February 22, 2012

CHANGE: Buyers hang on to new cars longer than ever.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

I’ve listened to the stats for over two years now. I am guessing there are quite a few guys like me. My household income is comfortably in the top 2% for the nation (hey, it’s Northern NJ. You need to make $250k just to own a house around here. Well, NOW you do…). I drive a 1998 Ford Explorer. The sport model. I’ve owned it since it was new and it’s got 160k miles on it. My wife has the “new” car, bought in 2008 when our first child was born. It’s a Toyota.

I’m a dirty finance guy, so I guess that means I should driving a BMW (Audi is the car of the last 5 years, actually). When your income is tied to the fortunes of the market and the country as a whole, current “riches” do not entice you to overspend. My house is also modest, and it makes me sad to see people who overextended themselves being given all sorts of second and third chances to stay in a house they never deserved in the first place.

Keep my name off it if you choose to comment me.

Punishing virtue and rewarding vice — that’s the policy these days.

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