A bit of Faith Restored in GM

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(this is long, but I got a lot to get off my chest, and it's pro-GM at the end!!)
My family, back a couple of generations, has always owned GM cars.
Grandparents on one side owned Caddys... the others bought Pontiac. My parents bought Buicks and Oldsmobiles. I can only remember 3 cars my parents ever had that *weren't* GM's: a fiat 124 spider, a 1975(?) Datsun pickup, and a 1986 Mustang.
Two of my first cars were Buick Regals....
But, through the past 20-30 years, I've watched a steady decrease in GM's quality and commitment to building great cars... This has been hashed through by members of the press ad naseum, but just to add my $0.03....
I owned a 1976 Regal. A great car. The A/C went out 1 time, but other than that it was perfectly reliable. Big, heavy, and a gas guzzler, but more than competitive in it's time.
I later (early 90's) owned a 1983 Regal. The interior had great quality - I still miss the seats to this day! - but the 3800 engine was weak, burned oil, and it went through 3 transmissions before I got rid of it at about 125,000.
Much later, after a couple of jeeps, a dodge, etc... I tried a 1997 (?) Cavalier. Thinking of getting back to GM cars, I jumped in. In the Caviler's defense - it was reliable. It always started and always ran fine.
But being satisifed with a car is MORE than just running - most cars are reliable today. The cavalier was an abyssmal vehicle. The suspension was tuned to provide no handling while letting little bumps right in....it sat low, uncomforable, el-cheapo ABS that would pump so hard as to make the car shudder going down a wet driveway and let you drift into traffic.
And the interior quality... this car was 100% away from my Buick. The '83 was good interior, poor drivetrain... The cavalier was reliable drivetrain, horrible interior.
So, I began to look around and drive a bunch more GM cars. And i found the same things in each and every one. Poor suspensions, good (but old) engines. Horrible interiors. GM had obviously fallen back on a few key rules: 1. cheap 2. More room 3. more power.
One quick side note: I'm frustrated that GM still is stuck with 4-speed autos (bad management)... HOWEVER, I will stand up and defend GM that they build the best Automatic Transmissions in the auto business.
So, I abandoned GM. My wife now has an Accord (we had a Malibu as a loaner, and there was simply no comparison. The Chevy was truly embarrassing), and I own a Focus. After decades, I've discovered Ford. Better quailty, better driving dynamics, and each and every person I've met who's owned a Ford has gotten GREAT service from their car (remember the '86 mustand I mentioned earlier my parents owned???) I also owned a Protege along the way, and a VW. I loved them both - THEY are what led me to realize a car can have exceptional quality, terriffic interiors, and handle great toooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, what's the point? I've been disappointed with GM for over 10 years, and 'sworn off' for over 6.
However, I am a fan of Bob Lutz.
I like some of what's been going on at GM...
And the Cobalt has gotten some good press.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to test-drive a Cobalt.
And I was very, very, VERY impressed.
It was roomy enough (the Mazda3 is a bit bigger where it matters to me), it rode well (but not sporty like my Focus, but my Focus is nowhere near as refined). it was refined, and the interior was boring, but the materials were very nice. Comfy, roomy, and high quality. hmmmmm
If it had a little bit of 'sport' to it, I'd love it.... and let's face it I would have MUCH preferred a more drastic exterior styling break from the Cavalier , but the Chevy has lept from the "won't consider" list straight onto the "top 5" list of small cars!!!
So, Mr. Lutz is doing his job... sure there are some mis-steps - the new Canyon/Colorado is a bad attempt at a new truck... the new Malibu is not very stylish (but apparently a good car!)... the G6 has gotten bad press for it's sales, but it's good looking, good driving, and a nice car.
One final thought - it's good to see GM innovating with the 'employee' pricing. When was the last time the industry chased GM at anything??!!! I think this 'value' pricing all the time is what GM is missing now. For example, the G6 was quite impressive... however, my 4-cylinder Honda was a more satisfying drive with more nice touches (rear seat armrest/cupholder GM??!!) And the Pontiac needed a 6-cylinder to feel as strong as the Honda... That being said, i *liked* the G6... but with the price there was NO compelling reason to get it over the Honda.
I think GM's about to make it happen! J
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I have had a very similar experience with GM products as you. Over 30 years of driving and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of miles, mostly in GM products. Poor vehicle quality and too many maintenance issues made me look for something else. Right now I'm very happy with my Toyotas.
I hope that GM is in the process of getting it's stuff together. I just feel sorry for all of the people that buys the " guinea pig " cars while R&D sorts out all of the problems.
In the mean time I'll just enjoy my Toyotas.
Best of luck,
Chuck in Phoenix

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Capt. Tundra wrote:

Tell ya where to stick that TOYota, in the smoke of any WELL built UNION made AMERICAN made product. You folk don't mind sending your dollars to some far off country maybe you should move your family there. Am I trolling, Hell yes!

