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Your Ride: 1995 325i
Hmmm, maybe a bit overdrawn in some instances, and perhaps missing some points of vital contextual relevance, but overall I agree with the piece. I maintain that it is the Japanese car manufacturers who redefined the industry with their emphasis on quality, an irony that has really come home to roost because it was they who invited Prof. Demming, he of statistical quality control fame, to instruct them on how to make quality products, after Ford, I believe, to whom he had originally presented his case, told him "thanks, but no thanks." That in a nut shell is an example of American management culture, and overall culture.
The planned obsolecence of the 50s and 60's meant that the life of any car was no more than 10 years.
Most people bought new every three years and traded in the now rusty last car. That car was bought one or more times by folks that couldn't afford new ones. At 10 years of age in any of the rust belt states a car was ready for the crusher.
I have bought 3 year old cars that every nut had to be cut off with a torch because of the rust.
Holes in fenders were common one two and 3 year old cars.
If you didn't have it aftermarket rustproofed Some would rust thru in a single winter.
My grandfather bought a new car every year. He refused to drive something that might show rust at any moment. A single bubble under the paint was enough to make him trade early.
AMC was better than the rest and you could drive their cars for 4 or 5 years--so they sold less and went out of business.
Unfortunately that business model continued after the Japanese showed up.
The whole point in this is that if you don't want to spend your later years (40s and 50s) waiting tables for foreign manufacturers reps on their expense accounts it is up to your generation to fight this.
Mine generation is done and going.
The ones running the place now can't see past the next stockholders meeting.
The up and coming 30 year olds seem to see personal Greed as the means to the desired end result.
Yours will ride it down or try to get it flying again. Your choice. There won't be a middle class left to shelter in.
It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others. Mine sometimes feels that way.