Why Americans Are Broke

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Remember when trucks were simple – and inexpensive?

They still are both – just not here. And ironically, they are built by the same company that will only sell you an expensive and complicated one, here.

General Motors.

Here, it will sell you a Chevy Colorado for $25,200 to start. This is the least expensive new truck GM sells in the United States. In China, GM sells a truck called the Zhengtu that starts at just over $9,000 through its Wuling subsidiary.

This truck would probably be of interest to many Americans – and not just because it costs less than half as much as the least expensive truck GM will sell you here. It has features you cannot get in any truck sold here – such as hinged, outward folding-flat bed walls that turn a compact-sized bed into a bed that can carry a full-sized truck load.

To get something equivalently spacious here, you’d have to buy a full-sized truck like the Chevy Silverado 1500 – and that one stickers for $28,600 to start. Even then, its bed isn’t as wide – or not, as you prefer, like the Zhengtu’s modular bed.

It’s just very expensive.   

Because, of course, it has to be. Uncle will not allow such things as bed walls that fold outward – it’s not saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe! In fact, all it is is non-compliant with current federal folderol, such as bumper/side-impact/rollover standards and so on – per my recent article on the subject.

Same goes for the Zhengtu’s only having two air bags and lacking “advanced” safety “assistance” technology – which just means expensive electronically controlled idiot-proofing that you don’t need if you’re not an idiot. Things like Lane Keep Assist – an “advanced” technology intended to counteract not-paying-attention driving, which also annoys those who are paying attention but who don’t always flip the turn signal switch when making a lane change – which is unnecessary when no other traffic is present – by attempting to countersteer the vehicle back into the lane the driver is trying to leave because it thinks the vehicle is wandering off course.

And Brake Assist – which applies the brakes when the system decides you’re getting too close to another car or obstruction in the road – which an attentive driver is well-aware of and ready to brake if it should become necessary.

It often isn’t – as in the case of the stopped car up ahead with its turn signal on that is moving off the road. The driver can see that it won’t be there by the time he reaches that spot and so merely prepares to brake – just in case. The system cannot divine the fact that the “object” won’t be there anymore by the time the vehicle reaches the spot and so “assists” by applying the brakes unnecessarily and flashing lights to “alert” the attentive driver to what he already knows won’t be there.

The Zhengtu lacks such features. Also the gnomesayin’ super-sized “rims” (17 inches and taller, usually) that afflict almost every new vehicle and which add substantially to the cost of tires that size.

The Zhengtu has little wheels – and takes cheap tires.

It does not lack air conditioning and even has a touchscreen infotainment system; it also comes standard with a manual transmission – and averages 33 miles-per gallon, considerably better than the Chevy Colorado, which best-cases 25 MPG on the highway with its standard four cylinder engine and mandatory automatic transmission, which unlike the Zhengtu’s manual has lots of expensive electronics and when it fails it’ll cost more than the truck is worth to replace.

The Zhengtu’s manual may need a new clutch at some point.

To be fair to the Chevy you can buy here, it is capable of easily and comfortably exceeding 100 MPH while the Zhengtu’s maximum velocity is about 75 MPH, a function of its smaller 1.5 liter (vs. 2.5 liter in the Colorado) engine and its much less abundant horsepower (99 vs. 200).

But this is a truck, after all – and 75 is about as fast as you can legally drive anything almost anywhere in the United States, except for a few places such as Texas where you’re allowed to drive slightly faster.

A 100-plus MPH top speed is theoretically nice but largely useless – and very expensive. Also irrelevant (as well as hugely illegal) when you’re not on the highway. On a rural country road with a 45 MPH speed limit, being able to drive 100 MPH is kind of like being able to use your pistol to deal with a neighbor you don’t like. Certainly, you have the capability. But in both cases, using it is inadvisable.

But a $9k truck is very useful.

Among other things, it means you have to work less to own it, a very useful thing. It means you would have the money you didn’t have to spend on the $25 truck available to use for other things, also useful. Instead of just one truck – and many payments – you have a paid-for truck and money to buy an ATV, a tractor, lots of tools – or maybe get the roof replaced.

Even better, money in the bank.

Americans are broke because they spend too much. More finely, because they aren’t allowed to spend less.

That’s the point here.

The Zhengtu isn’t for everyone. But it’d be nice if such a truck were available for people who don’t need 100-plus MPH top speeds or all the “features” that you have to buy, if you want to buy any new truck that they’re selling here.

Many young people, for instance, cannot afford a truck like the Colorado – even used. But almost any young person could afford a brand-new truck like the Zhengtu, which would give them wheels and thus, freedom. Including the freedom to work, so that one day they might be in a position to afford a bigger, stronger more elaborate truck like the Colorado.

This was how the American vehicle landscape once was. A range of vehicles – all types – were available, some very fancy and expensive and others very simple and thus, affordable. The latter made it easy to the young to begin the motoring journey and for the frugal to motor without having to bleed.

America could use a truck like the Zhengtu.

It’s too bad we’re not allowed to buy it.

. . . 

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131 COMMENTS

  1. What a great looking little utility truck! The pics don’t really give an idea of the size, but I’ll bet that flattened out bed is only the width of a standard flatbed here. I’d buy one in a minute. I wonder if anybody is importing them as a grey market/ORV thing?

    It’s amazing how in the third world they haul what are obviously multi ton loads on small or tiny vehicles. The classic VW bus with its reduction gear axles enabling it to navigate alpine mountain ranges on 25HP is a great example. They are not so obsessed with “safety” or rules as the american herd.

    • Ernie, my little short bed 4WD Nissan did hold up to some horrible loads for its size even though the heat and big loads killed it quickly. I have a pipe trailer and the tongue which was 10-12′ long so 33 foot pipe would set over the 4 axles and keep it level but the damned thing broke and I only had about 3-4 feet left I blew a hole in and pinned and kept hauling. I had a lot of 2 3/8″ upset tubing on it one day, 34 joints seems like. So much weight was hanging off the rear the truck would have so little weight on the rear axle I had to locked in the front to untrack. It was 40 miles home and 27mph was the limit if you wanted to stay on the road. I fixed that tongue and never did it again. Many times I hauled 100 RR ties on that trailer and with a double pipe tongue it loaded hell out of what was pulling it. I tried to never use Baby pickup for that. It got that moniker when I drove over to show a friend and he said “Ah, a baby pickup”. It was and was great for hunting but not much else.

      But there were things about it, like a computer controlled carb that everytime it was serviced they’d re-adjust and the revs would barely come down between gears but after a while it would re-adjust itself and shift as it should. A mechanic and I nearly came to blows over his setting it that way. I had to go to management and demand he not work on it since nobody else did that. The thing that really got me was Nissan never made a locking rear diff for it so neither did the aftermarket. You could get into real trouble with 2 axle drive since it was so light.

