President's Committee on Consumer Interests
The automobile, perhaps as nothing else, illustrates how present-day opulence and prosperity are coupled with shortages of consumer information, quality, and standards. Widely used for pleasure, the car is necessary to millions of people who depend on it for transportation to work, school, stores, and so on; so much so that the number of multiple-car families has almost doubled in the last decade--from 5.7 million to 11.8 million.
There are now more than 75 million cars on the road compared with less than 52 million a decade ago. Last year, Detroit sold some 9.3 million cars against 7.9 million in 1955, and imported cars tallied 559,430, almost a tenfold sales increase from 57,115 a decade earlier. The sheer size and importance to the national economy of the automotive industry, therefore, make its performance a matter of vital interest to consumers.____________________