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Old 07-04-2011, 11:26 AM   #51 (permalink)
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And to think there are people who sonder why GM and Chrystler went bankrupt and Toyota, Honda, etc. did not.

It's almost as if companies who don't sell products that customers want at affordable prices go under. Oh wait...I forgot we have the government around to give out bailouts and ensure those companies will keep up the good work (insert sarcasm).
We are looking at bad management and a philosophy that says " we will guess at what you want, and you better buy it ". GM is notoriously bad at doing this, Ford and Chrysler usually following behind. I remember when they actually served the buying public by giving them options from beginning to end, there were no "packages" per se, you just checked off what you wanted and the factory built it for you. You wanted a station wagon with a super hot motor and a manual transmission? Sure. Wanted a total stripper in a wierd color? Why not. If you were willing to wait for it, it usually happened.

It's full blown arrogance to think that a company has all the answers, without first asking the customer the question, "What do you need?"

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Old 07-04-2011, 11:35 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Diesel Dave, you're right; part of a functioning capitalistic system involves both success and failure - naturally and without government intervention.

However, I think it is worth noting that minimum wage laws simply make production more expensive in the United States. That factor should at least be taken into account when comparing foreign to domestic businesses. Just look at how certain industries are constantly sent overseas (customer service help lines, for example).

I'm not saying that Tele man's points are invalid (in fact, I don't know enough automotive history to make a claim in either direction).
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:48 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Kodak, there is something to what you're saying about minimum wage laws, etc. However, most people don't realize that Honda, Subaru, Toyato, BMW, (so-called "foreign" automakers) have many, many manufacturing plants right here in the US. And many "US" automakers have many, many manufacturing plats in other countries. There really isn't a whole lot that distinguishes "foreign" and US automakers other than where the headquarters are.

What gets me is the notion that there's some evil conspirisy by the US automakers to squash good FE. I can't remeber the exactly how it goes, but there's an old saying that goes something like, "Don't mistake evil for incompotence."
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:06 PM   #54 (permalink)
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If you really want an example of what's wrong with some automakers, here's a real life example that happened to me earlier this year.

I discovered one of the hump hoses (that connects the intercooler pipe to my intake) was torn and needed replaced. BTW, I must point out that this is a Dodge part, not a Cummins part. Anyway, so I order a replacement hump hose from a racing shop online--It's a thicker, more durable hose than the original and quite a bit cheaper. These hoses are held in place by simple band clamps (in most cases T-bolt band clamps). So when my hose comes in the mail I go out to my truck to replace it. I take the upper clamp off the intake, but then when I go to remove the lower clamp I can't see the T-bolt. I assume it's just on the back side where I can't see it, but when I feel for it I realize that Dodge has decided to save a few cents (litereally) and use a welded band that you have to destroy to remove rather than a simple T-bolt clamp. So I measure the size of the clamp I need and go to the Dodge dealer.

First of all, it doesn't do any good that I have the measurement becuase all the kid at the dealership can do it search around in his computer for the part and come up with a picture and a part number that does not include any actual dimension. So he assures me that it's right, and orders it for $15. It comes in, I drive accros town to pick it up, take it home and realize that it's the wrong size. I go back to the dealership, return it, and he orders another one. When it come in, I drive accross town again, pick it up, take it home and AGAIN find out it's the wrong size. I drive across town again to the dealership which is supposed to close a 5:30. I get there at 5:20 and everyone is already gone. I went back the next day and asked for a refund, and bought the clamp new on e-Bay for $1.99 (including delivery charges). I should've just screamed at the guy at the dealership, "DO YOU PEOPLE REALLY NOT KNOW WHY YOU WENT BANKRUPT!"
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:20 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
Kodak, there is something to what you're saying about minimum wage laws, etc. However, most people don't realize that Honda, Subaru, Toyato, BMW, (so-called "foreign" automakers) have many, many manufacturing plants right here in the US. And many "US" automakers have many, many manufacturing plats in other countries. There really isn't a whole lot that distinguishes "foreign" and US automakers other than where the headquarters are.

What gets me is the notion that there's some evil conspirisy by the US automakers to squash good FE. I can't remeber the exactly how it goes, but there's an old saying that goes something like, "Don't mistake evil for incompotence."
I have a counterpoint for you. The automakers have been around for a very long time, and consequently know what works and doesn't work. If we compare the vehicles that we get here versus the vehicles that are sold around the world, usually we will see them get way better fuel economy, but they operate in markets where the fuel cost is much higher. If we take our vehicles fleet average mpg at the current price of fuel here, versus the fleet average of the UK for example and what they pay, the cost per mile is about the same. It seems like it has been this way for a long time.

