On this week’s Memorial Day episode of Grease the Wheels, we talk about the generations in regard to the conflicts they fought and the cars they had to fix. Fittingly omitting “The Lost Generation”, we examine the incredibly simple nature of early mass produced automobiles when they were being driven by “The Greatest Generation”. This is the generation who honed their skills by keeping things running through a Global Depression leading up to fighting Nazi’s and the Imperial Japanese. “The Silent Generation” that had to fight the Korean War had slightly more complex automobiles with more safety features, more creature comforts, and a lot more power; but they earned it because they were born either shortly before or during the Great Depression. “The Baby Boomers” who fought the Vietnam War were all about horsepower when they first started driving, and that didn’t really tail off until the government started strangling cars in stock form.
With “Gen X”, cars got computers to make them run cleaner and more efficiently, and with the Millennials and “Gen Z” things have become electrified and the amount of things that can go wrong in these cars have increased exponentially. However, the number of people entering the field has decreased exponentially, and as another generation marches towards retirement the ranks are not being reinforced. We think the technician shortage is because of the increasing complexity of the cars with the complete stagnation of wages, but what do we know? The generational composition of every shop is different, so take a look around and maybe figure out what generations are best represented and how well they fit the stereotypes that Uncle Jimmy heaps on them.
Also Uncle Jimmy and I would like to give a very sincere, “thank you” to all of the service members who laid down their lives so we could have the freedom of speech to do this podcast!
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