Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Richard
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Re: Why are French things generally poor quality?

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I've updated the title.

The OP was "Why are French things generally poor quality?". Like any other nation, the French are very good at many things and very bad at other things. Wine, food, haute couture and rugby are examples of French excellence. One could add cinema, but that's a bit like Marmite (a great British product :? ).

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Shrieker
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Manoah2u
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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djones wrote:Why, particularly in the automotive industry are French cars and parts of such poor quality?

They have the same materials and tools available as the rest of the world. It's not a poor country or anything like that.

So, is it work ethic or something?

Interested to hear some opinions as other than that, I'm at a loss really.
pardon my french but why do you concider them poor quality?

what reason do you hold their quality is poor, and to what do you compare this?
where is your 'reference' point?

why would you concider french cars to be less qualitative then british marques, spanish marques, etc.
is it the factory they are built in? but then do you concider that most cars are not built at all in their 'national origin' country?

if you compare them to german cars then why do you concider them better quality? is it the material? and do you reasonably compare class-to-class and segment-to-segment?

if you compare a audi a8 with a renault twingo, then sure, less quality but that's such an unfair comparison it's rediculous to even concider. if you compare a twingo with a vw up! then you might be in a better league. But then, do you compare a base model to the full luxury model or similar, and also in similar price range?

quite frankly, i don't believe in 'poor quality' anymore, really. renault, citroen, ford, skoda, vw, seat, mazda, honda, they're all in the same quality region. only mercedes, bmw and audi are in a higher level, and offcourse lexus, etc but there are many brands.

i can see one brand being built with cheaper material, like a dacia for example, compared to a seat exeo. however, it's a very unfair comparison. so - why would you concider them poor qualitY?
Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools.

Gettingonabit
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Biggest problem in the UK with French cars is their residual values - all three French manufacturers are towards the bottom of the list. I suspect there are many reasons for this, not only quality.

The problem with bad residuals is the big difference in cash when selling your old car and buying a new one.

Incidentally Manoah2u Dacia has one of the best residual values in the UK, work that one out! :shock: :)

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Unc1eM0nty
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Interesting reading with German cars amongst least reliable

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32332210

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djos
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Here in Australia Peugeot in particular has an appalling reputation for unreliable Electrical systems.

Renault the other hand has a reputation for making interesting, good quality cars and great hot hatches.

PS Citroen are sold here but their lack of commitment to the long haul (they've come and gone from the market multiple times) has relegated them to a tiny niche for ppl who like really weird cars.

PSS, Mercedes and BMW only sell their high spec models here and are quite expensive - In Australia if you want a good quality car without the luxury price tag, you buy a Mazda.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.

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WaikeCU
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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I remember in the past that Mercedes-Benz in the UK were made in Africa. Dunno if it still is.

Richard
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Be careful of confusing quality with value. They provide a rather valuable service for people who don't want to buy more expensive brands. It's all about perspective, they're the best cars on the planet for people who want a car in that price bracket.

As a minor aside to illustrate this, the Fiat Panda 4x4 has comparable offroad performance to a Range Rover and can drive along narrow lanes & tracks. So on that basis the Panda is much better value and the Range Rover is a waste of money. You can have a lot more fun driving a Panda.

Also we mustn't forget the French have produced a number of radical cars that changed various categories (or created new categories) in the industry. One could say they've had more influence than many so called prestige brands. For example: 2CV, DS, Espace, Megane, Traffic, 205 GTI.

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Kiril Varbanov
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Richard wrote: Also we mustn't forget the French have produced a number of radical cars that changed various categories (or created new categories) in the industry. One could say they've had more influence than many so called prestige brands. For example: 2CV, DS, Espace, Megane, Traffic, 205 GTI.
I absolutely applaud Citroen for their involvement in motor sports, just as well as the concept cars line - http://www.citroen.co.uk/about-citroen/concept-cars

But one of my all time favorites is C-SportLounge, which has later transformed into DS5. The concept car had more aerodynamics gadgets built in than a GP3 car. Moreover, it had drag coefficient of just 0.26.

