Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Auto Woes

The automakers are crying, whining, begging in the streets. No one's buying their cars. Chrysler is closing all it's plants for 30 days. I bet the UAW likes that, right at Christmas. Lots of members laid off during the holidays.

The auto makers are in a bind and I understand that. We don't need to bail them out and it looks like they're trying to survive until the Lightworker is ensconced at the White House. But, the bind they're in is of their own making. The boom days are over and they've got to get smart, quick. Lean business models.

I'm the type of guy that needs a pickup. Not right now, I have a good pickup truck, but I need a full-sized pickup. I've been a pickup truck driver for all my adult life. In agriculture, I damn sure needed a pickup to haul cattle trailers, loads of fertilizer, hay, all the stuff that goes with the cattle business. Nowadays, I still haul stuff. Bags of corn and deer feeders to the lease, I tow trailers regularly. Little single axle and medium double axle trailers. I haul stuff to the lease, to Momma's house, and to the school. I'm often hauling grandkids. I need a full-sized pickup truck.

My needs are simple.

1. Extended cab pickup (I need the back seat)
2. V8 engine (or a big V6. I need towing capacity)
3. AM/FM radio
4. Receiver hitch
5. Air conditioning
6. Cruise control

I don't need carpet, and while cloth seats are nice, vinyl suits me fine. I don't need electric windows, although they are nice and are almost considered standard these days.

A number of companies make a truck like this. Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, they all make them. And, they're priced pretty much alike.

Ford prices their F150 XL Supercab at $25,520
Chevy's 2009 Silverado 1500 Work truck shows an MSRP of $26,805
Dodge has something called the 2009 Ram 1500 Quad ST 4x2 for $26,245
Toyota has something called the Tundra, for $25,785
Nissan builds a truck called the Titan, for $27,220

We're talking a difference here of under $2,000 with the options I want and the drivetrain I need. There isn't a lot of difference in any of them.

I bought my first house for $23,500. Each of these trucks costs more than a house. If they'd put a porta-potty in the back, I'd see if they'd qualify for an FHA loan.

I'll wait another couple of years, and buy another used pickup. If Ford, Chevy, Dodge, or any of the others would build a decent full-sized truck like I've described above and price it at or below $20,000 they'd sell a bunch of them.

Nissan and Toyota are probably selling theirs at what the market will bear. They're kicking the domestic manufacturers into bankruptcy. If Ford, Chevy, or Dodge could make a full sized pickup with 2-row seating, air conditioning, and a receiver hitch, for under $20K, the market would be all over it.


Old NFO said...

Good point, but try getting a stripped work truck today! You'd have to special order and wait 6 months!

Anonymous said...

No extended cab, but I sure like my stripped Dodge Ram 1500 with a V-6 motor. It has all the power I'll ever need.

Old NFO said...

OBTW, even though the plants are closed, the UAW STILL gets their full salary!!!!