Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 NYT: "Detroit Grapples With a New Era" Previous Next
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Mumbly
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Username: Mumbly

Post Number: 26
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 68.248.75.25
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 1:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

New York Times article discusses the impact of declining Big Three on metro Detroit:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05 /11/business/11detroit.html?hp &ex=1147406400&en=41a90b57ad69 8b83&ei=5094&partner=homepage
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Andylinn
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Username: Andylinn

Post Number: 43
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 68.40.195.233
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 2:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

it's true.
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Knocturnal
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Username: Knocturnal

Post Number: 107
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 24.176.50.206
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 2:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

best case scenario, toyota puts a plant in michigan, specifically detroit. kzoo and GR have been speculated as well.
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Jerome81
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Username: Jerome81

Post Number: 990
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 64.142.86.133
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 2:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The thing, or things that bug me the most are a few.

One is that I swear there is a personal hatred for anything GM, Ford, or Chrysler. I rarely come across people who have such a death wish for any company like they do for the Big 3. I don't really know why. Yes, 25 to 30 years ago the cars were junk. But why today do people who have never owned, never driven, never set foot in a domestic dealership wish them death? Most places around the world you cheer for the home team, and even if you don't care about cars, you should. Millions and millions in the US have jobs that would be significantly affected by the loss of the american auto industry. I'm not saying blindly support the US automakers. I'm saying keep an open mind, visit the dealership. You might be surprised.

The second is that I feel there is this self fulfilling prophecy with the auto industry. Everyone says Toyotas are so great (sure they are great cars), but it has come to mean that Toyotas are SUPOSSED to be great, and any problem with them is a fluke. Any issue they have is atypical. Its just a bad instance. On the other hand, domestics are SUPPOSED to be junk. So anything that goes wrong is typical. If a car rattles, its because its domestic. When it comes time to fill out surveys on customer satisfaction and reliability, people don't report things the same way. A problem on a Toyota might be perceived by an owner as "minor" while that same issue on a domestic would be "significant", because they're basing it on their expectation of the car, not the reality. The problem is it continues and continues and continues. I've heard so many people who had a domestic that spent some time in the shop and they swore off any american car for the rest of their lives. When a Toyota spends time in the shop, they'll still buy a Toyota next time, because they probably just got one of those bad ones....

Anyway. What I want, more than anything, is to see and feel a fire in Detroit. I want everyone from the top down to get PISSED about it. Its hard, I know. Bad news after bad news. But good news is contagious. Get some good news going, it will snowball. But when people take this stuff personally, and take it out on the competition instead of the managers or the unions, thats when great things happen.

I feel marketing could be done much better. The prevailing feeling is that Detroit makes low quality gas guzzlers. That's where their focus should be, especially for GM. Bombard TV and print with ads touting your quality awards, which are many. Pound home the message that your lineup has superior fuel economy for all different classes of cars and trucks. I've read it here: http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/ar chives/2005/01/myths_and_facts _1.html Now why am I not seeing this message beat into consumers minds on television? There are others, but those are my two beefs.

I have always firmly believed that Americans WANT to buy American cars. But I have never, and will never, expect that they buy what they feel is an inferior product for the price simply because it is American.

And that's the way I see the auto world.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1008
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 3:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

NY Times writer Micheline Maynard will allow herself to rot in hell before she writes anything positive about Detroit or the American auto industry.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3686
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.167.135.33
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 3:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Detroit, be it the general populace or the auto industry, has decided that it can't compete with the world, and now they will have to suffer for their continued self deprecation. I've seen few other regions of this country that are so incredibly down on themselves. Detroit stop believing in itself, long ago. They've forgotten who they are, who they were, and where they came from. If only the people of the region realized how much potential they have...it hurts to see potential squandered because of bad self-esteem.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 650
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 69.242.223.42
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 4:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

History is nice, but if buyers want history they'll purchase a used vehicle. IMO, too much self-esteem is largely responsible for Detroit's functional illiteracy and high dropout rate.

Self-esteem: When teachers keep telling that little (or big) Johnnie is doing well when in fact he's failing doesn't do a bit of good. And local polls point out how anti-intellectual Metro Detroit is for themselves and their children. Not good.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3687
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.167.135.33
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 4:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Livernois, just wondering, where do you currently live?

BTW, I would think you'd know that the fake machismo that is plaguing entire generations of American youth (regardless of background) is actually overcompensation for incredibly poor self-esteem. What this area needs is more of a can-do attitude. The are needs more tangible and real self-esteem, not less.
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Mw2gs
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Username: Mw2gs

Post Number: 190
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 68.248.42.127
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 5:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote of the day....."Don't find fault, find a remedy - anyone can complain"
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 274
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 9:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jerome81--good post. One thing feeding the image of the Japanese car companies is the generation of auto feature writers employed by both newspapers and the various new car buff magazines. the standard forumla is: if it's from Germany or Japan they go out of their way to extoll it's virtues. If it's from Detroit, they pick it to pieces and it's a piece of shit. I get the feeling that they only respect vehicles with sports car handling and power (hint: not every American driver needs or deserves that kind of vehicle). I tell people about my Olds Trofeo that gave me 250,000 fantastic, almost trouble free miles (I replaced two water pumps and an Oxgen sensor-did the work myself) and they act as though GM screwed up and made one good car that year.

