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U.S. Auto Companies: Down The Crapper

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
This week Toyota overtook GM in quaterly auto sales. GM is in danger of losing it's status as world's "biggest" automaker by year's end.

Today, a Ford executive was quoted as saying the auto market is "terrible" right now. http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...src=rss&rpc=23

Chrysler has it's own problems to be sure, though saw a slight bump is sales last month.

One has to ask how much longer it will take to right the ship, even if it can be done. The way I see it is this:

-- All three companies make too many vehicles. There are competing models in the same category and too many configurable options. This is starting to be addressed.

--All three are beholden to the disgusting UAW. Their absurd contracts, where people with virtually no education can make $50,000-100,000 a year building cars, are killing them.

--Their vehicles are still of inferior quality to Japanese products, wherever those products are actually built. It's got to be in the design process. A Toyota is good for 250,000 miles if you never change the oil. Take care of it and it lasts a good 500,000. A GM car is good for 80,000 and then it starts falling apart. Take it from me...I've had both brands. Fit and finish is not as good. Things just go wrong more frequently. Instead of actually addressing quality, they address things that customers perceive to mean a quality car, like a quiet ride. Ford even has an ad now that talks about how their car is "quieter than a Lexus something or other." Stupid. Build a better car and can the marketing crap.

--All three have become more finance companies than car companies. This is their own fault. The worst...and I mean worst mistake...ever...was to introduce rebates. No one will buy an American brand car without a big rebate now. When I bought my 2003 GMC Envoy (big mistake, by the by)...I got like $4000 in rebates...AND $5000 off the sticker. Just lower the goddamned price from $41,000 to $32,000 an be done with it.

--GM in particular made healthcare promises it can't keep. Their healthcare costs last year were over 5 billion. They simply have to change that, even it means breaking promises.

--Following every consumer fad instead of providing a quality product and evolving it slowly with market demand. A good example is SUVs. They had to know that gas would double in price or could and that would screw them over. But NO! They jumped on the bandwagon and lived high on the hog off massive SUV markups for 10 years. It was like the late 60s and early 70s all over again. Those stupid Jap SUVs can't compete! We're Ford! Quality is Job #1! GMC is Professional Grade! RAM: Hemi! In this respect, the Big Three remind me of The RIAA's response to digital music. They're only now waking the fuck up and actually giving a damn about efficiency and realizing that WOW..those "japs" actually know wtf they are doing.

--From a more techical standpoint, I've heard the way "we" design cars is totally different than the more "team oriented" approach they use at Toyota and Nissan and what not. My understanding is the same team is responsible for the whole vehicle and especially quality control, whereas the domestics have specialists and managers for every little thing...including separate quality control.


I welcome your thoughts on this issue. Do you think the American auto industry will ever regain dominance? I have my serious doubts.


(FYI: I've owned American and Japanese-designed cars, and I can tell you the latter is 100% better. I've owned/leased two Nissans and two Toyotas and I doubt I'll go back to GM.)
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post #2 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I bought my 2003 GMC Envoy (big mistake, by the by)

The GMC Acadia is actually pretty nice.

What's your beef with the envoy-- besides rabid fuel consumption?
post #3 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

This week Toyota overtook GM in quaterly auto sales. GM is in danger of losing it's status as world's "biggest" automaker by year's end.

Today, a Ford executive was quoted as saying the auto market is "terrible" right now. http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...src=rss&rpc=23

Chrysler has it's own problems to be sure, though saw a slight bump is sales last month.

One has to ask how much longer it will take to right the ship, even if it can be done. The way I see it is this:

-- All three companies make too many vehicles. There are competing models in the same category and too many configurable options. This is starting to be addressed.

--All three are beholden to the disgusting UAW. Their absurd contracts, where people with virtually no education can make $50,000-100,000 a year building cars, are killing them.

--Their vehicles are still of inferior quality to Japanese products, wherever those products are actually built. It's got to be in the design process. A Toyota is good for 250,000 miles if you never change the oil. Take care of it and it lasts a good 500,000. A GM car is good for 80,000 and then it starts falling apart. Take it from me...I've had both brands. Fit and finish is not as good. Things just go wrong more frequently. Instead of actually addressing quality, they address things that customers perceive to mean a quality car, like a quiet ride. Ford even has an ad now that talks about how their car is "quieter than a Lexus something or other." Stupid. Build a better car and can the marketing crap.

--All three have become more finance companies than car companies. This is their own fault. The worst...and I mean worst mistake...ever...was to introduce rebates. No one will buy an American brand car without a big rebate now. When I bought my 2003 GMC Envoy (big mistake, by the by)...I got like $4000 in rebates...AND $5000 off the sticker. Just lower the goddamned price from $41,000 to $32,000 an be done with it.

--GM in particular made healthcare promises it can't keep. Their healthcare costs last year were over 5 billion. They simply have to change that, even it means breaking promises.

--Following every consumer fad instead of providing a quality product and evolving it slowly with market demand. A good example is SUVs. They had to know that gas would double in price or could and that would screw them over. But NO! They jumped on the bandwagon and lived high on the hog off massive SUV markups for 10 years. It was like the late 60s and early 70s all over again. Those stupid Jap SUVs can't compete! We're Ford! Quality is Job #1! GMC is Professional Grade! RAM: Hemi! In this respect, the Big Three remind me of The RIAA's response to digital music. They're only now waking the fuck up and actually giving a damn about efficiency and realizing that WOW..those "japs" actually know wtf they are doing.

--From a more techical standpoint, I've heard the way "we" design cars is totally different than the more "team oriented" approach they use at Toyota and Nissan and what not. My understanding is the same team is responsible for the whole vehicle and especially quality control, whereas the domestics have specialists and managers for every little thing...including separate quality control.


I welcome your thoughts on this issue. Do you think the American auto industry will ever regain dominance? I have my serious doubts.


(FYI: I've owned American and Japanese-designed cars, and I can tell you the latter is 100% better. I've owned/leased two Nissans and two Toyotas and I doubt I'll go back to GM.)

