Yes I too have wondered about the car parallel.What is wrong is some customers will accept a poor standard of workmanship on bike frames. I wonder if they would buy a new car with visible welds like that on the exterior of the body? Somehow I doubt it!
How have they managed to get folk to accept it?
There is such a thing as economy simple agricultural manufacture and making a virtue/chic thing of it.
And passing the savings on to the buyer.
I'm thinking of the original Fiat Panda - a very clever bit of design - it had external door hinges covered by plastic cowls - but it never stooped to such things.
And some of these ally terribly welded things aren't cheap.
Talk about things/bikes going backwards.