Being able to maintain your own care can help a lot if you aren't financially well off. I have an '03 VW Jetta TDI Wagon that I bought with 239,000 miles on it, and I've been able to fix every problem it had (and to be honest there haven't been many) all by myself. I diagnosed changed my own thermostat when mine failed, which would've probably cost me a pretty penny instead of 30 or 40 bucks in OEM parts. I had to replace the glass in one of my mirrors once. It took me about 15 seconds to connect the heat wires and snap it into place. The dealership quoted me $50 to do what was quite literally 15 seconds worth of work.
I'm also not convinced that auto makers can't do things do make cars more easily repairable by amateurs, and this idea of a car that's too complex for someone with the ability to fix is not an economically viable one from my standpoint. As a college student, I can't afford to spend $300 to have some dolt in a dealership replace my alternator and do it wrong when I can do it myself at the cost of a little time and have it done correctly.
As a final note, I've worked in the automotive industry among design and RMA engineers, and a lot of them aren't half as smart as they think they are, and even the OEMs get confused at how to work on their own crap, and I know having seen mechanics reports in a return material analysis lab that the people doing the repair work don't always know that much about the vehicles they're working on anyway, even with dealership and OEM support. We've had electronic power steering gears returned with the dealership claiming there was a power steering fluid leak. Seriously.