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    One of the most reliable indicators of influence is access to cars. They are the standard symbol of affluence and middle-class status the world over. They are also far more understandable at the everyday level than things like the PPP GDP per capita, or the number of burgers your national McWage will buy. Following on...
  • hoct says: • Website

    I didn’t know Georgians essentially do not buy any new cars, but I am not surprised. I’ve read about their establishing themselves as the used car dealership hub for the entire Caucasus. Apparently the re-exports of (mainly) used cars amounts for almost a quarter of their entire export. So just by dropping the tariffs on used cars Georgia has not only allowed its fairly poor populace to get its hands on relatively decent cars, but also has given employment to 15,000 people involved in Georgia’s “auto industry”.

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  • One common trope about the Russian economy is that it has virtually no manufacturing to speak of and lives off "oil rents" that can collapse any day. Whiles there is a small nugget of truth to this assertion, but by and large it is simply false. It is true that a great chunk of Russian...
  • “As we can see above, while Russia is perhaps rather lower than average, its domestic auto manufacturing industry nonetheless manages to satiate 71% of demand for new cars.”

    Is there not inherent protection and subsides from the state that protect Russia’s domestic auto-industries that give it an unfair advantage with other competing foreign companies?

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  • Agriculture and the auto industry are two relatively unsung Russian economic success stories. Even avid Russophobe Jim Brooke quotes GM’s Polish manufacturing head in its St. Petersburg plant singing the praises of the Russian business: http://www.voanews.com/content/russia-re-industrializes-as-energy-boom-fades/1626530.html . Unfortunately, though, Russia has a long way to go to truly re-industrialize. Currently it imports some $400 billion worth of goods annually. It could easily produce half of that domestically, which would foster at least 6% GDP growth for the next decade or so. For that to happen we are going to need to see some new faces managing economic policy, not the same old neo-liberals that have been at it for the past twenty years.

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  • I agree that in the West the Russian economy is a bit too often seen as a one-trick pony. The size of the Russian domestic market, and its effects on Russian economy, is somewhat underestimated. Although Russian domestic market is not as dynamic as in some comparable resource-driven economies like Mexico, Argentina or even Botswana (because of massive corruption, rotten infrasturcture, vast size), Russia would not be Nigeria, at least not immediately, if oil rents would stop tomorrow.

    However, “auto self-sufficiency” as an economic goal or as an economic indicator makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It is like if a bank would assess its customers current financial situation by comparing the amount of body hair they cut themselves.

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  • I'm finally going to sell my semi-legendary 1998 Accord, and I'm looking for advice on the best way to sell a car that, in looks, isn't up to even the "Fair" rating at the bottom of Kelly Blue Book. The car, a V6, still goes like a bat out of hell with remarkable acceleration, but...
  • I think that there would surely be several buyers who would be interested in buying that car especially for those who might have long been searching for that specific model.

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  • By the usual standards of Guardian reporting on Russia, this one by GQ Russia editor Andrew Ryvkin is... well, about par for the course. Citing a recent PwC report that Russia will overtake Germany to become Europe's biggest economy in 2030, he asks, "Should we believe them?" Well, the PwC is just repeating predictions made...
  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Anatoly,

    An excellent demolition job on a misguided article. I suspect by the way that the person who wrote the article has not actually read the PWC report. Had he done so he would have seen that the report actually predicts that Russia's GDP calculated by PPP will overtake Germany's in 2020 not 2030 and calculated at market excharge rates by 2035 not 2030. Elsewhere in the body of the report it says that Russia's economy will overtake Germany's "well before 2030".

    I have only skimmed through the report quickly but it appears to identify population problems as the main limiting factor on Russia's growth.

    Incidentally I found the discussion this article provoked on Comment is Free unusually sensible.

    Thanks for those details. I actually think Russia’s PPP GDP will overtake Germany’s well before 2020 – it may well do so once the World Bank releases its 2012 statistics, whereas even by the unadjusted IMF figures it is likelier to happen in the late 2010′s.

    As regards the Guardian comments, that was my impression too.

    Good luck on your upcoming eye operation!

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  • @Anonymous
    Dear Anatoly,

    Although Ryvkin's arguments are largely ruined by his tactlessness, you must admit that Russia's economy needs some major changes to continue its medium-high level of growth.

    Regarding your resource dependency comment, Russia faces a dilemma between taking short-term profits (by continuing to produce a large amount of oil and gas) and long-term economic diversification (by, as you say, stopping the flow of oil and gas and developing other industries). Because Russia consistently ranks as the leading or 2nd leading oil producer in the world despite barely ranking in the top 10 in proven reserves and being reluctant to reinvest its rents in production capacity, one can only assume that Russian oil companies are taking advantage of high energy prices by producing more now because they fear that lower future energy prices will make new investments not financially worth it. An increase in global energy production would indeed lower overall energy prices and, consequently, really hurt the Russian economy.

    Developments in the shale and LNG industries are certainly troubling, since they will add to the since the U.S. and European countries will soon have the ability to supply countries with gas shipments through overseas routes. Russia's monopoly of gas pipelines in Eastern Europe will be a much smaller factor in the energy politics of Europe.

    Needless to say, Russia's economy will need to rely on other industries to continue at its current rate of growth. It is difficult to see how arms exports can continue to grow, as Russia has lost (or is losing) valuable clients in Libya and Syria, and has saturated India's market. China now makes many of its own.

    As for aircraft, Ryvkin has a point. It seems that a fatal crash involving a Russian-made plane happens every 2-3 months. I believe this is a reflection of Russia's aircraft industry and might negatively affect tourism in the country.

    I do not intend to make this a debate about Russia's corruption or politics, just about its economy. Disregarding what Ryvkin's piece in the Guardian, what are specific areas in Russia's economy that you see improving in the next few decades?

    Hi Jeremy,

    I think we have to look at the big picture instead of “specific areas.” The big picture is that trend growth rate post-crisis is about 4% which is a respectable if not outstanding level for a country with a PPP GDP per capita of about $20,000.

    This PPP GDP per capita figure now puts it into the range of countries from Argentina through Poland and the Baltics, to Portugal and Greece – with commensurate levels of internal economic complexity. One measure of the latter is the R&D share of the Russian economy: About 1% (which is actually slightly above most of its same-income peers). One expects that since the further potential of the oil and gas industry is indeed limited, and as “convergence” means that Russia will gradually be doing less copying/catching up and more pure innovation, that this indicator will keep creeping upwards as the economy grows.

