Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Is GM and Chrysler's pain Ford's gain? Previous Next
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Orange_barrel
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Username: Orange_barrel

Post Number: 103
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 7:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ford is enjoying good PR buzz because they didn't take taxpayer money, but I'd keep the champagne at the back of the fridge for now. If a big supplier goes under with GM and/or Chrysler, Ford might not be able to escape the ensuing shockwave. Any thoughts from DYers?

http://www.freep.com/article/2 0090331/BUSINESS06/903310330/W hy+Ford+execs+can+find+reasons +to+smile
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Ongowwah
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Username: Ongowwah

Post Number: 387
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 7:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

tell ya' what, if I were Ford I be going totally opposite of whatever the govt. makes GM and Chrysler do. Ford now has such superior flexibility than GM or Chrysler does it's really poised to take off.
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Novine
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 1334
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 7:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Ford now has such superior flexibility than GM or Chrysler does it's really poised to take off."

Is that right? When did Ford acquire the ability to get people to buy cars with money they don't have and that the banks won't loan?
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Salvadordelmundo
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Username: Salvadordelmundo

Post Number: 145
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 8:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ford still faces a possible bankruptcy as it tries to buy back some of its bonds due to credit default swaps that it stupidly issued against those same securities. I posted a thread about this earlier; this is a lurking problem that still hasn't been resolved.
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Mopardan
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Username: Mopardan

Post Number: 286
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 8:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Plus, why would they introduce this program to "jumpstart" sales if things were so rosy for them?

http://www.marketwatch.com/New s/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7b7CD 035EB-E0F9-438D-84AE-8F2C0DC52 D98%7d&siteid=yhoof2
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 4602
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 8:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ford wants GM and Chrysler to FAIL! so that it becomes THE BIG ONE! and monopolize the American automotive market.
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Mopardan
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Username: Mopardan

Post Number: 288
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 8:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I doubt Ford would actually want GM & Chrysler to outright fail. Gain market share & be dominant, that I'm more likely to believe. Considering the foreign competition Ford couldn't monopolize the American market anyway.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 2138
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 9:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

By not taking government money, Ford is, of course, free to continue making cars that the American public doesn't need... the same old stuff -- in other words, musclecars and gigantomobiles. When gas climbs back up over $4 per gallon, Ford will be stuck with a huge unsold backlog of those frivolous vehicles. At that point, Ford will be in trouble again. Unless, of course, Dearborn finally gets a clue and starts producing more models that are fuel-efficient and simply provide durable, reliable transportation.
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Wally
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Username: Wally

Post Number: 617
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 9:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^ Well rehearsed propaganda statement straight out of the Obama playbook.
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Zrx_doug
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Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 948
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 10:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No shit, Wally.
Fury, in case you haven't noticed, the Japanese quit specializing in fuel efficient econo-boxes about nine years ago..Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsu, Subaru..they've ALL leaned heavily in the direction of V8 powered SUV's from hell and high-end luxury/sports sedans..it's what consumers wanted at the time.
Meanwhile, Ford, GM & Chrysler ALL make competitive economy cars as well as their prime movers..how can you live in this region and not be aware of these basic facts?
Quit listening to the talking heads on TV and go take a walk through some showrooms..
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_sj_
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Username: _sj_

Post Number: 1751
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 10:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If that is true then why is North American production of the Tacoma and Tundra combined less than the numbers for the Camry? Or that their 4-cylinder engine production is almost greater than the V6 and V8 combined. It doesn't look like they abandoned anything, just increased production of other models.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 2142
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"...the Japanese quit specializing in fuel efficient econo-boxes about nine years ago."

Oh, really? Then why do I see more and more people driving the Honda Fit and Civic; the Toyota Matrix, Yaris and Corolla; and Nissan Versa (not to mention many sightings of non-Japanese fuel savers like the MINI Cooper, Hyundai Accent, and Smart car)?

And GM, Ford, and Chrysler do NOT make competitive economy cars... not yet (with the possible exception of the Pontiac Vibe, which is a reskinned Toyota Matrix). For the most part, real-world MPG delivered by so-called economy vehicles from the U.S. is still well below what comparative offerings from Toyota and Honda can achieve. U.S. automakers make nothing like the Fit or the Yaris.

No, an average of 28 or 29 mpg is not good enough. Sorry. I won't "sacrifice" just to buy American. The U.S. automakers should have anticipated market trends and had more efficient products ready to go. But they're just not very quick to respond to what customers want.

