Troubled times a'coming. - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Troubled times a'coming.

CARS In GENERAL

Consumers are cutting back in purchasing new cars. And this may be a permanent reduction in car ownership rather than just a delay. Over the years since 1960, the number of licensed drivers has gone up at about the same rate as population growth. But the number of vehicle registrations has gone up at a much higher rate. In fact, by 1972, the number of vehicles exceeded the number of drivers for the first time, and this ratio has continued growing until in 2006 the number of vehicles exceeded licensed drivers by about 22%. Now it could be that consumers have figured out that they really don’t need more vehicles than drivers, just like they didn’t before 1972. Also, with cars being built so much better now than perhaps twenty years ago, even the reduced number of vehicles we buy can be kept for more years with reasonable maintenance.

So, this is going to affect sales for ALL car makers for many years. Not only will there be massive layoffs across the industry, but the pensions and benefits of ALL automotive employees will be reduced so other U.S. car makers can be competitive with the new GM and Chrysler. Car dealerships, parts suppliers, ad agencies, TV advertising, raw material suppliers, trucking firms, and the tax base for many cities with a large auto presence are going to be hit hard. The effect of all this on the economy will be huge!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 09:43 AM
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It's a natural evolution with growing pains... and much better and many more smaller cars as in the European model.
Let's see what Fiat forces upon Chrysler.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 12:11 PM
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I've held that opinion for some time now. I just can't get over all the used car lots around, just tons and tons of cars and it's been that way for a few years.

Definitely too many cars chasing too few drivers. It will be years before the supply gets back in line with demand.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 12:21 PM
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It's all those guys still driving around in 80s and early 90s cars.



Oh, wait.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 03:04 PM
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And don't forget, in order to make profits, car markers will cut corners even more. So the shitty American cars will get even shittier. The cynical cycle never ends and you guys want to bail them out. Ha.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 03:38 PM
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Part of that extra vehicle registration is delegated to folks like me. There are 2 people in our family, but we have 5 vehicles. 3 we drive and 2 collectibles. This year, due to tighter finances the stang and old saab(1972) may stay garaged, and run but not plated . I am not entirely unusual in the amount of cars I have in my circle of friends since some are motorheads.
BUT
Bringing it back to the everyday folks, and in rough financial times, people will simply keep a car a few years longer and don't have money for the extra ride. It seemed a little laughable when people I knew thought their cars were no longer viable after 60K miles. They were actually scared of breakdowns. I don't know a single vehicle sold these days that won't easily do 100k to 150kmiles nearly without any major repairs, if just properly maintained. Most cars should be able to nurse 200k if really cared for.

So I have been the recipient of those scared folks. I buy my cars where others think theirs are shot (60K+) and pay nearly 1/10th the actual sticker price. Insurance is less, I'm strange since I buy cash, and the extra money saved buys my toys. NEVER in the past 40 years have I had a engine detonate on a family car (forgot one, it was a 72 Grand Prix, w/ 375K miles, R.I.P., old friend). I have detonated a few from abuse in my toys, but that's what I do. Run Em Hard, and have fun.

Yeah sales and registrations are down for multiple reasons. I think the registrations will spring back some when the economy recovers.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Lecours View Post
It's a natural evolution with growing pains... and much better and many more smaller cars as in the European model.
Let's see what Fiat forces upon Chrysler.
Both Fiat and Chrysler are bottom dwellers in quality surveys, so we already know what kind of products would emerge from the combination.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 06:37 PM
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The merger doesn't sound tempting.
Never been a fan of either car company, and no matter how many times smaller cars were introduced here in the USA, we , as a population opted for the big cars. When gas hit near $4.oo a gal the mindset changed, but only slightly.
I opt for a car with some mass. and don't like the thought of being in a crackup with a small car. Remember the science experiment with the large sphere bouncing against the small one? The small one goes flying. I will opt for driving the large sphere.
My 190E was actually too small, but a heavy car for it's size. The E320 is about right.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 09:14 PM
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smart car is supposedly safer then the benz.



in political asylum
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mzsmbs View Post
smart car is supposedly safer then the benz.

MZ, don't hit a C class head on when driing your Smart.........

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/off-...ead-crash.html
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