Final Word from Thursday, July 18, 2019

Nearly the last durable consumer good that is truly durable is the automobile. Even a cheap car can last 20 years. The average age of the vehicles on Czech roads last year was above 15 years. Manufacturers of washing machines, computers, smartphones and other big-ticket items have found ways to reduce the useful life of their products by 50% or more in many cases, but the car is a conundrum. If the construction is too cheap, the product liability increases. Electric cars offer the perfect solution. The battery is the core of the vehicle, is expensive and almost impossible to repair, and has a relatively short useful life. According to one survey last year, most e-car manufacturers were offering an eight-year/160,000km warranty. Soon after that, the only real solution is to throw the car away and buy a new one. Why wouldn't Škoda Auto want Czech taxpayers to foot much of the bill for an expensive conversion to electromobiles that will speed up its sales cycle? [ Czech Republic Citigo planned obsolescence Volkswagen VW throwaway ]

Glossary of difficult words

durable - long-lasting; able to withstand wear, pressure or damage;

conundrum - a confusing and difficult problem or question;

product liability - the legal liability a manufacturer or trader incurs for producing or selling a faulty product;

core - the part of something that is central to its existence or character;

warranty - a written guarantee, issued to the purchaser of an article by its manufacturer, promising to repair or replace it if necessary within a specified period of time;

to foot the bill of - to pay the cost of.


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