car maker secrets - kevls
is it true car makers dont want you to know whats going on under the bonnet how the engine works is that why most new cars have to be serviced by the main dealer and everything is sealed on the engine do the electonic managements systems have things which prevent other car makers finding out what signals are sent you where i wonder if they break other car makers cars up and see how they work and copy it slightly do the japanese do this and other car makers and spy on each other
car maker secrets - smokie
Err.... Yes (if I understood the query properly - some punctuation would help!)

I believe Ford have a plant in Dunton Essex, which apart from being their test track is where they dismantle the opposition and work out what they are missing out on.

car maker secrets - Galaxy
Yes, smokie, I had the opportunity to visit Fords Research Centre at Dunton several years ago. During our visit we were shown around the Electronics Centre where various different cars were having a wide range of performance parameters measured.

Whilst we were there we were only shown Ford cars but, reading between the lines of what our guide was saying, I firmly believe they had all the other makes of car there too! For the duration of our visit these had conveniently been locked away out of sight. These would also have been tested in a similar fashion.
car maker secrets - Aprilia
is ittrue car makers dontwant you to knowwhats going on under
the bonnet how there engine works is that why most new
cars have to be serviced bythe main dealer and everything is
sealed on the engine do ther electonic managements systems have things
which prevent other car makers finding out what signals are sent
yo where i wonder if they break other car makers cars
up and see how they work and copy it slightly do
the japanese do this and other car makers and spy on
each other

>>
Yes, I used to do this very thing at one time. Its politely called 'Vehicle Analysis'. Company A pays you to report on Company B's product. Can involved dynamic assessment of the car (ride, handling, NVH, performance etc etc) or a stripdown for technology assessment etc. Can take a few weeks and they get a report. Often a manufacturer will pick a rival model as a 'benchmark' and seek to better it.
There are few secrets. Certainly sensor signals etc are no problem. Most electronic systems are sourced from third parties and there is no problem in reverse engineering and hence discovering what is going on. Ironically it is the Japanese who are being 'spied on' these days, rather than the Europeans or US makers.
car maker secrets - Xileno {P}
It's been going on for decades. Back in the mid 1950's my grandfather worked for a well known British (at the time) tractor manufacturer. When the opposition brought out a new model, the first thing they did was buy one and strip it down in their workshop. I suspect the opposition did the same...
car maker secrets - jacks
I used to work for a large very well known American photo copier manufacturer (yes, that one!) and they would strip down every single competitors product, do reliabilty tests and work out exactly what the competitor was paying for each component part using detailed worldwide labour rate information and analysing every manufacturing process used.
There was a lab with every competitors machine laid out and working, together with another similar model alongside with all the parts disassembled and laid out.
At any time a designer could walk in and see , say 30 , ways of approaching a particular function of the product

If anybody gets a technical/ cost advantage through a new piece of design of improved process it's soon copied or adapted.
car maker secrets - rtj70
Whilst at Bentley's site in Crewe, spotted a Aston Martin DB9 before they were out. Someone there told me they had it on loan (directly from AM) to take it apart. They joked they'd put it back together better than AM did originally. Apparently this happens all the time and they lend each other cars to "take a look at".

Rob
car maker secrets - turbo11
Yes.Manufacturers look at the oppositions products to help improve their own.I have seen other manufacturers vehicles in various states of dis-assembly in Mercedes and porsche(stuggart)and Honda(japan)and here in the uk for a famous race team who make road cars.
car maker secrets - Gromit {P}
Kevls asked: "i wonder if they [car manufacturers] break other car makers cars up and see how they work and copy it slightly"

Not only manufacturers do this. A friend of mine, a metallurgist, worked for a supplier (can't say who) to a number of manufacturers. They used to buy and dismantle production cars - to figure out how best to replace steel parts with aluminium ones.

They had a giant rotary saw, which was used to cut the car in half. One half was dismantled, the other half was kept in storage for reference. He nearly cried the day he saw a brand new Porsche 911 pass through that saw!
car maker secrets - J Bonington Jagworth
"They had a giant rotary saw, which was used to cut the car in half."

Forgive the scepticism, but that sounds unlikely, or, at least, a simplification. I can't think of many saws that could slice a gearbox or crankshaft, even if it wasn't a bit pointless.
Just because James Bond's enemies can do it... :-)
car maker secrets - Cliff Pope
"They had a giant rotary saw, which was used to cut
the car in half."
Forgive the scepticism, but that sounds unlikely, or, at least, a
simplification.


