Re: Crash Course: The American Automobile Industrys Road from Glory to Disaster

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The quality of Asian/American cars may indeed now be on par but I, for one, will never buy another General Motors (or the new GM) product again. My
experience with a dangerous, POS Buick I purchased in the '80s forever has tarnished that brand name.
This, I think, is the point with many posts in this GM newsgroup. General Motors' reckless disregard for quality, safety, and customer satisfaction in the past has alienated so many people and that legacy continues to haunt their future.
wrote:

Japanese kaizen ran into kabe ,or 'wall", as in "brick" wall many years ago.
Their cars simply were no better than American nameplates, but perception, led by the American media kept preaching about Japan's "superiority".
Even though, by the early ninties, American nameplates were as least as good as Japan by any apples to apples comparison.
Better fuel mileage, fewer recalls safer, etc.
By the late nineties, there was really no comparison, if one bothered to check things out on his own.
American nameplates continued to become even more reliable, more fuel effiecient, safer, faster and roomier.
Yet the perception continued that the Japanese made a better product than America.
Now, during the first ten years of the new century, there is little doubt that American nameplates are far superior than the Japanese.
Any comparisons that can be objectively made are decisively in favor of US nameplates.
Add to the fact that Japan has recalled TENS OF MILLIONS of their vechicles, and there can be little doubt who makes better products.
But, still, there are those who try to argue that Japan is "doing right". and they still make a better product than the US.
Really pretty amazing, if you ask me.
Either stupid, naive, or biased, but still amazing.

They made many many many great new cars during his period, dispite the unions, or mismanagement.

Literally tens of millions of light trucks and sport utility vechicles were sold during this period. It GM sold "junk', these tens of millions of vehicles would not have been sold.

A Corvair hasn't been made in about 45 years. A Pinto hasn't been made in about 35 years. Pretty bad examples for using America's "lack of quality standards."
OTOH, Toyota has made millions of light trucks with rusting suspension parts in the past 5 years.
In the past couple of years, they have sold millions of vechicles with sludging engines.
Unless they have already stopped production, they have made vechicles with sticking throttles in the past half hour.
I really have to laugh when idiots try to compare the failures of American nameplates nearly 50 years ago to those that Japan made last week.
Maybe Kaizen is not what it is cracked up to be.
And maybe a good American translation could be "has been."

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Get real! Most Toyota were POS in the eighties as well. Would you compare a 2010 Toyota to a 1980 as well? The vehicles from every manufacturer today are pretty good. The only real difference is style and price.

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Reread my post. I think car quality has improved and, for the most part, is on par across most current manufacturers. But I bought a Buick, not a Toyota, during the '80s and that POS experience was disastrous.
There are many car manufactures to choose from today and my past experience with a General Motors product will forever exclude GM from my future consideration.

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The point you just made also is a reason many of us here in the GM newsgroup feel insulted.
"General Motors' reckless disregard for quality, safety, and customer satisfaction"
This statement could have come from Consumer Reports, Edmunds, USA Today, NBC, CBS, or a whole host of other media or magazine outlets. You ever write for one of them?????
Yet, this statement is strictly based on bias and not objectivity.
"Quality"????? Consumer reports usually uses such terms as "fit and finish" or "rattles" for examples of quality. They've slammed GM for about 30 years on this, but just check a similar model Toyota in any comparable era and see if the "Toys" are really any better.
Safety????? Other than the before-mentioned 45 years ago Corvair, any stastical data obtained (deaths, injuries, crash test data) usually shows GM on par with, or better than Toyota. If you count the problems Toyota has had in the past few years, GM blows them off the charts, safety-wise.
Customer Satisfaction???? CR really slanted surveys in favor of Toyota years ago, but the problem with their surveys was that a blown interior light carried the same weight as a blown engine, so there was no real way to make much use of the surveys; but of course CR didn't let that stop them.
I believe that Toyota is now the company who "alienates people and tarnishes their reputation and haunts their future"
It will be interesting to see who these former customers will go to for their next purchase, and how competing auto manufacters will court them.

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I thank you if you think my writing style would suggest a past career in journalism (actually, I had 34 years as an engineer with the telephone company). My comments are not based on bias but entirely on my brief ownership of a 1984 Buick Century wagon. I have detailed my experience with this Buick POS in other threads in this newsgroup and do not think it of value to vent details of these displeasures yet again.
The final paragraph in your reply to my post asks who these former customers will go to . Let me tell you my thoughts, because they describe why GM is in such deep sh*t.
In 1984, I was search for a car so my wife could drive our children on her errands. I had settled on a Buick Century wagon or a Volvo DL wagon. The Buick was a pretty car while the Volvo was Spartan and the drive away cost of Buick was $500 less and thus decided. We owned the dangerous, POS, Buick for about 9 months before trading it in on a Volvo DL. My wife drove the Volvo for 10 years (200K miles) before handing it off to our son who, at the time, was on his way to college. He drove it for another two years and 50K miles.
After the DL, I have purchased a Volvo 740 and 850. Each one driven 100K~150K miles before being handed off to one of the kids. Last summer I purchased a Volvo V70. I have been happy with Volvos over the years because each one has been satisfactory.
I owned the 84 Buick for 9 months because it was a dangerous POS and will never buy another GM. I have since owned four Volvos over the past 25 years and each has been satisfactory. Should my most recent V70 purchase develop problems, I would be looking for an alternative brand for my next purchase..
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I never thought nor meant to impy you are a journalist.
I only suggested the words you used to degrade GM products fit a template that other "journalists" have used for years.
The public bought that template hook, line, and sinker, without really checking out the facts, for years.
Now, it appears, the worm may be turning, if only slightly.

