Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Last year of car manufacturing

My husband wants to buy a new car, and it will be discontinued after this year(2008). I am concerned that this might not be such a good decision, especially since he expects to have it for a long time. (His current car is 10 yrs old and still going, it’s being passed down to our son). I worry about the availability of parts 5 years or so from now. Thoughts?

What make and model? If it is a popular one, I wouldn’t hesitate. Especially if it is a multi-year model. But, please post make and model for a better assessment.

Used parts from a salvage yard might be a problem.

First, please clarify if the car company is going out of business or if the particular model is merely being discontinued.

However, in either situation, you should be aware that the Federal Trade Commission requires that a manufacturer have an adequate stock of replacement parts available for a minimum of 7 years after the brand or model is discontinued. (Well, at least the FTC always used to require this. It is possible that this has been silently done away with during the past 7 1/2 years of a consumer-unfriendly administration in Washington.)

How about sharing with us the exact make and model that your husband is considering? We might have some specific comments after we hear about the particulars.

Actually the contrary. If 2008 is the last year it likely was at the end of the design cycle so there are at least 4 yrs if Japanese and 8yrs+ if domestic available to pick from already.

Parts are always available for everything in the last 20 years and easier to get at with the internet age.

I’ve had yards tell me that they crush anything older than 10 years. If you have production after your model year, there are likely parts that will be backward-compatible. That is not a sure thing, fur sure, but likely.

Get the car and do not worry about the availability of parts. Even the owners of so-called classic cars can go to the GM or Ford dealerships and order what they need with excellent chances of getting it from warehouse inventory. Other sources include aftermarket manufacturers, salvage yards, and owners parting out their cars, same make and model. Five years from now, obtaining parts for this car will not be a problem.

Toyota Solara Convertable.

There are a lot of u-pull-its I’ve been to that don’t stock cars younger than 10 years old. I frequent them for parts on cars as much as 25 years old.

No problem at all. It’s a good time to buy; demand is low, buyers want the newer model, and all the bugs are fully worked out of the manufacturing run of this model. Sure, depreciation will be harsh when the new model comes out, but if you are keeping it more than 10 years, that’s just not an issue. If he loves the car, go for it.

There is only one down side and that would be if you want to sell it in a short time. Since you are talking about long term, I don’t see any down side. Get what you want and enjoy it.

Very popular car. Spare parts will be around for a couple of decades. Toyota has just become the 2nd largest car company, so it will be around for a while. I can still get parts for my '88 Supra from Toyota, so you shouldn’t have to worry.

Yeah, a lst year model that had a good reputation and sales record is a fine choice. Most of the consumables (brake pads, belts, etc) are likely to be backwards compatible and you can find major parts for longer than you’ll likely own that car. The bugs are worked out (unless production is stopping because no one liked it, but that’s not the case with the Solara). I think you’ll do fine.

Isn’t the Solara Convertible just a niced-up Camry? If so, then parts will be absolutely no problem, as the Camry is, and will continue to be for some time, one of the best selling cars in the world. Therefore, parts will certainly be widely available.

I agree with those who say there will be no problem. Think about it. Just because a car model is in continuous production doesn’t mean that the cars (and therefore their parts) stay the same. Look at Camrys (Camries?). There aren’t too many parts in common between a 1998 and 2008, even though they share the Camry name.

Agree that the key factors are; (1)will the company stay in business?, and (2)was the model made in large enough quantities to keep it from becoming an orphan. The Camry Solara is a better choice than, say, an Olds Alero, which will be hard to get body parts for.

A friend of mine recently sold a 1982 Toyota Cressida, and the buyer asked me if you could get parts. Yes, Toyota will supply parts fro this model.

So, a Solara will be a good buy from a parts supply point of view.

As other posters have stated the Solara is based on the Camry, though many panels to the rear of the ‘A’ post will be unique to the convertible model. Mechanical parts should be no problem but I’d amber flag the fact that the convertable was only built for 4 years and will have many unique parts. The ragtop, frame rails and rear glass could get scarce over the next 10 years, but that doesn’t mean unobtainable.

The upside is the Solara is fairly niche and now being an ‘end of life’ design provides some really good price negotiating opportunities.

If you really want it, get it. You might even be buying a future collectible.

The Solara convertible is built in a Lexus factory, and is not the only car in production there. To me, this means that the factory workers have a future. If they have a job next year, the quality would not suffer. It’s a fine car; very quiet for a convertible and well appointed. I’d consider it more Lexus than Toyota.

've had yards tell me that they crush anything older than 10 years. If you have production after your model year, there are likely parts that will be backward-compatible. That is not a sure thing, fur sure, but likely.

That doesn’t make sense. 10 yrs old is NOT that old. Many cars that are 20+ years old their only option is a salvage yard. Every salvage yard I know of has parts for cars going back 30+ years…AT LEAST.

It makes good sense if that yard sells mainly to body shops. Any car 10 years old or older most likely will not be fixed except for a piece here and there. They take up real estate for inventory that moves.

On the other hand, some yards that I deal with do not keep the newer parts since thier customer base drives older cars.

It’s got to do a lot with what a yard specializes (spelling) in.