Call Off the 'Peak Car' Celebrations

Planners and environmentalists have applauded the seven-year decline in America's auto ownership levels with understandable enthusiasm. But around the world, automobile production has never been higher.

"Two weeks ago, transportation researcher Michael Sivak brought us the news that there are fewer cars per person in the U.S. now than there were a few years ago – and that the number isn’t expected to rise again," writes Tanya Snyder. "But globally, the trend is in the opposite direction, and it’s alarming. The world is producing more cars than ever."

"The troubling new reality," she explains, "is that while the United States and other developed countries are beginning to lay off the gas, other countries are accelerating wildly. Though the U.S. still has by far the largest fleet of passenger cars, auto sales in China overtook the U.S. in 2011. In 2010, the number of cars in the world hit one billion."

"The number of cars per person in the U.S. has been declining since 2006. But in other countries, the trend is ever upward." 

Full Story: Car Ownership May Be Down in the U.S., But It’s Soaring Globally


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