Originally Posted by Artwood
Why is it that trillion dollar cars are produced and sold and companies don't go out of business doing so but the same thing doesn't happen with TVs?
Is it just that there are people that will buy trillion dollar cars but hardly anyone will spend more for a state of the art TV?
This thread is depressing--it appears like we're doomed to inferior television.
Muscle cars peaked in 1970. Most people here would say that TVs peaked quality wise with the Pioneer Kuro sets.
By 1974 car performance was in the toilet.
Will we have to wait as many years for TV performance to return as we did for car performance to outdo 1970?
If you buy a "trillion-dollar car" you get to drive it on public streets and have people go "ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh". There is nothing like seeing the reaction of other people to a Ferrari or Lamborghini, never mind a Bugatti. People are in awe. When you can own -- and experience -- something that puts others genuinely in awe, it's worth hundreds of thousands (or even $2 million in the case of the pricey Bugatti) to own. And, really, while few people ever get to truly drop the hammer on one of those cars even if they do own it, you know
as the owner it's like nothing else out there. The psychic benefits are real, even if they are ethereal.
All of that stuff in video is harder to feel, harder to make others feel, and experienced by fewer people. Still, there are multi-million-dollar home theaters, Runco and B&O flatscreens, etc. It's not like that market doesn't exist. What it lacks, really, is a BMW/M-B/Audi/Lexus tier....
Originally Posted by Steve S
Because exotics like Ferrarri, Lambo, Bugatti Veyron, etc. are actually owned by Fiat, Audi, and VW (respectively). Profits from lower end bread and butter models sold in high volume are subsidizing R&D costs on exoticars. Toyota can take a huge loss on every one of their new Lexus exoticars because they sell lotsa Corollas.
I'm as fond of the old muscle cars as anybody, but one can walk into any number of dealerships right now and drive out in something that out-accelerates the best of them, gets reasonable cruising fuel economy, and actually goes around corners for less money allowing for inflation.
I think you're right about public willingness to pay for premium quality televisions, it's just not there vs cars. Maybe because you can't park a tv on your driveway to impress the neighbors.
[ /nods head in violent agreement]
Rogo would know better than I whether Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp are making enough money in other areas to continue to subsidize R&D in thier tv divisions. Matsushita, Panasonic's parent, makes everything from led lighting to compressors for fridges, Sony owns a movie studio and has revenue streams from video gaming. Sharp makes a helluva microwave oven.
You know the best way to make a small fortune? Start with a large fortune and set some of it on fire....
The problem is you can't subsidize R&D in a TV division that overall keeps losing a ton of money. Sony could afford to invest money in TV R&D. They just really haven't for more than a decade. Sure, someone is now going to chime in and claim they do, but it's a fiction. Sony hasn't been a primary maker of panels in PDP or LCD since the middle 1990s (yes, they make some LCDs... no, virtually none of those are used in the vast majority of their TVs). They have invested a pittance in OLED while Samsung and LG have invested billions. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that they have a money-losing TV division that they then don't want to invest money in.... Matsushita bet on mainstreaming plasma and basically ran into a brick wall of gigantic over-investment in LCD which led to incredible price reductions and an inevitable victory for LCD. Forget Sharp... they have two main businesses, both of which have been slammed by the high yen and brutal competition from mainland Asia... It's not all doom and gloom.. Any one of the three can come back, but it's not going to be easy.