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Old 12-20-2009, 05:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgfpro View Post
Have you worked on any of the American cars lately? They can't even engineer something poorly. If management is holding the reins that tightly their doing a great job at destroying the American Automobile.

Maybe that's their goal... they sold their soul to some other country that will soon own the automobile market. The "C" word.
I've worked on my OWN American cars and they are no worse than the foreign stuff and in some ways they are better i.e. less rapeage on parts prices, easy availability.

What American car that you worked on lately do you have in mind?

Oh yes mgmt does hold the reins. They make engineering and purchasing milk the price down on every component down to the fractions of a penny.

If a sizeable enough segment of the market- the new car buying paying customer market- was interested in spending money on ecocars... they'd build them. It's that simple.

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Old 12-20-2009, 11:24 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Frank -

I have to at least partially disagree there. I'm not saying anything about conspiracies and the like, but I do believe that there are other factors at play, some of which might not be under the fairest of circumstances.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:57 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The American car companies gave up on small economy cars because they could not make enough money on them to pay their costs.

GM's cost per vehicle is supposed to be 6k less after the bankruptcy and reorganization.

Hard to make 6k on a 10 k car, so their solution was to build over optioned behemoths an make enough profit to keep shareholders happy, but like the heroin addict, that is a short sighted business philosophy.

The Japanese competition had no such incentives and their home market demanded small efficient cars. Corporate and labor cooperation insured success, without the adversarial relationship of US companies.

20 years ago there was no comparison of quality between American and Japanese cars. Don't take my word for it just read an old Consumer Reports frequency of repair records.
Also look at resale values, which are a fairly good indication of perceived value.

Now, that all being said, my Pop bought an 83 thunderbird that had so few problems it would compare favorably to any car made anywhere on the planet. There are always exceptions to the general feeling of superior Japanese quality, but for those of us who have been around for 50 plus years, Japanese quality used to be a joke.

Now China suffers from quality issues which are their biggest problem today with the highly technical components they must improve to become competitive in the world auto market. When they get it right, watch out for them. Korea had the same issues and got it right and they can now compete with just about anyone.

Japanese auto quality has dropped recently, while American has advanced light years ahead of where we were in the 70s and early 80s. A friend of mine who manages a GM dealership service department told me their warranty claims have dropped something like 90% in the last 15 years. Compared to the Vega era the difference is incalculable.

Today we see the result of generations of adversarial relationships between management and labor, as well as an attitude towards the customer that could never survive decent competition. I have seen sabotage on American assembly lines when a strike became inevitable. When you trash the customers product, because you are PO'ed at management fro trying to control costs, you deserve to be unemployed, and the management deserves the same.


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Old 12-20-2009, 01:01 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Oh yes, Frank is right. How about $500 for a Tacoma air filter housing!!!!!!

Go the the junk yard and they want $150 for something that cost $3 to make.

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Old 12-20-2009, 01:06 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Oh yes, Frank is right. How about $500 for a Tacoma air filter housing!!!!!!

Go the the junk yard and they want $150 for something that cost $3 to make.

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Mech
Not around here. Junkyards around here have fairly decent prices.

As far as dealer parts, the same could be some for certain American cars. A steel 1/4 panel for my mini-van is $888.75.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:09 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I could probably pick up a 1/4 section for your van at the pick and pay for $50 Christ. The Tacoma was 2 years old and the salvage yards here know what the new price is and price theirs accordingly.

Rust free.

Some of them are sitting on land that is about 1 million an acre with Route 17 frontage, and they pay a lot of property taxes.

They usually crush anything over 10 years old unless the body style is current for less than 8 years.

Local economics and their overhead control prices to a certain degree. This area has weathered the recession fairly well and prices for used parts for newer cars run about 1/4 of new cost.

The example I gave was from my friends body shop which does a couple mil a year in work and has good connections with the local salvage yards.

Could be a bussiness opportunity if you can get those kinds of prices on recent vehicle used parts.

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Old 12-20-2009, 05:13 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I like Old's post except for the mention of Consumer Reports; they have promoted average products as "superior" and superior products as "average" or "poor" just too often to be taken seriously. If I had a bird cage I would use CR to line it.
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:44 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hummer, Escalade, Navigator, Expedition, etc...
...I'll just say the obvious: big butts (and egos) need big vehicles to ride in.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:47 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Old Mechanic -

I know what point you were making, but like i said, to a given extent, the same can be said for any manufacturer. American or otherwise.

PS - I never buy retail parts. I know what I got works... it's used.

Regarding my Van, I've got a hookup with one of the local yards that I can pull my own full 1/4 panel (drill the spot welds and pull it out) for $40 if I need it.

I'm waiting on the insurance company to tell me if they're going to cover the incident or not. If they do, it's a total loss, and I get a check for $2500.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:14 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Wow, I'm surprised at the reaction here to this news. Ford reaches out to their employees for ideas about several of the favorite topics here, rewards those employees for good ideas, and sets up systems that encourage open discussion and free thinking about efficiency. I should think there would be, at worst, a sense of guarded optimism.

Speaking for myself, I think it's great news.

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