Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
Italian engineering quality can be superb. Roman civil engineering still stands as some of the finest.



Not too bad in modern times:



Unfortunately, at the low end of the scale it has acquired a reputation for being neither reliable nor beautiful. It does seem mad that the company that made this is seen as the salvation of the US automobile industry:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_engineering
You know that Fiat made Ferrari street cars for years right? Quality can be had for a price, there are just not enough people that can afford to pay the price so you get companies that lower their standards to broaden their customer base.

The cycle goes like this, spend years building a reputation for quality, lower prices to gain market share, lower quality to increase profit, repeat the cycle until product warranty claims reduce profits in a significant way. Once the company name is trashed, sell the company or just the name and run off with the money. The company that emerges either makes a different product, and or spends years rebuilding the name then the cycle starts again.