Rise of the SUV
The most common family cars during my childhood were Holden or Ford models. Although there were other brands and car models available, the market was dominated by the locally manufactured Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons. Large sedans and station wagons were built tough for Australian families.
Holdens and Fords are no longer manufactured in Australia, primarily due to the increasing demand for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). SUVs were created by merging the features of an off-road vehicle with those of a passenger car. Today, they have become the most popular type of vehicle, accounting for 60% of the one million cars sold in Australia annually.
I have been a reluctant fan of the SUV, preferring to drive a sports car instead. However, my wife has now had a succession of SUVs, and she loves them. They always have plenty of room, and she enjoys the high riding position for the driver. The popularity of SUVs in Australia can be attributed to their versatility as a family car, whether for shopping, taking the kids to sports, or going on holidays. It’s similar to the versatility offered by Holden or Ford sedans and wagons during my childhood.