IMHO the make has very little to do with the longevity of the vehicle. It has to do with the owner. I have a couple of vehicles that are now classics, and run and operate just fine...and they are American made.
I do believe that one can make a car last a long time without any troubles if they religiously stay on top of things. I think we all know most don't. I will not argue that.
I just think that in todays use of cars (merely transportation, nothing more) where people have the oil changed and that's pretty much it......
Some cars are engineered to be more "robust" than others in normal use and maintenance.
Unions are the reason for American cars not lasting? WOW I remember people saying that we (union workers in America), were causing steel mills shutting down for being "lazy, making FAT wages, etc.etc.", but in reality, that was one of the hardest I worked in my entire working years, union or not. No one seamed to remember that the US and allies BOMBED Japan's industrial existance OUT of existance during WWII. Germany too. They were replaced (with assistance from the US and allies), with state of the art technology. So, the US POST WWII was not as technologically advanced in either steel production or auto manufacturing, We are barely catching up to THIS DAY, well over 60 yrs later.
Furthermore, the US auto manufacturers, building at a techno disadvantage, started taking wrong turns and built BIGGER thinking they were giving the Americans what they wanted.The Japanese came in underneath them with unfair advantages in import laws, and built SMALLER cars that were more economical to operate. This was NOT the union's fault but the oil embargo of the early 70's. At that time also, strict emmission laws went into effect and the US auto makers are just now too, starting to get a handle on those as well. LOOK OUT!! The US auto builders just took a few blows, don't count them out quite yet. Union or not. That's MY two cents on it, everybody wants to beat up on the working folks but he/she are just getting by too, loosing benfits and wages as they are forced to do more with saying from the bosses like, "if you don't like it, Wendy's need more burger flippers".
IMO, many car manufacturers today are on par with each other. During the 80's and 90's I think it was a different story. Nissan and Toyota along with a few others were loaded with options and features that domestic cars didn't bother offering. At that time though, nissan and toyota were really trying to break into the american market with force, and that's exactly what they did.
HIHOOD--I agree with pretty much all that you say concerning the EPA and the American large cars, Japanese small cart, oil embargo, etc......
I do, however, think that the historically very large operating expenses involved in maintaining a Union workforce takes away the resources needed for more quality engineering (of the vehicles) and often results in less expensive materials.
FUZZCHEEK1--- I agree that many car manufacturers are closing the gap quickly compared to the 80's and 90s concerning their vehicles. No choice if they wanted to stay afloat.
americans are just bored of their products , but to tell you the truth quality control in the USA have the highst standars in the planet , whit evrything that they import , and evrything what they build, and if we are talking of the engines that they build concentrating on this , and im not afraid of been amistaken, the americans are the best engine builders in the planet specially in terms of longevity, i had a chevy s10 4 cil and it went 290k miles and afer that i was doing hiway driving and the radiator got rusted and all the coolant falled wile doing 60mph and blew the head gasket , the car was still running like new and i was advised to do a hole engine rebuilt just to keep it safe ,in case the piston rings might have gotten burned and i sold it coz i needed a roomy car for children, but those 2.2 liters chevy engines are great for acumulating miles on them , but to bad that my battery exploded and busted up my radiator , if not i sure this car could of gotten sa far as 1000000 miles i dead trust this chevy engines for life
Every manufacturer will have an occasional lemon, bad paint mix, or part supplier issue.
Everyone has a story, and they will all contradict each other. For me, for example, the two Toyotas I have had were both money-pit lemons and I traded them in at about 100,000 miles before something else went out. I had Nisan that went 130,000 and I traded it in only because I needed something bigger, never had a problem with it. Every US vehicle I have had has made it to at least 135,000 before I sold/traded it, and that's going back to my first, 1958 Chrysler. Currently, my oldest vehicle is a 1997 Escort with 166,000 miles, no rust or issues.
Well, my Tacoma 4cyl is still running strong with 310k on it. Very littly highway. Pretty much all I do is change the oil and go. About 8 months ago I changed the valve cover gasket and underneath the cover it looked like new. No burnt oil spots or anything. Very clean. Recently I was pricing some full size pickups (pretty much all american), and it does seem that nowadays the full size american trucks are racking upo some pretty decent numbers on the odometer.
I do also observe that as far as american cars (not trucks) in general.... They don't seem to hold their value worth a rip after they get several years old. Toyotas and Hondas and the like tend to do much better.
"A society that puts equality ... ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom."