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Newsletter, October 2012 (Issue 189)

And now for cars ...

This is almost unbelievable! Henry Ford first started making cars in 1903, since when they have (on average) made a car every 10 seconds. That's 350 million cars over the past 109 years. And the Ford Focus has become the world's best selling car, overtaking the Toyota Corolla and the VW Golf - 10 million since 1998, one every 45 seconds. Available in over 100 countries, it has more' international cred' than Henry Kissinger. By the time you've read this snippet, another Focus will have rolled off the production line, another has been delivered and yet another has joined the tailback on the M25.

John Norman

In the USA vehicles now outnumber drivers by five to four. Los Angeles is the most congested city in the country, with drivers said to waste 72 hours a year stuck in traffic jams. However, a reaction may be setting in. Streetcars are being reintroduced in several cities (even in surprising places like Houston and Denver) and public transport use reached a 54 year high in 2010. Many young Americans in cities are using public transport and bicycles rather than driving. And it's worth remembering that in New York (as in London and Toronto) half the population do not own cars. Even more remarkable is that many of the largest cities in the US are growing faster than their suburbs - the first time in over a century.

    Front cover of issue 189 Cover, issue 189

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