Is the Writing on the Wall for the US Auto Industry

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by earllogjam, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. earllogjam

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    Went to the Autoshow over Thanksgiving break and it was packed with tons of people. Suprisingly or maybe not so suprising the crowds were flocking mainly to foreign car manufacturers -Toyota, Honda, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Porsche.

    Relatively very few people at Ford, GM or Chrysler. Ford was even giving $75 coupons to anyone who would test drive one of their cars, practically begging for business. Not many takers I noticed.

    If the Autoshow is an accurate reflection of the car market these days I'd say the US Auto industry's days are numbered.

    Ford is in bankruptcy, GM continues to loose market share and has been displaced by Toyota as the largest auto manufacturer in the world. Chrysler was bought by Daimler only to be spit back as a disasterous mistake. Toyota is now cutting into Ford's, and GM's very lucrative truck business with their Tundra trucks and on the road to dominating that market as well. I think many people are just fed up and less inclined to wave the American flag and buy domestic especially when those Tundras, Camrys and Hondas are made better and made in the US.

    There are few gas sipping cars in the Big Three's line-up but many large gas guzzlers and SUV's. Who does the long term planning at these companies? From the same people that brought us planned obsolescence and using marketing as a band aid remedy for poorly made cars and playing catch up to the Japanese, I'm not so sure that they are just digging their own graves....again.
     
  2. SpeedoGuy

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    The US auto industry has had decades to improve, steamline and innovate. By and large, it hasn't.

    I don't believe its because there isn't enough engineering talent, artistic creativity and marketing know-how remaining in the USA. Rather, I think the decline is mainly because the auto manufacturers' upper management, followed closely by the employee unions, are more interested in wages, salaries, benefits, perks, and bonuses than building a quality product.
     
  3. Dave NoCal

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    It's what happens when acountants have final decision on care design.
    Dave
     
  4. Principessa

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    The Big 3 already make diesels and other more fuel efficient cars. Unfortunately the US auto manufacturers are in bed with the oil companies so there is no reason for them to change.

    Ford Mondeo ST TDCi

    We get Audi's in the US but we haven't been offered this sweet little number, and I'd love to know why not!
    Audi A5 3 litre turbo diesel
     
  5. Osiris

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    The big 3 still insist on style over substance. So they try to make their cars look like Mercedes and BMW and still they fail at what the people want. People would buy a fuel efficient box rahter than a galm box with nothing to offer in functionality.
     
  6. D_Geffarde Phartsmeller

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    Which show did you go to? I've only been to the Detroit show and I've always wondered what the others were like.
     
  7. NPOJohnny

    NPOJohnny New Member

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    The Japanese dump their cars in the North American Market

    The Japanese Manufacturers do not play on the same level as the Norht Americans....the Government does not force them to manufacture here in North America...not as many plants here and the plants that are here are nominal

    The Japanese Automakers, do not have the Pensions, benefits and unions to deal with like the Big Three here

    How many North American cars are ABLE to be sold in Japan? Only a few hundred max.

    Quality has slipped but the reasons are the same playing frield...and friends of mine have owned imports from Japan and Germany and their bills and parts are ALOT higher than North Americans when they break down.
     
  8. jason_els

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    I have no sympathy for the car manufacturers. They had a massive wake-up call in the 70s and what did we have to show for it? The Pinto, Vega, and Omnis! The worst cars made! They knew what was coming and failed to plan.

    The big 3 bitch about labor and the unprofitableness of small cars yet Toyota and Honda have found a way to make small profitable and they have been able to manage labor far more wisely. Even Saturn, the newthink division of GM is cranking out crap and they were supposed to compete with the Japanese.

    The fact is the Big 3 backed themselves into a corner on relying upon just SUVs for profitability and now they're paying for it. Even I knew that the Chrysler-Daimler merger was a disaster much the way the AOL-Time Warner merger was a disaster. Chrysler did nothing but drag Daimler-Benz's image through the mud. The man on the street knew what apparently, the CEOs did not.

    They had 30 years worth of chance to prove what they could do and they did nothing. Is Cadillac anywhere near BMW? Is Chevy anything close to Honda? Does the Mercury nameplate even mean anything to you?

    Let them rot.
     
  9. earllogjam

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    The one in San Francisco. It is nothing compared to the Detroit and LA ones but you get a good idea of what's out in the market. There were very few concept cars this year. There was a big emphasis on hybrids and "green" technology.

    It fills up both halves of the downtown convention center and was well attended. I think a lot of guys go there while their wives hit the department store after Thanksgiving sales.
     
  10. Freddie53

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    The statistics at Ford that I have read are different than the ones you gave. It is true that Ford's share of the market is why down. However, Ford did post a 68 million profit so far the first three quarters of 2007. General Motors posted in the billions in losses.


    Ford is making money overseas. It is here at home where Ford is losing money and it is in the car market. I can't help but wonder if Ford won't completely get out of the domestic car production here in America and make all their cars overseas.

    After all, they only have one area where they are losing money and that is domestic car production in the US and Canada.

    We saw this happen to TV's and many other industries. I can see the day when all of Ford's production will be overseas and perhaps Chrysler and GM as well.

    The new union contracts show that the unions are willing to meet management demands as the unions understand that if they don't, there won't be a union contract to negotiate. There won't be any jobs at all.

    The Ford family still controls the voting stock at Ford. I don't see them letting the company get into a situation where they lose control of the compnay and if that means making all cars overseas than so be it.
     
  11. Principessa

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  12. earllogjam

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  13. jason_els

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    Ahem.

    My mother's Vega had a transmission that barely worked, rusted even before its first winter, had a hatch that wouldn't stay closed, and an all-aluminum engine that warped if it idled too long. Completely craptastic.
     
  14. rexcasual

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    I used to have a 1987 Chevrolet Nova.

    This was the re-packaged Toyota Corolla that was an attempt to make a popular cheap car in North America. I believe it was assembled by Mexicans, with some US design (cosmetic) changes to the Japanese design. GM parts and Toyota parts were used.

    The attraction was that it was cheaper than a Toyota, and emploeyed a few North Amerivcans. Not a bad deal for me. It worked just like it's twin.

    The mechanics at the Toyota dealership's service department had a pet name for it.

    They smirked and called it the Toy-let.
     
  15. Drifterwood

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    Did you see my post in the other thread - I am about to buy one. I have a Jaguar XKR and I have an option on a new Maserati Granturismo, but I am going to get the Audi, save myself some money and do 50 MPG whilst still doing 0 - 60 in 5.9 whist the Maserati does it in 5.4. Maybe I'm getting old.

    Car Comparison - What Car?

    Don't kid yourself Johnny.

    Whilst the Ford Focus (probably didn't touch the radar in the States) is a great car and soem Mondeo models are good also, I have a Chinese Ferrari 612 driving friend who summed it up for me about US cars. What do they offer? They aren't the cheapest, they aren't the best in anything in any of their classes. So why would you buy one?

    You wouldn't and they don't.
     
  16. Principessa

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  17. jason_els

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    Like the Jaguar X-type? :chairfall:
     
  18. eddyabs

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    What dick? :biggrin1:
     
  19. eddyabs

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    Will someone please show me the cock? :biggrin1:
     
  20. speshk

    speshk New Member

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    Detroit should be able to make the best cars in the world. They don't wanna. The just don't wanna.
     
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