Here's what it would take to turn the domestic industry around: GMC goes out of business (or enters bankruptcy protection). Chrysler and Ford realise that they're next and fire all of the top management, replacing them with old senior managers of Toyota and Honda. The UAW realises that if they don't allow changes to the whole structure of their business, they will all be out of jobs.

The problem is that Congress will never allow GM to go out of business. Domestic automakers are already receiving "help:" this only makes the situation worse. The free market should decide whether a company survives! Buying a GM is like buying a Windows PC: they're shit, and they're only going to get worse.
post #4 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton View Post

Buying a GM is like buying a Windows PC: they're shit, and they're only going to get worse.

Health care issues and Toyota's ascendancy aside, the general opinion in the auto industry right now is that GM is in a resurgence of sorts with its new product introductions.

Cadillac and the Opelization of Saturn are leading the way. (I'll take an Astra, Aura, Sky or new Vue any day)
post #5 of 67
I'd say you see it pretty dead on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

-- All three companies make too many vehicles. There are competing models in the same category and too many configurable options. This is starting to be addressed.

This is very true although to be honest, the Japanese are starting to suffer from the same problem now that they are entering all market segments. I used to be able to easily name the entire car line of a company like Honda. Now it is impossible as they also make minivans, trucks, various SUV's, etc.

For example why do I need an Element instead of a CR-V? I'm starting to see overlap as these companies try to be all things to all people as well.

Quote:
--All three are beholden to the disgusting UAW. Their absurd contracts, where people with virtually no education can make $50,000-100,000 a year building cars, are killing them.

These companies are dealing with the first demographic issues that all of our economy is going to be dealing with. It isn't just GM that could go down the tubes. It is likely America that will go down the tubes. The Boomers are even coming into old age with worse health than their parents, owning less of their homes, more in debt, demanding more benefits, while leaving behind a legacy of debt. UAW is reflecting what is going to happen to our entire society. They have, like most unions, already sold out the kids with a two-tier pay and benefit system from what I recall as well. So it really just Grandpa Boomer is is making $100,000 a year. Most companies have been doing buyouts. Let's see how they fare after that.

Quote:
--Their vehicles are still of inferior quality to Japanese products, wherever those products are actually built. It's got to be in the design process. A Toyota is good for 250,000 miles if you never change the oil. Take care of it and it lasts a good 500,000. A GM car is good for 80,000 and then it starts falling apart. Take it from me...I've had both brands. Fit and finish is not as good. Things just go wrong more frequently. Instead of actually addressing quality, they address things that customers perceive to mean a quality car, like a quiet ride. Ford even has an ad now that talks about how their car is "quieter than a Lexus something or other." Stupid. Build a better car and can the marketing crap.

Part of that is true and absolutely deserved, but part of it is exaggeration and another part is comparing apples and oranges. All trucks and SUV's have inferior quality compared to sedans and when you are talking Japanese sedans, you are talking about the highest quality built vehicles in the world. However a Japanese SUV will give you more trouble than a Japanese sedan.

Most people I know have jumped from American SUV's to Japanese sedans. The difference between the two is very large. That said all cars needs care to remain running well.

Quote:
--All three have become more finance companies than car companies. This is their own fault. The worst...and I mean worst mistake...ever...was to introduce rebates. No one will buy an American brand car without a big rebate now. When I bought my 2003 GMC Envoy (big mistake, by the by)...I got like $4000 in rebates...AND $5000 off the sticker. Just lower the goddamned price from $41,000 to $32,000 an be done with it.

Agreed. Also financing deals do not generate sales, they simple steal future sales in my view.

Quote:
--GM in particular made healthcare promises it can't keep. Their healthcare costs last year were over 5 billion. They simply have to change that, even it means breaking promises.

This is going to be true of all boomers. Seeing how those promises, often made to themselves by themselves with the cost tossed onto their children, pan out is going to be very interesting.

Quote:
--Following every consumer fad instead of providing a quality product and evolving it slowly with market demand. A good example is SUVs. They had to know that gas would double in price or could and that would screw them over. But NO! They jumped on the bandwagon and lived high on the hog off massive SUV markups for 10 years. It was like the late 60s and early 70s all over again. Those stupid Jap SUVs can't compete! We're Ford! Quality is Job #1! GMC is Professional Grade! RAM: Hemi! In this respect, the Big Three remind me of The RIAA's response to digital music. They're only now waking the fuck up and actually giving a damn about efficiency and realizing that WOW..those "japs" actually know wtf they are doing.

Those Japaneses are moving hard into the full-size truck market. If they manage to get that right, then U.S. companies are probably done. The reason all the American companies have been hyping these vehicles so much is because they were the areas that Japan either lagged behind in, or had not even fielded a vehicle. A decade ago I couldn't buy a half-ton Japanese truck. I still can't buy a 3/4 ton or 1 ton pickup from any Japanese company. It isn't so much about efficiency as it is about what you can buy. The present Civic is larger than the Accord from ten years ago. That is why Honda had to introduce the Fit.

It will be interesting to see if Japanese companies can cover all the bases so to speak and still keep their quality up. I remember seeing more recalls from Toyota lately than I have in a decade or so. There might be a slip up in there.

Quote:
--From a more techical standpoint, I've heard the way "we" design cars is totally different than the more "team oriented" approach they use at Toyota and Nissan and what not. My understanding is the same team is responsible for the whole vehicle and especially quality control, whereas the domestics have specialists and managers for every little thing...including separate quality control.

I think no company changes until it has to do so. American companies are starting to really need to do so and we will see what happens. They likely will be doing so in the face of a recession, possibly with raising interest rates. We will have to see how that goes.

Quote:
I welcome your thoughts on this issue. Do you think the American auto industry will ever regain dominance? I have my serious doubts.

I think they can if they go the Apple type route. They need to cut the number of brands and seriously focus on smaller vehicles to sell worldwide as well. They especially need new engines because the Japanese are beating them to death in the truck market with multi-valve engines that produce more horsepower mated to five and six speed trannys. American companies are still trying to work bigger rather than smarter or better.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

A decade ago I couldn't buy a half-ton Japanese truck. I still can't buy a 3/4 ton or 1 ton pickup from any Japanese company. It isn't so much about efficiency as it is about what you can buy.

