Recently I was talking to a doctor I met in passing, one a tad younger than I, and in idol conversation we talked about the world, the universe and nothing! However during our conversation we discovered that we both had a general interest in cars. So as the conversation progressed he opened up and spoke of his recent purchase of a new vehicle.
He, like many of us had been a typical Japanese brand buyer who sought out well-made, great features and accessories, good value and customer service. Anyway with the practice more stable, growth in the vision, and the family a little older it was time to venture into the European brands. A review was made, the brand selected and finally the model. Theoretically the epitome of engineering excellence, quality of build and material and a model that, for the marquee, provided value for money and family practicality.
At the time of his acquisition, there was another couple, a little over half his age, in the showroom that were signing up for the top of the line, sporty-sporty, all bells and whistles, a real eye-catcher, and a spend in the region of $200,000! When they saw what my friend was buying they put their nose up at him and walked away. When he noticed what had happened the dealer said, “They should be buying what you have bought and you should be rewarding yourself with what they have bought!”
I then told my friend that I had recently read in the paper (AFR) that car loan defaults were now at a ten year high. He laughed, and said he was unaware of that; but alas it did not surprise him. Ten years ago places us just before the GFC, but who’s watching.
Alas, it has been more important to look successful than it has been to be successful for some time. It will be interesting to see how we all cope as we move into what will clearly be even more uncertain times.