  2. If you read about how social credits work in China you would know it’s like an electronic prison. They are getting richer, but only if they are obedient. I just bought a Ford F-250 4×4 over 20 years old to replace my 27 year old Toyota 4×4 that is going to one of my kids. Fix them and drive them. (No rust here on the liberal west coast if you don’t live close to the ocean)

  3. Responding to this link:
    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/03/california_homebuyers_discover_that_the_government_is_their_enemy.html
    This is bullshit.
    The squatter(s) never was a tenant.
    He, she , or they are criminal trespassers, pure and simple.
    Here is what the law says in California:
    https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/defense/penal-code/602/
    >The most common acts that are prohibited by California trespassing laws include:
    entering someone else’s property with the intent to damage that property,
    entering someone else’s property with the intent to interfere with or obstruct the business activities that are conducted there,
    entering and “occupying” another person’s property without permission, and
    refusing to leave private property after you’ve been asked to do so.

    Our Sheriff, Chad Bianco, is an elected official.
    Should he refuse to enforce California law, at the very least he is subject to defeat at the next election.
    I do not know the rules on possible removal from office for dereliction of duty, “malfeasance,” or similar.

    The legal owners also have the right to fence their property, and erect “No Trespassing” signs.
    Temporary chain link fence is easy to come by, and fairly cheap. No doubt cheaper than an attorney.
    Whatever creature(s) are inside the fence without permission have to eat, if they are alive. Sooner or later , their food will run out, and they will have to seek more food. Post an armed guard, and nab them when they try the padlock on the chain link fence gate.

    Tear gas might also work. What is the law going to charge you with, vandalizing your own property? I can’t see that being likely, but who knows, in Bizarro World?

    Failing all that, I hear there may be so-called “alternate” systems of “law enforcement,” which might still be cheaper than hiring some bumbling idiot attorney to dick you around for a year or two while your property gets destroyed by a criminal or criminals.

    Bottom line: if the criminal trespassers stay there long enough, they can claim ownership by right of adverse possession. IIRC from RE Law class, “long enough” is 5 years, but why tempt fate?

    IMO, these owners are timid, misinformed, and just plain stupid.
    JM.O

    • Indeed, we are at the advanced state of societal decomposition where alternative systems of law are vital. Were I this homebuyer I believe I would make a simple business deal with the crips or the bloods or someone to convince the problem to go away.

  4. There are 1,000’s of reasons why people may be broke. But never fear, the 3 birds of paradise poop, namely Gates, Soros and Schwab have a plan for you to never be broke again. They say you will own nothing and be happy! Imagine that…problem solved. That Communist ingenuity sure is something. No debts, no assets, no pain, no gain…it’s purely insane.

    You won’t need a vehicle because you will be working from your gulag deep within the new cities that will be part of Joey’s build backward faster program. This will commence as soon as blm and antifarts finish burning down the remaining cities of America. If you are still allowed to live as part of the new Gates society of arrogant idiots, you might be given a generous $1,000/month living wage as you sit in your concrete hotel gulag watching CNN all day…the only station available.

    Your government sanctioned food and gene altering therapies (fake vaccines) will be free and you will be happy living the life of a zombie controlled by the Gates society of control freaks. To get a firm idea of what a zombie life is like, please see the movie “Ghostbreakers” starring Bob Hope, where a most excellent zombie (played by Noble Johnson) appears in the movie.

  5. Many young people, for instance, cannot afford a truck like the Colorado – even used. But almost any young person could afford a brand-new truck like the Zhengtu, which would give them wheels and thus, freedom. Including the freedom to work, so that one day they might be in a position to afford a bigger, stronger more elaborate truck like the Colorado.

    We’re not allowed freedom here in the USSA. Only Commie Chinese are allowed freedom.

    My freaking head hurts …

    • About a dozen or more years ago, I came up with the idea that one day, the average chinese person will someday have more freedom than the average American. People laughed when I said it. That’s rapidly becoming the case.

      • At this point, I’m willing to bet that any REAL communist nation (past and present) are/were actually FREER than present-day “Merikanistan”.

  6. Nice article Eric,

    I have driven the same e-150 Ford Van since 2001. paid off, pushing 300 k miles. At this point I’ve decided I’m not putting any more money into it. I need to keep doing my plumbing business for another 2-4 years then I won’t need it any more. I would really like a new one but just can’t bring myself to spend 30-50 grand. Add in the virtue signaling and all the big brother deep state techno- fascism and no thanks count me out.

    I found a Renault version of a Ford connect (the smaller version) I could cross the border from Az to Mexico and get a new one for about 8 grand. The county I live in up north doesn’t require emissions testing so theres that. I just haven’t figured out how to get the DMV to title it. All because the emissions or saaaaaftey. Corrupt Governments everywhere approve.

    Then the thought accord to me if I filled it full up, like a clown car with 20-30 illegals maybe daddy .GOV would give me a pass.

    • Norman, I think you unlocked the secret. My renter showed up Sat. in a Chevy crew cab dually one ton probably 4 WD. I mentioned I hadn’t seen that truck before. He said “it’s because I just bought it…..for 88K. Ok then, I hope it works well for you. The problem being the 2020 he bought isn’t nearly the truck of the 2021. I didn’t mention it since he’d come to help me replace the submersible pump on the house well. Probably the old one only needed a pressure switch but my Fluke 12 bit the big one and now it’s replacement is about $200. I used to make money and lots of friends working on pumps but Texas outlawed those without a drilling license and some godawful permit and insurance to do so. I’ve been to many pumps locals had declared dead only to find it was a defective 7$ part, the only thing I used the Fluke 12 for. A new pump vs. a 7$ part and they were back in bidness. I got lots of “gimmes” I didn’t ask for doing that. I didn’t do it for a living so it was a “who do you know” thing. Now it’s a who done it, we’re gonna put his ass in jail and fine shit out of him for testing the parts on a pump control.

      I’m so sick of bureaucrats and all the rest, the politicians that create those gimme jobs for their incompetent kinfolk…..oh, and the rest, all that money the state makes off other peoples labor/abilities. You’d think they’d do that on computer stuff. I’ve had many computer classes, starting in 1968 and ending in 1985 when I aced the classes for the new Perot stuff. Before I took the finals it was hard to find a computer. They had taken them all, monitors and all, out to a site on the campus that was a washout and thrown them in there….as if the computers couldn’t have been reprogrammed. The state has to end of funds to waste.

      • I can’t see ever spending that kind of money on a vehicle unless it was some exotic old school classic. It’s just a truck FFS. I’m glad Az isn’t like that as far as the well. We had one added on the property last year. Went with a constant pressure system. The cool thing about Az, you pay 200 bucks to the state dept. of environmental quality, get a stamp, and thats that. Everything else is between you and the driller. Cant be within 200 feet of a septic or leech field but after that your well is your well.

        Ive heard in Colorado and New Mexico the state charges exorbitant fees and has a huge bureaucracy that has to give you permission and regulates how much water is yours. In Az the only restriction is the bandwidth of your pump and the recovery rate.

    • Norman, buy the van you want in Mexico and just leave it registered there. You can drive a Mexican vehicle all you want to in the U.S. If you really want to confuse the local “officials”, form a U.S. corporation and have it own the Mexican vehicle, and loan it to you.

      • David,

        Growing up in AZ I spent a lot of time in Mexico. After I got out of the Army in the 80s I spent over a month down there just hobo ing around. It was wonderful. Couple years ago we went to Puerto Penasco, it was okay, but Mexico makes me kind of nervous now. But would be something to look into if I was a little younger.