Check out the Toyota Tundra.

Its curb weight is easily over 2 tons (and pretty good looking to boot)
post #7 of 67
--All three are beholden to the disgusting UAW. Their absurd contracts, where people with virtually no education can make $50,000-100,000 a year building cars, are killing them.

What is your problem with so called uneducated people making good money for thier hard work. Some of these people are highly trained for the work they perform.
And besides if everyone was as highly educated as you are there wouldn't be anybody left to build anything in this country, and then there won't be any tax base to keep our to keep the infrastuctures of our country working.

--From a more techical standpoint, I've heard the way "we" design cars is totally different than the more "team oriented" approach they use at Toyota and Nissan and what not. My understanding is the same team is responsible for the whole vehicle and especially quality control, whereas the domestics have specialists and managers for every little thing...including separate quality control.

It seems to me that these are the educated ones that came up with the way that cars are designed and built in the USA. So maybe having a higher education isn't all it's made out to be.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. Thomas Jefferson
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The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. Thomas Jefferson
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post #8 of 67
Apart from fuel and taxes, yearly standard light servicing (oil changes etc) and a minor accident when I hit a deer, unpredictable maintenance of my '99 Nissan which ive had for 3 years has cost me the grand total of 40p for a jubilee clip last year, and never had a minute of trouble with it.

I was looking for a Honda to start with, because I had an old car (Rover Gti - funnily i saw a rover the other day, where someone had removed the 'R' from the badge ) with a Honda engine that refused to die, though the car was falling off the engine, but my ugly duckling Nissan is definately a keeper!
post #9 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Check out the Toyota Tundra.

Its curb weight is easily over 2 tons (and pretty good looking to boot)

Hahahaha... I'm not looking for a heavy truck. I'm looking for a hauling truck.

1500,2500,3500.. those numbers usually relate to payload and towing capacity.

Toyota makes a very nice half-ton pick up which features a claimed 5 ton tow capacity (10,000 lbs)

The engine in that truck is a 5.7L which is the exact size in my 1991 Chevy 2500 3/4 ton pick-up.

I'm sure the newer Toyota outperforms my truck, but I also prefer not having a truck payment of any sort.

Also understand that the LARGEST Toyota engine available is the 5.7 L. The Dodge 3500 for example has a higher payload capacity than the Toyota has towing capacity.

That difference is massive.

However the Japanese are quickly charging into this area. Most folks are just fine with the 1/2 ton truck capacities. I'm sure that Toyota will sell tons of these trucks and the CrewMax absolutely looks bad ass.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #10 of 67
The fact that the Japanese overtook American car makers is a national disgrace. I don't think anyone else sees it this way but I think it's a very bad sign for our country and our economy. I made this post a few weeks ago:

Quote:
It's annoying to me that the American auto makers are still giving out massive paychecks to their CEOs when they just went to Congress two years ago asking for federal aid. It's amazing that Ford and GM could be run so poorly.

Personally, I've never bought a car that wasn't made by an American manufacturer. In fact, I've gone out of my way to buy American cars and so has my family. I've owned a 1992 Plymouth Voyager (was eventually given to a cousin), a 1995 Jeep Cherokee (which is now my brother's), a 1996 Mercury Sable (my grandparents' car which I now maintain for them), and most recently, a 2004 Ford Mustang. My parents currently own a 1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager and a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am.

But I'm not liking what I see from Ford and GM right now and I'm not sure if I'm going to buy American when I get my next car. I'd like to be able to buy a car that gets some decent gas mileage considering the fact that gas prices continue to skyrocket. There's also the matter of the 'cheap' interiors of the American cars. My Mustang has some pretty cheap parts compared to what I've seen in the new Toyotas. So yeah, both Ford and GM have some serious work to do and it's ridiculous to me that their CEOs are being rewarded while things are literally falling apart around them.

This country has lost far too many manufacturing jobs to slave labor in Southeast Asia. We already import more goods than we export, this is not good. But this is being offset as of right now because we have a surplus of services. Still, it's not good to see that when we can buy American products, we choose to buy foreign. As I said in my post from a few weeks ago, I'm not liking what I see from Ford and GM and they are really going to have to work hard for me to buy another American car. But on the other hand, I do feel that it's almost an obligation to buy American made products when they are available. I just don't think there's enough people out there that even think about buying American vs. Foreign any more, they just buy whatever is cheapest or viewed to be the best. In the end, it just hurts our overall economy.
post #11 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

The GMC Acadia is actually pretty nice.

What's your beef with the envoy-- besides rabid fuel consumption?

Well, it was a nice vehicle in many ways. It was AWFUL on gas. I got rid of it in 2005 when Katrina hit and gas went to $3.50 a gallon or more. I'm talking the thing got like 12-20 miles per gallon, despite it's bullshit EPA 17-25 estimate (Consumer Reports had a big thing about how the EPA estimates are often not worth the paper they're printed on).

But it was more than that. At 40,000 miles, a wheel bearing went. I had a good relationship with a guilt-ridden shop manager and got it covered uder warranty. Otherwise it would have been over $800. A wheel bearing? I never took it off road one time. Professional grade my ass.

I've heard others with many problems. On the whole I was lucky. It was mainly the gas and the depreciation. I had intended to keep it, but then gas doubled in price after I got it. In 2003 gas was like $1.70-1.80 a gallon. That meant it cost me $38-42 to fill up. I was pushing $90 by the end...and since for a long time I had a long commute, I got gas every 4 days.
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post #12 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Health care issues and Toyota's ascendancy aside, the general opinion in the auto industry right now is that GM is in a resurgence of sorts with its new product introductions.

Cadillac and the Opelization of Saturn are leading the way. (I'll take an Astra, Aura, Sky or new Vue any day)

Why will Opelization fix things (I'll be straight with you...I had to look that up as I wasn't familiar with the term)? It seems like the savings wil come mainly from platform sharing. I don't see how that can be enough, or that a company the size of GM can survive on what one article on the subject desribed as "tweener" cars (cars that you buy until you can get something better). Maybe it will help Saturn. But Saturn can't save GM.
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post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Well, it was a nice vehicle in many ways. It was AWFUL on gas. I got rid of it in 2005 when Katrina hit and gas went to $3.50 a gallon or more. I'm talking the thing got like 12-20 miles per gallon, despite it's bullshit EPA 17-25 estimate (Consumer Reports had a big thing about how the EPA estimates are often not worth the paper they're printed on).

