Friday, June 5, 2015

Planned Obsolescence and the Automotive Industry

Blake D’Ippolito

The Automotive Industry is one sector of our economy that relies heavily on the planned obsolescence model. In 2014 alone, 16.1 million new cars and trucks were sold in the U.S... Every year, automobile companies come out with new and updated models, with only minor improvements.
The difference in price between a brand new car and the same car that is 2 years older is enormous. A 2015 Toyota Prius with no upgrades has an MSRP or $24,000. The 2013 Toyota Prius has with the same features has an estimated resale value of $16,000. This vehicle’s worth drops over 15% each year for the first 3 years of its existence!
The only benefits to owning brand new car is the warranty in case of any malfunctions. Even then, there are certified pre-owned vehicles that come with a warranty that are a few years old.

What can we do to curb car companies’ reliance on planned obsolescence with this information?

The best solution, based on pricing, would be to buy a vehicle that is two years old, from a certified pre-owned lot that offers limited warranties. These models often appear just as new as the current model, and most of their issues are well-documented. However, there is a trade off with buying a car that is older than two years old. As the vehicle ages, the price comes down. It also comes with more wear and tear on the car that can lead to major issues that costs hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to repair.

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