I’m no expert on the subject, but I was just thinking about the development cycles of cars, and I don’t think it really makes sense. Why do new car models come out every year? Why are the engineers beholden to the calendar? We only have to have new car models every year because that’s the established way of doing it. I don’t think there’s really any other reason, other than tradition. New models should be released when they are ready.
This idea that a company is expected to release a model of their product each year is almost unique to the car industry. What else do we expect to be refreshed each January? Other products, like the laptop I’m typing this on, don’t get released on a certain month – they are released when they are done.
I think a 5 year development cycle for cars would result in better, safer, cheaper cars. Just the money saved in retooling factories alone would account for a significant drop in car prices.
Intel follows a two year development cycle at their chip foundries. Maybe the car industry should take a look at the microprocessor industry.