Disturbing Trend, advanced machining skills disappearing from USA

Schools went with Apple because they were offering deep deep discounts other manufacturers weren’t doing. The school cost of an Apple computer was 1/3rd the retail price. At best companies like IBM and Compaq offered a 30% discount. Schools jumped at that discount.

Yes there is. There is a hydraulic module and its control unit that cost the manufacturer about $130. Add to that about 40 wires that cost about $1.00 for each cut lead on each end and well as high-flex wires at the sensors. The wheel speed sensors are about $5 each. That is about $230 just in parts. Doesn’t include any of the brackets that are needed to carefully position those wires in the wheel-house either.

But wait, stability control is now mandated and that adds about $50 to the module (4 more valves plus drivers) and a yaw sensor and steering sensor and about 20 more wires for about another $100. None of those numbers include assembly costs nor the added weight.

Those are real costs added to ABS cars that would never have been needed on non-ABS cars.

I like ABS, myself. Never had any reliability issues with them either. Like airbags, ABS is useless - Until you need it to save your life! But it certainly isn’t free.

I was referring specifically to post-sale (maintenance, etc) costs. Sure, the ABS adds probably less than 1% to the price of a new car. Skip the paint protection plan scam and you’ve more than made up for it.

But yes, better technology does often cost more at initial purchase. That isn’t terribly surprising, and if you factor in not having to pay higher insurance rates because you slid on the snow and rear-ended a Lexus (plus getting insurance discounts for having ABS in the first place since you’re less likely to ram someone), not to mention the generally higher reliability of vehicle systems today than 40 years ago which means they’re not in the shop as much, you can probably argue that after-sale costs are cheaper today than they ever were.

But if technological advances upset specific people that much, they’ll be pleased to know that you can buy a horse buggy on Ebay for less than $1,000 and skip all of the more-expensive car technology.

1 Like

We’ve kicked this around before but if you look to the average new car price in 1970, it is 35% of the median family income. Today’s new car is about 50% of the median family income.

A 2018 car will easily outlast its 1970 counterpart, use far less fuel, have far more features as standard and be many times safer overall.

So to summarize, 15% more of the household income to buy, will run 50 to 100% longer on 1/3 the fuel with power brakes, steering and windows… Seems like cars actually got cheaper and better and safer.


To bring back an old topic, I thought this was an interesting article high school shop class.