Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Jun 2012 09:50 UTC
Microsoft I'm very thankful for Danny Sullivan writing this article, because it touches upon a subject I've increasingly been frustrated with: the inflation of the term 'hands-on'. Hands-on used to mean that a journalist, blogger, or reviewer got to properly use a device to get some sort of first impression, usually guided by some words from the manufacturer. These days, however, it seems as if even merely getting a glance at a device is regarded as a 'hands-on'.
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winter skies
Member since:
2009-08-21

"It's Pinifarina, not "Pininferro", BTW.

"Pininfererro" - and I guess it was supposed to be a pun at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrero_SpA

I can't really see where Italian production (concentrating mainly on the entry-level and exclusive luxury segments) can be compared to German production

Are you sure you're not out of this world? There are plenty enough of lower-segments Opel and VW cars. Also SEAT and particularly Skoda, really. Not really worse than their family saloons, just smaller and more popular.
"

I'm sorry, I should have written Pininfarina, it just contains too many "n"'s. ;)

There are _three_ independent premium automakers in Germany (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi (part of VAG)); Volkswagen is near-premium, a step above generalist automakers, so - while it can be said it competes with Fiat and the likes - its cars are slightly more expensive and better engineered/built. Alfa Romeo wuold be VW's competitor in the Fiat management's hopes. [ http://wot.motortrend.com/alfa-romeo-may-build-luxury-flagship-base... ] Being left with just two models in its lineup, it's struggling.
This leaves out Fiats, competing with Opels, Seats, Skodas. Seats and Skodas are virtually the same and can be considered good-quality, slightly cheaper VW's, while Opel is the European arm of GM, an American company. Fiat covers the A, B, C segments [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_Car_Segment ] and is slowly selling a rebadged Dodge Journey as its D-segment offering. The Italian company is relevant when it comes to citycars and superminis, but not for larger cars. 500, Panda and Punto are good, long-lasting cars.

I'd just like to know what's your reference market, as this will surely influence your perception of the issue.
I just wanted to say that
- Italian small cars are not rusty POSs
- there's virtually no larger Italian car on the market, except for luxury production.
So I wonder what the original poster was referring to when he wrote about "Italian rustbuckets" comparing them to German cars.

Reply Parent Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Why do you go on about it like that? Nothing you say changes the simple fact that the areas of German and Italian automotive products largely overlap - hence they are directly competing with each other, hence they can be directly compared.
Yes, the Germans seem to be successful in more segments than the Italians (actually, DE largely seems more successful also in the segments where it shares the presence with IT...), but being additionally more successful in something doesn't diminish your reach elsewhere, doesn't play in favour of more limited competition.

There are _three_ independent premium automakers in Germany (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi (part of VAG)) [...] while Opel is the European arm of GM, an American company

Well then Audi isn't independent... and Mercedes-Benz, the consumer division, isn't really either - the primary products of Daimler are of ~industrial and cargo hauling nature, cars are a small side business for them.

And while Opel is, yes, an arm of GM - it's very clear they operate very independently, have quite distinct and largely indigenously-engineered line of products, also "exported" to GM divisions worldwide (come on, Corsa was almost the B-class car for a long time; and BTW, while the very latest Astra models tend to be slightly "premium" - older ones are kept long in production, successfully competing for example with the Fiat offer). They are a German auto maker.

Unless... you see Lamborghini and Ducati as just the Italian arms of VW?

Volkswagen is near-premium, a step above generalist automakers, so - while it can be said it competes with Fiat and the likes - its cars are slightly more expensive and better engineered/built.

At least Skoda Octavia, Fabia and Citigo very much compete with most of what Fiat offers - and they're essentially just VW Golf/Jetta, Polo and Up (somewhat reengineered, but mostly just with less trinkets, the essence is still there; the last one just rebadged - even made in the same factory, the same production line), themsevles not that much more expensive. A, B, C right there.

500, Panda and Punto are good, long-lasting cars. [...] Italian small cars are not rusty POSs

BTW, coincidentally, recently I've heard some horror stories of several mostly ex-owners of some recent Fiat Punto models... Also, my family depended on Fiat cars for some time - but never again, it seems.

Edited 2012-07-02 16:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2