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

  1. #46
    I see a lot of blame being laid on the economics and the labor force but none of you has mentioned the bad management decisions.

    The "big three" stalled for years on moving to efficient and/or alternative fuels, crying, "We need R&D time and money." Wahh! It takes too much time and money to roll out new models or fuel technology.

    Oh, wait a minute. How about all those models made and sold in the foreign markets? The small Fords you see in the UK? The flex fuel vehicles and the alcohol vehicles and fuel stations I saw in Brazil in 1990, for example?

    Of course, the financials in Brazil are a bit different. If you want to sell in that market, you must produce in that market. What a novel idea!

  2. #47
    The huge problem is tying executive pay and bonuses to the quarterly or annual performance of the stock price, or quarterly or annual net profit (or loss). This provides all the incentive required for folks to think short-term only and to fail to plan for the long run health of the company.

    Yes, boards and executives have a fiduciary responsibility to look out for the good of the stockholders, but the time horizon for which they do that is their reasonable choice. And given the current incentive structure that means next month's quarterly report - not what will we be, and be worth, in 5 years or 10 years. It is a shame really!
    Last edited by PGlaves; 05-20-2010 at 06:37 PM.
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  3. #48
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    2000 Ford Taurus wagon bought new. Paid off long ago. A great car. VW's? Love 'em and curse 'em at the same time. I've had a gazillion of those. Just picked up a nice Saturn Aura - a great car. I'm excited about the new Ford Fiesta. Also, the Transit is cool.

  4. #49
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Whatever works for you. The bottom line is minimal cost per mile.

    And I think when one looks at the big picture, the answer is quite clear.
    Looks murky to me. My all time favorite cars were described here as some POS. It depends if you think of a car as an appliance, or as something to enjoy. Some American cars are incredible, some are not. We recently sold a 95 Contour for $800, and bought a 92 Civic for $1400. I believe the used car market accurately reflects the overall value of a vehicle, and the Japanese definatly have the advantage.
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  5. #50
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    My 6cyl 2005 Ford Freestyle gets 21mpg in town and 27mpg on the interstate. My 2006 HD FSXTI has delivered up to 51mpg on the highway, does not leak, and is totally dependable. My 2004 CLC costs more to maintain than the HD but is a much better bike for long trips with suprising handling for a cruiser, great brakes, cruise control, and other amenities. New cars and mc's are much better than those produced just 10 short years ago. Other than buying new tires, replacing brake pads & some bulbs, performing regular maintenance, I've had no other expenses on my vehicles. Before buying my Ford I owned a Nissan Quest van, put 160k on it and still see it occasionally driving around Jacksonville. You can buy a LEMON from virtually any manufacturer, as a previous poster opined, any future vehicle purchases will be used cars/bikes, as there are very good opportunities to save money if you are willing to look. Ride Safe

  6. #51
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montana View Post
    I see a lot of blame being laid on the economics and the labor force but none of you has mentioned the bad management decisions.

    The "big three" stalled for years on moving to efficient and/or alternative fuels, crying, "We need R&D time and money." Wahh! It takes too much time and money to roll out new models or fuel technology.
    Sorry to quote you out of context but for me this is an excellent point. Anyone who has read "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors" by John Z. De Lorean will have a whole new view of the old-time management style that came out of the 70's! Times are different now but somehow I think old management philosophy's linger.
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  7. #52
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 108625 View Post
    We made the same choice when we traded in our POS Subaru Outback. The Impala has given a great car for us and we'll stick with it.

