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Old 12-12-2008, 12:40 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default 10 Lies Pinhead Legislators Believe About the Auto Industry

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Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the automotive crisis is not so much the specter of impending financial doom, overcrowded bread lines, or the end of Automotive Life As We Know It. No, itís the up-close and too-personal look at the men and women who run our country, and, by extension, at some members of the mainstream media who report stories now and ask questions later, if at all.

Public-spirited citizens that we are, let us detail for you 10 lies that pinhead legislatorsóand, by extension, the mainstream mediaóbelieve about the car industry.

Lie 1: American companies donít sell fuel-efficient cars.
Truth: Really? Really? Of course they do. The Detroit Three currently offer, among others, the Ford Focus, the Chevrolet Aveo and Cobalt, and the Dodge Caliber, and for decades before that, consumers were offered everything from the Ford Falcon to the Plymouth Valiant.

The U.S. automakers have always made fuel-efficient cars, and they still make them. For years, thatís all Saturn made. But the American manufacturers have always used the shotgun approach; if you throw enough pellets at the target, a few are bound to hit the bulls-eye. Early imports used the rifle method: just one bullet.

But companies like Toyota have adopted the U.S. model. There are 15 Toyota models, eight of which are trucks or SUVs. And Toyotaís overall sales in November were down 33.9 percent, while Fordís dropped 31.6 percent. Explain that, Mr. Congressman and Mrs. Congresswoman.

Lie 2: American consumers will only buy fuel-efficient vehicles.
Truth: Then why is the only Toyota to show a major gain in November the Sequoia SUV? And why do some Toyota dealers currently have to discount the Prius as much as $1500 to move them?

Lie 3: Detroit is dragging its feet in making trucks, SUVs, and large cars more fuel-efficient.
Truth: Domestic-brand trucks and SUVs get the same lousy mileage as trucks and SUVs built everywhere else. Why? Because they are trucks and SUVs! As for large cars, many European brands are able to achieve excellent overall mileage for them, in large part thanks to diesel power. With seven states, notably California and New York, subscribing to pollution standards that are stricter than federal standards, though, it did not make much sense for U.S. manufacturers to develop diesel cars when they canít sell them in two of the largest states.

Lie 4: Detroit forced people to buy gas guzzlers.
Truth: Weíve heard some interesting dealer stories over the years, but none involved putting guns to customersí heads to require them to buy a Ford Excursion or Chevrolet Suburban, when what they really wanted was a Ford Escort or a Chevy Cavalier. Plenty of people (such as, for instance, President-elect Obama, who used to own a Chrysler 300C) like big, powerful, safe vehicles.

Lie 5: Auto executives flying on private jets is a slap in the face to the American consumer.
Truth: Apparently the no-private-jet rule applies only to automotive executives. If you are an executive of, say, AIG or Citigroup, itís fine. Of course, the financial companies didnít have to travel to Washington, D.C. to grovel for their bailoutsóthey were simply handed out like party favorsóso the opportunity to publicly flog their executives for their method of long-distance transportation never presented itself.

Lie 6: People arenít buying domestic-brand vehicles because they are of inferior quality.
Truth: That perception lingers, but itís no longer the case. They arenít buying domestic-brand vehicles because people arenít buying anything. According to major independent research, GM and Ford cars are virtually identical in quality to Japanese cars. GM has won numerous awards for its current crop of cars, including two straight North American Car of the Year awards and top accolades from Motor Trend, Consumer Reports, and, most important, Car and Driver.

Lie 7: Itís easy and cost-effective to close brands.
Truth: It costs billions to close the dealers, and you lose customers. Is that the best use for the bailout money, to pay dealers not to sell cars? How well has that worked with farm subsidies?

Lie 8: Only the American companies were so stupid to not see this coming and prepare.
Truth: Everyone is losing sales and money, but only the U.S. companies donít have a cash cushion. One big reason: Foreign-based companies donít have U.S.-size legacy costs, which include things like retireesí pensions and health care, because of things such as nationalized health care.

Lie 9: The average consumer is too savvy for the market.
Truth: The day gas prices dropped, people went back to buying trucks and SUVs, and Priuses started piling up on dealersí lots. Because gas prices wonít go back up, right? Are our memories really that short?

