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Simon C

How GM Lost Its Status

5 posts in this topic

CARBIZ    1

Excellent piece! I've long argued that North America of today bares little resemblance to that of our grandparents' time - for better or worse.

Part of the argument today that both parents must work is not out of necessity, but that the second job is required (in many cases) to pay for the toys and excessive consumer goods of our society. Vacations in Mexico, trips to Europe, 2 cars in the driveway, central a/c, etc. were unheard of 50 years ago.

And what we expect of our vehicles has changed, too. My father factory ordered a '66 and then a '69 Chrysler 300 - both laden with performance goodies (optional disc brakes, TNT pkg, etc.), but no luxuries like a/c, power windows, etc. Times have changed when a Malibu comes with everything power as standard.

With the complexities of the modern car (six air bags, ABS, DVD navigation, etc.) the costs involved for items that are involved in other than making the vehicle function as transportation are spiralling; thus, it no longer makes sense to dispose of a vehicle that is essentially a computer/entertainment system on wheels.

Wallace has missed another big trend of the past 50 years: selfishness. People respected each other and were more community oriented then. Today, it is me, me, me. This has also dictated many trends from fashion to automobiles. Obscene ostentation is the new order. Twenty five thousand dollar watches. And imported anything. Why drive a Cadillac when you can drive an imported Mercedes? Why buy California wine when French is better, no?

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finlandia    0

Wallace is right that cars went from rare status symbols to commodity products. That's why the tuner market is so big - people want to differentiate their all-too common cars. But because cars are more or less commodities, the domestics can take advantage of the lack of brand loyalty by building dynamite cars. Theoretically, conquest wins are easier than ever because of people's willingness to try something else. It's just a matter of having the product to entice them. Hopefully the Big 2.5 won't flub it.

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balthazar    1,882

CARBIZ= >>"Wallace has missed another big trend of the past 50 years: selfishness. People respected each other and were more community oriented then. Today, it is me, me, me. "<<

So utterly true, tho I might clarify; today it is all ME!! ME!!! ME!!!!

finlandia= >>"Theoretically, conquest wins are easier than ever because of people's willingness to try something else. "<<

But on the other hand, there are far more (extensive & full-line) brands in play now than 'back then'- in turn lessening the chances of a conquest win.

Edited by balthazar

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It was an eye-opening article, but it did make a lot of sense. I guess that although I'm only 23, a big part of me would be better suited for the 60s because I still think of a new car as a status symbol, and I've had to more or less fight for everything I currently own, but that's beside the point.

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