May I take the liberty of mentioning in this letter some points of view of several American and Canadian friends and their attitude when comparing their requirements when buying? I have found that, except in a very few instances, the average American or Canadian will not purchase the more expensive type of English car, for the following reasons:-
(a) The drophead coupé is a very popular model, but what car made in England can compare in styling, seating capacity, modern innovations, high cruising speed, and economy of fuel consumption with the Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, etc., let alone in price.
(b) The average dollar buyer is not interested particularly in tests “Acceleration through gears” “Brakes at 30 m.p.h.” chassis dimensions, etc. He or she are more concerned with bodywork, seating capacity, latest mechanical innovations, and comfort.
(c) The central gear-change is considered old fashioned except for the minority of enthusiasts, and the English two/three-seater is not practical, as the majority of people motor with two, four or more people up.
(d) Most Canadians think nothing of going three hundred miles on a week-end throughout the summer months besides their daily motoring for business or pleasure.
I am sure that the average Englishman must be by now fed up with the word “export,” but as long as he is told that he must be deprived of his new car for the dollar market, surely the manufacturers of the higher-priced English cars could incorporate some of the features in their latest-model coupés.
I myself motor about fifty thousand miles during the year and have driven all over Europe before the war, although I do not pretend to class myself as anything else than the average American motorist.
I have attempted during the last few months to induce some of my friends who usually buy Cadillacs, Buicks or some comparable makes to change to an English coupé, but their reply is always the same, “Show us a drophead coupé, which, even if it is more expensive than our present car, can compare in modern design and equipment with our present car, and we will buy it.”
I feel that it is only through such a magazine as yours that this point of view call be made and perhaps drawn to someone’s attention, as I have lately been through some of the plants at Detroit and Michigan, and realise what competition is in store.
I know the difficulties that are encountered at every turn by the manufacturers in this country, and that for every point that I have mentioned there are no doubt a dozen valid reasons against, but I do not feel that I am alone in my bewilderment.
I’m pretty sure that you will realise that the views I express are made, as I hope, as constructive criticism, as there are many Canadians such as myself who, I feel sure, wish to aid in whatever small way they can the success of the “Export Drive” but who are unable to voice their suggestions.
May I extend my best wishes for the continued success of your most informative and interesting magazine.
I am, Yours, etc.,
London, N.W.1. M. R. SAMMEL.