With all the know how that the OEMs possess here in the US, you would think that building vehicles that get high double to triple digit fuel economy would be old hat by now, but it hasn't happened commercially here. Well, why is that? It's not a question of competence, it's a question of willingness. The solutions have always been there, but when you are talking about billions of dollars being lost in terms of income for Big Oil and states that rely on taxes generated by consumption of petrol products ( and usually they are based on a percentage of the price of fuel, so for sure they want it to stay high ), having a fuel efficient fleet runs counter to their goals. And I will not get into the profits lost by Big Pharma and the healthcare system if the air and water were cleaner because of the reduction in polution. This is big business protecting themselves and maximizing profit, at the expense of the end user.

If the US were to go from one of the highest consumers of oil to the lowest, too many special interests will be put out of power. You can't be in business and have record profits quarter after quarter and not know what you are doing.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:38 PM   #56 (permalink)
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And DD, and realize I am poking fun at your story ( I've experienced it on more than a few occasions in the past ), here's the evil conspiracy.............

The engineers could have done a better job with the affected parts, but were told not to, because stuff has to break on your truck so that you would have to come to the stealership only to encounter an idiot who gets paid nothing to order the wrong part, make you drive twice to said place, burning more fuel and stressing you out again, which causes you to take a pain reliever or drink ( more money spent ), and waste more time on the internet to purchase said part off of Fleabay, get it delivered to your door by a major delivery company, when all that had to happen was the part that got affected was engineered right in the first place.

You now have helped an automaker, an oil company, a drug company, a brewery or distillery ( if you drink ), a transportation company and an online auction over a poorly engineered part.

CON........SPIRACY!
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:43 PM   #57 (permalink)
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I have a counterpoint for you. The automakers have been around for a very long time, and consequently know what works and doesn't work.
Oh, really? There's a long, long list of contrary evidence, starting with the Edsel, continuing through "it's just not technically possible to meet these emission/fuel economy (repeat that one with variations, every year or two), and finishing with "we can go on selling SUVs forever".

Quote:
This is big business protecting themselves and maximizing profit, at the expense of the end user.
So your argument is basically that all "Big Business" is in a conspiracy, and GM, Ford, & Chrysler are willing to sacrifice their own profits - indeed, risk their very existence - in order to prop up oil company profits. Sorry, but I just can't buy that sort of altruism from the automakers. As was said earlier, it's important not to mistake incompetence for evil.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:12 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Oh, really? There's a long, long list of contrary evidence, starting with the Edsel, continuing through "it's just not technically possible to meet these emission/fuel economy (repeat that one with variations, every year or two), and finishing with "we can go on selling SUVs forever".



So your argument is basically that all "Big Business" is in a conspiracy, and GM, Ford, & Chrysler are willing to sacrifice their own profits - indeed, risk their very existence - in order to prop up oil company profits. Sorry, but I just can't buy that sort of altruism from the automakers. As was said earlier, it's important not to mistake incompetence for evil.
To be incompetent implies that you don't know what you are doing. To be evil implies malicious intent. There is no way with the decisions being made by these automakers who have been in business for as long as they have, that there hasn't been collusion with other business sectors. If they were totally autonomous and had no undue influence from outside forces, then based on the conditions on the ground, the vehicles that have the highest reliability, quality and fuel efficiency by a large margin at the lowest cost would outsell the competition. All of the OEMs have built these vehicles, but they are not sold here.

There is no way that I will accept incompetence. Big Business can do what's best for the end user or they won't, it'll never be because they can't.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:17 PM   #59 (permalink)
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...my frustration centers on how the "new" car companies are seemingly 'repeating' the "errors-of-their-(stupid)-ways" AGAIN, in-spite of new people and endless promises of "change."

...notice that I own & drive 3 GM products, so I feel 100% obligated to "throw rocks" when I see problems, faults, lies, and broken promises being repeated by the current 'manglement' of GM.

...notice that I "used" to own nothing but Mopar products--but since the Daimler-Chrysler "rape" I wouldn't own anything with a Penta-star on it.

...notice that I don't own or drive any Ford products...and I likewise DON'T comment (much) on them...I don't talk about what I don't know about.

...my frustration "rant" is now OFF.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:34 PM   #60 (permalink)
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...my frustration centers on how the "new" car companies are seemingly 'repeating' the "errors-of-their-(stupid)-ways" AGAIN, in-spite of new people and endless promises of "change."

...notice that I own & drive 3 GM products, so I feel 100% obligated to "throw rocks" when I see problems, faults, lies, and broken promises being repeated by the current 'manglement' of GM.

...notice that I "used" to own nothing but Mopar products--but since the Daimler-Chrysler "rape" I wouldn't own anything with a Penta-star on it.

...notice that I don't own or drive any Ford products...and I likewise DON'T comment (much) on them...I don't talk about what I don't know about.

...my frustration "rant" is now OFF.
OTM, like you, I was a big Mopar man, just because they took chances, were cutting edge on a lot of things and were cool ( I am talking pre emission stuff ), had a GM here and there ( Corvair 140hp, Delta 88 convertible, 1st Gen Buick Riviera ) but never got on with them; most of the cars and trucks were Fords. The best out of all the vehicles I've had were foreign, a Hyundai Elantra ( only new car I've had ) and a beater Honda Accord.

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