Government control over the auto industry. Very true, like what happened in Soviet Russia.
What government controls? If we're talking about emissions, then please tell us how much better off we would all be if cars didn't have catalytic converters and still ran on leaded gas.
Lastly, the thought that most American buy small cars because they have to and they "really" want big cars is a joke. Maybe they did in 1950, but this is 2012, and more people actually do in fact prefer compact and subcompact cars.
As far as saying "F" the automotive press, well don't blame them for making bad reviews over equally crappy derelict cars. The public wasn't buying them either, so they were merely stating known facts.
I disagree. Most people with active families and a couple of kids need room. Teens seem to be getting taller each generation. My daughters and my son have sports activities, and we go on trips. Ever hear of a soccer mom? They came out with minivans, SUVs and now crossovers. If you are retired or a single commuter, maybe that's your choice. The preferences are likely driven by high fuel costs. I love the flexibility of a SUV with an active family, shopping and trying to contend 2 adults and 2 children, which is the norm now. Try squeezing 6 foot adults and kids nearly that tall in a compact car with activities; we would end up in divorce court and a broken family situation!
What government controls?? Ever heard of the EPA? Starting in 2025 they have already mandated that all car companies will have to get a corporate average of 54.5 MPG; that will nearly double the standard from 2010. That is great considering the money we will save on gas, but unless the car manufacturers become a lot better at building larger efficient cars, we will all be driving around in tiny sub-compacts. Tiny cars like the Toyota Yaris and Ford Fiesta don't even get near that kind of mileage for Gods sake!
We the consumers will be paying for all the money the auto industry has to invest to be able to do this. Meaning we will probably pay about the same for a sub-compact as we would currently pay for a mid-size or large car, inflation adjusted.
I thought the current state of the auto industry was pretty bleak, but it looks like it's just going to keep getting much worse. And the fact that you seem to deny the fact that Americans buy large vehicles when they can afford them. Remember a time in the not so distant past when vehicles like the Chevy Suburban/Tahoe were selling like hot cakes, and the Ford Explorer was the number one selling vehicle? Those vehicles were selling so well because gas was cheap and people could afford to drive them. Now very few people can afford to pay $50-60K for a car that gets about 15 MPG. What other explanation do you have for the quick rise and fall of vehicles like this?? Funny how their popularity correlates perfectly with the cost of fuel!
Yeah, this is 2012, such a wonderful time, cars are smaller, uglier, and way overpriced. Therefore I too agree the people "have to" buy small cars; if they want something new that is.
I've said this once, and I'll say it again; there are tons of people that prefer large cars. Just read the comments on this thread alone (besides yours). Come to the south FL. area where I live and you will see DeVilles, Town Cars, LeSabres, of all years everywhere, and no it's not just old people driving them.
Catalytic converters? Good for the environment, but not cars; ever see how much certain models are to replace, or how about the damage to an engine that a bad one could cause?
Converters, along with EGR, O2 sensors, computers, and many other things, are just more crap on a newer car that can fail, and drain somebody's wallet. Another reason why I would agree that old cars are better and easier to maintain.
This conversation just gets stranger and stranger...
So there's lots of big ole' boats in Florida? Somehow given the demographic of that area, I am not in the least bit surprised, which more or less proves my point: trends and preferences over time change. Perhaps people in 1955 preferred big cars with floaty rides. Come on out to California where I live, go into any bar and ask any 20-50 something what sort of car would they like the have, and I would put money on it that not a single one would say they wanted some big lozenge of a boat on wheels as their preferred choice. Where I live happens to be one of the most expensive and the wealthiest parts of the entire country, and I can guarantee that there are far more people here who can afford to drive whatever they want to. So that being the case, why aren't the freeways full of big floaty cars? It's because those aren't the cars they want to drive - that's why.
This needs to be looked at as a simply business decision. Sure - I am sure there are a few people who feel passionate about these sorts of cars. But passion isn't what business is all about. I am sure that there were those who bemoaned the day the Model T was stopped in production and those "Newfangled" cars with all-metal bodies were derided and hated. If those companies had appealed to those who never wanted change, those companies would have long gone out business.
Time marches on. Things change. So is life.
I couldn't agree more that the pre-computer, pre-catalytic converter cars had huge cost advantages over newer cars. Car makers now build cars in such complex ways that make any repair very difficult and outrageously expensive, in order to generate more income for dealers. We drove our early 70's Ford over 300,000 miles with less than $500 in total repairs. A tune-up on my last V-8 Mustang cost me over $1000. When I replace my current daily driver, I plan to find a good pre-1973 Ford, Chevy or Chrysler vehicle. I will be able to once more do all my own repairs, and keep it running virtually forever for pennies.
I live in a very expensive area as well. But many are actually maxed out with mortgages and the private schools etc. The business climate has been a challenge the past few years. We have a lot of nice cars. I see a lot of nice SUVs however. Navigators, Suburbans, Escalades. Given a preference, I would much rather ride in a very luxury car vs a Corolla. The nice floaty ride... never saw that in a dealer brochure. Sounds great. I imagine the congested freeways are ideal for the commuter beaters however. I am afraid to expose my nice cars too much in crazy traffic conditions every day, and the parking lot dents in the city. It's actually nice to have a car you care little about to call to malls with the shopping carts and banging car doors. It's less about any fuel concerns here.