Thursday, July 21, 2005
I have arrived in the UK. Right now I'm staying at a hostel in Central London. As I write this, several bombs have gone off mere blocks away from where I am staying. The bombings actually occurred as I was walking back to my hostel. I had no idea they had occurred and was caught up in a huge wave of human traffic coming out of the Tube (what they call the subway). I was planning on taking the tube back from my work visa office, but couldn't find the entrance. So my stupidity actually saved my life, the first time that has ever happened actually.
The UK looks a bit like an East Coast city, or maybe it's the East Coast cities that look like it, except the cars are a lot smaller. It's a car fan's dream being here. Virtually every model you can imagine can be seen in the city, and commuters on motorcycles or scooters are numerous. I really see London as the way most American cities will look like in the future because of gasoline shortages. People will drive highly efficient diesel cars and motorcycles. These cars will be small, and population density will be great, as the price of fuel drives people to living nearer to their jobs.
Even though MG Rover went under, I've seen many Rover 75s about, as well as MG TFs. I've read you can get a brand new diesel 75 for about 11000 pounds, which is the same price as a new Golf. The new Golf is a popular car as well, and it looks great. I think it's crazy they haven't released this car in the states.
As I've mentioned before, I am attempting to get work in London, specifically automotive related work. If that fails, I'll try for legal work, for which I have a graduate degree. This blog will continue on regardless. I see it as a sort of analysis bridging the gap between the European and American car experience. My experience with cars is substantially different to most Europeans, many of whom I would imagine will rely almost completely on public transportation and never learn to drive. V8s are a rarity here. A Mustang would qualify as a luxury sports car, because of the amount of fuel it uses and the insurance costs.
So keep reading. Posts will dwindle for the time being until I get settled and find work. But when I do, things should get exciting.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I've mentioned it before, but the day has finally come. I'm moving to England! I'm excited, I have a student graduate work visa in hand, and I hope to parlay that into an indefinite work visa of some sort. I've never really done anything like this before, the most daring thing I've done to date is move across the country to Boston for college for four years. Or maybe it was the time I drank 12 shots of tequila in college and passed out. Regardless I don't consider myself brave, even though terrorist attacks have recently struck this city. The hostel I'm staying at I've been told is in the Muslim section of London, but I really believe at this point so close to an attack, London is probably one of the safest cities in the world just because everyone there is on high alert. So, no, I'm not scared.
I'm looking for work in the auto industry there, and we'll see where that goes. For my readership, I'm actively looking to interview some people in that industry. I'm not promising anything, but if I can pull these interviews off it should be interesting for most of you who are Americans to get a taste of how the British see cars and the car industry. At least I think it's interesting.
I bought a digital camera, so at some point I'll be uploading my own photos of things. Of course they will be car related. If I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford a car, I will do everything in my power to buy one that is not sold in American. Peugeots are looking really nice.
The blog will continue, even if I'm unable to get a job in the auto industry there in some capacity. It will take on a different tact, with more emphasis on teaching Americans what Europe is like in relation to the car, and how Europeans view cars. It will be a learning experience for me as well.
Well that's about it. If anyone in Britain has a need, or knows someone who has a need for a recent American law school graduate, let me know! I can tell real good water cooler yarns as well...
Monday, July 18, 2005
Those are some pretty high-falutin schools saying ethanol is not an adequate replacement for oil because of the amount of oil needed to produce ethanol. The article doesn't say whether the study takes into account ethanol run trucks and tractors to transport and cultivate the ethanol, or sticks with gasoline powered trucks and tractors. If the study relies on the latter, then it comes as no surprise that they reached this result. Regardless, it adds more "fuel" to the fire, if I may use more tired cliches.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
I never added this person's blog to my list to the right. Automuse is written by a female attorney who is interested in cars. I too have a law degree, but have decided at least for the time being not to practice law, and try to work in the auto industry in some non-legal capacity. Her blog I believe is a bit more popular than mine, so adding her link is at this point merely courtesy since I won't be giving her too many new readers I think.
Let's imagine that gas goes to four bucks on average a gallon in this country. What then? That's a little less than double what is now.
Several things would occur. There would be a massize movement of lease escapes from SUV owners. If the price of gasoline gradually rises, it would be a gradual escape, if it rises exponentially, the leases would collapse faster than helium escaping from a ruptured balloon.
The lower classes would reduce, or completely stop using their vehicles. They would make use of the decrepit public transportation systems for work commutes, or carpool. Cars would be used only on the weekends, and there would be a long running effort to replace low gas mileage vehicles with high gas mileage vehicles.
The middle classes would reduce if they needed to. Those who bought hybrids, or diesel cars would be fine, crazy sports car eccentrics would stop feeding their children to maintain their hobby, families would exchange SUVs for full sized cars. Profits would collapse for GM, Ford would be hard hit as well though the Fusion would ease things, Chrysler would suffer too but Charger and 300C sales would climb.
The upper classes would react as well, but not as dramatically. As SUVs become a symbol of raw gluttony, only the most extravagant members of the illuminati would continue to use them. Most wealthy, ever fearful of the morlock masses rising up and either kidnapping them or siphoning ever more precious fuel from their tanks would downgrade to sipping sports which would cost less to maintain yet still be brash enough to express the classes' vulgar nature. Lotus Elise sales would skyrocket. Rockefeller types would buy even bigger SUVs, possibly small Mac Trucks to show their obstinancy.
Police would drive Ford Focii (Focus plural), motorcycles would become the all year norm for many living in the Southwest of the country, violent sociopathic street gangs wearing a motley collection of leather and metal would prey on hapless drivers in the far off desert portions of our nation, killing drivers and stealing their valuable petrol.
So there you have it, a well thought out predictor of the future. I may have gotten carried away towards the end, but I'm a passionate kind of guy.