Not sure if you're aware, but the EPA recently revised its fuel estimates. There was a big dust-up afterwards since they apparently neglected to adjust the figures for the gas guzzler tax, so many more vehicles were subject to it. Good going guys.
post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Why will Opelization fix things (I'll be straight with you...I had to look that up as I wasn't familiar with the term)? It seems like the savings wil come mainly from platform sharing. I don't see how that can be enough, or that a company the size of GM can survive on what one article on the subject desribed as "tweener" cars (cars that you buy until you can get something better). Maybe it will help Saturn. But Saturn can't save GM.

The key is to make desirable products. That's absolutely the biggest factor because they need to create vehicles that people want to buy and drive. And right now Saturn (now re-badged Opels --GM's European brand) and Cadillac are leading the way. GM's products portfolio is getting much better with those two brands, plus the new Malibu, Camaro, and Volt concept.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo

--From a more techical standpoint, I've heard the way "we" design cars is totally different than the more "team oriented" approach they use at Toyota and Nissan and what not. My understanding is the same team is responsible for the whole vehicle and especially quality control, whereas the domestics have specialists and managers for every little thing...including separate quality control.

I'll find out for you. I "know someone" who's familiar first-hand with the auto design industry.
post #15 of 67
Thread Starter 
Trump:

Quote:
This is very true although to be honest, the Japanese are starting to suffer from the same problem now that they are entering all market segments. I used to be able to easily name the entire car line of a company like Honda. Now it is impossible as they also make minivans, trucks, various SUV's, etc.

For example why do I need an Element instead of a CR-V? I'm starting to see overlap as these companies try to be all things to all people as well.

That would make logical sense, but I don't think the result is the same. Their products are still more clearly defined. They also seem to be more nimble in responding to the market...what with hybrids and what not. Oh...I also just realized what you mean...I was talking about too many of EACH model...as in raw production numbers. But it's true I am also talking about competing models and divisions. GM solved some of this by axing Olds, but you still have Pontiac, Chevy and Buick eating each other's lunch. Then they have Checy trucks and GMC trucks. It almost seems like the only reason Chvy CARS exist is for nostalgia. I say can Checy cars and GMC consumer trucks. Make GMC a fleet and truly "pro" brand.

Quote:
These companies are dealing with the first demographic issues that all of our economy is going to be dealing with. It isn't just GM that could go down the tubes. It is likely America that will go down the tubes. The Boomers are even coming into old age with worse health than their parents, owning less of their homes, more in debt, demanding more benefits, while leaving behind a legacy of debt. UAW is reflecting what is going to happen to our entire society. They have, like most unions, already sold out the kids with a two-tier pay and benefit system from what I recall as well. So it really just Grandpa Boomer is is making $100,000 a year. Most companies have been doing buyouts. Let's see how they fare after that.

I don't think we're actually going to see a true crisis nationwide, because action will be taken to reform the system and/or cut benefits. But as for the UAW, it's really the overall pay I'm talking about.

from the UAW:

Quote:
As of the second quarter of 2003, a UAW-represented assembler earns $25.63 per hour of straight time. A typical UAW-represented skilled-trades worker earns $29.75 per hour of straight time.

That's crazy, and it's without overtime and bonuses, which are also being paid. It's not crazy to assume the average assembler is making $35 a hour when that's taken into account. That's $72,000 a year. That's a hell of a lot more than I make with two college degrees and eight years in education in the highest paid district in the county...a county that is the 15th fastest growing in the nation.

Quote:
Part of that is true and absolutely deserved, but part of it is exaggeration and another part is comparing apples and oranges. All trucks and SUV's have inferior quality compared to sedans and when you are talking Japanese sedans, you are talking about the highest quality built vehicles in the world. However a Japanese SUV will give you more trouble than a Japanese sedan.

Most people I know have jumped from American SUV's to Japanese sedans. The difference between the two is very large. That said all cars needs care to remain running well.

I don't know that I agree with that. Do you have some data to back that up? In any case, my question is: Why aren't American sedans the best in the world? Therein lies the problem.

Quote:
Agreed. Also financing deals do not generate sales, they simple steal future sales in my view.

I don't know....I think in the short term it steals sales. In the long term I don't think it matters. The real problem is that cars are just too expensive...and people now expect rebates and zero percent financing to help them justify the purchase.

Quote:
Those Japaneses are moving hard into the full-size truck market. If they manage to get that right, then U.S. companies are probably done. The reason all the American companies have been hyping these vehicles so much is because they were the areas that Japan either lagged behind in, or had not even fielded a vehicle. A decade ago I couldn't buy a half-ton Japanese truck. I still can't buy a 3/4 ton or 1 ton pickup from any Japanese company. It isn't so much about efficiency as it is about what you can buy. The present Civic is larger than the Accord from ten years ago. That is why Honda had to introduce the Fit.

It will be interesting to see if Japanese companies can cover all the bases so to speak and still keep their quality up. I remember seeing more recalls from Toyota lately than I have in a decade or so. There might be a slip up in there.

Agreed on both points. My feeling is that the Japanese will field trucks just as good as American trucks within 5 years. It's already coming close. I agree that Toyota in particular has had a few more problems lately.

Quote:
I think no company changes until it has to do so. American companies are starting to really need to do so and we will see what happens. They likely will be doing so in the face of a recession, possibly with raising interest rates. We will have to see how that goes.

Agreed in part. I think that GM has seen the writing on the wall...all of them have. It's their solutions that I think are wrong. They are trying to innovate their way out of it...trying to produce "new and exciting product offerings." The problem is consumers have seen all that. They can get the same features and some of the same bells and whistles on the foreign cars. That wasn't the case 10 years ago. They want quality. They want fit and finish. GM, Ford an Chrysler are still lagging in those areas...not as much as they were in the early 1990s, but they are still behind.

