Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pride of Ownership

I heard a car ad on the radio this morning. It was a plug for a local Cadillac dealership hawking its after-purchase service programs, and it started with line, “Now that you’ve invested in a Cadillac….”
Merriam-Webster Online describes “investment” as “the outlay of money usually for income or profit.” The only way you’re going to make money off a car (apart from being a taxi driver) is if you’ve bought a vehicle of intrinsic historical value: John Lennon’s Rolls Royce, the 1960s’ Batmobile, or Bonnie and Clyde’s death car.
But a car, an ordinary car used for ordinary everyday to-and-froing, is not an investment. It will not accrue value. It will lose value the minute you drive it off the lot.
It is what it is, a tool, nothing more. Mind you it can be a very useful tool, but it is nothing more than a large hammer with four wheels, bucket seats and air bags.
It is not an investment.
And people that buy a tool with the thought that this is some sort of investment for the future are victims of marketing, and are themselves tools.

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