The State of the Union – an Auto Bubble?

Detroit may still be broke, but what about the car industry as a whole?  As it turns out, following the doomsdays of 2008, car manufacturers are doing better than ever. Sales are soaring, customer satisfaction is up. In fact, General Motors overtook Toyota for the first time in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study for 2013 models. GENERAL MOTORS. In other news, pigs now fly.

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U.S. News and Word Report recently published an interesting article on the state of things, including the uncertain future of the industry. Are auto stocks surging too much? Are young drivers weighed down by too much debt to continue making car purchases? Are new cars of such improved quality that people will keep them longer? Interestingly, according to the article, the age of the average car on the road is almost eleven-and-a-half years.  That’s a model year 2001 or 2002 vehicle!

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Is Detroit’s Comeback the Real Thing, or Is That Really Just Half a Ford Explorer?

The car industry has made an amazing comeback in the last five years, thanks to a number of factors, including government intervention, industry consolidation and technological innovations, to name just a few. But is it “too far, too fast,” as U.S. News thinks? Is there an auto bubble and, if so, is it going to burst in a few years? Would that even matter to the average consumer, happily tootling along in his/her high-quality, feature-laden seven- or eight-year-old car?

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I don’t know; that’s why I’m asking. What do you think? Do you see substantial improvements in the cars of the last few years? Planning to make a purchase anytime soon? Is the industry a Sasquatch, occasionally clumsy and galumphing but overall soft and lovable? Or a Felix, luring you in with a purr, then ripping your face off and blaming you for it?

Leave wisdom and sage observations in the comments!

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