A Metric of Desperation

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We got what lots of people are getting in the mail the other day: A letter from a new car dealer pleading with us to sell them a car:

“Due to severe supply chain disruptions in new vehicle production, we are desperate for inventory,” the letter begins. We need to purchase your vehicle. We would like to acquire 78 used vehicles by Thursday, November 30th to increase our pre-owned vehicle inventory.Great news, your car qualified. Regardless of condition, we can pay you up to 30 percent ABOVE book value.

Italics added. ALL CAPS and bold as in the letter.

When a dealer begs you to sell them a car – regardless of condition – you know they’re desperate, alright. But it’s not because of “supply chain disruptions.” I return to the letter, which goes on to “offer a brand new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or RAM of your choice.”

Come again?

The letter begins with a spiel about the “disruptions in new vehicle production” – which presumably would mean not having a sufficiency of new vehicles available to sell the person who responds to the letter by offering to sell the dealer their used vehicle. But if the dealer hasn’t got a new vehicle to sell, what is the former owner of the used vehicle sold to the dealer supposed to drive?

In fact, the “disruption” is in used vehicle inventory.

The alternative to a new vehicle for people who do not want to pay for one and for those (growing in number) who do not want to pay for the features that are becoming all-but-unavoidable in new vehicles, most especially the “assistance technology” that is in fact a kind of piece-by-piece usurpation of the driver’s control of the car. The more people understand that “assistance” is means supervision and (ultimately) control – the more people cling to their older vehicles that lack such “technology.”

Just as the smart set where hesitant to take the “safe and effective” drugs that weren’t (and still aren’t) vaccines.

New or used, dealers need to move inventory to make money. If the new isn’t selling – or not selling as well as they’d like – the slack can be picked up by selling used. Unless the dealer hasn’t got any.

Hence the letter of desperation.

It’s also a bellwether in that it says a lot about the state of things in both the new and used car market. Until recently, new cars were, generally speaking, more desirable – being new – while cars that were no longer new depreciated, or lost value, being less desirable. They had mileage on them, which is a tautology for less life left in them. They cost less because you got less – whereas the new car cost you more because it had its whole life ahead of it – and at least several years of warranty coverage to go along with it.

People paid more to worry less.

But that’s beginning to tilt in the other direction, in favor of used (that is to say, older) cars. They have been appreciating rather than depreciating – an astounding fact in view of the fact that we are not talking about especially desirable (as such) low-volume, specialty or exotic cars but ordinary cars.

Our old Toyota RAV4, for instance.

By the standards of 2005 – when it was new – it was nothing special. But by the standards of today, it is very special, indeed – in part because it has a manual transmission (all new RAV4s come only with an automatic) and in part because it does not have a touchscreen or any “advanced driver assistance technology.”

It doesn’t even harass you for not “buckling up.”

And its engine doesn’t cut off at every red light, either.

The RAV4 keeps our secrets. It does not try to parent us. And for those reasons alone, it is preferable to a new anything else. And there are more reasons. It has a simple, non-turbocharged engine that will never need a new turbo (or intercooler). It is serviceable by us, at home.

Same goes for our old truck (my ’02 Nissan Frontier). I bought it circa 2008 when it was only about six years old for about $7,000 and used compact-sized trucks like it were still commonly available.

I could probably sell it to a desperate dealer for $4,000 tomorrow but I’d be an idiot if I were to do that. For what could I get that’s new for $4,000 that would close to as valuable as a great-running old truck with a manual transmission that doesn’t have a touchscreen or any “advanced driver assistance technology”? That does have a throttle cable – and doesn’t pester me if I don’t “buckle up” for “safety”?

Four grand would barely constitute a down payment on a new truck – that would have a touchscreen, an automatic transmission and a whole array of “advanced driver assistance technology.”

Not for me, thanks!

And good luck, Mr. Salesman, finding others willing to part with what they know is worth more than anything new you’re trying to sell them.

. . .

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  1. This strikes me as being an underhanded scheme to get rid of unwanted new inventory rather than an effort to build stocks of older vehicles. The saleability of older inventory is just a bonus.
    How many of the people who bite end up owning a new car out of the deal? I’m guessing more than a few.

  2. After more than a year of those kinds of email from Audi, this is how I finally responded, starting with their last personalized email to me:

    Audi: ———————————————————————————

    Good Morning,

    My name is Phoebe Sevrin, I am one of the Store Managers here at Audi Rockville.

    My role mainly focuses on current client outreach- so please feel free to reply here if you’re having any ongoing issues with the vehicle or with Audi in general, and I’ll happily assist!

    Beyond that, I am reaching out because as the market shifts, my team and I are more motivated than ever to re-claim inventory any way we can- including making our previous clients aggressive offers on their 2-5 year old cars.

    What are your thoughts?

    Phoebe Sevrin
    Audi Rockville
    Portfolio Manager

    Me: —————————————————————————————

    Hello Phoebe,

    It is precisely because of the direction that Audi has taken over the last 5-10 years, like this aggressive push to “re-claim inventory” rather than providing reliable and dependable vehicles that can be maintained for more than 5 years, that I have traded in my 2015 Allroad for a 2024 (REDACTED). The A8 will be sold at auction and that will probably be replaced by a (REDACTED) as well.

