Cheap car

Cartoon illustration of a car salesman with cars

A contractor came to see me and told me about cheaper products to use to repair my building, and as I listened, I realized how easy it was to fall into the trap of looking only at cost and not quality. Thus came this imaginary experience of a cheap car:

“Our engineers burned the midnight oil to produce this car,” said the MD as he showed me into his factory in the outskirts of the city.

“And this car will cost less than a lakh?” I asked.

“Less than fifty thousand!” said the beaming managing director as he took me to the workshop area. “There it is! The cheap car the whole country wants!”

“It’s beautiful!” I exclaimed.

“The paint we’ve used is the latest in oven-finish technology,” said the MD proudly. “The gloss will retain its sheen even after a month.”

“There must be somewhere you have cut costs to price a model so low,” I whispered in disbelief.

“Safety belts with imported buckles!” continued the MD.

“Superb!” I said in awe.

“No nonsense seats that will wear out the toughest butt, before wearing itself out!”

“Unbelievable!” I exclaimed.

“Fibre glass bumpers that will not damage the car in front!”

“Nor the car behind!” I shouted with glee.

“Headlights with screw-on-bulbs!”


“Tinted glasses!”


The managing director of the automobile company looked at me with unconcealed pride. “This is what the nation has been crying for!” he said.

“Our shares will hit the roof!”

“You will be listed on the New York exchange,” I said.

“People will praise us for being thrifty but nifty,” he said. “They will now have money left to put in their banks!”

“Yes,” I shouted, “the world will understand that being stingy is profitable!”

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Robert Clements
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Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist with an estimated readership of 6 million. He also conducts a short-term writer’s course. Contact him on for more details.