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Life if full of a million things that we remember and cherish, enough to not even fill "One Gargantuan Monkey Fist". This is a collection of those special,unique and funny events my life, thoughts on technology, F1 and the ying-yang of relationships.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Do Car companies make flawed cars ?


GM to Cut 25,000 Jobs by 2008. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2005/06/09/254.html

A similar article was played on NPR on http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4629995. On your top left you should have a link that says listen to listen to the segment of the radio program.

A few days ago me and my roomie saw a commercial for the new Hyundai Sonata. The car looked good, really good, it had shades of the current Accord and then started the discussion. Are all cars created equal ? If they are not .... Shouldn't they be ?

I just went to different websites and checked the figures. Honda has 9 vehicles, Nissan has 11 and Toyota has 16. (these are just the models, not the various variants)

Ford has 8 brands under its belt and GM has 12 brands. Assuming each brand has 5 cars, Ford makes 40 different vehicles and GM makes 60. That's atleast 150% more cars than their Japanese friends.

As everyone knows the Japanese cars are very reliable, efficient and have a good resale value as compared to their American counter parts. Given the fact that the American companies make more cars, should they not be better. I mean logically, they have more data, more money, more research facilities and more of everything. So why are American cars not as good (I am not talking power, actually, Europe can make the American cars feel like toys, that's a different post) and not as reliable.

My argument was two fold initially, now I have an additional point.

1) Culture. Japan is a country where efficiency and perfection is important. Hard working and dedicated, their products reflect the same thing. Americans on the other hand concentrate on being different, bold and powerful. This is evident from the life style of the public, their design and life in general.

2) Financial Status of the companies. It is a known fact that the American companies are much richer than the Japanese counterparts. Again American companies could be spending more in making each car as compared to the others. But if the Japs can make cheaper and more reliable cars, why are the American companies not learning form this ?

I mean if the American cars were as reliable, wouldn't more people buy it ? Wouldn't their value go up ?

Which precisely brings me to my third point. Do American companies want to make flawed cars ?

Recently someone told me that a famous toothpaste company wanted to make people buy more of its product. What did they do ? They increased the size of the hole at the end of the tube, making people use more paste and as a result buying more.

Are the American car companies doing the same ? Are they making flawed cars so that people will have to buy newer cars more quickly? I heard something supporting this claim recently. A co worker told me that the Car and oil companies shut down the tram system in LA at a time when the LA public transportation system was supposed to be one of the best in the country. This article http://www.pednet.org/artoilwars.html talks about this specific point among others.

Read the part about the public transportation system.

I do not have enough knowledge to make a conclusion, but the final point seems very interesting, it will make for an interestingly conversation. Let me know what y'all think.