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2kSnakEater
02-17-2007, 09:31 PM
Found this post on another site. It is very good.

By Roger Simmermaker (Commentary) PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE......
Dec. 19, 2006

Ford and General Motors have taken turns besting the Toyota Camry in quality surveys for the past two years, but if you talk to many Americans especially the ones who would never consider supporting home-based auto companies you'd never know it.

Last year, the Chevrolet Impala beat the Camry in initial quality, according to J.D. Power & Associates. And Consumer Reports just announced that both the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan scored higher than both the Camry and the Honda Accord this year.

Even as GM and Ford have accumulated award after award on vehicle quality, you'd almost never know about such quality gains made by American companies.

There's also the mythical perception that foreign automakers produce the most fuel efficient cars and that Detroit only makes gas-guzzlers when the truth is that all automakers including Toyota, Honda and Hyundai-Kia alike have allowed fuel economy to slide in the past 20 years since they all now sell bigger trucks and more SUVs.

Perhaps the biggest perception problem is that American automobile companies GM and Ford Chrysler is now German-owned squander all their money on plants overseas and foreign automakers build their factories in the United States. Foreign car lovers will surely point to Kia's plans to build its first-ever U.S. plant in Georgia, but they probably won't mention that they received $400 million in tax giveaways to do it, which translates into $160,000 per job.

Among the many benefits for the foreign-owned company, your tax dollars are going to be used for road improvements surrounding the complex, complete with flower beds and other beautification features. Hey, as long as we're going to allow states to bid for private jobs with our public tax dollars, we might as well make it look good, right?

And the foreign car lovers will probably also not tell you (or maybe they just don't know or don't want you to know) that GM and Ford pour more money into existing American facilities than foreign automakers spend on new plants, usually with little or no tax breaks. GM has already spent more than $500 million upgrading two transmission plants this year, and has spent nearly a billion dollars over the last decade, for example, for facility upgrades in Texas.

And what do GM and Ford get for making their existing plants more efficient? It isn't tax breaks. Instead, they get accusations of not being "competitive" enough! Maybe here I should also mention that the average domestic parts content for Kia is 3 percent, while the average domestic parts content of Ford and GM is 78 percent and 74 percent, respectively. This means that buying a U.S.-assembled (or even foreign-assembled, for that matter) GM or Ford supports more American jobs than a U.S.-assembled car or truck with a foreign nameplate.

Fortunately for our benefit, the United States remains the overall global leader in research and development, and a big reason for that is that American automakers. According to the Level Field Institute, U.S. car companies invest $16 billion in research and development annually, outpacing any other industry one could name.

Admittedly, the Level Field Institute counts German-owned DaimlerChrysler as an American automaker, so Ford and GM's combined R&D contribution to America is closer to around $12 billion. But who's counting, right? Certainly not the American auto-bashing media.

Japanese companies do employ 3,600 American workers in R&D, but that still leaves the foreign competition behind in the dust staring at American rear bumpers 3,600 sounds like a big number until you realize that 65,000 Americans work in R&D facilities in the state of Michigan alone. In fact, two of the top four R&D spending companies in America as reported by the Wall Street Journal are you guessed it Ford and GM. The other two are also American companies: Pfizer and Microsoft.

Ford has recently made headlines as the American automaker with the most challenges to its future, but these challenges certainly are not because they "aren't making cars people want to buy." Toyota did outsell Ford in July, but since then, Ford has reclaimed the No. 2 spot.

GM has the highest market share, increasing over 2 percentage points from a year ago, so it apparently can't be accused of not making cars people want to buy either. Ford sales also are up in Europe, and Ford doubled its sales in China, where GM has the highest market share of any automaker.

GM also reported a 3.9 percent rise in August vehicle sales despite high gas prices and a supposedly slowing economy. And even though Toyota reported record sales that month, it couldn't match the non-record setting sales volume of Ford. GM's sales rose 17 percent in October from the year-ago month and Ford sales rose 8 percent the same period.

And for all the talk about the lack of fuel efficiency of American automakers, it seems three-fourths of all automakers failed to meet Europe's improved fuel-efficiency standards intended to cut carbon-dioxide emissions. Japanese and German automakers topped the list of the study's worst performers, but according to an environmental group's study, GM's Opel division and Ford both "come out well."

