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Thread: The State of The Car

  1. #1021
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    https://www.carscoops.com/2019/11/fc...g-the-victims/

    I predict Alfa Romeo (and Lancia... duh) to be killed and Maserati perhaps too (or moved downmarket la Biturbo).

    Bets?
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  2. #1022
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    The Maserati-Citroen mashup came to my mind yesterday as I was pondering this merger.

    It's funny to see how the "marginal" firms have bounced around from one parent to the other over the decades.

    Like tracing the lineage of certain F1 teams.

  3. #1023
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    I feel like larger and larger automotive companies are unsustainable. You've already covered so many vehicle types with so many models, what else could you potentially gain?

  4. #1024
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    Synergies and plant closings, man.

    I suppose what will define the upcoming automotive era (I don't want to give dates, because prediction is hard, especially the future) is the dual pronged thrust is electrification, and automation.

    The increasing mergers seem to be corporate inoculation against the threat of ever higher platform costs as cars are forced to include newer tech form regulations.

    To mix metaphors, stitching together two castles made of sand may only delay fading into obsolescence.

  5. #1025
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    https://www.carscoops.com/2019/11/fc...g-the-victims/

    I predict Alfa Romeo (and Lancia... duh) to be killed and Maserati perhaps too (or moved downmarket la Biturbo).

    Bets?
    To me, an ascendant Alfa has much more going for it than a Maserati that emptied its coffers of good ideas sometime in the last millenium. Lancia's survival to this point has been a surprise; I'm surprised some Chinese industrial conglomerate hasn't gobbled them up. They already have the aesthetic appeal of a Great Wall or a GAC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
    The Maserati-Citroen mashup came to my mind yesterday as I was pondering this merger.

    It's funny to see how the "marginal" firms have bounced around from one parent to the other over the decades.

    Like tracing the lineage of certain F1 teams.
    It's funny to think that stronger antitrust legislation might help prevent this kind of incest, not that there's any threat of a monopoly in Lancia-badged Dodge Journeys. If only Billy Durant hadn't set the pattern all those years ago. Fortunately, or otherwise, at least his creation enjoyed some quite-productive years before imploding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
    Synergies and plant closings, man.

    I suppose what will define the upcoming automotive era (I don't want to give dates, because prediction is hard, especially the future) is the dual pronged thrust is electrification, and automation.

    The increasing mergers seem to be corporate inoculation against the threat of ever higher platform costs as cars are forced to include newer tech form regulations.

    To mix metaphors, stitching together two castles made of sand may only delay fading into obsolescence.
    It's one of the frustrating things about startups in the automotive world. Their overwhelming arrogance and belief that history is "bunk" masks the fact that fresh blood is a golden opportunity to dispose of the Grosse Pointe ( or Longbridge, or Turin, or Paris, or ...) mandarins and their byzantine market strategies and product lineups. Well, that and the entrenched interests of those mandarins..
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

  6. #1026
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    Ironically the Lancia Ypsilon in Italy outsells the entire Alfa Romeo range in the whole Europe

    (Admittedly the entire Alfa Romeo range is made up of just three cars, but still)

    When I was in the market for a new car some months ago, the third car on the list was the Giulia. My visit to the local Alfa Romeo dealer was... underwhelming and it was the only dealer that didn't call me back with an offer... or if I wanted to buy the car at all...
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  7. #1027
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    Quote Originally Posted by f6fhellcat13 View Post
    To me, an ascendant Alfa has much more going for it than a Maserati that emptied its coffers of good ideas sometime in the last millenium. Lancia's survival to this point has been a surprise; I'm surprised some Chinese industrial conglomerate hasn't gobbled them up. They already have the aesthetic appeal of a Great Wall or a GAC.
    I'm on the other side of the coin. My understanding is both marques are selling rather horribly, but I think Maserati is the better play. And I quite like their exterior design. Everything else is suspect.

    As a play for a buyer who wants something more "exotic" than the Teutons, and style, I can see them having marginal success. Alfa is recalling bygone sporty days long before any of its buyers remember. With the added bonus of legendary FCA build quality (mind, Maser suffers from this, and abysmal interiors, too...).

    Quote Originally Posted by f6fhellcat13 View Post
    It's funny to think that stronger antitrust legislation might help prevent this kind of incest, not that there's any threat of a monopoly in Lancia-badged Dodge Journeys. If only Billy Durant hadn't set the pattern all those years ago. Fortunately, or otherwise, at least his creation enjoyed some quite-productive years before imploding.
    States don't seem to concerned in larger national champions (see: US tech monopolies, large German automakers). Some may get twitchy (I'm looking at you Japan/Nissan) if their "strategic industry" is owned by foreigners. I doubt French, Italian, American, (or Dutch, or wherever FCA-Pug's HQ are this week) regulators will look into the merger.

    Quote Originally Posted by f6fhellcat13 View Post
    It's one of the frustrating things about startups in the automotive world. Their overwhelming arrogance and belief that history is "bunk" masks the fact that fresh blood is a golden opportunity to dispose of the Grosse Pointe ( or Longbridge, or Turin, or Paris, or ...) mandarins and their byzantine market strategies and product lineups. Well, that and the entrenched interests of those mandarins..
    The world is imploding, quick, let's make an app!