    There is no amount that you can offer me, no deal that you could formulate, that will ever overcome how much Audi has become a brand that I intensely dislike.

    Here’s a thought, go back in time about 10-15 years and re-claim THAT Audi. Then maybe you won’t be emailing people like me for more than a year desperately trying to “re-claim” something that you no longer want to be.

    Audi: —————————————————————————————–
    I do apologize the brand was not what you were looking for.

    Congratulations on the new car!

    Phoebe Sevrin
    Audi Rockville
    Portfolio Manager

    I have redacted the car that I’ve recently purchased because I don’t want random people knowing what I have. It’s better than Audi, that much I can tell you.

    • Excellent, XM!

      Companies need to know where we stand and why we no longer want their product. They may not care, but if they get enough of these letters maybe they will see why the customer’s business was lost and dial back and formulate on what made them great.

      The Audi A8s are beautiful cars, but I could never manage to get around the screen being plopped in the middle of the dash. These go back as far as the early 2000s. I realize they were trying to be “techy” but it looks ridiculous. If one is paying $90K for a car it should look like some thought has been put into it.

      • Morning, RG!

        In re the screens: When these first came out – in high end cars like the A8 – which was about ten years ago – they looked “high end,” mainly because other cars didn’t have them. Now $20,000 cars have them – and they look cheap.

        Which, of course, they are.

  3. 2005 ION. I paid $15,000 for it new. 84,000 miles. To replace it with something like it would cost $25,000 new or 15-20,000 with 125,000 miles on it.

    No thank you.

    It does have drive by wire. Electronic steering motor [no fluids to leak, flush or replace, I can deal with that]. But no Onstar [the answer to a question no one asked]. Crank windows.

    I would have had the manual but it sucked. Noisy and jumpy. Hardly as nice to use as the one in the 95 SL1 I drove to the dealer in. Not in LA traffic.

    So, automatic it was. Much quieter. AC. I splurged on floormats.

    As for safety? It’s as “safe” as it was the day I bought it.

    Otherwise: use seat belts, check mirrors, maintain sane speeds, stay the frig off the phone, don’t diddle with the radio, don’t drink and drive drunk, don’t eat while in motion, maintain the safety systems. Risk reduced by a massive amount.

    The same policy I use when driving the other two: a 63 Valiant and an ’86 Olds Calais.

    All that safety junk is a sad joke when the stats from AAA a few years ago found highest cause of death in a car: being unbelted in an accident.

    Always the defective nut behind the wheel. There will never be enough passive saaaaaafety to compensate for that.

    I’ll keep what I have, thanks.

  4. The thing is, used cars make even new car dealers more money than their new ones. That has always been the case, even in the normal times.

    I know of at least two local car dealers that have given up their new cars sales completely to deal only used. One was once a very high volume Chevy dealer. They didn’t lose their franchise when Obama forced many dealers out of GM either. It was pretty recent, during covid (guessing that was the nail in the coffin).

  5. Times must be getting desperate for car dealerships. I thank the UAW for going on strike. The dealership is buying back our piece of crap Cadillac because they need inventory. It is a “repurchase”, but they are making us whole less a small amount for the whopping 500 miles that we put on it for the ten days we had it.

    I looked at the dealership’s website. They do not have any of our car models in stock. I don’t even believe it will lemon lawed. It is likely they will put it back up for sale for $3K-5K more then they reimbursed us. I feel bad for the next person that buys it.

    In the meantime, I am scouting for a used Lexus GX460 made before 2014. I would love to have a brand new car, but the invasion of privacy and the car fighting against my own responses is not something I am willing to put up with.

      • Hi Landru,

        The brakes failed on Day 10. When we took it back to the dealership the engine seized as the tech was test driving it. They ended up putting a refurbished engine into the SUV a month later. I believe they found metal shavings in the original engine, but no one ever confirmed this. I refused to pick it up or drive it again. I think after almost four months of this car sitting on their lot their thought was “make these people go away.” 🙂

        • Yeah, I’d run away and hide from a car like that. Sounds like a lemon. I don’t know if it was a new one but if so a refurb engine wouldn’t be acceptable to me either.

    • I just looked through the Mazda CX90 owners manual online, I’m in the tire kicking phase now but like you, I want this tech OFF and just drive the damn car.

      So, two methods, a dash button to turn it all off but it needs a push on each restart.

      Better, a config modification available via Mazda Connect, here is a link to that manual.

      ERIC, since you tested the CX90 can you verify the Mazda Connect changes stay out until you decide to change them again?


    • RG,

      My gf’s dad is a Cadillac salesman. He was PO’d because this year they gave him a Buick instead. Also Cadillac didn’t participate in the Chicago auto show back in Feb (which is huge, and he gets leads there).

      The reason they cited? For both of the above?

      “Lack of inventory.”

      I don’t think the strike has very much to do with it.

