The car industry is far from perfect. The Volkswagen diesel emissions and Takata airbag scandals are evidence enough of that.
But there are things the motor industry does rather well. It’s extremely adept at selling you stuff. It takes objects that are the second most expensive thing you’ll ever own, after a house, and it makes them not just desirable but also affordable.
It’s remarkable, really. Cars are expensive things. But car makers put them within reach, and then market the hell out of them to make you want one. A lot of people could learn from the way they do it.
I’d like to think I’m immune to marketing, as do you, I suspect, but it’d be foolish to think that marketing doesn’t work. In some way, we’re all influenced by the messages we’re sold.
And car makers sell them brilliantly. If you buy this car, it’ll make you more attractive, it’ll be perfect for your active lifestyle – because you look like a young, go-getting sort – and it’ll probably save you money, it’ll be fun to drive and it’ll be reliable. And so on.
What you’ll not find is a car maker telling you what a moron you are if you buy a car made by someone else. Which, after two elections of note this year – won, apparently unexpectedly, by Brexit and Donald Trump respectively – is a lesson politics and the social media sphere might like to learn.