No. 1009
August 14, 2019

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A vote for 84-month financing.

I’m going to sound a dissent about the purported dangers of the 84-month financing. While an 84- or even a 60-month financing scheme would have been foolish in the past, it does make sense today for many and doesn’t pose the danger that many are claiming it does. The reason is recent cars’ longevity. Within our lifetimes, cars were old and worn after three years or 50,000 miles. A 100,000-mile car was a vanishing tiny minority within the sea of planned obsolescence. Today some manufacturers offer 100,000-mile warranties while cars going that far aren’t even considered noteworthy.

While my anecdotal evidence isn’t any proof, it’s what I have. My Toyota Tacoma 4WD TRD work truck just turned 20-years-old recently. It really does work too when it isn’t busting over the desert doing 4×4 duty. That truck has never had an unscheduled service. Not one. Had I financed for 84 months upon purchase, I’d have had 100% equity for years now.

While my experience is unusual, I suppose, it’s hardly outré to the point that nobody can expect to duplicate it. Just the opposite – anybody paying any sort of attention can duplicate that in the cars available today more or less. My zero unscheduled maintenance events may be an outlier but few such events are reasonable over at least 150,000 miles or over 20,000 miles each year of that term. Likely few go that far meaning that the car would still be relatively young after its installment term is over.

Using the typical lease distance of 12,000 miles per year, a car has well less than the 100,000 miles meaning some will still be under warranty indemnifying the owner from any serious malfunction.

While 84- or 72-month financing may strike some old-timers such as myself as risky, it really isn't in the context of today’s cars. It really isn’t much different from the typical 36-month financing of our youth. Cars today are vastly better than in the way back which makes longer financing times not only feasible but sensible.

Paul Cassel
Albuquerque, New Mexico


In search of a robust plan.

BEVs? “Ain'” to the extent that you might think. There are only so many rare earth elements to go around at this point and same with the related battery availability. Not enough to cover even 10% of the stated global electric vehicle plans by the automotive juggernauts. So how do they all get their electric vehicles that they are touting. Either it's a load of crap or they each have a secret new battery technology that we don't yet know about (and maybe that is your point) that will render Otto's variants obsolete, It's probably on the shelf right next to the 100 MPG carburetor. Also, the manufacturers don't make shit on the sale of a battery powered vehicle (for the most part) so for every one they sell they need to sell two Escalades just to break even. Not a robust plan to remain profitable.

Rochester, Michigan


The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Nobody is going to save the future except the consumer. Sooner or later they will figure out that they have been deceived by the “futurists” that simply cannot deliver. They always seem to be onto something until you peel back the skin. 100 years ago, electric cars were the “future”. The consumer didn't buy it though because of range anxiety and charging times. Those two issues have not been resolved. Now we have a consumer that expects their cars to last 20 years. How many software updates will these new cars require over a 20-year life span? Can the battery last 20 years? Will the manufacturer still be around in 20 years? Technology to improve fuel economy and to decrease emissions has been around the automotive industry for decades but because the auto manufacturers have always been the marketing arm for “big oil,” they have been hidden. Now we are going to all be saved by Silicon Valley. I don't think so. Just remember, there are BILLIONS of cars out there for those that love gas and no computers to choose from and they are going to be around for decades to come because those that created the internal combustion engine figured out right from the start that the only way to make a gas engine is to make it bullet proof. Now, speaking of all of those electric motors with less parts than an internal combustion engine, why don't the individual motor windings count like nuts and bolts do?

Highland Park, Michigan