      I think they just aren’t making very many cats for some reason.

      • Hi Publius,

        Inventory was limited when we purchased it back in July, but the Arlington, Texas plant (makes GM’s SUVS) was at least building them. When the UAW shut down that plant on October 24th there was nothing coming out. All of a sudden everyone was more than happy to repurchase our SUV.

        I know the Escalades, Tahoe’s, and Suburban’s have been selling pretty quickly over the last two years. I just checked my local GM website and it looks like the only SUVS in stock are the Buick Envisions. I had to chuckle when seeing that. 🙂

        • RG,

          The strike can’t help ease the inventory situation, that’s for sure.

          I wonder if they are still blaming chip shortages, or if it’s something else.

          Toyota is also having trouble keeping up with demand, my SIL is in the process of buying one. Was lucky enough to reserve one, she’s in line but it has to make its way out of the factory & over to the dealer. Apparently you can’t order exactly what you want anymore, each dealer gets allocated a certain number & you get in line & hope the salesman can get you something close to the options you want.

          I don’t know what the deal is, I just hear little snippets of things but not enough to piece the big picture together.

          Having said that. I smell BS coming from somewhere on this inventory stuff.

          • My best guess is that there isn’t an inventory problem, so much as they under-produced the cars people want to buy and over-produced cars people don’t want. I guess they figured if they stuck ‘em on a lot, some poor suckers would be induced to buy them.

            The lack of money/credit, and high interest rates, and stubbornness of the buyers in not wanting what was on offer are now biting dealers and manufacturers in the @ss but they haven’t figured out what to do about it yet because Uncle is still trying to go full steam ahead.

            So the whole auto market is cracking, it just hasn’t completely fallen apart yet.

            That’s my thesis, prove me wrong.

    • The “Stealership” as we know it should be an obsolete business model anyway. There’s no reason, given the changes in “JIT” methods over the past forty or so years, that a new vehicle cannot be built to spec and delivered directly to the buyer. Given that most vehicles, if not outright neglected, are quite reliable for about seven years or 100K miles, and the expense that WOULD be justified for that quality level, which was reached about 25 years ago, the buying of a new car/truck should be a carefully-weighed financial decision. But, instead, we get the glad-handing, hard selling, and emotional manipulation that make going to any dealership an awful experience. It doesn’t matter whether the maker is “foreign” or “domestic” (what, pray tell, is the DISTINCTION anymore?), they all use this model to sell their products, which seems the epitome of arrogance or downright stupidity.

      As for all the “assist” and “monitoring” and EXTERNAL control tech, let alone more UNWANTED on-board “entertainment”, it’s come about due to several factors:

      (1) the desire of the sociopaths in the District of CRIMINALS, aka “Washington, DC”, to control the movement of we “serfs”.
      (2) An aging population WOULD, in theory, need some “help”, and the insurance mafia is more than willing to pressure DC and the car makers to make it happen.
      (3) Car makers attempt to make their products “new and/or improved”. There was a time when, for example, good ol’ “Ma Mopar” did, in fact, come out every few years with some new tech that actually did enhance safety and/or reliability or maintainability. However, it seems that ever since cars hit their asymptote of reliability and service life about 25 years ago, it’s become more to impose SUPERFICIAL changes to insult our collective intelligences that the new stuff was worth trading in for. Akin to the “new” Malibu Stacy doll, with the only change being a HAT. And we ‘Muricans repeatedly fall for that shit, as real-life Don Drapers come up with snappy tag lines for products that really are not any DIFFERENT and certainly not “better”.


      • Absolutely Douglas,
        In the age of the internet anyone should be able to go to a manufacturer’s website and order their vehicle with the exact options – and only the exact options, none of this “package” crap – they want, down to the color of the floor mats. Will probably never happen due to the power of the dealership cartel; it’s a “law” here and most other states that a new car has to be purchased through a stealership. I vaguely remember that the dealer’s association took Tesla to court when they began selling cars directly to consumers years ago; not sure what the actual verdict was but Tesla is still selling cars here so the dealers lobby lost that one.

        • Tesla just created their own dealership network, if there is such a law. AFAIK, since the Tesla factory that assembles them is at the old NUUMI plant in Fremont, CA, any other state that had such a law would run afoul of the Constitutional clause that prohibits the states from regulating trade across their borders.

        • I’d be happy to wait a few weeks to be able to get exactly what I wanted.

          Especially if I could get a V8 RWD with a bench seat as me a column shifter. With a Bluetooth stereo, air conditioning, crank windows, and a collapsible steering column. 4 wheel disc brakes, performance suspension, independent front & rear handbrake levers, cruise control, body-on-chassis construction, and a moonroof.

  6. I honestly don’t understand why more people don’t drive older (much older) cars as daily drivers. I would like to hear from you guys and gals here. What are you apprehensions?

    I’ve been driving a 1979 Firebird as my main vehicle for my approximately 12 mile trip to work
    (24 mile round trip) for over a year now.

