TORONTO -- Peter Horbury, design director at Ford Motor Co.'s Premier Automotive Group, has a theory about why automobiles evoke so much emotion with some of their owners.
"For thousands of years, the only alternative to walking was a horse," he says. "A horse was a live creature. You would give it a name. You would feed it. You would clean it. And every night, if you could, you would put it away someplace warm to sleep."
Now look at automobiles and their owners. What do they do?
"We feed them," Horbury says, "wash them on a Sunday and put them someplace warm to sleep at night. We treat our cars in the same way as we treated our horses. They're almost alive in our minds - because a car becomes a substitute for an animal."