What's with all of the plastic trim on vehicles these days?

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This article addresses both the CUV/SUV and plastic cladding phenomenon: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2...nette-cuvs-plastic-fantastic-identity-crisis/

I have mostly believed that vehicle marketing is not dictated by consumer input (wants and needs). I believe that vehicle marketing develops what it wants to sell for the most profit and then brainwashes the public into thinking that they need the current offering. Look at today's pickup trucks. Nothing beats the utility and usefulness of my previous minivans, but today they are portrayed as the station wagon of yesteryear - emasculating.
Wow I thought I was the ONLY one that understood this aspect of the business. Whew, I'm not crazy. :ROFLMAO: ;)
 
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This article addresses both the CUV/SUV and plastic cladding phenomenon: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2...nette-cuvs-plastic-fantastic-identity-crisis/

I have mostly believed that vehicle marketing is not dictated by consumer input (wants and needs). I believe that vehicle marketing develops what it wants to sell for the most profit and then brainwashes the public into thinking that they need the current offering. Look at today's pickup trucks. Nothing beats the utility and usefulness of my previous minivans, but today they are portrayed as the station wagon of yesteryear - emasculating.
Yes-all the manufacturers started calling minivans “CUVs”, and giving smaller SUVs the minivan treatment, and doubling or tripling the price! Several obvious models are the Durango, pretty much any non-full-size GM SUV (Trax, Equinox), even the Rav 4 and Highlander are much more minivan-like now. For a $40K or higher price tag new! And less interior room...
 
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Yes-all the manufacturers started calling minivans “CUVs”, and giving smaller SUVs the minivan treatment, and doubling or tripling the price! Several obvious models are the Durango, pretty much any non-full-size GM SUV (Trax, Equinox), even the Rav 4 and Highlander are much more minivan-like now. For a $40K or higher price tag new! And less interior room...
The Durango is cheaper than an equivalent Pacifica. Quick look shows a base model 2021 Pacifica MSRP starting at $35,045 for FWD or $38,040 for AWD. The 2021 Durango starts at $31,765 for RWD or $34,365 for AWD. Top luxury trim level for both are within $700 of each other, but that gets you the 5.7 hemi and a healthy tow rating on the Durango.
 
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Wow I thought I was the ONLY one that understood this aspect of the business. Whew, I'm not crazy. :ROFLMAO: ;)

We had discussions here in the last 2 decades that included people that felt consumers influenced the vehicle trends. I remember comments like "they wouldn't build them if people weren't demanding them". But, I cannot remember what I had for lunch yesterday, so the reliability of my remembrances is dubious.
 

grampi

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This article addresses both the CUV/SUV and plastic cladding phenomenon: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2...nette-cuvs-plastic-fantastic-identity-crisis/

I have mostly believed that vehicle marketing is not dictated by consumer input (wants and needs). I believe that vehicle marketing develops what it wants to sell for the most profit and then brainwashes the public into thinking that they need the current offering. Look at today's pickup trucks. Nothing beats the utility and usefulness of my previous minivans, but today they are portrayed as the station wagon of yesteryear - emasculating.
Good post, and good article...I never did get the whole treatment of minivans like they were infected with the plague thing...
 
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1000% THIS.

These plastic headlamps ALL start losing their UV lens coating after what seems like just 3-4 years and then become crazed and yellowed,
100% JUNK.

It was said many decades ago that the future is in plastics. Plastic is misunderstood quite a bit too. The plastic used to make a child’s toy is not the same as the plastic used to make intake manifolds or trim pieces on automobiles.



The benefits are great. Less weight, less maintenance and corrosion, better impact resistance, what’s not to like?
.
Unfortunately plastic doesn't always handle the thermal cycling inside an engine bay
 
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Good post, and good article...I never did get the whole treatment of minivans like they were infected with the plague thing...
I remember way back when mini vans came our or where getting popular my friend's wife wanted one for hauling the kids around and he said no way would any man be caught dead in a mini van, a year later guess what he was driving!
 
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Except when dirt, road, salt, and moisture get trapped under these plastic pieces...
But we don't have to see the rust that forms under those plastic pieces. Out of sight and out of mind.

Besides, the masses of buyers these days get rid of their cars after not too many years, either a new lease or a new car with negative equity. These used cars are bought mostly by BITOGers I would imagine.
 
