Despite the warm, healthy glow emitting from the hearth of the North American auto industry, many observers feel that the industry will soon roll off a cliff due to the arrival of the Peak Car.
Peak Car, a terrible menace feared across all modern lands, is the tipping-point moment at which the majority of potential car buyers ask themselves if they need a car at all rather than asking which car do they want. When the Peak Car point arrives, an event that many say is certain, the auto industry will have to shift its focus from producing individual rides for single families and people to creating systems that move great numbers of people from over here to over there.
While this trend, if it continues, does not mean that cars will disappear from our roads anytime soon, it does mean that more of us will be on bicycles and motorcycles, in buses, trams, trains, and lightrail systems than there are in cars. Peak Car will be a change that many automakers simply will not survive.