Happy new year?

Motor Equipment News - - CONTENTS -

Well, what a bril­liant New Year we have ahead of us! The econ­omy con­tin­ues to move on strongly, and new ve­hi­cle sales hit a brand-new record of just a smidgin un­der 160,000 ve­hi­cles. Toy­ota con­tin­ues as the mar­ket leader, and the Ford Ranger as the best-sell­ing ve­hi­cle over­all, as well, as ob­vi­ously, be­ing best-sell­ing com­mer­cial.

Ac­cord­ing to the Mo­tor In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion (MIA), a high level of ac­tiv­ity is ex­pected to con­tinue through 2018, though the as­so­ci­a­tion isn’t ex­pect­ing many new records.

As far as on­go­ing de­vel­op­ments in the in­dus­try are con­cerned, the elec­tric ve­hi­cle lobby seems to be gain­ing some trac­tion, but only at the ex­pense of gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies, and al­though some ma­jors have in­cluded EVs into their fleets, we would ex­pect the prices they have paid for them have been way off what you or I would be ex­pected to pay.

Ini­tial pur­chase price con­tin­ues to be an in­hibitor as far as EVs are con­cerned, with in­fra­struc­ture im­prov­ing, but still an­other lim­it­ing fac­tor.

What is of­ten over­looked in the EV equa­tion is that only the drive train is elec­tric; the rest of the car is pretty much the same as an or­di­nary petrol or diesel, and re­quires the same main­te­nance and re­pair cy­cle.

Then we have a look at au­ton­o­mous cars. I touch on that in a bit more de­tail on page 20, but at the mo­ment it seems the law­mak­ers, for once, are ahead of the game as the technology seems to have stalled a bit, pos­si­bly be­cause of the cost of some of the sen­sors and cam­eras re­quired.

We had a cou­ple of new 110km/h stretches of mo­tor­way an­nounced late last year, ba­si­cally on the lat­est, widest, and safest roads, but my bet is this will be fol­lowed up by lower lim­its on other roads.

The po­lice and the so-called road safety peo­ple re­main fix­ated on ve­hi­cle speed as the only prob­lem, de­spite an in­crease in the road toll which in­di­cates other fac­tors may be at work. My bet is tex­ting and us­ing cell­phones at the wheel, but the au­thor­i­ties have main­tained a deathly si­lence… prob­a­bly be­cause they don’t know how to deal with a prob­lem that is ob­vi­ous to the rest of us.

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