  7. I bought a new commuter car in 2019 (Hyundai Elantra) for what is considered a steal. The dealer kept trying to talk about “technology” and every manner of gadget, but I had to cut him off eventually. I explained that these features were gimmicky, low value, expensive, and represented excessive sophistication and posed a high failure risk. I didn’t even think them benign, I wanted them gone. It took him a minute to fully understand my point.

    • Amen, Mr. M – as you say, almost all of these “features” are just gimmicks that little, if any functional value while increasing the cost and complexity.

      Nein, danke!

  8. Lane assist! OMG if they had that here in Uruguay it would send even more people to the shrinks. I haven’t actually seen slot cars here, but the best I can come up with is that Uruguayan drivers all grew up with them, and so think you’re supposed to drive on the lines instead of this strange “lane” concept.

  9. $9000 really isn’t such a good price when you only make 10 cent an hour in a sweat shop, i’m sure government motors would charge much more for them if the people could afford to pay it.

    • Culturally the chinese believe debt is for losers. Even sweatshop workers there place value on saving and they have strong nuclear families where everybody takes care of each other. They are far better situated for hard times than the “me” people of the west who don’t even take care of their own parents.
      The main barrier to car ownership in china is paying the government for the privilege.

  10. A friend was looking for a used truck with fairly simple requirements: the equivalent of of his Toyota RAM 4 with manual transmission and less than 75,000 miles give or take. He had to fly from Massachusetts to Colorado to get one. The other one was in Oregon.

  11. Great piece! Several years ago I came to the realization that I should own a truck to handle various tasks in my retirement. When I saw that there was no such thing as a reasonably priced base truck to be had, I decided to rethink my options. First, I really do not need a “full size” truck so I started looking at the small trucks that GM and Ford used to build before CAFE killed them. I decided the S10 was my best option. Shopping around, one can find a decent, used small truck for a reasonable price. Yes, the miles are high.
    In my youth, I was a mechanic, and I have the tools, time and skills to bring this old truck up to everyday driver status. Even if I put $10K into this project, I am still miles ahead of buying a new SAFE truck.

    • Thanks, Kevin!

      And, ditto. I own an ’02 Nissan Frontier; it’s a great little truck that’s more functionally useful than the current crop of mid-sized and larger trucks, almost all of them crew/super crew cabs (four doors) with comparatively short beds. It’s nothing less than tragic that useful and affordable little trucks like yours – and mine – and this Chinese GM pick-up – aren’t available here.

  12. The nice thing about living in South Dakota is that our speed limits are 80mph on the interstate and 70 on the highways. We have had an influx of car chases so it’s easier to speed without having trouble. Especially if you have a motorcycle. I have outran the cops 12 TIMES. It is so easy to outrun them even in the urban areas too because the cops have better things to do like actually good things, for example, drug busts. We have a meth problem in SD so that’s pretty good.

  13. What happened was the U.S. of Everything is Rigged, Illegal (or pending).
    That’s what happened and is still going strong..

  14. The elephant in the room is of course China. While heavily engaged with the west in commerce, it isn’t OF the west. The western bank cartel does not own China’s money, as it does that of western nations. Western governments gladly do the bidding of their bank cartel masters, because if they don’t, they don’t get their cut. That bank cartel has inflicted upon us a fiat currency debt based economy. Inflation is its preferred tool, as it rewards debt and punishes frugality and saving. Paying back your debt with dollars worth less than those you borrowed, and reducing the value of savings by keeping the interest paid below the rate of inflation. Making vehicles expensive, along with other needed items, encourages one to play their role as a debt serf. Which pleases the bank cartel enormously. Pushing us right along the path to “you’ll own nothing, and be happy about it”. While China’s government is far from benevolent, what government is, it isn’t owned by any external power like western governments are. Which is one of the many reasons western governments want to take China down. Because the bank cartel does.

  15. The feds gave momentum to the complex, expensive cars we have now, but the buying public is more at fault. It has to have the gadgets, screens, beepers, heated and cooled seats, ad infinitum e nauseum while the rest of us are just stuck with what the majority want. Maybe I miss my guess, but I strongly suspect a stripped down vehicle (with, egads, a manual transmission) wouldn’t sell for diddly squat in America.

    A regional author here wrote about his old Ford Ranger that sat on the dealer’s lot for a couple of years. Good truck, great price, dealer couldn’t move it. Why? Because it didn’t have power windows, power locks, power butt-wiper, etc. Gewgaw America just wants its flashing toys.

    • Hi Ross,

      You may well be right; I wish we could find out! I suspect there is a market for low-cost vehicles like this which – important point – are not crude vehicles, as the low-cost vehicles of the past were. This thing has AC and a touchscreen! By the standards of 1990, it’d be considered very well-equipped. My college buddy bought a brand-new F-150 after we graduated around this time; no AC, no carpet, a shit radio, etc. And it cost more than this thing does.

      I’d love to have one of these, myself. The fold-out bed suits, especially. For $9k? Brand-new? Hell yeah!

      • It’s nice but there should be a 4×4 option. I simply would not buy a truck that was not 4×4. 50 more hp would not hurt either.

        They can scrap the touchscreen too. Just leave a hole, I will put in a radio.

        Not that I will ever be allowed to buy one, so moot.

    • Bingo, Ross. You are right on the money. This country has cheap cars: the Chevy Spark, the Mitsubishi Mirage, the Hyundai Accent, etc. All decent cars around 15k. Nobody wants them. Why are pick up trucks $35k, $45k, $55k? That is where the demand is. Count the number of Sparks on the road, now count the Suburbans. There is a price difference of about $50k, but one outsells the other almost 2 to 1. Most people want comfort, horsepower, and gadgets. I will admit I am one of them. When my family goes on vacation we take the extended cab Ram, not my smaller Toyota. If I am going to be in a car for 11 hours I don’t want suitcases on top of me.

      Let’s view the other elephant in the room….Americans are taller and heavier than the average Asian. Show me a guy over 6’ who is going to be comfortable driving with his knees up to his chin. This is strictly economics. These cars/trucks don’t sell here because there isn’t a market for them.

      • Hi RG,

        You may be right – but I’d like to find out!

        Especially as regards trucks like this one, which are useful for more than transportation. I could get a lot of use out of this truck.

        And as regards small: I’m 6 ft 3 and 220 and easily fit inside the Fiat 500 – which is (was) the smallest car on the market. Not at all uncomfortable – assuming you’re not fat, which is different than big!

        I do, however, agree with your basic argument – though I think one should include the factor of debt financing that makes it possible for people who should be driving simple/smaller/less powerful vehicles to “drive beyond their means.” It’d be very interesting to see which cars would sell if the length of a new car loan was 3-4 years (as it once was) rather than six!

        • I think in a way its because of the way cars are sold in the west. a 2000 pound option is under 24 pounds a month (assuming zero rate)….. and the nice flashing lights and all make the person forget momentarily that its over 7 years…. Normal financial sense and rationality is no longer required…. and besides everyone in the west thinks they will have hit the jackpot one way or another and be rich and famous 7 years from today so why does it even matter !!

          • Nasir,

            Yeah, you known I wish loans were overtly honest. Anyone with any mathematical sense can understand compound interest, or if not, they can at least read a contract.

            But it IS deceptive at the intuitive level, isn’t it? Car loans, mortgages, student loans… You get a $100,000 loan at 7% interest and you automatically think “Hmmm, the interest is $7,000. Not too bad!”. But it’s not $7,000, is it? You read through the contract, or do the actual math, and it turns out to be more like 126% interest or something, if computed the INTUITIVE way.

