My neighbor sold an older Chrysler minivan in perfect condition for $2000. Someone who bought his minivan could buy a Motorola Droid phone ($2000 over three years, including service), a car dock ($30), and enjoy a far superior GPS experience from Google Maps (which includes free traffic information; with the Toyota system you have to pay for a subscription). Then he could add two Apple iPads for the kids to use in the back ($1000). He wouldn’t need the bluetooth speakerphone because the Droid already is a speakerphone. So… for the price of just the basic electronics options in the Toyota, a consumer could have a minivan, free phone service, and $1000 left over. Is it any wonder that car sales in the U.S. are stagnant?
New car math is ridiculous. Not only the customer is punished for purchasing the car new, but he also pockets a 20% depreciation hit simply by driving it out of the dealership. I used to hate our Jeep Liberty (2003) to death, until I learned that Ivette didn’t change the oil for two years and the Jeep rode FINE until the check engine light came up since the engine was running almost dry. Now I think I am going to keep that sonofabitch until it disintegrates, because I doubt any newer product will have that kind of survivability.