How will one billion vehicles affect the world? That's what Joseph B. White wonders in his article in the Wall Street Journal. While such a figure may represent encouraging growth for troubled automakers Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp., it also, writes White, presents a challenge to them, other automakers, environmentalists, government bodies, and the average Joe/Jane.
Traffic congestion, all too familiar to many drivers, will worsen. The city of London, England, is already increasing taxes on individual vehicles partially to discourage their use and to encourage use of mass transit systems. Other countries, including the U.S., are looking at similar policies. Fuel and material costs will definitely increase as drivers in India and China, where car sales growth has been near-explosive, demand a greater share of the world's limited supply of raw materials and petroleum. According to GM executive director of market and industry analysis Paul Ballew, managing growth, rather than finding ways to increase sales, will be the big issue for the automotive industry.

Other issues such as recycling disposed vehicles, other environmental impacts, and even the car's iconic status, are discussed in the article. What do you think about White's view? Comments are open for your thoughts.

[Source: Wall Street Journal via Salt Lake Tribune]

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