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Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

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  • Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

    I know its not easy to design a car, but with so much work you have to put to "fab" up a kit car I would think that there would be -more- designers out there who would make one off styles then trying to copy Ferraris and Lambos. (nothing against those types of kits) I know the "exotic car copies" have their place in the kit car world, but why arent there more futuristic type kit cars? and I dont mean those jet style ones made in the 80's. Like real world -NOW- future plausible exotics like how you see car manufacturers come out with in concept cars you see at the auto shows: http://www.motortrend.com/future/concept_cars/

    I mean real world exotic cars are basically a glimse into the future and eventually the features in the exotics trickle down to the daily drivers. So with that in mind why dont kit car manufacturers design new types of cars. (like how K1 did with the attack) Is it just easier to copy a lambo or ferrari?

    Just curious why so many (not all) kit cars out there are copies and not one-of-a-kind designs.

  • #2
    Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

    because people with excess CASH purchase the high dollar cars ( movie stars ,CEOs, rappers etc those that can afford the life style of the rich a famous ,most of us here cannot afford those brands so this work both ways a lower cost look a like would atract people whom have above avarage income an a small well managed shop could make a profit too selling them
    In the USA if you pay a company / person to start a plug, then it,s your plug and work ,it is not theirs to sell or trade !!

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    • #3
      Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

      basic business rules , the object is to make a product that sells, and recreating an already proven "show stopper" minimises the risk of being out many thousands of dollars.

      Just look at the major manufactures , they spend millions on research and customer focus groups and still make the odd "pig in a poke".

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      • #4
        Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

        Kit-car builders are small operations compared to the big dogs...They don't have the money to invest into a brand new design. Plus its much more risky without a reputation to carry you. Example: If GM came out with a butt ugly car (btw they did its called the HHR) they still would attain buyers due to customer loyalty. If you were to open a shop and design a one-of-a-kind concept people would ask "who the heck is Shawn808?" Do you think they would trust your "good looking" design and look past your newbie-ness? doubt it....

        If Kit-car builders had a garaunteed number of purchasers, then i dont see why they wouldnt use a little creativity.

        We can't look past the obvious that, using CAD models and Real-car-molding techniques, its also easier and cheaper to make a kitcar from a car that already exists...

        like Detriot said, business is business......

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        • #5
          Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

          Those are very good points but if that supply and demand is the case I am now wondering why they dont make cars that are already a proven "hit" at the concept car autoshows? Like the new Camaro concept everyone has been waiting for for 3+ years now, or the new Acura NSX concept, Lotus Esprit concept, Dodge Challenger RT, Dodge demon or Aston Martin Rapide concept?

          Plus I think most everyone loves the "concept car" but when the bean counters and lawyers get their hands on them they distort them. (most times for the worse) so why do these kit car companies not create these concept cars in the original form that everyone already loves?

          Dont mean to create conflict just wondering.
          Thanks
          Shawn

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          • #6
            Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

            Shawn most kitcar people don't want a lawsuit! ;D Those concept cars are copyright material and I would nearly bet you the designer and producer of the concepts would come after you. This goes to a post Epic put up in another thread about the Cadillac Cien that was debuted in 2002. To me it is one of the most beautiful cars ever built, but I dare not copy it, at least not soon!

            Mike

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            • #7
              Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

              the "copy" rules are very complex, and whilst you could probably make a case for the fact that its not exact because ..bla bla bla , most of the manufactures are sole traders or 3 or 4 guys getting together to turn a dream/hobby into something that pays the rent.(probably just about) . if you use the same basic rules as say a small independent car company in the UK (tvr, marcos etc) then to sell a car for 45k , you have to have built it and paid for all the parts for less than 13.5k your profit per unit (after taxes) would be about 3.5K .

              Now translate that to a "kit car" producer ..... body = 10k , materials,labour, cost of money(the bank), sales and overhead 5k , development pay back for the 25+k it cost to get you to actually selling a single body , say 1.5k per unit (selling 20 kits takes a long time!) taxes etc and you probably make 2k per unit gross profit!

              so if you wanted to live the lifestyle of the rich and famous by being a "kit car" manufacturer , i think there are easier ways .

              before i get somewhat chastised for suggesting it costs 25+k to make plugs and molds ,yes it can be done cheaper if you work out of a shed, and dont have to pay someone else, but i bet DNA and extreme spent that sort of money on thier projects.

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              • #8
                Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

                Thanks for the replies. I dont want to start a kit car company, but was just wondering why so many of them were Ferraris and Lambos and not other makes or one-off models.

                I always did want to start a -car design- company, but more so as add ons to existing cars. I think the aftermarket for cars like body kits and spoilers have become too "ricey" and not enough class or style to make the car look better as they tend to make the cars look just flashy or different. A few companies like AC Schnitzer and Brabus for the euro brands do a good job, but most others are just too out there to be tasteful for me. But thats only a dream for now as detroitbrit has said the costs are just too much.

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                • #9
                  Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

                  Originally posted by Shawn808
                  Those are very good points but if that supply and demand is the case I am now wondering why they dont make cars that are already a proven "hit" at the concept car autoshows? Like the new Camaro concept everyone has been waiting for for 3+ years now, or the new Acura NSX concept, Lotus Esprit concept, Dodge Challenger RT, Dodge demon or Aston Martin Rapide concept?

