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Old 08-02-2005, 03:01   #1 (permalink)
CaptainW116
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OPINION:Quality and Passion Declining in European Automakers

(please note;this is crossposted to Mercedes,BMW,Jaguar,Audi and
Volvo)Although I am a fan of 70s' and 80s' European automobiles,I can
not help notice this trend all across the board!Rust on new Mercedes
and BMW,plastic on the exteriors of Volvo,and so on.......Who do you
see as the dominate automaker,say,10 years from now?What is a realistic
life expectancy of 2000 and newer European automobile and are you truly
happy with your purchase(do you feel cheated)?In your opinion,what
item(s)need to be done away with or improved?Hopefully,all those whom
respond understand that it is not my intention to start a bash war,just
want to hear opinions from fellow European automotive enthusiast!

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Old 08-02-2005, 14:01   #2 (permalink)
Martin Joseph
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Re: OPINION:Quality and Passion Declining in European Automakers

On 2005-08-02 01:46:39 -0700, "CaptainW116" <benznut450@yahoo.com> said:

> (please note;this is crossposted to Mercedes,BMW,Jaguar,Audi and
> Volvo)Although I am a fan of 70s' and 80s' European automobiles,I can
> not help notice this trend all across the board!Rust on new Mercedes
> and BMW,plastic on the exteriors of Volvo,and so on.......Who do you
> see as the dominate automaker,say,10 years from now?What is a realistic
> life expectancy of 2000 and newer European automobile and are you truly
> happy with your purchase(do you feel cheated)?In your opinion,what
> item(s)need to be done away with or improved?Hopefully,all those whom
> respond understand that it is not my intention to start a bash war,just
> want to hear opinions from fellow European automotive enthusiast!


My roommate hear in Seattle had a 2001 Saab, and it handled and felt
like a GM. I used to regularly drive an older Saab 99 as well as a 900
and this new (93 I think), didn't feel like european vehicle at all to
me...

My wife drives a 2001 Volvo and that still has the appropriate feel IMO.

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Old 08-02-2005, 17:01   #3 (permalink)
Benjamin Smith
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Re: OPINION:Quality and Passion Declining in European Automakers

CaptainW116 wrote:

> (please note;this is crossposted to Mercedes,BMW,Jaguar,Audi and
> Volvo)Although I am a fan of 70s' and 80s' European automobiles,I can
> not help notice this trend all across the board!Rust on new Mercedes
> and BMW,plastic on the exteriors of Volvo,and so on.......Who do you
> see as the dominate automaker,say,10 years from now?What is a realistic
> life expectancy of 2000 and newer European automobile and are you truly
> happy with your purchase(do you feel cheated)?In your opinion,what
> item(s)need to be done away with or improved?Hopefully,all those whom
> respond understand that it is not my intention to start a bash war,just
> want to hear opinions from fellow European automotive enthusiast!
>


Mercedes quality is improving, but the cars aren't functional as they
used to be. I find the CLS rather ugly, tiny windows, submarine like.
I'm surprised at how many find it beautiful. And the functional Mercedes
of the 80s would never make such a compromised-function style design.
Road manners are fine, some of the tanklike firmness has been softened.

BMW's styling is now at least controversial, but solid and well built
with excellent handling and class-leading dynamic qualities. Maybe
overkill with electronic steering and a bit too much stuff inside. I'd
like to see them go back to functional.

Audi has had questionable reliability in the past. The interiors are
some of the best in the business. Cars feel like planted German cars to
me. Handle well, quattro is great.

Volvos handle better, look better, use quality materials (with some
exceptions), plastic was first used by Mercedes in the 80s--I remember
the S class using plastic on the lower bodies. I think Volvo is fine,
the s40 is very understated and goes well, so is the xc90, but I miss
the visibility of all of the European cars of the 70s and 80s. Spotty
reliability, especially early s80, s60, and some issues with s40s and xc90s.