            And I’ll bet there would be a bit more trepidation on a 126% loan, wouldn’t there? Of course, you bring this sort of thing up to a lender, and they’ll tell you it WOULD be 7% if you paid it off in a year. Well, you know damn well I’m NOT going to pay it off in a year.

            • Hi BaDnOn,

              You mean like getting people to understand that financing a $320K home at 3.5% for 30 years will set them back $198k in interest. So the $320K home will end up costing them $518K. For some reason they sell that $320K home for $415K and are tickled pink. Why? They still lost $103K. That isn’t a good investment. Now add in the repairs, the improvements, the RE taxes, the insurance. Is anybody ahead at this point?

              It is very hard to try to get people to understand that. The cost of debt is expensive, but the government likes the dumb….easier to control.

              • Haha, the mortgage company is ahead at that point! As is the local government, the insurance company most likely, and Home Depot.

                I’ve lately thought about the idea of “tiny homes” to help young adults and the homeless. Democrat-types champion the idea, but always dick it up, because the only way it TRULY helps is when its really about tiny LAND. As in, you can buy a 3,000 sq ft lot to put your tiny house, and it costs $25,000 for the whole of it. Even with a minimum wage job, you could pay that off in 2 years or less. Then you could just save money for something much better, AND sell the house to someone else just starting out.
                That would short circuit the American nightmare, so I’m sure it will never be done.

                The “leftists”, by the way, either make a taxpayer-funded “tiny-house village”, or the it’s basically just a tiny-house trailer park, and requires you to pay rent, which only makes the park owner rich.

              • ahhh, the one that keeps many enslaved for a long time. I saw the light around my young 30’s, and my new wife and I doubled down on paying that scam off asap. I think we did it in 10-15 years, but here’s that big catch (as you know already), we already paid them the majority of their interest. Biggest scam ever. And then we started to do the same with cars.
                All our friends doubled down on bigger houses, etc….
                We’ve been debt free for a long time and those ‘friends’ wonder how we went from paupers to ‘wealthy’ in a relative short amount of time.
                We’re going to do our best to teach our kids to avoid the trap.
                Thanks RG for the reminder.

                • Chris,

                  Yes, brilliant how they arrange that, isn’t it? You don’t even begin paying on the principle and interest the way you might think would happen if it were “fair”. Nope! They want their interest first, just in case you have any bright ideas about getting some gumption and hacking down that principle.

                • Hi Chris,

                  You are right. The home loan is always loaded with interest on the forefront. Hubby and I paid our house off last year. It took us 19 years, but our next (and last home) will be paid in cash (thanks to the paid off house).

                  I feel bad for kids today. I don’t see how kids in their early to mid 20s can even afford a condo or a house. The prices are surreal. The average home price in the US is $359K. That’s crazy. An individual (or family) would have to make a minimum of $90K annually just to get approved and god forbid if the poor people have student loans, a car payment, and other miscellaneous expenses. It is almost impossible to get a head start in today’s world.

                  • Hi RG,

                    First, congrats to you two on the paid-off house! Not having a mortgage is immensely freeing, as you will soon discover. Second, I agree with you as regards sympathy for the youth today. When I was one way back in the ’90s, I was able to buy a single family house in Northern Virginia for about $150,000. In Loudoun County, just a few miles from Dulles airport. Yes. Really. It was small, but a house – with a 1/4 lot and my own two-car garage. I only had to come up with 10 percent down, doable because back in the ’90s a young guy didn’t have to buy health insurance young guys don’t need – which saved me a fortune. And because I could (and did) drive a $600 ’74 Beetle without insurance, too – which also saved me a fortune. I lived really cheaply before I bought that house, but because I was able to live cheaply, I was able to buy it.

                    Today, houses like the one I bought for $150k are selling for $400k… it’s obscene.

                • Chris,

                  The new scam with the at or near 0 fed fund rate is to bombard you with Refi offers and offers for you to take “equity” out of your home. Which i translate into keep you perpetually in years 1-5 paying the most interest while pretending to not charge you any fees but tacking those onto the principal and hoping you don’t notice and ask too many questions. Quicken loans spent 2 months calling me and my wife evey day twice a day until they finally got the hint after i picked up and wanted them to run a 15 yr mortgage rate for me. They tried to talk me out of that one. Why do that when you won’t be saving any money? Yes the equate keeping you at years 1-5 of a 30 yr mortgage as saving money because you are paying $200 less per month since the rate is lower. My retort was how am i saving money when the overall interest paid on the home will be less over the life of the loan in a 15 yr vs 30 yr mortgage. Suddenly the calls stopped, shocking i know. Anyway i plan on having the house paid off in the next 10 years which would make it 17 total.

                  • Great story Antilles. same here. And it kills me that it’s just simple maff, haha.
                    When we were doubling down, our date night was a piece of pizza and water, for years. then when we raised the date night limit I think $3, we couldn’t believe we could get TWO slices of pizza, haha, we were so happy (still are). And on and on it went for 10-15 years. The kids came early in that timeframe but they got nothing but a piece of the pie, haha….
                    I also remember we put our stated goals on a piece of paper in the bathroom and we celebrated when we could cross one off the list.

      • Hey RG!

        We have a 2002 Nissan Sentra in the back yard. I’d love to drive that car to and from work, but it went through my GFs family before it got to us, and has numerous issues, including what is likely about to be a thrown rod. I’m going to fix it, but its at the bottom of the list for now.

        I wouldn’t think I’d love that car, but I do! I’m about 6′ and 185lbs, and fit nicely into it. In fact, better than my Ranger, I think. In good condition, it is a nice little workhorse, and its ubiquity testified to its popularity. New, it was $13k-17k, and it was still peppy and very reliable. It’s only in this condition because my GFs kids and brother abused the SHIT out of it.

        One thing I really don’t understand is the fascination with gargantuan trucks. My friend has a jacked-up F-250, and it’s far too much for me. I think part of comfort is being able to park the damned thing, and maybe easily washing it by hand. And it would be nice if the tires didn’t cost as much as a decent used car, haha.

        I DO understand the utility of trucks, however. And couple inexpensive with utilitarian, and I think you have a major seller! And the fold-down sides are righteous! Imagine the ease with loading/unloading this thing, as opposed to that lifted F-250. It would bring such delight to my heart! 🙂

        • Hi BaDnOn,

          You noticed the video didn’t show anybody sitting in the truck…..they were all standing around it. That’s because everybody would like a can of sardines if they did. 😉

          This country has made good small trucks (actually Japan made good trucks that they sold to this country). Anybody remember the Isuzu Pup or the small Datsun pickups? They were good little trucks and for the 20-30 years that they were made (1970s through the 1990s) they did what they were suppose to. That is no longer the market though. People want big, they want roomy. Car manufacturers are not going to make what doesn’t sell. Why make a $15K truck when someone is willing to pay $45K for a truck? Supply and demand, baby. 😉

          • RG,

            I’m not going to say that’s not a valid point, and you’re damned right about the typical American being a small moon. And I did wonder about how this truck fared as a 4-door “crew” cab. Yeah, I don’t see anyone in the truck, and it’s hard to say how big the Chinaman flying the drone might be. Maybe finding such someone driving the thing would be a goal of some recreational research.