    I think it's obvious now that every automaker that doesn't cater exclusively to the very rich (Ferrari) is not doing well. It's not just a "Big Three" thing.
    Just out of curiosity, what was the issue with the POS Subaru? Transmission?
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  8. #53
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogthebasher View Post
    Times are different now but somehow I think old management philosophy's linger.
    Yes, we now have more "Business Schools" teaching the same old logic. Hopefully, someday, creating and building will be as important as managing and litigating.
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  9. #54
    Pusser's Pyrate Society Zygmund's Avatar
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    I cover three states for my company and we log the miles and spend hours in quarries and gravel pits. Since 1999 we have been driving Tahoes and I have had 7 of them. Other than tires, LOF and basic maintenance these have been great, reliable vehicles. My wife gets to drive the Audi A6 (#2 in 11 years) and those have been a treat to own!
    Our company has put us into the Chevy Traverse now and they are getting 20mpg compared to the Tahoe getting 17mpg on a good day. Only have 20K on this one so far so we will see. Very good vehicle so far....
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  10. #55
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montana View Post
    I see a lot of blame being laid on the economics and the labor force but none of you has mentioned the bad management decisions.
    Speaking of bad management decisions, I think Toyota has been near the front of the line in recent years. They have failed to notify the proper people and customers of safety problems, recalling for defects in one country and not another and manyh other things that will haunt them for years and cost them billions in settlements.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  11. #56
    Registered User easy's Avatar
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    Some people just don't like foreign cars, or for that matter foreign motorcycles. Saying an excellent car can't be made in Japan makes as much sense as saying an excellent motorcycle can't be made in Germany. The issue goes beyond where the product is made. Paul made some excellent points in his two earlier posts. The times are changing fast and if Detroit does not keep up, we’ll be seeing more companies go the way of Saturn, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Plymouth, along with more automaker bailouts.

    It’s interesting to note that Consumer Reports, an American magazine, still has Toyota and Honda cars rated higher in overall reliability than any American car manufacturer.

    The American auto executives have been making some interesting statements lately regarding their new vehicles. I hope it's not just hot air. I would truly like to see the American automobile industry go back to the top.

    Easy

  12. #57
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what was the issue with the POS Subaru? Transmission?
    Dunno about others but before I finally sold my Subaru Legacy it had broken four timing belts (about one every 20-30K Km), kept burning out bulbs all over the car, rattled and squeaked like a pig-wagon after it was a month old, and was burning oil after 100K Km. I hated it for leaving me high and dry more than once. But the four wheel drive was amazingly effective which I used a lot living in northern Alberta at the time. It definitely was a hate-love relationship.
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  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    Speaking of bad management decisions, I think Toyota has been near the front of the line in recent years. They have failed to notify the proper people and customers of safety problems, recalling for defects in one country and not another and manyh other things that will haunt them for years and cost them billions in settlements.
    You are correct of course,about Toyota's inconsistent reaction, but I read an interview with an Edmund's lady quoting their information, from their survey that the gas pedal thing has actually been as prevelant in other brands , as in Toyota!
    Another rant I need to get out: I read that GM payed off the taxpayer debt, after making a profit, and now I read that GM's mgr, Obama, wants to spend $800 mil of our $ to clean up the old , no longer used factories. No wonder they?/us? made a profit. When you don't spend $800 mil that you should be spending, it makes for more top line ! (You can call this political from me but it comes from my Lexington Herald paper which is openly liberal!) Can't get a much more open comment than a conservative quoting a liberal?This whole thing is out of control/reason! End of rant, so don't trash me...


    More rant: If the trend in the media continues , eg., that GM and other domestics are now so great, it is no wonder that some of the foreign stuff is going down in sales. It gets old hearing TV people that don't know squat about vehicles, saying what is good and so on.

  14. #59
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    Whenever the power goes off, my cheap clock radio resets to the first AM station on the dial and I'm treated to a very brief dose of talk radio. Someday, I'm going throw that piece of crap in the trash and buy a better radio with a battery back-up.
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  15. #60
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Don't look now but . . .

    The manufacturers to watch are two:
    Hyundai and Kia.

    You heard it here first.
    Or not.



    (Quickly: Ford looks like they have a chance, GM still doesn't know it's 1980 let alone 2010, they have that reverse Midas touch and Chrysler? Heck can we finally let them die?)

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