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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default Remember German cars

    Renault are now supplying engines for the Mercedes A series and are sharing components with the Smart, owned by Daimler and manufacturing in France.
    Meanwhile........
    Last week Daimler opened a 400 million euro ($539 million) engine factory in a Beijing suburb to make 250,000 units a year for the Mercedes-Benz C and E classes.
    Daimler plans to export engines made in China back to Germany starting next year.
    In August BMW started construction of its first engine plant outside Europe, in China for the production of 400,000 engines per year.

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    Should get a life 2353's Avatar
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    With this trend continuing to develop pace, how do you determine the "nationality" of a car - where the Corporate Headquarters is located, where the car is designed or where it is manufactured?

    For example, GM designed the current Commodore and Camaro in Australia. Even though the Camaro is built in North America is it a US or Australian car? Likewise for the Commodore which is modified a tad for the US market but built here - is the US version a US car?

    Ford and Renault are just as interesting. Ford builds european designed cars in Thailand to sell in Australia. Renault puts their badges (and customises to an extent) Korean cars to sell here. Can either of these brands claim their cars as "Euro" - as they seem to in their marketing?
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Nationality only relates to cars, if the marketing department of the brand thinks it will help sell cars.
    Here is a Uni study of the relative national content of French and German cars but it only goes up to 2009.
    http://cahiersdugretha.u-bordeaux4.fr/2010/2010-17.pdf
    The scene has exploded since .
    Last edited by gerry freed; 1st January 2014 at 10:01 PM.
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2353 View Post
    With this trend continuing to develop pace, how do you determine the "nationality" of a car - where the Corporate Headquarters is located, where the car is designed or where it is manufactured?

    For example, GM designed the current Commodore and Camaro in Australia. Even though the Camaro is built in North America is it a US or Australian car? Likewise for the Commodore which is modified a tad for the US market but built here - is the US version a US car?

    Ford and Renault are just as interesting. Ford builds european designed cars in Thailand to sell in Australia. Renault puts their badges (and customises to an extent) Korean cars to sell here. Can either of these brands claim their cars as "Euro" - as they seem to in their marketing?

    Why is the nationality of a car of any importance?
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Because there are public perceptions, fuelled by marketing strategies, about the characteristics of the nationals of countries and the qualities of their manufactured products. It did once make some sense as cars, for example, were the results of activities confined to a country. That is no longer true of the automotive industry but it suits some manfacturers to exploit it, if it helps create the right illusions about their products.
    Seen from France this Forum is a curiosity, lumping together French brands under one umbrella. CitroŽn and Renault had nearly half a century of competitive battling in which they were considered radically different in their approach to life and cars. The fact that they both were a product of French culture did not provide much commonality of image of their vehicles in France, their main market. A DS is a DS and a Dauphine Gordini is a Dauphine Gordini.

    Today we have PSA negotiating to introduce Chinese ownership to strengthen in global competitiveness, while promoting the DS range in China like a luxury product of Louis Vuiton.
    Renault is in India selling French chic with the Renault Duster which was a product conceived for and made in Roumania and elsewhere has a Dacia image carefully crafted. Renault and Nissan's cars on common platforms are given the same treatment.
    Australia likes the Koleos made in Korea with Japanese and French bits.
    I personally don't like being brainwashed and I like to judge cars on their automotive merits. I don't need a car for status or to make a fashion statement. I do however look at corporate culture, transnational as it now is, to form a view as to how concerned the company is in delivering quality and customer service.
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    I seem to remember my local german mechanic. Merc and b.m.w .telling me that g m will soon be using german engines ,the figures you are talking seem to verify that .pugs

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2353 View Post
    With this trend continuing to develop pace, how do you determine the "nationality" of a car - where the Corporate Headquarters is located, where the car is designed or where it is manufactured?

    For example, GM designed the current Commodore and Camaro in Australia. Even though the Camaro is built in North America is it a US or Australian car? Likewise for the Commodore which is modified a tad for the US market but built here - is the US version a US car?

