A motor car means a wheeled motor vehicle used for carrying passengers. It has been designed to ease traveling for speedy access. Its structure may contain four wheels with a capacity of accommodating four to eight persons within. The vehicles or cars have been made for transporting persons primarily (Pocket Oxford Dictionary). As far as its history is concerned, it has often been claimed that Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is the real inventor of this technology who designed the automobile for the first time in 1769, while some critics have not accepted this accreditation. Some others believe that Ferdinand Verbiest, a Chinese, was the first one who introduced the first steam-powered vehicle in 1672 (Setright, Drive on! A social history of the motor car).
Classification of Cars
Car classification is idiosyncratic due to multi-manual descriptions. According to the Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, cars can be categorized into following
- Hatchbacks, saloons, and estate cars
- City cars
- Supermini/ subcompact cars
- Small family/ compact cars
- Family cars
- Full-size cars
- Compact executive cars/ entry-level luxury cars
- Executive cars/ mid-luxury cars
- Full-size cars
- Sports cars and grand tourers
- Hot hatch/ Sport compact
- Sports saloon/ sports sedan
- Sports cars
- Grand Tourer
- Muscle car
- Pony car
- Sport Utility Vehicle
- Crossover SUV
- Multipurpose vehicles/ minivans
According to another classification, it has been divided into new and used cars, the best and the worst, sports and non-sports cards, gas-fuelled vehicles spending less or more gas, and luxury and normal cars. As far as new cars are concerned, these cars are manufactured by a well-known brand or manufacturer and are launched into markets for sale on a regular basis. In these cars, every feature is company maintained and is authorized only by the company for sale. Sports cars are meant for racing and are referred to as off-roaders or four-wheel drives. Examples of such sports cars are Land Rover Discovery, Jeep Grand Cherokee, etc. Non-sports cars are not meant for racing, and these cars are for the common use of traveling. These cars are referred to as family cars or micro/compact cars. Every year, every brand is analyzed for its performance by different automobile engineers and title cars as best or worst depending upon their performance from different perspectives, such as energy consumption, sales graph, engine status, etc. For example, 2008’s best cars were Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, Honda Civic, Toyota Rav-4, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Honda Accord, Lexus IS 250, Toyota Yaris, Scion xD and Acura TSX, while the worst cars of the same year declared were Dodge Avenger, Chrysler Sebring, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Xterra, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Explorer, Jeep Liberty, Saturn Vue, Hyundai Vera Cruz, and GMC Acadia (Mitchell, 2008’s best n worst-performing cars). As far as luxury cars are concerned, these cars are categorized into entry-level luxury cars, medium-level luxury cars, and full-size luxury cars. Its examples are BMW range, Lexus LS, Mercedes Benz S class, BWM 3 Series, Lexus IS, Jaguar X-type, Audi-A6, Jaguar XF, BMW 7 series, etc. Examples of normal cars are Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Ford Fiesta, etc.
Leading brands of the automobile industry
In the contemporary world, the leading companies dealing in automobiles are BWM Germany, Daimler Chrysler Germany, Ford Motors US, FUJI Heavy Ind. Japan, Honda Motors Japan, General Motors US, Hyundai South Korea, Mazda Motors Japan, Peugeot France, Suzuki Motors Japan, and Volvo Sweden. These brands were declared as best at the end of a world survey in the year 2002 (Fulford, Forbes.com). People usually go with leading brands because they feel comfortable with these brands and such accreditation increases their confidence in these brands. There are some other reasons behind the massive sales of these brands that people feel reluctant in buying such cars which show poor performance and need regular maintenance that can waste many periods of time. Hence, in order to avoid such issues, people prefer to buy these brands, even with higher prices.
Australian FCAI – Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. VFACTS Motor Vehicle Classifications and Definitions.
Fulford, B. “The World’s Best Automobile Companies”. Forbes.com. 2002. Web.
Mitchell, J. “2008’s best n worst performing cars”. Motor Trend. Web.