If I could have found a well made, reliable 38-mpg hatchback from GM, Ford, or Chrysler (priced at less than $16K), I would have bought one. Instead, I bought a Toyota (my first foreign car in 35 years of car ownership).
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Zrx_doug
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Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 949
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I never stated that they had "abandoned" ANYTHING. The point is that the Japanese diversified to meet market demand for those nasty vehicles you all love to hate.
They wanted a share of the market, because they are in the friggin' business to sell cars.
In a free market people buy what they want, not what is deemed "good for them," and America wanted (and apparently still does want) something more than a basic four-banger econo-box.
For some reason, when the Japanese diversified to grab their portion of this market, nobody took notice..everyone in the media fails to see a Tundra or Land Cruiser while they're gushing about the Prius as the be-all/end-all answer to our prayers..

And yet, when American auto companies do EXACTLY the same thing in the other direction, by diversifying to grab some of the small car market, their economical offerings are overlooked in the media.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 2143
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Because, Doug, up to this point, those offerings haven't measured up.

Why haven't the U.S. automakers been able to produce a nice small car that's a fuel efficiency leader (and I'm not talking about a tin-can strippo like the "Chevy" Aveo, which is actually a Korean Daewoo and gets mediocre MPG for its size)?

Answer: because they haven't wanted to. Well, now they're paying for it.
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_sj_
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Username: _sj_

Post Number: 1754
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

when American auto companies do EXACTLY



I would say they are opposites at this point.
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Russix
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Username: Russix

Post Number: 236
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"The U.S. automakers should have anticipated market trends and had more efficient products ready to go. But they're just not very quick to respond to what customers want."

Japan is a hometurf for them, they use the profits gained by this protectionism scheme and pour them straight into R&D. Thats why they are light years ahead of the Big 3. Is this the failure of the Big 3 or the end result of policies that have picked away at them for years. I hope Obama plans to swing the iron fist down on Japan next. You and I should race but you get to wear the lead boots.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 2144
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The fact is, Russix, it should not take three or four years to get a car from drawing board to market. Management also needs to be quicker to make the correct decisions on which cars to produce.
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Sstashmoo
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Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 3561
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote: "it should not take three or four years to get a car from drawing board to market."

But it does. Oil can skyrocket overnight. It's impossible to foresee it and always be ready for the change. The Japanese, doing what they always did, were perceived as prepared, they got lucky.
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Zrx_doug
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Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 950
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bullshit.
Chevy Cobalt XFE: 25 city/36 highway
Chevy Malibu hybrid: 26 city/34 highway
Ford Focus: 24 city/35 highway
Dodge Caliber: 24 city/30 highway
Saturn Astra: 24 city/32 highway
VS
Toyota Camry 21 city/31 highway
Toyota Corolla 27 city/31 highway
Toyota Yaris 29 city/36 highway

Take a look, you'll notice that the figures are VERY competitive. The Yaris stands out, but it's also a tiny shitbox of a car in comparison to the rest I've shown..

Now lets take a look at the OTHER end of the scale..

Toyota Land Cruiser 13 city/18 highway
Toyota Sequoia 4x4 13 city/18 highway
Toyota Tundra 4x4 13 city/16 highway

Ford Expedition 12 city/18 highway
Ford Explorer 13 city/19 highway
Ford F150 13 city/17 highway
Chevy Silverado 1500 14 city/19 highway
Chevy Tahoe 14 city/20 highway

All of the above are the highest epa figures for a given model for the 2008 model year, in other words the basic models..both American and Jap milage goes to hell when you start tacking on goodies, and in some cases American milage takes a jump up when you add "hybrid" or "flex fuel" to the cost..
This is basic shit, look it up yourself at fueleconomy.gov
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Sstashmoo
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Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 3562
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote re: big 3 building small cars: "because they haven't wanted to. Well, now they're paying for it."

You couldn't be more wrong. They were building small cars 5 years ago, nobody was buying them. Hence Toyota et al going in to the truck and SUV markets at the same time. They only build what people buy. Businesses that build what they think people should buy, don't last long.

(Message edited by Sstashmoo on March 31, 2009)
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Novine
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 1336
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"And yet, when American auto companies do EXACTLY the same thing in the other direction, by diversifying to grab some of the small car market, their economical offerings are overlooked in the media."

The media doesn't make the market. For whatever reason, buyers aren't interested in those cars. The Big 3 aren't on the edge of disaster solely because the last year's blow-up in the financial markets. It's been a long, downward path to their current state. To pretend they didn't have a large role in that decline is to be in denial.
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_sj_
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Username: _sj_

Post Number: 1756
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

They only build what people buy.



