Re: TRANSPORTATION: Replacing Cars with Shuttles
Fri, 20 Nov 1998 08:50:22 -0800 (PST) wrote:
>That's right, but there aren't many small start-ups in the automobile

But as usual that's largely due to the barriers that government regulations put in the way of new companies. In the UK -- where pretty much anyone can set themselves up as an auto manufacturer -- there are dozens of small manufacturers, some selling complete cars, others selling them as kits for home assembly. The cars are usually cheap and idiosyncratic, but they're often much better for their target market than the usual models from Ford or GM.

Interestingly, one such car is the only one I know of allowed to compete in rallies without a roll-cage -- the body is so strong that it doesn't need one -- and the old Jensen FF, with ABS and permanent 4WD back in the late 60s, couldn't be sold in the US because Jensen weren't willing to smash up two cars to pass US safety regs; in terms of production numbers that would be equivalent to Ford smashing half a million Escorts. So US safety regs *prevented* the sale of the safest car in the world at the time.

But then that's government for you...