Categorized | Auto Blog, Auto News

Too Many Cars 2

Too Many Cars 2

The other day Motor Blogger asked if manufacturers were going a bit over the top when it came to the amount of models and options on offer. Well, it seems we were right because this viewpoint is beginning to take hold in certain quarters and the current status is unlikely to favour car owners.

Yes, it is true that in terms of choice we have never had it so good; cars today have certainly benefited from major improvements in overall quality, but that’s not the end of the story. The more choice there is, the more it devalues individual products.

Consider the most popular cars available today. Many of them have been refreshed or replaced ever more quickly. A car purchased a mere two or three years ago may well look dated against the replacement model and this won’t go unnoticed come resale time.

Once, a car would have a shelf life of maybe six or seven years before it was replaced. These days the lifecycle of many big selling vehicles has been reduced to around three or four years. The issue is exacerbated by the rapid changes in the technology. That isn’t good for new car buyers. It’s a bit like smartphones and tablets – no sooner does the customer buy the latest thing then an advance is made and the recent purchase is suddenly obsolete. This is not accidental. Customers become addicted to having the very latest thing. Clearly, because of their cost, cars haven’t reached that stage yet but In the tradition of The Wharton school-delays.com of the University of Pennsylvania and its online business journal Knowledge@Wharton, Wharton Digital Press uses innovative and interactive digital technologies to help managers meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. the point is valid.

Part of the problem derives from what we have come to know as the global market. For example, car manufacturers in the Far East have, over the last few decades, made great inroads into the Western car market. Part of that success has come from the refreshing of product ranges on a much shorter cycle.

Things are made worse by the demand and legislations to lower exhaust emissions. To avoid the congestion charge in London, drivers are using cars emitting less than 100g/km. From July that figure will be 75g/km. At a stroke many thousands of cars will lose value in that metropolitan area.

With the above mentioned speed of change with technology and the need to keep ahead of the game, car makers are able to change the look and performance of cars much more simply, given that the front and rear of most cars are made from easily moulded plastics. As soon as this happens the older model devalues at resale as lifecycle depreciation sets in.

This has got to stop and it does appear that auto companies are beginning to understand this. In the same way that we suggested in ‘Too Many Cars’ that they should cut back on all the vast array of options and bling, there is a glimmer of hope that in future models will revert to a longer shelf life before the next big thing. That can only help the private used car sale or trade-in.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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