            I have a ’94 S10, and it suits my GF and I just fine, and I wouldn’t call us “small” people. Of course, I still can’t drive it because of emissions, but that’s another story. And I remember the small Datsuns. I do wonder what happen to that company. Most people described them as reliable, back-in-the-day. Maybe your supersized nation is to blame, haha.

            • I think Datsun was bought out by Nissan. I may be wrong about that though.

              Regarding our supersize country – Americans are a spoiled bunch (I include myself in that observation). I have a multi level home out in the country with a decent size lot. Could I live in a 500 square foot condo in the city somewhere with no yard? Yes, but why would I want to? It is more cost effective. It is more green, but I like my space. I view my cars the same way. My next one is a very not environmentally friendly Chevelle. It is roomy, big, loud, and the trunk space can hold any number of things – groceries, small furniture, ammo, bodies, etc. 😉

              We speak of smaller vehicles, but Americans rarely ever drove smaller cars. True, a generation or two ago families were larger than they were today, but my grandparents drove vehicles the size of boats. A Buick Regal, an Oldsmobile station wagon, a Chevy C/K truck, a Lincoln Town Car. Americans have always been into big.

              • I most certainly agree about the land. I have 10+ acres waiting for me when I’m done with my current quest (essentially starting my own business), then we can comfortably move out there. Truly, we could move out there now, should the feces strike the fan. But I have a limit to the size of vehicle I want to drive. My 1990 Chevy was a “full-size” truck at its inception, and it’s quite big enough for me, thanks. Looks like a runt next to the new trucks, though.

                And I wish you luck on the acquisition of your Chevelle. It is big, but you can’t really go wrong there!

              • Hi RG,

                Datsun is Nissan! And the reverse. The name was changed, that’s all. Datsun apparently had too many connotations associated with the empire of Japan; the logo used to be the rising (dat) sun, etc.

                On trucks: Chris – if I recall correctly – pointed out that today’s trucks are the service replacements of the big sedans and wagons you and I knew as kids, which are now extinct Because Government. The thing I dislike is not the size of today’s trucks but rather their preposterous height, especially the bed walls. I’m much taller than most guys and even a 6 ft 3 galoot like me can only just barely touch the bed floor unless standing on a milk crate or something. That’s stupid design. It is much more difficult to load/unload a truck from the ’90s and prior, before this Super Sized look took hold.

                It’s so stupid that most of them now have ladders built into the tailgate, with a pole to hang onto. Ridiculous.

                I also dislike the jacked-up ride height, which makes the truck hard to get into and makes the handling suffer and the gas mileage, too. I get it if you’re going to go seriously off-road. But if not?

                Then it’s just stupid.

                • >especially the bed walls.
                  Obviously not “designed” to be a working pickup. That and the dual cab short bed setup.
                  I’ll keep my ’89 F150 single cab long bed 2WD, 6 cyl 300 CID, 4 speed (3 + granny, B-W T18) for as long as it can be kept running and fueled, and remains legal to drive. 🙂

                  I sure as hell do not intend to load *anything* over top of the ridiculously high bed sides on any of he new PUs.

                  I use my pickup truck to do actual work, not “style it” around town, or haul recreational vehicles.

                  Always hands me a laugh to see 4WDs with nary a scratch, nor spot of dust, jacked up with lift kits and multiple shocks per wheel. Never been off the pavement, and never will. Just some jackoff’s cock substitute.
                  I don’t need one. 🙂

                • In 1989 I purchased a new 4WD Dodge Dakota for the very reason that it was built at the same height as the 2WD version, and other 2WD trucks on the market. I bought it to work out of, and I’m not in the habit of buying tools that make my job harder. Thanks to the teeny-weeny goat roper urban cowboys, trucks are no longer designed as tools. I got out of the construction business a bit more than 20 years ago. I can’t imagine trying to work out of the currently available monstrosities, or realizing a profit after paying the enormous price tag they carry. Which raises the price of the service one provides with one.

            • My first car in ‘91 was an ‘80 Datsun 510. Four doors and a hatch back. Cost $900. The rust was so bad you could see the road under your feet in the back seat floors/wheel well areas. Japanese steel was supposedly recycled back then. Manual with rack & pinion steering. The steering wheel was like 3’ in diameter. Took some elbow grease to turn. Took more than a few alignments and a water pump or two. Lasted until ‘94 when the battery just wouldn’t hold a charge (even a new one).

          • Hi RG,

            It’s more complicated than that. Why did the American (and Japanese) manufacturers stop making/selling compacts like my ’02 Frontier and the old Ford Ranger?

            They sold hugely –

            But they weren’t nearly as profitable as selling a super-sized truck.

            • Unfortunately, Eric, the American market rejected them for the usual inane reasons. A cheap, light, economical pickup is a runaround work rig. But Americans are spoiled by the market and want every geegaw packed in and too much power and etc.
              A 4cyl 2wd pickup with a 4 or 5 speed like the early Toyotas, Luvs, Datsuns, Couriers was a great thing. But then Americans started demanding bigger cabs, and 4wd, and AC, and auto trans, and V6 and V8 power, and before you know it you get a late 90’s ranger or S10 which gets about the same mileage as a full size of the same vintage, is much less capable and roomy, is much harder to work on (ever dealt with a 4.0 V6 in a Ranger?)

              Of course you’re right about profitability driving this trend.

          • I think those trucks have a place and it ain’t in Texas. I liked my little Nissan but it couldn’t handle Texas heat and neither could the Toyota. There used to be used, not running Toys and Nissans everywhere but they finally went to the scrap yard. It was a damned shame too. They could have put better radiators on them and better HEAD GASKETS and they’d have run twice as long. Now, it’s rare to see one. And all because they had to cheap out on radiators and head gaskets. When my Nissan blew the head gasket it took a piece of the block with it. For parts(no labor, I fixed it)I could have replaced it with a new 350 Chevy with a warranty but I couldn’t figure out how to get a radiator of a decent size in it. Of course that lack of cooling blew the a/c up too. It had some other parts that weren’t up to par, such as the seat that simply broke and left my butt on the floor. That really sucks. The input transmission seal and bearing went out too. It was a shit of a job to replace and then I got to experience parts after warranty. They were horrendously expensive. I sold it cheap and went back to Chebbies and they were made for this country. The great thing about GM’s were the alternators and externals like the a/c compressor would change from one brand to another. Buick’s didn’t seem to last long so there was a plethora of starters, alternators and the like. Who needed cheap parts on the rest when a water pump for a 350 was nearly nothing and took 20 minutes to change? Who needed cheap parts to get more mileage and performance when dual exhausts, a hole in the radiator support with a piece of pipe and a air cleaner lid turned upside down gave you a lot more power, cooler running engine and transmission, especially if you put a cooler pan on the tranny. Can you still say “tranny”? I remember when it only referred to a transmission.

  16. The slave banking system loves expensive…bc it means you have to go into debt to buy it. There’s a reason why everything is expensive…houses, cars, tvs, computers, etc etc….to extract the maximum from a good little goy slave. Move along now and get to work. – A message from the ROTschild Banking Cartel.