In closing, I'll leave some encouraging numbers for those of us who actually like to root for and support the home team. The J.D. Power 2006 Vehicle Dependability Survey reports that Mercury, Buick and Cadillac (in that order) grabbed the No. 2, 3 and 4 spots to beat Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW and everyone else (except Lexus) in having the least number of problems per 100 vehicles.

Perhaps someday the American media will give GM and Ford the credit they deserve. And once they do, perception among the majority of the American public will rightfully change. GM and Ford aren't only doing what they should to make gains in the American market to deserve American consumer loyalty; they're also doing what they should to make gains in the markets of China, Europe and across most of the rest of the globe.

So who here has the advantage. Not the US car companies.

TheNefariousOne
02-18-2007, 12:08 AM
Good article, but I doubt it's going to convince anyone.

:awaits 0mGZ Gm an f0Rd are t3h suck0rz comments:

Hookecho
02-18-2007, 12:18 AM
psshh

MCcelica
02-18-2007, 04:38 AM
The first part was ok. But I stopped reading once I perceived that he was interjecting personal opinions.

VikingJZ
02-18-2007, 04:53 AM
Doesn't matter what others say to me. I go by the ones I have owned along with my family.

Overall opinion---GM is garbage. I don't care that your GM has lasted over 200k miles.

I know more that have always owned GM or Ford and are now buying a Toyota or Honda because they're GM or Fords have sucked in the past 10-15 years.

grayscale
02-18-2007, 07:20 AM
Found this post on another site. It is very good.

By Roger Simmermaker (Commentary) PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE......
Dec. 19, 2006

And the foreign car lovers will probably also not tell you (or maybe they just don't know or don't want you to know) that GM and Ford pour more money into existing American facilities than foreign automakers spend on new plants, usually with little or no tax breaks. GM has already spent more than $500 million upgrading two transmission plants this year, and has spent nearly a billion dollars over the last decade, for example, for facility upgrades in Texas.

Fortunately for our benefit, the United States remains the overall global leader in research and development, and a big reason for that is that American automakers. According to the Level Field Institute, U.S. car companies invest $16 billion in research and development annually, outpacing any other industry one could name.

Admittedly, the Level Field Institute counts German-owned DaimlerChrysler as an American automaker, so Ford and GM's combined R&D contribution to America is closer to around $12 billion. But who's counting, right? Certainly not the American auto-bashing media.

Japanese companies do employ 3,600 American workers in R&D, but that still leaves the foreign competition behind in the dust staring at American rear bumpers 3,600 sounds like a big number until you realize that 65,000 Americans work in R&D facilities in the state of Michigan alone. In fact, two of the top four R&D spending companies in America as reported by the Wall Street Journal are you guessed it Ford and GM.

Foreign car lovers will surely point to Kia's plans to build its first-ever U.S. plant in Georgia, but they probably won't mention that they received $400 million in tax giveaways to do it, which translates into $160,000 per job.

And what do GM and Ford get for making their existing plants more efficient? It isn't tax breaks.
Great, 4 whole paragraphs on these car makers spending money on R&D.
#1-If they didn't make so much crap, they wouldn't have to spend so much on figuring out how to make it better the next time around.
#2-They can boo-hoo all they want, but I used to work in an R&D dept. and I know for a fact that every penny spent on R&D (including salaries) is a tax write off for corporations.


By Roger Simmermaker-
The J.D. Power 2006 Vehicle Dependability Survey reports that Mercury, Buick and Cadillac (in that order) grabbed the No. 2, 3 and 4 spots to beat Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW and everyone else (except Lexus) in having the least number of problems per 100 vehicles.
Umm Lexus...Oh yea, you mean Toyota!


By Roger Simmermaker-
There's also the mythical perception that foreign automakers produce the most fuel efficient cars and that Detroit only makes gas-guzzlers when the truth is that all automakers including Toyota, Honda and Hyundai-Kia alike have allowed fuel economy to slide in the past 20 years since they all now sell bigger trucks and more SUVs.
Really? So where are all the Ford and GM hybrid cars hiding out at? You can buy just about any Toyota model now with a hybrid engine inluding a full size SUV.

andy
02-18-2007, 07:23 AM
Reads like a college level persuasive essay. Ask blatent question, and give a detailed answer over and over. Not enjoyable or convincing.

