“New-vehicle prices surge, but there’s no shortage of buyers,” (autonews.com, June 19) shocked me. I thought 60 months on a loan was a lot until I saw the average loan was 70! The average payment is $648! How long do automakers think this is going to be a sustainable model?
Buying a new car is a habit that young people are not going to get into if they don’t have to. Thus, the average age of the new-car buyer is only going to go up as long as prices do. Young people now have the potential to buy new, if modest, cars as wages on the lower end of the spectrum are increasing. These are the potential new-car buyers in the future.
So why not give them something to aspire to and save for, such as a 21st century 1965 Mustang? Take an existing electric platform, say the Chevy Bolt or Nissan Leaf, and put a sporty body on it. The platforms are already paid for, so there might be a decent profit margin.
The vehicle would have an environmentally friendly interior that can be personalized, and a less expensive battery pack that would use less expensive materials and give 250 miles of range. It would have great torque, good handling and little maintenance. This is a vehicle that could start a lifelong relationship.
This is a challenge that mainline automakers should take up. If they don’t, someone else will. The chip and inventory shortages will not last forever.
CHARLES WININGHAM, Alton, Ill. The writer is an archivist for Lambda Car Club International’s newsletter, Driveshaft.