    • Hi Anon,

      This is correct, sir – and the tragedy is much of it is still avoidable. One can still buy an older, much less expensive vehicle; live in a less expensive area; live below one’s means rather than above them – etc.

      But like a seagull pecking at tinfoil, many just have to have the “latest” gadget!

  17. Americans are broke because we pay too much for everything. And we pay too much for everything because meddling busybody politicians and bureaucrats work tirelessly to justify their useless, parasitic existences by regulating everything to death. If we fired 60% of all government employees and repealed 60% of all regulations, not only would the taxpayers be able to pay lower taxes and keep more of their money (which would increase their standard of living by giving them access to a wider variety of goods and services), they would ALSO pay less for everything they buy, which would ALSO increase their standard of living by leaving them more money to buy even MORE goods and services.

    Government is the enemy, but too many Americans believe have been brainwashed to believe that government is our savior.

    Sad.

    • It’s worse then that. Just look at the pandemic, here in California you are not wearing a mask in certain situations you will be ridiculed to death. Most people in California think prices going up every year is normal. Most Americans think Joe Biden is doing a good job as president, even though he’s no different than Trump. I thought Americans would be educated on matters such as economics and what law is bad, but most people are happy taking everything what the government says at face value or taking everything what they hear on social media at face value.

      • Hi Owain,

        Let them laugh; the joke’s on them!

        I got into a big argument with a close family member a few years back about money about debt/saving, which arose when this family member said something derogatory about my old truck,. I rejoined: Well, it is a paid-for truck (unlike their debt-financed luxury crossover) and I paid cash for it and on account of my not having to make huge payments every month, as they do, I have cash to pay for the things they have to put on the credit card, and pay interest on each month. I wear mostly second-hand clothes bought at thrift stores and I have never spent more than $8k on a vehicle in my life.

        Let ’em laugh… they’re the ones enslaved.

    • Hi Chris,

      Yup.

      I didn’t get into it in my article, but improvements in manufacturing techniques would also compound the benefit of simple cars. What I mean is that a car like say an old Beetle that sold for the equivalent of about $11,000 back in 1970 could almost certainly be manufactured and sold (at equivalent profit) for around $8,000 today and probably much less. This little Chinese-built truck gives us a window into what is possible.

      Into what we have been denied.

  18. Hell, if we can’t have this pickup can we at least get some tuk tuks in the US? I’d sure appreciate 80mpg supply runs while being sheltered from the elements in a machine no more complicated than a classic japanese motorcycle.

  19. Americans don’t buy vehicles, they buy automobile loans. The astute salesman will do the credit check first. That way he will have a pretty good idea what an agreeable monthly payment will be. Only then will they start looking at vehicles, and then only what’s available on the lot.

    • RK – very true… One of the first question when you go to buy a car in the UK is “how much can you afford to pay monthly”…. im like dumbass WTF is your business what I can afford to pay…. tell me about the car and sell me that on its merits – ill figure out how and what I can pay….

      • Nasir,

        Because God forbid you want something lessor than the max you can afford. The salesmen would be leaving money on the table. Better, for him, to sell you the max you can afford than exactly what you want. Because i guarantee if the vehicle you wanted was less than you could max out at they would have magically sold all the ones in that trim line already, “but we have these on the lot, they have a few more options than the one you want but don’t worry we’ll give you a good deal.on it.”

        I had that happen with my first home. The first real estate agent kept showing me places at the maximum of what i pre-qualified for the mortgage instead of listening to me about what i wanted.

    • “Car” dealers are really just finance companies that use transportation as collateral. If you want to find a person that knows little to nothing about cars and driving find a “Car Salesman”. They are of the payday lending moral defectives.

  20. I constantly hear stories from my dad and his generation of their first cars, basic, cheap, potentially fast – but fun and with lots of personality. This was Stories of how they would drive as fast as the physics would allow, and how a fix was dirt cheap if required (indeed all his buddies could carry out basic fixes)….

    now that my generation is in its late 30s / early 40s some can finally afford sports cars…. but sad to see what the world has lost 😛

  21. That’s AWESOME! Both the price and the bed. And how in the hell is the bed not saaaaaafety? I’ll read the other article, but it makes no sense to me. But having a truck that can be both standard and a flat-bed does!

    Luckily we’re “free” and the Chinese are not.

    • We have plenty of those Japanese import right hand drive mini trucks running around here. Similar but more basic drop side boxes on them. Have yet to hear of a ‘side gate or truck bed related fatality’ from one.

      • Anon,

        Are you in the US? Also, it’ such a great feature for loading and unloading. I can’t even fathom what justification these asshats have for its prohibition.

      • Mitsubishi Minicab trucks with fold-down bed sides have been ubiquitous in Japan since the 1960s.

        Occasionally they turn up on Craigslist. But the right-hand drive is an inconvenience in the US, especially on 2-lane highways.

        A government that tolerates self-crashing Teslas but forbids importing many kinds of overseas vehicles obviously has its priorities messed up.

        Meanwhile, new compact pickups remain nonexistent and unobtainable.

      • Eric – is it true that cars will now be required to have those pedestrian airbags for safety purposes (for the comfort of the guy you hit with your car)?

        • Hahaha, WTF? So it has to calculate the likelihood of striking and detonate the bag BEFORE you hit the person? I see all of these features being nothing but a precarious minefield of unnecessary electronic garbage (and explosives), especially as the car ages.

          Guess we’re not meant to keep ’em anymore, anyway, so people will just junk the whole mess at the end of the lease or whatnot. So stupid and wasteful.

          Can’t we get the environmental cult to fight the safety cult? Then just get our popcorn?

      • Eric,

        That still doesn’t make any sense, but, of course, why should I expect it to? The best I can formulate is that your truck, with the sides down, is dangerous to other cars?

        Well, shit, we’ve already had someone decapitated by having their Tesla decide it can drive under a semi trailer, right? So, we ban tractor-trailers because of idiots as well?

        Again, sorry if I’m expecting any of this to be sensible, haha.

        • Morning, BaDNOn!

          Having hinged bed walls likely means the structure isn’t as solid and so doesn’t “comply” with current impact standards. This, by the way is one of the reasons why most new vehicles – not just trucks – are jacked up higher and have bulbous front and rear clips.

          • Hey Eric!

            …Because you’re going to be riding in the bed? I mean, you might, but you’re not doing it expecting it to be the safest place.

            Anyway, if you have any links to safety requirements, I’d like to see what in the hell they’re asking of manufacturers. Maybe make an article out of it. I’m sure everyone would LOVE to view THAT circus. :p

          • Why are there impact standards for the bed, which is where people ostensibly aren’t even “supposed” to be riding (even though they do anyway. It’s kind of fun, even).

            Couldn’t this be addressed by simply adding 2-3 (removable) brackets that go along the sides, to complete the triangle?

            I realize Uncle doesn’t like this. Screw him! He spends enough time screwing us, it’s time to return the favor.

            A one time payment of $1400 isn’t much of a reacharound.

    • BaDnOn,
      Why are the Chinese eating our lunch?

      Because we let them.

      There is no law of physics that I know of that is different in China vs. here. We put up with a lot of BS over here, and look where it’s gotten us. I for one am fed up.

      • Publius,

        When you say “we”, I think you know you don’t mean “you and me”. I do everything I legally can to oppose this BS, and I’ll be you do, too.