ChrisM40
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Renault have certainly got a lot better, maybe Nissan influence there, but from what ive seen Peugeot have gotten much worse. Admittedly thery were never very well made or reliable, even the Legends like the 205 GTI fell apart, rusted out and broke down with extreme regularity.

Work colleague recently replaced his focus estate for a 308 estate. Similar price and over all spec, but the difference was staggering. Hollow feeling and sounding doors, cheap trim, distinctly average fit and finish and it generally didn't look like it would hang together for long. Indeed bits have dropped off, stopped working and already after 6 months it looks older than the 3 year old focus did.

Part of it might be the design, to my eye the Peugeot is hideous, it looks cheap, hollow and ugly, but I was surprised that it also seemed to be built the same way.

ChrisM40
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Unc1eM0nty wrote:Interesting reading with German cars amongst least reliable

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32332210
Well its interesting really. Ive may many cars including an MG ZT diesel, which has BMW electrics, engine, brakes and suspension. All the Rover or Rover modified bits worked fine, only the BMW sourced parts ever gave me any problems.

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Andres125sx
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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I have owned Peugeots, Citroen, and Renault right now, and IMO Citroen was awfull, but I love Peugeot. Quality/Price is hard to beat. Obviously Mercedes is higher quality, but also much higher price, so the coefficient IMO is not better
djones wrote:I think it would be unrealistic to say that based on that survey the french cars are some how reliable. Because anybody who knows about cars and has friends with a wide range of cars knows they are unreliable and poorly built.
My father´s BMW recently needed an engine replacement, the whole engine, and it´s not a single case, but a common problem. I´ve never had such a big problem with any of my french cars, actually I´ve never had any big problem with neither of them so I always smile when someone like you make some generalization about german or french cars

This said, I still love BMW, it has always been one of my favourite brands and I think it will always be, but before judging a brand (judging a whole country IMHO is childish) you must take into account a lot of things, and price is one of the first. I´m not sure any french brand is a lot worse than german brands reliability wise (and those links about reliability prove it), but I´m pretty sure any german car is significantly more expensive than any french car of similar segment so...

Quality of materials, quality of engineering.... those are different aspects and there germans show the reason they´re more expensive cars, but reliability wise I wouldn´t bet a cent they will be more reliable than french ones

ChrisM40
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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Indeed, but French cars seem to have more problems, although perhaps less show stopping. More modern cars have to be recyclable according to EU law and I think the premium brands took longer to adjust to these new rules.

I wouldnt real too much in to the Warrantydirect reliability survey, its userbase is somewhat skewed (towards premium cars in numbers) and about a useful at What? Magazines results, which are laughable.. JDpower and Driver power are better. What is consistent though is that the Japanese do well, the French do poorly, the Germans are nothing special with Audi especially is very poor. VW and BMW are at the same level as Rover, and Alfa should be ashamed of themselves.

grettu
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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If we look Tyrrel's history they were not so bad at all.

Stevier
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Re: Why are French cars generally poor quality?

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I agree that they are. I don't want to appear to be part of the french car bashing brigade, but the Renault's in particular are terrible and always breaking down. Have a look and notice the amount of clios abandoned at the side of the road.

My girlfriend had a Renault and I hated working on it. Just appears most of their systems aren't very well though out, plus they use daft fasteners half the time, stupid size hex heads such as 9mm, 13mm, 16mm etc etc.

Electrics are crap, weather seals are crap, blower motors unreliable, engine timing belts are prone to breaking before their service interval, engines in general are uninspiring, suspension arms prone to rusting, gear shift feels like a stick in a bucket of mud I could go on and on.

German cars quality too are over rated.

No guesses what country my preferred marques are from! Japan.

I personally think it is a direct result of the work ethic of the work force in some countries.

I have worked for PSA group and also Ford within the UK making alloy wheels, cylinder heads, and various other bits and pieces, manifolds, throttle bodies etc.

To be totally honest, no-one gave a damn, parts were dropped and reused, parts slightly out of machining spec were used, test rigs were tricked into passing calibration cycles etc etc.