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Old 01-22-2014, 04:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I was discussing homogenization of car features with a few coworkers yesterday.* I don't even read the specs about power windows or door locks; it is assumed that they are standard.* We know that the Lexus SC430 was the last vehicle to offer a cassette deck.*



What was the last car that had an optional passenger sideview mirror?*

What was the last car that wasn't available with ABS?*



Looking forward:

What is next to be "universally standard"?* Backup camera?* Touchscreen?* USB port? Bluetooth? Auto headlights/wipers?* LED headlights?*
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Back up Camera was slated to be standard on all 2015MY vehicles.* I believe the government standards were delayed a year.*



Automakers will only standardize a feature when the economies of scale no longer yield a profit for a marketing check box on your order guide.* I.E. when it becomes a cost to have a*Visteon POS head unit without RDS versus having a Sony head unit with 6 speakers and a 4" color LCD.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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In my experience Japanese brands tended to offer the minimum equipment to get you to buy, while German brands tended to try to make the ownership experience better even though many of their features wouldn't appear on a window sticker.



Examples:



Previous-generation Acura TL - did not offer automatic headlights!

Previous-generation VWs had myraid little touches such as lit icons on the power door lock switches that visually indicated their status in the dark!
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The "oddball" combinations have all gone away-- the dealers order vehicles ahead of time because most people dont want to wait for a custom order, and its easier to sell someone a vehicle they can drive today and take home today. So the Dealer orders the colors and options most likely to move quickly, whether via retail or dealer trade. Thats how we end up with lots full of jellybeans with power everything and black leather seat in 17 shades of silver.



The Dealer Principle at the Ford dealer I worked for had forbidden ordering a Mustang in any color but Red, Blue (either shade), or Black. For example. And most people will settle for one of those colors rather than wait for one in another color
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