GM, Ford reputations take a hit

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wrote:


Actually, they can pull the dealership from a dealer if they don't make quality standards. One Caddy dealership closed up near where I used to live (Crea Caddy - maybe Mike knows these people). The new dealer was required to increase the size of the showroom within a certain amount of time.
If a McDonald's gets a lot of complaints about a particular independent francise, they will investigate. If there are problems with the way the restaurant is run (other than the restaurant sells lots of unhealthful food), McDonalds will either pull the francise or take over the restaurant if the problems aren't fixed. Likewise, if a dealer refuses to repair cars with complicated problems (I know of one dealer who was known to try to get complicated problems sent to another dealer) or gives a really poor costumer service experience, the car makers should be able to step in.
My dad used to sell and repair Kohler, Tecomsah and B&S engines. If he didn't meet the quality standards (mostly for training), he would not have been a dealer for them.
I would be surprised to learn that if a dealer doesn't do an adeqaute job, that the maker can't pull the francise. I think the Japanese excercise these rights more often than the big 3.
Jeff
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It is not as easy to pull a franchise as you might think. Remember Ford and the "Blue Oval Certified Dealer" fiasco? Ford wanted to identify dealers that met certain minimal standards. A group of dealers in Texas sued Ford saying this wasn't fair - and won. States have very restrictive laws that favor the automobile franchise owners over the manufacturers. State legislatures are a lot more likely to favor local dealers than far off manufacturers. The Japanese manufacturers often have better franchise agreements (from the manufacturer's standpoint) than US manufacturers. They arrived much later and avoided many of the bad ideas in the much older US manufacturer's franchise agreements. The newer brands (Acura, Lexus, even Saturn) have even more restrictive agreements. I was surprised that GM got away with creating the Saturn brand. If I had been running a Chevrolet dealership when Saturn was created, I'd have been very upset if GM granted a Saturn franchise that competed with me. I suppose this is why GM originally set Saturn up as a completely different (but wholly owned) corporation.
Ed
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And the big 3 surely have had the oppurtunity to read the Japanese aggreements. They could have failed to renew the francises or put in new terms. The francise aggreements are not for ever.
Jeff

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GM originally set Saturn up as a completely different corporation determine if a small vehicle could be built in the US at a completive price, rather than relying on GM economies of scale to subsides the selling price.
mike

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wrote:

They are also going to standard GM designs, such as metal body sides.

They now get engines from anyone if the price is right, such as the Honda V6 engine.
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The MSRP prices for smaller vehicles are indeed subsidized a by the much higher profit margins on larger cars and trucks. You would be surprise to know just how little more it costs a vehicle manufacture to build a vehicle that sells for 35K, over one that sells for 20K
When Ford introduced the FWD Escort, it cost nearly twice as much to manufacture as the RWD vehicle it replaced.. The Escort was sold to dealers at a loss of several hundred dollars for several years before economies of scale succeed in greatly reducing the build cost. Why was it sold at a loss? Because it was needed to meet the CAFE.
The Taurus, which came to market six years later, was also much more expensive to build than the RWD car it replaced, as well. The selling rate for the Taurus the first year, at over 400K, as well as the higher profit MSRP, made for a quicker cost recovery
Before you ask my source, I worked at Ford on the Escort and Taurus design teams at the time.
You, as you are prone to, are free to believe whatever you chose. ;)
mike

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Ford and GM had to spend bullions to change several of their assembly plants from building less expensive RWDs to start building FWD vehicles. The 500 was not comparably expensive to bring to market since it was built in the new FWD plants, off a previous Ford chassis on which it build Volvos.
No import builds or assembles small car in the US, they are all imported or assembled in Canada of imported parts. Honda, Nissan and Toyota builds MIDSIZE cars in the US and Nissan builds trucks. In the case of Toyota, with the exception of those built in the GM/Toyota plant, only assembles them of mostly imported parts, which greatly reduces the build costs Honda does not really build trucks, they make their trucks on car chassis and are more like crossovers than real trucks
mike

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Actually, Civics are produced in Ohio and of domestic and globally sourced parts. Corollas are built in the US.
.honda.com/news/2005/4051122.html
> Honda, Nissan and Toyota builds