(Message edited by 56packman on May 11, 2006)
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Hysteria
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Username: Hysteria

Post Number: 203
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 216.223.168.132
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 10:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have observed the same perceptions, Jerome81 and 56packman. The media also feeds on ANY bad news coming out of Detroit regarding the Big 3, and yet the media offered very little to no coverage on the Toyota/North America CEO resigning because of sexual harrassment allegations. Had this been a Big 3 executive it would have been a huge story.

(Message edited by hysteria on May 11, 2006)
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 500
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.209.164.233
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 10:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

"Anybody who is paying attention and who is making a difference is not booing Toyota and Nissan," said Mr. Smith, who has a show on the Detroit radio station WJR.




People here need JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. GM and Ford aren't hiring, they're firing. If Hyundai or Toyota can bring jobs for us here, why reject them ? It is strange that there are people who would be willing to lose their home to foreclosure, lose their credit to bankruptcy, lose their spouse and children or even lose their life, just so that they can claim allegiance to GM and Ford. I say the mentality of S.E. Michigan NEEDS to change, because our surroundings have changed ..... other parts of the state of Michigan have changed as well. It is time to do catch-up, folks.
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Supersport
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Username: Supersport

Post Number: 10056
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 64.118.137.226
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 10:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm so sick of listening to NYT tearing into Detroit, fuck them. Detroit grappling with the "Not so big three?" How so? This article acts as though this is some late breaking news. The Big 3 have been downsizing and laying off since the 80's, hardly news shattering any longer.

Grappling over foreign competitors bringing more jobs to the region? Very doubtful. As stated in the article, Toyota and Nissan have both expanded here. Toyota looks to build a massive tech center just west of Detroit in a suburb. That in some way is a negative thing? Bringing more jobs to a region is in some way detrimental?

GM is one of the key driving components right now placing the Dow Jones near record setting levels. I personally feel they have some of the best products they have had in the last 30 years or so. Cadillac has more than restored its reputation after years of sitting dormant. While Toyota may have overtaken Chrysler, Chrysler is making many new products that are catching peoples attention and some of the best selling models out there. Ford's Mustang was also a huge hit for Ford.

Now I'm not denying that the big three still has some troubles to iron out, but things seem to be on the upward swing. NYT has some sort of insecurity problem where they feel they need to continue to bag on Detroit, even though Detroit hasn't looked so good in many years.
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Pffft
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Username: Pffft

Post Number: 917
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 68.248.6.1
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 10:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lilpup,

You are SO right! Whenever I see Mickie Maynard's byline I know Detroit and the Big 3 are in for a pummeling.

She wrote a book, out last year, titled "The Death of the Big 3" or some such.

So how objective is that? She wants her theory to play out, she doesn't want GM to sell cars or Detroit to recover. Her bias and the NYT's in running her crap make me sick.
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_sj_
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Username: _sj_

Post Number: 1337
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 69.220.230.150
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 10:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They are not coming here unless the UAW wakes up. They will build in other states and manufacturing will continue to boom except in Michigan.

In all honestly what Bias; Ford and GM are teetering on bankruptcy. In reality it is a troubled time, but instead of fixing they just want to prolong the status quo.

American Autoworkers are lazy and they make bad cars; that is the reputation and reps like that take a long time to change.
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Cmubryan
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Username: Cmubryan

Post Number: 262
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.79.123.186
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 10:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This could be the same article from 25 years ago and we wouldn't know better.
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Wazootyman
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Username: Wazootyman

Post Number: 50
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.75.220.9
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 10:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So, what do they do in New York when the rest of the manufacturing based in this country disappears? It seems like the entire foundation of NYC's economy is in banking, trading and generally a conduit for money. Anybody I know who lives in the city is involved in the financial business.

I very well could be ignorant, but I just don't understand how they can almost openly wish for the Detroit automotive companies to fail. It's got to affect their bottom line.
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Pffft
Member
Username: Pffft

Post Number: 918
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 68.248.6.1
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 11:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

American suppliers have already been going bankrupt one by one, and nobody outside of Detroit cares. Blame that one on lazy autoworkers!

American cars are as good as the Asian cars, better than the Europeans in quality, according to the last quality reports.