Quote:
I think they can if they go the Apple type route. They need to cut the number of brands and seriously focus on smaller vehicles to sell worldwide as well. They especially need new engines because the Japanese are beating them to death in the truck market with multi-valve engines that produce more horsepower mated to five and six speed trannys. American companies are still trying to work bigger rather than smarter or better.

I agree with that. I'm not sure it's about specific engines and transmissions, but I still agree.
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post #16 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

The key is to make desirable products. That's absolutely the biggest factor because they need to create vehicles that people want to buy and drive. And right now Saturn (now re-badged Opels --GM's European brand) and Cadillac are leading the way. GM's products portfolio is getting much better with those two brands, plus the new Malibu, Camaro, and Volt concept.



I'll find out for you. I "know someone" who's familiar first-hand with the auto design industry.


I don't agree with you fully wrt #1. Yeah, desirable products are needed, but those products have to be as good or better at the same price than the competition. If the re-badged Opels are doing the trick, then you have a good point...but to "fix" the company you'd have to expand that philosophy across GM's line.

Sounds good about #2. It was just something I heard a few years back. It may not be true.
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post #17 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo View Post

--All three are beholden to the disgusting UAW. Their absurd contracts, where people with virtually no education can make $50,000-100,000 a year building cars, are killing them.

What is your problem with so called uneducated people making good money for thier hard work. Some of these people are highly trained for the work they perform.
And besides if everyone was as highly educated as you are there wouldn't be anybody left to build anything in this country, and then there won't be any tax base to keep our to keep the infrastuctures of our country working.

--From a more techical standpoint, I've heard the way "we" design cars is totally different than the more "team oriented" approach they use at Toyota and Nissan and what not. My understanding is the same team is responsible for the whole vehicle and especially quality control, whereas the domestics have specialists and managers for every little thing...including separate quality control.

It seems to me that these are the educated ones that came up with the way that cars are designed and built in the USA. So maybe having a higher education isn't all it's made out to be.

I don't think you're seeing my point. I'm not looking down upon people with less education. If anything I think that we have become too much a nation of "managers." I actually think we as a nation are developing a case of "occupation snobbery" of sorts, and I don't think it's a good thing at all.

My point is that these people are being paid too much for what they are doing. When you have a relatively unskilled worker making $70K (not totally unskilled, but it's not rocket science)...and a computer engineer starts at $5,000 less, I think that's an issue. Starting teachers in Michigan make around the same as where I live from what I can see...from $35-$45K. How is it right then for a Ford worker to make $50 or $60K...especially when the market is not demanding those salaries?

I don't really see where you are going with the second point. Seems like sort of a frivolous aside to me, no offense intended.
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post #18 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

But it's true I am also talking about competing models and divisions. GM solved some of this by axing Olds, but you still have Pontiac, Chevy and Buick eating each other's lunch.

The problem with GM axing Pontiac and Buick is brand-loyalists.

Lots of people have been buying those brands for years, and it's no done-deal that they'd migrate to GM's other offerings for replacement. Sure, there's a case to be made that GM should better distinguish its brands, but it would hurt the company to lose those loyal buyers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Yeah, desirable products are needed, but those products have to be as good or better at the same price than the competition.

The cost issue is a good one, but you're not going to like one major reason Japanese cars are cheaper:

Quote:
General Motors estimates that health care costs add about $1,500 to the cost of each vehicle it makes in the United States. Chrysler claims a health care cost of $1,400 per vehicle. Ford says its burden is $1,100.

G.M.'s pension plan has also been a drain. Since 1992, G.M. has plowed $56 billion in stock and cash into it. It is hoping to reduce its burden by offering all of its 105,000 U.A.W. workers buyout packages worth up to $140,000. It is still unclear how many plan to accept the offer.

"The higher legacy costs are reflected in a less modern product," said George E. Hoffer, a professor of economics at Virginia Commonwealth University who has studied the auto industry. "They had to cut costs somewhere else and they cut costs in retooling."

Japanese companies face little of this burden in Japan, where the government covers retirees' health care and pays a bigger share of workers' pensions.

There's a significant part of your solution.
post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran441 View Post

The fact that the Japanese overtook American car makers is a national disgrace. I don't think anyone else sees it this way but I think it's a very bad sign for our country and our economy. I made this post a few weeks ago:



This country has lost far too many manufacturing jobs to slave labor in Southeast Asia. We already import more goods than we export, this is not good. But this is being offset as of right now because we have a surplus of services. Still, it's not good to see that when we can buy American products, we choose to buy foreign. As I said in my post from a few weeks ago, I'm not liking what I see from Ford and GM and they are really going to have to work hard for me to buy another American car. But on the other hand, I do feel that it's almost an obligation to buy American made products when they are available. I just don't think there's enough people out there that even think about buying American vs. Foreign any more, they just buy whatever is cheapest or viewed to be the best. In the end, it just hurts our overall economy.

"Buying American" just because it's American and ignoring the quality of what you're buying only rewards poor quality and enables continued poor performance. Look at Microsoft!

I know engineers who used to work for the Car Companies and their stories of the antics of the UAW only make me sadly cheer on the inevitable arrival of the armageddon heading to Detroit.

It is going to be bad and it's going to be absolutely necessary.

V/R,
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post #20 of 67
Quote:
"Buying American" just because it's American and ignoring the quality of what you're buying only rewards poor quality and enables continued poor performance. Look at Microsoft!

I can't disagree with you here, and like I said in my earlier post, I'm disgusted with the way that American car companies are being run. I hate seeing the CEOs making millions of dollars a month while the companies are going down the drain. My parents always bought American cars with one exception and told me why it was important to buy American. Now even they are considering buying a Toyota for their next car.

The only foreign car my parents ever bought was a Datsun shortly after they got married. They both sold their cars and bought a cheap vehicle because they needed money. The Datsun was a lemon from the minute they drove it off the lot. In fact, they brought it back to the dealer because of the problems they were having with it and were basically told, "Tough break". There were no lemon laws back then and they were pretty much out of luck. Datsuns were so unreliable and had such a bad reputation that they had to be rebranded in this country. The Datsun lines became Nissans here. Some cars and trucks are still sold under the Datsun name in Japan as far as I know.