        The actual “we” are the hordes of imbeciles who don’t know or just don’t give a damn what’s happening.

        Knowing this type of thing is good, however. Some of us need to run as terminator Democrats, leaving some of the outright libertarian or just plain sensible ideas out of the sales pitch until in office. No need to lie, however, when you’re looking out for the “little guy”, as they claim to do, but running on the abolition of what prohibits people from buying cars such as this.

  22. That’s a nice, thoughtfully designed little truck! I LOVE IT! Not only is it affordable; not only is it nicely equipped; it’s two trucks in one! If you need an enclosed bed to haul stuff, you got it; if you need a convertible flat bed, you have that too. Or, you can use it as s temporary demo/sales platform! It has everything you need, and nothing you don’t. I wonder if it comes in either standard or club cab configuration?

  23. Living is constantly made more expensive to keep us on the treadmill. It is deliberate.
    If productivity and wages (in buying power) go up but the cost of living going up is optional to the individual then many people end up free or as free as they can be. That’s not acceptable to to anyone with power.

    • Brent,

      Exactamente. Few have time to think or improve their lives, and hence, the necessity of the “convenience” industry, which of course, considerably marks up everything. Thus, much of your “treadmill” work is to pay for “convenience” to make up fro the time you spend on the treadmill!

      Kind of like the old “public service” ad: “I work more hours, so I can make more money, so I can buy more cocaine, so I can work more hours, so I can make more money, so I can buy more cocaine…”.

      • Forever mortgage on a $950k house. Why? So they can be close to that $90k/year job.

        Never dawns on them that a rural $200k house and $45k/year job will probably offer a better quality of life, lower taxes, cheaper insurance, cleaner air…. (n/m less need to walk around the crapping bums and discarded needles)

        • The people who work at those big money jobs aren’t in it for the money. That’s just to keep them from going out and starting up their own competitor. And it probably isn’t as much money as you think, thanks to H1B visas. In fact I seriously doubt most of the high-tech jobs in SFO and NYC are held by US citizens. The native Americans in these cities are likely to be working for Uncle in some fashion.

          • ZeroHedge posted a zinger on Tuesday night with Up To Two-Thirds Of Entry-Level Tech Jobs Go To Foreign Guest-Workers From Unranked Colleges by Tyler Durden:

            …two-thirds of entry-level tech jobs go to foreign guest workers from low-ranked colleges who don’t dare complain about long work long hours and low wages lest they destroy their chances of a green card—as opposed to hiring debt-laden American graduates….

            the government grants annual “Occupational Practical Training” (OPT) work permits to hundreds of thousands of foreigners attending American universities—while also inviting roughly 85,000 foreign graduates to reside and work in the United States on H-1B work visas.

            In total, “OPT participants accounted for anywhere from one-third to one-half of new hires. If you add H-1B candidates, up to two-thirds of openings went to guest workers.”

        • I understand what you’re saying here but no one with only a pre-tax 90k salary is going to be able to buy a 950k house with a jumbo mortgage, typical 20% (180k) down payment, property taxes at least 10k annually, and assorted insurances required by a lender. Minimum multiple hundreds of thousands pre-tax salary needed to pay that mortgage, car payments, food, kids, etc. That kind of money (and some folks near the Fed money spigots in the big cities and major metro suburbs in NY/NJ/CT make A LOT more. That kind of money motivates people. They don’t see keeping 20 year old cars running as “freedom.”

  24. These things would rue construction sites. Of course you need HD pickups to pull the really heavy loads but in the day to commute to job sites and the work on the site these would perfectly fit the bill for 80% of what goes on.

    The UTV racket wouldn’t like these. They would end their sales of $15,000 UTV’s that don’t have heat, A/C, cabs, and only top out at 25 mph. They are useless for everything except strictly driving a job site.

    Instead, Amerika puts me in a position where–if I want a vehicle like this–the best I can do is buy an old Toyota/Nissan. But in decent condition they will cost at least 8 grand. Rusted and worn out they will cost 3-4. Thanks uncle fuc*wad.

    • I paid $1500 for my old, not rusty, not worn out frontier. I doubt I have $2k in it now (2 years later), a/c no worky though the heat is good.

      • I guess I should clarify my pricing being based on 4×4’s. 4×2’s can be picked up for much less. I paid $2000 for a 300,000 mile Tacoma 4×4 a little over 3 years ago and lucked onto it at that price. Not rusty body, but the muffler was rusted out. Changed the rear axle seals and put new muffler on and changed out ball joints on the front end.

        I’d say I’ve got $3000 grand into it. It also has a primer only hood and passenger fender that were installed before I bought it due to a wreck one of the previous owners was in. No AC because they never put it back after the wreck. But the heat and 4×4 work great.

        A tacoma like mine without the wreck would easily sell for over 4 grand. If it were in better condition with under 300,000 miles it would be easily 10K and up. I peruse ebay all the time and see under 100,000 mile Tacomas that never sell under 16k if they are nice. It’s nothing for them to bring over 20 grand.

  25. The Australian version of the Tacoma (The Hilux) would be a HUGE seller here. But “uncle” will not allow the diesel version here. So much for the “Land of the free”.

    • Allen,

      I’m guessing because of its reliability? I had to check it on Wiki, and one thing proved most salient at the end: ‘According to terrorism analyst Andrew Exum, the Hilux is “the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47. It’s ubiquitous to insurgent warfare.”‘

      Haha, that’s an excellent sales pitch!

        • I’ll bet. And there’s another thing: The awesome vehicles meant to handle Africa. They have those van/truck all utility vehicles with the wheels at the very front and back so you traverse washes and so forth.

          “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

  26. Hoo, boy.
    Brings back memories of my 1960 VW single cab.
    Paid $200 for it, used, in early 1970s.
    Fold down sides & end gate could be removed with an exotic tool called a Philips screwdriver.
    Flat bed is lighter & has less air resistance, you see.
    Mandatory to ditch the stock oil cooler which mounted inside the shroud, especially if you have modified the engine. Otherwise #3 & #4 cylinders get burned valves very quickly.
    Four bolts to remove the engine, plus fuel line, throttle linkage & electrical hookup.
    Takes about 20 minutes, with practice (which you will get, if you own the vehicle).
    Six volt electrical system. No gas gauge (2 gal reserve – pull the knob below the seat to engage).
    Always park @ top of hill. Set her a rolling and dump the clutch to start.

  27. Ford would have to build four times as many vehicles at nine thousand dollars each, the F-150 would lose market share instantly. A Ford Raptor is 56,000 USD, you would have to build six 9,000 dollar utility pickup trucks for every Raptor. Ford would do a booming business right here in the US if they did build a brand new 9,000 dollar pick’em up truck.

    You won’t make much money, the build would be simpler, more efficient manufacturing process in the end.

    Manufacture them where it can be done and they will sell.

    Build two Ford plants in Mexico and you’ll be able to manufacture a 9,000 dollar pickup truck in Mexico. You’ll be able to sell them in Mexico too, winning.

    Travel to Mexico, buy one there for nine grand, drive it home. Problem solved.

    • Not solved. Ask the people who had their perfectly loophole legal Range Rovers crushed by Uncle, for exploiting the loophole.

