How quickly public opinion can change. Honda sales tumble 82.2%.

Discussion in 'General' started by gooki, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    Although not related to EV sales the Japan/South Korea public relations fallout is a very interesting look at how quickly public opinion can change, and the effect that has on demand.

    Within a year demand for Japanese cars have halved, and driven buyers to other manufacturers.

    Globally, will public disgust for polluting fossil fueled vehicles hit similar levels? Time will tell.
  2. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    In the next generation it will. I doubt the overwhelming majority of the current generation of car buyers will ever feel any disgust or guilt over burning fossil fuels to power their cars. If you don't grow up with a certain viewpoint, you may come to appreciate a viewpoint on an intellectual basis, but you're unlikely to ever feel it in your gut.

    When I was in college in the late '70s, my American History professor made this analogy: He drew a parallel between how settlers of the American West thought about the land and about the Amerinds ("native american" tribes) which were occupying the land. From the "white man's" perspective, the "indians" were wasting the land, by not settling down and practicing agriculture. Since Amerinds were (from their perspective) wasting the land, they had no "right" to it. Furthermore, driving the "indians" off their land was a necessity, so the settlers could have a place to grow crops and afford to support their family.

    Similarly, according to my professor, people these days see driving a car to commute to work, and burning fossil fuel, as something that is necessary for them to hold down a job and support a family.

    One of the points he was making is that we can't properly judge the actions of people in past generations, because we didn't grow up with the values they were taught. Future generations will look with horror on how people in industrialized worlds casually burned fossil fuels to power their cars, not only when it was necessary to go to work, but for every activity away from home, whether it's going to a movie or a concert, or driving the kids to soccer practice.

    But in the current generation, expressing anger or disgust at -- for example -- two people in a car driving on a date to their local cinema or music hall isn't likely to get you anywhere. It's much more likely to get you treated by the couple as if you're crazy!

    (And for the record, no, I've never tried to lay a "guilt trip" on anyone for driving a gasmobile. I have suggested to people who talk about buying a new car that they might consider if buying an electric car would fit their lifestyle; and if not, then suggested they might consider a fuel-efficient hybrid.)

    Re-Volted and interestedinEV like this.
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    In practice, we find a lot of misinformation about EVs being spread around. In some non-Tesla products, baked into by poor design decisions. In the case of Tesla, owners have 'reverse engineered' the heuristics as Tesla (like the other EV makers) has released only the minimum information. For example, there is no 'fasted route' option versus minimum charging session routing. You have to know to not drive past a SuperCharger versus extending the time at fewer SuperChargers.

    Bob Wilson
  4. OK, I gotta ask..., exactly what do you drive?
  5. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    Disgust, was probably the wrong word, "public sentiment" may have been better.

    But I'm still hopeful. We at least have one manufacturer insisting on making EVs better than ICE vehicles is every way.
  6. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Historical Revisionism has been part of our fabric. We look back at the past and do not understand it. I just read an article that Leonardo Da Vinci's revolutionary bridge design in 16th century would have worked, if people had the infrastructure and guts to try it out then. We can look back and say why did they not do it then? There has to be building blocks and the foundation for that to happen. We just now have the building blocks and the foundation for EVs to take off. As I pointed in a different forum, there were 60 electric taxi cabs in NY around 1910, but there was no infrastructure to support wider usage. Rather than belittle users of ICEs, let us give them incentives to change. The best incentive, a wide variety of choices. You build a better mousetrap...

    However, reading this article, I do not know that it has anything to do with ICE disgust. It has to do with nationalistic pride. It is more political than environmental. Koreans are still buying ICEs in the same quantities, just not Japanese ones. It has to do with past treatment of Koreans by the Japanese. And while Korean manufacturers may have made gains, the Germans are winners in this. And this is rather paradoxical. Germany was a Japanese ally when the atrocities in Korea happened and yet they are not being held culpable in any way.

    In contrast, German brands enjoyed a big jump in sales as they absorbed demand from their Japanese rivals. Sales of Mercedes-Benz almost quadrupled to 7,707 units in September from a year ago, while those of BMW doubled to 4,249 during the same period.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  7. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I had to give up driving some years ago. (My last "car" was a... 1993?... Toyota Truck, a compact pickup.) So, sadly, the question is irrelevant. If I had my choice, and could afford my "dream car", I'd definitely be driving a Tesla Model S! Probably an S85 or S90, and not a Performance trim level; I have no personal desire to shave tenths of seconds off the base 0-60 time.

    Speaking of lower trim level Model S's, I finally saw a Tesla car -- a Model S -- in my own neighborhood just the other day! And it was an S60. I dredged my memory for the last year that was made, and came up with 2015. We pulled up beside the S60 as they were getting ready to park, and I chatted with the driver for a bit. Sure enough, it was a 2015 production year unit.

  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    This is getting very off-topic, but the Germans did not commit war atrocities in Korea, as the Japanese did.

    And it's not just the Koreans, either. A public poll in China puts the Japanese as by far the most hated foreigners... and vice versa. The enmity between China and Japan goes back centuries, and it's not likely to disappear soon.

    Sorry to read about relations souring between the S. Koreans and the Japanese. The Japanese culture has many admirable traits; their management style is in many ways superior to the American. (For example, Japanese executives are far more likely to rub shoulders with the lowest level workers in their company, getting feedback directly from them; and the biggest disparity between low-level worker's wages and top executives is about 20-to-1, not the hundreds-to-one disparity all too common in large American corporations.) But the Japanese do unfortunately have a cultural inferiority complex, and the S. Koreans demanding a formal apology for WW II war crimes clearly hit the Japanese people right in that sore spot.

