I was reading this post over at Whizbang and recalled a conversation I had with Milady the other day.
When I started driving 35 years ago, a car with 100K on the odometer was probably a dog. Nowadays we drive them well past that mark with no problems. Honda is probably the most frequently used example, routinely going well past 200,000 miles without a problem.
Of course, 35 years ago, we didn't have computers and fuel-injection and we didn't drive like we do now. Back in those days you worked on your car yourself. Every 6000 miles you lifted the hood and changed the oil, then got out the tools and changed the plugs, points and condenser. Generally, a car was kept until it approached 100,000 miles and was about 10 years old.
Nowadays, we have better cars. My Ford F-150 is four years old and is approaching the magic 100K mark. It also has the original spark plugs. It is due for a tune-up at the 100K mark. Its first tune-up. My daughters Honda Civic is three years old and has over 100K on the dial. Hell, my 96 Honda Goldwing has well over 100K on it and is only using the 3rd set of sparkplugs. The only reason I might trade it in the next couple of years if I decide I want another motorcycle.
The premise over at Whizbang was that the major auto companies are in trouble because they build so much better cars. Bullshit. The major auto companies are in trouble because they don't do the market research. They don't spot trends and they don't keep up with quality. New car prices are too high for an entry-level buyer.
Our driving habits have changed over the years. We put a lot more miles on a car than we used to.