I was just going back through one of my old Overland posts...one of my first good ones...and I remembered that it was shared to Truck Yeah and eventually Jalopnik. It got 17.5k views and 111 comments back in 2015 and it didn’t even include any memes, divisive content or hot takes.
That was nearly 4 years ago now and what’s happened to SUV sales, Off-road aftermarket and social media “Overlanding” in that time?
It went away quietly.
Nah, it’s blown up. It’s the single hottest trend in cars right now.
So where’s the coverage? I realize that, much like Car and Driver and a few of the other mags there is this idea that the SUV is antithetical to the Jalop life and so they’ve repressed the trend despite the fact that the sedan is dying and and in spite of the fact that we are living in a golden age for horsepower and handling.
Now you don’t have to agree with me that the SUV enthusiast* is as much a part of car culture as Miata Lyfe™, but the truth is that they sold 9000 Miata’s in the us last year and they sold 240,000 Wranglers in the same time. Here is something to think about - They sell an order of magnitude more 6 speed manual wranglers than 6 speed manual Miatas.
*Its here I should distinguish, for the benefits of the comments section, an enthusiast versus any old motorist that just buys what they think will work best for them. Still, the Off-Road enthusiast crowd is HUGE and getting bigger year over year.
It’s not that they don’t occasionally go off-road or review off-road vehicles (Godspeed Andrew’s recovery) but it’s pretty light compared to the rest of the content. I know PG wants 2019 to be the year of car culture and not so much news and reviews. Well...
I suspect the coverage is light partly because of what I mentioned above about car culture generally thumbing its nose to the SUV and partly because they are a car blog in New York City, which has never made a lot of sense to me. Michigan? Sure, it’s the heart of the industry. West coast? You bet, car lovers paradise. New York City? The place that sent Cadillac packing and where the car ownership is between 22 and 45%? That’s neither here nor there though.
So here is my suggestion
- More overland coverage - There is a ton of cool car guy culture here as well as opportunities for stories and visually interesting content. There are 2 HUGE overland expo’s each year. Not as big as SEMA but large and certainly more interesting.
- Van Life - This is the new-age hippie movement that blogs will wax poetic about with rose colored glasses in 20-30 years. Get on it now. Cool stories, cool people, lots of stuff happening in the space.
- More off-road focused content - Doesn’t need to be overland to be off-road, these are the people that are really passionate about their cars and their car based life.
- More David Tracey and Andrew Collins period.
- Get your writers involved - Your writers need to experience the off-road life to get it.
If you are looking for inspiration i know of a good blog you can follow