U.S. Carmakers Hold Back Japanese Innovation

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Nomen Nescio, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Nomen Nescio

    Nomen Nescio Guest

    When Japanese compete against Japanese, they pull out all the stops. Their
    product lines look more like sci-fi goodies from the future than
    off-the-shelf stuff you can buy today. I use photographic equipment as a
    prime example. Go to the website:


    and you will see what I mean. Literally hundreds of super high tech
    cameras and widely differing in approach to a most challenging product

    On the other hand, with cars, its not Japs vs Japs; no, its Japs vs General
    Motors. Or, Ford, or Daimler-Chrysler. Makes no difference because to all
    the American makers, so long as a car has four wheels and a cup holder, its
    design is fully developed and ready for production and the showroom. The
    Japanese see no challenge in this arena so they just go along with human
    nature and coast along. Sure, they'll improve the fit and finish or stick
    in a DVD player or some other token advancement in comfort, but there is no
    fundamental development seen in their range of automotive products. They
    do give an impression, though, of a superior product and are dominating the
    market to GM's demise. Maybe the foreign mystique has something to do with
    their very successful commercial appeal.

    I predict that after GM collapses, Ford shrivels up, and Daimler-Chrysler
    falls into a boutique niche, it will be one-on-one Budda Head. Then all
    Hell will let loose, just as what has happened with the Fancy-Dan cameras
    will happen to cars and who knows, we might even have Jetson Flying Sedans
    in 10 years' time.
    Nomen Nescio, Dec 7, 2005
  2. Nomen Nescio

    NJ Vike Guest

    I've seen dome of their high-tech goodies. The Infiniti has a rear-mounted
    camera to let you see any objects from behind. They also offer voice
    commands for radio station and inside temperature settings. Nice but you
    have to wonder how much it will cost to fix items like this. Yea, I know. If
    you can afford the car....

    OTOH, Nissan provides a heated steering wheel- Like that in the winter.

    I would be very happy with a remote starter.

    How come very few car companies offer chrome wheels?
    NJ Vike, Dec 8, 2005
  3. Chrome is a lot more expensive than it used to be. For starters to chrome
    something you have to use a lot of nasty chemicals that are hazardous waste
    to dispose of, the EPA makes that pretty expensive for you.

    It's a lot cheaper to polish aluminum then put a clearcoat on it that
    will wear off after the warranty period is over with, then let the customer
    deal with it.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Dec 9, 2005
  4. Nomen Nescio

    NJ Vike Guest

    I'm glad to see the 300C gets them. I also noticed some manufacturers sell
    them from their parts department. Unfortunately, they're more expensive than
    if they were ordered as an option.

    Thanks for the explanation.

    NJ Vike, Dec 9, 2005
  5. Nomen Nescio

    Guest Guest

    You're BLIND AS A BAT, but much more dumb.
    Guest, Dec 10, 2005
  6. Agreed. Dog lick engineering "done 'cos they can" is a dumb idea. Give me a
    RWD (preferably diesel and/or hybrid) powertrain, good 4-wheel disc brakes,
    manual heat and A/C, seat heaters, and maybe power windows, and I'm fine.
    More features = more to break down the line.

    In fact, my current car is like that, except for the hybrid/diesel powertrain
    (Volvo 240) and is pretty much indestructable.
    Remote starter? It's inefficient to leave your car idling to heat up the
    heater. Heated seats heat up in about 1 min. If it's really cold, get a
    block heater and "plug it it".
    Andrew Szafran, Dec 14, 2005
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