    Now back to oil and gas in particular, even under the worst case scenario (not really realistic considering that demand from China is soaring and overall global production is near stagnant because of rapid depletion of conventional oilfields) there is an econometric model by Sergey Zhuravlev which shows that even if the oil price were to permanently fall by half the result would not be a permanent stagnation but a sharp recession followed by faster growth.

    The arms and aircraft industries in particular may (or may not! after all 2012 was the best year ever for Russian arms exports, and despite the crash the Sukhoi Superjet has 245 orders with 102 options) be in trouble but in Russia as elsewhere spheres such as retail, transportation, hospitality & catering, etc. account for a much bigger share of the total pie anyway and they still have a lot of room to develop and to improve productivity.

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  • Russian cars and aeroplanes…русская жужжалка для жопы: не жужжит и в жопу не лезет

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Dear Anatoly,

    Although Ryvkin’s arguments are largely ruined by his tactlessness, you must admit that Russia’s economy needs some major changes to continue its medium-high level of growth.

    Regarding your resource dependency comment, Russia faces a dilemma between taking short-term profits (by continuing to produce a large amount of oil and gas) and long-term economic diversification (by, as you say, stopping the flow of oil and gas and developing other industries). Because Russia consistently ranks as the leading or 2nd leading oil producer in the world despite barely ranking in the top 10 in proven reserves and being reluctant to reinvest its rents in production capacity, one can only assume that Russian oil companies are taking advantage of high energy prices by producing more now because they fear that lower future energy prices will make new investments not financially worth it. An increase in global energy production would indeed lower overall energy prices and, consequently, really hurt the Russian economy.

    Developments in the shale and LNG industries are certainly troubling, since they will add to the since the U.S. and European countries will soon have the ability to supply countries with gas shipments through overseas routes. Russia’s monopoly of gas pipelines in Eastern Europe will be a much smaller factor in the energy politics of Europe.

    Needless to say, Russia’s economy will need to rely on other industries to continue at its current rate of growth. It is difficult to see how arms exports can continue to grow, as Russia has lost (or is losing) valuable clients in Libya and Syria, and has saturated India’s market. China now makes many of its own.

    As for aircraft, Ryvkin has a point. It seems that a fatal crash involving a Russian-made plane happens every 2-3 months. I believe this is a reflection of Russia’s aircraft industry and might negatively affect tourism in the country.

    I do not intend to make this a debate about Russia’s corruption or politics, just about its economy. Disregarding what Ryvkin’s piece in the Guardian, what are specific areas in Russia’s economy that you see improving in the next few decades?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Hi Jeremy,

    I think we have to look at the big picture instead of "specific areas." The big picture is that trend growth rate post-crisis is about 4% which is a respectable if not outstanding level for a country with a PPP GDP per capita of about $20,000.

    This PPP GDP per capita figure now puts it into the range of countries from Argentina through Poland and the Baltics, to Portugal and Greece - with commensurate levels of internal economic complexity. One measure of the latter is the R&D share of the Russian economy: About 1% (which is actually slightly above most of its same-income peers). One expects that since the further potential of the oil and gas industry is indeed limited, and as "convergence" means that Russia will gradually be doing less copying/catching up and more pure innovation, that this indicator will keep creeping upwards as the economy grows.

    Now back to oil and gas in particular, even under the worst case scenario (not really realistic considering that demand from China is soaring and overall global production is near stagnant because of rapid depletion of conventional oilfields) there is an econometric model by Sergey Zhuravlev which shows that even if the oil price were to permanently fall by half the result would not be a permanent stagnation but a sharp recession followed by faster growth.

    The arms and aircraft industries in particular may (or may not! after all 2012 was the best year ever for Russian arms exports, and despite the crash the Sukhoi Superjet has 245 orders with 102 options) be in trouble but in Russia as elsewhere spheres such as retail, transportation, hospitality & catering, etc. account for a much bigger share of the total pie anyway and they still have a lot of room to develop and to improve productivity.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Dear Anatoly,

    An excellent demolition job on a misguided article. I suspect by the way that the person who wrote the article has not actually read the PWC report. Had he done so he would have seen that the report actually predicts that Russia’s GDP calculated by PPP will overtake Germany’s in 2020 not 2030 and calculated at market excharge rates by 2035 not 2030. Elsewhere in the body of the report it says that Russia’s economy will overtake Germany’s “well before 2030″.

    I have only skimmed through the report quickly but it appears to identify population problems as the main limiting factor on Russia’s growth.

    Incidentally I found the discussion this article provoked on Comment is Free unusually sensible.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for those details. I actually think Russia's PPP GDP will overtake Germany's well before 2020 - it may well do so once the World Bank releases its 2012 statistics, whereas even by the unadjusted IMF figures it is likelier to happen in the late 2010's.

    As regards the Guardian comments, that was my impression too.

    Good luck on your upcoming eye operation!

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Reblogged this on Political Deficit and commented:
    Comment is free, but facts should be sacred! http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/18/russia-economic-powerhouse-china

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  • I'm finally going to sell my semi-legendary 1998 Accord, and I'm looking for advice on the best way to sell a car that, in looks, isn't up to even the "Fair" rating at the bottom of Kelly Blue Book. The car, a V6, still goes like a bat out of hell with remarkable acceleration, but...
  • Hey i would give http://www.unitedcarexchange.com a try. They sold my car in a month.

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  • In terms of new cars, they now are. According to 2011 statistics, Russians bought 17.6 new automobiles per 1000 people. This indicator is still quite a bit below most of Western Europe, such as Germany's 38.5, France's 33.4, Britain's 31.9, Italy's 30.1, and Spain's 20.0. However, it has already overtaken most of East-Central Europe, whose...
  • @Moscow Exile
    My wife and I lived in a two-room flat in a five-story Kryshchevka house until we started making our contribution to Russia's "demographic crisis". Then, in 2002, we moved into a far more modern and spacious three-room flat in the next street; we didn't sell our old flat though. My wife bought the flat in the Kryshchevka, where she was brought up, after the USSR had folded up. It was a good investment. We are constantly contacted by agencies offering us tenants as the flat is centrally located (Taganka) and affordable. Furthermore, when the Kryshchevka where we used to live gets its long awaited demolition order (Luzhkov promised several years ago that there would soon no longer be any of them standing in Moscow: he was mistaken or lying), we will be offered other accomodation which, by law, cannot, if I'm not mistaken, be located more than 2 kilometres from the demolished residence, or given financial compensation. I know several other families in this neighbourhood who are also waiting for their old Kryshchevka flat to bite the dust and looking forward to receiving cash compensation or a new flat.

