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Theseus' Car Industry.

Here’s a surprise; it hit me when I first viewed the 2019 World Car of the Year contenders. Despite an unhealthy interest in cars, I had essentially no opinion on most of the candidates this year.

Interestingly, this feeling was unrelated to the merits of the cars listed. Design gripes aside, these were accomplished cars which forced me out of my comfort zone. Remember, I’m the person who researched heavily into the 100 fastest cars from 1984. Comparatively speaking, the 2019 model year is no man’s land.

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But why is this the case? Perhaps it’s because, to be blunt: there’s a lot more cars out there. Manufacturer lineups have expanded in size exponentially, with the trend of crossovers escalating the situation. So, it’s time for an experiment. What would the 2019 WCOTY list look like if ‘lineup bloat’ never happened?

To test our scenario, we’ll zoom through the roster to see which cars are (A) not crossovers and (B) were nameplates established in the year 2000 or earlier.

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Audi A6 (Est. 1994)

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BMW 3-Series (Est. 1975)

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Ford Focus (Est. 1998)

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Jeep Wrangler (Est. 1986)

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Lexus ES (Est. 1989) Note that is a picture of the Japanese model, the Windom.

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Nissan Altima (Est. 1992) Note that is a picture of the Japanese model, the Bluebird.

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Suzuki Jimny (Est. 65 million BC [1970])

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Toyota Avalon (Est. 1994) Note that is a picture of the Japanese model, the ...Avalon.

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Toyota Corolla (Est. 1966)

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Volvo S60 (Est. 2000)

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There you have it: 35 cars, reduced to a meagre ten. To boot, 60% of said 35 cars were crossovers; no wonder I was overwhelmed. It all goes to show how quickly the automotive landscape changes. Perhaps, only a few decades from now, almost all the big names from the car industry could’ve vanished altogether. Let me know which other familiar models will survive (or falter) in the comments.

Stay curious Oppo!

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