TheNefariousOne
02-18-2007, 04:34 PM
Great, 4 whole paragraphs on these car makers spending money on R&D.
#1-If they didn't make so much crap, they wouldn't have to spend so much on figuring out how to make it better the next time around.
#2-They can boo-hoo all they want, but I used to work in an R&D dept. and I know for a fact that every penny spent on R&D (including salaries) is a tax write off for corporations.


Umm Lexus...Oh yea, you mean Toyota!


Really? So where are all the Ford and GM hybrid cars hiding out at? You can buy just about any Toyota model now with a hybrid engine inluding a full size SUV.

Lexus does not mean Toyota. Just because Lexus is a division of Toyota doesn't mean that you can say that because Lexus is #1 that it means Toyota is #1. That's generalizing wayy too much.

The hybrid cars comment is moot at this point. Toyota has, what, 3 or so? The technology just isn't proliferated enough at this point to use that as an argument that Toyota has better gas mileage than the domestic manufacturers. Not to mention that the domestics sell WAYYY more trucks. That is gonna drag down mileage numbers dramatically.

And hey, at least the domestics are trying to make some exciting cars instead of all the vanilla yawners the imports are churning out (for the most part).

NDMstang65
02-18-2007, 04:50 PM
Power and dependability records...LOL.

Detroit stopped making automobiles in 1970, has been disposable junk ever since.

They shoulda thought twice when they sourced out most of the work to mexico, that slapped the vast majority of the die hard buy "American" brand buyers straight in the mouth.

Once you loose your customer's loyalty...its twice as hard to get it back.

alltracman78
02-18-2007, 04:56 PM
Hybrids aren't necessarily more fuel efficient.

Three really big problems for US auto makers.

1-UAW
2-UAW
3-UAW

Other manufacturers don't have to deal with the crap US ones do. IMO the UAW is totally useless, and in fact hurts the manufacturers.
Why the HELL do you need to get paid $30/hr to drive a FORKLIFT!
Add overtime to that.... If you're making OVER 100 GRAND a year JUST to drive a forklift, and no other, something is REALLY wrong.
The original point of unions is wonderful.
The problem is, nowadays they're a haven for lazy useless, don't want to work rejects. Not all are that way. The problem is, there are too many that are. Pay should also be based on how good you are at what you do, not just that your dad is in the union, so you can get out of college, at 21 be paid $30/hr PLUS to assemble cars, and sit on your job for the rest of your life.


Oh, and also they have a really bad track record to break out of.
Trends don't change that fast usually.
Just because they have one or two good cars doesn't mean all thier vehicles are well made...
And just because the Camry is having issues [the new one has some, no lie] doesn't mean Toyota as a whole is having issues....

Not to knock the domestic cars that did good.
It's refreshing to see them making something that might be worth something.

Don't get me wrong here, just becuase I really prefer Toyotas does NOT mean I don't root for domestics.
I really wish they would make good car/trucks overall. I would love it if they did. It would make me much happier about the US in general.
Hopefully they will get it right before they lose too much.....

ciento44
02-18-2007, 05:17 PM
All i gotta say is....

Nissan is pwning hard right now.

90CelicaST
02-19-2007, 01:58 PM
Just to add my $.02...
While watching the Daytona 500 yesterday(WOO NASCAR!!!) to see the debut of the Toyota Camry(which failed horribly) D.W. said something in the pre-race show that made me LOL. While they may be domestically owned, the domestics aren't as domestic as the Camry now. Taken from nascar.com:

In today's global economy it's hard to claim anything as truly American made. Your beloved Chevy? Many of them are made in Canada. How about some of your Ford's? Big plant in Mexico. What about that Toyota Camry? Made in Kentucky.
:in loud redneck voice:YEA!WE AMERICAN BOY!

Hookecho
02-19-2007, 02:16 PM
so true

2kSnakEater
02-19-2007, 02:21 PM
I will say this and I think some of you will agree with me when I say, NASCAR doesnt count. Its a huge redneck sport, the engines are old tech, the cars are almost basic compared to other races and 90% of NASCAR is going around in a circle. Now, the LeMan's races, the F1 races, hell even 5 or 10 minutes of NHRA Drag races is better than NASCAR imo.

