Re: Junkers anyone?
- From: Nate Nagel <njnagel@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 06:19:59 -0500
Jack Denver wrote:
Yugoslavia was not fully integrated economically or militarily into the Warsaw Pact and so it's products were slightly better than most of the other E. Bloc countries and its consumers were a little better off - a smaller percentage of production was devoted to the military so there was more left over for consumers. In Russia the military was the absolute #1 priority - they got the best of what there was and the consumers got the leftovers if any, except that sometimes they wouldn't even get that - if there was some rare Soviet product that was actually marketable in the West (most weren't) Soviet consumers would never see them - high quality furs such as sable, gold, etc. . This was true in watches as well. Of course whatever is exported today has to survive by market rules so the companies either satisfy the market or disappear (Yugo automobile - perhaps the worst auto ever sold on the US market).
The Yugo wasn't really that bad; it was just an outdated Fiat design. Really, the best thing to do with a Yugo was to replace anything that broke with Fiat parts as it seemed that they cut corners on material quality in non-essential places like door locks, trim, etc.
I always wanted to take a Yugo and put a sportier Fiat engine under the hood just to really screw with the Honda Civic "tuner" wannabes :)
The problem with a lot of the E. Bloc stuff was not that it was utterly bad (though they had some of that stuff too - the Yugo auto) but that the "great is the enemy of the good". So if Product A is solid but a little stodgy in its styling and Product B is a little flimsy but the styling is up to date and it comes in an attractive box with color graphics and is advertised on television, product B will win every time. This is what happened to a lot of the former E. German products after re-unification.
Not to get too off topic, that is what happened *outside* the Eastern Bloc as well, and is part of the reason why GM and to a lesser extent Ford are having so many troubles now... They got used to selling an "acceptable" product but haven't had a "great" one since the early 70's...
-- replace "fly" with "com" to reply. http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel .
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