is conflicting advice from the motoring press. They sometime quote ‘authoritative reports’ produced by marketing organisations which use (often carefully selected) data to support their client’s product.

4. There is also ‘greenwash’ where manufacturers make sometimes dubious claims about the greenness of their products.

5. There is a bewildering choice of models. For each model, there are usually many variants with differences such as petrol/diesel, 3, 4 or 5 door, different sizes of engine, different levels of trim and different gadgets e.g. Sat-nav/parking sensors. Excessive choice makes comparisons more difficult for the consumer.

This book considers car design from an engineer’s viewpoint and compares it with design from the point of view of a manufacturer’s marketing department. It is aimed at the intelligent car buyer hoping to choose the best car for his or her budget. It aims to cut through the fog of marketing ploys to enable the thinking motorist to obtain the best vehicle for his/her needs.

First there is a discussion from the marketing department’s view discussing the marketing ploys used to persuade people to spend more on their motoring. Then there is a discussion of design from an engineer’s point of view. This discusses the factors that must be considered to design cars to suit modern conditions.

Current models of cars are then appraised both from an engineer’s viewpoint and from a marketeer’s viewpoint and grouped into categories A,B,C&D. An estimation is made of the costs of inefficient car ownership.

The car manufacturers have been evaluated and ranked by the percentage of above average cars in their model range.

The results are discussed and the consequences of current car design are compared with the consequences of improved design. The last section gives advice on how to choose the best car from the cars currently available.

Hybrid electric cars have been considered in the same groups as conventional cars so that a fair comparison can be made.

Most cars use petrol or diesel so electric cars have not been considered in this study. (There are only a few electric cars available in the UK at present so it is easier to judge them on

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