    Ford and Renault are just as interesting. Ford builds european designed cars in Thailand to sell in Australia. Renault puts their badges (and customises to an extent) Korean cars to sell here. Can either of these brands claim their cars as "Euro" - as they seem to in their marketing?
    If I recall, the Renault 12 was first sold in Brasil and it was badged as a Ford. And they were made all over the place (as Dacias in Romania was it not, and as whatever in Turkey etc etc). "Holden" Barinas were made in Spain a decade or more back too. Our Peugeot 306 was made in England.

    As Gerry says (and thanks for the post), the scene has exploded since then. It's quite interesting...
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    Great overview Gerry.
    You know Tasie pretty well and the type of driving I do, so what would be you choice of transport given the criteria of :- Must be comfortable and safe both in primary and secondary safety, drive smoothly without " jiggles", be economical and have good torque, fit 4 people, good luggage space, be a great tourer, passenger must be able to read a book or computer on long trips ( West au. Queensland etc.) Price range $35 to $50,000.

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    I think my problem is I live in the past where I knew my Citroen was made by people who lived in France, my father's Mercedes Benz was made by people in Germany. Parts ordered came packaged from that country written in German or French, my spare parts now come written in many languages. My current gearbox AL4(broken again) comes from China.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tasie C5 View Post
    Great overview Gerry.
    You know Tasie pretty well and the type of driving I do, so what would be you choice of transport given the criteria of :- Must be comfortable and safe both in primary and secondary safety, drive smoothly without " jiggles", be economical and have good torque, fit 4 people, good luggage space, be a great tourer, passenger must be able to read a book or computer on long trips ( West au. Queensland etc.) Price range $35 to $50,000.
    Well, I might indeed choose a C5 with gas suspension if I could be convinced that it was to world's best standard in reliabilty in the price range and that the service resources on those longer trips would not result in a mean time to rescue of greater than 1 hour, but then those qualifications apply more to my needs than yours.
    There is a probabilty that we will settle in Tasie when our French home is sold and when we do our criteria for transport will be different.
    We need two seats and generous luggage space for large but infrequent shopping trips. We need as close to zero probability of failure to proceed as is practical in a more modest price range. I, as the only driver, need a car in which a small person at the wheel with creaking joints can judge where the corners of the bodywork might be. Fuel consumption and operating costs must be as close to zero as practical. No long trips are planned and Yo cannot read or watch a computer. My preferred choice would be an electronics free car but that is impossible with a new vehicle so I would opt in the opposite direction and select a car with a proven record of high reliability in the technology.
    First cars I will review will be the Honda Jazz Hybrid and the Subaru Impreza Hatch
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    Fiat have just announced that they are in the final stages of total acquisition of Chrysler. Does this make a Jeep an Italian car, or a Fiat 500 sold in New York an American car?
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen
    Why is the nationality of a car of any importance?
    I remain concerned at the existence of fascism (carrying a basic principle of pro-Aryan, anti-semitic, anti-coloured, nationalist thuggery) in Europe, from Britain through Scandinavia and the eastern bloc. You only have to look at the prices of WW2 militaria with certain ensigns, to get an idea of popularity. A trickle down effect of this sentiment appears to be the way "German" brands are seen as superior (efficient, deadly to others, powerful) in the minds of many more. The way people drive these cars often belies such a subconscious attitude/belief. As a peripheral example of lingering fascism I was told to my face with pride, that the cooktops this person was selling (in Australia) were made by a direct corporate descendant of one business who built very large incinerators in the 1940s for Germany.

    To be frank, as there is money in feeding that school of believers (they buy the cars without a reasoned evaluation) it will likely be fostered implicitly for so long as possible. So nationality is important in selling to the simple-minded.

