May 182014
 

According to this story, the story linked below regarding the huge backlog is bullshit.  The pictures are old and in reality, all is good and wonderful so:

C’MON DOWN!  WE’RE GIVING THESE NEW CARS AWAY!  SAVINGS LIKE YOU NEVER SEEN BEFORE AND WILL NEVER SEE AGAIN!  EASY FINANCING!  NO MONEY DOWN!  LOW MONTHLY PAYMENTS!

Yeah, I’m still staying car free.

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It’s been nearly 3 years since I gave up the jeep.  Since then I’ve been pedaling, hoofing, and occasionally riding the bus to get around.  My reasons for giving up the jeep were many but mostly financial.  By going car free I have saved myself thousands of dollars per year by not having to buy fuel, insurance, maintenance, tags, and all the other expenses a vehicle brings upon it’s owner.  Little did I know that while I was improving my personal finances, my decision to go car free has created a huge backlog in unsold vehicles.

Go to the link and look at those pictures.  I was amazed too.  Thousands of unsold, brand new vehicles sitting on valuable land, doing nothing but rotting in the sun.  And as the article says, the car companies just keep making more because if they stopped, thousands would become unemployed and the economy would be in even worse shape than it is now.  If such a thing were possible.

The demand for new vehicles seems to be dropping.  Young people just coming out of their teen years don’t appear to be near as interested in buying a vehicle as us old folks were at the time.  Costs seem to be the big factor.  $4 a gallon gas, high prices for the vehicles themselves, and other priorities means all that unsold inventory will just grow.

You would think that the car companies and dealers would work on some way to get rid of all those vehicles, doing something like, oh, I don’t know, perhaps dropping the prices down?  But that would mean taking losses, and losses are not profits.  The dealers are only responsible for the inventory they buy over a model year, not what’s sitting on some abandoned raceway over in Europe.  But shit rolls down hill, and many dealers are in the flatlands with new models from 2 years ago or better that they cannot sell.  Yet pride, stubbornness, and a refusal to pay attention to sales trends means they would rather sit on said inventory rather than take a loss.

Having worked many a year for these bastards, I say, serves ’em right.  Their sales tactics, insulting advertising, and treatment of the customers is coming back to bite them in the ass.  The costs associated with the purchase of a new vehicle along with the huge loss in value the moment you drive it off the lot makes said vehicle one of, if not the worst investments one can make.  And as the backlog of unsold vehicles gets ever larger, the resale value of that shiny new possession will drop even more dramatically.

I will admit that there are times when I miss my jeep.  It was a fun vehicle to drive.  It was, of all the vehicles I owned, the best by far.  But I have no need, no desire, and mostly, no money to buy another.  There may well come a time when I find myself the owner of another vehicle.  Anything could change, a new location, a desire to travel about the country, whatever.  But for now, I am content to walk, ride the bus, and not spend the money.  Looking at those godawful pictures of all those unsold vehicles just makes me realize how badly we have been screwed over by the auto industry.  All that manpower, all those resources, all that land, wasted.  But, as the car free movement continues to grow, it is fun to watch the auto industry squirm.

Seriously, if you can find a way to not own a vehicle, do it.  Make a real budget of what you spend on a vehicle, include everything from fuel to insurance.  Then imagine what you could do with that money if you were not spending it on said vehicle.  Look at public transportation, walking, riding a bike.  It’s easy down here on a small island, not so much up north.  But look for ways to cut back.  Sell the shiny new car and buy something used.  Never finance another vehicle again and stay the hell away from leases.  A vehicle is not a status symbol.  It doesn’t mean a damn thing to anyone else.  It’s simply a tool for getting around.  Approach your need for transportation as that, simply a need, not a status symbol, and you can cut your costs way back.  The savings and the peace of mind of not having to deal with all the responsibilities of vehicle are well worth it.

Capt. Fritter

  2 Responses to “Updated: See What Happens When You Go Car Free?…”

  1. Unless your vehicle is your house–then you want reliable. I prefer a van to an RV–less likely to leak in the rain.