This letter is purportedly from Human Resources to an employee with an older, unsightly car. I don’t know if it’s genuine or not, but the attitude is certainly authentic — it’s just that usually they avoid making it quite so blatant.
We tend to drive our cars into the ground. My wife and I get the least expensive vehicle that has a good reliability rating, and then we drive it forever, or until it breaks down. We are not the types to buy a new car every year for the status (we can’t afford a new car every year, anyway), and I can’t imagine myself ever washing and polishing a utilitarian device like that, anyway.
Fortunately, we college professors can get away with a little slovenliness, but my wife did have at least one incident where she spotted her employer circling around her dinged-up car, scowling. You know there are lots of Americans who will judge you on the presumed prestige of your car, and that spending money on the right upscale things is an important aspect of performative capitalism.
It’s only surprising that, if this letter is genuine, anyone would make the superficiality of the attitude explicit.