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« William Bennett may not be a racist BUT! | Main | Can Blacks ever disagree »
Saturday
Jul092005

Japanese vs American cars

I have been hearing talking heads berating US car makers and praising foreign auto makers for years but when I heard Ariana Huffington and the gang on Left, Right and Center it was just more than I could take. I have had a passion for cars all my life. I love the look feel and sound of a muscle car. However I can appreciate the appointments of a luxury ride.

When I Heard these idiots claiming that Japanese auto makers where building superior products. And where outselling US autos because they (the Japanese) where innovative I almost choked.

They would be hard pressed to name an automotive innovation that is Japanese. Seatbelts came out of the auto racing industry long before there was ever a Japanese car, airbag (Allen Breed) first introduced on retail vehicles by GM, Minivan introduced by Chrysler, SUV introduced by Willis (Jeep )

The Japanese only got a toehold in the American auto market after a series of ether lucky or well planed events it’s hard to tell which.

In 1973 the most prevalent Japanese motor vehicle in the US was a Honda motorcycle.

I had just Built a my last Hot Rod a Roadrunner Station wagon out of a Plymouth Satellite wagon and the decorative parts of a wrecked Roadrunner. It barely got 6 miles to a gallon of gas. (A fact I was quite proud of)

The Arab Oil Embargo of 1973-74

Change every thing we knew about life in America or at least driving in America.

Overnight, the price of a barrel of oil to these nations rose from $3 to $5.11 and as gasoline lines snaked their way around city blocks and tempers flared (the price at the pump had risen from 30 cents a gallon to about $1.20 at the height of the crisis),
how did Wall Street respond? Well, as you might imagine shares in oil stocks performed well as profits soared

Before the embargo little old ladies where driving Cadillacs nearly the size and weight of today’s limo’s, teenagers drooled over engines of massive proportions a midsized engine was 307ci = 5.03L and Oldsmobile had a 455 ci = 7.456L gas guzzler

Granny soon fond she could not afford to feed the caddy and still buy cat food. And Mr. up and coming found that the commute from his suburban digs to urban inverted salt mines was taking a big chunk out of his “get your grove on” money. So they went out and brought anything small that was on the market

“Datsun saves “

at first Mr. and Mrs. America got a small foreign car to tide them over until the crisis was over and drove the American luxury car when style mattered those who could afford luxury imports had Mercedes, Volvo and BMW to choose from. Us auto makers had some smaller economy class cars they where devoid of appointments as was the custom then only the top of the line units all the toys.

When the US automakers saw the way the market was swinging they attempted to compensate by quickly building smaller economical units practically overnight. US carmakers had to play on a new ball field and in the arena of small cars to imports where the aristocracy

US automakers made a lot of mistakes and Japanese automakers had some great successes. America never forgave the US Automakers for their transgressions. In the mid 80’s Chrysler formed a partnership with Mitsubishi. The cars would roll off the same assembly line the only difference was the nameplates and trim. Yet Americans reported to polls more complaints about the Chrysler car even some auto publications played up the Mitsubishi. So when I hear people who don’t know a carburetor from a tailpipe I get pissed

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