Interesting, Chuck, that the automakers with the best reliability records are those that are carrying over their previous designs. While we praise innovation, especially in these days where automakers are preparing for strict CAFE standards, there's a price to be paid for innovation. Apparently that price is reliability.
It seems that this is nothing new. All through the 80's, 90's, and beyond, the reliability of the Toyota and Honda is what drove them to compete with the BIG 3! Do not get me wrong, as my Avatar suggests, I love American cars (especially the older ones). But realistically, when I shop for a used car, I go straight to Toyota or Honda. Why? They still have good life left in them even after 100K or more. I have purchased many mid 80 and 90's American cars and all had issues after about the 100K mark. None of it really mechanical, but the plastic, the electronics, the paint, the interiors all turn to crap. Yet, a 1998 Corolla still looks good and everything works (250K)! The only other vehicle that got 250K for me was a Suburban. But at today's gas price, who can afford to drive (on a regular basis) anything that big?
I do think Ford and GM are designing with the CAFE in mind (though I think their cars are still too big to meet the standards). Charles is continually showing DN readers the innovations that are driving these designs and the Asians may find themselves behind. But for now, I like the if it ain't broke... approach.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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