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Re: Audi Price Cuts

On Oct 13,  3:51pm, John Greenstreet wrote:
[ ...]
> Americans don't know a lot about quality, and actually believed much
> of the propaganda spewed forth in the Harvard Business Review by Prahalad
> and Hamel about fantastic Japanese productivity and quality.  Sure, short-
> term reliability of Japanese cars was superior to the competition for a
> short while, but this advantage has long since evaporated,

	I'm sorry, John, but I totally disagree.  I like my Audi,
	quirks and all, but our reliable family car is a Honda
	Accord.  In my (admittedly limited) experience, modern
	Japanese cars are (a) extremely reliable, (b) as durable
	as they need to be for the market they serve, and (c)
	are remarkably well-engineered.

	We can argue about the nature and quality of the driving
	experience (oh my God, Fahrvergnuegen :-)), and indeed I
	enjoy driving my Audi, but for most people, the point
	is moot.

	IMHO, Japanese cars are an engineering triumph because they
	satisfy a vast majority of the functional requirements at the
	lowest possible cost.  It's no great trick to design an excellent
	big ticket car: the magic (and the money, as the Japanese know
	very well) is in building inexpensive cars  which are really good.

	For all the noise about rising prices of Japanese cars, they're
	still the most value for the money.  I paid $12,500 for my Accord
	two years ago, and it has had *zero* problems in the 36,000 miles
	that I've driven it.  I could probably sell it today for nearly
	$10K, and should I decide to keep it, I know I could drive it beyond
	100K without batting an eyelid.

	Bottom line is, we buy our German iron because we like it (for
	whatever reason: perverse in my case).  You don't really need
	any other rationale, but it's not surprising that the Germans
	are taking a beating in the bread-and-butter car market.  The
	consumer is (contrary to what you believe) very perceptive in
	the long run: and what they buy is a good indicator of what is
	actually good quality.

	I guess I should now don the Nomex :-)


	My car history:

	'80 Fiesta, '85 Volvo 745 TDA, '92 Honda Accord, '93 Nissan Sentra,
	'85 5000ST.

	(Hmm -- can you say car dilettante?)