I think that you are missing the point that Toyota and other imports use a lot parts made in the US. Whether or not it is more than half differs on model and manufacturer. Toyota spends something like $28,000,000,000 on parts and supplies in the US. Toyota has two US design facilities, one near Detroit and the other in California. Car makers want to make their vehicles with mostly local parts near where they sell their vehicles. For example, VW was making the old Beetle for years (going into the 90s, I think) in Mexico and Brasil. Likewise, Ford makes a lot of vehicles for sale in Latin America in Brasil and Mexico. And it builds cars for Europe mostly in Europe. And Ford and GM are getting into make cars in India and other parts of Asia. And, when they do that, that want to get parts made locally, if possible. It builds goodwill. And it is cheaper than shipping completed parts overseas, in most cases.
Most of the parts that Toyota uses for their cars and trucks in the US come from American and Canadian plants. When they first starting building cars in the US, they used mostly important parts, but most of the parts they use in US-built cars and trucks are domestic, now. (Nearly 1/2 of all Toyota parts on its new cars and trucks come from the US; very few Toyota parts come from the US on cars built outside the US; so that means that most of the parts on its US-built cars have to come from the US.)
Overall, domestic brands have a higher proportion of their parts built domestically, though, around 75-80% for US makes vs. 50% to 66% Toyota (different source give different numbers).
(Do not tell me anything about VINs and domestic content unless you are able to back your claims with real evidence.)

Yet they get the job done in a manner that suits their buyers. Just because you don't think that the construction is the best construction technique doesn't mean they're not trucks. They get the job done. And in the case of Toyotas, they get to stop on ramps, right in the middle of the Superbowl. And, Toyotas will run in a few weeks at Daytona! You don't get more American than that, except, of course, for Ford and GM.
If you don't like the way they are built, buy a different truck.
Jeff
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Toyota has only around 5% of the full size truck market, Nissan around 3%.. Honda does not even offer a full size truck. Ford has more than 35% and GM has nearly 30%, Dodge nearly 20%. Corollas are assembled in Canada of mostly imported parts
Naturally you are free to believe whatever you wish but even Toyota does not agree with you. Their ads say assembled in the US of world sourced parts. ;)
mike

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The difference between 1, 4, and 5, as they pertain to the VIN, define the US content. You however chose to believe something else. ;)
mike

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I always thought the first number in a VIN meant that country the car was built in. Nothing to do with content, but where the car was actually built. My Bonnie has a '1', as it was built in the US. Trans Am's and Impala's have a '2' cause they are built in Canada.
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Some US built cars have a 4 or 5. Mike keeps saying that those with 4 have 40-70% US content and those with less than 40% have a 5. He said a retired engineer friend of his said this was so. Yet, Mike has never been able to provide any evidence that this is so. Nothing I have found is consistent with his view. The truth is, it used to be only 1's, but they had to add 4's and 5's when there were not enough IDs for manufacturers left in the 1 series.
Jeff
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My US assembled Sonata has a 5. It is 25% US, 75% Korean parts. Of course, it still may be just a new series of numbers as you point out.
This has some information, but not correct. http://www.vehicleidentificationnumber.com/vehicle_identification_numbers_vin_detail.html
They state the first digit is the country, but 5 is not listed. They then state the second digit is the manufacturer, buy my Hyundai has an "N", they say is for Nissan.
This shows a 5 as US http://www.angelfire.com/ca/TORONTO/VIN/WMI.html#ccode
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wrote in message

http://www.vehicleidentificationnumber.com/vehicle_identification_numbers_vin_detail.html
The first 3 characters indicate what is called the "world manufacturer ID," or WMI. The first digit indicates the country or region of manufacture. For example, 1, 4 and 5 are US, 2 is Canada, 3 is the rest of North America, and J is Japan. However, it is all three characters that identify a manufacturer, not just the 2nd one. For example, 1ME is a WMI for Mercury, while 1M1, 1M2, 1M3 is one for Mach Trucks. The reason why 5 was not listed is probably that 5 was added last as a US VIN, because it needed more numbers than was possible with just 1 and 4 as the first digits, because so many different companies make trucks, cars, motocycles, off-road vehicles (off-road vehicles have their own VIN system, but it shared VINs with on-road vehicles until a few years ago), construction equipment, fire trucks, buses, etc. Usually, the type of vehicle is identified as well, like pickup, SUV, sedan, motor cycle, etc. That is why there are more than one VIN for Mack.
So it is a combination of all three characters, not just the first two that identify the maker (and the type of vehicle), including the country it was made in.
Jeff
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The reason for the '5' is that vehicle has less than 40% US content, not to be confused with the NA parts label that applies only to parts.
I'm not sure of the meaning of the 'N' designation without doing more research, but the Mustang since 2005 is currently being built in the former Mazda Flat Rock plant and the manufactures assembly plant designation is "ZVF" not 'FBP' as was the 2004, built in Ford Rouge plant that now building the 2008 Taurus
mike

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