2kSnakEater
02-19-2007, 02:26 PM
Also, make your own conclusions about this article. It was well written and it speaks alot of facts, Jeremy hit the US automaker issue dead on. Its hard to be competitive when you HAVE to sell a car for $30k because it costs $10k in parts and $15k in labor.

NDMstang65
02-19-2007, 02:30 PM
I will say this and I think some of you will agree with me when I say, NASCAR doesnt count. Its a huge redneck sport, the engines are old tech, the cars are almost basic compared to other races and 90% of NASCAR is going around in a circle. Now, the LeMan's races, the F1 races, hell even 5 or 10 minutes of NHRA Drag races is better than NASCAR imo.

In a sense yeah...i'd rather watch NHRA races...but i love the old school beat and bang dirt track roots and short track asphalt roots that NASCAR comes from...fight in the pits after the race is over because that 'some bitch' bent your quarter panel...etc etc...

But have you ever driven one of those cars?

You sit behind that wheel and you have a completely new found respect for what those guys do...we only got to go like 160 or 170mph around charlotte in the passenger car...and that shit is hard on you as far as endurance goes.

PS. i thoroghly enjoyed las night...race down to the line and 1 of the cars finished on the roof :D :laugh: :bigthumbu

Hookecho
02-19-2007, 03:20 PM
in all honesty you could line up every vehicle in production side by side and find strengths and weaknesses with each and every one. if you build it there will always be someone to pick it apart. if a human has any involvement with the creation of something it will indeed have flaws.

there are some domestics that i wouldn't buy but the same is true for some of the imports. my celica is just as big a money pit as alot of the other vehicles i've owned.

alltracman78
02-19-2007, 03:45 PM
You can't fault a 17 yr old car man.
Espeically once it's been modded......

NO car is that good.

Here's an interesting statistic for you guys.

If the average new car has 20,000 parts, and the car is 99% PERFECT, it still leaves 200 parts to fail....

Ferret
02-19-2007, 03:57 PM
My main complaint with domestics is not "Initial Quality." It's long-term dependability, which is usually described by the media as 75k+ miles. That's 2-3 years for many people, and after that point, domestics start taking a nose-dive in reliability in comparison to similar Japaneese cars.

I think what they need to compare is how many brand new domestics vs Japaneese last the life of their loan with no major problems. Just pick a random group of buyers. That's where you'll see why so many are truly fearful of buying a new domestic.

Hookecho
02-19-2007, 04:44 PM
You can't fault a 17 yr old car man.
Espeically once it's been modded......



yeah, you're right. most of the money i have put in the celica has been by choice.

supra97
02-19-2007, 05:43 PM
I really have a lot of respect for Chrysler. I never used to, but I started dating my boyfriend a year ago and his whole family is Dodge/Chrysler oriented. They had an Intrepid that my boyfriend's dad drove like 100 kms a day for 5 years, then my boyfriend got it and used it as a pizza delivery car for a year and a half. That car just went and took a beating the way they drove it...eventually he blew the transmission but judging by how he drove it (like an idiot) it was no surprise. It took a looong time for that to happen though.

His car now is a Neon, lowered. It's a nice car, it's an 01 and it has 169 kms on it. Hasn't had any problems, other than things caused by normal wear. His dad owns an SRT-4, and that car gets driven the same distance to work as the old Intrepid, 100kms a day. Does fantastically. I think there's like 60000 kms on it and he bought it new, no problems.

And from what I've heard, all cars they've owned previously have been just as resilient. The only reason they've had to switch up is because they wanted something new, or in my boyfriend's case he just drove the car into the ground lol.

I don't much care for Ford, but they aren't bad. I think their vehicles are very cheaply made. I sat in the interior of an 02 Mustang and was very disappointed with the cheap plastic panels. They were hollow and had sharp cut edges that stuck out a bit in places... and the hood scoops...oh how disappointing those stupid hood "scoops" they have are. They aren't real, they don't even have vents to allow air flow they are simply aesthetic. To me, what's the point of that.

GM isn't bad either, my mom drives a Sierra van, and it's done really well for the 70000 kms she's had it. Again, it needs to be put up to the test of time to tell, but I haven't known of too many bad GM's myself.

