Rise and fall of the large french car
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  1. #1
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    Default Rise and fall of the large french car

    Go to www.aronline.uk to read.

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    JBN
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    Interesting article and interesting blog commentary. The CX was the last of the Citroens to really enthuse me.

    Once Peugeot jumped into bed, the bastards were born.

    John

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    The late L J K Setright wrote words to this effect. "The man who bought a DS had most likely been educated, the man who bought a CX ... trained". These words reflect the change in society in the last 50+ years. Cars have become cheaper and more throw away items, as well as being socially prestige marketed. That is the area that the Germans have done so well, appealing to the so called "aspirational class", that the rest of the world has failed to do. It IS possible as we have seen by the Lexus example to develop a prestige name, and that is partly due to product quality as well as dealership enterprises that value customer satisfaction. Setright also made the point about road surfaces being of better quality and cornering speeds greater. The hydropneumatic system works well in the former, when the surface is not well maintained and is less successful in the latter. I maintain that the DS line were too clever for their own good, and something like a Renault 16 with spheres would have been a commercial success, being a modernised Traction.
    Something should be noted about a "product lead recovery", as the world has seen in the new Alfas and where in the past Lancia nameplate failed. The current big Lancia is a rebadged Chrysler 300 .. Sad ! I am amazed at how the masses are afraid of the hydropneumatic system where they display no fear with hydraulic brakes or assisted steering..and the Citroen system is infinitely more sophisticated than master cylinder systems alone. Peugeot lost the plot when they abandoned their famous long travel soft springs with superb in house made dampers. BMW as a concern were almost bankrupt in the early 60s ... look at 'em now....despite offering little in innovation.

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    2012 was apparently BMW's best year ever, with a $6B profit. I assume that was converted to $A for the report.
    It's no wonder other manufacturers want a slice of their market.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Bruce Llewellyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritzelhund View Post
    The late L J K Setright wrote words to this effect. "The man who bought a DS had most likely been educated, the man who bought a CX ... trained". These words reflect the change in society in the last 50+ years. Cars have become cheaper and more throw away items, as well as being socially prestige marketed. That is the area that the Germans have done so well, appealing to the so called "aspirational class", that the rest of the world has failed to do. It IS possible as we have seen by the Lexus example to develop a prestige name, and that is partly due to product quality as well as dealership enterprises that value customer satisfaction. Setright also made the point about road surfaces being of better quality and cornering speeds greater. The hydropneumatic system works well in the former, when the surface is not well maintained and is less successful in the latter. I maintain that the DS line were too clever for their own good, and something like a Renault 16 with spheres would have been a commercial success, being a modernised Traction.
    Something should be noted about a "product lead recovery", as the world has seen in the new Alfas and where in the past Lancia nameplate failed. The current big Lancia is a rebadged Chrysler 300 .. Sad ! I am amazed at how the masses are afraid of the hydropneumatic system where they display no fear with hydraulic brakes or assisted steering..and the Citroen system is infinitely more sophisticated than master cylinder systems alone. Peugeot lost the plot when they abandoned their famous long travel soft springs with superb in house made dampers. BMW as a concern were almost bankrupt in the early 60s ... look at 'em now....despite offering little in innovation.

    What BMW did was offer an innovation in image and a drivable engine- The Japs did it too, with the Datsun 1600, then lost the plot with the 180B all the way to the bank...

    The CX originally fitted in as a mid-size car below the DS23... I suspect the prestige started as a D replacement.

    I fully agree with the 'excessive cleverness' though I note very few rhinos around and I hated working on them at Stennet's in Toowoomba back in the mid 80's. They were Ok to drive with a light load, but did suffer from torque steer when heavy or with anything on the back.

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