These put downs are by people who haven't been in a domestic car in 25 years. Back when they weren't so hot.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 277
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 129.9.163.234
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 11:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't look to the asian manufacturers to come into Detroit and build a factory. They historically have avoided the large cities, and especially the union-entrenched rust belt cities. They buy a farm in Ohio,Tennesee, Kentucky--about as far from a major population center as one could be. I have read speculation that there may be an element of racial prejudice in this, although African Americans do work in those plants. Toyota's decision to locate their newest plant in Ontario has much to do with our out-of-control tort system burdening the medical profession, which is passing it's costs on to the health insurance industry (god forbid an insurance company have a bad quarter or year--like every other business), who passes it on to employers.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 4110
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.174.229
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 12:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

56packman, You're right on the money. Asian automakers are looking for a diversed America city that would support their company and not to be bothered by TOO Much solidartity of the UAW.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1009
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 69.129.146.186
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 1:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

American Autoworkers are lazy and they make bad cars



Are the foreign car companies importing their own labor now, too?
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_sj_
Member
Username: _sj_

Post Number: 1339
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 69.220.230.150
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 3:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No becuase that statement only applies to the big three and the UAW
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Ewo
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Username: Ewo

Post Number: 1
Registered: 05-2006
Posted From: 71.144.93.154
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 4:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

First post, been lurking for a while.
The main issue is the perception of American cars and, it's unfortunate that it's still lingering unfavorably from the 80's. The first step to correct the problem is to make a good product with styling that will strike an emotional chord with people. Waving JD Power surveys in people's faces all day won't get them to buy a Chevy. They have to desire (lust) after the car before they will even step into the showroom.
I think all three companies are heading in the right direction. A good example is the comeback of Cadillac.
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Mike
Member
Username: Mike

Post Number: 602
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 68.41.109.36
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 4:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What Jerome81 described in an excellent post is the problem with auto surveys that show the imports to be in such a good light. Especially Consumer Reports.
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Ray
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Username: Ray

Post Number: 693
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 68.42.220.37
Posted on Friday, May 12, 2006 - 2:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Before my daily frenzy of negativity, first something postivie about Detroit.

Some hardnosed business associates of mine from Chicago are in downtown Detroit for a month. Their verdict: they're impressed. They think the city's on a roll and far nicer than they expected. The good weather didn't hurt.

Now, on to the NYT article. Those hockey fans should be throwing roses at Toyota not booing. Why don't we just threaten the CEO of Toyota with assassination if he builds an engine plant here. The average IQ of that stadium must be below 60.

The article was also right in that this region is INCREDIBLY insular. What's scary is as the months drag by, I feel myself succumbing to it as well, bludgoned into submission by the stultifying mediocrity and homogenity of suburban Detroit and its endless dehumanizing sprawl.
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Lt_tom
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Username: Lt_tom

Post Number: 84
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 208.0.106.126
Posted on Friday, May 12, 2006 - 10:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

An interesting cultural dynamic in the "Toyota building a plant in Michigan" scenario is the fact that Gov. Granholm is a woman, and that makes it difficult for the Toyota execs to flat out say "No". If DeVos wins in November....forget the engine plant.

There really isn't any big advantage for Toyota to build a plant in Michigan. It would make much more sense for them to build it in Indiana. In fact, a Detroit or Michigan plant would bring a sort of negative attention that Toyota does not want because they are very fearful of negative backlash. Toyota has no desire to take over as the #1 automaker in the US. In the world? Yes that is the goal, but not here.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1010
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 69.129.146.186
Posted on Friday, May 12, 2006 - 11:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't think people here would buck Toyota if it was obvious (as it's not in this area right now) that a Toyota presence benefits the area.

If Toyota hires people here and participates beneficially in the community that would be the difference. Right now they're seen as undercutting this area because they're in other places instead of here.
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 117
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.166.44.44
Posted on Friday, May 12, 2006 - 11:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Too much whining on this thread and too little recognition of the problems that are the result of years of mismanagement by the "Big Three", UAW, and the politicos of Detroit and Michigan. They are all interteined and once a trend begins (the decline of the three culprits mentioned above), it is hard to reverse.

Take heart, nothing gets worse forever. when it gets even worse (fewer jobs here, intransigent UAW, more pandering politicians), we will start to see the tunaround. The turnaround will come when the electorate tosses out both parties and finds real citizens to run for office instead of poltical figureheads. I just wonder if anyone will be left here.
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Lilpup
Member
Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1011
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 69.129.146.186
Posted on Friday, May 12, 2006 - 11:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yes people will be left here

so many forget that Detroit was around for 200 years before the auto industry
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Danny
Member
Username: Danny

Post Number: 4125
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 141.217.84.70
Posted on Friday, May 12, 2006 - 11:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

HAH! Detroit went from a ribbon farming, fortified village, great lakes shipping and trading post, making cast iron stoves to making " CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG" cars. Now Detroit needs another hip trend to fit in with the manufacturing economic base or it could die.

(Message edited by danny on May 12, 2006)

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