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Plastic trim has been on cars for decades now. Maybe the black trim stands out more than the cheap glossy stuff they used to put on in the 90’s? Some of it back then was color matching but as the years went by the plastic color would fade.

It is much improved now.
 
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I remember having to pay $300 each for glass headlights in a Geo Tracker. You could get them from one of two places. A Chevy/Geo dealer or a Suzuki dealer.

I asked my insurance agent about it, since to replace both was *more* than a windshield... and was able to get it paid out as a comprehensive claim for just my $100 deductible.

Yep, the good old days of glass headlights.
I'm talking when a sealed beam glass headlight cost $22 for just about any car......
BTW, the headlight assembly for the wife's Volvo XC60 are $229 each and my F-150 Lariat are $510 each.....yeah, give me glass!
 
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Many body parts have switched to aluminum without the fanfare that Ford gave it. My Jeep has plastic fenders and lots of aluminum body panels which is a good combo for what I do in the south.
The WHOLE body of the f150 (cab included) is aluminum. They have every right for the fanfare.
 
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I personally like some of the plastic body cladding some cars have. It makes some cars look interesting. I for one like the styling of the plastic panels on the first generation Avalanche. The 07+ Avalanche just looked like a Silverado with a Tahoe front end.

Being from Texas has taught me that plastic headlights in any car will start clouding up after about 3-5 years. However, cars built in the last 5 years seem to be holding up much better. If you park your car outside all day there is no amount of waxing or sealing that will prevent the headlights from deteriorating. Sorry, it’s just the way it is. I see some people saying, “iF yOuR hEaDliGhTs TuRnED yElLoW iTs CuZ yOu DiDnT tAkE cArE oF tHeM.” Um no, that’s not it at all. For those of us that live in the sunshine states we know what the sun will do to a car.
 
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4WD

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The WHOLE body of the f150 (cab included) is aluminum. They have every right for the fanfare.
prefer this approach myself

77BDC604-BD83-4601-8ABB-324C8FA5F61A.png
 
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I personally like some of the plastic body cladding some cars have. It makes some cars look interesting. I for one like the styling of the plastic panels on the first generation Avalanche. The 07+ Avalanche just looked like a Silverado with a Tahoe front end.

Being from Texas has taught me that plastic headlights in any car will start clouding up after about 3-5 years. However, cars built in the last 5 years seem to be holding up much better. If you park your car outside all day there is no amount of waxing or sealing that will prevent the headlights from deteriorating. Sorry, it’s just the way it is. I see some people saying, “iF yOuR hEaDliGhTs TuRnED yElLoW iTs CuZ yOu DiDnT tAkE cArE oF tHeM.” Um no, that’s not it at all. For those of us that live in the sunshine states we know what the sun will do to a car.
Lots of folks like to say when reading of a criticism of their favorite vehicle model that the only reason for any problems is because it wasn't maintained. As if nothing ever would fail and last forever for millions of miles if maintained. These fan boys and gals are of of course a bit delusional.
 
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Plastic doesn't rust. Plastic weighs less. Plastic costs less to mass-produce, especially if it is not a painted part. Plastic often can bounce back from an impact where a metal part may be permanently deformed. Automakers want their vehicles to satisfy the warranty requirement and continue on for a reasonable number of years, but not live forever.
 
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Almost every new vehicle has it. It's the dreaded black plastic trim that goes all the way around the bottom of the vehicle. It's bad enough it's got to cover the bottom of the front and rear of the vehicle, under, and sometimes covering the bumper, now it goes all the way down the sides of the vehicles, including around the wheel wells. Why can't they just make the sheet metal of the fenders formed around the wheel wells like they used to. Not only did this look much better, but it held up much better too. The black plastic trim deteriorates over a very short period of time, and it starts taking on a white chalky look, which is difficult, if not impossible to get rid of. Not to mention what goes on under these trim pieces, as far as trapping dirt, road salt, moisture, and other corrosive contaminants. Does anyone know why this trend by the automakers has become so prevalent? I can't help but think it has something to do with bean counters and squeezing every ounce of profit out of each vehicle, though I can't see how using this trim around the wheel wells is more cost effective than just making the sheet metal fenders finish the edges of the wheel wells...
Metal deteriorate much faster, they rust. Plastic is not pretty but you can pay for a top trim that comes with them painted.

All metal style went out the door in the 80s. They won't come back. These days it is all about not having a trim around anything, or if you must have the trim, paint them.
 
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