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Old 16th January 2010, 07:31   #16
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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Americans travel and they do it a lot (who wouldn't, I have seen most of U.S on roads but yet to see even 1/10th of India). So, for them a big car thats stable and moves comfortably is priority. Add to this the cheap gas.
And I understand their public transportation is nothing to write home about either. So they are forced to drive everywhere or travel by air?
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Old 16th January 2010, 08:09   #17
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A childish answer.

Americans are more rich so they can spend more on steel.
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Old 16th January 2010, 08:53   #18
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Before i went to US the first time, I was given an orientation class where I was told that, Unlike us, Americans like to have a lot of space for themselves. Eg they dont crowd lifts the way we do here. they wait for the next one to get more space.

it just reflects in the cars too i guess
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Old 16th January 2010, 13:11   #19
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Americans are fat / over weight / sloppy - need more space, so big cars that handle like boats.

Japanese are light weight people and low maintainence, hence a 1 ton car will feel well built to them.

Europeans are fitter and more athletic than the above 2, they need fitter cars to drive. Something that is taut and handles like a fit sports person.

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Old 16th January 2010, 13:26   #20
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Well, times are changing now.

The American ZR1 has a 6.2ltr V8 engine producing 620bhp but weighs in at 1495kgs where as the Japanese R35 has 3.8ltr V6 producing 485bhp and weighs in at 1740kgs.

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Old 16th January 2010, 14:33   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
that's the effect of recession and high gas prices.

I was contrasting innovation in small vs comfort in big. and I should have said "would" instead of "will".
Never mind Sir. i got the drift.

Though, even before the recession, it was a success. The previous generation was a huge success and the current one is taking it to more heights because of recession and high gas prices.
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Old 17th January 2010, 02:30   #22
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Let me approach it from another angle here. Wouldn't you buy a Tata Safari in India if it was available to you for the price of a Maruti 800? It's the same thing with the Americans. The only reason they preferred big sloppy cars was because they could afford to.

Cars in Europe are a lot more expensive because of the market there, and also because of better quality control and safety legislations. And then because of the high cost of living and higher taxes there, people there generally have less disposable income left to spend on cars. Look up the average cost of a family home in Europe and compare that to North America. Also Europeans end up spending a lot more on their mortgage due to the higher interest rates.

In the end, it's the whole fascination of owning everything big at the cost of quality and reliability that has led to the downfall of American manufacturing. Everyone needs the biggest car, the biggest house and the biggest TV that's there in the market.
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Old 17th January 2010, 11:32   #23
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Neat thread but I guess we have exhausted the reasons for why American's have large trucks, SUV's, cars etc. Let me take this opportunity to ask questions closer to my heart .

a. Why are Italian cars gorgeous? Why do they have "souls"?

b. Why can't Toyota make a good looking car (folks, please be extra critical when you answer this question, they make some no-nonsense reasonably okay kind of designs, specially with Lexus's, but that's not the point. I cannot think of a single Toyota that truly looks amazing)

Chip in folks...

Last edited by v12 : 17th January 2010 at 11:47. Reason: Questions put in bold.
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Old 17th January 2010, 11:46   #24
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Good questions Amartya!! Have one more to add (Questions in bold) :

Q : Why are Swedish cars considered to be one of the safest in the world (A more appropriate question would be - What is the reason behind them being obsessed with safety?

Lets chip in some serious answers for these questions guys. I'm sure these thoughts may have crossed our minds a couple of times.

Copy-Paste the Question in bold and add your answer when you respond.
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Old 17th January 2010, 12:12   #25
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Q : Why are Swedish cars considered to be one of the safest in the world (A more appropriate question would be - What is the reason behind them being obsessed with safety?

Ans : A very interesting question, I really cannot answer this but I know for a fact that Swedish government had one of the tightest safety laws in the world during the 1940s. Before theorizing why they had tougher norms, let me list some safety features invented by a Swedish car company all of us are familiar with, Volvo:

a. Laminated glass (40's perhaps, not sure).
b. The 3-point seat-belt (in the 60's).

Many more can follow but I think these two give us something to chew on:

a. When a country has a company that is a pathbreaker in any form of technology (call it invention/discovery etc.), there is usually a trickle down effect on the way the rest of the country thinks and is perceived internationally. I believe Volvo did that for Sweden. They gave Sweden it's USP in automotive technology, safety!

To actually answer the question posed by V12, my guess would be to look at the political history of Sweden (this is wild theorizing ).