Jaguar is hard to guage. Jaguar is in a rut of sorts, I don't find the S
and X to feel like sumptuous Jags of the past. Only the XJ feels this
way. There's more Jag components in the Ford platforms, so maybe Ford
learned its lesson that Jag can't have too much Ford content.

I like the Saab 3, but the other Saabs are questionable. I hope this
very individual brand gets back to being unique, but I'm not counting on
GM to keep it this way. Losing the hatchback loses at lot of
individuality and carrying capacity.

VW's feel great, but the new Jetta looks Corolla-like in some ways,
inside and out, and they've softened the handling a lot. New Passat
looks like it will overtake Camry/Accord quality.

Overall, European cars are still desirable, Japanese cars keep them on
their toes. Also, some Japanese cars, like Infinity M45, which used to
have pathetic interior and exterior styling, now has wow styling and
feels more cutting-edge than the more conservative European designs.
But, new Mercedes S looks good, BMW took chances, Volvo's s40 has some
interesting features, Audi's A6 is wonderfully modern and integrated.
Competition is yielding interesting designs.
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Old 08-02-2005, 17:01   #4 (permalink)
thor
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Posts: n/a
Re: OPINION:Quality and Passion Declining in European Automakers

Worst thing I did was to buy a Z3.
US manufactured with burrs under the hood and everywhere there's an edge.
Hoses too short to fit with the nipples, Inverted wheels (V drawingd turned
towards the rear !!!)

Fortunately Other Bimmers are made in Europe.

I had same of experience with rental Neons and Chryslers some years ago.
Finished like crap and crap they are. Definitely.

Regards


"CaptainW116" <benznut450@yahoo.com> a écrit dans le message news:
1122972399.460051.25020@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> (please note;this is crossposted to Mercedes,BMW,Jaguar,Audi and
> Volvo)Although I am a fan of 70s' and 80s' European automobiles,I can
> not help notice this trend all across the board!Rust on new Mercedes
> and BMW,plastic on the exteriors of Volvo,and so on.......Who do you
> see as the dominate automaker,say,10 years from now?What is a realistic
> life expectancy of 2000 and newer European automobile and are you truly
> happy with your purchase(do you feel cheated)?In your opinion,what
> item(s)need to be done away with or improved?Hopefully,all those whom
> respond understand that it is not my intention to start a bash war,just
> want to hear opinions from fellow European automotive enthusiast!
>



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Old 08-02-2005, 17:01   #5 (permalink)
Alan Mudd
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Posts: n/a
Re: OPINION:Quality and Passion Declining in European Automakers

Just bought my wife a new X-Type 2.0 V6 SE Auto which kind of tells you
which camp I'm in, but we took a long time trying all relevant models in
this price range.

My wife doesn't like (or wants to pay) for powerful big engines, so we were
looking at all the smaller engined models which narrows down your choice and
makes you concentrate on other points of the vehicle.

Our final choice came down to the X-Type, a Merc C180K AMG saloon and the
Lexus IS200. We liked the outside desgin of the Merc, the quality and
equipment of the Lexus but the Jag won overall on quality of interior,
options and price.

We're delighted, it isn't exactly a quick car, but that's not what we were
buying, but it makes us feel we're driving a car that cost twice what it
actually did.

Alan M

www.atstone.co.uk


> "CaptainW116" <benznut450@yahoo.com> a écrit dans le message news:
> 1122972399.460051.25020@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>> (please note;this is crossposted to Mercedes,BMW,Jaguar,Audi and
>> Volvo)Although I am a fan of 70s' and 80s' European automobiles,I can
>> not help notice this trend all across the board!Rust on new Mercedes
>> and BMW,plastic on the exteriors of Volvo,and so on.......Who do you
>> see as the dominate automaker,say,10 years from now?What is a realistic
>> life expectancy of 2000 and newer European automobile and are you truly
>> happy with your purchase(do you feel cheated)?In your opinion,what
>> item(s)need to be done away with or improved?Hopefully,all those whom
>> respond understand that it is not my intention to start a bash war,just
>> want to hear opinions from fellow European automotive enthusiast!
>>

