Ford, GM have discussed merger, alliance

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Don't forget Daewoo and those cars made in Russia under the Soviets.
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I hate asian cars. Always have since the first one I saw. But the Daewoo gets a bum rap compared to Mitsubishi's bastard child, Hyundai..
You wanna see junk, wait till the geelys from china start showing up, understand they are already available in Canada. A 4x4 in competion with the Kia was tested in germany and scored "0" in the crash test. Driver and passenger would have died in the 40mph head on, driver may survive in the 30mph side impact but will suffer major injuries. But it will sell like hot cakes here.
Whitelightning
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Oh my I hope not so soon. I haven't seen one yet. I'll not follow closely; protecting my tires from falling parts!
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All cars must meet US crash tests standards of 35 MPH for a frontal crash and 30 MPH for a rear crash, or they can not be sold in the US
mike hunt

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Very important. I blame the dealers as much or more than the product. That's just my opinion.

I agree. American autoworkers certainly don't make any more than Japanese and German ones. Plus, GM and Ford have scale that has always been bigger than everybody else. I know Toyota is just as big as GM, but GM had an 80 year head start where it was bigger. That should still have some value.
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Joe wrote:

i agree with you completely Joe. Harry in Montreal
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On 19 Sep 2006 07:16:57 -0700, Harry in Montreal wrote:


The problem isn't the workers, it's the management, or lack thereof. Until the Japanese carmakers invaded the states, there was no competition whatsoever. The Japs could make cheaper cars of better quality and still make a bigger profit.
The Japanese model is to invest lots here and now, and then earn it in over the next 15-30 years. The only reason they use people to do the work, instead of robots like it is in their plants in Japan, is because the only way they will get permission to open a new plant in the states is by providing a certain number of jobs per sqft of land they occupy. It's part of the deal. They get tax deductions as a compensation to pay for those wages.
The Detroit companies didn't have any need to compete with each other before the Japs came. The US and Canadian market was so big that there were plenty of pieces in the cake for all of them. Once they got competition, they went to drastic measures, and quality and the workers suffer as a result.
German built cars are based upon the concept of not going on compromise with anything. The makers pay high salaries, and refuse to lower quality. As a result the cars are crazy expensive, but will gladly go a whole million on the dial with nothing more than everyday maintenance. They do have problems with other carmakers being cheaper, but the German market is still big enough, that with having a big chunk of the worldwide luxury market as well, they can more than cover their asses and keep up their business model.
The only exception is GM Europe. They're the only European carmaker that has a worse reputation than Ford. Seeing GM built cars in Europe is almost a rarity, simply because GM focuses on profit over quality. They're crappy cars with very short lifespans, and they're not even cheap. Even Hyundai delivers a better product...
In Japan, the carmakers run clinics and hospitals where their workers and the worker's family, can be treated for free. They don't get medical as such, and if they go to any other clinic than the one their employer assigns them, they have to pay the full cost themselves. And they gladly pay for all sorts of other things, like kids' education, to ensure the workers loyalty, and that of their families. On the other hand, Japanese workers work an average of 12-14 hrs a day, and retire when they're not much more than 50, because their health simply isn't for working much longer than that. In Japan, robots pay taxes, that goes to cover the unemployment for the workers they replaced. So for a Japanese carmaker, complete automation isn't a profit-making strategy, as it'd cost them about the same as keeping the workers. Instead they train the workers thoroughly and ensure that they know that if they screw up their little task, what the result would be for the rest of the company. If you ask any Japanese lineworker what the part he makes is, he'd be able to tell you exactly what it is, what it does, and where it goes in the final car, and why it has to go in that peticular spot. But it comes from a workmorale that's unlike anything in any other country in the world. A pride in taking one for the team that most western countries don't have.
The Japanese model is that all the workers take a paycut if just one makes a mistake that costs the company money. So they all do their best to not make any mistakes. With unions and all that crap, such an idea would never be allowed.
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Mr. Bunny wrote:

> The Japanese model is that all the workers take a paycut if just one makes

Bunny, thanks for the post. good read. Is your last name Demming? kidding of course, Harry in montreal
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Mr. Bunny wrote:

The problem with that argument is that the Japanese car maker with the lowest rate of automation, in the U.S. or Japan, is Toyota, and it's the lowest cost producer. And in the 1990s, Toyota even strove to decrease the level of automation.

I don't see how, considering that Japan has long had socialized medicine. Toyota does supplement this, but their health care costs in Japan have run well under $200M a year.

