But we begin in the United States, where it seems that America's love affair with enormous, gas guzzling cars is finally coming to an end. Last week, the American car giant, General Motors, announced it was shedding 25,000 jobs.
The reason is a slump in the sales of its most popular car – the four wheel drive SUV, or sports utility vehicle. This is not the first time that large cars have become less fashionable in the United States. There was a noticeable downward shift to smaller European and Japanese cars after the massive increase in petrol prices back in 1973.
Interestingly though, this time the increasing price of petrol doesn't seem to be responsible, nor is the demise of the SUV being caused by a rush to embrace more environmentally friendly cars, like hybrids.