Another Reason Detroit is in Trouble: They Are Building Better Cars


A chassis is hauled to a scrapyard in Bulgaria. Star

You don't sell as many cars if you build them to last, and it seems that all of the car makers are doing that. In 2000, only 28% of 15 year old cars were still on the road; now 43% are. For Toyota and Honda, it is up to 54%. Dwelling at the bottom are Ladas, with only 5.1% still on the road.

"Never before have we seen such compelling large-scale evidence of improved long-term durability – regardless of nameplate origin, country of manufacture or class of vehicle," said DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

Several factors have contributed to the longer lifespans, including widespread use of galvanized sheet metal, tighter manufacturing fits, better lubricants and electronic fuel injection, DesRosiers said.According to the Star:

The research results mean more maintenance work for repair shops and an image boost to the used-car business that sells more durable vehicles, according to DesRosiers.

However, he noted that if old autos stay on the road, it will take longer for more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles to make an impact. A new vehicle emits 98 per cent less toxins into the air than a 15-year-old model.

"Keeping these old smokers on the road is definitely not good for the environment," he said.

DesRosiers also criticized lawmakers for focusing on forcing automakers to produce greener vehicles when the real challenge is how to reduce the number of older polluting autos on the road. ::The Star

Tags: Canada | Pollution

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