Blog: Dave LeggettBack to the future

Dave Leggett | 31 July 2003

Received an interesting note from US-based Brit journalist and sometime just-auto contributor John Rettie musing on the relative success in the market of BMW's new Mini versus Volkswagen's now less than hot New Beetle. John points out that he believed the new Mini would be a much bigger hit long-term than the New Beetle as it was not a retro car but a belated natural evolution of the original. He adds that he thinks the New Beetle caused a major problem with American car design - he calls it the 'J Mays effect' - as it caused American companies to think retro was the only way to go, so they've been looking back instead of forward. There certainly are plenty of examples of back-to-the-future designs from the Big Three around. Maybe it's a little unhealthy. Good point for lively debate.

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