NB: This blog post is pure speculation and conjecture.
Maybe you have seen one of these machines traveling on a road or parked outside the supermarket near you. They seem to be rapidly increasing in number these days. The ubiquitous people mover, also known as the minivan, seems to be replacing the family sedan or station wagon as the vehicle of choice for the modern family. They come in various forms from affordable Japanese imported varieties to luxury European SUV people movers.
In the 1950’s and 60’s cars could hold as many people as you could throw in them, due to the non-existent laws around seat-belts and safety. In the 1970’s the likes of the Holden Kingswood or Ford Falcon had seating for three in the back seat and three on the bench seat in the front and thus could (relatively) comfortably seat a family of six. In the 80’s and 90’s Japanese sedans became popular, due there reliability and fuel efficiency, yet could only seat 4 or 5 people comfortably. Now with the rise of the people mover we have affordable vehicles that can seat 6 or 7 with comfort.
Do people consider transportation when making decisions about family size? I can only speculate, however, now that transporting Mum, Dad and 5 kids is a relatively cheap and affordable option with a people mover, what does the future hold for the TFR in New Zealand? Lets hope that the main reason people are getting these vehicles is to transport friends and grandparents in a more efficient manor but we’ll just have to watch this space.