A READER VIEWS THE “BUYERS’ MARKET”
The motor industry claims to be crippled by purchase tax and unable to survive just because their waiting lists have been reduced from years to weeks, and because the sellers’ market is not now an absolute push-over. They whined about purchase tax when they were still enforcing the covenant on resale. There is every sign that some members of the industry are going to take a long time to get used to having customers dictate to them. Take a well-known Four. Fifty. Three years ago this car cost about £1,000. Yet countless improvements have had to be made to it until now, finally, its production is being discontinued (even if the makers still list it In their catalogue). Three years ago its spring damping was so poor that huge telescopic shock-absorbers had to be subsequently fitted (four on the back axle and two in front). Its boot lid, when locked, could be jerked open. On a rough road the lid opened and shut through the flexing of the body. It took another year for the makers to discover this. The door handles and the bonnet catches worked only with difficulty, and the riveted hinge on the boot lid was a nadir of mechanical ineptitude. On the Six-Eighty it still is.
This month, at 35,000 miles, a distributor reported a 1949 model to be worn out, and in need of replacement by a new one. The garage’s letter was sent to the makers, with comments suggesting that the car left something to be desired, and that the performance of the model did not encourage the purchase of another of the same make. The reply was : “After having told us that you do not propose to buy another —, we venture to suggest, with due respect. you could hardly expect us then to consider some concession.”
A buyers’ market ?
Betchworth. I sin, Yours, etc.,
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