What am I? Sincerly? Just a lucky driver. I love cars. But that remark is rather laughable. Especially when the LS 460 is added to the mix.
So really, is it JUST contempt? Or is it JUSTFIED?
Facts? Driven at least three KIAs of current make (Sportage, Opirus, Optima as well as being driven in a Pro Ceed and Magnetis). By far, *in the meaningful car manufacturers world* those have been amongst the less interesting experiences of my life (with the Opirus being sensibly the worst) failure wise (as in having mechanical issues) to the point that I decided to drive from Belgium to home, instead of flying and using the cars in Albania.Yes a lucky driver. You bring opinions. But what 'facts' do you bring?
Now if you want facts...Japanese share of the US market is around 32-35%, the Korean one about 10%...
Furthermore, as with everything better quality would mean higher costs...higher costs would mean loosing the main argument of sales. And going from 3 to 9/10 % is realtively easy. Going beyond that would mean the Korean would be able to actually out research the Japanese.
Fact: 7 failures with 2, (including towing) KIAs all bought new (failures as it would not move because it was stuck).
Fact: 1 issue with BMW (leather started to stiffen).
Fact: 4 issues with Saabs, none required towing.
Fact: My experience with KIA has been average.
I do not know how the Japanese Big Three is in parity with the Korean brand as they produce vastly different (quality wise) models. Japan is dominant is that it can effectively without much shenanigas absolutely cull the Korean advance. Their cars, their vision are actually the driving force behind car thinking in the US. That is domination. Volume wise Japan is getting hurt by financial considerations, those same considerations that fuel partly the Korean soaring. But as such it demonstrates the American difference of view regarding cars, not the quality or lack off of the offer. As a matter of fact, I would hesitate between a couple of cars in the US market, but none of them would be Korean.As I've said, that's a parity, not a domination. A dominant share of the market constitutes its majority, i.e. more than 50%, but most preferably a near-monopoly so that very few competitors have a chance of competing profitably in the same segment, with only limited expansion potential. Neither of this holds true for the Japanese presence; the US market is full of formidable competitors with various capabilities. Korea is undoubtedly one of them. Additionally, basic marketing would teach you that a product's dynamic competitiveness is more than just its present sales performance in the absolute terms; it's also as much about sales growth and sales decline. Current trends show that Korean presence is rapidly growing and is catching up to Japan in many sectors in the US, very quickly (at the same time, labor and manufacturing cost continues to increase in Korea by annual 4-5%, gradually dampening cost-competitiveness, but compensated by improving quality-competitiveness through increased innovation). 'Dominance' is not a word that most sensible market analysts would lightly use to describe Japan's competitiveness in the US anymore. It remains somewhat superior, yes. Up to a degree that other entrees can realistically catch up.
Really? Japan can increase its US market share from 30 to 90% in a heartbeat? Says who?[/QUOTE]
You are proving more and more your infantile inability to distinguish facts from an opinion.
Now if this is infantile, then so be it. You went on to blabber about Pipedreamer´s rant, I never actually made a reference to his views. As for a scientifically researched topic.
All that I stated are facts (Factum : Done). They are not relevant to a broad discussion but they are facts nonetheless and forge my experience (and opinion) in cars.You are proving more and more your infantile inability to distinguish facts from an opinion.
The fact that Toyota recalls millions of vehicles, does not change the fact that millions of other vehicles function flawlessly. You might sit down and look at your own fallacy. Now does KIA/Huyndai have such a research policy? IS it public? Why are they not able to fix a Sportage 4 years after a transmission problem has been forwarded to them?
You are welcome, but now please show me the world class engineering Made in Korea.Yes, lucky driver. Thank you for your highly opinionated speech.
Last edited by Ambassador; 07-28-2012 at 12:05 PM.
I went into great lengths in what Korean cars lacked when compared to the Average European. I said nothing about their durability (I never said I had discarded the Sportage, although I have dumped the Opirus). It serves my family in Albania with all its flaws and qualities. What Korean cars lack is telling to why they are successful. Koreans can make those cars, if they actually change their vision of the manufacturing. Just like the Japanese did when they stopped producing simple substitution goods and went on with their ideas. The Corolla saga is there to show how it is done.You should sit down and look at your own fallacy. You go to great lengths to rant about Korean cars' supposed 'average' durability and present it as some sort of proof that Korean cars are mediocre, while you blatantly overlook the same (sometime even more serious) problems of new Japanese cars and promote them as some godly present for the 'ergonomy'. But the reality is that the Japanese themselves don't feel so cocksure of their manufacturing superiority over Korean rivals anymore. Koreans can make reliable, durable, high quality cars while they themselves can also occasionally muck up their own production process (so can Korea. Both countries have their strengths and defects at various point of time. They are equally accomplished and flawed economies). They know their time of industrial 'dominance' is very limited and Korea is one of the new players who will take chunks off Japan's share of the world market. And they no longer think this is happening because Korea is copying their designs. More or less the Japanese treat Koreans as near-equals, only that it's more physically handicapped by size.
Actually, I changed my mind. You are right, Koreans can't build anything world class, and it will remain that way forever. Thank you so much for enlightening me.
