Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Bush to Automakers: "Make Better Cars!" Previous Next
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Detroitwonk
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Username: Detroitwonk

Post Number: 98
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 69.89.100.18
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 12:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow, I am SO glad that Carter and Reagan said that to Chrysler...

http://money.cnn.com/2006/01/2 6/news/companies/bush_autos.re ut/index.htm?section=cnn_topst ories
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Northend
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Username: Northend

Post Number: 701
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 69.212.62.92
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 12:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Automakers to Bush: "Make a better country"
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Detroitwonk
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Username: Detroitwonk

Post Number: 99
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 69.89.100.18
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 12:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Granholm to Bush: "Thank you for securing my re-election!"
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 6534
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.159.20
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 12:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mr GWB obviously doesn't understand the burden of legacy costs.

GM shoudl just re-org and start under another name so they can drop all of their health care and pension obligations. Right Georgie?

I agree that the Big 3 need to step up design and need to make many changes to their business but for our leaders to ignore the differences in playing fields between older companies with huge legacy costs and the foreign auto makers they are either reading only what they wish to read or need to go back to school.
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Rberlin
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Username: Rberlin

Post Number: 328
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 192.203.222.81
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That and the "free trade" ideal will never be even between us and the Asians and Europeans. They care about their domestic industries.

Me thinks Bush is still pissed off about losing Michigan twice, not to mention the 2000 primary.
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 1340
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 208.44.117.10
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That does remind me of Coubert's question to "Cheeks": What does the Big 3 have to do to sell more cars, besides make them desireable...
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Merchantgander
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Username: Merchantgander

Post Number: 1514
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 150.198.164.127
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jt1, I agree about them having a burden of legacy cost, but it wouldn't be such an issue if the made cars people wanted to buy.

GM and Ford can make as many changes as they want to their business model, they can hire every MBA graduate from U of M or pay every employee go get an advance degree but what they are lacking are creative ideas and people that can think out of a box these are things they cannot teach you in school.
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Fnemecek
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Username: Fnemecek

Post Number: 1480
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 70.227.206.65
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dabirch is probably right. The good news is that in 3 more years and 11 months, we can get a real president.
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Hamtramck_steve
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Username: Hamtramck_steve

Post Number: 2663
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 136.181.195.17
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't recall Reagan having anything to do with Chrysler's bailout. Lee Iacocca was very pointed that he does not believe the deal would have happened with Republicans.

As for Ford and GM, I agree completely that the cars themselves keep people away. Case in point, how many different ways can Ford say "boring?" 500. Compare that clunker with Chrysler's 300.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1605
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

3 more years and 11 months




Did GW change the presidential term length when I wasn't watching?
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Upinottawa
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Username: Upinottawa

Post Number: 153
Registered: 09-2005
Posted From: 198.103.184.76
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not to nit-pick, but I believe the next Presidential election is in November 2008 with the new President taking power in January 2009. Therefore, the US will have a new head of state in three years.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 26
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 129.9.163.105
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"George Bush doesn't care about car people"
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Rberlin
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Username: Rberlin

Post Number: 329
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 192.203.222.81
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah? And Canada gets a new Prime Minister what, every 4 months? Crazy Brits.

I'm just joking by the way.
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Fnemecek
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Username: Fnemecek

Post Number: 1482
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 70.227.206.65
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ndavies,
My bad. 2 years, 11 months and a few days.
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 356
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.215.30.34
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.cnn.com/2006/AUTOS/ 01/23/american_cars/index.html

With all due respect, American brands have improved a great deal. My family and I have either owned or still own GM cars, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Mazda and Hyundai. We are equal opportunity car buyers. :-)

Our most recent car purchase, the Chevy Malibu last year was a very practical and quality vehicle. Our Hyundai Elantra from 2001 is also still performing very well, and still receiving terrific services from the dealership.

My take on this whole collapse in both GM and Ford is that, the issue isn't so much the quality and reliability of the products, but rather the quality and reliability of the decision-making process by their respective leadership.

Put in there an exceptional individual, and great things will happen. Look at Apple before and after Steve Jobs took over the leadership role. Look at Advanced Micro Devices(AMD) before and after Hector Ruiz. Look at JPMorgan Chase before and after James Dimon.

GM and Ford needs the best and proven experts in company turnarounds.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 6535
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.159.20
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 1:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Merchant - I agree but would like to elaborate:

/quote{but it wouldn't be such an issue if the made cars people wanted to buy.}

A major factor in buying a car is pricing. If GM could drop legacy costs they could deduct upwards of 2K per vehicle. A lower price equates to more interest and more sold units. Chicken/egg scenario I guess. People often choose with their wallets and GM, DCX and Ford are at a disadvantage because these costs become a burden on the buyers wallet.
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Merchantgander
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Username: Merchantgander

Post Number: 1515
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 150.198.164.127
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 2:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't see a big difference in prices to buy but I do understand that foreign models are cheaper to make so they have a higher profit margin on each one sold. Look at DCX they are not having the issues that GM and Ford are because they are making cars that people want to buy.

Look at the concept cars over the last ten years most of DCX model make it to production because the designs wows the public.

It helps their cost by designing them so they can be made at existing plants so they don't have to build new ones or upgrade existing plants.

(Message edited by Merchantgander on January 26, 2006)
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1606
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.105
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 2:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Look at DCX they are not having the issues that GM and Ford are because they are making cars that people want to buy.




Merchantgander, You're forgetting the huge reorg that DCX went through 3 or 4 years ago. They were in the same dire situation Ford and GM currently find themselves in. Chrysler was on the brink of bankruptcy.

DCX did what GM and Ford are currently doing. Chrysler had to greatly reduce costs to get back to the point where they could afford to produce these great cars.
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Dove7
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Username: Dove7

Post Number: 1938
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.5.195.127
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 2:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Never agreed with anything that Bush states. But he is right.

I have stated this same issue recently to a co-worker. The obvious are thier and the projected obvious is an illusion. The obvious are the yearly announcements that are made at the International Autoshows.

Remember folks, Ford and G.M. did bad in car sells. Toyota overall did damn good. Honda had made both car and truck of the year. What does poor sells have to do with healthcare? Nothing.

But it does have alot to do with it. If you are loosing in one area, you have to try to find a way to make up for it in another. So G.M. and Ford makes and finds excuses to justify thier employee cuts, starting with healthcare and secondly, closing of plants/layoffs.

Look, G.M. recent problems are, they start out making good cars only because of the competition has put fear in them. But as usual, G.M. and Ford don't never complete the job. They still are playing it cheap. Take a look at the GTO. Nice car but the (I like to have one)body doesn't justify the performance. Based off of the Australian Monarch.


Like the CEO of Chrysler said while commenting on their success at the Autoshow..Quote: you give the customer what they want, this is why we had a good year last year.

That's so obvious. Remember. Chrysler wasn't different than G.M. and Ford. As a matter of fact they were in a far worst position than the big 2.

Mercedes from the begining were having regets buying the company. But the buyout turned into succesful sells with the 300C and thier many other cars.

Reality check, the large portion of Americans buy Japanese cars..And anyone and everbody that makes a car now, it is being compared to Japanese standards when it comes to quality.


One point. As I have heard it first hand from my business class instructor. 'Many don't want to buy a G.M. car etc..My bad experience with them was my last one. When people have such a bad expeirence, they never forget and many don't look back'. Even when they start making good cars again.

G.M. has some good cars. But as someone corrected me on here. These are only niche cars. He is right. Niche cars don't make you alot of money. Because not everyone can afford them.

The majority of the U.S. cars that I see around here is the Pontiac G6. I see as many of those around here as I do Toyota and Hondas. People want affordable cars with quality..
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Sknutson
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Username: Sknutson

Post Number: 422
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 67.114.23.202
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 2:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a question from a born and bred Michigander, living out in CA. Why can't GM or Ford built a European sport type sedan that would appeal to people who live on the coasts? The Malibu that my mother just bought is nice but not for me. The Sable that my brother drives is not for me.

I drive a Volvo. My partner a Mercedes, and a Audi. My closest friends: Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, VW, Audi, Lexus......

Quality is not keeping me away, its the boredom factor of ho-hum cars.
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Dove7
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Username: Dove7

Post Number: 1939
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.5.195.127
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 2:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

NDais wrote:
DCX did what GM and Ford are currently doing. Chrysler had to greatly reduce costs to get back to the point where they could afford to produce these great cars.


