stupidity by car manufacturers.
Cars in space! Lets get this one going. I personally know someone who is subcontracted by one of the US automobile manufacturers to test components; so that they can create specifications for parts that are made to last for 61 months. That's your five year warranty plus one month! They are actually so short sighted that they are willing to pay extra to create parts that don't last! It points out that they are getting into the car PARTS business with both feet and half a brain. They are misguided enough to outsource 80% of all the parts in the car! Dumb and dumber. Imagine getting the phone call from the big car maker, asking you sell him parts that are crappy, and paying you extra to develop worse parts! In 2003 when systems fail in your 1998 USA car, parts will be failing so fast they're going to have to push your car off the lift just to get it out of garage. I expect automotive service centers could replace junkyards.
THE GAS CRUNCH, THE CRUMPLE ZONE, ABS BRAKES, AIR BAGS, REAR VIEW MIRRORS, HENRY FORDS' "ANY COLOR YOU WANT, AS LONG AS ITS BLACK",
THE GAS CRUNCH
I remember when the gas crunch hit back in the late 70's. The US automakers were turning out such crap that it set the stage for otherwise patriotic consumers to want to buy imported, fuel efficient cars. Japanese cars were more reliable, cheaper, and tiny. When the gas crisis hit, we all but stopped buying American made cars. US makers destroyed hundreds of thousands of 4 barrel carburetors, with the wisdom that no one would ever buy one again! Then they attempted to make lighter, more efficient cars. The new frameless unit-body cars set a new definition for crap. Almost none of the cars from this period are still on the road today, making them rare but undesirable to collectors. So what?
Now the US makes tiny cars. You can count the rear-wheel drive models on one hand. So we did what the Japanese automakers were doing 20 years ago, now what? Now they make luxury cars, and with more headroom than American cars! Doh! Ok, lets make make luxury cars too! American car manufacturers are still playing follow the leader. I would like to see 10 new models of wide body, rear wheel drive models in all sizes. The American luxury brands dont have a big car ride. So why even make them?
Sports Utility Vehicle, are you kidding? Now we're going to copy that?
The paradox is; US car makers copy cars made by people who learned how to make cars by copying cars made by US car makers! Hmmm.
THE CRUMPLE ZONE
In order to make unit-body cars safer, crumple zones were created to absorb some of the energy in an impact. Does any one have real proof that an old heavy rail-frame cars retrofitted with air bags is any more or less safe than a unit body car with air bags? Doesn't it figure that the more metal in front of you, the more there is to crumple, and protect you? I want quality, not some paper thin engine compartment that folds up or rots the car in to two. Comments?
ABS brakes work on the idea that rapid on/off pulses keep the wheels from completely stopping prematurely in heavy braking or wet road conditions, thereby reducing the stopping distance. But. But there is strong evidence that they cause stopping distance to be increased on dirt roads. Likewise, when they fail to take into consideration the vehicle weight that the standard ABS brakes are going onto, the actual stopping distance is often increased! No silver bullet here.
We all bought into it when we were told that our kids would be safer with air bags. It was a "family" item. But now the evidence is in: a passenger side air bag may kill a child. So now you need to put your infant or child in the backseat. Being a good parent myself, I can tell you first hand that your children need some attention when they are in your car. When a child is young they pick up everything and chew on it. If you cant watch them when your in your car, they could be in real danger. If you reach around behind you to take a choking hazard away from your child, the likelihood of getting into an accident in the first place is much higher. If you have kids, you will be distracted while driving. If you have to adjust your rear view mirror to view one of the back seats, well, you have to.
This child killer should be banned until it can be made safe for children. Period. Until then, how about a rearview mirror that allows you to to see both rear seats as well as the road behind you?
REAR VIEW MIRRORS
Okay, good point about mirrors to watch your kids, but I'm a modest 6',1", and when I am on a highway ramp my vision is reduced to maybe 80 feet. That stupid rear view keeps me from being able to see out in front, the direction that I'm going! When my radar detector was stolen from my car, they took the rear view mirror along with it, as the cord was wrapped around it several times. I quickly adjusted to being able to see what's in front of me! Wouldn't you know, there are two other mirrors on the car that I can use to see behind me!
HENRY FORDS' "ANY COLOR YOU WANT, AS LONG AS ITS BLACK"
Henry Ford teased about it, but the assembly line made cars affordable, and created an industry. His poke about the availability of only one color made his ink run black too. So try this: if you made a practical vehicle, you could then never change a thing on the body, and watch the manufacturing costs come down year after year. No tooling costs unless the tooling wears out. You could cut the cost of your product a small amount each year, edging out competition. Its boring, yes, but isn't there a market for an affordable car?
A long-timer I knew told me that there never was a car made that was worth more than three thousand dollars. Thats because it replaced the horse, and a horse isn't worth that much. A car is supposed to get you from here to there without braking down, and thats it. God bless you Sam, you are a wise man. He constantly asked me if I was having fun, and told me if I wasn't having fun that I wasn't doing it right!
The new trend is in ego satisfying. Get your car with the features you want, made "custom" for you. This can only drive up the prices for everyone. Customize your car yourself if its that important to you.