The current car I drive shows a perfect parallel with the fortunes of the real estate industry. I bought my shiny silver CLK Mercedes 500 CLK in 2004, probably at the high point of the bubble in real estate. My firm was doing 200-300 closings a month, sometimes doing the same borrower 5 or 6 times. This was never going to end, so why shouldn't I have an automobile which befits my elevated stature.
Fast forward to 2010, and I still have my 2004 Mercedes 500 CLK. I have made a command decision to drive this car until it can no longer move. Somewhere along the way, when I paid off the loan which I made to purchase the car, I realized how great it was not to have a car payment. That shows a certain level of financial maturity, although, truth to tell, I am in my 68th year of being alive.
As I was thinking about my car, and looking at other cars, whiz by me as I drove at the speed limit only, I have drawn the following conclusions about cars and who owns them. As usual, I am quick to make the hasty generalization, but these ate my views:
1. Late Model Mercedes, BMW and Lexus--You are showing the world that no matter what is happening with the economy, you are succeeding. your car indicates that you have it figured out, even if, perhaps, the monthly payments are quietly strangling you.
2. Buick (whatever year). You are sensible, and do not feel the need to impress anyone. Your car is solid, and so are you. No need to be flashy; you just want to get the work done.
3. Cadillac (not an Escalade). Visions still dance in your head of a prior ere, when Cadillac was king. You believe in America. You believe in Detroit. You know there are customers who share your view. They like riding around in your car.
4. Pontiac. You feel cheated. How is it that you drive a car that is now longer made? This used to be a solid car, sometimes even flashy. Now, it is a car for which you make excuses. That is unfortunate.
5.SUV (Hybrid).You are environmentally responsible. You are trying to demonstrate that. Your car may be a little large, but you are not polluting the environment, and you are not wasting gas. Your choice is often times commended.
These are "off-the-top" impressions. i am not trying to offend anyone. Our cars are important parts of our lives. Some of us are in our cars more than we are in our beds. How did you select yours?