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User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 3014 posts, RR: 8
Posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4590 times:

How the tables turn...

The technological failure of The Comet led to the surrender of potential supremacy of the British aviation industry, at the time. The sonic boom and fundamental economics proved the practical downfall of Concorde. Plain cheating took the Tu-144 down a path of State sponsored suicide.

While none of these milestones in history would have seemed quite so dramatic at the time, does Toyota's failure to assure two safety fundamentals mastered in the 20th Century - control of acceleration and braking - threaten to amplify a paradigm shift that is becoming evident in the automotive industry?

The Japanese have never achieved significant market penetration in Europe, despite proven reliability. The Germans have fallen from grace (for more than a decade) as a result of poor reliability (despite unchallenged status). The American industry has finally recognised that it does matter that nobody other than Americans like the quality of its cars, but not before Government bail-outs. The British car industry exists in name only. Previous purveyor of rust - Fiat - now owns Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati; Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep (20%) - so they musty be doing something right. And, finally, French manufacturer Citroen (PSA) creator of some of the most innovative, off the planet, designs and commercial failures of the 20th Century (and incidentally, the only manufacturer to achieve three nominations for Car of The Century - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_of_the_Century) emerges as a maker of the most reliable cars, second to the Japanese (and Skoda/VW) in the UK.

Despite a previously poor quality record, does the ascendancy of French design and new-age quality, threaten to create a opening in the automotive industry for a French shake-up?

Check the stats:

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx33/stewmiketheglade/Picture1.png


Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMetroliner From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 1067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4545 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
Despite a previously poor quality record, does the ascendancy of French design and new-age quality, threaten to create a opening in the automotive industry for a French shake-up?

Interesting post. My Dad and I had a long discussion about this at the time we were deciding what to do about the family car situation after my sister was involved in an accident. The runabout, an old Skoda, was written off on what was a very minor piece of damage (sadly so - it was a fun car) and we decided that my sister and I would share my Dad's 2003 Mazda 323F ("Protege" for US drivers) and he would buy a second-hand 2005 Civic. The Mazda is still going strong with 170,000 miles on the clock, the Civic is also looking good with almost 100,000 (he drives a lot).

Now this is just my own, anecdotal, experience, but I'm sticking with the Japanese manufacturers. Mazda in particular seem to have a good quality control and don't churn out cars in the tens of millions per year, and this one is an absolute little whizz. I've been in new Citroens and the build quality and feel has been a bit underwhelming. Not that the Mazda is anything to write home about, but it has a certain Japanese refinement to it. None of that Peugeot-style 'playtime is over' garishness for me.

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
The Japanese have never achieved significant market penetration in Europe, despite proven reliability.

You're mega-wrong on this count. Pretty much all minicabs in the UK are Toyota Corollas. And Japanese cars are, if anuything, gaining in popularity, exactly because of their proven reliability (until now, in the case of Toyota).

***

Now as far as this relates to aviation, I believe your post has the tail wagging the dog a little. I think the French lead the world in building modern aircraft that are seen as design masterpieces and classics in their own right. The A320 flightdeck must have been an absolute wonder to behold in 1987 - and even these days is exemplary of clean, ergonomic and safe design.

Now only if their car interiors were half as beautiful...

Cheers,

Toni



Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4533 times:

I guess that would slightly depend on market to market and where it comes from.



I find it quite charming that the most dependable brand in the UK according to that chart is the least dependable in the USA. Suzuki is really quite horrible here, and having driven a few of them in Europe I can safely say everyone of them is garbage.

To add to that the worst out of that list of 10 in the UK; Ford; has great reliability ratings in the US, especially as of lately they have been putting out some real quality products.

On that personal note I buy Americans cars because they are hands down the best power for the cheapest money by a longshot. The only European cars I have enjoyed so far are the ones I cannot afford because they cost an arm and a leg and I dont have upwards of 80k on a car or maintenance for that matter. Id consider something European or Japanese hell Id even consider a Hyundai but none of the other manufacturers make the type of drivetrain along with a suitable powertrain to specs that I need. Ive actually never had a problem with any American car Ive ever owned, that includes a a 96' Impala SS, 2x Blazers, 2x Jeep Grand Cherokees and a Jeep Liberty Diesel brought to Europe from the USA that I have beat the living hell out of everywhere from Lithuania to Austria.

Id actually consider probably a Hyundai Genesis V8 before a 7 series or an S Class, I dont see any value in purchasing a $120k car when it is not going to be any more faster than what I have already had for $25k with a quality built GM LT1, add to that I am comfortable already in Jeeps with solid axles and ProComps or Mickey Thompson tires so I really dont care for comfort, my rear end aint made out of porcelain. I have a real dislike for bullshit driver aides which is why I hate luxury Japanese cars that put in the most idiotic systems that just cause a pain in the rear when you want to drive or completely turn them off.

Then again im not exactly a typical driver, my idea of weekend fun is swapping a 2.5L for a 4.0L in a Jeep XJ and strapping and winching poor souls out of ditches during snowstorms or wiring a/v and bypassing stupid CAN-BUS systems the whole evening.

