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post #21 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 08:22 PM
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Although I've had quite a few good American made cars, I will probably not buy another one again, especially after my very recent purchase of a used 190E 2.6.

Having the experience of owning many cars (60+), expert mechanical knowledge and actually working for Oldsmobile and Cadillac Engineering as well as New Venture Gear Engineering and several automotive test companies, I can say with some level of expertise and first hand knowledge that the American car manufacturers are capable of producing superior automobiles yet do not.

The actual reasons for this are not that complicated. An industry enjoying a virtual monopoly and cramming cheaply made truck-based vehicles down the throats of the average consumer, while circumventing fuel ecemony and environmental standards in an effort to maximize profits therefore pleasing the shareholders (many of them employees) in the short term yet forgeting the global market and the influence of higher energy prices on the buying public.


In short, good old American corporate arrogance and greed; our #1 export these days. The twist is that, they don't mind the current predicement. Why? because this is a golden opportunity to screw the labor force as well as put a huge squeeze on the suppliers, which screw their labor force. This is called "down-sizing" and the terrible side effect of this strategy is that the largest group of new car buyers in the USA are the employees of the car companies themselves! The more they lay-off, the fewer cars they sell. So you see, Henry Ford will be proven right when he said that he can sell more cars when his employees can afford one.

As far as I'm concerned, I've done my patriotic share of helping keep the American economy rolling. Unfortunately, the same people I've helped keep rolling, don't give a damn about me. So, now I drive a real car.


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post #22 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 08:55 PM
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I've owned many American cars (Dodge and GM) and still own one today (Pontiac), but all one has to do is compare an S class or an E class to a Cadillac to realize how behind American cars are when it comes to luxury and performance. I drive rentals a lot, and often have Caddys or Buicks (my Hertz profile states GM preferred) - and after a few days of wallowing around in one of these pigs with sub-par interior materials and a noisy spongy ride, it's always nice to be back in a Benz....

Oddly - the closest ride (road feel and handling) to my MBs is my friend's new Accord which has the same firm but comfortable feel. Toyotas, and even the high end Lexus GS 430 (which I have driven) do not compare. But maybe I'm biased - when I go to Europe and they try to give me a bimmer at Avis, I'm normally upset about that too.... :0

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post #23 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 02:11 AM
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Arrow DynamicS - SRT-6

Quote:
Originally Posted by DynamicS
Actually the crossfire SRT-6 has the SLK32 AMG motor in it, which is supercharged and puts out about 320 hp, yet it only cost about $20,000 more than base crossfire
Thank you, I stand corrected!

I had never heard of an SRT-6, but I'm pretty curious about the SRT-8 in the Chargers, and hope we see it in the Dodge Challangers, whenever they begin to appear.

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post #24 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Today's news in the UK is that Ford US are slashing output by more than at any time since the 80's. News says all due to falling sales. Is this true?

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post #25 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acehandy
Although I've had quite a few good American made cars, I will probably not buy another one again, especially after my very recent purchase of a used 190E 2.6.

Having the experience of owning many cars (60+), expert mechanical knowledge and actually working for Oldsmobile and Cadillac Engineering as well as New Venture Gear Engineering and several automotive test companies, I can say with some level of expertise and first hand knowledge that the American car manufacturers are capable of producing superior automobiles yet do not.

The actual reasons for this are not that complicated. An industry enjoying a virtual monopoly and cramming cheaply made truck-based vehicles down the throats of the average consumer, while circumventing fuel ecemony and environmental standards in an effort to maximize profits therefore pleasing the shareholders (many of them employees) in the short term yet forgeting the global market and the influence of higher energy prices on the buying public.


In short, good old American corporate arrogance and greed; our #1 export these days. The twist is that, they don't mind the current predicement. Why? because this is a golden opportunity to screw the labor force as well as put a huge squeeze on the suppliers, which screw their labor force. This is called "down-sizing" and the terrible side effect of this strategy is that the largest group of new car buyers in the USA are the employees of the car companies themselves! The more they lay-off, the fewer cars they sell. So you see, Henry Ford will be proven right when he said that he can sell more cars when his employees can afford one.

As far as I'm concerned, I've done my patriotic share of helping keep the American economy rolling. Unfortunately, the same people I've helped keep rolling, don't give a damn about me. So, now I drive a real car.

