I suppose you could say that I'm a product of the automobile industry in the United States. My dad was the breadwinner in our house and he worked at a tire factory where he eventually retired. He took care of me and my two brothers. He paid for most of my college education. So, you could say that somehow the automobile industry took care of me and my two brothers and the automobile industry paid for most of my college via my dad's hard work. Dad was also a consumer of the automobile industry. He was one of those guys that had to have a new car at least every two years. I never remember being in an old or junky car as a kid.
And yet I've never purchased a new car. I'm not sure that I ever will. These are my cars...
They look much more beat up in real life today than in these pictures. They've been well-used and I guess that we've been fortunate to get so much out of these used vehicles.
And that's what I don't get. How many new cars does this country really need every year? I just read today that Honda was originally planning to build 1.46 million vehicles in 2009 and now they've reduced their plan to 1.3 million. GM was originally planning on building 3 million cars & trucks in 2009 and now they plan to build just 2 million. Notice that I'm not even including Ford and Toyota and all of the other automakers in the world.
It doesn't take an economic genius to figure out that the automobile industry is going to be hurting severely this year (and perhaps in the years to come). And as I can attest to as a product of the generation, it's much bigger than just the factories that make the cars. Think about all of the components and accessories and you have a huge economic impact.
In our lifetime, my wife and I have had the following vehicles:
- 1974 Nova (ugly green with a three on the tree manual transmission--I should blog about this some time)
- 1987 Plymouth Horizon (referred to as "The Hor")
- 1985 Honda Accord
- 1990 Mercury Sable (like a Ford Taurus, but uglier)
- 1992 Chevrolet Corsica
- 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager (pictured above)
- 1996 Honda Accord