The meaning of executive cars
Posted Thursday, October 10 2013 at 01:00
If you have heard the term, executive cars, being used in Uganda, it was most likely in an advertisement of a service provider. Some of these firms are in the car hire business and others are events organisers. The latter usually refer to these cars as corporate cars that can be hired for corporate functions and weddings.
Different online sources explain that the term executive car was derived in Britain to refer to an automobile larger than a large family car. In official use, the term is adopted by EuroNCAP, a European organisation founded to test car safety.
The term was coined in the 1960s to describe cars targeted at successful professionals and middle to senior managers, often as a company car but retaining enough performance and comfort to be desirable in their own right.
The executive car was seen as aspirational, hence the emphasis on standing out from the crowd-but also a business tool enabling its users to exploit Britain’s evolving motorway network.
Early executive cars typically offered engines of between 2.0 and 3.5 litres in size, compared with 1.6 to 2.4 litres of a large family car; these days the average family saloon is more likely to be a two-litre car with executive cars generally starting at around 2.5 litres, although in some markets such as Italy and France where tax structures make large engines prohibitively expensive to own and run, there are many 2.0-litre executive vehicles.
While executive cars were quite popular in Europe in the beginning of the 1970s, with most major manufacturers and brands having an entry in this category, the fuel crises hampered their sales.
Gradually, the executive cars became more premium vehicles, with basic versions with less equipment and smaller engines disappearing from the market. On the other hand, large family cars grew in size, being offered with larger engines and higher equipment levels, taking over the role of less premium executive cars due to lower prices.
Compact executive cars
Within the large family car class, premium cars such as Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Citroën DS5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo S60 are sometimes referred to as compact executive cars in the United Kingdom, reflecting their status, equipment amount, materials used and relative size compared to mainstream large family cars and regular executive cars.
In Uganda, executive cars are usually driven by the well-to-do and top company managers. If bought as used, such cars cost between Shs25m and Shs100m. But some like the Toyota Progrès have depreciated to Shs10m. Brand new executive cars cost above Shs100m. Some of the cars we consider as executive in Uganda, are elsewhere just mid-size sedans such as the Toyota Mark X and Toyota Verossa (both in the Shs50m range).
An executive car in its own right, the Toyota Brevis is in the (Shs27m-Shs30m) range. Other executive cars in Uganda include Jaguar X-Type, Mercedes Benz S and E-Class, BMW 5 and 7 series, Audi A4 and A6 and some Volvos.