Lie 10: Thomas Friedman can fix everything.
Truth: The New York Times columnist is certainly entertaining, in the same way that Ross Perot as a presidential candidate was entertaining. But do you really want to take him seriously? Friedman wants the U.S. manufacturers to build nothing but hybrids, and he gives them just 36 months to make that happen.

Three years to completely overhaul the vehicle lineups of three major manufacturers? Do foreign automakers have to stop building their gas-swillers, too? Thomas Friedman, Real World. Real World, Thomas Friedman. First time youíve ever met, right?
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:57 PM   #2
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wow, i cant believe the crap in that article. What pisses me off the most is the fact that because some ford or whatever got an award for best INITIAL quality, they assume that equates to being the same as any other import car. Quality IMHO is not only measured when a product is new, it is several years down the road where the quality of a product really shines through.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:27 PM   #3
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wow, i cant believe the crap in that article. What pisses me off the most is the fact that because some ford or whatever got an award for best INITIAL quality, they assume that equates to being the same as any other import car. Quality IMHO is not only measured when a product is new, it is several years down the road where the quality of a product really shines through.
+1 I helped a woman in the parking lot of a Best Buy with her Ford Explorer. The hinge on the rear lift gate broke off from the car, and without the hold onto the car, the gas shock wouldn't compress to get her trunk closed. The car was maybe 2 or 3 years old. She said "good thing I got the extended warranty". I wanted to say "You better hope they are around to honor that warranty" (I know I know, the car companies aren't going anywhere)
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:04 PM   #4
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Haha, you think that's bad?

My 06' GMC Uplander needs new tie rod end links.
It has 17,000 miles... The worst part is that this isn't the first time it's needed warranty work. With only 3000 miles on the odo, it needed to be towed to the dealer because the crank pulley rubbed into the engine wiring harness.

Bull****!
That's why the Big 3 are dying.
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:22 PM   #5
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While there are kernels of truth to the article, as a whole it's one giant ****-up.

I like how the author says that people don't want to buy hybrids, and proves this by pointing to higher November sales of the Toyota Sequoia and the discounts offered on the Toyota Prius. However, the discounts offered are generally off the already inflated price the dealer puts on them, and both the discount and the higher Sequoia sales volume happened in November because...drum roll please...gas prices hit the basement. The instant gas prices hit 3/gallon again, we'll start hearing about Priuses flying off the lots.
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:13 PM   #6
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They lost me at supposed "lie" #1 when they used "Ford Focus, the Chevrolet Aveo and Cobalt, and the Dodge Caliber" as their example of fuel efficient US cars...fuel efficient, sure, but crappy as well. The Aveo and Cobalt are two of the most boring cars to look at on the road today. The US car manufacturers come up with some cool concept designs, then "design by committee" takes over and we get the Aveo.
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:21 PM   #7
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This entire article is a big fat FAIL!

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Old 12-12-2008, 07:00 PM   #8
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With all the 'tude that article's title brought it couldn't help but fail.
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:06 PM   #9
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this sounds spoon fed from the auto lobby. they made a call, passed a $50, and now we're reading it.
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:28 PM   #10
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yeah, the caliber gets GREAT gas mileage...

since when is 24/30 great?

I don't think they did any research when they wrote this article, they just assumed a bunch of BS
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:40 PM   #11
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My $800 79 Trans Am with 800,000+ miles had a better interior than my friends 99 grand prix (it seriously did), I don't care if they "fixed" the quality thing, it's too little, way to damn late.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:54 PM   #12
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Haha, you think that's bad?

My 06' GMC Uplander needs new tie rod end links.
It has 17,000 miles...
17K miles is about the mileage at which the first rear axle on my STI failed. A few thousand miles later, the other side failed (both failed because the axle nuts were not torqued properly at the factory).
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:36 PM   #13
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Truth: Everyone is losing sales and money, but only the U.S. companies don’t have a cash cushion. One big reason: Foreign-based companies don’t have U.S.-size legacy costs, which include things like retirees’ pensions and health care, because of things such as nationalized health care.
Blaming pensions and health care costs is a lame excuse for not having a cash cushion.
You may as well say that the cost of paying your employees prevents you from saving money.