Id like to get myself the previous gen M5 and a 2001 750iL with the 5.4 V12 for the sole reason that I think they look great. Probably would have already had at least one of them if it wasnt for the maintenance $$ and storage issue.

[Edited 2010-02-09 04:14:31]

User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 3014 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4462 times:

Quoting Metroliner (Reply 1):
You're mega-wrong on this count. Pretty much all minicabs in the UK are Toyota Corollas. And Japanese cars are, if anuything, gaining in popularity, exactly because of their proven reliability (until now, in the case of Toyota).

Ah, but I said Europe, Metroliner. The figures speak for themselves - Toyota is in seventh place and Honda 10 but no other Japanese brand reaches the top 10 for market penetration. PSA (Peugeot/Citroen) is number two and climbing, although Renault has clearly given ground. And, particularly with with PSA, that's surprising when you consider the Lego-like Citroen BX and other horrors of the 80's that are not quickly forgotten.



There's no doubting that Japanese cars run like Swiss watches (well, that was until Toyota's recent upset) but some feel they offer all the character of domestic appliances. Having said that, the Australian marketplace is dominated by the much loved Japanese. The Euros have made significant inroads in recent years though.

I agree with your comments about Peugeot garishness - what on earth has happened in their design department recently? But, most motor reviewers do seem to comment favourably on interior fit and finish of French cars these days and they do appear to have finally recognised, apart from with their cheapest models, that customers do prefer interior plastics to be tactile rather than crap-tile.

It's all a matter of taste, of course. It's just interesting that as Citroen seems to have re-invented itself and is now producing more appealing designs (C3, C4, C5 and C6), its quality index appears to be rising as well. With its C5, even the ad campaign pushes its design theory as more German than German. Renault has pushed the boundaries, a little less successfully (Avantime?) perhaps, but has still produced some great small car designs in the past decade - how popular was the Twingo in the UK and Europe?



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2869 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4431 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 3):
the Lego-like Citroen BX and other horrors of the 80's that are not quickly forgotten.

   It's true that the Citroens from the 80s and 90s were... tough for the eyes   

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 3):
what on earth has happened in their design department recently?

I don't know, but I agree there is something wrong.

They have just appointed a new Design Director in January: Gilles Vidal. We'll see how he does.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 3):
But, most motor reviewers do seem to comment favourably on interior fit and finish of French cars these days and they do appear to have finally recognised, apart from with their cheapest models, that customers do prefer interior plastics to be tactile rather than crap-tile.

Yes, it took them years to understand it.



"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlineMetroliner From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 1067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4427 times:

Argh! I thought the UK counted as Europe. Clearly still not British enough, despite 17 years here  
Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 3):
how popular was the Twingo in the UK and Europe?

I think the early versions weren't road-legal in the UK, but that aside, it never was that popular here. The French were potty for them. But the real small car winner here was the Micra and the ubiquitous Ford Fiestas and KAs.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 3):
some feel they offer all the character of domestic appliances

I think that's a bit harsh... even a very average car like mine manages to be a pleasant little runabout. Discounting the brutal spring in the clutch, that is... that gives my left knee the willies. But it sticks to the road like glue and runs great, despite my abuse  
Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 3):
With its C5, even the ad campaign pushes its design theory as more German than German.

It's fascinating, isn't it? I like the turnaround, but with Citroen's reputation for lemons, I'm going to keep away for a while...



Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
User currently offlineKappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4371 times:

Quoting Metroliner (Reply 5):
but with Citroen's reputation for lemons, I'm going to keep away for a while...

I've had a C4 for three years now and had zero problems with it so far. The C5 looks great, much better than the previous design. I really do not like the C1, C2 and C3. They feel very cheap. The C6 does not have a great reputation and is very overpriced.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 3):
is in seventh place and Honda 10 but no other Japanese brand reaches the top 10 for market penetration.

What's funny is that GM is in the fourth place. However, if Opel is sold, they will drop like a brick. Also, Chevrolet in Europe is the former Daewoo. VW is obviously first. The roads are laden with Golf's especially, but if you add Audi, Skoda and Seat, it feels like over half of all cars on the road (in the Netherlands at least) are from the VW company.



L1011,733,734,73G,738,743,744,752,763,772,77W,DC855,DC863,DC930,DC950,MD11,MD88,306,319,320,321,343,346,ARJ85,CR7,E195
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 3014 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4255 times:

Quoting Kappel (Reply 6):
I've had a C4 for three years now and had zero problems with it so far. The C5 looks great, much better than the previous design. I really do not like the C1, C2 and C3. They feel very cheap. The C6 does not have a great reputation and is very overpriced.

I have a friend with a 2006 C4 who says it has been bullet proof. Glass roof, comfortable, sizeable leather pews, great dash instrumentation and steering wheel (the cool fixed centre hub thing). Sticks to the road like glue.

However, the C6 must surely be one of the most beautiful designs in the world. A true Citroen, harking back to the DS that shocked the world in 1955.

It was great day when Peugeot's bean counters finally allowed Citroen its own design department again. That happened midway through the design process of the last C5 and didn't it show. What a tragic catastrophe of lines that was.

