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Old 01-31-2011, 12:14 PM  
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Wisconsin
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I think (and I can only talk for the great white north) that US made vehicles would last as long as Japanese made if they would get the same tender loving care.
Many Japanese vehicles are more expensive than the comparing US made vehicle. Because of the higher investment, owners tend to give them better care and maintenance (I see the same with the also more expensive German vehicles), because of the fact that older US engines were way underpowered for their displacement, they tend to last for ever (if the get their maintenance). It is very common that Japanese engines have much higher rpms than the engines of similar US vehicles, and higher rev's mean higher wear. they might overcome some of this with tighter manufacturing tolerances, but I do not believe that they outlast any similar maintained US engine.

Once in my life (in the early 80's) I made the mistake and bought a Toyota, and that was the biggest mistake that I ever made concerning car buying. All the US vehicles that came after this disaster were very good vehicles. Lately we have two German vehicles in our family, and we like them a lot, but Japanese, no thank you!
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:16 PM  
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I'd say one of the biggest problems is poor maintenance. Most people don't even know how to change their own oil anymore and don't bother with basic maintenance unless something is screwed up or it's inspection time. Combine that with the diminished quality of parts that Detroit has been using over the last 2 decades and that pretty much covers it.

Why make a car that will run for 300k when you can build one in Mexico that will run for 150k when you can sell it for the same price at a higher profit? Especially when you know people's expectations have lowered and they'll simply turn around and buy another one a few years later.

I honestly don't get the hate some people have for Japanese cars. Most "American" cars are being built overseas and the companies are hiding profits offshore while most Japanese manufacturers have spent the last 20 years moving plants to America while creating US jobs and putting money back into our economy.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:10 PM  
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american all the way 99 jeep wrangler 185000 with a new exaust its all about how you treat your car
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:17 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorcharge View Post
I'd say one of the biggest problems is poor maintenance. Most people don't even know how to change their own oil anymore and don't bother with basic maintenance unless something is screwed up or it's inspection time. Combine that with the diminished quality of parts that Detroit has been using over the last 2 decades and that pretty much covers it.Why make a car that will run for 300k when you can build one in Mexico that will run for 150k when you can sell it for the same price at a higher profit? Especially when you know people's expectations have lowered and they'll simply turn around and buy another one a few years later.

I honestly don't get the hate some people have for Japanese cars. Most "American" cars are being built overseas and the companies are hiding profits offshore while most Japanese manufacturers have spent the last 20 years moving plants to America while creating US jobs and putting money back into our economy.


Again, I do agree that maintenance is important. I also think some brands require more "maintenance" than others. Seems to me that most of the Japanese cars you change the oil regularly and replace the timing belt (unless you are lucky enough to have a chain) when it needs it and it will pretty much run forever. And if there is a sign of a problem, take care of it before it gets worse. When I got my tacoma it still had the original plug wires on it. That was at around 210,000 miles. Ran great, and still does.

Oh, and if the american stuff I had wasn't leaving an oil spot, then I would worry it was out of oil...
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:30 PM  
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You started with anecdotal evidence, manufactured a conclusion, and then couched that conclusion in terms such that you can disregard any other evidence, anecdotal or otherwise.

It is your opinion that American cars don't last as long as Japanese cars, an opinion that obviously isn't shared by all here. But instead of discussing that opinion, arguing it, supporting it, you expected us to subscribe to it, accept it as a shared premise, and begin blaming "those evil unions" for causing it. You wanted us to ignore that you manufactured that premise out of thin air.

Meh.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:37 PM  
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Well, I sure know that the Japanese really did knock the US auto industry back in line when they pummeled us in the 1980s with genuinely great rigs. America has since really cleaned up it's act and once again builds some fiercly good vehicles.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:21 AM  
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You are correct that it is my opinion. My opinion is derived from observation when referring to the reliability of a vehicle. Others' experiences certainly may vary.
As far as Unions are concerned, I worked at a union facility one time and observed the way it was set up and saw that it was terribly inefficient, and have been working in manufacturing for quite some time and understand why businesses do not want union intrusion.
Also, when GM and Chrysler were "laying off" people, it became more clear the benifits that the employees had. After being laid off they apparently continue to get paid a large part of their salary (almost full salary). I remember seeing some guy on the TV (the news was trying to gain sympathy) complaining about being laid off. He said he was going to lose his BOAT(??) because he wouldn't be able to continue paying for it. I'm talking about a production worker, not some executive person. Also, it was VERY difficult to fire a Union worker. When working at the union shop, I saw absolutely NO performance based encouragement. Everything was seniority based. That resulted in (not EVERY case, but many) the folks who had been there the longest seemed to do the least.
That my friends, is not an effective way to remain a competitive business. So no, I didn't "manufacture" my conclusion. It is based on economics. (I am sure there have been some other factors contributing to the poor quality.)

Again, I don't hate American cars. As a matter of fact, if I could afford several of my "dream cars" they would be mostly american cars.

Also, I do not expect ANYONE's opinion to be changed. I just wanted to get others' thoughts on the matter.

