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Thread: Why the Big 3 are where they are now...

  1. #31
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozonkiller View Post
    If you want to debate the "cost per mile" or the "cost over the life of the vehicle", the secret isn't whether you buy foriegn vs. domestic, it's whether you buy new vs. used.

    At the risk of offending many, I think you're outta your mind to buy a brand new car.
    Tom
    You're exactly right. That's what makes domestics a lower cost to own if you select the right vehicle. A GM or Ford product is far cheaper to buy used than a similar Toyota or Honda. The domestics are not anything like the poor quality products of the 80s and early to mid 90s. Late model Ford and GM products are a very durable vehicle and the parts and labor are generally cheaper than a comparable Japanese product.

    Buying new makes the comparison closer but buying new makes a big difference. I paid just over half of MSRP for my 08 Impala and the Toyotas and Hondas were far more expensive and harder to find.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by PaperBoy View Post
    Bell was from Scotland, moved to Canada and was living in the U.S. when he invented the telephone. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States who said,"I am not one of those hyphenated Americans who claim allegiance to two countries." So I guess he was a Scott who moved with his family to Canada and then moved to the United States where he worked in Boston, returning to Canada for the summers. Maybe we should just go with North American.
    Done. We're all North American (Canadian, US), so that is fair.

  3. #33
    [QUOTE=r11rs94;403260]
    Quote Originally Posted by DwayneH View Post
    Telephone, Canada.
    Splitting the Atom was impressive, but its end use wasn't. I would actually think that is a matter of national shame. QUOTE]

    I don't think so. It ended a nasty war that would of killed millions more, some Canadian, and while not ending war, it has keep the scale of them down. Also Nuclear energy has provided millions with a cheap and clean source of energy that will last until these other non-pollution sources of power come on-line.
    Don't misunderstand; the splitting of the Atom was impressive, and although Nuclear Energy is not a good alternative, it's still the only viable option in the absence of Hydro stations.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DwayneH View Post
    Splitting the Atom was impressive, but its end use wasn't. I would actually think that is a matter of national shame.
    Dwayne,

    The rest of your post was very thoughtful and well written. This one line however, is for a more tavern oriented debate, in my mind. We can discuss the morality of wartime decisions (in a war the Germans and Japanese started, the Swiss profitted illegally and unethically from, while the South Africans subjugated and oppressed their own native population) over there... Keeping in mind of course that we're free to discuss it in the first place, exist to discuss it in the second (we wouldn't, if our fathers and grandfathers would have been among the up to one million casualties now considered likely from an invasion of Japan), and there would be no Japanese left to build cars if they had fought to the last man and/or commit suicide rather than surrender defending the home islands, as they had been doing up to that point. Our country is far from perfect and hasn't always done the right thing, but there is no right thing in war... Only lesser wrongs.

    I'm a veteran and a patriot. I respect your opinion and your right to share it, though I personally disagree with it.

    Bob

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by 108625 View Post
    Dwayne,

    The rest of your post was very thoughtful and well written. This one line however, is for a more tavern oriented debate, in my mind. We can discuss the morality of wartime decisions (in a war the Germans and Japanese started, the Swiss profitted illegally and unethically from, while the South Africans subjugated and oppressed their own native population) over there... Keeping in mind of course that we're free to discuss it in the first place, exist to discuss it in the second (we wouldn't, if our fathers and grandfathers would have been among the up to one million casualties now considered likely from an invasion of Japan), and there would be no Japanese left to build cars if they had fought to the last man and/or commit suicide rather than surrender defending the home islands, as they had been doing up to that point. Our country is far from perfect and hasn't always done the right thing, but there is no right thing in war... Only lesser wrongs.

    I'm a veteran and a patriot. I respect your opinion and your right to share it, though I personally disagree with it.

    Bob
    Bob, I too served, and although I don't doubt the validity of using whatever means possible to end the war, at that time (Hind-site is always 20/20), I don't think it is anything to be proud of. My country has also done many questionable things, so I'm not sitting on an ivory tower. Actually a couple of weeks ago, I welcomed back an old friend returning from Afghanistan. His hearse was the 98th since we went to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DwayneH View Post
    Bob, I too served, and although I don't doubt the validity of using whatever means possible to end the war, at that time (Hind-site is always 20/20), I don't think it is anything to be proud of. My country has also done many questionable things, so I'm not sitting on an ivory tower. Actually a couple of weeks ago, I welcomed back an old friend returning from Afghanistan. His hearse was the 98th since we went to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.
    I served in Afghanistan, and saluted the first casket to have the red maple leaf draped over it, along with many stars and stripes, and some union jacks as well.
    Do I regret that every one of those lives was lost because nobody else could come up with a better way of solving problems? Absolutely.
    Do I regret that, lacking a better way, we did our duty there? Not for a moment.