    Perversely, the idea that cars of French "nationality" are lesser vehicles, generally suits me because they are cheaper in good used condition.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    I am afraid that the ultra right is very active in France and is a serious threat to the present left of centre government in the municipal elections to come in the spring. Hollande's annual new year message this year was a straight election pitch to counter them. It seems to have failed. His credibility remains low and that is opening up an opportunity to those who propose an alternative form of government to the present Republique.
    We are sufficiently concerned to have our house on the market.
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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I'm genuinely sorry it's trending that way. You'd think people would look further east and see the end game of some parties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    I am afraid that the ultra right is very active in France and is a serious threat to the present left of centre government in the municipal elections to come in the spring. Hollande's annual new year message this year was a straight election pitch to counter them. It seems to have failed. His credibility remains low and that is opening up an opportunity to those who propose an alternative form of government to the present Republique.
    We are sufficiently concerned to have our house on the market.
    We've been following this. Not just in France either. My wife was born in Hungary and we've been following the right swing...

    Best wishes with it all. If you do return to Oz, don't forget to consider a stop-over in Perth on the way - our spare room is often available.
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    I dont know what the future holds (I dont see myself driving chinese powered mercs) but attitudes change... I for one wouldnt be seen dead driving a hyndai back in the late eighties or nineties... but the cars they have produced in the last decade or so have been spectacularly good considering price...
    Whatever one might think... fact remains that mercedes built some of the best quality cars ever... I think lately their standards have fallen but the stupendous quality of w108, w116, w123, w124, w126, w140 has built a long lasting reputation that will be hard to shake off...
    I currently drive a w210 e class and comparing it to a statesman of same vintage one can clearly see the differences in quality of workmanship... panel gaps (internally and externally), insulation levels, smoothness etc etc... across the board its ten times better than the holden equivalent...
    Similar can be said about volkswagen...
    Audi hasnt been as fortunate, in this country at least, but they have made a huge comeback in the last decade or so...
    I think once these great marques start using engines made elsewhere, and if these engines prove themselves, then I dont see to many customers abandoning them (after all many have been producing different models in different countries for a while now)... I think the biggest issue is how the others will compare... look at kia... I still think their engines are a little bit harsh but design wise they are doing great work...
    The great European and Japanese marques will keep making strides, with stiffer competition... they will all learn from their mistakes and evolution will take care of the rest...
    Personally I wouldnt care which country made MB if they built them like they used to...

    cheers

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Confidence in the political class is low in most European countries but to me France is particularly vulnerable. The present government has part of its power base locked into concepts of the social contribution of enterprises that dates back to world of Marx, which is of course, post globalisation. Their ham fisted attempt to manipulate the motor industry shows that they cannot come to terms with the issues of making French society globally competitive and hence open to investment from outside.
    Simplistically but fundamentally France has over priced itself through overspending and overcommitment and no politicians seem able to rein the public expectations. The auto makers, with the only logic available being that of survival, need to move their investment and activity to better markets and lower cost structures. The rest of Europe understands but doesn't like the need for cutting back public expenditure to make themselves attractive for commercial enterprise. Hollande can't do that here and has nothing to offer but an effort to buy time, which in my view is dangerous because the world moves on rapidly today and we can't sell back that time with improved competitiveness.
    This is why PSA had to talk to GM and to Dongfeng and why the gap in credibility allowds the ultra right to step in with extremist pseudo solutions.
    Far from creative, France is living in the past with a century old obsolence of its political drivers. Sad but true.
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    One reason that the left is regressing in Europe is that in the past they were too generous in supporting those that needed support. In todays (post GFC) climate, with porous borders, blind Freddy can see that this can't be sustained. When many of those living off the largesse of society are outbreeding those that are supposed to provide that largesse, you have a classic Catch 22.

    The majority one day will be those with their hands out. The minority will be those that are expected to give. One person, one vote will one day not work anymore to provide representative government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    One reason that the left is regressing in Europe is that in the past they were too generous in supporting those that needed support. In todays (post GFC) climate, with porous borders, blind Freddy can see that this can't be sustained. When many of those living off the largesse of society are outbreeding those that are supposed to provide that largesse, you have a classic Catch 22.

    The majority one day will be those with their hands out. The minority will be those that are expected to give. One person, one vote will one day not work anymore to provide representative government.

    John
    While we are getting away from the subject of Gerry's original post, I like and fully support the sensible and realistic sentiment you express here JBN. Be glad that this is not the ABC's blog, because this kind of red-neck heresy would never see the light of day there. Lets face it, Australia regrettably is on the same slippery slide, and I feel sorry for the political party in power, of whatever colour, that has the impossible task to bring the great ship Australia back to an even keel. Witness the current outcry about the suggestion that people ought to be asked, heaven forbid! to contribute $5 to their own medical care.

