Its basically dumbing down of the masses and cheap production.
I have driven and drive a car that actually has a live temperature gauge - its 100C mark is 3/4 of the gauge and it will get there if you are stuck in traffic. It comes down to 82C when I am cruising the highway. The reason manufacturers got rid of it is actually because of user demand.
the cars without such gauges are meant for a special type of people. These special type of people dont care about the engine, all they want to know is "petrol kitna hai" aur speed kitni hai - if they did not have a speedometer they would get speeding tickets and if they ran out of petrol they would need expensive tows.
The gauge light system for engine temperature is very very old - ancient american cars came with them, they did not have a cold light only a red light for "engine overheated" - old engines were all cast iron heavy behemoths with poor efficiency hence they could take a beating and a half and still work - the other factor was that such engines regularly faced "freshing up" services every now and then which involved removing the heads, decoking them and lapping the valves - which naturally meant that the headgasket was replaced with a new item.
I hate cars with such vital information missing from the driver's view. Infact I dont like that my W210 mercedes does not have the oil pressure gauge like my W124 had. Its a good instrument to have for view.