Shallow Consumers: The Car Edition

Animaniacs SurveyA couple of months ago, I agreed to join a year-long study of American consumers on automobiles, answering questions about what is important to me about modern cars and the direction that the automotive industry is going.  It takes me a couple of minutes a week, usually answering one or two short questionnaires about various subjects and, what the heck, I get a couple of Amazon gift cards for my time.

However, it didn’t take long to realize that the overwhelming majority of people involved in the survey are shallow idiots and worse yet, the study itself is geared to over-emotional morons.  Most questionnaires, like  the one I just completed, about car seats. spent every second wondering how one’s car seats made them feel.  Were they sexy?  Were they fashionable?  The one thing they never bothered asking about at all was were they functional?  Did they do the job which they were designed to do? The whole thing is form over function, actually, form to the complete exclusion of function.  It’s designed for ultra-shallow people who consume products based on emotion, not intellect.

I am not one of those people.  I buy products because they perform a function that I need performed, not because I care what other people think of me or how it makes me feel superior.  That’s idiotic, but apparently, that describes the majority of the American consumers.  So many of these studies and surveys count on the fact that their respondents are utter morons.

This goes back to the point I unfortunately have to make repeatedly, that people are stupid and act with their “hearts” and not their heads.  Companies rely on that gullibility to sell people crappy products that hit those emotional triggers instead of having to produce a better product.  This thing sucks, but now it’s available in fashion colors!

I don’t care about fashion colors.  Give me a regular colored car.  I don’t care about flashy gadgets that I will never use. Give me a car that gets me from point A to point B in comfort and efficiently.  I don’t need my car to massage me, I don’t need my car to talk to me, I don’t need my car to entertain me, I just need it to transport me.  That’s the purpose of a car.  What’s more, I don’t give a damn how my car makes anyone think about me.  People who are trying to live vicariously through their belongings have serious psychological problems.  ’nuff said.

5 thoughts on “Shallow Consumers: The Car Edition”

  1. So people who have different tastes, preferences, or are looking for something other than what you are looking for in their cars are "shallow idiots" and "over-emotional morons," huh? It is great that all you care about is getting from point A to point B. You'll save a ton of money on cars. Some of us are looking for something different, and I don't think that necessarily means that we are living through our belongings or have "serious psychological problems."

    If I felt like you say you do, I'd buy a new Prius and not be bothered that I'd never have any fun driving it. That sure would make things simple. The thing is, I'd like to have a car that is exciting, a car I wanted to drive because driving it was an enjoyable experience. Give me a powerful engine with lots of torque, a manual transmission, responsive steering, a suspension that doesn't beat me up on a daily commute, and as few gadgets as possible to detract from the driving experience.

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    1. I don't care if they make difference choices, so long as they make intelligent choices. The problem, I think, is that intelligence and reason makes no difference to most consumers and therefore, makes no difference to most manufacturers. Most consumers just want bling on wheels so they can feel better about themselves and show off to others. I consider this to be childish. Lots of consumers are more concerned with the ability to watch movies while driving (which is idiotic) than they are with being able to get where they're going. I've seen people pushing for self-driving cars because apparently, actually driving gets in the way of their movie-watching, texting and taking pictures.

      I don't get those people.

      1. I share your view that a car is just a device to get me from point A to point B. But this emotional rant of yours that those who don't intellectualize their car-buying decisions the way you do are somehow inferior to you is childish. And that is putting it kindly. You need to get overself and trash the smug, condescending attitude you hold and so frequently exhibit toward nearly everyone else on the planet.

  2. The cost a a new car has gone up 720% above the rate of inflation over the last 20 years. Before long they will be offering 15 year mortgages on auto loans. Are all the new bells and wireless worth the cost. My new truck just cost me more than the first house I bought back in the 1980's.

    1. That's what people are willing to pay, I guess. It's all about supply and demand. I just prefer that people want things for a reason, not because they're just mindlessly attracted to them.

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