‘Producers are constructing vehicles designed to final, and it is hurting them’
So nicely designed, brilliantly constructed, impressively dependable and stubbornly long-lasting are lots of the vehicles made through the previous decade or so, that homeowners are more and more unwilling to ditch them – even when their motors breach 100,000 miles.
The previous adage goes ‘they don’t make ’em like they used to’, and that’s true. Truth is, within the 2000s-2010s they’ve been constructing them higher than they used to.
• New vehicles gross sales 2019
For the cash-strapped motorist with an on-call breakdown/restoration service, plus a contingency fund for surprising repairs and MoT scares, ageing vehicles are nice. These ready to place up with the uncertainties and dangers know that the suitable modest previous automobile could be owned and run for ridiculously little cash.
However this can be a double-edged sword and a significant – and worsening – headache for automobile producers, a few of whom are already unprofitable. They desperately have to promote rising volumes of factory-fresh vehicles – not only a few spare elements to maintain previous bangers chugging alongside – merely with a view to survive, earlier than reinvesting their income into merchandise, manufacturing traces and personnel.
Up-to-the-minute figures I’ve simply unearthed present clear proof that vehicles will not be solely lasting longer now, however are additionally remaining on the highway for extra years than anticipated.
The Division of Transport (DfT) states that within the early 2000s, vehicles averaged a lifetime of simply six and a half years. But the Society of Motor Producers quietly introduced in latest days that the “common automobile on the highway within the UK [in 2018] was eight years previous”. Intriguingly, the DfT reckons petrol vehicles at the moment are stored longer, and longest – 9.1 years.
Take a look at the larger image and the entire of the EU, and vehicles are being stored even longer – 11.1 years on common. And the US revealed just a few days in the past that the typical age of its gentle automobiles (vehicles and pick-ups) has jumped considerably, to 11.eight years.
Not one of the above was within the script. The normal enterprise mannequin for world mass producers is that they’re purported to hit the candy spot by manufacturing vehicles which can be adequate to final about one decade (or simply below), however not so rattling good that they’ll fortunately maintain going for many years.
• Greatest promoting vehicles within the UK 2019
I by no means thought I’d assume or say this, however I’ll: maybe automobile companies are constructing their vehicles too nicely, and making them too resilient nowadays?
Possibly they should do the unthinkable and construct them just a little, er, much less nicely, thereby lowering manufacturing prices whereas making certain that the automobiles don’t final fairly as lengthy. Alternatively, they should make not less than a few of their new vehicles so deliciously low-priced that even used-car diehards will discover them irresistible.
Dacia has sensibly set the ball rolling with its newest £500-down, £99-a-month deal. Citroen is generously weighing in with free insurance coverage on some factory-fresh fashions.
Different producers should take equally dramatic motion in the event that they’re to place extra paying prospects into extra model new vehicles. And in the event that they don’t? They’re toast.
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