    I bought the Firebird after I “donated” my previous daily driver, a 2005 Dodge Stratus, to my daughter when she turned 16. Preparing for the loss of my car, I began shopping locally for something cool to replace it, finding the Firebird just a few miles down the road. It was a father/son project in which the son was going to drive it after he turned 16. As it turned out, he decided he wanted a big 4×4 instead, so they put the Firebird up for sale.

    I paid around $10k for it. It had a newly rebuilt Chevy 350 engine in it mated to a 4-speed manual transmission, a decently restored interior, and working heat and A/C. All gauges worked except temp gauge.

    Over the last year, I’ve put a bit more money in it getting it daily driver ready. The easy stuff I can do myself, but I do have a great mechanic that works exclusively on old cars locally (and this is key).

    *4 new tires
    *engine tune up (plugs and wires, carb tune, timing)
    *transmission rebuild
    *new temp gauge
    *front end suspension rebuild
    *4 new shocks
    *some leaks fixed
    *power steering box replacement
    *front brakes

    All in, it’s much less than I would spend on a newer used car/maintenance.


    *fantastic driving experience – I look forward to the drive to and from work like never before
    *I get the same feeling driving this car as I got during the “pandemic” being the only unmasked person in sight, if that makes sense
    *the sound this car makes is fantastic
    *the pride that comes from learning the ins and outs of this car and maintaining it in tip top shape
    *parts are readily available (you could build a whole new car from the parts catalogue, while my 90’s vehicles are hard to find parts for)


    *bad gas mileage – I fill up every week – and I have to use high octane
    *doesn’t do well in snow/bad weather
    *have to let it idle and warm up on cold mornings

    Have you considered getting an older daily driver, and what is stopping you?

    • The thing holding me back from an old daily driver. Road salt in the winter making rust prevention very difficult. Maybe at some point I could do a summer older daily driver.

      • Yep. Salt makes it almost impossible to drive a car much older than 12-15 in many areas. If I lived in New Mexico or Arizona, I would probably drive something like a ’92 F-150 every day and just keep fixing it. I’d even drive a ’72 if I could, but the fuel-injected vehicles from the 1990s were more reliable.

        Even in areas where salt is not a concern, though, the sun will bake the paint off and destroy interior fabric and plastic. It’s really hard to keep an old vehicle as a nice daily driver unless you bought it new and kept is garaged and kept out of the sun and the salt as much as possible.

        Cars simply don’t last forever, sooner or later you have to buy a new one and then you’re stuck with all the modern electronics and nanny gizmos.

        • ‘If I lived in New Mexico or Arizona, I would probably drive something like a ’92 F-150 every day and just keep fixing it.’ — X

          That’s exactly what we do. My ’97 daily driver and ’98 pickup just don’t age, except from the effects of UV.

          Got an earful from some Wisconsonians on Tuesday, about their cars getting eaten alive by the rust bug after only eight years or so. From an overall cost perspective, road salting probably is a net loss for society.

          As a grande dame of a certain age once quipped, ‘In L.A., you rot from the inside out.’ 🙂

    • “fantastic driving experience – I look forward to the drive to and from work like never before”
      Which is why my daily driver for 15 years or more was a Miata, until I got too old and decrepit to drive a manual.

    • I have no problem driving an older vehicle (I usually drive mine for about ten years), but I put 18K-24K miles on them annually. When the odometer hits about 200K I usually start shopping for a new one and restart the cycle. Unfortunately, shopping for a new one is no longer a possibility unless one has no problem being spied on by the manufacturer, being tracked by the insurance company, and having one’s data sold to the highest bidder (or hell, any bidder). I also have an aversion to cameras and Alexa.

    • Hi PB, I’d recommend not driving it in the salt so as you can enjoy it longer. Depending on the tranny either a 700R4 or a Tremec should help with the bad gas mileage. Alcohol injection might help it run on regular. Snow tires will work better if you keep a mostly full gas tank or throw a bag of sand in the trunk.

      As for myself my newest car is over 20 and the oldest cars are over 50 years old.

    • Add me to the rust category, sometimes the DPW puts more salt on the road than there is snow. I loved my ‘75 Dodge Dart with the slant six – incredibly easy to work on – but it totally rusted out after about ten years. My oldest car currently is an ‘01 Corolla which is hanging in there since I’m retired and don’t drive as much but it still has rust spots here and there. Hopefully it will last as long as I do 😆.

    • I think that ’79 Firebird did come from the factory with a Chevy 350 small block V8, so you’ve kept it “original”, like it or not. AFAIK, all the “Super Duty” and other “large journal” Pontiac V8s were discontinued after the 1976 model year, as even the full-sized lines from Chief Pontiac were downsized the next year, and the 350 was the biggest engine that could be had. What I noted from browsing the “Car Catalog” site is that the ‘Bird could even come with the “dog” Chevy 305 2-bbl engine, when the most common V8 was probably Pontiac’s own 301.

      • Ah! Something I can dig my teeth into! Second gen (1970-81) Firebird details!

