Linked by Kroc on Thu 30th Aug 2007 13:03 UTC
Editorial I hear often that when something new appears that "competition is good". The primary reasons competition is seen as good, are: it drives down prices; it gives consumers more choice; it pushes technology forward, quicker. Competition is not good because: competition is why consumers have to choose between HD-DVD and BluRay; competition is why DRM exists; and more. In this article, each of the supposed benefits of competition will be looked at in more detail.
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RE: You missed it
by jack_perry on Thu 30th Aug 2007 14:19 UTC in reply to "You missed it"
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New competition from the Japanese introduced Americans to higher quality automobiles, at higher prices, and we loved them.

Hmm, I was a child then, and as I recall my parents bought the Japanese cars not because they were more expensive, but because they were less expensive and more reliable than both American and European cars. My parents moved from a "new" Chevy which was sold with a wheel that was falling apart (and which was taken in twice for service, who found nothing wrong until my father finally looked at the wheel and saw that a brake pin was falling out) to an Audi Fox whose engine wouldn't run reliably at all (my father's description: "the only thing classy about that car was the price"), to a Plymouth Arrow which was just a rebadged Mitsubishi model. We kept the Arrow for more than ten years, and experienced only occasional, minor problems.

The American car companies have long been hung up on the notion that a car is an expression of a person's style. They were so enthralled by this idea during the 60s and 70s that they did only the minimal amount of engineering necessary to make it run until the warranty expired. The dealer sold first-time buyers a relatively cheap piece of junk called a Chevy or a Ford, and when they came back with more disposable income tried to sell them up to a higher class car ("the car you deserve!"), until they ended up with a Lincoln or an Oldsmobile. Those were junk, too, but marketing imbued them with a classy feel, and the higher price earned a higher profit margin.

This is more or less what the American companies still try to do, but Japanese competition spanked them so badly during the 80s that they started engineering again...until they discovered SUVs, and then they went through one of those "bigger is better" phases that finally gave us the Hummer.

This is all off the top of my head, and is probably wrong, but I'm quite sure that the Japanese models were not more expensive than the American ones.

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