also, tighter spaces and less visible bolts means that the customer wont attempt the repair and will bring it back to the dealerThe same thing everyone else seems to be thinking nowadays. Closer, tighter tolerances mean better aerodynamics, which means better fuel economy. Additionally, more reliable vehicles means fewer visits to the shop for repairs (supposedly the biggest source of a dealership's income?), so engineering in 'routine maintenance' items for them is probably a consideration too.
Anyone else recall the transverse engines with spark plugs hidden below / against the firewall, or the single V-drive belt V6's that have an engine mount going *through* the belt (gotta pull the mount to change the belt on some cars- haven't looked on my 'bu, though I've since mostly gone over to letting the service dept. deal with my car anyway..).
That's what I meant by engineering in 'routine maintenance' items. Those engines with the spark plugs by the firewall conveniently feature a pivoting lower mount that allows the service departments to tilt them forward to access the rear plugs. A lot of cars use tactics like this. In addition to discouraging do-it-yourself types, it allows the mechanics to charge more time because of what they need to do before actually changing a bulb, plug, or belt.also, tighter spaces and less visible bolts means that the customer wont attempt the repair and will bring it back to the dealer