>
>



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Old 08-02-2005, 17:01   #6 (permalink)
Matthew Maddock
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Re: OPINION:Quality and Passion Declining in European Automakers

thor wrote:
> Worst thing I did was to buy a Z3.
> US manufactured with burrs under the hood and everywhere there's an edge.
> Hoses too short to fit with the nipples, Inverted wheels (V drawingd turned
> towards the rear !!!)
>
> Fortunately Other Bimmers are made in Europe.
>
> I had same of experience with rental Neons and Chryslers some years ago.
> Finished like crap and crap they are. Definitely.
>
> Regards


I can second that.

I had mine for 3 months before selling it because I was fed up with
the problems..from new I had leaky roof, stereo kept switching itself
off, gear stick fell to pieces, ocasionally it just refused to start -
to name a few! The finish on some of the car was less than you would
have expected from a BMW to say the least. Even a BMW dealer I talked
to afterwards agreed it was not a very well made car.

The problem is that people won't accept paying such huge premiums for
the quality now that they used to - especially as the competition is so
close - if not better in some cases. If you look at (in particular)
German cars of old you used to get fantastic build, but very little
in the way of equipment. But now everyone wants all the gadgets - at
the same price! so something has to give, and it has been the quality.

Matt.
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Old 08-02-2005, 18:01   #7 (permalink)
Kalman Rubinson
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Re: OPINION:Quality and Passion Declining in European Automakers

On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 22:23:31 GMT, Benjamin Smith <benjs@ix.netcom.com>
wrote:

>I like the Saab 3, but the other Saabs are questionable. I hope this
>very individual brand gets back to being unique, but I'm not counting on
>GM to keep it this way. Losing the hatchback loses at lot of
>individuality and carrying capacity.


The loss of the hatchback is what drove me away but the new Aero Combi
give me hope that the original Saab philosophy may not be gone
forever.

Kal
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Old 08-02-2005, 18:01   #8 (permalink)
Ross Garrett
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Re: OPINION:Quality and Passion Declining in European Automakers


"Benjamin Smith" <benjs@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:DnSHe.9447$6f.73@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...

> Mercedes quality is improving, but the cars aren't functional as they used
> to be.


Interestingly I see that the coming S class has the truck propped up on the
fenders...Bangle style.

Makes me wonder if there is some function or capability driving this less
that attractive styling queue. Room, crunch-zone, balance...I don't know but
there must be something there because the most heat BMW took was for the
"Bangle Butt" and here is Mercedes putting it on thier luxo class car.

> I find the CLS rather ugly, tiny windows, submarine like.


Everyone is going with that high waist. I don't think they can meet the
highest levels of side-impact without doing so..and I think it plays into
coming designs that will have higher hood areas to meet European pedestrian
safety standards. I could be wrong, but I think there are functional reasons
we are starting to see such styling departures for cars that used to be
beautiful. I get the sense there is something in the future that these
strange designs will eventually blend with, or into.

> BMW's styling is now at least controversial, but solid and well built with
> excellent handling and class-leading dynamic qualities. Maybe overkill
> with electronic steering and a bit too much stuff inside. I'd like to see
> them go back to functional.


If you get by all the words (mags, Usenet etc) you'll find that BMW drive
better than they ever have and apart from active steering, the normal R&P on
the rest of the cars create and transmit the same level of tactile feedback
BMW has always been famous for.

> Audi has had questionable reliability in the past. The interiors are some
> of the best in the business. Cars feel like planted German cars to me.
> Handle well, quattro is great.


I'm probably in the minoirty, but I have never thought Audi interiors were
so great. I know the mags love them, but I like simple....in the way BMW has
gone and in the way Volkswagen has been for some time. If I wanted a frilly
colorful interior I think Lexus does it best.



