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Heart of the Industry: How Automotive Passion is Fading in a Modern Market

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Automotive sector is losing its core essence

TO THE EDITOR:

Each week, as I finish the most recent issue of Automotive News, my worries about the car industry grow. My anxiety stems from the industry's apparent loss of its core essence. Numerous attempts have been made to manage car companies using strategies from other, unrelated sectors, but these efforts have often failed. The reason is simple: cars are akin to pieces of art, appealing more to emotions than logic. Purchasing a car is often a decision driven by the heart rather than the mind.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, General Motors perfectly exemplified my theory during my most active years in the industry. The frequent turnover of CEOs, presidents, and vice presidents, many of whom lacked any experience in the automotive sector, was a clear indicator of the company's troubles. In my youth, the major car manufacturers in Detroit were led by executives who were deeply knowledgeable about cars and understood their customers.

In today's world, the landscape has certainly shifted. There are now only a handful of car enthusiasts in influential roles, and the customer base has evolved as well. A smaller number of buyers possess knowledge about cars, and even fewer are genuinely interested in them. Passionate car lovers have given way to individuals who primarily require a means of transportation. These people are often less excited about their cars than they are about their smartphones. Cars have been relegated to the status of mere household appliances. As a result, car dealerships may become obsolete, as many buyers fail to grasp their significance.

Kevin Donovan, the proprietor of KD Creations in Port St. Lucie, Florida, specializes in creating products with automotive themes.

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