Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Auto Industry: Where's The One Car We Can Talk About?

Mojo, Buzz. You pick the adjective. The auto industry is lacking the one car, truck, or SUV that everyone is talking about.

You know, the one model getting attention, good or bad. Think Hummer from 5 years ago. Or the Prius 3 years ago. The types of game changing or polarizing new models the industry has been missing. And if you are a car lover, that ought to be a little disturbing.

As GM's Bob Lutz has said many times, "The best cars get your heart beating and stir emotions." He's right. But in the last 2 years, we've seen automakers fall into a conformist mentality with new models.

For the most part, they are all very well made, with styling similar to a competitors. That doesn't mean they are all carbon copies. But it does mean there are many models in certain categories that are so similar, they are few true head turners.

As a result, it's not surprising to hear the public say they simply want a car with good gas mileage, strong safety ratings, or a low monthly payment. Listen, I have a beater at home for putzing around town, but it doesn't mean I've given up looking for that second car that will make me feel a certain way. That's the juice the auto industry needs.

So you tell me. When will we see a car with mojo steal the headlines?

Get all of us talking? I hope it's soon. Heck, I'd even settle for GM bringing back the Pontiac Aztec. It may have been hideous, but at least it got people talking.

Questions?  Comments?

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