    So here's to finding a better way, and until then, to those who have pay for our inability to come up with it.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by DwayneH View Post
    Telephone, Canada.


    Personally, I always try to buy non union products whenever possible.
    To each his own. I will always buy union made with an American brand when possible. In my country, unions have moved our society forward in many ways. Women receive equal pay for equal work when they have union representation. Blacks and other minorities have gained some equality thru the no discrimination clauses in union contracts. And all workers have benefited from what unions negotiated for them--health and safety, vacations with pay, health insurance, sick days--name a benefit and unions probably negotiated it.

  8. #38
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightning View Post
    To each his own. I will always buy union made with an American brand when possible. In my country, unions have moved our society forward in many ways. Women receive equal pay for equal work when they have union representation. Blacks and other minorities have gained some equality thru the no discrimination clauses in union contracts. And all workers have benefited from what unions negotiated for them--health and safety, vacations with pay, health insurance, sick days--name a benefit and unions probably negotiated it.
    I think you will find equal pay and non-descrimination has nothing to do with unions but it is federal law. Unions once had a very important place in this country but they overplayed their hand to the point that they destroy industries and cause many people to lose jobs. The steel industry, airline industry, the American auto industry are good examples of what unions can do to you.

    Being a right to work state, Virginia has been helped by the work of unions. Much of our industry came here to avoid or get away from unions. They pay fairly and treat their employees well.

    We have one local industry that was operating in Oregon about 35 years ago. The employees threated to vote in a union and the owner told them that if they did so, he would leave. They did and he did. The thousands of jobs and hundreds of million dollars he brought here have been very helpful to our economy and people.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by 108625 View Post
    I served in Afghanistan, and saluted the first casket to have the red maple leaf draped over it, along with many stars and stripes, and some union jacks as well.
    Do I regret that every one of those lives was lost because nobody else could come up with a better way of solving problems? Absolutely.
    Do I regret that, lacking a better way, we did our duty there? Not for a moment.

    So here's to finding a better way, and until then, to those who have pay for our inability to come up with it.
    I will always support what our (US, CDN, UK), troops are doing overseas. I don't like that they are there, although doing an excellent job, I would hate to have us leave, after losing so many. On the other hand I don't want them to stay and lose more soldiers in a never-ending war. What do you do? I have no problem with someone not supporting the war, but for those who publicly attack our (US, CDN, UK), soldiers....that just pisses me off.


    P.S. I still won't buy Union if I have a non-Union alternative.

  10. #40
    Registered User 85138's Avatar
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    UAW overdid it?

    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    I think you will find equal pay and non-descrimination has nothing to do with unions but it is federal law. Unions once had a very important place in this country but they overplayed their hand to the point that they destroy industries and cause many people to lose jobs.
    I think the Union deserves some credit for pushing the Feds to approve such legistration but agree they've overplayed their hand. I absolutely support decent wages and the need for a strong middle class. One issue is the disparity in Union representation. Back in the day, working through college I was part of a union that didn't do crap other than collect my dues. On the other hand you have some electrical unions and the UAW that went way overboard to the point of being counter productive and giving labor a bad rap.

    What gets me in this debate is the ficticious $70+/hr wage bandied about and narrow focus on labor as if that's the main reason for the big 3 deabacles, especially since wages are < 10% of the cost. What about white collar compensation, especially at the very top? Marketing and design engineers? I read somewhere an 'apples to apples' comparison shows Detroit workers making around $5-$7/hr more than the transplant factories. (not clear if that accounted for the tax subsidies the southern states gave to incentivize transplant factories .. probably didn't)

    Labor is just one part of the problem and even though I'm generally not supportive of the UAW, they've made concessions and are being made scapegoats.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    I think you will find equal pay and non-descrimination has nothing to do with unions but it is federal law. Unions once had a very important place in this country but they overplayed their hand to the point that they destroy industries and cause many people to lose jobs. The steel industry, airline industry, the American auto industry are good examples of what unions can do to you.
    I think you will find equal pay and non discrimination clauses in union contracts before the federal government got around to it. Did you ever see the white guy in the front row of the sixties civil rights marches? That was Walter Reuther.

    Foreign dumping of steel and autos along with currency manipulation are two big reasons for the decline of both American industries. The bottom line is that foreign governments have heavily subsidized their export industries. We have thrown ours overboard in the name of "free trade."

