For more than a century, cars have had a decisive impact on our daily life, and few other commonplace objects have so divided public opinion. Cars are both curse and blessing, design sensation and environmental killer. Going beyond their pragmatic role as a means of transport and transportation, they serve a social function that is far from neutral. Cars are projection surfaces for desires and aspirations, as tokens of flexibility and freedom, and status symbols connoting power, wealth, prestige, and sex. Highly innovative automotive industries in countries such as Germany, Italy, and the United States cultivate this aura through compelling...
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