        1976 was the final year for the long-stroke 455, which made 200 hp and was available optionally that year in the Trans-Am and only with the four speed manual. The standard engine was the 180 hp 400, available with either the manual or the automatic, which was optional. The 400 engine continued to be available in the Trans-Am (and Formula) through 1979, the ’79s being the final year and that year, the 400 was only available with the Super T10 manual four speed. Other ’79s got the 403 Olds V8, paired with an automatic. In ’77 and ’78, there were two versions of the 400 available. The first was the standard (180 hp) version, which was identified by “6.6 litre” on the shaker scoop. The optional (W72) high-performance 400 made 200 horsepower (in ’77 and ’78) and 220 in ’79 and was available (in ’77 and ’78) with either the TH350 three speed automatic or the manual four speed Super T10.

        In 1980, the Trans-Am was only available with either the 4.9 (301) Pontiac or the 5.0 (305) Chevy. The 301 was available with a turbo and this version was rated 210 hp. The automatic was mandatory. The non-turbo 301 and Chevy 305 could be had with either a manual or the automatic.

      • This one, from the factory came with a 301 and 4 speed t-10. The 301 was replaced with a Chevy 350 from a ’69 Camaro (per the previous owner).

  7. I get emails like this from the dealer where I get my vehicle serviced. The last time I took it in, the service guy asked if I would be interested in trading for something newer. There was even a call later from a salesman. I told both I was not interested in anything newer than my 2017 truck. It does not have any of the nanny tech, or that stupid stop/start. They were a bit surprised that someone my age wouldn’t be interested in something new and flashy.

    Honestly, I would rather have something older, like an imported 1998 Toyota Hilux Surf or Land Cruiser with a manual transmission and diesel engine.

  8. I will never get rid of my vehicles, the newest of which dates from 2015 and is a design that is far older.

    My Mk. IV Supra has a tiny bit of turbo lag (even with sequentials, it takes time for those snails of power to spool up) and when it hits you, it hits like Big Papi on a hanging curveball. The car cares not a whit that it is pointed in the right way. There are no electronic nannies to keep it on the tarmac as the Brits would say. It is your job as the driver to have it on a good line around the track and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Now my Infiniti has some traction control and that’s about it. Turn that off (and it shuts off obediently) and it is just like the Supra, unforgiving for those with a lack of judgment.

    I don’t want Big Brother stepping in to slow me down. What if you have to rush someone to the hospital? What if you are running from a gang of thugs with AKs? I guess these possible scenarios aren’t considered by the demonic ruling class or they’re fine with your family dying.

    • Impressed you have a functional MKIV Supra Turbo that is indeed a “low volume” collector’s item and I routinely see them selling for 60K+ even though the car was priced at about half of that when it was brand new back in the day.

      Very accurate description of the turbo in that car. Once the big one spools up it was like a rocket ship and yes, very easy to break the wheels lose. I did that a few times when I very much did not intend to and under some dodgy circumstances.

      I sold that car for the same amount I paid for it 6 years later because of its absurd popularity. (Thank you Fast & Furious movies!) If I had a nice big garage I’d have kept it even longer.

  9. I will add insult to injury. The same issue can be said about diesel engines and all they things they do or used to do. EPA Tier 4 diesel emission engines are a disaster. Ask anyone that owns one.
    A small part of our biz is selling diesel driven equipment. I recently had an opportunity to sell a 250HP piece of equipment to one of our best customers. This is a $100K piece of equipment.
    Sent him the details/specs, and he called me and said “no can do. I will not buy a Tier 4 engine because they don’t work the way we need them to work, I will look for used, sorry”.
    The EPA picked our industry last to enforce their rules because it’s very low numbers relative to everything else diesels do, enacted 1-2 yrs ago, and our equipment is not working well at all on them. No one wants them.
    Only the desperate or un-informed are interested in them, and we ‘inform’ the hell out of prospective clients on what to expect and do’s and don’ts. Once they learn the difference the majority walk, but we will not hurt our reputation selling stuff that doesn’t work the way most expect.

  10. Craigslist has cars for sale, Fort Collins has plenty of cars on their auto page. They’re not expensive, a Honda Accord 2013 year is 3200 dollars. You can go to Craigslist for any larger metro area, there are cars galore out there.

    The dealerships can go to Craigslist and look there. Don’t have to write some stinking letter, a computer will take you to the cars, buy one and drive it to the lot to resell it.

    Looks like they want to have some foot traffic at those dealerships, a marketing ploy.

    Maybe it is a way to get the old ones out of the way, junk them, not resell them.

    Cal Worthington would know what to say and do for ya. Go see Cal! RIP, Cal.

    People travel hundreds of miles to retrieve a car they buy, then drive it back home, or they have one they buy in a city 800 miles away and pay to have it delivered.

    • “Thieflist”, aka Craiglist, is NOT a venue I’d be looking for any used cars. Too many scammers on that site, and how often is it simply another come-on for a “stealership”? (same thing).

      • Didn’t have a problem with the Fort Collins auto page on Craigslist, got a decent vehicle at a good price.

        Maybe in Tuscon the auto pages at Craigslist might not be the place to go.