    Our contribution towards helping solve Russia’s “demographic crisis” that is!

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  • @kirill
    Very good point. The rents are quite high here in Toronto. House prices are absurdly high. I think this is a real bubble and don't buy the arguments that Canada is nothing like the USA in terms of real estate and the banking system. Anyway, Russians were greatly helped in the 1990s that they kept their Soviet apartments and weren't kicked out into the street by parasite landlords or mortgage defaults. If the same economic decline had occurred in western countries there would have been very high homelessness. It is still true today that Russians don't pay 40% of their incomes for housing and mortgages are not widespread. But this is changing.

    I find it funny how the much maligned commie blocks became prime real estate. I guess those drab Soviet facades weren't so drab after all. One of my friends, who is a heavy smoker, owns an apartment in a 1980s commie block in St. Petersburg. When I visit his unit it is hard to believe that a smoker lives there. The ventilation is better than anything I have seen in "superior" western apartment blocks.

    My wife and I lived in a two-room flat in a five-story Kryshchevka house until we started making our contribution to Russia’s “demographic crisis”. Then, in 2002, we moved into a far more modern and spacious three-room flat in the next street; we didn’t sell our old flat though. My wife bought the flat in the Kryshchevka, where she was brought up, after the USSR had folded up. It was a good investment. We are constantly contacted by agencies offering us tenants as the flat is centrally located (Taganka) and affordable. Furthermore, when the Kryshchevka where we used to live gets its long awaited demolition order (Luzhkov promised several years ago that there would soon no longer be any of them standing in Moscow: he was mistaken or lying), we will be offered other accomodation which, by law, cannot, if I’m not mistaken, be located more than 2 kilometres from the demolished residence, or given financial compensation. I know several other families in this neighbourhood who are also waiting for their old Kryshchevka flat to bite the dust and looking forward to receiving cash compensation or a new flat.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    Our contribution towards helping solve Russia's "demographic crisis" that is!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Jen
    Another thing we need to consider is the state of public transport in eastern European countries compared to Russia, especially long-distance public transport between cities and major towns. Outside Moscow and St Petersburg and their metropolitan networks, how much of an alternative to long-distance car travel does public transport compare?

    What about the effect of climate on roads and how would that affect the durability of cars? The Russian climate would be much more variable than in most eastern European countries and this would have some impact on road conditions and on how quickly cars wear out in Russia. If only Saab hadn't gone bankrupt but instead had set up a factory in Russia years ago!

    Apart from cars, what other consumer products could be used as a measure to compare Russian and eastern European prosperity levels? What about the level of Internet usage in cities, towns and villages? How many fridges and dishwashers are Russians buying? What percentage of the average family income in European Russia is being spent on food, rent or mortgage payments, or on consumer electronics toys?

    Judging by what I see trravelling on the Moscow metro every day, the most evident consumer goods that Muscovites are buying are e-book readers, ipads, iphones, and mobile telephones, on which they play games incessantly or listen to music. The Moscow metro, famous amongst other things for its bibliophile passengers with their noses buried in books, is now becoming frequented ever more increasingly by passengers with their noses buried in e-book readers.

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  • @Jen
    In Australia, paying 30 - 40% of your income on rent or mortgage repayments is regarded as a sign of mortgage stress. In 2011, the breakdown of what the average household in each Australian state was paying this percentage of its annual income on rent or repaying its mortgage:

    New South Wales: 27%
    South Australia, Victoria: 25%
    Queensland, Tasmania: 24%
    Western Australia: 23%
    Australian Capital Territory: 19%

    It would be interesting to see how average households in Russia and other countries compare with Australian households. Even if the average household is indeed paying 30% or more of its annual income on rent / mortgage payments, that could mean that in some countries, most families are under financial stress. Another way of checking this would be to see how long the average household would survive on its savings if it had no income (anything less than 30 days would mean the average household is under financial stress).

    Very good point. The rents are quite high here in Toronto. House prices are absurdly high. I think this is a real bubble and don’t buy the arguments that Canada is nothing like the USA in terms of real estate and the banking system. Anyway, Russians were greatly helped in the 1990s that they kept their Soviet apartments and weren’t kicked out into the street by parasite landlords or mortgage defaults. If the same economic decline had occurred in western countries there would have been very high homelessness. It is still true today that Russians don’t pay 40% of their incomes for housing and mortgages are not widespread. But this is changing.

    I find it funny how the much maligned commie blocks became prime real estate. I guess those drab Soviet facades weren’t so drab after all. One of my friends, who is a heavy smoker, owns an apartment in a 1980s commie block in St. Petersburg. When I visit his unit it is hard to believe that a smoker lives there. The ventilation is better than anything I have seen in “superior” western apartment blocks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    My wife and I lived in a two-room flat in a five-story Kryshchevka house until we started making our contribution to Russia's "demographic crisis". Then, in 2002, we moved into a far more modern and spacious three-room flat in the next street; we didn't sell our old flat though. My wife bought the flat in the Kryshchevka, where she was brought up, after the USSR had folded up. It was a good investment. We are constantly contacted by agencies offering us tenants as the flat is centrally located (Taganka) and affordable. Furthermore, when the Kryshchevka where we used to live gets its long awaited demolition order (Luzhkov promised several years ago that there would soon no longer be any of them standing in Moscow: he was mistaken or lying), we will be offered other accomodation which, by law, cannot, if I'm not mistaken, be located more than 2 kilometres from the demolished residence, or given financial compensation. I know several other families in this neighbourhood who are also waiting for their old Kryshchevka flat to bite the dust and looking forward to receiving cash compensation or a new flat.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @TM
    Best selling car in Czech Republic was Skoda Octavia.

    http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2012/01/08/czech-republic-2011-octavia-fabia-superb-on-podium-again/

    Starting price in Czech Republic is 18.000 USD. Best selling car in Russia was Lada Kalina. Starting price in Russia is 9.000 USD. So to get the most popular car in Czech you have to twice as much as in Russia. I will therefore conclude that Czechs are twice as rich as Russians.

    Ok, to be fair, maybe an average Russian is not buying just one new Kalina, but three (and spend 27.000 USD), because you need at least three Kalinas to be sure that you can go where you want to:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S-yL5C8BYk

    I would rather compare average prices of bought cars, not prices of the best selling ones. E. g. suppose there is a dozen of almost equally selling cars of which one cheap brand leads by a tiny margin, whereas others are twice more expensive than Octavia. Fraction of bought Russian cars (note, there is a couple or so of brands only) is shrinking, meaning that the foreign ones (a couple of dozens of brands) are bought more often. As far as I remember, Russia is the world’s second, after China, buyer of RR’s, Bently’s and Maybach’s. These certainly affect the averages. Although, after all, I think that average prices of purchased cars will not differ significantly from the ratio of the GDP’s per person.