Yeah, they got rid of alot of white collar workers. They were the first to be fired.
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 357
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.215.30.34
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 2:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ndavies is right on. Chrysler was definitely on the brink of bankruptcy. When Dieter Zetsche took over the leadership role in late 2000, many thought that the parent company, Daimler-Benz AG, sent the German in to turn off the lights and close shop. Instead, he overhauled the ailing company left behind by Robert Eaton, and succeeded tremendously in breathing fresh air into the chocking lungs of Chrysler Group.

GM and Ford need their very own Dieter Zetsche, a competent turnaround specialist.
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Dove7
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Username: Dove7

Post Number: 1940
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Posted From: 24.5.195.127
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 2:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sknutson,

that's my overall point when I state quality. For me and to me quality is non-boredom but at the sametime reliable. But at the sametime the Japanese cars aren't beauty queens neither. As a matter of fact to me the majority of them are ugly. But it's the reliability of these cars that keep people coming back.

That has been a big concern and comments over here in Cali. Proof in the pudding. The old 1990 Honda Accord is the most stolen car over here. Why? Because the car is a race horse. It has a reputation for being reliable. The car to this day still holds it's value. Name how many cars that the Big 3 had during that year/years that held it's value?

The cars that you are mentioning are niche cars. These are cars that not all can afford. Yeah cool cars, but I'll take a Caddy over those cars that you posted above. I'm starting to see alot of Lincoln Zyperhs on the road now..

But I do agree with you about boredom. I look at the Lucerne and Lacrosse, nice cars but they don't excite me at all. The body looks bland to me. That's what I just don't understand about G.M. Who are they hiring to design these cars and why?
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Merchantgander
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Username: Merchantgander

Post Number: 1516
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: 150.198.164.127
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 2:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ndavies, I didn't forget about the reorganization but to me the reason DCX is gaining market share is because of models like the 300 M not because they were reorganized 3 or 4 years ago. The reorganization might of help make the model possible but it is not why people buy it.

In my opinion while price of a car is a factor the biggest factor is do you like it and how is the quality. If price was the number one factor the cheapest cars would be the top selling cars each year.
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Dove7
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Username: Dove7

Post Number: 1942
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Posted From: 24.5.195.127
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Correct Merchantgander..If it's appealing and affordable are the two important key factors.

That's another succesful car over here. The G6 and 300C.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5441
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One of the benchmark cars for the 500 was the Audi A6...Ford at least recognizes who they can learn from.


Much of that engineering goes into the Volvo equivalent, directly.


I dunno, Sknutson, which Volvo do you drive?!


My LA ex's Jaguar had to have four transmissions installed in the time I knew her...heard that they were the same as the Lincoln LSC's...but could be wrong.


It's all perception...until you encounter the dealer network. I've had better results with VW/Audi than Ford by a long shot. Sounds like the Chrysler dealer in Hamtramck is better than most.
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Dove7
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Username: Dove7

Post Number: 1943
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.5.195.127
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Think about this..While the 300C isn't a Bently or BMW the car is seen in the same class as these cars.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5442
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Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's all perception...
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1607
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You're mistaken Dove 7. The DCX cuts were spread Proportionally thoughout the entire organization. As always far more union workers were lost than white collar people. This is because there are many more Union workers in the auto companies than there are white collar workers. The split of lost workers in recent years has been running at 75% union workers to 25% white collar workers.
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Ilovedetroit
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Username: Ilovedetroit

Post Number: 2017
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 63.149.5.130
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As much as I hate Bush I agree it is their duty to make a better car. Why? To secure the employees futures. As a company they are failing their employees by not providing them with job security.
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 358
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.215.30.34
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Price, quality/reliability and appearance: All 3 factors need to strike an optimal balance. When we made the decision to purchase the Hyundai Elantra in 2001, it was for the price, the quality of their 10-year warranty, and the appearance, in those order. When we made the decision to purchase the 2006 Chevy Malibu last year, it was the exact same 3 factors in the exact same order.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1608
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Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry Merchantgander, costs are very much tied to the like-ability of a car. Without the cost reductions DCX took, the 300M would not be the car it currently is.

Before the design of a vehicle, that vehicle's cost structure is set. Every part of the car is allocated an end unit cost. Every part of the cost of an organization has to be accounted for in that vehicle. If your fixed costs for labor and overhead are too high, it limits the amount of money that can be spent on the car parts. This in turn creates crappy designs due to the limited budget available for the components.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5443
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Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

btw, a long warranty is only the ILLUSION of quality...there are no sure guarantees that either the company, you, OR your car will last the duration of the coverage...nor what loopholes they cautiously slipped in there to cover their behinds.