But given gas mileage and the features they are seeing in the newer Japanese cars, I wouldn't be surprised to see them get a Toyota. It's really unfortunate.
post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran441 View Post

But given gas mileage and the features they are seeing in the newer Japanese cars, I wouldn't be surprised to see them get a Toyota. It's really unfortunate.

Toyota has significant manufacturing capacity in the US.

We're talking easily over 600,000 automobiles a year. So in one sense there's still somewhat of a claim that buying a Toyota is "buying American"-- if we're talking about American jobs.
post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Agreed in part. I think that GM has seen the writing on the wall...all of them have. It's their solutions that I think are wrong. They are trying to innovate their way out of it...trying to produce "new and exciting product offerings." The problem is consumers have seen all that. They can get the same features and some of the same bells and whistles on the foreign cars. That wasn't the case 10 years ago. They want quality. They want fit and finish. GM, Ford an Chrysler are still lagging in those areas...not as much as they were in the early 1990s, but they are still behind. .

I think that's a big part of it, right there.

The Japanese didn't get huge selling "interesting" and "unique" cars. They did it selling Civics and Accords, Tercels and Camrys, Sentras and Altimas.

Solid, reliable, fuel efficient, decent handling, logically laid out and kinda bland.

I got a Chevy Malibu for a rental recently. Obviously, I can't speak to reliability, but in general it was kind of plush, sucked gas and handled like a pig. OK stereo, half a million motorized adjustments for the drivers seat.

And I thought, good lord, are they still building them like this? As if everybody buying cars is over 60 and wants a car that feels like their big chair back home?

Japan doesn't make a single car that wallows around and drinks gas like that Malibu. Maybe that has something to do with their success?
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post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I don't think you're seeing my point. I'm not looking down upon people with less education. If anything I think that we have become too much a nation of "managers." I actually think we as a nation are developing a case of "occupation snobbery" of sorts, and I don't think it's a good thing at all.

My point is that these people are being paid too much for what they are doing. When you have a relatively unskilled worker making $70K (not totally unskilled, but it's not rocket science)...and a computer engineer starts at $5,000 less, I think that's an issue. Starting teachers in Michigan make around the same as where I live from what I can see...from $35-$45K. How is it right then for a Ford worker to make $50 or $60K...especially when the market is not demanding those salaries?

I don't really see where you are going with the second point. Seems like sort of a frivolous aside to me, no offense intended.

I understand what you are saying. I believe most of these people that are making these huge salaries have probably been with the company for 20 or more years.

The thing I don't understand is why GM, Ford and Chrysler just don't tell the UAW to conform to the market based economy, or stick there union contracts in there asses.
They might have a long drawn out strike, but eventually the union workers will change, or lose there jobs.
The other thing that I don't understand is how these huge coporations could give these unions such lucrative contracts in the first place, and then whine how the costs of these benefits are making them go broke.

I work for one of the largest producers of electrical power in the country as a salaried employee and make pretty good money for what I do. This company also has union workers who make very good money, these men and women are highly skilled craftsmen and deserve every dollar they get paid.
Their union has learned over the last few years that they need to change, and they have, or they won't survive in this highly competitive and deregulated power industry.
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post #24 of 67
maybe they need to go "private" so they are not pressured into short term quartery results and can take a long view like japanese they have long term goals that they strive for. toyota has taken a hit with quality and that's a new goal for them

also no one says anything about resale value....that's consumer trust pure and simple the only used cars i would buy are from toyota honda and subaru. best qualty out there and you know at 80k miles you still have 5 years or more to go. my brothers acura had 310k miles and sold it for what he paid used for it. wow (i guess it has the heads that honda buildups want)

you buy qualtiy or you buy price, price loses because depreciation kills low qualtity cars. also if i see a car at a rental fleet i won't buy it, when they turn them over you lose when trading in.

the detroit three made contracts where keeping the production line going cost less than slowing them down to improve qualty... then they had to rebate them all to keep the flow going, wow guess where that got them.. roll them out regardless of qualtiy and we save the quality investment $$$$ make up for it with rebates and rental fleet dependency........loses everytime.
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post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran441 View Post

The fact that the Japanese overtook American car makers is a national disgrace. I don't think anyone else sees it this way but I think it's a very bad sign for our country and our economy. I made this post a few weeks ago:

This country has lost far too many manufacturing jobs to slave labor in Southeast Asia. We already import more goods than we export, this is not good. But this is being offset as of right now because we have a surplus of services. Still, it's not good to see that when we can buy American products, we choose to buy foreign. As I said in my post from a few weeks ago, I'm not liking what I see from Ford and GM and they are really going to have to work hard for me to buy another American car. But on the other hand, I do feel that it's almost an obligation to buy American made products when they are available. I just don't think there's enough people out there that even think about buying American vs. Foreign any more, they just buy whatever is cheapest or viewed to be the best. In the end, it just hurts our overall economy.

Honestly even Asia is losing manufacturing jobs. Much like how productivity gains have allowed all of us to eat to the point of obesity while actually retiring farm land and having fewer people than ever work those farms, the same is true of manufacturing. The Chinese are losing them to productivity and those aren't ever going to come back.

We've partially transitioned to a service economy, but the productivity gains here are even more apparent and sadly, it requires being quite smart to maintain what constitutes a decent job in this day and age. We are attempting it not even being able to transition our own population and also while shouldering around 10 million immigrants, mostly from Mexico as well. Will me be able to make the jump? I'm guessing no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I've heard others with many problems. On the whole I was lucky. It was mainly the gas and the depreciation. I had intended to keep it, but then gas doubled in price after I got it. In 2003 gas was like $1.70-1.80 a gallon. That meant it cost me $38-42 to fill up. I was pushing $90 by the end...and since for a long time I had a long commute, I got gas every 4 days.