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  • @Jen
    In Australia, paying 30 - 40% of your income on rent or mortgage repayments is regarded as a sign of mortgage stress. In 2011, the breakdown of what the average household in each Australian state was paying this percentage of its annual income on rent or repaying its mortgage:

    New South Wales: 27%
    South Australia, Victoria: 25%
    Queensland, Tasmania: 24%
    Western Australia: 23%
    Australian Capital Territory: 19%

    It would be interesting to see how average households in Russia and other countries compare with Australian households. Even if the average household is indeed paying 30% or more of its annual income on rent / mortgage payments, that could mean that in some countries, most families are under financial stress. Another way of checking this would be to see how long the average household would survive on its savings if it had no income (anything less than 30 days would mean the average household is under financial stress).

    Sorry, the first paragragh doesn’t read properly. It should be interpreted to mean that in 2011 the average household in New South Wales was paying 27% of its annual income on rent / mortgage payments, its equivalent in Victoria and South Australia was paying 25% of same on rent / mortgage payments and so on.

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  • @charly
    Dishwashers depend on the size of the kitchen and household and the cost of domestic help. Rent/mortgage is under normal circumstance everywhere in the same order (between 30 and 40% of income). Consumer electronics on the freedom men have to spend money. In reality it is very hard to compare two countries where the average income is comparable and see who is wealthier

    In Australia, paying 30 – 40% of your income on rent or mortgage repayments is regarded as a sign of mortgage stress. In 2011, the breakdown of what the average household in each Australian state was paying this percentage of its annual income on rent or repaying its mortgage:

    New South Wales: 27%
    South Australia, Victoria: 25%
    Queensland, Tasmania: 24%
    Western Australia: 23%
    Australian Capital Territory: 19%

    It would be interesting to see how average households in Russia and other countries compare with Australian households. Even if the average household is indeed paying 30% or more of its annual income on rent / mortgage payments, that could mean that in some countries, most families are under financial stress. Another way of checking this would be to see how long the average household would survive on its savings if it had no income (anything less than 30 days would mean the average household is under financial stress).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jen
    Sorry, the first paragragh doesn't read properly. It should be interpreted to mean that in 2011 the average household in New South Wales was paying 27% of its annual income on rent / mortgage payments, its equivalent in Victoria and South Australia was paying 25% of same on rent / mortgage payments and so on.
    , @kirill
    Very good point. The rents are quite high here in Toronto. House prices are absurdly high. I think this is a real bubble and don't buy the arguments that Canada is nothing like the USA in terms of real estate and the banking system. Anyway, Russians were greatly helped in the 1990s that they kept their Soviet apartments and weren't kicked out into the street by parasite landlords or mortgage defaults. If the same economic decline had occurred in western countries there would have been very high homelessness. It is still true today that Russians don't pay 40% of their incomes for housing and mortgages are not widespread. But this is changing.

    I find it funny how the much maligned commie blocks became prime real estate. I guess those drab Soviet facades weren't so drab after all. One of my friends, who is a heavy smoker, owns an apartment in a 1980s commie block in St. Petersburg. When I visit his unit it is hard to believe that a smoker lives there. The ventilation is better than anything I have seen in "superior" western apartment blocks.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Jen
    Another thing we need to consider is the state of public transport in eastern European countries compared to Russia, especially long-distance public transport between cities and major towns. Outside Moscow and St Petersburg and their metropolitan networks, how much of an alternative to long-distance car travel does public transport compare?

    What about the effect of climate on roads and how would that affect the durability of cars? The Russian climate would be much more variable than in most eastern European countries and this would have some impact on road conditions and on how quickly cars wear out in Russia. If only Saab hadn't gone bankrupt but instead had set up a factory in Russia years ago!

    Apart from cars, what other consumer products could be used as a measure to compare Russian and eastern European prosperity levels? What about the level of Internet usage in cities, towns and villages? How many fridges and dishwashers are Russians buying? What percentage of the average family income in European Russia is being spent on food, rent or mortgage payments, or on consumer electronics toys?

    Dishwashers depend on the size of the kitchen and household and the cost of domestic help. Rent/mortgage is under normal circumstance everywhere in the same order (between 30 and 40% of income). Consumer electronics on the freedom men have to spend money. In reality it is very hard to compare two countries where the average income is comparable and see who is wealthier

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jen
    In Australia, paying 30 - 40% of your income on rent or mortgage repayments is regarded as a sign of mortgage stress. In 2011, the breakdown of what the average household in each Australian state was paying this percentage of its annual income on rent or repaying its mortgage:

    New South Wales: 27%
    South Australia, Victoria: 25%
    Queensland, Tasmania: 24%
    Western Australia: 23%
    Australian Capital Territory: 19%

    It would be interesting to see how average households in Russia and other countries compare with Australian households. Even if the average household is indeed paying 30% or more of its annual income on rent / mortgage payments, that could mean that in some countries, most families are under financial stress. Another way of checking this would be to see how long the average household would survive on its savings if it had no income (anything less than 30 days would mean the average household is under financial stress).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @charly
    You simply don't need that many pilots, even if you exclude the people who live in the big cities

    I agree! An efficient domestic flight service linking major cities and towns would be preferable to lots of small aircraft flying around during the winter-time, especially in those areas where the sun shines for only a few hours a day!

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Another thing we need to consider is the state of public transport in eastern European countries compared to Russia, especially long-distance public transport between cities and major towns. Outside Moscow and St Petersburg and their metropolitan networks, how much of an alternative to long-distance car travel does public transport compare?

    What about the effect of climate on roads and how would that affect the durability of cars? The Russian climate would be much more variable than in most eastern European countries and this would have some impact on road conditions and on how quickly cars wear out in Russia. If only Saab hadn’t gone bankrupt but instead had set up a factory in Russia years ago!

    Apart from cars, what other consumer products could be used as a measure to compare Russian and eastern European prosperity levels? What about the level of Internet usage in cities, towns and villages? How many fridges and dishwashers are Russians buying? What percentage of the average family income in European Russia is being spent on food, rent or mortgage payments, or on consumer electronics toys?