Behold the C6 - Bi-turbo 2.7 diesel (Same a Jaguar XF), Hydractive III suspension (best in the world)

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx33/stewmiketheglade/2007-citroen-c6-11_1024x0wjpg.jpg
http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx33/stewmiketheglade/2006-citroen-c6-1_800x0w.jpg
http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx33/stewmiketheglade/2006-citroen-c6-3_800x0w.jpg

Yet Peugeot, who once produced relatively conservative, but strongly characterful lines like those of the 406, seems to have gone completely potty with incredibly over-styled, fussy, current designs (206 wagon - what a dumpy little thing, what happened?, 307 - jagged lines everywhere, 407 wagon - surely designed in California, and the 607 - yawn).

Quoting Metroliner (Reply 5):
I think that's a bit harsh... even a very average car like mine manages to be a pleasant little runabout. Discounting the brutal spring in the clutch, that is... that gives my left knee the willies. But it sticks to the road like glue and runs great, despite my abuse

They are superb little cars. The Japanese produce well balanced, precision machines and, often, they are a delight to drive. They just don't tend to inspire and they don't tend to innovate. Their forte is taking other manufacturers ideas and refining the best attributes, then mass producing. Imagine if the French combined the historic engineering disciplines of the Germans or the Japanese, when it came to making cars. Which, of course, returns me to my central point, they appear to have shifted much closer, if not almost entirely in that direction.

I would post a picture of the latest C5, if Photobucket had not just gone down with site maintenance!



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2869 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4235 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 7):
current designs (206 wagon - what a dumpy little thing, what happened?, 307 - jagged lines everywhere, 407 wagon - surely designed in California, and the 607 - yawn).

Are you sure that you are not talking about the 207 SW and the 308, by any chance?

Peugeot 207 SW

Peugeot 308

Because I find the 206 wagon and the 307 quite alright actually.

And I love the 607. My father has a 2.7l V6 HDi of 210 bhp, and it works like a charm. It's powerful enough, it's very comfortable and the fuel consumption is low. I like also the style, even if it's getting a bit old. Anyway, considering its low success, Peugeot is not really in a hurry to release the 608.



"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 3014 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4215 times:

Quoting GrahamHill (Reply 8):
Are you sure that you are not talking about the 207 SW and the 308, by any chance?

Apologies Graham,

You're absolutely right. I did mean the 207 SW and 308.   

The 206 was an absolute cutie and the 307 was a handsome looking design. It's the latter versions that I meant look over-styled.

It's a pity as the 205 and 306 were good designs and Pug design language was evolving consistently. I love the 407 sedan and I did like the 607 shape, when released. I wonder what the Lion has coming up as a replacement. Have you seen any design studies?



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineaerorobNZ From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7389 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4208 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
Despite a previously poor quality record, does the ascendancy of French design and new-age quality, threaten to create a opening in the automotive industry for a French shake-up?

I sure hope so. They've been making dynamically superior handling fwd cars for many years. As the proud owner of a french Hot Hatch I hope it means that handling dynamics become part of the equation again, as opposed to the crap handing econo boxes that come out of most factories.


User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2869 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4206 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 9):
It's the latter versions that I meant look over-styled.

I totally agree. They have gone too far. But I think they are going to change dramatically their style in the coming years. The new concept SR1 is giving us a hint of what is coming:

http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/201001/2010-peugeot-sr1-concept_1600x0w.jpg
It looks like a baby Aston Martin.

http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/201001/2010-peugeot-sr1-concept-21_1600x0w.jpg

Quote:
Through the Peugeot SR1, the Marque reveals the stylistic design trends for its future models. The concept car embodies the new world of Peugeot, reflected by the new Lion badge which adorns its body.
http://www.peugeot.com/en/news/2010/...ount=225&filterBy=1&page=1

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 9):
I wonder what the Lion has coming up as a replacement. Have you seen any design studies?

No, there is nothing. And I just read that they have suspended the replacement of the 607. They might create something different from what we usually see.

The C6 will no be replaced either. As Kappel said, it's overpriced. For the same money, customers prefer to buy German.

[Edited 2010-02-10 03:20:20]


"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 3014 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4100 times:

Now that is one hell of a nice looking machine!   


Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4058 times:

Quoting Kappel (Reply 6):
The roads are laden with Golf's especially, but if you add Audi, Skoda and Seat, it feels like over half of all cars on the road (in the Netherlands at least) are from the VW company.

Well, here in Slovakia, and even more so in Czech rep., half of the cars are made by Skoda, and then you have sh/tload of VW and pretty decent number of Audis.

Now talking purely about design, the new Citroens, for ex. the one shown here, are very nice cars. This is what I imagine when I hear "french elegance". Still, I would not buy one. They are just not my cup of tea.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 3014 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4022 times:

Quoting Fabo (Reply 13):
Now talking purely about design, the new Citroens, for ex. the one shown here, are very nice cars. This is what I imagine when I hear "french elegance"

New age French Elegance - C5!!   

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx33/stewmiketheglade/Citroen-C5_2008_800x600_wallpaper_0.jpg



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
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