Why Don’t Car Manufacturers Offer Upgrades?

When a manufacturer sells a car, that’s it, their entire income. Many of the forecourts where you actually buy them have a garage attached, willing to offer you servicing in order to continue making money from you, but little of that (if any) makes it back to the actual car company.

The average car has a lifespan of ten years. Most people don’t keep them for the entire ten years, they’ll likely have a few owners through that period. Still, it’s a long time not to be making any money from a product.

During the recent recession, new cars sales dried up and threatened to put many car manufacturers out of business (it did to some), while car owners preferred to hang on to their existing models a bit longer. Where work on repairs may have been enough for someone to consider a new vehicle, it was being done instead.

I happened to be reading an article about new car technology (as CES is on) and thought how it would be many years before it made it to me, even if it goes into this year’s models. Which made me wonder why car manufacturers don’t offer upgrades.

I’m not saying it would be easy, but if they started at the design stage they could build the capability in. The option to swap out components on the dashboard to give you new technology, for example. I use an aftermarket Bluetooth unit for hands-free in my car, but it would be better to have it built-in (at a reasonable cost).
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