A car is any wheeled vehicle used for transport. Most commonly defined by most dictionaries, most definitions of a car say that they are motor vehicles that seat eight people comfortably, move primarily on dirt roads, and generally transport people instead of products. While this definition has endured throughout the years, other more definitive definitions have come into existence. Nowadays a car can be called any vehicle that is primarily used for transportation by human beings. A bus, van, minibus, or even coach are all forms of public transportation, while private automobiles fit into this category more specifically.
Electric cars were not widely discussed in either the US or Europe until after the 2021 Beijing Olympics. Following closely behind were the efforts to create an all-electric vehicle (also called a plug-in hybrid) that could run on electricity without gasoline, thereby eliminating the need for regular gasoline consumption. These vehicles were the subject of a great deal of media attention at the time because of their similarity to the technology used in both sports cars and motorcycles. Their appearance, however, soon made them detestable and their potential cost became clear.
Sales of plug-in hybrids in the US reached about twenty million dollars within the first year of their production. Sales of electric cars in Europe, Canada, and Japan were about ten percent less than plug-in hybrid sales in the US. This lack of interest in these vehicles was not unexpected considering that sales of plug-in hybrids and other electric vehicles were far lower in these places than in the US. The price gap between electric cars and other fuel-efficiency vehicles (including plug-ins) remains large, making the lack of demand for them a practical concern for vehicle producers. If demand continues to decrease, it will become harder for car companies to make a profit.
It is also unlikely that revenue will increase substantially as a result of the changes in auto manufacturing strategies announced by GM and Nissan. Revenue generated by dealerships for these two companies has declined significantly over the last couple of years. While this is certainly bad news for customers, the financial results of these businesses are far from optimal. As a result, General Motors and Nissan have decided to reduce dealer revenue through dealer consolidation and selling, thus reducing their overall exposure to debt.
Revenue generated by car sales has historically been higher in the spring and fall months. However, passenger cars have seen an increase in fuel costs in recent years, which is also having a significant impact on revenues. GM’s decision to eliminate some of its underperforming vehicles is also expected to have a negative impact on revenues. The elimination of profitable vehicles could reduce GM’s profit margin and reduce its cash flow. Analysts expect GM’s revenue to decline in both the short and long term, due to the effect of the terminated vehicles and the impact of the discontinued selling process on its profitable passenger cars.
Lastly, we note that in January, 2021, the FTC announced that it will propose legislative reform “to help protect American consumers from deceptive and predatory business practices such as those that are found in the auto industry.” In particular, the proposed reform would require that motor companies that sell vehicles to consumers must clearly disclose the estimated cost of any auto loan and the terms of that loan. The proposed legislation is expected to close the “loan hole” that currently exists between vehicles financed by dealers and those financed through auto finance companies that do not provide finance. The FTC expects this step to lead to more consumer protection for consumers and to help promote good financial health for the national economy as a whole.