There’s something about full-size cars stacked in a dumpster that really makes a guy stop and ponder. I imagine that was the idea behind the display I saw at Nanaimo’s Galaxy Motors on the weekend. As a nifty take on the ‘cash for clunkers’ program, this piece of street art works quite well, practically screaming, ‘Trade in the old piece of crap!!’

But on another level, it makes a statement about our disposable culture that might not reflect too well on the entire automotive industry.

First off, these cars are not antiquated rust buckets. At least, not to my increasingly old-fogey-ish sensibilities. So just what is the lifespan of an automobile supposed to be? Five years? Ten? At what point does increased efficiency of a fresh vehicle make up for the embedded carbon in its manufacture, and the energy required to recycle the old beater?

Moreover,  when you decorate your dealership with a garbage bin full of cars (which were once shiny and new on a lot themselves not that long ago) what does that say about the quality of the product on the outside of the dumpster? You’re next?

Now, if the lot were selling only plug-in electrics and hybrids, the dynamic changes entirely. Heck, you could make the car-in-a-garbage-can your LOGO for an auto dealership like that. Perhaps Galaxy is just ahead of their time.

I figured Detroit would invent the Disposable Car someday. I just didn’t think it would be all of them.

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