Monday, November 08, 2004

The Myth of Foriegn Car Superiority

The best way to explain this is through a history lesson. I have a feeling that once y'all understand how we got here, you'll have a much better understanding of where we are.

Back in the 50's and 60's people drove American cars... period. They bought big steel boats with huge engines. If you hit your head on the dashboard, they hosed the thing off and sold it to someone else. Men's cars dammit.

People thought changing your oil was a scam that dealers used to sucker you into giving them money for no reason... largely the way we think of underbody coats now.

Now... insert into this climate a bunch of cheap imports. People who are used to paying a certain amount for cars, are now being offered vehicles for half of that amount. They thought of honda's and toyota's largely the way that you and I think of Kias. They're cheap, they must be crap.

The people that bought these cars wisely figured they had better take care of them, otherwise they wouldn't last at all... so they did everything the dealers said to do. In other words.... They changed the oil.

Suddenly people are getting 150 and 200 thousand miles out of these little jap cars. More and more people conclude that the Jap cars are better than american cars, and they are largely ignoring the fact that the people who own jap cars are taking way better care of them than american car owners.

This continues to this day. A typical Camry owner will take the car back to the dealer every time he hears the slightest ping. Contrast this with the typical owner of a malibu who hears the same ping and thinks.. "bah... american cars just make pings... it's ok."

I can go buy a Kia Sorrento... and never get it close to the redline. I can keep synthetic oil in it, and never let it go more than 2000 miles between changes. I can use the best Bosch filters money can buy... I can get 300 thousand miles out of that car...

That doesn't mean Kia makes a better car than anyone else though.

On the other hand we can take Chevy's 5.8L 350... and Toyota's biggest V-8... we turn them on and let them run. No oil changes. No coolant changes. Just let them run.

The Toyota will blow up weeks before the Chevy will. *

*That scenario applies to just about any foriegn engine. Mercedes and Volvo excluded.

No comments: