Advertisement

'The car industry mustn't get bogged down in negativity'

There is a worry that the car industry is currently a soft target and one that needs kicking, says Graham Hope

In the wake of Dieselgate, it’s only natural that the car industry has been under the microscope. But is there a pattern emerging that ensures only the negative elements are highlighted?

On one day last week, there were no less than three prominent car-related stories on the home page of the UK’s most influential news website.

Advertisement - Article continues below

VW led the way again with the revelation that it would investigate older EA 288 engines to see if they too contained software to rig emissions tests. 

There was also coverage of a spate of fires in previous-generation Vauxhall Zafiras, and a story that Tesla’s self-driving tech can’t be relied on. Auto Express is a title that champions the rights of the consumer, and I acknowledge these stories tackle areas of concern – we’ve covered the Zafira issue ourselves. But I’m worried that there is a narrative forming that the car industry is currently a soft target, and it’s time to give it a kicking.

'Mandatory auto headlights could be a real safety boon'

Even more alarmingly – judging by the number of requests our journalists get to provide comment – this narrative is often being peddled by outlets that lack real expert insight into the industry.

Now, in no way do I think the transgressions and safety flaws of recent weeks should be minimised. And as I write, accusations continue to fly over alleged malpractice from other makers. But maybe it’s a good time to remind ourselves that the negative headlines are the exception rather than the rule.

Despite its flaws, the car industry remains a cutting-edge environment where there is much to be proud of. Whether it’s alternative fuels, world-leading British products or advanced connectivity, there’s a lot of great stuff to shout about. And it’s up to those of us who care deeply about cars to ensure those less well informed are aware of this – as well as the bad stuff.

What do you think? Is the car industry going through a bad spell or is it just a hitch? Let us know below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020
'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'
News

'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'

Just because premium brands can offer cheap finance deals, it doesn't mean that they can fob buyers off with poor customer service, says Deputy editor…
15 Apr 2020
“UK motor industry – your country and its people need you”
News

“UK motor industry – your country and its people need you”

Mike Rutherford thinks the motor industry can still do more to help provide life-saving medical kit
12 Apr 2020
‘What better than a thumbs-up from an existing owner?’
News

‘What better than a thumbs-up from an existing owner?’

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler gives his view on our 2020 Driver Power survey, and is especially pleased by Kia's success
8 Apr 2020

Most Popular

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review

We get our first taste of 242bhp Skoda Octavia vRS with Skoda tech development boss Christian Strube in the driver’s seat
10 Jul 2020
New Kia e-Niro 2020 review
Kia e-Niro SUV

New Kia e-Niro 2020 review

All-electric Kia e-Niro mid-sized SUV 
benefits from same updates as hybrid Niro versions
9 Jul 2020
New Cupra el-Born electric hot hatch offers 310-mile range
Cupra el-Born

New Cupra el-Born electric hot hatch offers 310-mile range

The sporty Cupra el-Born is the Spanish brand’s first all-electric vehicle – and it has a maximum claimed range of 310 miles
8 Jul 2020