The trend is clear "Tiny is the New Big" Automakers of all sorts are adding new models of fuel efficient tiny cars to their line ups. These designs are promising to automakers for several reasons. Not only do tiny cars necessarily up their fuel efficiency averages by offsetting fuel guzzling trucks and SUVs these tiny cars also represent low cost entries into developing markets like India and China where car sales are booming.
I'll say it again. It seems to me that carmakers are missing an opportunity with their tiny cars that quite possibly will hinder sales in the North American markets. As designed these tiny cars are only suitable for tiny people. Why are there no tiny cars designed to accommodate big people. I am talking 5'10"+ and 250-500 lbs. big. Big Americans are just as likely to like the fuel economy of tiny cars and their compact size for parking and maneuverability as smaller people. The difference is one of design.
It's clear that putting big people in tiny packages has design implications. Why not design tiny cars for one large passenger. A single seat or two seat version of these tiny cars would be excellent for commuters and urban dwellers. Why not optimize the car for long range commuting by incorporating large fuel capacity, advanced navigation and communication systems. How about a version optimized for mobile professionals. Why not make it easy to use a single passenger version as a mobile office space incorporating a copy machine, fax, onboard computers, WiFi, printers, cameras, etc. There is a lot to be done and a sales boom for automakers who respond to the market for tiny cars for big people.
Pictured: The new Honda Zest which goes on sale in Japan March 1.
Edge Thinking About Smart Cars