Kelley’s Blue Book editors sat down recently and decided on the their top 10 green cars for 2009 and their were some signs that the big American auto makers have finally started making some inroads into the green car developments the Japanese had been so quick to dive into.
The Japanese manufacturer Toyota came top of the heap with the THIRD generation Prius – that’s right, the Prius is now in its 3rd generation phase and this serves to remind everyone moaning about the big auto bailouts that when it comes to green cars, a sector we all agree is the future of the car industry, American manufacturers have been snoozing and there is a lot of ground to make up.
To reinforce this point, the number 2 slot was occupied by the 2010 Honda Insight with two other foreign car makers, Volkswagen (Jetta) and Mini/BMW (Mini Cooper) rounding out the top five with wait for it … the 2010 Ford Fusion hitting the top five.
In this light, Ford has made the Kelley Blue Book ratings with a combination of good design and dealing with the issues consumers are really thinking about – it is not just fuel efficiency and cost of ownership – there is no reason why the Toyota and Honda offerings should look the same as each other (take a look at them now) – the cars look like the manufacturers THINK consumers believe hybrids/green cars should look – Ford seem to be looking at this in a better way, how about making a green car that I want to look good in when I’m out cruising!
This is a slap in the face for many proponents of green cars – to heck with the fuel efficiency and environmental savings – why can I, the consumer not have these things in my new car AND have a car that looks good at teh same time. It’s competitive forces in action and while we still wait to turn the corner in the economy it is a good point to make that manufacturers need to consider not only the environmental credentials of their green car offerings but some of the things that cars really appeal to – our sense of pride of ownership, style and looks so get those design teams back to work guys!