It's a bit like the initial quality survey...how DOES the thing act before it is driven on real streets for a few years, how DID the dealer treat you when they were taking your money?


all bs, carefully crafted...
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Shark
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Username: Shark

Post Number: 180
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Posted From: 65.43.35.158
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I belive that there are still 2001 Cadillac limos in use at the White House. Perhaps George could do his part and update the fleet.

And stop giving money to the airlines everytime they come nosing around for a bailout.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5445
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Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They make much bigger crashes when they fail.
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Merchantgander
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Username: Merchantgander

Post Number: 1517
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Posted From: 150.198.164.127
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So NDavies based on what you said once GM and Ford reorgaize their designs are automatically going to be better and they are going to sell more cars. We are going to have to disagree on that point.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1609
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Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pure bullshit Gannon. A longer warranty causes the engineers to spend more engineering time on their parts. All vehicle parts are assigned a warranty budget. If a department's component exceeds it's warranty budget the engineers could lose raises, bonuses, and even jobs if there are major recalls of that part. Most automotive engineers, supervisors, managers and VP's performance reviews, salaries and bonuses are directly tied to the Warranty budget.

There are also studies that show the IQS directly correlates to the long term quality of a vehicle. The auto companies spend billions on both short term and long term quality studies. If they weren't a valuable way to measure a companies compatitive stance they wouldn't be spending the money on them.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1610
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Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

So NDavies based on what you said once GM and Ford reorgaize their designs are automatically going to be better and they are going to sell more cars.




Only if the saved money makes it's way back into the design process and not the stockholders pockets through dividend payouts.
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Merchantgander
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Username: Merchantgander

Post Number: 1520
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Posted From: 150.198.164.127
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ndavies, I believe we are almost saying the same thing.
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 1982
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Posted From: 130.132.177.245
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

shark makes an excellent point re the airlines bailout, that was PHEEEW stinky nastiness with weak greedy companies exploiting the national terror of late 2001 to get big federal $$$$. ugly stuff not talked about much at the time and today it is lost in the noise of our burn rate in Iraq ... but what a waste of $$$.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5449
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Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd say that is improper value judgement and motivation. The engineers should be making the best damn part that the beancounters will approve whether the marketeers arrange a long warranty or not.

Nice to know there is some economic feedback loop that will be broken if these people lose their jobs before the parts fail...who is responsible overall for the build quality?

Do any of the top brass ever shake in their shoes over their job security...of course not, they are the ones approving these bullshit rules.


Good to know that Initial Quality correlates with the longer term...but you've said before that their long term ends at 125,000 miles.


For the average 15k per year driver, that is just over eight years...how many of us are anywhere near that low an average? (not fair to chime in here, Jams, you're just bringing the numbers down)


I'm into about 45,000 per year...and most people I know clock between 25 and 35k...so that means a turnover every 3.5 to 5 years while the used car buyer can just go screw themselves.


Gives the dealer more fodder to abuse...cool...and ups the annual sales figures since most of us need to drive...great.


Tell me more about the American car companies long-term testing.
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 359
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.215.30.34
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gannon: I agree that long warranty can sometimes back-fire because if the quality is top-notch, there wouldn't logically be a necessity for long warranty at all. Fortunately, there has not been a need for me to bring the car in to the dealership in the past 4 years or so. Touch wood ... :-)
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1611
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Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 3:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, I think we're thinking along the similar lines. Without the reorgs there is absolutely no way to get additional cash allocated to improve the vehicle design. Less overhead should equal better components in the vehicle.

The car game is really very simple. The price you can sell a vehicle is fixed by your competitors. If you can produce a better car for less money than your competitors can you'll gain market share. If you're car is only as nice as your compition but more expensive you'll lose money. Taking fixed costs out of the vehicle design and build process always yeilds the best results. Fixed cost are labor, design, insurance, and buildings. Variable cost are hard component costs.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5453
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 4:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Price is not fixed by competition IF market perception sways buyers to pony up the cash.


If it truly were that simple, we'd not be chasing after the intangibles that keep people salivating over BMWs, Audis, Acuras, Lexi, etc.