I remember some asshole on this board mentioning new cars and depreciation. Thank goodness I can't remember his name though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Trump:

That would make logical sense, but I don't think the result is the same. Their products are still more clearly defined. They also seem to be more nimble in responding to the market...what with hybrids and what not. Oh...I also just realized what you mean...I was talking about too many of EACH model...as in raw production numbers. But it's true I am also talking about competing models and divisions. GM solved some of this by axing Olds, but you still have Pontiac, Chevy and Buick eating each other's lunch. Then they have Checy trucks and GMC trucks. It almost seems like the only reason Chvy CARS exist is for nostalgia. I say can Checy cars and GMC consumer trucks. Make GMC a fleet and truly "pro" brand.

I agree with what you say about the additional brands as well. I especially agree with the GMC pro brand.

Quote:
I don't think we're actually going to see a true crisis nationwide, because action will be taken to reform the system and/or cut benefits. But as for the UAW, it's really the overall pay I'm talking about.

Yeah, um... good luck on that. The baby boomers have never given up crap, nor have they ever acknowledge reality compared to their wants and desires. It is the defining trait of their entire generation and you somehow think that when push comes to shove, they will finally do what is right when they are suddenly the most vulnerable? Not a chance.

We chatted about interest rates and inflation. Inflation STILL has not come down and interest rates are still in danger of going up, even with slowing growth. The baby boomers are big liars. They only way you beat a liar at their own game is to tell a bigger lie. The U.S. will and already has been doing so by running the printing presses on the money supply. They will run much faster in the future.

Quote:
That's crazy, and it's without overtime and bonuses, which are also being paid. It's not crazy to assume the average assembler is making $35 a hour when that's taken into account. That's $72,000 a year. That's a hell of a lot more than I make with two college degrees and eight years in education in the highest paid district in the county...a county that is the 15th fastest growing in the nation.

Again, I suspect those numbers are weighed heavily by the "average" assembler being a boomer close to retirement.

Here is something truly crazy. Look at the number of retirees being supported by those workers. This is what we will be facing nationwide with a boomer retirement.

Quote:
I don't know that I agree with that. Do you have some data to back that up? In any case, my question is: Why aren't American sedans the best in the world? Therein lies the problem.

It is what I have seen when using my Consumer Reports subscription online. Note I did not say that American brands were equal to or better than Japanese brands in quality overall. I simply noted that there was variation with each respective brand. The worst Honda branded vehicle for quality was their minivan for example. Does this mean that the Honda minivan might not still score better than an American sedan? It might or might not. However it does mean that when you switch vehicle types, no matter who you go with, you will notice a change.

Quote:
I don't know....I think in the short term it steals sales. In the long term I don't think it matters. The real problem is that cars are just too expensive...and people now expect rebates and zero percent financing to help them justify the purchase.

Welcome to the credit and inflation bubble. In this bubble things are no longer worth their intrinsic value, but are worth what can be loaned against them.

I had my first major repair on a vehicle, a tranny in my truck. As much as it upset me it also shocked me because I discovered I could replace every major component in the truck with GM factory crated components for not even a quarter of the cost of a new vehicle. I mean we are talking brand new engine and tranny with three year dealer warranty for well under five grand. GM 3/4 tons trucks new are over $30,000. As you noted they are not car companies, but finance companies. The cars are merely the means they use to generate the ridiculous loans. When they have to sell the parts to someone like me who is not financing a vehicle, they are cheap in comparison.

The rest we mostly agree on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Japanese companies face little of this burden in Japan, where the government covers retirees' health care and pays a bigger share of workers' pensions.

There's a significant part of your solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Toyota has significant manufacturing capacity in the US.

We're talking easily over 600,000 automobiles a year. So in one sense there's still somewhat of a claim that buying a Toyota is "buying American"-- if we're talking about American jobs.

Shawn, how do you put these two points together.

Nick

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post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

When you have a relatively unskilled worker making $70K (not totally unskilled, but it's not rocket science)...and a computer engineer starts at $5,000 less, I think that's an issue.

Of course, IT is also an industry with a high percentage of low-skilled, uneducated people making that amount of money. The reasons are different, but, IMO, the effect is similar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo View Post

--From a more techical standpoint, I've heard the way "we" design cars is totally different than the more "team oriented" approach they use at Toyota and Nissan and what not. My understanding is the same team is responsible for the whole vehicle and especially quality control, whereas the domestics have specialists and managers for every little thing...including separate quality control.

Yeah, Toyota's manufacturing process, often referred to as "lean manufacturing," is kind of the darling of the agile software development movement and associated project management communities.
post #27 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Shawn, how do you put these two points together.

Yeah, it's much less of a claim since the cars Toyota manufactures here are probably only 5-10% of the company's worldwide production.
post #28 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran441 View Post

I can't disagree with you here, and like I said in my earlier post, I'm disgusted with the way that American car companies are being run. I hate seeing the CEOs making millions of dollars a month while the companies are going down the drain. My parents always bought American cars with one exception and told me why it was important to buy American. Now even they are considering buying a Toyota for their next car.

The only foreign car my parents ever bought was a Datsun shortly after they got married. They both sold their cars and bought a cheap vehicle because they needed money. The Datsun was a lemon from the minute they drove it off the lot. In fact, they brought it back to the dealer because of the problems they were having with it and were basically told, "Tough break". There were no lemon laws back then and they were pretty much out of luck. Datsuns were so unreliable and had such a bad reputation that they had to be rebranded in this country. The Datsun lines became Nissans here. Some cars and trucks are still sold under the Datsun name in Japan as far as I know.

But given gas mileage and the features they are seeing in the newer Japanese cars, I wouldn't be surprised to see them get a Toyota. It's really unfortunate.

Why is it unfortunate? They'll buy a Toyota made in the midwest for pete's sake. Who cares?
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post #29 of 67
Thread Starter 
Trump:

Quote:
It is what I have seen when using my Consumer Reports subscription online. Note I did not say that American brands were equal to or better than Japanese brands in quality overall. I simply noted that there was variation with each respective brand. The worst Honda branded vehicle for quality was their minivan for example. Does this mean that the Honda minivan might not still score better than an American sedan? It might or might not. However it does mean that when you switch vehicle types, no matter who you go with, you will notice a change.