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Old 08-02-2005, 21:01   #9 (permalink)
CaptainW116
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Re: OPINION:Quality and Passion Declining in European Automakers


Benjamin Smith wrote:
> CaptainW116 wrote:
>
>
> >

>
> Mercedes quality is improving, but the cars aren't functional as they
> used to be. I find the CLS rather ugly, tiny windows, submarine like.
> I'm surprised at how many find it beautiful. And the functional Mercedes
> of the 80s would never make such a compromised-function style design.
> Road manners are fine, some of the tanklike firmness has been softened.
>

Ditto
> BMW's styling is now at least controversial, but solid and well built
> with excellent handling and class-leading dynamic qualities. Maybe
> overkill with electronic steering and a bit too much stuff inside. I'd
> like to see them go back to functional.
>

Are they still as tempermental as 80s?
> Audi has had questionable reliability in the past. The interiors are
> some of the best in the business. Cars feel like planted German cars to
> me. Handle well, quattro is great.
>

Used to own a 81 5000,82 5000 Turbo,80 5000 Diesel,83 4000 Coupe(miss
this one dearly).Gave up on this line,but became very proficient with
CV Joint replacement.P.S. I didn't care for the battery under the back
seat.Loved that parts were interchangable from VW though.Audi has
improved by leaps and bounds,no arguement here!!
> Volvos handle better, look better, use quality materials (with some
> exceptions), plastic was first used by Mercedes in the 80s--I remember
> the S class using plastic on the lower bodies. I think Volvo is fine,
> the s40 is very understated and goes well, so is the xc90, but I miss
> the visibility of all of the European cars of the 70s and 80s. Spotty
> reliability, especially early s80, s60, and some issues with s40s and xc90s.
>

Remember the old ad where they drove a Volvo off a elevated area and
landed on its top and the structure was not challenged?Todays Volvo can
do the same?
> Jaguar is hard to guage. Jaguar is in a rut of sorts, I don't find the S
> and X to feel like sumptuous Jags of the past. Only the XJ feels this
> way. There's more Jag components in the Ford platforms, so maybe Ford
> learned its lesson that Jag can't have too much Ford content.
>

Like to look at,scared to own!My pockets aren't that deep!
> I like the Saab 3, but the other Saabs are questionable. I hope this
> very individual brand gets back to being unique, but I'm not counting on
> GM to keep it this way. Losing the hatchback loses at lot of
> individuality and carrying capacity.
>

ahh,always admired the old 900 Turbo,great in the snow without a doubt.
> VW's feel great, but the new Jetta looks Corolla-like in some ways,
> inside and out, and they've softened the handling a lot. New Passat
> looks like it will overtake Camry/Accord quality.
>

Why did they kill the Scirocco?
> Overall, European cars are still desirable, Japanese cars keep them on
> their toes. Also, some Japanese cars, like Infinity M45, which used to
> have pathetic interior and exterior styling, now has wow styling and
> feels more cutting-edge than the more conservative European designs.
> But, new Mercedes S looks good, BMW took chances, Volvo's s40 has some
> interesting features, Audi's A6 is wonderfully modern and integrated.
> Competition is yielding interesting designs.


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Old 08-02-2005, 23:01   #10 (permalink)
John Horner
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Re: OPINION:Quality and Passion Declining in European Automakers

CaptainW116 wrote:
> Hopefully,all those whom
> respond understand that it is not my intention to start a bash war,just
> want to hear opinions from fellow European automotive enthusiast!
>


I've long had a soft spot in my heart (and wallet) for European cars.
I've purchased two Volvos and two Volkswagens brand new over the past 20
years, yet my most recent purchase was a Honda.

Durability of most modern European vehicles is not very good. The
number of failure on my '96 Volvo 850, for example, have been far higher
than I expect for a premium class vehicle. Things like chronic ABS
controller failures, cupholders which constantly self destruct and trim
bits which fall apart for no good reason are all part of the experience.

I had expected to drive my '960 Volvo trouble free except for scheduled
maintenance and wear parts for at least 150,000 miles. Hah,
not.gonna.happen.com.

John


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