ECONOMY CARS

An economy car is an automobile that is designed for low cost purchase and operation. Typical economy cars are small, lightweight, and inexpensive to buy. Economy car designers are forced by stringent design constraints to be inventive. Many innovations in automobile design were originally developed for economy cars, such as the Ford Model T and the Austin Mini. Gordon Murray, the Formula 1 and Mclaren F1 designer, said when designing his new Murray  city car: “I would say that building a car to sell for six thousand pounds and designing that for a high volume production, where you have all the quality issues under control is a hundred times more difficult than designing a Mclaren F1, or even a racing car. It is certainly the biggest challenge I’ve ever had from a design point of view. The alternative approach other than innovating to build a low cost car, is build a stripped down no frills version of a conventional car.The precise definition of what constitutes an economy car has varied with time and place, based on the conditions prevailing at the time, such as fuel prices, disposable income of buyers, and cultural mores. In any given decade, there has generally been some rough global consensus on what constituted the minimum necessary requirements for a highway-worthy car, constituting the most economical car possible. However, whether that consensus could be a commercial success in any given country depended on local culture. Thus in any given decade, every country has had a rough national consensus on what constituted the minimum necessary requirements for the least expensive car that wasn’t undesirable, that is, that had some commercially attractive amount of market demand, making it a mainstream economy car. In many countries at various times, mainstream economy and maximum economy have been one and the same.