                  Plus I think most everyone loves the "concept car" but when the bean counters and lawyers get their hands on them they distort them. (most times for the worse) so why do these kit car companies not create these concept cars in the original form that everyone already loves?

                  Dont mean to create conflict just wondering.
                  Thanks
                  Shawn
                  a "hit" at an autoshow holds less water than a "hit" in real life sales figures....

                  an autoshow only stimulates interest in potential buyers where as sales figures show real figures of exchanged currency for units produced by the manufacturer.

                  Not the same kind of "hit"...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

                    I think the main reason that kit manufacturers stick to recreating the existing designs is that it is a very difficult task to design bodywork that works from all angles, at the level of the big players. I've seen so many designs over the years coming from people that attempt to 'roll their own'... And most just fail miserably. I think one design that stands out from the crowd is the K1 Attack. Seriously nice design. Same the Factory Five GTM is a beautiful car. (although obviously derived from a French design from the early 90's). But there are so few.... In any case, the odds are really against the small shop.

                    The other point made that I agree with is that the image recognition is amazingly high for the factory exotics and you just can't buy that kind of publicity as a small manufacturer. It's a numbers game, when going into a market as vertical as kit cars you need as much public awareness of your product as you can get. You say you offer a Lambo kit and people already have a visual of the final product. I tell people I am selling a grabercars la bala kit and they have no clue what that is. Do you? www.grabercars.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

                      Originally posted by bowser330
                      Kit-car builders are small operations compared to the big dogs...They don't have the money to invest into a brand new design. Plus its much more risky without a reputation to carry you.

                      Wrong, wrong, wrong ??? You don't need a bank to invent some new design. For example, when I'm going to invent a new design I invest only a small paper and ball-point pen with black ink.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

                        3d you are missing the point, the question posed was "why so many copies in production" not how cheap can you pen an original design.
                        From the flavour and content of your threads and replies it is apparent that you deal with the abstract ( pen paper graphic) end of the design spectrum, so you are no doubt equally aware that the ratio of original concept "sketches" to actual concept hardware is about 100 sketches per one phyical entity.

                        So as is evident by the plethora of 3d designs that are readlily available on the web, abstract creation is relatively inexpensive , bringing the dream to life takes money. money = business , business = ROI (return on investment) , ROI = min risk(sort of) , min risk = copy

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                        • #13
                          Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

                          Originally posted by detroitbrit
                          3d you are missing the point, the question posed was "why so many copies in production" not how cheap can you pen an original design.
                          From the flavour and content of your threads and replies it is apparent that you deal with the abstract ( pen paper graphic) end of the design spectrum, so you are no doubt equally aware that the ratio of original concept "sketches" to actual concept hardware is about 100 sketches per one phyical entity.

                          So as is evident by the plethora of 3d designs that are readlily available on the web, abstract creation is relatively inexpensive , bringing the dream to life takes money. money = business , business = ROI (return on investment) , ROI = min risk(sort of) , min risk = copy

                          detroitbrit, I just replied to this quote:
                          Kit-car builders are small operations compared to the big dogs...They don't have the money to invest into a brand new design. Plus its much more risky without a reputation to carry you.
                          I assure you that I know what I'm doing as I already have experience with turning my concept drawings/3d models into real car body. And yes, I know that building of a car is not a kid game and you have to solve 3x more problems than your expectations in the begining.

                          money = business , business = ROI (return on investment) , ROI = min risk(sort of) , min risk = copy
                          Speaking of business, I would add:
                          min risk with less profit and already done advertising = copy (replica)
                          bigger risk with bigger profit = AOR (awesome original design)

                          And add this one to the above:
                          bigger ROI = longer development (better engineering and quality finish)

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                          • #14
                            Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

                            When i say "they dont have the money" i mean they dont have the quantity and power of millions of dollars to create a brand new design. I mean full out design it into a prototype, etc. There is lots of money that goes into new designs. Making a kit car is very efficient in that it uses the designs of productions cars in a mish-mash effect. For example, If you have a certain style of vent on your design, can you take credit for that vent design? Or did you see it on another car, a car that pioneered that vent, or even that vent location, did you just change the shape of the vent slightly? or maybe move its locations slightly? Is that all it takes to be Original. Sounds like Inspired might be a better word to use.

                            Sketches are great, shoot i sketch all the time. all i am saying is one must not feel so empowered to claim they are original when they were actually inspired by designs already made.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Why are most of the kit cars copies of production cars?

                              bowser would it help to ease the tension that everyone has with Bobi to know that one of his designs is being built right now? I will be the first to admit that Bobi sometimes doesn't use the right choice of words, but please keep in mind English is not his native language. All he did in this thread was to voice his opinion.......kinda like you have done, as well as the rest of us. There is just no reason for a personal attack nor an attempt at humilation.

                              I don't know when my customer will release photos of his build, but it is a 3D design by Bobi, and it is in the process of being carved on cnc now. It's also not going to takes millions and billions of $$ to get this going. Of course I'm not the one putting the $$ out either! ;D

                              I'm not trying to call you out, just ask that we all get along! ;D Smiles are always better than frowns!

                              Mike

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