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Japanese Cars/mindset


sayerbloke
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I was discussing this with an American I know, after he found the following on a forum he reads:

Yeah, owners of Japanese (and maybe even Korean) cars suffer from an acute case of denial. How someone can defend an Odyssey with 3 trannies in 28K and then continue to trash an old Voyager is amazing. Not the first time I've seen/heard about situations like that. The Jap car owners are so caught up in their own hype that they can no longer distinguish fact from fiction.

I used to love seeing them cringe when I started listing off all the problems I had with my Lexus in the 3-1/2 years I owned it. Over 30 days in the shop....or about 10 days per year. If that were an American car, they'd be wagging their finger at me saying "I told you to stay away from that American junk." Since it's a Japanese car (actually builit in Japan by Japanese workers), they just about accuse me of lying because all those terible things couldn't possibly have happened to Japan's supposedly best marque. I then offer them the opportunity to see the copies of the warranty repair orders. That shuts them up.

No, American cars aren't perfect, but neither are anyone else's. I honestly can't see a quality gap anymore. In fact, I think the American manufacturers have a slight edge in qulaity and reliability. Plus, I still think American vehicles feel more substantial despite similar weights. When I close the door on my co-workers new Toyota 4Runner Ltd., it feels light and sounds tinny compared to the doors on my Jeep GCs. Even he admits that this 4Runner doesn't feel as tough as his previous one. He said he never hesitated taking the old one off-raod but wouldn't dare take this one to the same places because it feels like it would break.

My Lexus was the same way. Very light doors and it just didn't feel like it had any road presence, if you know what I mean. American and European cars feel more planted on the road, IMO.

Anyone here got any thoughts on that?

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Some of the comments then exchanged by us:

"Japanese cars are accused of being "soul-less"; that they are just machines and that there is no sense of the car being "made for you" or being any different to any of the others that rolled off the production line that day."

"Look at the emotional response a BMW, Mercedes, even VW or Chrysler will give someone. Those cars can be very love hate, but every one of them has an emotional attachment. I don't see emotional attachments to Toyotas. I do see them as dependable cars, though"

"Take the Honda NSX, or an even better case in point, the Nissan Skyline.

In their own ways, they are technically outstanding vehicles...

...but they are still *just* cars.

And as for everyday Japanese metal, they fulfill the dictionary definition of a car perfectly... but that`s about as far as it goes."

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Firstly it should be noted that most North American Lexus cars are assembled not in Japan but...surprise surprise...in North America. Getting US assembly plants to the quality levels that Lexus has become famous for has been a challenge for sure which probably explains a few problems with the guys car.

Still he did have problems and, no doubt, he was supplied with a courtesy car that was an equivalent or higher model than the one he drove whilst it was off the road. Not many dealers offer that.

If you want to see the quality gap, please feel free to look at any JD Power report for any country in the world. It's the most recognised independant survery in the world.

I'll leave your second post without comment as it's all just personal opinion that varies between owners greatly. I think it's very short sighted to think that Japanese car owners don't get attached though. Tell that to a Scooby/Evo/MX-5 owner!

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[ QUOTE ]

Firstly it should be noted that most North American Lexus cars are assembled not in Japan but...surprise surprise...in North America. Getting US assembly plants to the quality levels that Lexus has become famous for has been a challenge for sure which probably explains a few problems with the guys car.

[/ QUOTE ]

Many Japanese manufacturers (Honda and Toyota being obvious examples) build a high percentage of their American market cars in the US and Canada, and quality is generally indistingushable from the Asian-built cars. They consistently rate at the top of the quality and reliability surveys, regardless of where the cars are built.

Sure, there will always be a few duds, but I don't think it's fair to dismiss the American work force as being unable to produce a quality product. The problems which have plagued domestic manufacturers through the '80s and '90s can be attributed more to poor design and built-in production methods than to the nationality of the workers manning the assembly line.

I live near Honda's main US factory, where they produce Accords and Civics, among other things, and the quality of the cars coming out of that plant is on par with the best cars made anywhere in the world.

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