Monday Mileage Champion: Crossing The Bridge Of Vehicular Death

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

What makes an owner trade in their car?

This may not be a question for the ages. But the impact this question has on every automaker will very well determine their long-term successes and failures.

After all, manufacturers want you to become an evangelist for their chosen brand. Billions of advertising dollars can be hurled at the general public in an endless cacophony of overt and nuance ridden ways. But in the end, it’s the good graces and big mouths of us current owners that carries the most sway. No clever hamster, truck loving dog, or clueless celebrity can approach the collective influence of the word of mouth.

Your opinion matters most, bar none… and now with the potential of over 300,000 surveys and data sets to tabulate, I may need a bit of help with it all.

What I’m asking for is not help with the raw collection of all that data. One of our frequent commenters is pulling it all into a database as we speak and has reserved a web site tentatively titled to display it all.

The help we need is with figuring out three questions. Specifically, if you were to trade-in your own vehicle, what three questions would you want the automaker to ask you?

Now asking a question such as, “Why didn’t you put a damn ashtray in the Neon?”, may seem rather pointless. But it’s not. Far from it. Automakers are always trying to figure out where they can attract a niche and maybe, perhaps, the theme of that question is something worth everyone’s time.

So don’t worry about offering a generic, “Did you like the car?”. Have fun. Be creative. It’s Monday after all. Let us know the three questions you would like to have an automaker ask you when parting company with your long loved creme puff or virulently reviled shitbox.

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2 of 61 comments
  • Jim brewer Jim brewer on Feb 14, 2013

    Dear VW: Sharp looking cars you have there. Of course I believe you when you tell me quality is much improved. So sell me an extended FACTORY warranty like Ford or Honda. For the same price. I'm sure you'll make money on the warranties, because we know that now your quality is second to none.

  • TL TL on Feb 15, 2013

    Toyota: What new features on the Tacoma would have made you trade your old one in three years earlier? A: Heated leather seats and heated / auto defrost external mirrors. Seriously, both of these things are available on the 4-Runner and would bolt right in.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
  • Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.
  • Wjtinfwb I've seen worse on the highways around Atlanta, usually with a refrigerator or washer wedged into the trunk and secured with recycled twine...
  • Wjtinfwb Surprising EB Flex hasn't weighed in yet on it being the subject of a recall...