      Uncle says it can’t be sold here, can’t be bought elsewhere and brought here legally either. Land of the Free and all.

      • See how they are.

        And to think that Mexican migrant workers could go to farms around Olathe in Kansas and hoe beans for 100 years, nobody said a word.

        Migrant workers from Mexico helped with the harvest in my home state during World War I, the then governor gave a speech thanking them for being there to help.

        The border between the US and Mexico was open until 1961 or so I have read.

        Just hide a nine thousand dollar pickup made in Mexico in a tomato shipment, I dunno.

        Sorry to have such naive thinking.

        How about Belize?

    • Yep, They killed that….It was the lowly simple white standard cab Ford Ranger…..Every parts house had a couple parked outside waiting to carry parts to local garages…Not only did they kill that vehicle they closed the Minnesota Twin City Stamping plant reintroduced a bigger more complex vehicle and tagged it the “Ranger” and are building it in Michigan….Good-by to roll up windows and standard shift transmissions

  28. I can’t imagine plunking down a huge sum out of the bank and then having a huge monthly payment on all the stuff the US government makes new car owners buy.

    I’d rather take that money and refurbish an older vehicle- engine, transmission, rear axle and body. I’ll bet it’d cost less than a new car in the end and be more enjoyable.

    Plus, it wouldn’t look like the same old dreary melted jellybean shape that new cars seem to share.

    • Agree 100% but not everyone is willing/able to refurbish/maintain an older vehicle (or any vehicle). IMO the biggest savings in vehicle ownership is from doing your own repairs.

  29. You’re not allowed to buy a domestic version of the Zhengtu because the American auto companies are part of the American oligarchical/government/elite monopoly.

    General Motors, for instance, may as well be a government agency. Theoretically it is “private” but when it goes bankrupt by producing vehicles that the public will not buy, it gets $20 billion from the taxpayers — just like the Post Office does when it loses money.

    As we have seen, a pot of guaranteed money that big attracts a lot of grifters and affirmative-action types instead of sales, marketing and engineering types. GM has become a Social Justice organization, not a car-building company. As long as its corporate hierarchy feels good about themselves and their commitment to “diversity,” they could care less whether you can afford to buy their products or not.

  30. Was having drinks with my co-workers and got the question of how do you do it? Your house is paid off, you have money in the bank? These 2 co-workers have been alongside me for 20 years only they have more income due to their spouses working. Over the past 20 years I have only driven used and only purchased 3 used vehicles. They on the other hand had purchased 5 or more new vehicles each. Upon adding it up, they could have also paid off their house and had money in the bank had they done the same. A truck this cheap would also solve the problem. Many don’t realize how much they sacrifice financially when purchasing $40k+ vehicles.

    • I’ve often wondered why most people don’t bother to calculate the total of payments when financing a purchase. I assume all they’re concerned with is the monthly amount…

      • I think part of the reason people buy the newest and flashiest is because of some whacked out version of trying to keep up with the Jones’s. My dad dealt with this with my mom. His mercury milan was not good enough for my mother to be seen in, especially around her materialistic side of the family. So he had to keep her in a new Lexus suv every 3 years to keep her happy. The first thing he did when she passed was give back the lexus. I’ve asked him, being a cpa, if he ever calculated the amount he paid in lease payments over the years and he told me it drove him to a glass of whiskey whenever he thought about it but he did say he was not mechanically inclined so having a car under warranty all the time was sometimes worth the payments. I don’t think he believed it but it is what he used to justify it in his head.

        • I can recall one instance where the warranty saved the owner close to 4k in repair bills. Pretty sure the ins. providers consider that the exeption rather than the rule.

          • Wife’s car had a fuel line issue, where the car loses power. apparently this is common in her car and the gmc & buick versions as well, is a $1300+ repair job if not under warranty, her’s went at 18,000 miles, but of course gm has no desire or plans to change the design. Dealer had he car for 4 days waiting for the parts to come in.

            • I was referring to a repair warranty purchased seperately from the vehicle above. Owner paid $7500 for the warranty and they covered north of $12k in repairs in 5 years. Smartest thing he did was ‘give’ that car to his wife during the divorce.
              I’m not familiar with your fuel line issue, lucky me. Things like that are one of the reasons I will only buy ‘seasoned’ vehicles.

        • I understand this scenario. Back in the day, when I lived in NJ, other than first time drivers, most people where I lived drove late model cars and turned them over every 5-6 years, myself included. None would’ve been considered “broke” by any stretch. I was taught mechanics were borderline if not outright criminal scumbags that were not to be trusted and that the lesser of two evils was a dealership. Another thing that incentivized new cars in NJ was no annual property tax on vehicles. Here in NC the annual tax on a 40k late model car can run between $400-500. The life I lived had no time for futzing with hoopties and breaking down in the wrong neighborhood could be life threatening.

          I live a totally different life these days as a “dune billy” and completely agree with Eric and others’ philosophy on the economics of car/home ownership. That being said, I’m not really mechanically inclined and I tend to still be suspicious of mechanics. Although I have the time, I just don’t enjoy the unreliability and hassle of old cars. For the past few years I’ve been dealing with a terminally rusty 03 Ford Exped (that I bought new in NJ another lifetime ago) with a slipping tranny that finally just puked fluid all over my driveway from a rusted out trans fluid cooling line. Then it sat for a month or two and the battery died (2yrs old). I think it’s trying to tell me something…

          • Hatter,

            I can relate. I can tell you the life of a 96 ford ranger’s brake lines is approx 14 years. And loosing brakes in the middle of some of the worst parts of jersey city is not fun. Its why the ranger is now a short haul to the waste yard and back or move some stuff for a family member vehicle and no longer an every day driver. Since its 2 wheel drive and i don’t trust it in icy conditions It tends to sit almost all winter with a battery charger on it. Added bonus on that since it rarely drives on salted roads i’ve had mechanics tell me they’ve never seen so little rust on the underbody of a 25 yr old ranger.

            • Hi Antilles!

              Paying attention to brake lines in vehicles approaching legal age is important… I replaced all of my TAs lines with stainless, so I never need to worry about them again. Fine Lines makes superb, factory-bent lines for most popular American classic cars. I will probably also make new lines for my ’02 Frontier at some point, since I’m keeping that one for the foreseeable future, too!

      • dbb,

        When I was stationed in San Diego, I noticed that all the car listings in the paper had something called DPP; it was in addition to the list price of the car. DPP=deferred payment price. I don’t know if it was there due to local custom, or if it was legally required; all I know is that it was very useful info. That said, people can just multiply $XXX/mo times the number of monthly payments, and figure out the DPP for themselves.

  31. A family of 6 could just about buy a Zhengtu with their latest stimmy payments. I actually read a propaganda piece wherein the parents of such a family were quoted as saying we’re gonna use our stimmy to buy a car “so we can look for jobs.” Nothing wrong with that per se but it raises serious questions about WTH is going on in our economy and this world.

  32. One reason I was hopeful for the Elio (or something equally as inexpensive) to get to market.

    It would be great to have a simpler
    (smaller&lighter) vehicle to get around & for commuting ro work.

    Smart car nice idea, but too expensive for what it is.

    • Mithrandir,

      I was hoping for the Elio to take off, too. Seems like it is in some kind of regulatory purgatory, by the sound of things.

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