Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. How long do you keep your cars
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
How long do you keep your cars?
At least a couple of years? More?
Or are you the sort that likes to change their cars like their iPhones, every year. Just so you can look good in the neighborhood?
I only pry because some bright minds thought they’d examine which new cars change hands within the first year of ownership.
The possibly nerdish types at iSeeCars.com say they pored over 46 million car sales — models from 2014-17 — in order to create their list.
Before I pored over it, I tried to imagine what the answers would be.
In my wishful world, I hoped it would be Subarus and Toyota Priuses, as both make my top lip curl at the painful visual assault they provide.
Instead, it seems that the car most often disposed of in its first year of ownership is the Mercedes C-Class.
A hearty 12.4 percent are no longer with their original owners before their first year is up.
Close behind is the BMW 3-Series.
There are, indeed, three BMW’s in the Top 10. The X1 and X3 ride along in 6th and 7th place.
Land Rover owners aren’t good at the commitment thing, either.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque come 3rd and 4th.
In the latter case, perhaps the owners are just tired of how long it takes to say the name.
Bizarrely, eight out of the Top 10 are fancy cars. Of the more populist vehicles, only the Nissan Versa Note and the Nissan Versa creep into the Top 10.
iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly offered a dark portent as to why German luxury cars seem to have difficult relationships with their owners:
Despite the popularity of these vehicles, they generally have below-average reliability ratings from Consumer Reports, which could contribute to why owners get rid of them so quickly.
He added that so-called car-punching may be a factor.
This doesn’t involve bellicose practices with your ultimate driving machine. Instead, it’s the practice of incentivizing dealers to buy new cars and employing them as loaners, thereby boosting new car sales figures.
Ly said that his calculations tried to take account of this slippery behavior.
I, though, want to believe in the purity and goodness of car dealers.
So I looked more deeply into the numbers to see where the most disgruntled new car buyers live and which cars they really can’t live with.
I can hear you assuming most must live in the cradle of dissatisfaction, New York.
It seems that 33.7 percent of Atlanta residents gave up their Mercedes C-Class in their first year, something 25.7 percent of Phoenix-residing owners did too.
As for the BMW X3, well, 18.3 percent of Seattle-Tacoma owners bid them goodbye before their second birthday. (The cars’, not the owners’.)
I have no interest in besmirching these fine car brands. They all seem perfectly elevated cars to me.
It’s far more entertaining to besmirch the people who buy them.
I want to believe, therefore, that the people of Atlanta are extremely hard to please.
Perhaps it’s something to do with the struggles of the local sports teams. Perhaps there’s an additional pressure in Atlanta to be one step ahead of the crowd.
I also want to believe that many of these cars are swiftly given back by people who received them for Christmas, just like in the ads, with a big red bow tied around them.
They took one look and said:
You had to tell the whole neighborhood? I can’t deal with this.
Then they swap these cars for something a little more discreet. Like an e-Golf.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
This article is from Inc.com