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    Should get a life 2353's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breitie View Post
    I feel sorry for the political party in power, of whatever colour, that has the impossible task to bring the great ship Australia back to an even keel. Witness the current outcry about the suggestion that people ought to be asked, heaven forbid! to contribute $5 to their own medical care.
    Don't forget you already pay a 1.5% levy on your taxable income for your own medical care. For some people $5 IS a big deal. Better policy would be to ditch the Government's Paid Maternity Leave plan where women will get paid their current wage - even if it is $150k p.a. There are many families in Australia that dream of getting that much income from both parents wages. Paid Maternity Leave is a good idea - but set a realistic cap on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2353 View Post
    Don't forget you already pay a 1.5% levy on your taxable income for your own medical care. For some people $5 IS a big deal. Better policy would be to ditch the Government's Paid Maternity Leave plan where women will get paid their current wage - even if it is $150k p.a. There are many families in Australia that dream of getting that much income from both parents wages. Paid Maternity Leave is a good idea - but set a realistic cap on it.
    Sure, we pay 1.5% but many go to the quack just for a sicky certificate. Further, from what i'm told, some of them really milk the system (GPs). One of the drivers is that they are working for a 'Sick care center' and have to make money. Another one is that there are far too many GPs in big cities. Another one is prevention....
    Totally agree with the second part! Bloody stupid idiots for even proposing it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2353 View Post
    Don't forget you already pay a 1.5% levy on your taxable income for your own medical care. For some people $5 IS a big deal. Better policy would be to ditch the Government's Paid Maternity Leave plan where women will get paid their current wage - even if it is $150k p.a. There are many families in Australia that dream of getting that much income from both parents wages. Paid Maternity Leave is a good idea - but set a realistic cap on it.
    Sure, we pay 1.5% but many go to the quack just for a sicky certificate. Further, from what i'm told, some of them really milk the system (GPs). One of the drivers is that they are working for a 'Sick care center' and have to make money. Another one is that there are far too many GPs in big cities. Another one is prevention....
    Totally agree with the second part! Bloody stupid idiots for even proposing it!
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    Snouts in the trough in our fair brown land has never ever been just the province of politicians.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    Fiat have just announced that they are in the final stages of total acquisition of Chrysler. Does this make a Jeep an Italian car, or a Fiat 500 sold in New York an American car?

    Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee !!


    This Left leaning collectivism is on the nose and the agreement yesterday had everything to do with Fiat wanting no influence from the American Auto Union. A large chunk of shares (41.46 percent stake) were owned by the Chrysler Group LLC (afilliated United Auto Workers retiree health-care trust).

    Chrysler isn't split up into divisions as GM is and finally the United Auto Union Workers trust have realization that Fiat wanted nothing to do with them ( or their valuation) avoids an IPO of Chrysler stock that would have complicated Marchionne’s attempt to consolidate the two companies into one.


    This long negotiation caused a great deal of uncertainty and caused a development lag (especially at Fiat and Alfa Romeo) putting many projects on hold. Now perhaps they can put some money back into Europe where they have been lagging, some factory upgrades and new lines. In a year or so we should see a lot of new Alfas and Fiats ( Lancia's ??), the US Italian car fanatics are well pleased.


    Of interest in this brand/country consciousness in the car buying public's eye is that the vehicles that helped Chrysler nearly double its sales for almost 4 years straight were developed with help of Fiat, the Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee as well as by expanding the range of US product offerings to include the tiny Fiat 500.


    The bit that reminds me of Kerry Packer vs Alan Bond media ownership war is interesting.

    Fiat paid less, about 10% of what Daimler-Benz AG paid for the U.S. company in 1998 before that unravelled in 2007.


    Fiat’s total spending on Chrysler $3.7 billion / D-B AG $36 billion.
    Last edited by sandgroper; 3rd January 2014 at 09:59 PM. Reason: SP
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