I really hope you don't believe that because there are a lot of companies who build themselves into oblivion full of products the public doesn't want.
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Russix
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Username: Russix

Post Number: 237
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

True, but that is probably how fast they can afford to do it. One would believe if you doubled your engineering staff that you would see a significant reduction in product development time to market. How much R&D do you think they are investing in right now when they are dumping everything overboard just to stay afloat? 8 years ago they were really on top of their game, the first four years where very volatile. Although sales were starting slide they were still selling lots of trucks and SUVs. Its very difficult from a numbers standpoint to realize that you need to devote your product teams on developing products that are accounting for the smaller portion of your profit margin. Starting in 2005 we really saw the beginning of the end with high fuel-prices killing the bulk of the Big 3s profitable markets. GM kicked into high-gear with the Volt and Ford bought hybrid technology from Toyota. But its really hard to compete in a market where your competition has been outselling you for decades.
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Zrx_doug
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Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 951
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The media doesn't make the market.
No, the media merely perpetuates the myths which drive the market, much the same way some of you folks are working at perpetuating those same myths right here..
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 2146
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 12:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"The Yaris stands out, but it's also a tiny shitbox of a car in comparison to the rest I've shown."

Doug, the Yaris is far from a "tiny shitbox." Loads of room inside... more than what it appears to have (including a lot of cargo space with the rear seat folded down), versatile in design, and the fit and finish are outstanding. It doesn't feel cheap when you drive it, yet fully loaded it cost less than $16K. I should know... I own one. AND... it may be rated 29/36, but real-world it gets about 32/41. It AVERAGES 34-35 mpg. Likewise with the Corolla. Corolla owners routinely report 38-40 mpg highway, and over 30 mpg city. Matrix/Pontiac Vibe owners report similar numbers.

Now, Cobalt, Caliber, Focus, Malibu, Astra, they all cost much more than $16K decently optioned (especially that Malibu hybrid), so total cost of ownership is higher. And all those cars are going to average around 27-28 combined mpg real-world (I read customer reviews on Edmunds.com), which simply is not good enough for me. I want value for my dollar when buying a car.
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Zrx_doug
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Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 952
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 12:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bullshit. Not only do I A) own a Corolla, but B) I worked for Toyota for fifteen friggin' years.
Be aware that in the internet economy car world, owners like to brag on MPG figures..sorta like in the sportbike forums every 600cc POS will do 180 MPH with throttle to spare..real world seldom backs up the hype, in my experience.

If you're going to claim that you can get 41 mpg out of your Yaris, I'm not gonna call you a liar..but I will say that you would likely get the same increased mileage out of any car with a similar EPA rating.

"Shitbox" did not refer to fit & finish or overall quality, it referred to size..stick five Detroit-sized adults in your Yaris for an hour or two of commuting and get back to me on that "comfort" factor, mmkay?
:-)
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Novine
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 1337
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 12:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"No, the media merely perpetuates the myths which drive the market, much the same way some of you folks are working at perpetuating those same myths right here.."

OK, so lay out your solution. The Big 3 are about to fall into the abyss. The Japanese are not. Something's got to give.
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Sstashmoo
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Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 3564
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 12:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote: "Something's got to give."

And it's called the UAW.
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Otter
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Username: Otter

Post Number: 694
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 1:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bullshit.

Everyone else is saying it, so I figgered I'd give it a try too.

O.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 2150
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 1:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As I said, Doug, the Yaris is quite roomy inside. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I HAVE taken adults on a long trip in it (not five, but four... for three and a half hours each way, to Dayton) and got no complaint whatsoever. It's comfortable. I've driven it to Nashville, to Florida, to Cleveland, to Chicago... and it's a joy to drive on a trip. NO comfort problems. The headroom is particularly remarkable.

Let's see... I got nearly 43 mpg on the Florida trip, 37 on the Chicago trip, 42 mpg going to Nashville, just under 40 on the Dayton trip... I guess that averages about 41, right? Unless you want to call me a liar again...?

I'm waiting for an American company to build something that EXCEEDS the versatility, build quality, and fuel efficiency of my Yaris. If they build it, I will buy it.

