According to international research, the global auto industry is expected to produce 85 million sales in 2014, up from an estimated 82 million the year before. By 2018, sales are forecast to break 100 million. And the Australian Bureau of Statistics says that the average family has two or more cars. So just what is our obsession with vehicles and moving parts, and can you love your car too much?
After their home, people’s most precious possession is often their car. While some people are indifferent and regard their car as a mode of transport only, others invest a lot of themselves in their car and in some cases see it as an extension of their personality.
A good example of ‘car love’ is when you stop at a traffic light and a cyclist pulls up beside you and steadies himself by placing his hand on your car – it instinctively feels like an invasion of your personal space. You know that your reaction doesn’t make sense, but you can’t help it – that’s because your car has become an extension of who you are.
We can see how important cars are to people from the trouble they take to choose one, the time they put in about its upkeep, and the way they protect and care for their car. Some people even name their car! The drive to individuate one’s car in this way is very widespread, and it reveals a lot about people’s relationship with their car and to cars in general.
By treating or ‘loving’ cars in this way, people convey – both to others as well as themselves – what their car means to them, which lays a foundation for how they treat their car, take care of it, and get upset if it’s damaged. So can you love your car too much? We don’t think so, and 85 million people can’t be wrong.