Do you want a car that runs for a million miles?
Many people say that they would like their car to run forever but is that actually a good or bad idea?
Mercedes once had a famous ad campaign that boasted of their cars lasting a million miles. Nothing could be less desirable today.
Back in the good old days, companies like Mercedes-Benz made a “good solid car” and they were the ideal but now it would seem they are the enemy of innovation.
As you can imagine, if a car was to last “forever” there would be no new innovations and there would certainly be a huge delay in the adoption of new technologies.
No matter how good a ‘forever car’ sounds, it would stifle design and technological growth.
Vast improvements in fuel economy, emissions, occupant safety, driver assistance and, soon, autonomy, are all amplified for society by turnover in the fleet.
It obviously means then that we need cars to reach their end of life in, say, a decade or so so we can move on to newer and better creations.
It would seem then that cars have become more of a disposable appliance, rather than something that is repaired forever like darning a pair of old socks.
We are also in a leasing culture in recent decades and this also facilitates consumers getting faster dissatisfied with older cars.
Nowadays, a car will get to about 130,000 miles and some even to about 200,000 miles once it goes through a few subsequent owners and then off to the breaker’s yard.
Those low mileages are a long way off from the million mile dream of yesteryear and if we are honest, that’s the way it needs to be for the benefit of all of us.
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