The Japanese can copy all they like and may fool most of the world......but the Europeans at least are no mugs. Here are some extracts from an article from "Automotive News Europe". The full article can be seen at http://europe.autonews.com/article.cms?articleId=51429
How the Japanese lost their way in Europe
Combined market share has actually fallen since Japan's carmakers began building plants here
By Richard Feast
Automotive News Europe / July 15, 2002
Collectively, Japan's net sales after all that effort is a Big Zero. Its net financial result is a black hole
Japan's engineering standards were unequaled, but European buyers did not want what they produced. They preferred European design flair, whatever the quality flaws
For Europeans, then, Japanese brands remain a vague amalgam of mainstream models. There is no Japanese equivalent of Alfa Romeo, Volvo, Jaguar or Citroen.
The Japanese never understood European design and what is in the minds of European consumers,"