        The local car website, all things for sale in addition to vehicles, has plenty of dealership free advertising going on. They know where the traffic really is.

        Always a risk out there. Living is dangerous business, not that hard to see.

  11. I’ve been receiving these letters for years, even for vehicles I sold years ago. Just a transparent marketing tactic for greedy people. Why would I be paid above value by a dealer for anything, esp if condition didn’t matter?

    As far as all this nanny tech – it feels strange to see cars morph into something other than cars before my eyes. Maybe it means I’m getting old, but I think it is more about cars becoming less user friendly.

    • Correct, Dan. The goal is to make individual mobility impossible for all but a select few in power. Likewise, and in concert with, the eradication of legally armed individuals. Tyrants know, for a fact, the greatest threat to their tyranny is an armed & mobile populace. Our founding fathers were not fools, far from it. They knew the intent of tyrants and dictators, past, present, and future, and the fact that every single one has used ‘modern’ means to subjugate society.

      • How about a constitutional amendment to protect the right of the people to travel on any public right of way, in whatsoever manner or form of conveyance as the individual sees fit, without restriction. Especially precluded are emissionsvregulations & safety device requirements.

        Since we’re in dreamland, let’s add another one, Amendment 2 (a): And anyone who tries to infringe it may be shot on sight without penalty.

  12. I’ve never gotten anything from an auto dealership asking to buy my late 1990s truck, but I have had people ask me before if it’s for sale, to which I said no.

    I’ve also gotten calls over the years from someone claiming the warranty on my vehicle was about to expire unless I called a particular number to extend it. Only problem is, in the years I’ve had my truck, I’ve NEVER had any sort of warranty on it, so I think that it was SCAMMERS making those calls.

  13. Sounds like a non-GovCo-sponsored ‘cash for clunkers’, in that they may actually just destroy whatever they get to reduce the competition. This was, of course, the intent of the original ‘cash for clunkers’ scam, and every one since then. The worst thing that ever happened to the ‘new car’ industry was making cars in the ’90’s & early 2000’s that survived daily use, wear & tear, for more than a decade. They specifically only accepted functional automobiles that had been in use and licensed for the past year or more, not a true clunker, per-se.
    They are liars, the lot of them. I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw their fat, lying asses. Whatever it is worth to them to pay, it is worth 5 times, or more, to keep, and in more ways than just money.
    Don’t forget the 2 ‘globalist’ immediate goals. Immobilization and disarmament. Their greater intentions, once those 2 things are accomplished, are ultimately the subjugation & eradication of the middle-class. Call it a ‘conspiracy’ if you wish, but these things have already been done, repeatedly, by dictators of other, now extinct or neutered, societies. Technology is just a tool being used to disguise the impending tyranny and subjugation.

  14. With this “wonderful” so-called “build back better” economy, it’s a wonder we haven’t seen dealerships go bankrupt and close. Of course if you get your “news” from “Tass”, everything is WONDERFUL and getting better! Until then the misery will continue until public moral improves.

    • ‘build back better’ also requires the eradication & demolition of what is present, otherwise it would be called ‘improve upon what has already been accomplished’. But that’s not the goal in the first place. When everything is in a state of devastation and total chaos, the ‘saviors of society’ will implement their plans for ‘our’ future, if we let them.

    • Actually IMO TASS, PRAVDA and RT have more truthful news than any msm here in the West. Many articles broken by them force the local liers to cover and even then they lie about most of it.

    • They may not be closing now, but I would definitely figure on shuttered dealerships in states where ICE vehicles will be eventually banned. Either they will close, or they will only deal in used cars. In those states, when that time comes (unless sane heads prevail and those bans are rescinded) there will be used car dealers and Tesla dealers, and few if any other manufacturers selling new cars (which will only be EVs).

  15. Another metric of desperation is today’s Wall Street Journal article titled Are Americans Falling Out of Love with EVs? It’s a total bullshit title, probably derived from decades of Lügenpresse tub-thumping about America’s mythical ‘love affair with Israel’ (how’s that workin’ out for us?).


    The lede lays it on heavy with the spin:

    ‘America’s spendthrift relationship with electric vehicles has lost some spark. It will take new generations of products to rekindle the romance on tighter budgets.’

    Buried deep in the article is an essential fact:

    ‘The basic problem is that metal-rich batteries and electric motors are more expensive than the gasoline tanks and engines they replace, particularly for the heavy sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks Americans favor.’

    And the silver lining, conventional-wisdom conclusion:

    ‘The industry will work it out in the end—governments with climate targets are forcing it to. But it will take years and will burn through unconscionable amounts of shareholder capital.’

    Which is also sugar-coated b.s.: the industry doesn’t possess ‘unconscionable’ amounts of capital. It’s finite, and when burned through, results in bankruptcy. Hopefully the dying auto industry will take the Lügenpresse down with it, whose presstitutes will be reassigned to slopping out latrines with their bare hands.

    • I posted an article over in the forum from Mishtalk that stated the all-in cost of driving an EV is the cost is the equivalent of $17/gallon. This is completely unsustainable.

