Speak my language…
I need a new car – the old one is … well, old – as in 9 years and 280.000 km old.
Every other year, the European Motor Show (the ‘autosalon’, as we call it) takes place in Brussels. That means special ‘conditions’ – this world is full of jargon: you don’t discuss ‘prizes’, but ‘conditions’. Streets are full of car ads, all the papers and magazines and other media report on the event. Folks are being interviewed about how they see the world of cars evolve. There is no shortage of nice pictures, or discussions. Etc.
So, I should have an easy time to figure out what I want, right?
Now I readily admit that I am not a car guy. I’m afraid that looks and form may be more important for me than technical specs – even though I’ve had course on combustion engines when I did my engineering degree.
And here is the problem: the brochures and web sites do not speak my language: sure, there are web sites where you can search for cars, but I can’t formulate what I need in these terms! I don’t know what brand I want. I don’t know whether I want a diesel or a gasoline car. I don’t know which ‘series’ I want. I don’t know what a reasonable budget is. I don’t know what these percentages of tax returns mean.
Frankly, I don’t want to have to learn about all of this. I’m interested in other things. I like music. Food. Wine. Books. Tech. My family and friends. And there is only so much time…
Here is what I think a car site should do for people like me:
- For a start, it could ask me what I drive now? (Renault Scenic.)
- Why do I want a new car? (This one is old.)
- How many kilometers do I drive yearly? (35.000)
- How many passengers do I need to be able to take? (Family of four and, since last Saturday, a dog.)
Then it could show me some clusters of cars that are relevant for me, like
- some that are very similar to what I have now,
- some that are much more or much less expensive,
- some very different options – like an electric car, or I don’t know: something else (I told you that I am not a car guy).
It could help me to explore and figure out, with me, what I like and what I don’t like or don’t care about. In the process, I am sure that I would become interested in cars. (I am that kind of guy.) I might even get involved with some web2.0 tool that connects me to other folks like me, or experts that I actually understand. I may subscribe to regular updates and alerts. I’d be happy to receive more information. In my language.
Basically, what I need is an amazon approach to cars – other people who drove something like what you drive then decided to buy these cars.
In the mean time, I am going to have to figure this one out, before the month comes to an end – and the ‘conditions’ no longer apply…
Maybe you can help me find the tool that speaks my language?
(PS. I am so aware that this is exactly how most people must feel when they need to decide which computer to buy, or which cell phone. Now that is a world where at least some sites do speak my language!)