Quote:
Truth: Domestic-brand trucks and SUVs get the same lousy mileage as trucks and SUVs built everywhere else. Why? Because they are trucks and SUVs! As for large cars, many European brands are able to achieve excellent overall mileage for them, in large part thanks to diesel power. With seven states, notably California and New York, subscribing to pollution standards that are stricter than federal standards, though, it did not make much sense for U.S. manufacturers to develop diesel cars when they can’t sell them in two of the largest states.
Another lame excuse. American companies should have started working on cleaner diesel engines years ago. Instead, they decided to recycle old gasoline engine technology. The results are, once again, foreign companies are the first to market clean running diesel engines in the US (VAG/VW/Audio, Mercedes-Benz, soon Nissan/Renault and others).
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:50 PM   #14
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yea this is BS!!! Toyota never had an engine sludge issue, and Toyota didn't try to deny it. Honda's rusting away in the same location is not a design flaw it's chance. Subaru never had a gas leak issue, that was overly active olfactory on the part of consumers.

Toyotas line of SUVs get 70mpg while cleaning the air for small children.

One truck/car of a friend of a friend having a problem is a strong case study to judge a whole brand.

NASIOC FTW
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:14 PM   #15
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Another lame excuse. American companies should have started working on cleaner diesel engines years ago. Instead, they decided to recycle old gasoline engine technology. The results are, once again, foreign companies are the first to market clean running diesel engines in the US (VAG/VW/Audio, Mercedes-Benz, soon Nissan/Renault and others).
The Japanese & Korean imports completely ignored diesel as well. A good way to ensure that the domestic automakers always lag behind in any argument is to carefully select only certain imports when you compare. The downside of course is that you look like a tool for trying to argue that way.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:49 PM   #16
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One big reason: Foreign-based companies don’t have U.S.-size legacy costs, which include things like retirees’ pensions and health care, because of things such as nationalized health care.
Then explain why foreign companies can build competitive cars in the US!
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:53 PM   #17
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GM and Ford cars are virtually identical in quality to Japanese cars.

I call bull**** on that one...
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:07 AM   #18
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GM and Ford cars are virtually identical in quality to Japanese cars.

I call bull**** on that one...
Initial being the keyword left out there.

Initial meaning they did their job and assembled the car properly.

True quality is after the bumper to bumper warranty expires......
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:19 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by 2000wrx View Post
yea this is BS!!! Toyota never had an engine sludge issue, and Toyota didn't try to deny it. Honda's rusting away in the same location is not a design flaw it's chance. Subaru never had a gas leak issue, that was overly active olfactory on the part of consumers.

Toyotas line of SUVs get 70mpg while cleaning the air for small children.

One truck/car of a friend of a friend having a problem is a strong case study to judge a whole brand.

NASIOC FTW
+3453732

i thought American car enthusiasts were bad, import enthusiasts always act stuck up like they are invincible. the big 3 make plenty of well made cars. but one guy on here decides to buy a GMC, garbage, and decides that all the cars america puts out including mazda, volvo suck.
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:22 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by 2000wrx View Post
yea this is BS!!! Toyota never had an engine sludge issue, and Toyota didn't try to deny it. Honda's rusting away in the same location is not a design flaw it's chance. Subaru never had a gas leak issue, that was overly active olfactory on the part of consumers.

Toyotas line of SUVs get 70mpg while cleaning the air for small children.

One truck/car of a friend of a friend having a problem is a strong case study to judge a whole brand.

NASIOC FTW
So you don't think this article is BS at all?? Then why in the world is there such a crisis?

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Originally Posted by imprezaL2345 View Post
+3453732

i thought American car enthusiasts were bad, import enthusiasts always act stuck up like they are invincible. the big 3 make plenty of well made cars. but one guy on here decides to buy a GMC, garbage, and decides that all the cars america puts out including mazda, volvo suck.
There are a ton of people who have tunnel vision, but in general, there is no argument that the Big 3 messed up. Sure they make some decent cars today, but 10 or even 5 years ago, they were much worse. I think that's when people started to think that imports were just better (because they were) and they have just kept that mentality. If you go to Europe or Asia, most people look down on US cars. No matter where you go in the world, people don't look down on Japanese and European cars. I wonder why...

If this article was true and everything was is a lie, then why is there such a crisis? Why is the word bankruptcy spoken in the same sentence as GM or Chrysler?? It just seems that the big 3 were always focused on only the near future. That's why things like closing brands are important, for the far future. And I'm surprised no one has mentioned that the Sequoia was brand new last month; I'm guessing that explains the sales increase...
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:59 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by 2000wrx View Post
yea this is BS!!! Toyota never had an engine sludge issue, and Toyota didn't try to deny it. Honda's rusting away in the same location is not a design flaw it's chance. Subaru never had a gas leak issue, that was overly active olfactory on the part of consumers.

