At the beginning of 1985, the steel and non-ferrous industries found themselves in a bind — they were faced with low consumption, shrinking markets, higher costs, increased quality demands, and lower prices. This was not an enviable position, particularly as it followed three decades of relatively good prosperity.
The customer of the mid-1980s has had to accept smaller cars; higher interest rates, and greater costs for owning his home. He has experienced inflation and a bigger food budget, higher taxes, and a spouse who has a second job and shares in decisions of how to make ends meet. What does that mean? It means that the customer is more choosy and more difficult to satisfy.