By about the mid to late 1980s the Japanese started making some very very good cars... the european cars were and remain pretty terrible in terms of cost and reliability here. Very expensive to buy and to fix, and not really worth the extra money.
In comparison to push the Japanese car industries they implemented legislation in Japan that made owning a car more than 3 or four years old rather expensive, so they go in to the habit of buying new models all the time and not using them very long which drove Japanese car exports for used cars... barely used cars...
They were high quality and cheap... I remember going from a Mk 4 Ford Cortina to a Toyota Corona and it was like day and night. The Cortina at high revs in top gear (4th) could do about 110km/h on the motorway... in comparison the Japanese car was much faster, much quieter... and driving at night was totally different.
The Cortina had two standard lights but was always fitted with extra sports lights and with all four turned on the view at night was pathetic... most of the time you couldn't tell they were on where there were street lights... the Toyotas lights were outstanding... I didn't like driving at night in the cortina because of the poor headlights. Every time it went for a warrant it cost money because something had to be fixed... the Toyota just needed fuel and the water and oil topped up occasionally.
I have a friend who loved British cars... he had about a dozen vehicles, but most of the time half of them weren't in a running condition...
The Chinese have a reputation of being blind copiers... which is ironic considering most countries copy ideas anyway.
I think the Chinese have as much potential as the Japanese did... I mean the Japanese still make expensive copies of US products even to this day but they rarely get shit for that.
Will move this stuff to the usual thread.