It depends on the company, but Toyota is one of the most praternal companies anywhere and has even hired people laid off by companies that have nothing to do with the automobile business.

Maybe white collar workers, but not blue collar workers. Also vacations tend to be longer there, about a month a year.

Japan's labor force is more unionized than the America one, with most of its auto makers having mostly unionized blue collar workers.
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The selling prices of Toyota that are only assemble in the US average 20% t0 30% more than those of domestics of similar size, and similarly equipped, yet the average wage Toyota pays their US employees is over ten dollars an hour less, with fewer benefits and less desirable pensions. No wonder Toyota is showing greater profits, when one adds in the fact they pay no federal corporate income taxes on the profit earned form those vehicles.. That says lot about the wisdom of the people who are willing to pay so much more for a vehicles in reality is no better ;)
mike hunt

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Mike Hunter wrote:

I know cost more, but 20-30%? I find that hard to believe, even when 0% financing is included.

Toyota is a good Republican corporate citizen, paying no income taxes and resisting unionization.

But they are usually better, and not just for reliability any more, a point that still hasn't sunk into the Detroit auto maker mindset.
If people had wisdom they'd buy mostly minivans and small hatchbacks and few SUVs or trucks, but the American auto companies would be hurt the most by this.
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.com wrote:

Toyota is not just better, they have world beating hybrid cars on the road. The new Camry hybrid is even a cost effective purchase price. A mid sized car that sips gas like a small car, for a few thousand $ more!
Toyota does it, while other companies such as GM just talk about it.
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Really? Why is Toyota offering a rebate on the Pruis?
mike hunt
wrote:

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Probably because the Camry hybrid impacts it in in price. Normal marketing as volume goes up and costs go down.
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You may be right. There is no question the Pruis is over priced, but the Camry has a rebate as well.
mike hunt
wrote:

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Has it! I'm going to go look at it.
When my Chrysler dealer realized a few years ago I wasn't into the Chrysler 300, he suggested I look at the Camry, which he sold at his Toyota dealership. Now it seems like time to take up his suggestion.
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I was considering a 300M for my wife, since it was one of the few RWD cars available. When we parked and walked toward the car she took one look and said that's ugly, I'll keep my Lincoln LS.
Most manufactures do not like multi franchised dealers to have one brand store too close to another brand. A good explanation why they do not is things like happened at a Toyota, Ford, Lincoln Mercury multi franchise. A guy with a 2003 Camry broke down while traveling. He was towed to the complex. They told him he tranny was toast. He was out of warranty on mileage and it would take three days to get one in.
An enterprising Toyota salesman suggest he look at a new Camry so he could continue on his way. He was given a trade price and taken for a ride. When he returned there was a car carrier unloading the then brand new 2006 Mercury Milan. He asked the salesman what it was. To make the story short he drove off in the first recorded retail Milan sold by LM, one with more equipment than the Camry for five thousands dollars less ;)
mike hunt
wrote:

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And the American car makers had how many years to step up to the plate?

Really? So there are no robots in Japanese-owned American car plants? Care to back your claims with real data? How about how many people-hours it takes to make a Japanses make car vs. an American-make car in a plant that has been open a similar amount of time?

Quality suffering as a result of competition? Please show the data that shows American cars, on average, having lower quality over time.

Bull doo-doo. Money is always a factor. You have to make compromises. No way around it.

That is not the same no compromises.

Unfortunately, they do break down. And when they do, they are expensive to fix.

Actually, not true. The German luxury makes had to lower their prices to compete with Lexus.

In your opinion.

Not true. Robots are a profit-making strategy. Robots work without complaint. They do repetative tasks perfectly every time. They don't take as many breaks.
I would also like to see you back your claims about robots paying taxes.

And the unions got good wages for American workers. Got better working conditions. Pensions, so after working 40 years in the factory, workers could retire. Health care, too.
Unions have their problems, like stupid work rules (a line worker can't change a lightbulb). But, they prevented the auto makers from taking unfair advantage of their workers.
Jeff
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Do you believe the average line worker has TIME to change a light bulb? If you do you have never been in an assembly plant. Even if he did, does he know the differ between a 110V bulb and a 220V bulb? The fact is management does not want him to change light bulbs. They have a job description.that includes proper training for the guy that does that job, as required by OSHA. The Union does not make the work rules, management does. The only "rights" a Union has, in any contract, is the right to represent the workers. One way they do that is by requiring the company to abide by the contract ;)
mike hunt

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I am sorry. I don't know what you are responding to.
Until you show us respect by in-line posting instead of top-posting, I will not reply to your posts.
Jeff

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