Does not change much, please come forward with a propietary subsystem in any vehicle produced by any Korean manufacturer that will be ABOVE what comes out of Japan (or Europe for that matter).
Or better which are these designs that are gaining the upper hand? There are opinions that come from Europe itself that Koreans are gaining the upper hand as well. I was one of those. Until someone in the know explained me in detail why Korean car manufacturers are not innovating the way you put.
Adopting the KISS principle is one thing, moving the game forward is another.
From your own article :
Compare my view with the issue at hand and you will notice the issue, Koreans are helping to create.Pros in the industry still give Japanese models the nod for more robust stability, quieter operation and superior finish. But in terms of design and price, Korean brands are giving them a run for the money—and the latter’s 10-year warranty service has made them particularly appealing.
Korean cars simply aren't on the same level as European or Japanese cars. Your nationalism borders on the comedic. Seriously. When you wrote "Japan does produce world class cars. So does Korea" I almost laughed out loud. No joke.
They are maybe on a mid-90s level of the Euro/Jap manufacturers when it comes to quality (of everything that REALLY constitutes a car, the engine, the driving, the transmission, the handling, the suspension, the ergonomy of the cockpit, the quality, thoughfulness and longivity of various parts and things all around the car, the material of the seats...the quality of the MILLION of things that go into what makes a great car and what makes a car that can be driven because it has wheels and an engine that drives them).
They try to compensate it with (ridiculous over)styling in the sheet metal and interior, with flashy led lights and colorful screens, but dressing up a Shuma/Lantra will not make it a Focus/Astra/Golf/Civic/Accord/..... what do you think, that the European or Japanese automakers just shook it out of a hat?
Then there's the lower price (which isn't really lower anymore, the new models are as expensive or even more expensive than European/Japanese cars, in Western Europe, in Eastern Europe they are sold crazy cheap, for the price of Euro/Jap cars that are one class lower, like 12.000€ for a Ceed (Compact class) when the new Clio (sub-Compact class/Supermini) is that much, of course a lot of people for whom that much money constitutes three years salaries and who won't be able to buy a new car for the next 5-10 years will take the bigger car) and the longer warranty, to get the cheapos that want them but are afraid that they'll end up with a higher cost of running due to various problems and breakdowns, so you give them a long warranty so they forget about that, then you lie about your fuel economy and write up a currently desired fuel economy...say 40mpg...even though your cars are nowhere near that and drink like it's 1996...and surprise, you've got yourself some sales in all kinds of markets to all kinds of people who are looking for a car. How many of them will come back...that's another question.
The current cars of Hyundai/Kia are nowhere near Japanese or European cars from even 2002.
Example, the i40/Sonata/Optima/i30/Ceed is nowhere near the quality of a car like the 2002 Honda Accord (pictures for illustrative purposes, so people know which cars I mean) or Mazda 6. They will run in 10-15 years, when they are 20-25 years old. The current Kias and Hyundais will mostly be on the junkyard by then, falling apart and rolling around the streets looking like junk, or shipped off to Africa. Just like their 5-10 year older (2000-2005) predecessors are today.
Honda Accord - introduced 2002 (10 years - a decade - ago)
or the Mazda 6 - introduced 2002
Here's some other European and Japanese cars from pre-2005 that the newest Korean cars dont even come close to. If I had to choose today, I would rather buy a used Alfa 159, Honda Accord, Ford Focus Mk1, Volvo S40 II, Audi A5, BMW E-46/90, 1-series, A3, Alfa 147 Facelift, Mercedes ML (W164), Mercedes CLS (1st gen), BMW X5 (1st), BMW X3, Alfa 166 facelift, Alfa Romeo GT, Alfa Spider, RAV 4 (2nd gen), Volvo XC90, Honda S2000, Mazda RX8, Jeep Grand Cherokee or basically 20 other discontinued second-hand cars (and I haven't even started with the post-2007 models, which are all much better than what was available before), before I would take a new Korean car. This is not bashing, this is reality. They would cost me only 1/4-1/3 of the price of a new Korean, but would really be much better cars - to drive and own. I would simply just get a much better car. Not because I'm out to save money or because of nostalgia or because they are "classics" or some fetish, but because they are genuinly good, if not great (compared to Hyundai/Kia), cars, and I write this (again) not to bash, but to give you a perspective, to illustrate how far away from today's offers the Korean cars are (they are not even an option to buyers who wear a head), when they can't even touch 10 year old designs. Yet, they constitute a great danger, not only to Japanese and European car manufucters (especially smaller ones), but also for the consumers and the carmarket as a whole, as they drive down quality of the cars on the streets and of the cars in the future, and the standard which consumers come to expect from a car, how it handles and how long it lasts, a standard that has been built over the past 5 decades and which will erode with younger or less affluent (only driven old rustbuckets, now up for their first purchase of a current car and drawn in by the flashy styling and cheap prices) buyers coming into touch with a Kia/Hyundai as their first newer car they drive. Now prices will be slashed, and saved on parts, development and innovation, instead of the automotive industry being driven forward.
Some illustrations so you don't have to google them yourself
Alfa 159 - introduced 2005