Exterior style designs lower priority than meeting regulations

September 7, 2012 12:00 AM

Car afficionados years ago could distinguish one make and model easily from another from a block away. Now, even up close and parked, it can be difficult to know one from another. Government regulations on safety and efficiency have much to do with this, according to The Associated Press.

"At 60 miles an hour and 60 feet away, you could identify a Chrysler from a Ford from a DeSoto," Jim Mattison, a man who spent his career in the auto industry, told the news source.

As the United States has raised the standards for fuel efficiency that manufacturers are expected to meet by 2025, car manufacturers are channeling their funds into designs that meet the aforementioned safety regulations as well as fuel efficiency standards - meaning the outer design, though important, is of low priority. A key aspect of maintaining safety on the consumer end is upholding the scheduled maintenance and regular oil changes.

Regulations such as seat belts and airbags have by nature limited how creative manufacturers can get with the design of a vehicle. Moreover, as efficiency standards increase, more models are adopting similar  designs that reduce drag on the vehicle and lighten the frame. International safety standards can also limit design creativity, such as having a bumper high enough on the vehicle to minimize pedestrian injury risk. 

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