    It seems like the industries have vital lessons to learn from one another. My experience in automotive taught me that there were some very brilliant engineers, but many systems (on a macro level) seemed positively outdated and clunky. Big data , and AI/MR may have a much larger role to play in the design process. The OEMs were smart to offload infotainment HMI to Apple and Google. They make better products. But other process can be integrated from the bloviating techies into the dinosaurs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    When I was in the market for a new car some months ago, the third car on the list was the Giulia. My visit to the local Alfa Romeo dealer was... underwhelming and it was the only dealer that didn't call me back with an offer... or if I wanted to buy the car at all...
    What are they, in the sales business? You think they need to sell cars?

    Hell, you coulda doubled the monthly figures of Alfa Barcelona, or whatever.
    Last edited by Kitdy; 11-02-2019 at 03:20 PM.

  8. #1028
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
    I'm on the other side of the coin. My understanding is both marques are selling rather horribly, but I think Maserati is the better play. And I quite like their exterior design. Everything else is suspect.

    As a play for a buyer who wants something more "exotic" than the Teutons, and style, I can see them having marginal success. Alfa is recalling bygone sporty days long before any of its buyers remember. With the added bonus of legendary FCA build quality (mind, Maser suffers from this, and abysmal interiors, too...).
    Maserati also carries a higher brand cachet (not that Alfa Romeo is a staple of the premium market...) and it is easier to go downmarket than to go upmarket.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
    States don't seem to concerned in larger national champions (see: US tech monopolies, large German automakers). Some may get twitchy (I'm looking at you Japan/Nissan) if their "strategic industry" is owned by foreigners. I doubt French, Italian, American, (or Dutch, or wherever FCA-Pug's HQ are this week) regulators will look into the merger.
    PSA is the national champion here and according to some experts it is the one actually purchasing Fiat, so no issues here.

    I doubt Fiat is much national champion... never mind Chrysler.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
    The world is imploding, quick, let's make an app!

    It seems like the industries have vital lessons to learn from one another. My experience in automotive taught me that there were some very brilliant engineers, but many systems (on a macro level) seemed positively outdated and clunky. Big data , and AI/MR may have a much larger role to play in the design process. The OEMs were smart to offload infotainment HMI to Apple and Google. They make better products. But other process can be integrated from the bloviating techies into the dinosaurs.
    It is funny because I was reading the other day that, thanks to predictive cruise controls and predictive range estimates together with refuelling/relectrifying stations and predictive regenerative braking levels, the sat-nav option would be coming back to the OEMs rather than using Google Wazemaps for cars.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  9. #1029
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    Maserati also carries a higher brand cachet (not that Alfa Romeo is a staple of the premium market...) and it is easier to go downmarket than to go upmarket.

    PSA is the national champion here and according to some experts it is the one actually purchasing Fiat, so no issues here.

    I doubt Fiat is much national champion... never mind Chrysler.

    It is funny because I was reading the other day that, thanks to predictive cruise controls and predictive range estimates together with refuelling/relectrifying stations and predictive regenerative braking levels, the sat-nav option would be coming back to the OEMs rather than using Google Wazemaps for cars.
    I think the bigger issue with autopilot is, who gave Tesla the free reigns to do as they wish with their half-assed version of autopilot?

    They market autopilot as if it's true level 5 autopilot, when in actuality it's really between 2-3. People are finding out the hard way and are killing themselves for it.

    I respect Elon Musk as he has created a new automaker from scratch and is doing fairly well, but he's terrible from a safety standpoint.

    I really hope the OEMs don't get sat-nav back, they were always terrible. It wasn't that long ago when manufacturers made you pay for a yearly DVD to update your sat-nav.

  10. #1030
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
    I'm on the other side of the coin. My understanding is both marques are selling rather horribly, but I think Maserati is the better play. And I quite like their exterior design. Everything else is suspect.

    As a play for a buyer who wants something more "exotic" than the Teutons, and style, I can see them having marginal success. Alfa is recalling bygone sporty days long before any of its buyers remember. With the added bonus of legendary FCA build quality (mind, Maser suffers from this, and abysmal interiors, too...).
    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    Maserati also carries a higher brand cachet (not that Alfa Romeo is a staple of the premium market...) and it is easier to go downmarket than to go upmarket.
    Maserati has already sounded the depths of crapdom many times in the last 40 years. They know exactly how deep it is so in a race to the bottom they will always win.
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

  11. #1031
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    To use a hockey term, by my "eye test," I see a lot in the Greater Toronto Area. I turn my head for a Ghibli, and yes, even a Levante (though feel sad when I see a Quattroporte).

    Does that mean anything? No. Coulda they be a niche player with decent margins on shard platforms? Maybe.

  12. #1032
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    Quote Originally Posted by f6fhellcat13 View Post
    Maserati has already sounded the depths of crapdom many times in the last 40 years. They know exactly how deep it is so in a race to the bottom they will always win.
    3 words.

    Alfa Romeo Arna.

    (Does that actually count as three or as two?)
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  13. #1033
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    True, but Alfa has always had something in their range that was desirable, even if it wasn't good. I feel like Maserati has, and has consistently, been without interesting or good vehicles.
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

  14. #1034
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    What about the 3200 GT?!

  15. #1035
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    I remember those boomerang lights... a shame they were replaced by something more befitting a Civic when then changed to the 4.2 litre engine...
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

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