Re: R.I.P. General Motors (1908-2006)

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I'll try to explain it to you once more, then I'll done. You are confused about the percentage of return on the original investment. The Civic is indeed worth more in dollar today than the Contour, however the drive home price was not the same for both when new. A new Civic was at least $3,000 more when new, than the drive home price of a Contour when it was new. ;)
mike hunt

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People value their cars above their kids
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I wonder what make him assume the autoworkers, in import brand assemble plants, make more than teachers or mass transit workers? ;)
mike hunt

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I certainly hope they do not pay professional wages for unskilled labor. Did you read the article (link was posted to this group about a week ago) about the woman making $74k for jantorial work? Do you think that is a "fair" wage? Sure, if offered I'm taking it, but that does not make good business practice. Defined pension vs. 401k? So what, it is the total dollars, not the type of plan that makes a difference.

What does size matter? We don't buy by the cubic foot, we buy by the material and what it does. Performance, quality, value. I'd rather have a medium sized high quality car with lots of features than a huge clunker.

Yes, but is that a bad thing? Can we, as a nation of consumers, afford to pay what the GM worker (or similar situations) is going to get? I don't know. We compete globally now more that we have in the past.
What will I buy? I've not decided yet. Had my Buick transmission not cost me $2600 for repair, I'd be driving a new Lucerne this month. That set me back a bit and has me re-thinking the whole purchase plan that I had. Gas prices will also come into play a bit more than they would have a few months ago. Hell, I may even take a look at the Azera.
The only GM car that I Have any interest in is the Lucerne. Lacrosse looks to much like my LeSabre to buy another of that look. I'd get bored too quick. Chevy, Cadillac, and Pontiac have nothing of interest to me. Hummers are just plain UGLY.
Ford (blah) and Chrysler (ugly) are of no interest either. That leaves the Lucerne, Camry, Avalon, and Maxima, One of those will get my money later this years.
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Because of my years in the business, I am often asked what I suggest one should buy. I will offer you the same advice.
Drive all those that suit your needs and get a 'total drive home price' not just a selling price for each, then buy the one that best suits your budget. You should also get a 'total drive home price' from at least three of the dealers that sell the one you finally choose.
From what I see today every manufacture is building good vehicles that offer long term reliability, you need not pay a premium to get a good vehicle.
mike hunt

With a defined pension one get a specific amount, for a specific number of years worked. That is guaranteed once you have enough years to become vested. Even if the trust fund want belly up you are guaranteed your pension. With a 401K noting is guaranteed, look at those the worked for Enron for a worse case scenario

But why should you pay as much for a good small car with the same equippent as you would for a good mid size car that has a larger motor?

You missed the point you can buy a good mid size V6 GM for less than it will cost you to buy a good 4cy Camry wiht the same eguippment. In my case I was spending $42,000 to buy V8 Lexus; far more than I paid buy the V8 domestic brand that I swithed too when I discoverd the Lexus I was looking to buy was going to be $55,000 more. I saved so much mony on the dometic V8 I bought that I boudght a second car from the same dealer. The domestic proved to be just as good and is some ways better than any of the Lexus' I had owned. For one I no longer needed to buy premuim fuel and pay the Lexus dealer $300 or more every time I had the car serviced. ;)

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Having owned a Toyota (1979 Celica GT coupe, I think it was called fastback then), it was better built and tougher than my '82 Prelude (piece of junk), '84 Skyhawk (even bigger POS), '92 Cavy (another j-body) and '95 Contour (don't get me started on that thing, I'm about to test a quarter-mile run as soon as I find a quarter-mile-deep hole).
To be totally honnest, I loved my 351C modded Tbird, even if it was a gas guzzler. Pretty on par with the Celica for quality and reliability. I just find my Contour a bitch to fix, and everything seems to be either flimsy, broken or defective...
The only things I had to replace on that used Celica were the waterpump & the catalytic converter when I got it at around 200,000 miles. The pump had probably been changed at least once, I wouldn't know since I was the 4th owner. That little car ran like a champ, took every beating without letting me down.
I swapped the carburator for a bigger one (for performance, it was working fine) along other mods & tweaks.
I had to let it go at around 330,000 miles when it encountered a '76 Montecarlo when that kid burnt a stop sign.
I miss that little bitch a lot...
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