GM joins Ford in jettisoning the minivan market

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Mike Hunter wrote:


Fast growing? Seems like GM/Ford have already saturated the SUV market, and there's already too many players in the AWD passenger car market. Audi and Subaru traditionally had a lock on this market (after AMC/Eagle left, but AMC never had decent marketing. I wonder what would have happened if the Eagle had a rally program like Audi or Subaru? Would have been fun to watch... but I digress) but now everyone and their brother is offering at least one AWD sedan or wagon.
GM and Ford both need to come up with a product that is not just "as good as" but markedly BETTER than the existing products in a given class and price point if they want to get any market penetration. There's too many people out there that have a negative impression of GM/Ford and their products, "all things being equal" they will choose another brand based on past experience or reputation.
nate
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Really? That may be your opinion but crossovers are not SUVs and Toyota and Honda do not offer AWD sedans. Both of those markets are the fasted growing markets in the US Audi and Subaru are also-rans when it comes to sales in the US. According to CR's and several other recent new car owners surveys the Fusion and Milan have outscored the Accord and Camry. CR pointed out the V6 Fusion sells for thousands less than the 4 cy Camry as well. As to what buyers chose to buy based on past experience, both GM and Ford outsell Toyota and every other import brand in the US ;)
mike

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You said it, man. Well put.
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That is not what is proven in the annual sales figures.. Both GM and Ford sell far more vehicles in the US than any import brand. ;)
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

For now. Import market share is increasing and domestic market share is decreasing, and if this trend is not reversed it will be very bad news indeed for the US automotive industry and you won't be able to make that statement anymore. I stand by my statement and hope that GM and Ford's product planners agree with me, for their sake.
nate
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Not to worry. Obviously more American continue to prefer what they offer than any import brand You are talking about share of an ever growing market, GM and Ford both sell more vehicles today than the did in days of old. If indeed GM and Ford falter, which is unlikely, it will be bad for America not just the auto industry. Import brands pay their workers less, offer less desirable healthcare benefits and less desirable pensions. Worst of all Japanese corporations pay no US corporate income taxes on the profits earned on cars they only assemble in the US of mostly imported parts, contrary to what many believe. They will no doubt find it cheaper to simply just import all of their vehicles, as they do most of them now. Without American made vehicles, would Toyota continue to assemble some of their cars in the US, of 'world sourced parts' as they now say in their ads, when they can built them in China, of the same parts, for one third the cost?
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

Like who? Nobody I knows can say anything like "GM builds a better car than Toyota" for example with a straight face. Nobody believes it.

Irrelevant. There's declining market share, and it will continue to decline unless something is done. At some point total sales will also decline - oh wait, that's already happening.

They're already faltering. Declining market share and declining total sales = "faltering" in my book.

it's already happening.

Indeed. Think "Studebaker" on a much larger scale.

And yet there are no shortage of applicants for those jobs. Odd, that.

Well, I guess GM and Ford better get on the stick and start building better vehicles if we want to reverse the flow of dollars, eh what?

cite?
Maybe, maybe not. They do have a reputation for quality to uphold, and china is not there yet. However, once China figures out QC - well, you ain't seen nothing yet, you thought competition from Japan and Korea was bad, it's only going to get worse.
Of course, this hasn't stopped *GM* from importing Chinese parts...
nate
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As a former jap scrap mechanic.........I can assure you they ARE NOT BUILT ANY BETTER. Just a good P.R. job done by the jap corps.

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razz wrote:

When you're talking about what the public chooses to buy, good PR is just as good as a quality product, assuming it really works. Either way, GM and Ford have some catching up to do.
Personally I have a hard time believing that ANY car could be as shitty as a Taurus or Impala and remain on the market.
nate
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Catch up to whom? GM and Ford out sell any import
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

Toyota, Honda, VW, et. al.

They don't have the same design or quality and your statement is no longer true. Only GM currently outsells Toyota.
nate

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That may be your opinion but GM and Ford still outsell any import brand. Obviously millions of buyers do not agree with your personal opinion. I personally have owned imports and the imports were no better the domestic I currently buy, ever though they cost more to drive home. So what is your point?
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

Not true.

situation by defending their piss poor products. What are you on that makes you so delusional that you cannot see the need for immediate, real, radical product improvement on the part of the American manufacturers if they want to remain even marginally competitive.

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GM and Ford are in trouble for sure but contrary to what you believe, GM and Fords current models are great reliable vehicles that have outscored many imports, including the Camry and the Accord in recent opinion poll of owner of 2006s like J D Powers and CR Gm and Ford by far makes the best truck the eclipse the sales of any import truck. .. GMs sales were up in the last quarter, as well. Fords light truck sales are down but their car sales are up. I own a 2006 and a 2007 domestic myself and they are great vehicles. The manufacture with the most recalls in 2006 was Toyota. I have tried to point out to you that what you believe is not factual. You many prefer imports but the fact is more buyers in the US bought vehicles from GM and Ford in 2006 than any import whether you agree or not..
mike

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This may all be true, but GM and Ford are still losing boatloads of money. Some of their problems go back many years and will haunt them for many more years. They need to do much more than just sell cars. They have to restructure costs so they can sell cars at a profit.
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no question, but isn't that what they are doing? ;)
mike

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Actually my 2007 Mustang GT convertible had a NA parts label of 80% which has nothing to do with the VIN designation. The first numbed of the VIN is a '1,' indicating built in the US with an American total content of over 70% as I explained to you on several occasions, include much more than parts. Like the Toyota based Pontiac Vibe
Honda does indeed build cars like the Accord in the US with over 70% American content and the first number of the VIN is a '1.' Nissan also builds vehicle in the US like the Titan and the first number of the VIN is a '1.' Toyota, with the exception of the Toyotas built in the GM/Toyota plant in California and the first number of the VIN is a '1,' only assembles cars, trucks and vans in the US and the first number of the VIN is a '4,' or '5' according to the American content. Contrary to what you believe, if you listen and watch what Toyota says in their newest ads, because of Hondas complaint, you will see they no longer say 'made in American' but rather 'assembled in American of world sourced parts.'
mike

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Jeff wrote:

That part at least is partly true; the first character of the VIN is indeed "country of origin." e.g. a Volkswagen with a VIN starting "WVW" is a real, German-built VW, whereas a "1VW" is one built in Westmoreland, and "9VW" is one built in Brazil.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_Identification_Number
nate
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