Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's a Car

I know a lot of people anthropomorphize their vehicles, give them names, pat them on the fender at the end of a trip and generally consider them to be members of the family. But those people (for the most part—certain exceptions apply, of course) know that that big hunk of steel and plastic is not, in fact, human. They know that a car is a car, a pet is a pet, and a teenager is a nightmare. But that’s not important right now.

My daughter and son-in-law bought a Hyundai Vera Cruz last year. They’re quite happy with it, and treat it like a car. Well, like an SUV. After all, when you need room for two child car seats, what can you do?

Anyhoo, Hyundai is diligent, or possibly even aggressive about their customer satisfaction. They mail out questionnaires and surveys, and go to serious lengths to understand the owner’s relationship with the vehicle. It seems to me that this borders on the kinky.

Following are direct quotes, and honestly, I swear I am not making this up—from a survey they received from Hyundai:

1. If your Hyundai was a person, which of the following traits would describe it? Environmentally-friendly, passionate, peaceful (yeah, it meditates whenever left alone in the garage), tough, outdoorsy (no, I see the car more as a family-room kind of accessory), charming, upper-class, successful, intelligent, reliable, up-to-date, imaginative (just yesterday it suggested a more scenic route on the way home from work), spirited, daring (yup, cut somebody off in traffic just for the sheer sport of it), cheerful, wholesome, honest (wouldn’t keep the change that fell out of my pants pocket), down-to-earth (um, what, you know a car that’s hoity-toity?)

2. Which of the following statements are true of you?

I believe the greater good stems from truth and wisdom.

I strive to bring the world closer together.

Technology and electronic products are not simplifying my life.

I usually do a lot of research before I purchase a product.

Seriously? I bought one of your cars—I’m not applying for a job in the CIA and I’m not marrying your daughter. If I get approved for financing and the check clears—we’re done here. Nice knowing you, see you when my warranty expires. End of story—my views of truth and wisdom should be between me and my significant other. Car maker? --not so much.

When my 90-year old friend bought an Isuzu sedan and named it “Suzy”, I thought it was endearing. But nobody put her through an extended psychoanalytic assessment to determine her mental status.

Okay, hers was white, not red.  Sue me...

Yikes—back off, Hyundai. You’re not taking over the world one driver at a time. Or then again, if you are, get your info from that guy across the street. He’s pin-striping his Sonata right now. Wonder what that means….


  1. No way! Wow. That's a little over the top.

  2. Where do folks come up with this stuff? If your car were a person????

  3. That reminds me of the way Saturn behaved when they first came on the market. They had owner get-togethers and fan clubs and whatnot. It all seemed a little nutty to me. I'm one of those people who believe my car is something that gets me from one place to another. Nothing less, nothing more.

  4. That is just plain old weird. I can't even describe myself, how am I supposed to describe my car?