Theme : Rivals – An Introduction

Simon gets his piece in before the others. Result!

Image : Painting by F Gordon Crosby / Louwman Museum

The motor industry is, by nature, driven by rivalry. But unlike the more creative sort of rivalry, where two or more points of view are competing energetically for the same goal, much of our industry’s rivalry is in trying to persuade customers to choose their product over another one that is virtually just the same. It’s all rather dull, just football teams trying to prevent each other from scoring.

Fortunately that is not always the case and, at their best, rivals cause one another to excel by each setting newer and higher targets. But, although rivalry can have often have a constructive conclusion, that is not its primary purpose. Nothing so logical. Nothing so responsible. Rivalry is often born of greed or ego, the need to assert yourself, not to discover the best way. For instance the power rivalry between makers of German super saloons is, for most of us, worthless and, in many cases, it might not even be that profitable. Rivalry is also is a two-edged sword – in motor racing it has certainly produced some heroic races, and some needless deaths.

This month we will be looking at the good, and maybe the bad, aspects of rivals. Hopefully this will spur on our writers. After all they wouldn’t want the other fellow’s piece to look better than theirs, would they?

One thought on “Theme : Rivals – An Introduction”

  1. Thanks, Simon, for your thorough scratching of a large surface and I enjoyed the apparently effortless prose. Rivalry is surely only the most obvious manifestation of the competition for resources, sublimated to status seeking. Gandini and Giugiario rivalled each other for a while or was that a creation of the press? And Wolseley and Humber vied for the middle ground, two crabs struggling in a small tin bucket.
    I look forward to my colleagues’ no doubt interesting contributions to this theme.

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