I think it's time for Detroit to be the leader in MPG, not a follower. Why can't our great American know-how and engineering accomplish that?
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 2170
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 1:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For what i payed for it, the Chevy Aveo has been pretty good to me. At 90,000 miles it hasn't been to the shop once. I have gone to Chicago on one tank of gas and Bonnaroo in Tennessee on a tank and a half.
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Wally
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Username: Wally

Post Number: 618
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 2:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Regarding BS fuel mileage, I used to own a '95 Honda Civic manual shift and it routinely got 40 mpg city & hwy. Honda never claimed it got that good of mileage. So miles per gallon "estimates" can be wrong on either end. My current (American) car even gets a few more mpg than the estimate.
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Thnk2mch
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Username: Thnk2mch

Post Number: 1358
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 5:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Quote: "Something's got to give."

And it's called the UAW.





I wonder what will happen with Ford, if say, GM and/or Chrysler go bankrupt, and cancel UAW contracts. Will Ford be instantly at a disadvantage?
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Sstashmoo
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Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 3566
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 7:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's a good question.
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East_detroit
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Username: East_detroit

Post Number: 2093
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 7:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Will GM & Chrysler instantly pay their workers minimum wage?
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Zrx_doug
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Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 953
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 8:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK, so lay out your solution. The Big 3 are about to fall into the abyss. The Japanese are not. Something's got to give.

Actually, the Japanese are feeling the same pains as US automakers. If not, why is the almighty Toyota seeking a three billion dollar+ loan from Japan?
All three of the American companies have already got high mpg vehicles slated to be introduced..they need help to make it through this dip in the economy, not a dressing-down by a government that continually publically judges their product to be inferior.
Week after week of listening to government folks bitch & moan about poor management, greedy workers, bankruptcy, and changes that MUST be made, it's a friggin' wonder that anyone would consider buying an American car.

Fury, I didn't call you a liar..I said your MPG being above EPA estimates would likely be the same regardless of which car you've chosen.
I was actually saying that you're a frugal driver..

Having had the joy of being a rear-seat passenger in a Yaris on my last trip to Gratten Raceway (I chose to return in the bed of the truck hauling the motorcycles), I'll not retract my "shitbox" sentiment.
I'll revise it for you if you'd prefer..
Instead of "shitbox," how about "itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, cramped & crowded little sub-car?"
:-)
If the car works for you, so be it. I'm guessing my commuter motorcycle (which pulls down 70+ MPG) would not work for you..it's an apples and oranges thing.
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_sj_
Member
Username: _sj_

Post Number: 1758
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 8:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Actually, the Japanese are feeling the same pains as US automakers. If not, why is the almighty Toyota seeking a three billion dollar+ loan from Japan?



I wouldn't consider a loan for their financial arm the same as GM and Chrysler asking for loans more than their combined worth the same pain. Gm losing 56 million a day is a little more than pain I would say.
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Zrx_doug
Member
Username: Zrx_doug

Post Number: 954
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 9:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Umm..Toyota is projected to lose nearly four billion this year. Bear in mind that they're number one with a bullet right now..but do the math, and you'll see that this is an average loss of over ten million bucks a day.
Meanwhile, is the Japanese government suggesting a restructuring of Toyota, or calling for the heads of management?
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Det_ard
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Username: Det_ard

Post Number: 76
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 10:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Let's see... I got nearly 43 mpg on the Florida trip, 37 on the Chicago trip, 42 mpg going to Nashville, just under 40 on the Dayton trip... I guess that averages about 41, right? Unless you want to call me a liar again...?

Hmmmm, I got 32.5 mpg on a cross-state trip today. 1998 GM sedan, 3.8L supercharged, 150,000 miles. Not too shabby on the MPG and it'll still smoke the tires. There's nothing wrong with your Yaris, but it's no miracle worker.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 2153
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 10:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I'm guessing my commuter motorcycle (which pulls down 70+ MPG) would not work for you."

Actually, it probably would, Doug. I love motorcycles and have been riding for 30 years.

We'll agree to disagree about the comfort of my Yaris. I would concede that tall or large passengers might find it a bit cramped (but that could occur in many cars). Anyway, with my rear seat folded down, I can get both of my dogs in the back... or a full drum set. So, it works for me.

As I said, though, I'm always on the lookout for something that would suit me even better. So, where's that U.S.-made hatchback that has great cargo space, gets an average of 44-48 mpg, and costs $15K? I want to buy one. :-)
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 5477
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 11:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Isn't a Ford Focus wagon supposed to be offered again soon?

I love the Escort wagons I've had - good mpg, inexpensive maintenance and repair, killer cargo space for a small vehicle, especially with the back seats folded down. The last time I moved (not very far) it was all I used.

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