WHY THIS IS THE LAST NEW CAR I WOULD WANT TO BUY
There's a lot of changes going on in the new car market. More change than this business has seen in 100 years! To give context to the subject, I have been around the car business for70 years. I was born into it, so not my fault. The first 6 months of my life was spent in our family apartment above the showroom of a Chevy/ Olds dealership. My early recollections of this were around the age of 3-4 hanging out with dad in the showroom and if I was good, I'd get to eat a cinnamon twist donut with the mechanics when they went on break.
Those were the days when your local car dealer was known to everyone in town and he (my dad) would frequent the local eateries for lunch, chatting with townsfolk about the latest news of the day. Your dealer was your friend who you could go to for advice all things car related and get straight answers, have a few laughs. Like my dad, who was the Treasurer of our church, your dealer was one of you, a known figure of trust and respect.
Those days are changing, replaced by 'Market Adjusted Pricing', Required optional dealer installed equipment, and even gotcha clauses in finance contracts that charge up to $2,000. for paying off your car loan in the first year. (Don't resell your car for a while). And now outrageous 'subscriptions' to allow use of the equipment you bought with the car!
I'm not sure when changes started but I saw things change in the '70's and '80's as the 'city' dealers got bigger and bigger and the small, family owned car franchise was seen by the car manufacturers as obsolete. Go big or go bust was the attitude. The car companies held all the cards and told dealers what to do and how to do it. Computers came into the picture, more expensive diagnostic equipment became a requirement and everything focused on numbers and profit. Nothing unusual here- all business needs to do that in today's world. A natural progression of things.
Eventually my dad gave in to this changing world and got out of owning a dealership and settled in working in the business for another dealer as a parts and paper runner. He was never happier.
As I write this, dad would have been 108 years old yesterday- the day my new car from Honda arrived on the transporter at Ide Honda in Rochester, NY. I feel a special connection to this car because it surprised me and the sales person I'm working with, showing up sooner than expected! Maybe dad knew I could't wait to get my hands on this beautiful Civic Si and had something to do with its arrival.
So why might this be the last new car I buy? First of all it is a 6 speed manual, a blast from the past. Very few are left and as we know companies don't want to invest in low volume units, as in manual shift cars. The other sign on the horizon is the death of the internal combustion engine. If the politicians in charge have their way the ICE is doomed. Electric vehicles are the future they tell us, even though most people don't want them at this moment.
So what is my point about this being my last new car though?
Here's the rub- the car manufacturers are going bonkers for new ways to suck money out of the consumers. I'd say they are Coo Coo for CoCo Puffs when you hear what's coming. SUBSCRIPTIONS to be able to use your car's features. Unbelievable. You have to watch this video to see how far out they are going. After watching the video, I'll sum it up. Take a look at this:
IS THIS PURE GREED? Subscriptions to use your car's features:
To conclude, with manual's going out, ICE's going extinct and subscriptions coming, who the hell would want to buy a car? Keep what you have and treasure it because it may be gone forever. The only thing that will preserve cars that are fun to drive is if we vote with our wallet by buying cars like this. Let's hope they keep making them!
And write to your congress person (politically correct term) and Senators to ban the practice of requiring a subscription to use equipment you already bought. If that is allowed to stand, then the lawmakers should be booted out of office.
BONUS REVIEW- And here is one of the best car reviews on this new Civic I've seen. They nailed it!
Oh and Merry Christmas , I really do hope that for you and your family.
Brought to you by Paul Ziegler, Publisher, Carcamerastory.com / follow on Instagram @wownowpics
See you after the new year.