Regulations, Cost Keep Cars Looking The Same

By Dee-Ann Durbin

FILE - This undated file publicity photo released by Nissan Motor Company shows the all-new small crossover Nissan Juke. Sales of the Nissan Juke have been anemic so far this year. (AP Photo/Nissan Motor Company, File)

DETROIT (AP) – When Jim Mattison was growing up in the early 1950s, he remembers visiting Detroit car dealerships with his family each fall to check out the new models. By the time he was in kindergarten, he could name any car’s make and model just by looking at the hubcaps.

“At 60 miles an hour and 60 feet away, you could identify a Chrysler from a Ford from a DeSoto,” said Mattison, who spent his career in the auto industry and now runs a Pontiac archive.

These days, even Mattison has trouble telling one brand from another. Government regulations, increased competition and profit-squeezed carmakers have filled the streets with bland lookalikes. With the cost of developing a new car easily climbing to $1 billion, automakers are loath to take risks.

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Posted by on Oct 1st, 2012 and filed under Techline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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