    Read More
    • Replies: @charly
    Dishwashers depend on the size of the kitchen and household and the cost of domestic help. Rent/mortgage is under normal circumstance everywhere in the same order (between 30 and 40% of income). Consumer electronics on the freedom men have to spend money. In reality it is very hard to compare two countries where the average income is comparable and see who is wealthier
    , @Moscow Exile
    Judging by what I see trravelling on the Moscow metro every day, the most evident consumer goods that Muscovites are buying are e-book readers, ipads, iphones, and mobile telephones, on which they play games incessantly or listen to music. The Moscow metro, famous amongst other things for its bibliophile passengers with their noses buried in books, is now becoming frequented ever more increasingly by passengers with their noses buried in e-book readers.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @donnyess
    If the Russian leadership had vision, they would aspire that all functional citizens become certified small aircraft pilots, and move the car factories upscale in strategic value as soon as possible. Europe and the US have woken up to the fact that future economic growth depends on intermodal transport planning, not auto sales or production in isolation.

    The Lada 4x4 looks like a pretty useful vehicle. It's important for such a vehicle to be mechanically simple as possible to facilitate in the field repair or mantainance.

    You simply don’t need that many pilots, even if you exclude the people who live in the big cities

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    • Replies: @Jen
    I agree! An efficient domestic flight service linking major cities and towns would be preferable to lots of small aircraft flying around during the winter-time, especially in those areas where the sun shines for only a few hours a day!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • If the Russian leadership had vision, they would aspire that all functional citizens become certified small aircraft pilots, and move the car factories upscale in strategic value as soon as possible. Europe and the US have woken up to the fact that future economic growth depends on intermodal transport planning, not auto sales or production in isolation.

    The Lada 4×4 looks like a pretty useful vehicle. It’s important for such a vehicle to be mechanically simple as possible to facilitate in the field repair or mantainance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @charly
    You simply don't need that many pilots, even if you exclude the people who live in the big cities
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iskatel
    Just a little correction : 17.5 automobiles per 1,000 people. And not 17.5 per person.

    Thanks! Eagle eye!

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  • Just a little correction : 17.5 automobiles per 1,000 people. And not 17.5 per person.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks! Eagle eye!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Dear Anatoly,

    Contrary to what some of your commentators say I think the comparisons you make are meaningful and moreover I agree fully with the thrust of your article. On the subject of the relative value of cars I would simply say that price and value are not the same thing and the fact that a Lada Karina is cheaper than a Skoda Octavia and may be a less refined car is for the purpose of the point you are making entirely beside the point.

    I expressed a view in a recent comment to one of your posts that before long Russia might be both richer and more democratic than some more established western democracies. I stand by that comment.

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  • I used to live in the Czech Republic, and currently live in Russia.

    This is one case where it’s really hard to compare countries just because of the size and complexity issues. Czech Republic is small, compact, homogeneous, evenly developed, without separatist movements or much civil conflict. It’s also part of the EU and subject to that straightjacket. Russia is huge, with vast regional differences, income inequality, separatism in some parts, and uneven development. In US terms, comparing Russia with the CzR is like comparing California with Iowa. Not enough in common for the comparison to be meaningful.

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  • Best selling car in Czech Republic was Skoda Octavia.

    http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2012/01/08/czech-republic-2011-octavia-fabia-superb-on-podium-again/

    Starting price in Czech Republic is 18.000 USD. Best selling car in Russia was Lada Kalina. Starting price in Russia is 9.000 USD. So to get the most popular car in Czech you have to twice as much as in Russia. I will therefore conclude that Czechs are twice as rich as Russians.

    Ok, to be fair, maybe an average Russian is not buying just one new Kalina, but three (and spend 27.000 USD), because you need at least three Kalinas to be sure that you can go where you want to:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S-yL5C8BYk

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    • Replies: @Brother Karamazov
    I would rather compare average prices of bought cars, not prices of the best selling ones. E. g. suppose there is a dozen of almost equally selling cars of which one cheap brand leads by a tiny margin, whereas others are twice more expensive than Octavia. Fraction of bought Russian cars (note, there is a couple or so of brands only) is shrinking, meaning that the foreign ones (a couple of dozens of brands) are bought more often. As far as I remember, Russia is the world's second, after China, buyer of RR's, Bently's and Maybach's. These certainly affect the averages. Although, after all, I think that average prices of purchased cars will not differ significantly from the ratio of the GDP's per person.
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  • http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-12/russia-best-selling-cars-january-to-december-table-.html

    Best selling cars in Russia are cheap and unreliable Russian made Ladas, that do not meet European standards in safety, emissions, style, you name it. Prices of Ladas are also heavily subsidized, that is why Russians can afford to buy them.

    In Europe very very few people would ever consider driving a Lada. That is why Ladas are no longer even imported to f.ex. Finland

    http://www.barentsobserver.com/no-more-lada.5015240-116321.html

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  • R Russians as rich or richer than Czechs? Yes, if u exclude the caucasus, no if not…! But is being rich the only criteria of affluence or power..?

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  • New car sales also depends on the import of second hand cars. It is much easier to import West European second hand cars in Eastern Europe than it is in Russia.

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  • I'm finally going to sell my semi-legendary 1998 Accord, and I'm looking for advice on the best way to sell a car that, in looks, isn't up to even the "Fair" rating at the bottom of Kelly Blue Book. The car, a V6, still goes like a bat out of hell with remarkable acceleration, but...
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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Place the ad in the "Auto Parts" section of craigslist, and what you are selling is a Honda J30A 3-liter SOHC VTEC engine.

    The fact that it is still in a car is a huge plus for the buyer, as:
    `They can verify that it runs well.
    `It removes all issues of transporting the engine home, if they can just drive the car home.
    `they will be confident that they have all the ancillaries that might be slightly different from the engine that they are replacing.
    `they will have visions of recouping the whole purchase price for the engine by selling on the glass, gauges, interior trim, and misc body panels on to others.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I've noticed several of those classic 1985 Honda Accords with fresh paint jobs in neon orange, yellow and turquoise in the parking lot of the local high school. I also heard about one kid spending lots of his own money getting the seatbelt buckles re-chromed. Certainly, the Hondas have proved themselves the new Mustang. Hold on to that gem. It should be as much a treasure as the 85s in a few years. Just imagine some high school student in the near future creating fond memories by lovingly replacing the seats and the carpet, all the exterior trim and adding a vibrant coat of paint so that artistically designed Honda body can be as gorgeous as the day it rolled off the lot, Oh, I can hear that V6 engine revving now…

    Donate it, Sailer, or sell it for parts. Jeez!

