Re: Dumping (was: Local Groups Wanted!)

From: James Rogers (
Date: Wed Dec 26 2001 - 11:17:13 MST

On 12/26/01 6:09 AM, "Kai Becker" <> wrote:
> I don't think so. AFAIK, there are no such restrictions for Europe, but you
> won't see many american cars here in Europe. Too large, too thirsty
> ($0.90/litre gasoline!) and also too expensive (see the thread about
> purchase power). American cars are also said to be low quality (rumors from
> friends who bought one). On the other hand, japanese cars sell well in
> Europe, even in Germany. It seems that there's no simple reason.

Cars manufactured in Asia are very cheap. The US has a relatively stiff
tariff structure for cars that are manufactured in Asia. Some "Asian" cars
are actually designed, engineered, and manufactured in the US. Of course, a
fair number of "European" cars are built exactly the same way and shipped
into Europe. There are two different things going on here. For the Asian
market, the US uses tariffs to keep them from dumping extremely cheap cars
in the US, and to get around this they build some of their cars here rather
than importing them. In the case of the number of European cars
manufactured here, it is because the build quality of American production
lines is higher and cheaper than European production lines so for some cars
it makes economic sense to manufacture them here. If Europe does not impose
heavy tariffs on Japanese cars, then they may offer a good value in Europe.

The "quality" of various countries varies quite a bit depending on the class
of vehicle. For the full-size trucks that are extremely popular in many of
the more rural areas, nothing can touch the durability and reliability of
American manufacturers (the US also makes excellent large motors). For
economical city driving, the Japanese have a pretty good grasp of the
market. For mid- to upper-range sedans, it boils down to personal taste
because nobody is really producing crap in that market. While you wouldn't
know it from driving in urban California, at its peak the Japanese
penetration in the US car market was around 14% back in the 1980s. In many
areas that offer a nastier environment than the fair weather environs of
California, Japanese cars have a reputation for having poor durability and
don't sell well (while I've owned many Japanese vehicles, this has generally
been true in my experience as well). European cars tend to be relatively
expensive in the US compared to either Japanese or American cars, but the
quality tends to be good. I would say that dollar for dollar, European cars
have about the same build quality as their current American counterparts.
However, this isn't too surprising when you consider that a number of the
popular European lines sold in the US come off of American manufacturing

It is interesting to note that a substantial portion of Asian cars are
actually designed and engineered by American design teams, whereas the
Europeans do their own engineering. This applies to many other industries
as well; it seems that one of the biggest exports the US has to countries
like Japan is engineers.

-James Rogers

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