A couple of quotes from recent articles about the auto industry. The first is from the US, and the second from the UK, but I think you’ll get the idea.
In 2017, for example, there were 11 models available on the U.S. market for less than $20,000, according to Cox data. By the end of 2022, there were four. Then, by March 2023, only 2.
Among the cars discontinued last year was the Chevy Spark, the cheapest of which started at $13,600. Chevy sold more than 24,400 of those cars in 2021 — more than most luxury models can claim. Now, Chevy’s cheapest models cost more than $20,000.“New cars, once part of the American Dream, now out of reach for many,” Rachel Siegel and Jeanne Whalen, Washington Post, May 7, 2023
European makers, prominently Ford, abandoning their entry-level models gifts a huge opportunity to predatory Chinese companies.“Early Chinese cars were like the early efforts from Japanese and Korean makers: bad. No more,” Gavin Green – Car Magazine (UK), June 2023
About 18 months ago, we bought a Volvo XC60, the only car on the lot. It has the Inscription trim package — top of the line at the time — the B5 mild hybrid engine, and the advanced tech package with SAE Level 2 driver automation (same level as Tesla), and several other options. We were a little embarrassed because we really didn’t want anything so fancy, but now, it turns out to be right about the average price for a new car. And yeah, I know, Volvo is owned by Geely, a Chinese auto company (from 1999 – 2010, it was owned by Ford).