I entirly agree with you. Although I've only had two cars (93 Ford Explorer, 83 Mercedes 300D) I can honestly say that the 300D which is ten years older has proven itself to be far superior to the Explorer. The 300D comes with only the standard equiptment, and the Explorer came fully loaded. Not only does the 300D have more features (save anti-lock brakes) yet it has proven to be more reliable despite, some abusive former owners. I wont even go into the comfort aspect. Anyways after the 4 wheel drive died in the Explorer, I found it easier to drive the RWD Mercedes in the snow oddly. It swayed less.

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post #26 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawk20
Today's news in the UK is that Ford US are slashing output by more than at any time since the 80's. News says all due to falling sales. Is this true?
According to the email Bill Ford (Ford CEO) sent to Ford employees on Friday, the cuts are -

“the most aggressive reduction of a North American production plan in more than 20 years”

Then came the press release where Ford announced they were cutting vehicle production by 168,000 for the fourth quarter. That’s about 21 percent fewer vehicles than they built last year in the fourth quarter. Most of the cuts will come from truck production. 155,000 of those vehicles will be trucks, while cars will cover the remaining 13,000 vehicles. For the year, Ford expects to build 3,048,000 vehicles. 1,134,000 cars and 1,914,000 trucks. That’s about 9% fewer vehicles than 2005. High fuel costs are being blamed for reduced truck and SUV sales.
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post #27 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Let's hope they recover soon. What's odd to me is that the Mondeo they make over here is very highly regarded. Comfortable, good ride and roadholding and good fuel economy. And the Jaguars they have made have been excellent and a big improvement. So all the know-how is there to make cracking good cars. So what goes wrong in the US?

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post #28 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-20-2006, 06:02 AM
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I want to chime in and say every American car I have purchased to try and buy American has failed me. I have had Buick, Chevorlet, Dodge, Ford, Cadilliac, and everything GM sells and each has had a major problem somewhere between 10000 and 75000 miles. Right now I have a failed Dodge Intrepid with the infamous 2.7 engine failure. In contrast, I have had several Toyotas, Subaru, Honda, and now Mercedes and have had no major issues at all with any of them. So I will not buy American until I see major improvement and reliability

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post #29 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 08:25 AM
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The US can and does build some good cars. I think they are using this opportunity to get rid of the unions whom have been saddling the car companies with unrealistic demands for too long. I know of workers making close to 100k a year on the assembly line (plus benefits). That's totally unrealistic in the free market which would pay less than half of that. This "entitlement" mentality has paralyzed the typical American worker into underperforming since they get paid no matter what. In fact, overperformance is discouraged in that scenario. I used to work for a car company in my college years and I was told to slow down because I was making the other workers look bad! Totally foolish premise and not what this country was founded upon. On the other side of the equation, upper management has been recieving unrealistic salaries and bonuses for their poor performance. I have heard of previous CEO's and VPs getting huge severance packages in the millions for their bad leadership.. or lack of. In the real world they would be entitled to nothing or at best a very modest severance. As an previous owner of a small company, I NEVER took a bonus when the company was in the hole, yet that seems to be common in the car companies. Plus, one thing that doesnt get exposure in GM's case is the fact that they made a puchase agreement to buy Fiat for a purported 4 billion dollars. To get out to the deal, GM had to fork over 2 billion. That 2 billion could go a long way in helping their current situation. Another example of a bad management decision. And then there's the cost of the current buyouts both at Ford and GM. On the supplier side, It's a painfull time here in Detroit as a lot of folks are loosing jobs and foreclosing on homes, but unfortunately it's a "correction" that has to be done.

Once people get a taste of reality once again, I think the car companies will be back on top. Don't mean to sound hash but that's how I see it. In nature, if you don't hunt you don't eat and we need to understand that a little more in the car culture.
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post #30 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 08:52 AM
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if i may add also... US is having trouble due to gas costs hurting the SUV markets... esp. the v8 trucks or big SUVs... i read it over the newspaper couple of days ago that noone is buying these cars cuz they cant afford the gas for them... however... if u look at import cars... majority of the lines are small efficient small cars compared to the trucks and big SUVs resulting higher purchases then the american cars maybe??

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