We’re kicking off the week with some splendid news from Amazon.com. Over the weekend, Curbing Cars: America’s Independence From The Auto Industry ranked as the number one ebook in the Automotive category.
We appreciate your support, and look forward to discussing all our findings with you. We’re fascinated by the drop in driving, and why Americans are turning to a broad spectrum of transportation rather than just rely on cars.
You can find the book here on Amazon and on Apple iTunes.
Meanwhile, here’s the column that Robert Trigaux wrote about the book in Friday’s edition of the Tampa Bay Times. The debate over roads versus light rail is a vivid one in Tampa, the biggest American city without a significant public transportation system.
Millions of people are driving less, and some are even giving up their cars all together. In our new eBook, Curbing Cars: America’s Independence From The Auto Industry, published Tuesday by Forbes, I make some suggestions on how the auto companies can play a role in the new transportation reality.
One idea: create a new Model T, a car that that can appeal broadly to the public, and yet be affordable and efficient. That’s critical, given that the average new vehicle now costs around $33,000. Parking, repairs, insurance and maintenance all add up to the expense of owning an automobile.
Here’s what I say in an excerpt on Forbes.com.
“There’s an opportunity for some smart company to build the next car for the masses. There is certainly a precedent for doing so. The original Model T put the car within the reach of the American middle class for the first time, and as cheaper used versions became available, the demographic got pushed down even further to the working class.
From 1910 through 1930, the automobile industry attracted new customers and auto sales boomed. But then there came a 15-year period in which auto sales stalled, first because of the Great Depression, and then because cars weren’t available during World War II.
What happened to revive the American car market? Prosperity returned, of course, but there was also a successor to the Model T that put millions of people into cars they could afford: the Volkswagen Beetle. It was a global, not just American, phenomenon and caught buyers’ attention for a number of reasons. Continue reading
Curbing Cars: America’s Independence From The Auto Industry is the result of our Kickstarter-funded project looking at why people are driving less. You can buy it now from Amazon.com, on iTunes and other sites where eBooks are sold.
Check back regularly as we post our analysis and predictions about the historic shift in attitudes among Americans about their transportation needs.
By Micheline Maynard
We’re hard at work on the first Curbing Cars eBook, which is scheduled to be published this spring. We’d like to include stories about millennials and the way you use transportation.
Did you put off getting a driver’s license, or did you get in line as soon as you could? Do you see a car as something that’s too expensive, or are you a car buff? Are you cycling or skateboarding or using public transportation? Or, do you have to drive to get where you need to go?
Millennials: share your stories.
How important is technology to you? Is your mobile device more important to you than your car?
If you are 30 or under, and would like to share your thoughts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put Millennials in the subject line. Share a few transportation thoughts so we’ll know how to categorize you. Include your name, city, telephone number, Skype ID if you have one, and the best time to get in touch.
We only want people whose names can be used in the book, and we will verify your info to make sure you are who you say you are. Please respond by Feb. 14.
Thanks, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you.
P.S. for our non-millennial readers, we’ll be looking for your stories as well. Stay tuned for our request.