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  • @ Albertosaurus,

    Good on you. I never thought I'd approve of how any of that stimulus money was spent or on whom.

    I'm delighted you proved me wrong.

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  • "…you haven't lived until you've shot up a car with an assault rifle on a police range."

    I think I'd rather shoot up a police car* with an assault rifle on a private range but that's just me.

    I doubt I'd enjoy to the fullest anything I did on a police range.

    *Unoccupied, of course.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Albertosaurus, you must be the first person I've heard of who got a dime of stimulus. How'd you swing eighty large?

    I think there are more of us than you think. Remember Nancy Pelosi said something to the effect that they had to pass it in order to know what was in it. Or maybe that was the Obamacare bill. In any case the stimulus package was a very large complex bill filled with all sorts of miscellaneous provisions.

    There was an obscure provision that benefited people in my exact demographic and circumstances. I did nothing whatsoever. I signed some papers but I never left the house. They called on the phone, came over and I signed. They deposited $80,000 in my checking account. Just two weeks ago they gave me another $5,000. All of this BTW is tax free.

    I wouldn't tell anyone about it for a year. It was so strange that I though they would finally figure out that a mistake had been made and take it all back. But then recently the Pigford case got reported. Hundreds of Black people suddenly got $50,000 for once thinking about farming. So I'm not alone in receiving "magic" money.

    I won't say anymore than this – I'm still a bit afraid they'll want it back. I think there are thousands of undeserving people like me who got stimulus money for bizarre reasons but they are keeping a low profile.

    Albertosaurus

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Fix it up so that it no longer bothers the wife quite so much. Work on it yourself or get your old man to give you advice. I know you feel challenged with this sort of hands on thing, but are also enviously intrigued with it on an intellectual and social and physical scale.

    Maybe could even have some change of pace threads about what you learned in working on it. Sort of like when you talk about your dad and it has a little bit of a sweetness to it.

    ————-

    Or if the wife won't be put in her place, then Craigslist, Auto Trader, or donate it. It really doesn't matter since you won't get much for it and not what it is worth in terms of driveability anyway.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, people from Latin America tend to value used cars far more than Americans. If you put a little money into it to make it look OK, a newcomer will pay good money. I knew people who made a living buying used cars in the States and driving them to Mexico to sell for a profit. I also knew a recent arrival from Buenos Aires who paid way too much for a used BMW with 50k on it and thought he had gotten a deal.

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  • I will have restless nights until I learn of the result of this quest.

    Keep us posted Steve.

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  • $400 paint job, corner of Rowan and Cesar E. Chavez. Man, I bet that neighborhood is vibrant!
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/aos/2314965701.html

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  • Pay X you get to punch it once, Y you get to kick it, Z you get to use a hammer, etc. You get the idea.

    Losers. To repeat what I wrote upthread, you haven't lived until you've shot up a car with an assault rifle on a police range. As a general rule, I would not recommend shooting up a car anywhere else.

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  • "If you throw in a rim job with the car you might get a decent price for it."

    I can just imagine the kind of notes Steve's neighbors would leave if he took your advice.

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  • If you throw in a rim job with the car you might get a decent price for it.

    Har, har, har.

    (That was deliberate, right?)

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Here's what you need to do. Go to CarMax. They will buy or take a trade with anything you have. Trade your boring transportation appliance in on an early 00s Mustang GT. If they sell it, it will be reliable and the Mustang GT (no V6, get a V8) will win friends for you. People will treat you better and show you some God Damned Respect!

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  • Homeowners leave threatening notes on its windshield because just having it parked in front of their house lowers their property value.

    See, now we're getting somewhere. You start by getting them to put a specific value to their loss…

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Well, one thing you could do-

    A guy I knew a few years back told me that he and one of his friends once made money letting people beat up an old clunker. Pay X you get to punch it once, Y you get to kick it, Z you get to use a hammer, etc. You get the idea. Worked well because he lived near a college with plenty of frats.

    I heard of someone else who sold bets as to when an old clunker was going to fall through ice (they lived in Canada in the 60s). Winner gets a prize.

    Anyway, just a few anecdotes to stimulate some outside the box thinking….

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Homeowners leave threatening notes on its windshield because just having it parked in front of their house lowers their property value.

    Ah, thank you for being a good neighbor, Steve! Craigslist is your ticket if you are set on selling.

    (OT: your car shows up on Google maps. Scary, isn't it?)

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  • How are the rims on the car? I know that's popular on cars these days. If you throw in a rim job with the car you might get a decent price for it.

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  • Albertosaurus, you must be the first person I've heard of who got a dime of stimulus. How'd you swing eighty large?

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  • Perhaps a Maaco paint job (~$500) would do (http://www.maaco.com/). The paint job does not need to be great, just make the car less obviously worn.

    Alternatively, there is a car cover. . .

    PS:
    You could always take up a collection ("I cannot afford a new car right now, but if you were all to chip in I am sure I could afford to removed this property value slicing eyesore").

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  • "Homeowners leave threatening notes on its windshield because just having it parked in front of their house lowers their property value."

    You don't need a new car.

    You need new neighbors.

    At least living on a farm I avoid such hassles….

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  • Homeowners leave threatening notes on its windshield because just having it parked in front of their house lowers their property value.

    Now it gets interesting… So by how much does it lower their property value? Screw Blue Book, THAT is the market price for your car.

    They can buy your car and turn around and donate it charity for the write-off. It'd be amusing if they got audited because the IRS couldn't believe the Accord they donated was worth $70,000 or whatever it is they pay you. :o)

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  • Instapundit.com is pointing to this:

    … this is not the best time in the world to buy a new car. The Japanese automakers are already experiencing severe supply issues and many of the parts needed to assemble your car are simply not there.

    This is also happening on the used car side. I have been to three auctions this week. Bought zero cars. That has never happened to me in 10+ years in the auto auction business. Of course this is tax season. But the supply and quality of vehicles are simply atrocious at the moment and the prices are sky high. I’ve even seen a 15 year old, 300,000 mile Chevy Blazer with a nicotine drenched interior go for over $1,000, and a 2008 Toyota Tundra Limited with 179k miles sell for over $20,000.
    I would wait out the storm. But if you have to buy now…these would be my top five choices.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/new-or-used-corolla-owner-seeks-outright-fun/

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  • Homeowners leave threatening notes on its windshield because just having it parked in front of their house lowers their property value.

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  • Steve, I wouldn't sell that car, unless your wife is insisting that you do so.

    I would try to keep that car a while longer. I wouldn't bother with cosmetic improvements, except maybe to buy seat covers for the front seats — and seat covers are not merely a cosmetic upgrade if the original upholstery is coming apart.