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On 21 Aug 2005 09:43:38 -0700, bite_me snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

TOYotas are made in Tennessee ( by 'Muricans too ) and I didn't think that UNION membership makes one a better worker.
As for choice.... I believe the capitalist phrase is; "Consumers vote with their pocketbooks"
AND as for sending money overseas...... BUSH sends $6,000,000,000 of your dollars to IRAQ every month.
<rj>
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<RJ> wrote:

And just where do you think the parts for that jap crap come from---Korea! And just where do you think the profits go---Japan! I believe consumers need to STOP reading slanted magazines like "Consumers Reports", which must get kick backs from the Japanese auto makers. According to their test results there are no other car makers other than the asians. WRONG!
BUY AMERICAN BUY UNION Boycot Northworst airlines Boycot United airlines
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bite_me snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Whenever American, union workers start making a superior product, people won't need to be told to buy American. They will do it voluntarily. Used to be "Made in USA" actually meant something, today it just means to paid too much usually.
Sadly, it's not the union's fault that GM, Ford, et. al. design cheap, disposable crap for them to build... since they can't compete on price they need to start competing on quality, but they haven't figured that out yet.
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
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Just because the car is built in America doesn't mean all the parts are US made. Take my Buick for example - Made In Detroit. Alternator, Made in Japan, AC Compressor, Made In France, Radio, Made & Assembled in Mexico.
Harryface 05 Park Avenue, 27,654 91 Bonneville LE 303,568
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After owning a couple of Buick Regals you then buy a 97 Cavalier which is the cheapest car that GM makes. This is the kind of car you get for being cheap with its crappy OHV 4 cylinder. Even GM know the Cavalier is a piece of shit but the reason they kept making it was for CAFE average so they can keep selling SUV's and V8 trucks.

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Plus some people want (or need) cheap "disposable" cars that they can abuse and discard after 10 years.
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Love my Pontiac Vibe.. 53000km and only tires and oil changes.. ..Granted it IS a Toyota Matrix drivetrain. My wife "took" mine (she hates her Hyundai Accent) so I'll be getting another one for me..Which means I get mine back and she gets the new one ..heheheeh Unfortunately, the reason I have this Vibe is I had a Chevy Venture with piston slap and traded it on this. GM was totally unwilling to do anything for me regarding the piston slap issue..sounded like a tank. I'm extremely happy with my (our) Vibe but I hate the fact that I had to buy a car with another companys' drivetrain for reliability. Has GM become "sourced out"
2 drinks shy of an opinion. Steve

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Well, again I had a few other vehicles between the last buick and the cavalier...
Is it totally fair to compare a regal with cavalier?? no, but inspite of crossing the economic barriers between the 2, you CAN see the differences in quality. 15 years of progress (83 buick to 97 cavalier) should have seen better quality, not substantially worse (as was the case)
Besides, the point is not totally GM's touch with quality interiors and ride/handling decreasing as much as the dramatic fashion in which the Cavalier illustrated for me that almost any other SMALL car (ie: similar demographic target) was superior to the cavalier in almost every way.
GM had lost their way, not only in the market but within themselves.
J
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"Mapanari" from the CSU Fresno Campus made an ass of himself in message
Or phone: (714) 220-3400 . Be sure to attach the headers.
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StingRay wrote:

He posted on opinion you don't like and used a few four letter words. If that is "abuse" then you must be familiar with a different usenet than I am. Also not the alt.autos.gm is an unmoderated group.
John
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wrote
I have no idea what you're babblng about, you socialist canuck.
But, since you seem to eager to report people, and you have a cable account in the clear while I'm on an anon remailer accout, consider your own bad self reported, little boy.
When you want to come back and play with the big boys, learn some manners. And you might even want to learn how to read headers!
--
-- His Excellency, Mapanari
Bishop of the Austin Chapter of the
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It appears that my post had the desired effect. Thanks for dropping the vulgarity Marzipan.
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wrote

Becuase I have a chance of buying a 2004 GM F/S pickup truck 4x4 with only 11K miles on it for $11,000. And I don't even know if I want to buy it at that price, according to consumer reports and my knowledge of the business!
I came here to see what problems and chit chat anyone had on it.
I'll probably spend the extra $8,000 and buy a Toyota Tundra, I'm so gun shy and distrustfull of GM. But I THOUGHT about it...I really like the ergonomics better, I just don't want to constantly having to thumb a ride while my truck sits smoking besides the freeway.
--
-- His Excellency, Mapanari
Bishop of the Austin Chapter of the
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And bitch and moan. Don't forget that part.

It's you're choice, but I myself would not buy a Tundra if I was paid to. As for GM pickup's, several members of my family have owned them for years. My uncle had a late 70's early 80's truck that had well over 600,000 on the odometer before they tossed it to the scrap yard. Now a days, he has a Sierra (IIRC) and loves the thing. But, it is all a matter of choice.
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wrote

Typical ignoranmus.....the old logic trail of "I once knew a man who was a concentration camp guard in germany,and he was a nice guy, therefor all german concentraion camp guys are nice people" type of "logic".
Sometimes I think it's not a failure of logic ability or lack thereof, is that you're simply permantly stuck on stupid for life.
You wouldn't buy a Tundra because you're stupid. You buy GM trucks because "I once knew a man who owned a couple of gm trucks, and those particular trucks were great, therefor, all gm trucks are better than toyota trucks" type of logic.
Then there is the other ignoramous shoe that drops from the other foot...the old "I bought this truck, I must defend my purchase at any cost otherwise I look stupid" syndrome.
Same thing happesn to people who buy Jaguars, Hummers, Caddillacs, Yugos, Volkswagans and other shitty made bad cars....they don't do their research, they buy their shitboxes, then people dont' respect them for their purchase so they have to vociferiously defend their bad decisions otherwise admint that they're lazy, stupid and spend money like it's not theirs.
--
-- His Excellency, Mapanari
Bishop of the Austin Chapter of the
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Nope. Because they are as ugly as sin.

Who sells more trucks, GM or Toyota? It's all about preferance. Almost everyone I know owns GM, and they have all been great cars, trucks and van's.

I own a car, and I would defend the car itself. As for others owning the car, it's there preference as to whether they like it or not. Mine is a huge-ass car and get's 30mpg, as well as looks great, so I'm happy.

People can buy whatever they want too. My point was (as I said to another) this is a GM group, so why come here to bash them or there drivers? It makes no sence. Go over to the Toyota group and talk about your nice Tundra. Have fun.
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makes
Because he's a troll. It's what they do.
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