2016 A6, 2014 X3, 1967 Bus, 1963 356
I would argue it's the customers who are abandoning the lower end of the market and manufacturers are simply responding to customer demands. Even so, the Corolla and Rav4 are still out there providing quality transportation, very good standard features, at an affordable price so it's not like there are zero options.The article went on to discuss how the US manufacturers pretty much abandoned the lower end of the market - leaving that to used cars.
That said I still agree it's shocking how expensive cars have become. For us it means we'll just have to make sure our next car is a bit more future proofed since we'll be keeping it for an even longer period of time.