    I wouldn't have the car painted, which would probably cost more than you expect.

    Please tell us what's wrong with the Honda.

    *Does the car need new tires?

    *How often do you have to add a quart of oil?

    *Does the Honda foul any spark plugs?

    *Does the air conditioning work?

    *Does the front suspension rattle when the car goes over a bump, thereby indicating worn ball joints?

    *Etc.

    Steve, if you'll post a list of what's wrong with your Honda, we can estimate the actual price of repairs.

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  • The car, a V6, still goes like a bat out of hell with remarkable acceleration, but it looks like the Rat Patrol drove it across North Africa a half dozen times (and lost more firefights than they won). Half the paint is worn off and there are about a dozen dents, large and small.

    If you're going to try the "honest" approach ("she's got some faults, no doubt, but what a beauty") you should list the faults first, and then zero in on what the car has going for it nonetheless. This way the car's good points are the last thing out of your mouth and freshest in your customer's mind. The opposite approach will have the customer mulling over what a POS it is, resulting in a lower offer or on sale.

    Oh, and the fact that you're selling, I suppose that can mean times are either the money's rolling in or the times are getting tough in the HDB biz.

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  • What's the old saw, ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.

    Anyway, have you already replaced it? If not, act fast or just plan for another couple years with it.

    Late model used cars are relatively expensive right now as Cash for Clunkers took a lot of them off the road. More recently the earth quake in Japan has shut-in considerable new production. Things aren't tight yet, but they will be and I suspect the dealers know it, so they aren't going to want to deal.

    Rumor is GM (Government Motors) is stuffing their dealers trying to paint an economic expansion. If you must, try getting a good deal on 2010 Chevy that's been hanging around on the lot. Doubtful it will have many options — that's why it's been hanging around — but that just makes it all the cheaper.

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  • I'll give you $250.
    Gordito

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  • You mean you didn't buy American? Shame on you Steve!

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  • I repo about five cars a month. This car will sell on Craigslist in a couple of hours if priced rationally.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    A 1998 car seems pretty new to me. My car is a 1989 Toyota. But in my case complete strangers keep asking to buy her. She's old but still very desirable.

    Last year I took some of my stimulus money and got a paint job. I had already had a new engine and transmission installed and a new interior.

    I had toyed with the idea of buying a Ferrari when I first learned how much of the Obama stimulus would come to me. But it was only $80,000 so I just fixed up my Toyota.

    Actually in the movie The Fast and the Furious Vin Diesel also driving a Supra Turbo like mine, blows off a Ferrari at a stop light drag race. The Yamaha engine is very popular with hot rodders. There are many after market kits to boost the power almost without limit – 500hp, 800hp, 1,100hp or 1,900hp. Take your pick.

    I recommend you just get a mid range paint job. You'll be amazed at the transformation and you won't have any ongoing car payments.

    Albertosaurus

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Steve, we don't give a shit about your car problems. This crass materialism annoys me."

    That Steve does not focus eternally on the extra-PC issues is one of the main reasons I come here; perhaps I am just unlucky to be ideologically isolated, but ocasionally I find it nice to have, or rather be around, conversation with people of similar belief that is everyday, is normal, instead of being rigidly focused, heretically conscious, and tediously devoted to applying (again)(and again)(and again) the freaking obvious to all subjects. Newsflash! IQ matters, Multiculturalism is bullshit, Whites are weak, and NAMs are stupid! Wow, how surprising! How new! How unexplored!

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  • Find a mechanic; many will buy a cheap car and fix it up. My mechanic is always looking for loaner cars.

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  • HS, Mr Crass wasn't really worth a response (if he'd used a clever handle I'd have taken it as humor). More to the point, of course Steve's a materialist. Everyone with a car that crappy is a materialist, having no other options.

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  • The Rat Patrol, heh. Wiki has some interesting facts about that show. Didn't know the leader was 1st generation Greek-American. Fought in WWII IIRC. Fairly interesting guy. Had a Jeep roll over on him during production. You can tell from some of the bone-jarring jumps and wild driving they do in those jeeps (including the ones in the intro sequence) that stunt safety and insurance standards were way different back then. More like what you see in Hong Kong cinema. Rat Patrol's one of those "bad" war shows where they kill lots of people with bullets and grenades and stuff. Back then they didn't know people actually wanted to see American soldiers crippled by angst, or stuck in foxholes strangling one another.

    Good luck selling your car. :)

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  • Find a lawyer with a teenage son and trade it for your legal service.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, you should know enough economics to know that the advice to extensively rework it is bad : you'd be lucky to break even fixing up the Accord unless you find a sucker. (Then again, if you're patient, you might find a sucker)

    If I'm reading you right, you want to minimize the time and hassle of selling the car while not leaving hundreds of dollars on the ground.

    The easiest way to sell a car is to signal you're willing to accept slightly less than the market-clearing price:

    1) See if your mechanic will buy it.

    2) You should be able to sell a running Honda in LA in about 30 seconds on craigslist. Take a couple pictures. Describe it accurately but not disparagingly. Ask $100 less than low book, say neither "firm" nor "or best offer", and take the first decent offer.

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  • Steve Sailer said, "I did not say everything works. Lots of stuff is beat to hell. But the engine still has way more power than you need."

    Looks from this description as if you should gear your ad toward the type of young[ish] man who prefers dating older women.

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  • Your kids don't want it? They must be doing OK.

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  • Donate it and take the tax write-off (fire dept is good, sheriff's dept is better. You haven't lived until you've shot up a car with an assault rifle on a police range).

    If you do sell it, the advice upthread is first rate– get it detailed and painted. You can't make it new but you can make it shiny.

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  • "Steve, we don't give a shit about your car problems. This crass materialism annoys me."

    That Steve owns such a car in the first place indicates his LACK of materialism. He had devoted his life to a career that doesn't pay very well because he had a greater mission in life, to spread the word about HBD, so that's the car he can afford to drive.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I had the exact same car. I ended it selling to a local high school student (decent student who I knew was working nearly 30 hours a week outside of school) so I just thought I'd try and give him a little bump.

    I just gave him deal of $500 which I think is well below what KBB thinks it was worth.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    From your description, it sounds like your Accord is good for at least another 40,000 miles. Obviously, it's mechanically on the right side of the Bell Curve so why sell it?

    Buy a body kit and update its look. Some kits are pretty cheap and your car will appear to be worth four figures, again. With all the Mexicans in LA you can probably get the labor for under a $500.

