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Re: [TR] Planned obsolescence

Subject: Re: [TR] Planned obsolescence
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 08:44:26 EST
In a message dated 2/13/2007 6:00:47 PM Central Standard Time, writes: 
> You say these TR 3's originally were intended to last only seven years?  
> Was
> that number intended or did it just turn out that way?
>     Were American cars, at that time, built to last longer? What's the 
> 'Planned
> obsolescence' of cars built today?  Here and abroad?
There were two forces in action here.  The first is the fact that car buyers 
typically buy the lowest cast car that fits their need.  So there was strong 
pressure to keep production costs down and things like increasing the cars 
longevity added cost that could not be recouped on the sales floor.   
technologies and manufacturing practices in the 50's were not at a level we 
have today.  In fact it was expected that an engine would need new rings and 
bearings every 50,xxx miles or so.  No one expected cars to last much longer.

Add to that the market strategy of selling a new car to buyers every three to 
five years and the above plays well into the hands of the sales department.  
This worked well as long as everybody played along.  But materials and 
manufacturing techniques advanced and the early adopters, the Japanese, who 
looking for an entry into the market started exploiting this angle and earned a 
reputation for longevity that still sticks today.  In so doing changed the 
market place to such an extent that today we wonder what the car makers of the 
were thinking.  

The American car companies had deep enough pockets to eventually respond but 
the British car industry was never cash flush and couldn't keep up with the 
pace of development and eventually failed.

I remember my dad saying that he used to brag about not having to add air to 
his tires for an entire week!  These days folks wonder why their tires need 
air again already when they just had them aired up last year!



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