      Just like throwing away a gas boiler and installing a “200% efficient” heat pump will always be more expensive because electricity is expensive to begin with. This is why TVs must be subsidized, and even then the net cost is still higher. The justification is because of the “sustainable” nature. Bullshit. If CO2 is a pollutant, tax it. If you’re too chickenshit to tax it, then shut the hell up.

      This clown world situation, where they tax labor, credit Capex that eliminates labor, and then subsidize inefficient but chosen industries has to end. Maybe it already has but because the credit card isn’t maxed out yet they can get away with pretending for a little while longer.

      • This “sustainable” BS really cracks me up; pushing electric everything is going to hit the wall shortly. Several planned for windfarms are bailing out due to the increasing costs of construction/components, writing off losses in the billions of inflated Fedbucks. I will be warm and toasty with my gas boiler while those who drank the heat pump kool-aid will be clustered around the vents hoping for 60 degree air during the next cold snap when the temperature drops to single digits with a howling wind.

        • Oh they’ll be warm. The only-100% efficient resistive element will kick on keeping the room a cozy 75ºF. Then when the bill comes, they’ll grouse about how unfair it is that they have to pay the greedy businessman for electricity. So then they sign up for average billing or other nonsense so that they pay more every month, on top of the debt payment on the heat pump, the technician visit when it conks out because no one’s sprayed out the condenser, and then the rate increase due to “market forces” restricting supply by forcing renewable sources to get priority.

          Or they could put on a sweater.

        • The ignorance is cracking me up. “Oh,lithium is the new oil?”
          What a bunch of illiterate morons. Lithium batteries generate NOTHING, produce nothing unless you can recover the energy when the self-immolate.
          Lithium batteries require a charge to be useful.

    • Hi Jim,

      I’m not aware of anybody who has a “love affair” with EVs. If anything, people are waking up to the problems that people here and elsewhere KNOW exist with EVs, and thus are saying “NO!” to EVs.

      I suppose next, there’ll be an article somewhere about Americans souring on vaccines, as the media and public health bureaucrats are already running pieces on how they’re “worried” that more parents across the country are taking exemptions to “recommended/ required vaccinations” for children to go to school, even going so far as to claim that doing so “Threatens public health” or “Threatens a return of long extinct diseases”. Could it be because they overplayed their hand with COVID jabs, and thus led people to questioning EXISTING vaccines that have been around long before the COVID shots were rolled out?

      • One of many examples of why ‘crying wolf’ ends up a disaster for everyone. Even worse is that the modern version has the shepherd-boy with a gun to your head.

    • I read that this morning and that last line, “the industry will work it out in the end—governments with climate targets are forcing it to”, is really another way of saying “we now have a Soviet style command economy where nothing matters and anything goes as long as people keep exchanging the gov’ts rapidly devaluing and soon to be worthless electronic digits for things of value.”

      • “we now have a Soviet style command economy where nothing matters and anything goes” — Funk Doctor Spidock

        A command economy is unsustainable, as shown by the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.

        The US fedgov is operating straight from the Soviet playbook: dictating products that can and can’t be produced; subsidizing some and taxing others to fix their prices; and inevitably, driving up the cost of everything with deadweight regulatory burdens.

        Deficits are now entrenched at $2 trillion a year. Non-discretionary entitlement spending and interest on the debt now run at 113% of revenues. The $1 trillion-plus that Clowngress actually appropriates comes on top of that. Thus, it is entirely debt-funded, and will continue to be until a traumatic reset occurs.

        This runaway train will look like Japan twenty years from now: a moribund economy with a shrinking population, because young adults sense that breeding is futile and withdraw their consent to building a future.

        • You were good up until that last section. Our population will not resemble Japan because Japan is a homogenous nation of non-breeders.

          The US will resemble Brazil because the Euro population will be reduced to a vanishing minority while Hispanics will continue to breed prolifically. The economy will be a basket case and horrible yes, but we will have vast swaths of human beings available to draw on government gibs with fewer and fewer productive people paying into it.

          • Hi Useranon99,

            I hope you’re wrong but the rational side of me fears you may be right. The thing I dread most of all is that even backwaters such as my area will become like the area I fled 20 years ago (Loudoun County, Va). It would probably be smart of me to sell my place now – before the area is ruined – and buy 50 acres 100 miles away from any population center of 10,000 or more people… and just go very quiet.

            • “We’re on our way to the ‘perfect place’…the perfect p-l-a-a-a-a-c-e! (Here we go! Hang on, everybody!) Sky is blue, fields are green, water sparkles, air is clean! (Prettiest place you’ve ever seen!) That’s the p-u-r-r-r-r-f-e-c-t p-l-a-a-a-c-e!”

              Just as Yogi, Boo Boo, and the rest of the Hanna-Barbara characters found that no place was immune from environmental despoilment, so any place, say, in the Sand Hills of Nebraska or the middle of Nevada (which would probably meet your relocation criteria) still won’t be free from whatever crap spews forth from the District of Criminals. About the only reason to bother would be to have a place of refuge when the entire “unsustainable” mess comes crashing down, or the sociopaths in DC, prodded by their Kosher would-be masters in Tel Aviv, decide to lob some nukes, and we get some back for our “trouble”.

