James LipmanCar and Driver
Sometimes something happens in the world that you hope is just a fad, but then it keeps happening and happening until you have to admit it's a trend. And then, when it still won't go away, you realize you're in the middle of an era.
We citizens of the car-loving world are in the early stages of a new one. Let's call it the Motorbovine era. It's marked by automakers and car buyers running away from sedans and small cars as quickly as they can in favor of bigger, floatier SUVs.
I empathize with the automakers that are killing off cars. It doesn't make much business sense to keep pouring development dollars into products that you have to work harder and harder to convince people to buy. It's similar to the current publishing era, which is marked by readers and advertisers running away from the traditional print products in favor of pixels.
Companies that try to stay the same and cling to the past without adapting and modernizing don't survive when tectonic forces shift the ground beneath them. But burning down the building to start fresh is risky. You try to meet people where they are, greet them with things they like, and hope the work pays off.
Automakers are moving toward their customers. Pickups and SUVs made up 75 percent of U.S. sales in the first half of 2020. And so more of them—and more improvements—are on the way. Not to be left behind, I'm excited to announce here that we're responding to the many letters we've received in recent years and will be changing our name from Car and Driver to SUV and Driver. It's a bold new approach, one that I'm sure vehicle lovers will admire and get behind.
For anyone whose blood pressure just shot up, take a deep breath. I'm kidding. You will continue seeing more trucks and SUVs here than anyone really wants—including us. We get why that makes you sad and why you send those letters asking us or threatening to cancel your subscription.
But this is where the industry is at right now—the beginning of an era. The good news about eras is this: They do end, and something always comes next.
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