The domestic produced automobiles we drive today, just comparing reliability and potential longevity are just plain and simply light years ahead of 30-50 years ago. And as far as equipment and comfort? Seriously, most people wouldn’t put up with what we considered the best cars in the world 40 years ago. Air conditioning was an option on all cars and many cars didn’t have it. Creature comforts and technology were years away. Cold weather starting was hit and miss at best. I made many weeks of pay adjusting automatic chokes on domestic cars one right after another for literally day’s at a time. And longevity? In the Midwest it was a race to see whether the car would rust away or quit running as early as just 20 years ago.
Cars became more reliable, and also became more appliance like. For most of us that was a good thing but for many of us it was a heartbreak. Pressure from Europe and Japan forced the domestic makers to rethink their business model. Technology also made it easier to be a car maker. The growing pains for America's domestic auto companies were not pretty. The industry has completely changed and although it appears similar on the surface I can assure you it is not. We have a very quickly growing world population yet we are selling less cars. Generally buyers are keeping cars longer and replacing them when they need to be, instead of when they want to. Desire is very much less a part of the equation that it was decades ago.
It’s a good news bad news story and I think we are at a jumping off point right now. I look for domestic auto companies having to take sides very soon. The day’s of one company trying to do it all, are over. It will be interesting to see how it all works out and even more interesting to see who survives and who does not.