  9. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    May be one day, but not today. The drop in Korea can be attributed to the sense of nationalism, that this is the way to hit back at someone who wounded the Korean sense of identity. Take the Anti-Apartheid movement directed against South Africa (bot internally and externally). Even though it was based on the right thing, it took a long time to have an effect, even though there was universal condemnation of the practice. The climate change debate has still not come to the levels of emotional disgust that the apartheid practice raised in the minds of most people or the nationalistic pride that the Japanese actions in Korea and other places, have evoked. That is the key, there needs to be an emotional connection that appeals to ones sense of fairness , or an nationalistic (or it could be religious or cultural) connection that appeals to ones sense of identity for there to be a universal public disgust for polluting fossil fueled vehicles.

    However, that is beginning to happen. Greta Thunberg and few others have started to create the connection between climate change and self-preservation. The message that "you political leaders and people who do not act, are killing the younger generation by your action or inaction"has started to resonate with a larger group of people. This is a very powerful message at the gut level. Again, it is far away from becoming an overpowering movement, but the tide is beginning to turn. Once it becomes a tsunami, then only we will see what you are looking for. Obviously there are going to be people who want to torpedo this change, and hence it will take time before the resistance is overcome.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  10. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    The Germans did not actually do anything in Asia really. However, their actions and support for Japanese allowed some but not all of what happened to happen. If Germany had not done what they did, the Japanese could not have done what they did to the extent they did it. Yes the "Rape of Nanking" happened before the Second World War began, and Korea was occupied before the Second World War, but it took longer for the allies to defeat Japan due to fighting a war on many fronts. Again, it is not a direct connection between Germany and Korea, but more of abetting the continuation of a crime rather than committing one. So I agree it is much more tenuous and far easier to over look. Most people will not even make the connection.

    You are right about China having the same issues with Japan. I did not mention China as this article talks about Korea alone. And the same thing happened in the Philippines, Malaysia, Burma etc., but it was not as long lived an animosity as Korea and China and hence there is not as much push back as in China and Korea.

    Is it a cultural inferiority complex, or a cultural superiority complex where you cannot admit you did grievous wrong? Germans are prideful also but most of them acknowledge that wrong was done and they have made amends.
  11. Sorry to hear that, and do wish and trust that doesn't stop you from enjoying and living your life to the fullest possible. And thanks for answering the question,... had me wondering for a while whether you would. In any case, it does at least help me to understand where you are coming from with your posts, and probably explains a few things for me.
  12. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    To some people, "disgust" would a mild word, so it is not inappropriate in the context, though many may think it is too strong. What is needed is for the "public sentiment" to move to acceptance rather than move to "disgust". So I agree that "Public sentiment" may be a more neutral and less threatening word in this context.
  13. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I saw a social media comment just the other day -- was that in one of the comment threads in response to an InsideEVs news article? -- that criticized Greta Thunberg for throwing public temper tantrums.

    WOW! Somebody is rather deeply in denial. My response to Greta's outspoken environmental activism: You go girl!

    And if she's making some people uncomfortable, that's a good thing. At least some of those she makes uncomfortable will re-think their position, and hopefully at least a few will come to realize that she is saying something that everyone should listen to.

  14. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    Correct. But what's interesting is this display overrides brand loyalty.

    Many legacy ICE manufacturers believe brand loyalty will allow them to slowly transition to EVs.

    My expectation is this brand loyalty will not be as effective as they believe, once the market sentiment changes, many buyers will switch brands.

    As we see from this article, the loss could easily be in the 50-80% of customers changing brands. How long can each car company survive when sales fall by these amounts?
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Weird, we own a Tesla SR+ Model 3 and a BMW i3-REx having nothing to do with ‘green.’ They are quiet and reach the speed limit faster than other cars at half the cost per mile. Why would anyone with a brain drive anything else?

    We’ve known since the earliest Venus space observations what CO[2] does to a planet. We also know the gross contributions to global CO[2]. Mine is not even a rounding error.

    Meet me at a traffic light and I’ll show how fast I reach the speed limit. Ride in the passenger seat and feel the vibration free, quiet, acceleration. Then assert an ICE is better.

    Bob Wilson
    electriceddy likes this.
  16. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Nationalism appeals mainly to emotion, brand loyalty may have a little bit of an emotional component, but a lot of more rational thought. Emotions will triumph logic most of the time.

    Right. The reason for that is they believe that there is a rational process before people switch to EVs. They are expecting customers will look at features, at charging, at the ability to get in and start driving without having to worry about charging etc. And the legacy manufacturers have been right so far as the EVs are still in the nascent stage. However, if an emotional reason appears, all the brand loyalty will disappear.
  17. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I don't know that I want to get too deeply into a discussion of this, because asserting "this ethnic group has a cultural inferiority complex" is uncomfortably close to being a racist attitude. It's also not on topic for discussion in a forum about EVs.

    But it is a part of the Japanese culture, and it's at least part of why American and British soldiers held as prisoners of war in WW II were treated so extremely badly by the Japanese. Here's an article about the subject from the Japanese perspective.

  18. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    I understand it is way off topic, but in all fairness, I was responding to a particular phrase you had used. However I agree with you that is not a topic we need to continue to discuss.
  19. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I hope my comment didn't come across as criticizing you for commenting on this, "interestedinEV". I'm the one who raised the subject, not you. If there is anyone who deserves criticism for "going there", it's me.

  20. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    No worries

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