EVEN when there are high-cost maintenance issues with the lot of 'em, people hold dearly to them and boast.


It surely ain't that easy. Our army of MBAs would be winning this war for sure if that were the case.


Damn, when the Beetle was made it was of lesser overall build quality...simpler and doltier...UGLY beyond means...you had to have an attitude just to get behind the wheel and turn the key...and I dare say that if such a vehicle were made today it would sell well beyond anyone's expectations.


Hell, VW did so with a mere facsimile in recent years...didn't re-establish them as the low cost car of choice because they aren't low cost by any stretch of the imagination...and the Mexican build troubles didn't help them at all.


The Hyundai is the new low cost sweetheart, but you've got to admit they seriously improved their offerings in the few years they've been here...after many years of studying our market weirdness.


Legacy costs have to be dealt with, for sure...don't think the car companies can wait out the lifetime of the baby boomers...that would be the best bailout the government could create, but I'm not so sure I want my daddy's retirement to be controlled by the Man.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5454
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 4:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Best thing the car companies could do to improve everything is reduce their executive packages to eliminate golden and platinum parachutes and have them earn a more comfortable proportionate increase over the least paid person on the wage-totem.

Then the folks who are merely there for the money would jump ship and the true car lovers would remain and re-establish us as the best in the world.

I've met enough frustrated engineers to know that it could be done...they just get tromped by the execudroids...until there is nearly NO passion left in them.

They keep rebuilt remnants of Detroit's guilded age in their garages and drive them up Woodward every August...helps keep their hearts pumping.
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Ndavies
Member
Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1612
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 4:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gannon you drive way more than an average driver. 15K per year is not average. It is way over average. Average is about 9K. Most families have 2 cars. While the husband will be in the 12-15k range the wife is usually much less.

Gannon, you're also clueless on the warranty issue.

quote:

The engineers should be making the best damn part that the beancounters will approve whether the marketeers arrange a long warranty or not.




How does an engineer design the best damn part a beencounter will fund without knowing what the requirements of the part are.

One of the requirements is the life expectancy of the part. I could design a car that would last forever. But you couldn't afford it.

I could beef up a part to make it last longer, but then it may cause the vehicle to ride like shit. I could engineer a part to give better performance but it may then only last 2 days. I could make the same part out of titanium and it would last forever and give incredible perfomance, but price the vehicle out of the reach of the common man.

The warranty budget is a valid design criteria. If you want a car that last longer pay more money for it. It is a valid way to measue wether or not a part has met it's design criteria.

Your almighty audi does have a better life expectancy and better handling characteristics. However, it runs 15%-20% more expensive than similar cars in it's class. Most americans are not willing to pay that price premium to get the increased performance. That's why Audi Sales have been in the tank for the last 20 years.
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Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5456
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 4:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We've been building vehicles with four wheels and sheetmetal for over eighty years!!


These engineering issues should already have been worked out...given the evolution of materials and effeciency requirements.


There is NO reason to re-engineer basic parts in vehicles unless last year's proved to not be up to snuff...evolution, not creation, should be the key.


WTF?! Part of the basic problem is the paradigm that each vehicle needs to be original...there is NO way every car company can keep up with all of those replacement parts over time.

It gets down to form over function...we are stuck in form and let it drive function. Any time we try the alternative it is done so half assed as to bore the consumer to death and the marketeers become even more afraid to challenge the momentum.

I understand your build cost versus longevity...but some parts should be designed to last 'forever' given absolute weight and cost threshold minimums.

When that cat VW stole from GM destroyed that premise, he gutted the true long-term trust of both brands...what was his name, the guy who took Vauxhall's secrets to VW? Nothing has been the same in the car biz since he hacked his way to the top and sent the suppliers scurrying. Wonder where he is now?!


Sure, somebody has to make the call what 'forever' means...some attention has to be paid to the used buyers and that lucrative used car repair market.


Let me be clueless on that warranty issue...I am saying that it should be the result, NOT the driving force.


Yes, parts quality does indicate how long the warranty could be without bankrupting the company...but it should be a 'long-term quality' loop not a 'warranty' loop.

Warranty is WAY too short-sighted a period, and indicates that the companies are merely eyeing their profit, not their immediate and subsequent owners.

The focus is on the wrong thing...at least the owner's...the people...HAVE to be included in the metrics somehow.