  12. #42
    Registered User gec343's Avatar
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    Union

    IMHO, the UAW has about destroyed the big three auto makers here in Michigan. I know personally many present and retired auto workers. However, I don't know one who speaks highly of the product quality. Most of them brag about the cubby holes where they slept, buddies punching them in for work, or having games to see what they could get by the inspectors.

    My cousins husband, a retired GM employee, still brags about sleeping on the job for most of his thirty years. He was an "oiler" of some type. However, he was always a big supporter of the Democratic Party, since the union told members who to vote for, then gave them a day off to vote.

    Unions did have their place years ago, but now they have become too greedy and corrupt. Do a Google search on union strikes during WWII. Unions were striking at defense plants, while the troops were overseas and needed the supplies.

    I will start buying union produced products when they break ties with the Democrats. Until then, I will always buy non-union goods, if possible.
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gec343 View Post
    IMHO, the UAW has about destroyed the big three auto makers here in Michigan. I know personally many present and retired auto workers. However, I don't know one who speaks highly of the product quality. Most of them brag about the cubby holes where they slept, buddies punching them in for work, or having games to see what they could get by the inspectors.

    My cousins husband, a retired GM employee, still brags about sleeping on the job for most of his thirty years. He was an "oiler" of some type. However, he was always a big supporter of the Democratic Party, since the union told members who to vote for, then gave them a day off to vote.

    Unions did have their place years ago, but now they have become too greedy and corrupt. Do a Google search on union strikes during WWII. Unions were striking at defense plants, while the troops were overseas and needed the supplies.

    I will start buying union produced products when they break ties with the Democrats. Until then, I will always buy non-union goods, if possible.
    Wow. Hard to argue against a good anecdote (or two or three).

  14. #44
    Luckiest Man Alive Timba's Avatar
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    Well, back to the point of the OP (I think), my experiences with Japanese and American autos is:

    1977 Toyota Pickup: Drove the wheels off it (~130,000 miles in two years) and replaced brake pads and a clutch. Loved it.

    1981 Corolla: Drove the heck out of it, and never did anything to it.

    1983 Toyota Pickup: ~90,000 miles in 3 years, don't recall any problems.

    In 1999 I was in the market for a large-ish truck, and wanted a Toyota, but they had just stopped making the T100, and hadn't gotten the Tundras on the market yet. No used T100's available, so I went and looked at GMC. I had never purchased an American car before, was nervous from all the horror stories I'd heard about reliability problems, but tried to be open minded.

    I picked up a new Sierra 3-door for about the same as a used T100 would have cost. Drove it for five years with minimal maintenance, and no problems.

    My girlfriend wanted an suv-type to replace her Accord, and liked the look of the the Toyota RAV's. We found a used one at a price that wasn't too excessive and brought it home. In 30,000 miles, we replaced 3 oxygen sensors (1 free, two at $300+ each), and put TWO sets of tires on it, due to a cupping problem. Mileage was so-so, and the overall experience was not pleasant. Perhaps we got a lemon, but several internet forums seemed to confirm our experience.

    Sold the 99 GMC to my boy, and bought a 2004 GMC Sierra 4x4 4 door (need to tow heavy trailers up a steep dirt hill frequently). After two weeks a fuel hose split, dealer picked it up and repaired it the same day. I've burned out a few fuses by hooking up a crappily-wired trailer to the light connection. Put on 2 new rear tires at 40,000 miles.

    Overall, I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality and reliability of the GMC's.

    I think the days of generalizing, "Toyota=bulletproof, American autos=unreliable" are past.
    Timba
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  15. #45
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timba View Post
    , .

    I think the days of generalizing, "Toyota=bulletproof, American autos=unreliable" are past.

    Isn't that exactly their problem? For a long time and "for a lotta people's money" they really didn't make cars that were as good as the Japanese in a hundred different ways. Their sales were propped up by people who would only buy American, (bless their patriotic hearts) or folks who mistakenly still thought that ''Made in Japan" still meant crappy. Just as many of us now think "Made in Detroit" still means crappy.
    Back in the 70's after the Saudis/OPEC nailed us the first time, when it might have made sense, patriotically speaking, for them to start making excellent fuel efficient cars, they didn't. They fought aginst CAFE standards. And made crappy small cars. Heck these are the same people who fought against seat belts and rear-view mirrors. This is our third go-'round with "high" oil prices. Nobody seems to learn anything. This past month, since oil prices have dipped, people are buying SUV's and the like again. And sticking flags and yellow ribbons on the back! Just where do they think that gas is coming from?
    On the other hand, I suppose in some ways you can't blame the car guys. If I thought I could make money right now by not re-tooling, or changing my business model for some vague time down the road, I'd be right there hauling in the dough and selling what I always sold.
    It's human nature.
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

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