Thursday, November 27, 2008

American Autos

I believe that American-made automobiles for passengers are made to wear out so that they must be replaced. This is not so with the trucks. A trucker requires many more thousands of miles of good service than a passenger-car owner. He is not to be dazzled with trimming or fins or doodads and he is not required by his status to buy a new model every year or so to maintain social face. Everything about my truck was made to last.
That's John Steinbeck in Travels with Charley. Writing almost 50 years ago he perfectly nailed what now ails the American Auto industry. Toyota's large trucks have always sold poorly and it has only recently understood the U.S. truck market. But its small cars have always done well, especially as they've become increasingly reliable, if not a little boring.

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