Can carmakers do more or should they do more?
The short answer would be no, for most makes and models. Some makes and models do have enough security to give one’s peace of mind. One can argue, why car manufacturers are not doing more to boost the security in their vehicles before they hit the market? While this is a legitimate argument, the answer to it would be, researching and testing at a normal pace would always be one step behind the criminals, as they adapt to the new technology sometimes before it even hits the market. I am not saying though, that the car manufacturers are not capable of boosting the security of the cars they are making. Because I think they are, but with it, vehicles may come with a higher price tag. It is the economics of doing business.
Some facts about the auto industry
Here are some facts about the auto industry in Europe including the UK. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association(ACEA), there are almost 300 car assembly and engine -production plants. Here is how they’re distributed:
- 142 of them manufacture passenger vehicles;
- 28 light – commercial vans;
- 58 of them make heavy-duty trucks;
- 58 manufacture busses;
- Lastly, 71 plants assemble engines;
- Many of the plants have a mixed production.
The top four European countries with most automotive plants that make passenger cars, vans, trucks, busses, and engines are:
- Germany 42 plants;
- France 31 plants;
- UK 30 plants;
- Italy 23 plants.
The auto industry is employing directly about 3.5 million people all across Europe which accounts for just about 11% of the workforce in manufacturing jobs Adding the indirect employment resulted from retail, distribution, authorised dealerships and repair centres and other operations, the numbers will go as high as 13.8 million. The last figure accounts for roughly 6% of all the jobs across Europe.
It is now said that the number of automotive plants per capita is too high, as the number of new vehicles registered in recent years has come down even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having this data helps us to understand the ramification of the auto industry, what is involved in keeping it going and who is involved in it.
The economics of car making and what to do next
Having these few facts about car manufacturing, we can say that the auto industry is a very important sector given the high number of people employed in it and the high revenue that each country’s government stands to receive year after year through various taxes. Now, is it fair to say that carmakers don’t have any incentive to improve their car’s security because they need as many sales as possible to sustain the entire industry? That would be a fair argument. But then, there is another aspect to the problem. To have the security improved requires a good amount of logistics and costs, which in the end is going to be us, the end consumer paying for it. If the latter is true, then the car sales will plunge even more, putting the entire industry even more at risk by having fewer cars sold since the buying power continues to decrease. We all know too well what the effect is going to have on the economy already on peril post-COVID-19.
Luckily, today we do not have to rely totally on the car manufacturers to boost the security of the vehicles. There are plenty of third-party companies that came out with all sorts of gadgets meant to do exactly that. The best part about it is, it is not that expensive, it does not have to be done all at once; although, from a cost perspective it would make more sense to have it all done at the same time. Also, these gadgets can achieve much more than what a carmaker would ever be able to do since these gadgets can be customised for each vehicle individually. Moreover, there are other ways to keep a vehicle secured in addition to the gadgets.
7 ways to increase the security of a vehicle
Now I will list what can be used to increase the security of the vehicles, especially for the keyless vehicles whether passenger cars, vans, motorcycles, scooters or mopeds.
For cars, vans, motorcycles, scooters and mopeds
- Alarms and tracking devices. Besides offering the ability to protect and track the vehicle at any time in real-time, when using a tracker you can also monitor the speed, mileage driven, idle times and much more. This tracking device can be of very good use to companies with a fleet of vehicles or to keep an eye on your child in the first years of driving. Find out more by visiting the vehicle tracking page.
- Immobiliser system. An immobiliser system like Ghost II immobiliser is the ultimate defence system to have installed in your vehicle. There is no way of tracing where it is installed, it does not emit any signal that a thief can use for a relay attack. This device makes the vehicle undrivable. To start the vehicle, a code has to be entered, and this code is made up by pressing different buttons in a certain sequence, which makes it impossible to guess. For more information, please visit our page theft protection immobiliser system.
Note: Having at minimum these security devices installed, can serve as a deterrence for thieves and it can help reduce the insurance premiums. Get in touch with your insurance provider to find out how much can you save.
For motorcycles, scooters and mopeds
In addition to the features mentioned earlier, motorcycles, scooter and mopeds can also be secured as an added feature by doing the following:
- Use chains, locks and D-shackles. Loop the D-shackle around the wheel. The chain can be looped around the frame and secured onto the wall or ground by using Sold Secure Approved wall or ground anchors. A product catalogue can be found here.
- Portable security locks. Discs lock to be used with other security devices, as a stand-alone device would not be theft-proof. It can always be removed by other means.
- Security marking and registration. This is another way of having your motorbike, scooter protected by displaying a sticker on the motorbike stating that it is marked and then register it with Secure by Design approved database. This may be a way of stopping thieves in the first place. More information you can find on Secure by Design website.
- Garage door defender. This can be fitted on most garage doors and it can be fitted by you or a professional. The lock should be fitted on solid substrates like concrete, concrete blocks, bricks.
For both cars and motorbikes
Out and about and looking for a safe place to park? Look no further. Park Mark – Car Park is the first place you would want to look after. More information you can find here on park mark. How to find a Park Mark – Car Park? Click on www.parkmark.co.uk.
What to do and what not to do
- Do secure your car or motorcycle, scooter, moped every time before you leave your vehicle;
- Do use two disc locks for your motorcycle;
- Do use the disc locks in conjunction with other security devices;
- Do not attempt to drive away with your motorcycle before checking that all security devices have been removed;
- Do not leave the locks when used with a chain to secure the bike, up against any hard surfaces. This will make it easier for thieves to attempt to break it;
- Do not leave any valuables in plain sight;
- Do not leave the key in the motorbike ignition switch, after parking it.
For any motorcycle keys repairs, replacements or for just a spare motorcycle key, please visit our motorcycle services page.
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