Car Buyers' Guide: Is your car in the fast lane
In 2015, what is the automotive world hierarchy?
I'm regularly telling those seeking car-buying advice that some brands have recently either upped their game, delivered on past promises or simply moved with the times in an effort to retain or increase market share.
It started me thinking, in a tongue-in-cheek way, about some of the more popular brands and where they sit on an imaginary highway.
Their pathway was one of the best around, until parts of it suddenly collapsed underneath them because of some dodgy construction methods. Urgent repairs are under way and current traffic is receiving lots of help to negotiate the road ahead and to minimise holdups.
They operate on a toll-road system, where users pay for the privilege. They are constantly looking for new innovation as the more mainstream, non-toll highways get closer to merging with them in the fast lane.
After many years of repairing pot holes because of average-quality levels, they have worked extremely hard to improve their construction methods while retaining their unique rugged and tough appeal.
A highway that does not extend too far from the busy city centres, which means less traffic in the outer regions. These are often used by those who have driven on and enjoyed similar surfaces in Europe.
Are busy building a complete new roading system, while keeping up repairs and maintenance on existing but soon to be permanently closed highways.
Once the highway of inspiration until a sharp turn was introduced that headed users in a far less exciting direction. Result was far less traffic flow. Reconstruction is currently under way, with traffic flows already on the rise.
Both firmly in the fast lane after many years of concentrated effort to come up with a highway that offers users good construction methods, along with appealing looks.
Once in partnership with Ford, all three brands have grown stronger since their separation and have continued to build their own unique highways, which complement their individual strengths.
One of the best and highest- quality highways ever built but is often overlooked by those wanting to travel down the toll roads, based around naming rights in many cases.
They have delivered on a past promise to build all-new highways using new technology and design features. Huge increase in traffic flow has justified their efforts.
Some of their highways have had several makeovers to help keep them open, while they have also worked hard to produce some user-friendly innovations to take them into the future.
They have given their highways a lift in visual appeal in recent times, to compliment what is largely a highway built on solid foundations.
Once known for their racetrack construction methods, they have transitioned into the mainstream traffic while still retaining that air of excitement. They are a relatively small player, which is very happy building highways to be enjoyed.
They have continued to reproduce a very successful and unique brand of highway. The one downside is, it is mainly used by similar traffic. Efforts to change the structure are under way to entice other users.
Toyota doesn't make dramatic highway changes because they already use a very successful formula that only requires ongoing minimal tweaking. Huge traffic flow already but built to take additional load.