They didn't participate in WW-II (neutral throughout). When the rest of Europe was picking up the pieces, Sweden had faced a tiny food crisis (because Germany and some other country can't recall) because of embargoes and it was able to sustain itself without the loss of lives or too much money. Now, maybe that might have meant:

a. Sweden puts a high value to human life.
b. Was in reasonably good shape after WW-II.

The above two points may have resulted in legislation for safety being one of the tightest and also the fact that safety was being looked at when the rest of the world was looking at just "cheaper" ways of personal mobility e.g. Japanese going for lighter, more fuel efficient cars and cheaper cars.
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Old 17th January 2010, 13:27   #26
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Quote:
a. Sweden puts a high value to human life.
This is the reason why Swedish have high safety norms. Scandinavian countries have low population (mortality due to suicides are high) and governments do ensure safety. For example their alcohol limits for driving are the lowest! No getting away with drunken driving... infact cops will drive you home and send you a hefty fine.
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Old 17th January 2010, 13:32   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
Q : Why are Swedish cars considered to be one of the safest in the world (A more appropriate question would be - What is the reason behind them being obsessed with safety?

Ans : A very interesting question, I really cannot answer this but I know for a fact that Swedish government had one of the tightest safety laws in the world during the 1940s. Before theorizing why they had tougher norms, let me list some safety features invented by a Swedish car company all of us are familiar with, Volvo:

a. Laminated glass (40's perhaps, not sure).
b. The 3-point seat-belt (in the 60's).

Many more can follow but I think these two give us something to chew on:

a. When a country has a company that is a pathbreaker in any form of technology (call it invention/discovery etc.), there is usually a trickle down effect on the way the rest of the country thinks and is perceived internationally. I believe Volvo did that for Sweden. They gave Sweden it's USP in automotive technology, safety!

To actually answer the question posed by V12, my guess would be to look at the political history of Sweden (this is wild theorizing ).

They didn't participate in WW-II (neutral throughout). When the rest of Europe was picking up the pieces, Sweden had faced a tiny food crisis (because Germany and some other country can't recall) because of embargoes and it was able to sustain itself without the loss of lives or too much money. Now, maybe that might have meant:

a. Sweden puts a high value to human life.
b. Was in reasonably good shape after WW-II.

The above two points may have resulted in legislation for safety being one of the tightest and also the fact that safety was being looked at when the rest of the world was looking at just "cheaper" ways of personal mobility e.g. Japanese going for lighter, more fuel efficient cars and cheaper cars.
A slight correction on this Amartya. Volvo's were safety oriented much before the government regulations came into place. The reason for this is also the motto and principle on which the company was founded : Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is and must remain, safety.

The point about valuing life and government rules and regulations also hold good. Sweden has one of the tightest norms for Road Safety. Heck, they even suggest people to wear reflectors in the night while walking on roads. In other countries where an accident can be blamed on the driver or the pedestrain, in Sweden the blame can also be passed on to the Manufacturer.
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Old 17th January 2010, 14:11   #28
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Quote:
a. Why are Italian cars gorgeous? Why do they have "souls"?
Quote:
Why can't Toyota make a good looking car
Both looks and soul are subjective and will vary from person to person.

I think the Supra is a gorgeous car.
I think the AE86 (Hachiroku) has a lot of soul (thanks to Tsuchiya and Initial D).

On the other hand, i dont find Ferraris to be special. They are just another bunch of fast cars to me. Not that they are not good but i just dont have that sort of attachment towards them.

I love the Veyron's presense. Even in the vids, you can sense its brutal power. But then again, you can't technically call it an Italian car.

The Mcalren F1 also has a lot of soul. The sound of a Carrera GT going through its gears can give goosebumps.

So everyone has a diff way of relating to diff cars.

Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 17th January 2010 at 14:19.
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Old 17th January 2010, 14:21   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
Well, times are changing now.

The American ZR1 has a 6.2ltr V8 engine producing 620bhp but weighs in at 1495kgs where as the Japanese R35 has 3.8ltr V6 producing 485bhp and weighs in at 1740kgs.

Shan2nu
on the contrary, the GT-R is has proper metal body part where as the vette is made using fibleglass. not the ideal material to build a supercar is it??

but i even i agree that the ZR1 is a very capable sportscar and can handle corners quite well and has come a long way from what the traditional american supercar used to be.

Last edited by bivin : 17th January 2010 at 14:23.
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Old 17th January 2010, 14:48   #30
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Quote:
on the contrary, the GT-R is has proper metal body part where as the vette is made using fibleglass. not the ideal material to build a supercar is it??
Maybe that is one of the reasons why the ZR1 is so good in its performance.

Any car that can do 7:26 at the Nurburgring, gets my respect. You need to be quick around the corners as well as on the straights to put in a time like that.

Shan2nu
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