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kind of my point...
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Posted by James [Email] (more from James) on Tue, 17 Nov 2009 04:14:36 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: Oh, please..., Larry West [Profile/Gallery] , Mon, 16 Nov 2009 17:34:34
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mac, ipod, iphone, etc are essentially disposable consumer items. they last 3 years + get tossed for a newer model (if they don't break first). You and I don't do that with our cars (though some people do).

So I guess my question is, do we want Saabs to be more like Linn + Naim (which would have as little to do with China as possible)? It costs a lot more to build a CD player in Scotland (and it gets passed on to the customer), but the build quality is out of this world. Obviously cars are more complex + that level of build quality is unreasonable, but should Saab be more like Porsche? Maybe for some it's not worth the expense? Maybe (if Saab only plans to sell 100000 cars a year) it is a good proposition?

I can think of 1 thing I own that is made in China that really is up there in quality: I have a Quad 909 amp. There are a few things about it that feel a little cheaper than the earlier British-made examples (eg 606), but all in all it is quite good, at least from the outside. Had I known it was made in China beforehand, I might not have bought it (Quad was sold to a conglomerate), but I have been happy with it + it has been rock solid so far.

Another company known for quality is Miele, and as I understand it, they do have 1 factory in China. It is owned by Miele, only builds Miele products, and those are the bottom of the line vacuum. It is regularly visited by the Miele president + closely managed. Are those vacuums as good? dunno, I don't own one... but the build quality of our dishwasher is good, and my observations of how the company works are on par with my observations of Linn and Naim... maybe this is a good case study for Saab.

That said, I have worked in a high tech company outsourcing products to China, and the problems can be huge. It is not an easy transition, the risk of tarnishing a reputation is significant, so I believe the fears are somewhat justified... certainly when you look at the safety record associated with Chinese-made automobiles!

James...

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