I do believe that the American auto makers have made great improvements in quality. That was necessary to stay in business (I believe). The automakers themselves have admitted that quality had not been that great in the past. The reason they said that was because they had gained a REPUTATION for lesser quality. Do you believe the reputation was manufactured?
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:49 AM  
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Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
You are correct that it is my opinion. My opinion is derived from observation when referring to the reliability of a vehicle. Others' experiences certainly may vary.
As far as Unions are concerned, I worked at a union facility one time and observed the way it was set up and saw that it was terribly inefficient, and have been working in manufacturing for quite some time and understand why businesses do not want union intrusion.
Also, when GM and Chrysler were "laying off" people, it became more clear the benifits that the employees had. After being laid off they apparently continue to get paid a large part of their salary (almost full salary). I remember seeing some guy on the TV (the news was trying to gain sympathy) complaining about being laid off. He said he was going to lose his BOAT(??) because he wouldn't be able to continue paying for it. I'm talking about a production worker, not some executive person. Also, it was VERY difficult to fire a Union worker. When working at the union shop, I saw absolutely NO performance based encouragement. Everything was seniority based. That resulted in (not EVERY case, but many) the folks who had been there the longest seemed to do the least.
I read from this that you are jealous because they were able to get these benefits and you are not! I never worked in a Union environment (because I was one of the "suits"), but I have to admit that unions have their place in the corporate world. If management agreed to the conditions, management must have had a reason, because management is not stupid!
Quote:
That my friends, is not an effective way to remain a competitive business. So no, I didn't "manufacture" my conclusion. It is based on economics. (I am sure there have been some other factors contributing to the poor quality.)
I assume you have some advanced degree in business that you are able to analyse the US auto situation from observing a few union workers?
It seems that you have a better insight and understanding of the situation than the professionals working for these companies!

Quote:

I do believe that the American auto makers have made great improvements in quality. That was necessary to stay in business (I believe). The automakers themselves have admitted that quality had not been that great in the past. The reason they said that was because they had gained a REPUTATION for lesser quality. Do you believe the reputation was manufactured?
It was partly manufactured by the market situation. Because there was no real competition in the US market, and the customer was more exited about some extra sheet metal wings at the rear of the car, emphasis went from quality to styling. After the fins did not work any more, the most stupid idea was developed, called "muscle car". One took a cheap chassis and body, threw the largest engine possible into it, put some paint stripes onto the body and the American customer was exited again. It did not matter whether these cars were really usable, as long as the could do a quarter mile as fast as possible. Driving those things on a bumpy or curvy road was scary, because the life axle had its own opinion in what direction the car should go (this was sometime not the direction the driver wanted the car to go), but the American customer loved them and did not really care about quality. However, one has to say that the US cars were really reliable after the first year, once all the problems were fixed under warranty.Japanese vehicles had no styling what so ever (they are still as lame as a car could be in their styling) , the entered the US market through low pricing. Later they found out that low pricing was not sustainable, and the added quality to it. Their advantage was the fuel crisis in the early 70's and people were looking for cheap transportation . During that time they discovered that having a reliable car from the beginning is not all that bad, and mouth to mouth advertising brought more and more customers.
the US auto makers were hit by surprise, and did not fully understand what was going on. But they were quick learners, and starting in the mid 80's the US cars became more and more reliable. Buick cars are now more reliable than Toyotas, and the Toyota tundra and the Nissan are currently the least reliable full size Trucks sold in the US!
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:19 AM  
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Originally Posted by Hudsoner View Post
I read from this that you are jealous because they were able to get these benefits and you are not! .....unions have their place in the corporate world. If management agreed to the conditions, management must have had a reason, because management is not stupid!
I assume you have some advanced degree in business that you are able to analyse the US auto situation from observing a few union workers?
It seems that you have a better insight and understanding of the situation than the professionals working for these companies!
When I first got the job at this particular facility, I was quite excited because I was always told "work at a union shop, they pay more." It was true. The pay was great and the benefits were great.
Over time however, I realized that I was trying to be a good employee, work hard, do a good job etc. Over time I began to notice that the more work I did, the more work I was given. All the while, getting dirty looks from the "old timers" because I was producing more product than they were. Eventually, I was laid off (because I wasn't in the union, ..long story). That was the best thing to happen for me. I have since moved on to another manufacturing job and through my hard work, have landed myself in an office job ("suits" as you put it..) This would never happen back at my other job. Everything was based on seniority, and performance made little or no difference. Not working at a union facility is the best thing to happen for a work ethic.

And as far as management "agreeing" to conditions, often it is either agree or the employees will go on strike. They don't generally agree because it is a "good idea" they agree because it is better than having to shut down.

If they were such good ideas, then why would the union have to tell them to do it? Unions definitely had a place when they were first formed. They fixed alot of abuses taking place in these large companies.

I do not have a degree in economics and never claimed to. There are many economists out there that stand by what I have said, however.
And if you are an economist, please enlighten me as to where I am mistaken about unions.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:33 AM  
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Greenville, SC
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Originally Posted by Hudsoner View Post
It was partly manufactured by the market situation. Because there was no real competition in the US market, and the customer was more exited about some extra sheet metal wings at the rear of the car, emphasis went from quality to styling........ Buick cars are now more reliable than Toyotas, and the Toyota tundra and the Nissan are currently the least reliable full size Trucks sold in the US!
I believe that for the most part we are in agreement here....About the competition, the gas shortages, and don't forget trying to deal with the EPA requirements in the early '70s....Which all but killed the musclecars... The EPA stuff plays a large part in the reliability troubles during the '70s and the'80s.

I will just have to take your word for it on the Buicks... I have not heard that . And again, I agree that great improvements have been made.
I don't know much about the Nissan reliability. I have been mostly referring to the Toyotas and Hondas. And the Tundras, I am not certain about those either, I think that is pretty much Toyotas first V8 powered vehicle right?
I just believe that the vast majority of Toyota and Honda's vehicles are quite reliable and FOR ME the American ones (albeit all 15+ years old) have not been.

To what we can agree on!
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