I argue that this is the shortcoming of ALL capitalistic enterprises, the car firms are merely this conversation's target.
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Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5457
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 4:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Let's try to make our own average yearly mileage from forumers.

I'll start a thread. Should be interesting, even though we are not population representative.

I KNOW I drive more than average...but you take away the aunt millies of the world who drive to church and the grocery store as well as high numbers like mine and we might get closer to a useful figure.

I'd wager that it IS more like 15k, with 25k in the metro area and 30k in Los Angeles. (They win in frowns per mile, though.)

Whole population non-weighted averages can be highly misleading...I'm talking about those who actually use their cars and drive to work.
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Ndavies
Member
Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 1613
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 5:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Please Gannon.

Cars are constantly being redesigned to reduce costs, improve performance and meet the changing tastes of the vehicle owner. Not just for the fun of redesigning a part. Parts wouldn't be touched if they were already perfect. Parts are constantly being redesigned to fit the body designers needs, customers expectations, and the governments enviromental and safety demands.


quote:

Let me be clueless on that warranty issue...I am saying that it should be the result, NOT the driving force.




How can it be a result unless it's a driving force. You won't get quality without driving for it. At Toyota it is a driving force. It is the primary driving force. It overides all other decisions. That's why Toyota styling is so bland. Toyota has the lowest Warranty costs in the business because it is their primary driving force. One of the quickest ways to get feedback on quality is through warranty costs.


quote:

Yes, parts quality does indicate how long the warranty could be without bankrupting the company...but it should be a 'long-term quality' loop not a 'warranty' loop.




another clueless statement. Warranty costs correlate directly to the long term costs of a car. As three year warranty costs drop the long term costs for the life of a car also drop.

If is a fact of life for a part, that if you design a part to have a life expectancy of 5 years, you will get a bell curve that the average part will die after 5 years. There will be a few parts that die tomorrow, and a few parts that last forever. The distribution will be a bell curve with the hump at 5 years.

So to get a part the will last through the warranty you will need to push that bell curve up in years so the early failures occur outside of the warranty period. This means parts have to be designed to last well after the warranty expires.

The owners are included in the metrics. They purchase the vehicles that they believe suit their needs. If you don't include the customers expectations, they won't buy the vehicle.
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Romanized
Member
Username: Romanized

Post Number: 179
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 69.245.75.239
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 5:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How the hell are you going to compare Ford and DCX, to Lexus and BMW. That's just stupid. Why don't you compare apples to apples, like Kia and Suzuki.

BTW, for the wiseguys, here is the JD Power's qualty rankings:

1. Toyota
2. Honda
3. GM
4. Nissan
5. Ford
6. DCX
7. Volkswagon
About 14 other automakers

So toiling under this perception of inferior quality is stupid.
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Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5461
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 5:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

YOU'RE not getting my point, N.

Don't call me clueless when I'm trying to reach towards the deeper reasons why the people who pay YOU are having so much trouble.

Warranty is not long-term. Warranty is a subset of long-term, that subset that the manufacturers will cover when the part fails.

It is WAY too short a metric for anyone who wants to purchase a car...no matter how groomed the marketeers have made the populace.

Warranty is only one of the ways to sell a car, like that poster above who chose Hyundai because they promised ten year's of coverage...among three things he deemed important.

Do you really think they are building a ten year car...or are they making a ten year gamble.

I'd say it is the latter.

You can hedge your bets on your gambling, that is what using warranty as the driving metric does...I continue to say that is too short term.


A result does NOT necessarily need to be chosen as the driving force, it can merely be a result.


The driving force has been unit sales for years...always the true top line figure...and while it is always the end goal all of the other things they now consider share in the driving force for profitable design.

You don't get my philosophy...whatever.

A logical correlation does NOT a cause/effect relationship make...lower warranty costs do NOT insure longer life OR even lower costs during that life span. The moment the part fails it could cost a fortune to replace...
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Track75
Member
Username: Track75

Post Number: 2203
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 12.75.18.197
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 5:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I lifted this graphic from a CNN story that examined the common perception that Japanese cars are more reliable than American cars. Based on the JDP 3-year measure, Vehicle Dependability, that isn't a valid perception.

Changing it will take a long time however, especially on the import dominated coasts.