I've heard the Honda minivan is an excellent product in high demand. The only failure I've heard of from Honda was the Passport, which apparently was a piece of garbage. In any case, I don't agree that SUVs and trucks are inherently worse than cars. Some SUVs are even built on car platforms, like the Toyota Highlander.

Quote:
The problem with GM axing Pontiac and Buick is brand-loyalists.

Lots of people have been buying those brands for years, and it's no done-deal that they'd migrate to GM's other offerings for replacement. Sure, there's a case to be made that GM should better distinguish its brands, but it would hurt the company to lose those loyal buyers.

I agree with the brand loyalty analysis, but I also think they need to bite the bullet. They can either try and live in the past or live in the present and future. There's no question which they've picked now.
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post #30 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post


....I got a Chevy Malibu for a rental recently. Obviously, I can't speak to reliability, but in general it was kind of plush, sucked gas and handled like a pig. OK stereo, half a million motorized adjustments for the drivers seat.

And I thought, good lord, are they still building them like this? As if everybody buying cars is over 60 and wants a car that feels like their big chair back home?

Japan doesn't make a single car that wallows around and drinks gas like that Malibu. Maybe that has something to do with their success?

The Chevy Malibu has got to be one of the worst vehicles they build. I absolutely cannot stand that car.

To follow, I rented a Grand Prix last summer and my initial impressions were that it was much improved over other ones I had driven...but there ya go again..that was my impression, mostly from the comfort, appearance and quiet, smooth ride. It still felt like it weighed about 12 tons though.
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post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I got a Chevy Malibu for a rental recently. Obviously, I can't speak to reliability, but in general it was kind of plush, sucked gas and handled like a pig. OK stereo, half a million motorized adjustments for the drivers seat.

Hmm. I had one booked for a rental a few years ago and made them give me something else as soon as I sat in it. Most of my experience with american cars in recent years has been through rentals, and I've disliked them so much that not only will I not buy one, I also now go out of my way to rent european cars when possible. I could see buying a corvette or a used standard cherokee, though, depending on my environment.
post #32 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Hmm. I had one booked for a rental a few years ago and made them give me something else as soon as I sat in it. Most of my experience with american cars in recent years has been through rentals, and I've disliked them so much that not only will I not buy one, I also now go out of my way to rent european cars when possible. I could see buying a corvette or a used standard cherokee, though, depending on my environment.

Try a Grand Prix some time. I have no idea about reliability, but as I said my impressions over two days were pretty positive. Definitely better than an Impala or Malibu or what not.
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post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Definitely better than an Impala or Malibu or what not.

The new Malibu is pretty sweet.



post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran441 View Post

The fact that the Japanese overtook American car makers is a national disgrace. I don't think anyone else sees it this way but I think it's a very bad sign for our country and our economy. I made this post a few weeks ago:

This country has lost far too many manufacturing jobs to slave labor in Southeast Asia. We already import more goods than we export, this is not good. But this is being offset as of right now because we have a surplus of services. Still, it's not good to see that when we can buy American products, we choose to buy foreign. As I said in my post from a few weeks ago, I'm not liking what I see from Ford and GM and they are really going to have to work hard for me to buy another American car. But on the other hand, I do feel that it's almost an obligation to buy American made products when they are available. I just don't think there's enough people out there that even think about buying American vs. Foreign any more, they just buy whatever is cheapest or viewed to be the best. In the end, it just hurts our overall economy.

Sure, you're buying from an American company, but who's workers are getting the paychecks? The last two American cars I owned (mid 1990's) were assembled in Canada and Mexico. My Toyota Camry was assembled in Kentucky.

In this multinational age, "American products" is a relative thing...

That said, I agree that US car companies produce crummy products, at least in my experience. I have never owned an American made car that didn't have major reliability problems. Our last US car was a 1995 Doge Caravan which we spent more on in repair warranty deductibles than lien payments! Our Honda and Toyota are 10 and 9 years old respectively, and all we have ever done to them is routine maintenance, and replace an oil gasket on the Honda.
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post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran441 View Post

This country has lost far too many manufacturing jobs to slave labor in Southeast Asia.

Fran, I've been to China and I've yet to see slave labor employed. China and India's economies are growing, while "ours" is slowing. The fact is, entropy affects every single human-made organization since the beginning of recorded history, including car companies. This too shall pass.

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post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

The new Malibu is pretty sweet.

Hmm... design-wise it looks like a rip-off of the VW Passat. Actually, the only cars that have me salivating are the souped-up electrics that are coming from the real car innovators in the US.

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post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

The new Malibu is pretty sweet.




Is it, though? I mean, design wise, things are definitely looking up in Detroit, at least for my tastes. Body styles and interior layout are no longer embarrassing in that scary clueless way, for the most part, and there are a number of American cars I wouldn't mind driving, if looks were the only criteria.

I like the design of that Malibu just fine, but how does it handle? What kind of reliability can we expect? Gas mileage?

Also, changing topics abruptly, why are American manufacturers so keen on what amount to novelty stylings? I get the feeling Detroit thinks America is still living in the Golden Age of Motoring, cruising Route 66 and Main Street, throwing the surfboards in the back of the woodie and tinkering with hot rods on the weekends. So there is all this "retro" stuff and "the new muscle cars" and those Dodge gangster-mobiles that the car mags get all excited about and which seem to be developed for an alternative universe where gas costs sixty nine cents a gallon and Betty and Veronica love a guy with a sweet ride to cruise the strip with.

Actually, now that I think about it, that really may be part of the problem: Detroit has a kind of generational attachment to some mystical notion of American's relationships to their cars, so that they figure people are really craving updates to big iron of their youth, or something.

Like maybe they didn't get the memo that most people just want reliable transportation that doesn't cost $100 a week to operate.
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post #38 of 67
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post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Like maybe they didn't get the memo that most people just want reliable transportation that doesn't cost $100 a week to operate.

Good points.

I mean-- I drive an '03 Civic. Enough said lol.
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Hmm... design-wise it looks like a rip-off of the VW Passat. Actually, the only cars that have me salivating are the souped-up electrics that are coming from the real car innovators in the US.

What do you mean? Every compact sedan looks like a rip off of every other compact sedan. I can't tell them apart at a glance these days.
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