I would still always purchase a Toyota. Their reputation precedes them by far.

T-spoon
02-19-2007, 06:37 PM
My main complaint with domestics is not "Initial Quality." It's long-term dependability, which is usually described by the media as 75k+ miles. That's 2-3 years for many people, and after that point, domestics start taking a nose-dive in reliability in comparison to similar Japaneese cars.

I think what they need to compare is how many brand new domestics vs Japaneese last the life of their loan with no major problems. Just pick a random group of buyers. That's where you'll see why so many are truly fearful of buying a new domestic.

This answers the initial quality question very well. Noone said GM and Ford didn't have some fun stuff right off the showroom floor. Toyota got a big name for long term dependability, something GM and Ford are improving at, but have yet to equal Toyota with.

Also notice that anytime he has to pull out the manufacturing argument, he uses KIA. LOL, Kia is not the big threat. When he talks about Toyota, it is mostly in general terms and then uses Kia as the "representative foreign car maker".

hobbie2k
02-19-2007, 07:08 PM
This answers the initial quality question very well. Noone said GM and Ford didn't have some fun stuff right off the showroom floor. Toyota got a big name for long term dependability, something GM and Ford are improving at, but have yet to equal Toyota with.

Also notice that anytime he has to pull out the manufacturing argument, he uses KIA. LOL, Kia is not the big threat. When he talks about Toyota, it is mostly in general terms and then uses Kia as the "representative foreign car maker".

I dunno...Kia is making some massive strides in quality and is often considered a near match with the Japanese makes. In a recent Car and Driver issue the Kia Optima beat the new Chrysler Sebring, Toyota Camry, and Saturn Aura (finishing behind the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord).

grayscale
02-19-2007, 07:10 PM
I will say this and I think some of you will agree with me when I say, NASCAR doesnt count. Its a huge redneck sport, the engines are old tech, the cars are almost basic compared to other races and 90% of NASCAR is going around in a circle. Now, the LeMan's races, the F1 races, hell even 5 or 10 minutes of NHRA Drag races is better than NASCAR imo.
Now that I agree with.

T-spoon
02-19-2007, 08:15 PM
I dunno...Kia is making some massive strides in quality and is often considered a near match with the Japanese makes. In a recent Car and Driver issue the Kia Optima beat the new Chrysler Sebring, Toyota Camry, and Saturn Aura (finishing behind the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord).

Not talking about Kia and initial quality, that's what I'm saying. He jumps all over the place picking the brands that make his point best even when they aren't really applicable. He used Toyota for initial quality, then Kia for volume of production on US soil. If he wanted to compare domestic production, he should have done it with Toyota, not Kia.

hobbie2k
02-19-2007, 09:21 PM
Not talking about Kia and initial quality, that's what I'm saying. He jumps all over the place picking the brands that make his point best even when they aren't really applicable. He used Toyota for initial quality, then Kia for volume of production on US soil. If he wanted to compare domestic production, he should have done it with Toyota, not Kia.

Ah, Okay, I misunderstood. :)

alltracman78
02-19-2007, 09:34 PM
Liar.

You deliberately misunderstood....


















:D
JK

Ferret
02-19-2007, 10:37 PM
I dunno...Kia is making some massive strides in quality and is often considered a near match with the Japanese makes. In a recent Car and Driver issue the Kia Optima beat the new Chrysler Sebring, Toyota Camry, and Saturn Aura (finishing behind the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord).

Hyundai/Kia is doing pretty well, but they have had their growing pains. They can't seem to keep up with changes in the auto market (they've designed maybe one new engine in the past 6 years?) and the ones I have driven have all had issues of some sort. But then there's the '05 Outback we had that was turning into a total piece of crap already when we got rid of it...so I dunno.

I would trust most American cars to go well past the 100k mile mark before I would trust Hyundai/Kia.

But nothing comes close to Japaneese cars in my experience.

:Ban1: Go Toyota! :Ban1:

Cavanagh
02-20-2007, 04:01 PM
0mGZ Gm an f0Rd are t3h suck0rz!!!

TheNefariousOne
02-20-2007, 05:22 PM
I knew it was bound to come evantually!!!

haha

Cavanagh
02-20-2007, 09:13 PM
lol sorry i had to say it....