    Only you, Pedro, and CARFAX will know.

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  • Sold my Dad's car on ebay and got 5 times what I expected. Set a minimum you won't go below and see what happens. I conditioned my sale on Buyer must pick up and no test rides. Really. Worked great.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    OT, but I haven't seen Steve look into why it is that there have been no prosecutions in the wake of the financial crisis. There's an interesting article here:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/In-Financial-Crisis-No-nytimes-220824617.html?x=0&.v=1

    But I don't think it suggests anything about how embarassing it would be for a democratic administration to have to own up to how affirmative action lending policies helped bring down the system. As one VP financial engineer from Lehman Brothers put it to me in defense of himself (directly in response to my question about Bush's policy of pushing subprim mortgages to NAM's): "The government set a policy and we helped them implement it."

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  • craigslist.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "It's reasonable to say you'll pay for an inspection (a lot of places will do it for free, and if not it's usually pretty cheap) if they follow through with the purchase."

    -No, the inspection should be on the buyer's dime, though you can agree to let the car be inspected. You don't know how many potential buyers you will have who will want to have the car examined, or whether they will follow through on buying. Having the potential buyers pay solves that, and also creates a psychological incentive for them to buy the car after they have already invested a small amount of money into the deal. Just be aware that some mechanics will offer a different tune about the condition of the car depending upon who (buyer or seller) is paying for the inspection.

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  • If it doesn't look 'fair', but runs well, then in discussions with buyers sell it on that point. If they're interested in buying a '98 Accord, they're looking for a cheap car that hopefully will last them through HS or college with as few repairs as possible.

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  • I once had an old Landrover that needed a big welding job on its chassis, and had outlived its suitability for us. I advertised it as "would suit welder". It worked a treat.

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  • Eh says:

    Answer: The best way is to sell it for the highest price.

    OT (Keeping the tradition alive)

    Walmart workers get $440k

    The EEOC sued Walmart and its affiliate Sam's Club in 2009, alleging the workers were being harassed and that Walmart failed to stop the mistreatment in a timely manner — a charge Walmart has denied.

    At least nine employees of Mexican descent, and one who is married to a Mexican, say they endured ethnic slurs on a daily basis by a co-worker, who was also Hispanic.

    Interesting.

    I'm tempted to wonder what the award would have been had the name-caller been white. But I'll resist that temptation.

    And what is $440k? — 15 – 20 years gross pay for the average Wal-Mart worker? I'd accept a lot less for being called names.

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  • "Upgrading to a cooler model to score with chicks, are you?"

    Well, see the way it starts is, "Hmmm, I wonder if I should sell ol' bessie. Let's see what similar ones are going for on craigslist…"

    Then you find an ad for a well kept black and gold '78 Trans Am for under $10,000 and conclude that yes, you must sell your old clunker and get a new ride.

    Steve's in southern California. There must be a million great classic cars in good shape waiting for buyers.

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  • Get the car detailed, and then get it the cheapest paint professional paint job you can find. Then sell it before it rains.

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  • Sell it to Steve Jobs. Maybe he can do something brilliant with it.

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  • Paint some bell-curves on it and the factorial structure of intelligence on the hood and auction it off to the Isteve readers as the 'HBDmobile'.

    Seriously. Somebody would buy it here.

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  • I agree with the craigslist people. I sold an old toyota pickup in 2 days and got paid cash.

    Lots of people like old hondas. I wouldn't bother fixing the problems – there's enough cheap auto repair in LA that the buyer can do that easily.

    I hope this is an isteve.com windfall as well. I'd still read faithfully even if you were just hbdsteve.

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  • Steve, we don't give a shit about your car problems. This crass materialism annoys me.

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  • I would recommend becoming a celebrity and then advertising it in a place where your fans will see it.

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  • Lipstick on a pig? What are you looking to gain on the transaction? $100?

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  • Craigslist has worked for me so far. Take a fistful of cash or equivalent (cashier's check or money order). It's reasonable to say you'll pay for an inspection (a lot of places will do it for free, and if not it's usually pretty cheap) if they follow through with the purchase.

    Ask for photo ID for verification, and don't let any more than one person in your place at a time. I tuck a .38 in under my shirt when dealing with that kind of cash, but that's up to you.

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  • Steve, just keep the engine and fix the stuff that is broken. I'm sure your readers know someone in the LA area that can do basically a gut job of the internals and fix it, possibly for $8K or so. If the body is essentially sound, the frame sound, and the engine sound, why not simply refurb the car? That way you get a low insurance rate and maybe can give the car to your kid when he can drive.

    The Desert Car Kings or some-such reality show features rebuilt 60's wrecks going for around $15K or so, and that's just with a frame, no body. Your car sounds like it just needs new systems not a new engine.

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  • Convert it into a pickup truck and sell it to the Libyan rebels!!

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  • I did not say everything works. Lots of stuff is beat to hell. But the engine still has way more power than you need.

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  • If the engine's still sound, why are you getting rid of it? Upgrading to a cooler model to score with chicks, are you?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    In your case, best vs not best is not going to be much difference in money, so go for the easiest.

    Craigslist and give it an honest description and a fair price. If it sounds like a drivable car that won't require major investment, it will get snapped if the price is good.

    OTOH, if if drives well, why sell? I thought you are not into status very much? Or are you expecting a largess from Steve Jobs already? :-)

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  • It's been a number of years since I sold a used car, but the following dialogue is an accurate composite of my dealings with the typical caller:

    [phone rings]
    Me: Hello
    [silence]
    Me: Hello?
    Caller: Yo, man.
    Me: Can I help you?
    Caller: Yo, man. I'm callin' 'bout the car.
    Me: Sure, what would you like to know about it?
    Caller: How much it cost?
    Me: $5,000 firm, just like it says in the ad.
    Caller: Oh. I ain't got no money.

    Peter

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    steve wrote:
    "I'm finally going to sell my semi-legendary 1998 Accord, ….Half the paint is worn off and there are about a dozen dents, large and small. "

    Sgt. Joe Friday said…
    "Are you in a high enough tax bracket that you could use a write-off? "

    Ummm…based on his description of it, I think we can safely say that the answer is NO.

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  • Jehu says: • Website

    Steve, cars like that (largely reliable but very old and beaten up) are best sold to people you know or friends thereof. We sold my wife's 1998 Ford Contour that way not long ago. There's a lot to be said for a car that works with no major problems (just a bunch of annoying little ones) for a thousand dollars or so. Even if it only runs for a year or two before it requires some expensive repair, it's worth it.

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