      • When you think about a centrally planned economy where the state owns everything, the last thing that comes to mind is protecting the environment.

        Years ago I had a headend in Keyser WV. The road up to the mountain crossed land owned by a paper mill. There didn’t seem to be any activity, so I asked the local tech what they did with it. “You can’t pollute your own property” was the answer. As long as they dumped the waste on their own property the EPA didn’t care. Just like no one cares what the Soviets did in Central Asia, and everyone looks the other way with China.

  16. “Four grand would barely constitute a down payment on a new truck”

    A few years ago, I was getting gas & a gentleman came up to me and said he’d give me $5000 cash on the spot for my old truck with 300K+ miles on it. I told him I appreciated the offer but that wasn’t even enough to cover a down payment on a new truck.

  17. We receive the dealer solicitations in the mail about once a month, even for my wife’s 2016 Explorer with the chronic water pump issues.

    The most intense interest, however, is for my 2018 Camry. I imagine that will grow as Toyota shifts the Camry to hybrid-only.

    I know Toyota has to do that for Uncle, but my stock Camry with the 2.5 L 4-cylinder engine will push up against 40 M{G around town and close to 50 MPG on the highway if I put ethanol-free gas in the tank. The numbers are only slightly less on E10.

  18. I agree with what your saying about holding onto older cars because who wants to give up control to a computer that may make sub-optimal decisions. Such as: will it swerve for a deep pot hole, accelerate if you see some one trying to carjack you at a red light, .etc?

    Somehow I doubt it.

    PS- It does not matter if a car has a throttle cable or not for being controlled, it is whether the vehicle is capable of receiving over the air updates and having it’s operation effected by GPS or other external data that is the issue.

    • True, my 06 Miata had throttle by wire, but it was NOT connected to anything that could take over control of it.
      Dealers and makers have let themselves be taken over by the Psychopaths In Charge. Consequently, they cannot offer a vehicle people want, and even if they did want it, at anything resembling an affordable price. They are like a swimming pool, a hole in the ground you throw money in. Only this one has wheels, and you have no control over it.

      • Most people like to think they’re good, and doing good things. When the press decided that Ralph Nader was worthy of attention they quickly turned on the auto industry. In alternative timeline the big three would have pulled all their advertising and starved the beast. End of Ralph Nader.

        But, because on the surface Nader made a good argument (and yea, the cars could probably have been made a little safer with simple design changes), they relented. So everyone felt better about themselves. Of course that just encouraged everyone with a chip on their shoulder to become a “consumer advocate” and demand all sorts of screwball changes. Adding a “Do not dumb here” sticker was cheap and got them off the hook, but again people continued to dumb. So the advocates required more expensive changes.

        The consumer advocate seemed to forget that if a consumer can no longer afford the product, they’re really not advocating for anything. Nice work if you can get it. These days I think you need to have a rich grandad to set you up with a non-profit charity though.

        • Hi RK,

          I take extreme umbrage over this “consumer advocate” stuff. I gave no one my proxy to “advocate” on my behalf. These busybodies are “advocating” on behalf of themselves – and those who agree with them. But the term implies they are just neutral helpful-helpersons who are “advocating” for everyone.

          • Well, an over educated Haarvaard graduate such as Nader obviously has a much bigger brain than the rest of us, and his benevolent heart is in the right place, so of course he’s right. You’re just too dumb to see it, see.

            We used to make fun of the stuffed shirts. The character Charles Emerson Winchester III was a Haarvaard graduate, and the butt of many jokes on MASH. America has always been about knocking them down a peg, now it seems we think they’re on our side somehow.

            Then again, we live in a world where the engineered food we eat is killing us, the banks are extracting our wealth and the lawyers are taking away our rights. Perhaps if Mr Nader were actually on our side he’d do something about that, eh?

            • Mr. Nader is simply an old, DERANGED homosexual with grandiose delusions about “fixing” society IAW HIS nutty views. Ergo, just another nitwit that should have been politely IGNORED.

        • “the cars could probably have been made a little safer”
          Reminds me of Kalishnikov’s response to a “reporter” when asked if his gun was safe. “Is gun, is not safe”. Likewise, no car is safer than the operator’s ability. Especially on two lane, you are meeting cars at a delta v of over 100 mph, 6′ away. Margin for error is small.

          • But two vehicles, each going about the posted limit of, say, 55 mph on a two-lane country road, DO routinely close at that “Delta-V” of about 110 mph, which, should they collide, will be one helluva wreck, and yet said wrecks SELDOM happen. The drivers are USUALLY smart enough to stick to their part of the road.

            It’s a tragedy when one doesn’t, but attempts to “fix stupid” just create higher levels of stupidity.

        • Nader who by the way, doesn’t drive. He is driven to where he is going.

          A non driver should have no say over how people are allowed to drive.


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