There's a famous Laurel & Hardy scene when they do just that.
car maker secrets - Gromit {P}
Yes John, I did simplify matters somewhat. I've never seen the rig in question, but my friend assures me enough cars were dissected to justify the company having a dedicated cutting rig for it.

Now I think of it, his description was that for all the world it ressembled a bandsaw. Apologies.

He also assures me he was present to see the 911 meet its fate courtesy of the aforementioned cutting rig...
car maker secrets - Big Bad Dave
Our magazine did a feature on the Chinese "spies" at the last Frankfurt motorshow. They weren?t exactly discreet, crawling all over and under the cars, measuring every possible dimension and ticking off their findings on thick A3 clipboards.
car maker secrets - Stuartli
It's a well documented story that, before producing the first Lexus 400 in the late 1980s, Toyota snapped up every make of luxury car in the world (including Mercedes, BMW etc) and pulled them apart down to the smallest screw.

It then absorbed the best features of each marque, further improved the quality and reliability levels of every piece or component and incorporated them into the new model.

As a result the 400 is one of the finest built models in the world and enjoys legendary reliability, in common with most Toyota models at whatever price range.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
car maker secrets - Aprilia
LOL! Well, some years ago I was involved in pulling a Lexus LS400 apart for a well-known European car maker. I remember that we were quite surprised when we found the 'silencers' over the electical relays (to quieten the 'click')!
car maker secrets - mss1tw
It's a well documented story that, before producing the first Lexus
400 in the late 1980s, Toyota snapped up every make of
luxury car in the world (including Mercedes, BMW etc) and pulled
them apart down to the smallest screw.
It then absorbed the best features of each marque, further improved
the quality and reliability levels of every piece or component and
incorporated them into the new model.
As a result the 400 is one of the finest built
models in the world and enjoys legendary reliability, in common with
most Toyota models at whatever price range.


Where do I sign?
car maker secrets - Roly93
I believe when the mini first came out in 1959, Ford bought and dismantled one. After much deliberation they decided it was impossible to make and sell the Mini for the price the base model sold at. ie that BMC were making a loss on every one !!
car maker secrets - BazzaBear {P}
I believe when the mini first came out in 1959, Ford
bought and dismantled one. After much deliberation they decided it was
impossible to make and sell the Mini for the price the
base model sold at. ie that BMC were making a loss
on every one !!

That explains a lot.

I remember a story from the David Brown days at Aston Martin. One of his friends approached him and asked if he could buy a car at cost, since he was a friend. DB replied that he couldn't do that to him, it'd mean charging more than retail.
car maker secrets - Happy Blue!
Well known and true story, as told (as in other places) in the recent biography of Alec Issigonis.
--
Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
car maker secrets - ukbeefy
My understanding was that Ford was much more advanced in understanding production cost accounting compared to BMC at the time...BMC supposedly had no real idea of the cost of actual manufacturing of their cars ie what it cost in practice (ie given production line quirks)and how that varied eg by model, different suppliers, time of year etc. Also if you read about various BL and previous model design processes is that there was often relatively little attention paid to how easy a car was to assemble in real life...Apparently when they began assembly of the Triumph Acclaim based on the Honda Ballade design, the workers were amazed as to how it was so well designed to be built easily and without alot of work arounds or bodges...strangely enough build quality was good as a result.

car maker secrets - J Bonington Jagworth
"Ford was much more advanced in understanding production cost accounting compared to BMC"

Didn't Ford dismantle a mini and declare in uneconomic to build and sell at the price?

I remember a Ziebart man telling me that discussions with Ford on the subject of rust prevention (they were even more rust-prone then) fell apart when it turned out that the amount of extra expenditure that Ford were contemplating was of the order of 17p per vehicle!

Their bean-counter tendencies were nicely exposed by the case of an employee who was sacked for doing a 'Johnny Cash' on a Cortina, having been caught smuggling the bits home. They wanted compensation for the retail value, but quickly back-pedalled when the real manufacturing cost became the focus of attention!
car maker secrets - kevls
well i totally agree with you lexus are asuperb car well engineered. build quality second to none infact i think it just as good asd mercedes benz or bmw.
car maker secrets - v8man
Playing with the electronics is easy as non-franchised dealers can now buy the diagnostic kit to service cars.
Indeed I have the Rovacom system for Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles. It is more versatile than Land Rover dealers Testbook and more parameters can be accessed and remaped.
--
\"Nothing less than 8 cylinders will do\"
 

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