Toyotas line of SUVs get 70mpg while cleaning the air for small children.

One truck/car of a friend of a friend having a problem is a strong case study to judge a whole brand.

NASIOC FTW
Since we are crying about relatively old issues, what about the 3 transmissions that failed in my parents' late 90's Yukon? I'm sorry, after you spend an extra $8k putting new transmissions in your already $34k vehicle right after it went out of warranty, people aren't inclined to go back and buy another vehicle made by that automaker. Our Explorer that replaced the Yukon has needed brakes and tires... in 110k miles and 6 years. In fact, all of our Fords have been good to us.

This article is idiotic. They have a bulletpoint and then support those bullet points with mostly unrelated "facts".

~~Quentin
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:23 AM   #22
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Since we are crying about relatively old issues, what about the 3 transmissions that failed in my parents' late 90's Yukon? I'm sorry, after you spend an extra $8k putting new transmissions in your already $34k vehicle right after it went out of warranty, people aren't inclined to go back and buy another vehicle made by that automaker. Our Explorer that replaced the Yukon has needed brakes and tires... in 110k miles and 6 years. In fact, all of our Fords have been good to us.

This article is idiotic. They have a bulletpoint and then support those bullet points with mostly unrelated "facts".

~~Quentin

Or my wifes old Contour that would stall whenever it rained, or the multiple blower resistors, or the paint coming off the radio and HVAC controls, the blown (read internally blown, not just a little seepage here and there) headgaskets at 26k, or all the squeaks,rattles etc........

We replaced that at 30k with a 96 Impreza Outback Sport with 240,000 miles and had zero issues with it (until I lifted 6 inches and put in a high compression 2.5 litre and stuffed a chunk of the diff through the case)

Funny how everyone assumes that we are a bunch of Subaru fan boys on this site and have never owned a single domestic.

The only good thing about that contour was the suspension tuning was pretty good for a fwd car.


Edit: Forgot to add, when replacing the factory original brakes the left side used metric and the right side was standard. WTF FORD?
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:43 AM   #23
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Funny how everyone assumes that we are a bunch of Subaru fan boys on this site and have never owned a single domestic.
Troof.

Before the Subaru I owned a Dodge that I absolutely love.... but when it came time to finally replace it in '02, the Dodges (and other American cars I was looking at) available were actually WORSE than the ones available before.
WTF?

Detroit can not survive by having only 4 or 5 very good cars... they need something competitive in EVERY market segement. Even today, I know my car is getting up there in years, and I look around and very few American cars interest me. The CTS is AWESOME, but more than I would be willing to pay for a car (but if I had ~$40k, it would be tops on my list). The Malibu would be tops on my list if I wanted a family sedan, but not looking for that. G8 is just too damn big. If I wanted a smaller sporty car, I pretty much have to go foreign...
... at least until the Camaro comes out.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:49 AM   #24
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All of the big 3's cars a engineered for obsolescence. The moment the warranty is up all sorts of crap breaks. If they designed a car to actually last they might get more people interested in buying them. People dont want to pay a mechanic $80+ an hour to diagnose and fix a problem with their car every other week. Anyone who says the big three builds reliable cars, I want some of what you're smoking.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:53 AM   #25
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Troof.

Before the Subaru I owned a Dodge that I absolutely love.... but when it came time to finally replace it in '02, the Dodges (and other American cars I was looking at) available were actually WORSE than the ones available before.
WTF?

Detroit can not survive by having only 4 or 5 very good cars... they need something competitive in EVERY market segement. Even today, I know my car is getting up there in years, and I look around and very few American cars interest me. The CTS is AWESOME, but more than I would be willing to pay for a car (but if I had ~$40k, it would be tops on my list). The Malibu would be tops on my list if I wanted a family sedan, but not looking for that. G8 is just too damn big. If I wanted a smaller sporty car, I pretty much have to go foreign...
... at least until the Camaro comes out.
The CTS is a very nice car, unfortunately it is ruined by cheap interior bits that wear down way too soon.

My grandmothers TrailBlazer (04 IIRC) was a good truck, unfortunately the interior was a direct throw back to the mid 90's.

I got her into a Tribeca which is smaller overall but has more interior space.
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