JDP

http://money.cnn.com/2006/01/23/Autos/american_cars/index.htm


Oh, Sknutson, if you and your friends like the luxury imports you might give the Cadillac CTS, SRX or the STS a try. They're competitive in an objective sense, but getting a longtime European or Japanese car buyer to consider a Cadillac is very difficult. Many can't get past what their peers might think.

And I think Ndavies is right.

(Message edited by track75 on January 26, 2006)
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Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 5463
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 70.236.198.22
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where did I hear the cultural approach that the US, German, and Japanese automakers use on their tooling and building process over the life of their car? Can't remember, but this might be the gist of it:


US tooling is sturdy, built to loose enough tolerances so that the average worker can assemble the average car over the average life of the accuracy of the tooling.

Over the lifespan of the model you get a good average, you can buy one from the first through the end and get a decent representation of the designer's intent. (excepting Ford's decontenting program cheapening theirs, of course)


Japanese tooling is maybe more precise at the onset, but they don't spend to maintain that degree of accuracy. As the tools wear out, the degree of customer satisfaction might erode. They also create products for a less-than-craftsman assembly line.

It is better to buy early in the product run, although you never know with common parts where in its lifespan you are. Biggest problem is the reputation from the first year might not maintain through the experiences later buyer's might have.


Germans tool with the expectation that their line workers are craftspeople, who will work the parts to perfectly fit together...but it obviously takes great training of the employees and loads more effort to turn out final quality product.

You can buy products from them anywhere during the production run...although their general evolution of engineering means a similar looking engine or suspension will be gradually improved over time.


Trouble comes when each philosophy starts to assemble in other markets with local labor.


The Germans had a devil of a time training the Mexicans...and hasn't BMW had some difficulty with their NA operations as well?


The US is wrestling with Chinese habits and culture with their endeavors there...and the Japanese had to import their culture here while fighting off the imposing union momentum.


So...aren't these whole brand comparisons basically invalid from the start? The whole premise that JD Powers can lump entire productions together is asinine and unuseable at best.
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Jiminnm
Member
Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 284
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 69.241.164.222
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 9:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

First, Bush did not say what the title of this thread states. He said that U.S. car makers should make cars that are more appealing to the public. A lot of folks here have interpreted that to mean make better cars, but I think it's more than that. Others talked about the perceptions, and I think that's the major factor.

The styling on many Ford and GM cars is so generic that when I pull up next to one, I have no idea what kind of car it is. Other than the Mustang, and a few low selling GM cars like Solstice and Corvettes, where's the styling attraction? The quality of US cars has improved dramatically, but where are the promos and ads related to that? Why aren't Ford and GM tooting their own horns? Here in NM, we're inundated wih GM ads featuring OnStar. Does GM really think that's going to sell a lot of cars? The quality of Mercedes has declined quite a bit lately, but they still have a public perception of high quality. Due to selling discounts and rebates, and the perception of poorer quality, the resale value of US cars tends to be far below other cars. That doesn't encourage anyone to buy initially. Lastly, there's also a perception that US car dealers are not as responsive and owner friendly as others. A responsive and trustworthy dealer is one reason we have two Infinitis. However, my last car was a Chryler and I got great service from the dealer. If they had a car that interested me, I probably would be driving a Chrysler today.

Another factor Ford and GM might consider is to make their fixed sales price a permanent thing. The dealers will moan and groan, but I think it would improve sales. During the 'employee pricing' promo, the prices that buyers paid weren't substantially less than previous prices with rebates and discounts. Yet, consumers bought a lot more cars. I've read several commentators who state that it wasn't as much the price, but the fact that buyers didn't have to haggle and didn't have to walk away thinking that they had somehow been screwed on a price.
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Bratt
Member
Username: Bratt

Post Number: 394
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 70.229.229.244
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 10:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lexus is rated number one? That's why I drive a Lex Dog! And by the way I look damn good in it!
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Jiminnm
Member
Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 285
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 69.241.164.222
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 10:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just a comment on the JD Power chart above. All Lexus cars are currently manufactured in Japan, while nearly all (if not all) Toyotas are manufactured in The US. All Infinitis (exept maybe one model) are manufactured in Japan, while all (or nearly all) Nissans are manufactured in the US. That may say something about manufacturing quality.
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Rberlin
Member
Username: Rberlin

Post Number: 331
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 68.255.76.255
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 1:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So are Buicks and Cadillacs built in Japan too.

I've said it before, I'll say it again.

nihon no kuruma ga dai kirai desu!

