We are in the market to buy a car. A used car. One that is fuel efficient. An older used car seems to be the best value we thought until we started to look at the selling price. STICKER SHOCK. What we found out is that the shortage of new fuel efficient cars has created a used market demand that has jacked used prices up. Dealers are getting full sticker price for small economy cars. That works out to $16 thousand plus for Fiestas, Elantras and Fortes to name a few. Where that puts the used market closer to new car prices, it is the 10 year old car with the asking price of $5 grand or more seemingly overpricing cars to the those who can least afford them. Call this Tsunami market manipulation.
Just a short while ago the Federal government offered a cash for clunkers program. The start of the Great Wave. Take low cost vehicles off the road and raise the bar to enter or replace an inexpensive car. Market manipulation is nothing new. Subsidized ethanol and government mandated quotos are another example. When will the wave crash ashore and leave a wake of destruction? I am guessing this Winter would be a good time to buy again. New car sales have bottomed out this summer, more fuel efficient cars will be stock piled and used car prices will go back down by the Spring.
While I am making predictions. Cut me some slack, it’s not the weather. The future of bike riding in America by Spring 2012 will be in decline again. I say this with all honesty. It will take the mother of all behavior change to get people off their backsides. Bike riding is about choosing to take time out of your day and that means work and motion. I don’t see even those closets to me making this effort. But, would I love to be wrong. Ride your bike more and drive your car less.