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Re: Audi Price Cuts

On Thu, 13 Oct 1994, Arun Rao wrote:
> 	IMHO, Japanese cars are an engineering triumph because they
> 	satisfy a vast majority of the functional requirements at the
> 	lowest possible cost.

yes, they are not over engineered for the 1% most demanding customers and
they pass the savings on to the consumer.. also having large volume sales
further help make per unit cost lower.  e.g. only one (?) car needs to be
crash tested.. if you are going to sell half a million of these beasties,
it is insignificant. 

> 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.

then explain to me how (1) nissan can put a pickup truck engine into a
"sports" car and enjoy great sales success.  (2) downgrade the suspension
bits in the new maxima and still get away with it.  (3) how honda can
specify 5 inch wide wheels for a 3000 pound car and sell tens of
thousands.. (4) how on-road full time 4wd, whose superiority is proven
time and time again in all forms of competition is quickly disappearing
from the marketplace, the void being filled with glorified trucks with 40
year old technology. 

i am not arguing about german being better than japanese.. i am saying
that the attitude that mr. joe blow consumer is always right regardless of
how ignorant he is is a dangerous one.  in the long term, if the
consumer's ignorance and stupidity continue to rule, we will get worse
engineered, not better engineered cars. 

just using nissan to illustrate my point we have 2 very clear examples of
how cars are being engineered to lower standards just because the almighty
consumer isn't smart enough to notice or care.  

the arrogant consumer will come back and argue that "i am not a racing
driver, i don't need to corner fast at all."  fine.  but consider that if
you have to slow down your overweight, filled to the brim with powered
gadgets boat everytime you approach a turn, you have to accelerate back to
the speed that you were travelling.  elementary physics will tell you that
you will expend more energy as compared to sailing through the turn
without slowing. from a pure appliance point of view, an appliance that
consumes more energy (and is thus more expensive to operate) is inferior. 

an audi is therefore a superior appliance in terms of being able to
consume less energy on less than perfectly straight roads.  how many
consumers do you think will factor this consideration into their
checklists of number of cup holders and JD power measurements of how well
the dealer pampers you when you have your car serviced?