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Old 09-15-2008, 08:37 PM   #1
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The Auto Industry

Does anyone feel that bad for the car industry here? I have mixed emotions I feel bad for the little guys working the shifts that are now getting laid off. But as a whole I feel they are getting what the deserve for years of crap that is catching them now. How do you guys feel about it?
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:27 PM   #2
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I disagree with the years of crap statement. Cars that me and/or my family owned over the years...

1980 Bonneville Safari wagon: My family owned this car for 13 years and 180,000 miles. No major repairs. Never even had the valve covers off the engine.

1981 Buick Regal. Car is now 27 years old and has 172,000 miles. May not be pretty to look at but considering how many accidents its been in over the years I consider the dents, surface rust, and faded paint "character", and removing them would detract from the experience of driving a 1981 Buick.

1986 Chevrolet C-10. 190,000 miles, most major repair: recently replaced timing chain(most modern vehicles would not have lasted to 190,000 miles before needing this). Needs a new/rebuilt carb, but the way I see it even a foreign car would need a new carb after 22 years and 190,000 miles - maybe even sooner.

1988 Chrysler LeBaron: We owned this car, and then sold it to my mom's best friend's son. The car had well over 200,000 miles on it when we sold it, and it racked up over 300,000 miles on the odometer before being wrapped around a tree. No major repairs ever done on the car.

1998 GMC Sierra K1500. 10 years old, over 150,000 miles. Just had it in over the spring for the 150,000 mile scheduled service. No problems found, dealer mechanic said it still ran like new. Paint even still looks great.

(EDIT: I forgot my 1974 Chevy C-10). Bought for $1,000 in 1992 with 190,000 miles on it. Gave it to my sister after a few years, she had it for several years, then gave it back to me. The truck had over 300,000 miles on it when I finally sold it.

-Jay
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:17 PM   #3
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I have to agree with Jay...they don't make 'em like they used to...damn good thing too.

Some examples from mine and my family's cars...

1955 Nash Metropolitan - needed an overhaul every 12k miles or year, whichever came first.
1960 Corvair - needed an overhaul at 82k miles.
1961 Corvair - needed an overhaul at 47k miles.
1965 Plymouth Fury - needed overhaul at 140k miles.
1973 Mazda RX-2 - needed overhaul at 30k miles

...Then things get better...

1979 Chevette - Sold it going strong at 250k miles
1983 Cadillac - Going strong at almost 138k miles
1985 Lincoln - Wore out at 400k miles

I look at many newer model cars in junkyards ('80s an '90s) and see many which have gone 300 and 400k miles.

Back in the 1960s, you felt pretty good about your car if it went 100k miles w/o major work. Nowadays, people would be up in arms if a car didn't make 200k. Of course, cars have to last longer...you pay for them over a longer period...

So, yes, I am sympathetic toward them...somewhat...
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:21 PM   #4
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the quality is there but they waited to long to change the suv thing. thats the kind of crap im talking about.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:01 PM   #5
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I don't think so... They were selling vehicles that people wanted. If Ford or GM just arbitrarily decided to cut SUV production and build a bunch of subcompacts to replace them then the buyers would go to another dealer, and an excess of subcompacts would have sat on the dealer lots until pushed out with huge rebates and some 0% financing.

-Jay
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:36 AM   #6
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and an excess of subcompacts would have sat on the dealer lots until pushed out with huge rebates and some 0% financing.-Jay
I could've really benefitted from that....

I feel the big 3 should've supplied a better arrangement of compact/subcompact cars YEARS ago... hell, Chrysler still has nothing to offer, unless you want to ride in that hideous Caliber, makes me want to get sick just thinking about it... and the mileage really isn't impressive.

I'm upset because of the american economy suffering, but as far as the big-wigs at the corporate offices of the big 3, I hope they file bankrupt and end up driving one of their meager offerings for a few years to enjoy the fruits offered to their target consumers instead of living the life of luxury driving whatever supercar/super luxury car they have. I bet if you take the CEO's of all the big 3, you'd find that none of them drive their own product. I'm betting Bentley's, Porsche's, and BMW's would be in their garages.

To be quite honest though, I'm really upset with GM for what they've done to Saturn. Saturn only offers one model that advertises over 30 mpg highway, and it's their newest model the Astra.

When you figure they were offering the SOHC S-series 10 years ago that got 40+ mpg when gas was cheap, with gas prices being what they are today, there's nothing stopping them from being a BETTER COMPANY and offering something similar again. If that doesn't scream conspiracy, I don't know what does? Also, they redesigned the S-Series for '01 and '02, then cut production and began going crazy with the Ion which hardly sold enough to validate the decision.... and had the base model offering a 2.2L that wasn't nearly as fuel efficient as the S-series SOHC or DOHC.

Very frustrating.

EDIT: I will say this much, myself or my family has owned nothing but domestic cars (I consider the Miata a Ford, it makes me feel better, lol):

1992 Bonneville - still running and has 280k, recently got 32mpg on a trip from Cleveland, OH to Louisville, KY w/ no hypermiling (my mom drove)

1974 Ford pickup - gave away at 180k w/ no problems

1987 Ford pickup - gave away at 220k w/ no problems

1996 Ford pickup- 90k has needed a lot of work, but Cleveland winters will do that to anything

1984 Camaro - 95k never a single problem other than what I caused (brake-torquing at the drag strip hurts transmission.... lol went through 3 in 3 years)

1987 Firebird - 290k still ran when sold

.....the list goes on and on... since I can remember, we've never had a foreign car, and we've never had a domestic car need major work.
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:44 AM   #7
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Coming from someone who is employed in the auto industry, I would love to see the automobile as we know it die a quick and fiery death. They have no place in the world and are unnecessary. I would much rather see great train and subway systems installed, supplemented by bicycles for short distance treks.

Let cars go the way of the dinosaur. Speaking of which, I would trade cars for dinosaurs any day. Man that would be awesome if the T Rex still roamed the earth.
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:48 AM   #8
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Project84: I actually had a professor in school comment how much he hated his high-ranking Ford-employed friend for driving a Lexus. I personally thought it was hilarious and just went to show how lacking Ford's lineup was that a chief officer of the company wouldn't even drive one of their offering's. I think that my teacher was also half-secretly a racist against Japanese people.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
I don't think so... They were selling vehicles that people wanted. If Ford or GM just arbitrarily decided to cut SUV production and build a bunch of subcompacts to replace them then the buyers would go to another dealer, and an excess of subcompacts would have sat on the dealer lots until pushed out with huge rebates and some 0% financing.

-Jay
agreed!, consumers have much influence over products and prices(gas is another). i'm just glad to see domestic auto makers converting truck/SUV plants to be able to produce smaller vehicles.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:15 AM   #10
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I really feel like if GM had taken Saturn in the economical direction and really pushed fuel efficiency as their prime target, today Saturn would be respected over Honda, and we'd probably see EV1 type cars on the road, whether electric or not, they'd be aimed directly at maximum FE, and they'd overcome the Honda following. Hell, now days even Honda isn't offering much for the FE minded driver, unless you have 30K+ to throw down. Insights are going for over $20k used.... I wish they'd all just open their damn eyes and close their freakin wallets!!!
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