Why doesn't DetroitYes! support Asian characters? What are we using here, ASCII?

(Message edited by rBerlin on January 26, 2006)
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Mike
Member
Username: Mike

Post Number: 569
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 66.227.165.194
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 2:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

GM has a $3000 disadvantage with every vehicle they make.

Hard to make a better car with that sort of disadvantage.
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Detroitwonk
Member
Username: Detroitwonk

Post Number: 100
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 69.89.100.18
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 11:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mike,

That's an interesting point. I can't help but wonder if that added costs weighing down the bottom line force so much energy to be focused on solving that problem...that it leaves much less creative energies available for design and feature innovation.
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Sknutson
Member
Username: Sknutson

Post Number: 423
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 67.114.23.202
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 12:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gannon: I drive the Volvo C70 convertible. If I didn't seem overly California-ized, I suppose I do now!

But my previous car was 1990 Probe.
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Detroit_stylin
Member
Username: Detroit_stylin

Post Number: 2355
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.202.227.12
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 1:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well the Japanese also engage in a practice called dumping where they actually sell their cars here for much lower than fair market value. That is how they have been creeping up in the US market.

It's actually an illegal practice in itself and the givernment has been letting them get away with it for years...
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Jiminnm
Member
Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 286
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 69.241.164.222
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 1:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually Ds, that is not the definition of dumping. Dumping is a foreign company selling an imported product here for less than the cost to manufacture it, not for less than fair market value. If an item is selling at any price, that's its fair market value.

Given the prices of imported Japanese cars and the profitability of the companies making them, I don't think there's any dumping going on. Also, Japanese cars are not creeping up in the market, they are setting the market for quality and price.
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Detroit_stylin
Member
Username: Detroit_stylin

Post Number: 2356
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.202.227.12
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 1:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

hmmmm...ok point taken Jim...

I stand corrected...
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Dove7
Member
Username: Dove7

Post Number: 1945
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.5.195.127
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 2:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mike,

I disagree. We are talking about a multi billion dollar company here who makes 75,000.00 and 100,000 caddys. Now you tell me how are they at a disadvantage?

Escalade trucks, STS, CTS V etc..50,000 and up cars...Corvette, Corvette Z06 50,000 and up...

If they can take the time, money and asking price for these top of the line vehicals, then why now apply this with the lower end costing cars? That's an excuse.


A disadvantage is a disadvantage. That being said, if they were at a disadvantage then they can't afford and shouldn't be making caddys.


G.M. doesn't follow all the way through when they make many of their cars. Poor car sells equals lack of interest into buying your car. This what G.M. has suffered with from last year. Common sense to because why dop the price of your cars to get those to buy? Toyota doesn't have that problem.

In order for G.M. to be taken serious, they got to start giving the customer what they want.

Here's and example to where G.M. always fucks up, but then after they do, they try to fix it only to make things worst on them...


The GTO car, the car is a nice looking car. A car that I want. BUT, the body doesn't justify what is under the hood. They brought the car back into the scene wrong. It looks more like a typical sports car than a muscle car. People were upset about this. Not only were the consumers were upset about that, but they didn't like the under powered first version that came out and argued how G.M. didn't justify what the GTO was all about.

HEre is the killer part. The car is the same car that comes out of their Australian plant called the Monarch. It took all of this for G.M. to change the cars power to a 6.0 engine and now the a new body built here in theb States.

Why put yourself through this when you could've done it right the first time. It's called being cheap and trying to get around things by b.s. the customer.


People have just got feed up with G.M. and Ford over the years and many have moved on to the Japanese vehicals.
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Mrchills
Member
Username: Mrchills

Post Number: 21
Registered: 07-2005
Posted From: 63.113.196.170
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 3:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is the first time I think I have ever agreed with Dubya
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Jenay
Member
Username: Jenay

Post Number: 121
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 68.41.224.19
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 8:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I didn't vote for that Son of a Bush. I don't think the govermnent should bail the automotive industry out, but I don't think Bush had any right flappin his trap about us making better cars. All these stereotypes that exist about GM quality are from years ago, and nobody wants to admit that we have some damn good, high quality vehicles out right now. Forget about what was going on 10 years ago. All you have to do is look at some current quality data.

http://www.jdpower.com/special /powerreport/gm05/GM_SPR.pdf

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