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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RE[4]: first drive = road test?
by zima on Mon 2nd Jul 2012 16:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: first drive = road test?"
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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

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