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Re: Lets Agree To Disagree

To: Frank Clarici <spritenut@Exit109.com>
Subject: Re: Lets Agree To Disagree
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 22:01:55 -0500
Cc: David McCartney <yup1275@pacbell.net>, spr <spridgets@autox.team.net>
References: <004801c0b7a7$ce4f5160$372dfea9@robert> <3AC29243.D082DC26@exit109.com> <3AC3E15F.612B7BFB@erols.com> <3AC3E73B.21E467BC@exit109.com> <3AC43A98.141B4691@brit.ca> <3AC4C9EF.168E410D@exit109.com> <3AC4D87A.24D95D0E@pacbell.net> <3AC529E9.83DF70A1@exit109.com>
Frank Clarici wrote:
> I would much rather buy from a country that has a FAIR TRADE policy with
> the USA.  5 chevys vs 5 million RBs doesn't mean fair trade.

  Japan will not import more Chevys unless the
Japanese people want to buy them. That will not happen
until the US carmakers choose to develop
cars that are attractive in overseas markets.

  It's not a slight against them, it's just that US cars
are generally designed for US driving styles. Large
cars, automatic transmissions, soft suspensions, mediocre
fuel economy, and so on.

  Ideal for US interstate travel, not exactly
appropriate for driving around London or Tokyo.

  So, a japanese ship comes over full of Honda Accords
and Toyota minivans, but you can bet it's not going
back full of Luminas and Caravans for eager
Japanese buyers.

  The British car industry incidently suffered a
terrible fate for the same design politics. British
cars were designed for Britain, and if they sold
elsewhere, it was a convenient accident.

  British sports cars survived because they were
charming and appealed on so many levels, and the
practical level didn't have to be one of them.

  British saloon cars? Well, there are a few
around (I have a Magnette) but they never really
cut a significant market share in North America
because they were rarely appropriate.

  The Mini sold 4+ million units, but would you buy
one as your daily interstate driver? Would you
take a 30hp Morris Minor from San Francisco to
New York?

  Jags sold because they were powerful and had
the mystique, but that's about it.

  US car companies have the enormous home market,
which is a blessing and a curse at the same

  It's a blessing when the big three can pretty
much ignore the rest of the world and still sell
plenty of cars, but at the same time it removes
the need to truly understand and design for other
markets like the Japanese have done so well.

  So really, you can't blame Japan for the
auto trade imbalance. What are they going to
do, legislate that their citizens buy American
cars that are totally unsuitable for them?

Trevor Boicey, P. Eng.
Ottawa, Canada, tboicey@brit.ca
ICQ #17432933 http://www.brit.ca/~tboicey/
"On your way out, if you wanna kill someone, it would help me a lot."

///  (If they are dupes, this trailer may also catch them.)

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