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05:05 PM on 08/31/2010
Good.
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chedet
Le Panda
04:54 PM on 08/31/2010
Why would anybody still buy a new car when they still have functioning ones at home?
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Cipo
Political atheist
08:57 PM on 08/31/2010
Spot on. When they cease to function, it is time to buy another used one and drive it until it ceases to function.
02:32 PM on 09/01/2010
Do you feel the same way about bicycles?
02:32 PM on 09/01/2010
Maybe because they enjoy new cars? This may come as a shock to you, but some people are actually automotive enthusiasts. There are many of us out there who view a vehicle as more than a box that gets us from point A to point B.
04:37 PM on 08/31/2010
So whos ready to buy the new Volt?
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05:29 PM on 08/31/2010
At the starting cost of $40,000 I don't see these flying out of the showroom.
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mackbolan
Libertas inaestimabilis res est
05:37 PM on 08/31/2010
forget the volt....where is the american version of the vw bug....something with all wheel drive and a 4 cyl. turbo diesel with the required safety features and amenities that can be bought for under 10 grand...that way people who work at walmart and subway or any other under 40 hour full time job can afford a car...
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MrBadExample
Friends call me ‘exampleicious’
04:27 PM on 08/31/2010
Is it possible that mass automobile purchase as a middle-class entitlement is over?

How many Americans are getting out of this recession with stellar credit? How gun-shy are finance companies about lending right now? I'm not hearing those old adverts on the radio-- "If you have a pen, you can drive away today no money down!"

The reality is that Suburbia is unsustainable without cheap oil. More fundamentally, suburbia is unsustainable without affordable cars. All those 50+mile daily commutes use lots of suddenly-expensive gasoline and are really tough on cars. And there have to be new-car sales to fuel the used-car business.

Absent some game-changer on oil prices, the era of seasonal car-buying might join the taffy pull and the quilting bee.
04:20 PM on 08/31/2010
I bought two cars in my life (I'm 63). One was a bottom of the line VW fastback, no extras for $3K in 1970 or so. The other was a top of the line Acura Legend for $30K in 1990. Both have been great cars and I expect to drive the second until I die, or until there is a sub-$10K electric with a 50 mi range.
04:42 PM on 08/31/2010
Good for you. I would love to buy a sub 10K car too.
04:15 PM on 08/31/2010
I used to have a car from the 80s, had to pay somebody to come and get it....pretty much worthless in the 2000s.

I have a guitar from the 80s, it's tripled in value.
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03:42 PM on 08/31/2010
A couple of days ago, there was a piece on Marketplace (NPR) on huge demand for used cars, dwindling supply, and increasing prices. They concluded that it would eventually boost sales of new cars, because the price differential between new and used is decreasing.

It could be that "eventually" is already here, and demand for new cars is increasing. That would also result in fewer and smaller discounts.
01:40 PM on 09/11/2010
Thanks to Cash for Clunkers, making both new and used cars more expensive.
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spytheweb
Black Democrat
03:38 PM on 08/31/2010
How do they sell cars without a hook?

I don't really care. I have been car free for 5 years and 8 months and i don't miss it. I take the bus (only twice so far this year) and ride my Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 everywhere i go.
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MrBadExample
Friends call me ‘exampleicious’
03:56 PM on 08/31/2010
I'm a bike commuter myself, so I was just perusing the site out of schadenfreude. But one of the dirty little secrets about cars is how much oil it takes to build one. The Big Three used to hide the cost by selling through their own credit companies and making up the difference in the finance charges. But there's far less flexibility there now that the days of 'EZ credit are over.

interesting question: What's going to happen to all the underwater home owners when they need to buy again? will they be able to qualify for loans? And if not, what happens to the 'American way of Life' also known as suburban sprawl?
06:11 PM on 08/31/2010
They'll qualify but they'll have to bend over to get the loan.
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03:35 PM on 08/31/2010
"U.S. Auto Sales May Hit 28-Year Low as Discounts Flop"

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-31/auto-sales-in-u-s-may-be-worst-in-28-years-in-august-as-buyers-shun-deals.html

Still a long ways to the bottom imvho.
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Cmyst82
Nothng but the facts, willing to discuss opinions
03:26 PM on 08/31/2010
Why so few comments? The same people that came out in force to put down anyone that warned of this outcome should be saying something now.
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03:24 PM on 08/31/2010
forget cash for clunker, just give us the CASH!!
03:02 PM on 08/31/2010
The automakers are resisting incentives because they got free government bailout money.

It is just a waiting game now. However, the consumer will win. I just called my Mechanic and told him I plan to keep my old cars running for a few more years.
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Cmyst82
Nothng but the facts, willing to discuss opinions
03:28 PM on 08/31/2010
"The automakers are resisting incentives because they got free government bailout money."

Is that why the number of discounts by the automakers have increased in the past month to try and get more sales? I'll wait for the official report for the month of August but here's a forcast:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-31/auto-sales-in-u-s-may-be-worst-in-28-years-in-august-as-buyers-shun-deals.html
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jenn976
02:58 PM on 08/31/2010
"And with no one expecting the government to offer a repeat of the Clunkers program, get ready for fewer discounts on your next car."

Fine, I'll keep the wonderful car I have. Bought used, it was 2 years old, one owner. I expect this one to last another 5 years.

The last brand new car I bought was in 1984 (Nissan Sentra).
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blondebeblonde
Blondes also prefer gentlemen
03:32 PM on 08/31/2010
I'm with you. We used to get new cars every two years. Now, without $$ incentives to get new ones, I'm going to hold onto these until the wheels fall off. They're in great shape, are eligible for extended warranties, and I'm paying them off at 0% financing (which was an incentive for buying them.)
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JonB2057
Think, it ain't illegal yet!
06:57 PM on 08/31/2010
Funny how that is. Those Japanese and their cars. Still pushing a 1994 Toyota Corolla (bought used in 1996). 215,000 plus miles later still rolling along. Even when I do upgrade, it will be another car built to last. This time, I'm going back to manual transmission. That way, my other half can keep destroying what ever she wants to. And I get to drive in peace, in a nice well maintained automobile.
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slimcat
02:40 PM on 08/31/2010
I wish I could walk down to the end of the block and hop on a light rail system that could connect me to any point in the country. Little individual transportation boxes are the stupidest, most inefficient idea anyone has ever come up with.
02:41 PM on 08/31/2010
And how do you get around now?
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slimcat
02:55 PM on 08/31/2010
Limo, Siskorsky S76, Gulfstream 650.
03:03 PM on 08/31/2010
I could not agree more. That is why I think China is a bunch of losers as well because they are embracing the "box" like Americans do. I know the Minneapolis has continued with their light rail system and all I hear about is how much everybody is THRILLED about it.

When I lived in Chicago, I took the commuter train EVERYWHERE. I rarely drove. I purposely chose a small town with a grocery store, library, post office, so I could walk.

I would give anything to be close to a rail system now that could get me to Chicago, or Minneapolis, or Madison. The sad fact is the rail system did exist in these parts that did service those cities.

DUMB. We are just DUMB.
olddognewtrick
Half full or half empty...It's the same
02:22 PM on 08/31/2010
Let me guess. Discounts are disappearing just about as fast as sales?
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Cmyst82
Nothng but the facts, willing to discuss opinions
03:30 PM on 08/31/2010
No, discounts have actually increased in the past month in order to spur sales. Unfortutately, it's not enough to get the consumer interested in buying.