Saturday, May 2, 2015

What Trends will set the Future of the Car Industry?

The number of new cars that are being launched at every other motor show across the world is phenomenal. But what trends will make the future of the car industry secure? This is a difficult question to answer. There is no readymade solution. Right now, as far as design is concerned, proportion and styling have given way to decoration and ornamentation. Gaudy treatments of the grilles and a heavy accent on black and chrome is very much in fashion. For example, General Motors is thriving on a fusion of design and style while Ford Motor Company is replacing sophisticated body designs with noses and cockpits that are looking flashy. Volkswagen is giving attention to functions and designing while Mercedes is replacing grace and sophistication with show and flamboyance. It is not anymore fashionable to think big for size. Downsizing is probably becoming one of the topmost priorities for all sizes and price classes of cars. Weight is being considerably reduced across most models. As far as the Japanese market is concerned, with the exception of Toyota, Honda and maybe Nissan, all other car makers are struggling for liquidity and looking out for foreign partners. Subaru is barely surviving with the support from Fuji Heavy Industries. Even with the alliance from the Volkswagen Group, Suzuki has reached nowhere. The cooperation formula is gaining importance once again. The Fiat and Chrysler merger along with the Daimler and Renault partnership comes to mind. To establish a new brand for cars is becoming a very difficult job. There is always a chance for any innovative effort to be bogged down by economic pressure. For example, Tata’s Nano has not at all sold well in India. Saab has also found the same fate with its new models. The settling down of trends with the new models is an uncertain issue as none of the new models have really made an effective impact on the demands of the volatile market. The cars are also not very competitively priced. Distribution has become a tough task. As far as hybrids and electric vehicles are concerned, most of the prospective buyers are asking a question whether the battery is safe and can it be charged with low cost electricity in off-peak times.

What You Need to Know to Keep Your Car in Good Condition?

Maintenance and care are the two keywords that help you in keeping your car in a good condition. There are a few things that you should know about car maintenance and servicing to make sure that you get a smooth drive. Disciplining a maintenance schedule is crucial. You simply have to stick to the schedule. There is nothing that is more important than regular servicing of your car to keep it in good condition. The preventive maintenance schedule is quite crucial. You have to comply with this schedule. In this maintenance cycle, brakes, tires, suspension and the electrical connections may be checked regularly. While doing these checks, it is possible that you can get an early warning on issues that may trouble you later. As a car owner, you should be conversant with a little of the basic car maintenance checks. You cannot leave it all to the garage mechanic. A much overlooked requirement is the regular rotation of the car tires. You have to rotate each tire to a different corner each time. The tires also have arrows on their sidewalls to denote their orientation for direction. The car tires have to be inflated correctly with the air pressure as suggested by the producers. This has an impact on the handling of the car at corners and over speed breakers and bumps. It is a good safety feature. Air pressure that is not correct can be risky and may lead to an accident. It also negatively affects the comfort level of the car ride and reduces the life of the tires besides worsening the fuel economy. The tire pressure can vary with seasons. The air that is inside the tires can expand when the temperature rises. It is important to check the air pressure in the car tires regularly. When you buy a car, you expect it to give you service as long as possible. In the initial stages of the break-in period, you have to be patient, particularly for the first thousand miles. You have to keep your speed under fifty five miles per hour. You have to be careful to avoid straining the drive train with a heavy load. Do not tow trailers or place heavy material in the boot. A new car should not idle for long duration. The oil pressure can then send oil to all parts of the engine. The acceleration has to be on the lighter side so that the engine is not rotating above 3000 rpm for the initial driving time. When you drive your car after the break-in period, do not race the engine during the start up. This will wear down your engine faster. You have to accelerate gradually as you begin to drive. The major wearing down of the drive train happens in the first twenty minutes of the running. When you are at the traffic lights, you can shift to the neutral gear to put fewer burdens on the engine and the automatic transmission. When it is extremely hot or cold outside, you have to avoid driving at high speeds. Basic knowledge of your car will go a long way in preserving your vehicle but not many owners are mindful of servicing their cars regularly these days.