I understand what you're saying, I am a businessman myself. I track pennies of cost on a daily basis and measure successful margin on things as miniscule as a tiny bottle of shampoo or a task completed a minute faster extrapolated over an entire operation; I get that cars ain't cheap to develop or build. I just don't agree that it's my responsibility to suffer with inferior cars on the front end on the hope that it can fund cars I like on the back end. Build boring cars and I won't deal with you.lne937s wrote:I think you missed my point, and I didn't articulate well.themadscientist wrote:So, essentially, buy something you don't want on the slim possibility the carmaker will make something you do like as a reward for "taking one for the team?" F that. Make what I want or get NONE of my money. I asked for years for an affordable simple fun RWD car. Nissan put a Z in front of me with no turbos and said "take it or leave it." Toybaru said, "you like this?"
I said "here's my money."
I AM THE %$*&#@! CUSTOMER!
You please me and I reward you with business. You ignore me I ignore you. That's entirely your fault.
Here is the thing: it costs $1-6 Billion dollars to develop a new car (based on IHS), which is dramatically more than it used to be. A very low volume halo car is actually much less expensive to develop than a mass market car, as you don't have to engineer out costs and it falls into multiple low-volume loopholes (GTR's aren't crash tested in the US). But to have affordable RWD, you need economies of scale. Modern safety standards alone make things amazingly expensive--a glove box lid costs millions to develop between design, deformation simulations, impact testing, etc. And an S13 platform will not meet modern safety standards.
If you look at the FRS/BRZ, they are now selling a few hundred a month, less than half what they were when it was first reported they were not living up to sales projections. 100k total sales over all model years may be realistic-- and the platform doesn't lend itself well to other vehicles. If Toyota/Subaru did it on the cheap, let's optimistically estimate $2 Billion for development... or $20k per car. And that's just development. In addition, you have marketing costs that failed to connect with new car buyers, underutilized production lines, lack of scale in parts purchasing, etc... Toyota/Subaru is likely losing money on each car outside of development costs.
If you pay $25k for a car, $2500 goes to dealer and transport, and the automaker spent $45k to produce it (which may well be the case, net, when everything is tallied up)... they tend to not feel as grateful for you covering half of their cost.
So, taking all that into account, it isn't just your money. Even when profitable, cars are not a high-margin category. Sometimes your money isn't a reward, it is just partially covering a massive loss on the part of the automaker.
So, if I am an automaker and I see the money Toyota/Subaru would undoubtedly be losing if I applied estimated costs to their sales numbers, I would be unlikely to want to make that money-losing investment. If I wanted a halo vehicle for marketing purposes, I could do a supercar for a fraction of the net costs... Or, I could take a compact car, spend a fraction as much to make it taller and call it a crossover, charge a premium for that, produce millions of them at low costs and make massive profits.
It is just kind of the reality of the cost to develop/sell a new car today and the market for affordable sports cars. There are a lot of people out there who would love to have options, but not enough new car buyers in the segment to make those options financially viable. Because the BRZ/FRS have failed to live up to the sales volumes needed to avoid massive losses, few other automakers will be willing to take on a similar proposition.
So please, keep buying the car. And convince your friends to. If enough people band together and the market becomes viable for multiple players to participate, more automakers will join in.
Carmakers aren't suffering for lack of business from people of a demographic like me or Greg or anyone else for who a simple, affordable RWD car is desirable. I think there are less of us than some may think. People suck. They are boring cookie cutter empty shells these days as sentient beings, the masses will buy cars that match their personality so these wet noodle things will move where anything taking some sort of bold tack will only sell to dwindling niche customers like me.
Move units, Nissan. I don't care. You've long ago lost my business. I know that doesn't hurt you at all. It doesn't really hurt me either. I've got my cars. I do feel sorry for the next generation, though. Sure, as I've said, they seem to be mostly smartphone tapping morons who's idea of excitement is adding cinnamon to their friggin latte, but there are still little Scientists and Hitmen that would love to have something new, but affordable and sporty and Nissan just doesn't care about them. The accountants are running the joint and they have no imagination. There are only so many rusty 240s out there for those guys now and no cars being funneled into the used car stream on the top for future buyers.
I would hope someone could pull some stats, but I would guess that the sales for 240SXs when they were new were only slightly better than the Scion FRS and Subaru BRZs are now, but look at the way they have appreciated in the secondary market. People want the cars, but they don't have the means to buy them new. For this reason, their buying power will NEVER influence the manufacturers. Just because Nissan refuses to build the car I want does not mean I will settle for what they want to build. F that. Only Kobe Bryant gets to foce people to take what they don't want.
When I was looking for a new car I went to my Nissan dealer and talked to a really good salesman. We chatted for a little while about all the Nissans I've owned and the GT-R that I have now. I described the kind of car I was looking for and I could see behind his smile in his eyes that his brain was going "crap, I've got nothing like that!" When I said I was looking at the BRZ it was like the kill shot. His shoulders slumped and he admitted there was nothing he had to sell me. He mentioned the Z, but admitted at the same time that wasn't what I was looking for.
Those folks, the salesmen out there in the trenches, only they really know what Nissan needs to build. They are the only people in the equasion who see the whole picture because they are the touch point between the manufacturer and the car-buying public. Carmakers can listen to marketers, conduct surveys and all that specious shiit, but the dealers know what people with the desire and more importantly the means to buy a car are after. My Nissan dealer knows a sale just walked out the door and he was powerless to stop it. How often is that happening? Only he and the other salesmen know. Perhaps it happened just that once. Maybe it happens a lot. I don't know. It would be foolish for a manufacturer to build things that don't sell. It's more foolish, though, to sell only products conceptualized in a vacuum and expect the consumer to toe the line because that's all you will make for them. I'm not going to do that and I am confident that unlike the perceived mass death of real enthusiast car owners, most people will not buy something that doesn't excite them on some level, even the smartphone zombies.
In conclusion, Nissan, good luck on achieving the milquetoast crown, wear it with pride, you've earned it. You used to build great cars en masse and I enjoyed them immensely; I love my GT-R and it will stay with me until the end I suspect, but as far as you current lineup, sorry. The only car you make that I want if the Leaf. Yeah the electric car. The guy with the AWD "godzilla with the Volvo semi truck turbo, seriously, and the on/off switch metal triple plate clutch skipped over your whole lineup for the car that plugs into the wall. Consult you $%#@in focus group and work that one out.