Well, being that you are a Volvo owner, as oppposed to a Toyota owner, you really dont count as to what I was trying to say.
And, BTW, GM has been in "deep sh*t", for a long time, finacially speaking.
I just wish the management, government, unions, and media would get out of the way and let the PRODUCT speak for itself.
The end result might really be surprising.

Here we go again. Another disgruntled former GM owner who had a bad experience 26 YEARS ago with ONE GM VEHICLE, and is suddenly an expert as to the quality (or lack), that GM supposedly has TODAY.
Please tell me the car you bought was NEW, as opposed to a worn out, abused car that so many other GM bashers on this group have bought and used as "examples" of bad GM products.
In what way was the car dangerous??? Once again, any measurement used back in the day, wether it be stastical data, or data used in crash tests, showed GM products as safe as, or safer than, anything anyone else at the time made.
And, BTW, I have owned about 30 GM products over the past 34 years. More than a couple have gotten 200,000 miles.
I have lost exactly ZERO engines.
I have lost exactly ONE transmission ( It was at 155,000 miles on a 1976 Nova SS. I drove it about another 100,000 trouble free miles before trading it. One of the biggest mistakes of my life, letting that car go.)
Hell, I had a 1978 Trans Am that I abused terribly, and got over 200,000 miles on it.
I owned a 1987 Oldsmobile, the ugliest car I ever owned, that went past 300,000 miles when I traded it.(Probably another mistake, but non=engine parts were beginning to wear out, and I didn't want to spend a bundle on fixing the car at this point)

As I have been satisfied with my GM cars over the years. Only difference is I have owned 30, while you bought one 26 years ago, and I don't even know the whole story about IT.

And, it I were you, based on your wonderful track record with the Volvo, I would simply stay there. But of course, you were the one who dumped GM for good after a bad experience 26 years ago, so I guess I could see you dumping Volvo if you had a problem, even though it appears up to this point you have had a half million miles of good experiences with them.

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My point in all of this is that the selection of one's "next" car begins while driving the "current" car off the dealer's lot for the first time. If the current car performs well then that brand has a good chance of being selected again. If the car performs poorly, then the customer is likely to look elsewhere next time. And if the current car proves to be, in the opinion of the owner, a dangerous POS then that brand is damned forever more. This is not GM bashing, its just basic consumerism.
The Rodger Smith years at GM pissed off a lot of then-current owners which turned away many future potential returning customers.
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Why in the world would anybody judge todays fine cars with the ONE they purchased years ago.
If you previous vehicle was on the crapy Toyotas sold years ago, would you not consider one of the fine cars THEY sell TODAY?
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They judge the company and the service they get.
What you look at is quality, price, service.
If the quality goes up it is fine. If the price goes up that is something you can calculate. The service you take into consideration and if it is bad it takes a long time to repair if ever. You listen to others and hear if service has improved and if it has not then you stay away.
There is evidence that quality did improve in all or at least most brands.
The service quite often given or sold by GM and its dealers remained poor until the very end.
That is why GM died.
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What year and model GM vehicle did you own that "GM and its dealers service quite often given remained poor?"
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What is the saying, screw me one, tisk-tisk on you, screw me twice and it makes me a fool.
Why patronize GM at all? Picking our pockets via the tax system to boot.
On 03/02/2010 9:40 AM, Mike Hunter wrote:

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Once again our friend Canuck57 is telling us the sky is falling LOL
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At best, when you bought ( 60s > 90s ) Detroit iron, it was "the luck of the draw". Remember taking your new car back to the dealer with a list of "fixits" as long as your arm ??
I've had friends whose Chevy ( or Olds ) just ran and ran with no appreciable maintenance.
Others spent all their time in the dealers shop......
I bought a new Pontiac that must've been built "the day after vacation startup". It looked great, but had failure after failure. ( I dumped it in little more than a year )
Buying a new car shouldn't be a crap-shoot. The payments go on long after the honeymoon's over.
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I guess we can assume you never owned a Toyopet or one of their early model rust buckets? LOL

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Can't say I owned a Toyota, owned a Mazda 808. Great economical car.
On 03/02/2010 9:42 AM, Mike Hunter wrote:

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JimG wrote, "...1984 Buick Century wagon. I have detailed my experience with this Buick POS in other threads in this newsgroup and do not think it of value to vent details of these displeasures yet again. "
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Yes, that would be nice. Please remember you said that. I don't even visit this NG very often, and even "I" am familiar with your story about the problem car. Yes, we GET it: You bought a lemon. A really long time ago. In fact, I'm pretty sure that everyone in here, myself included, has heard of that happening to someone... AND WITH EVERY BRAND. If you don't want another GM car, then don't buy one -- but I don't think your experience with quality (over a quarter-century ago) has any bearing upon what we can expect from one now.
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JimG wrote, (1984 Buick Century wagon)
I have detailed my experience with this Buick POS in other threads and it is of no value to vent details of these displeasures yet again. " _______________________________________________________________________ Under the hood of my mid-80's Buick wagon, emission control gadgets hung all over the engine like coconuts on jungle vines. Once the Throttle Position Sensor went bad. Looking for a replacement part I discovered that my Buick had an Oldsmobile engine (from the factory). The TPS was INSIDE the carburetor, and access required disassembling the carb then drilling out a rivet to get at it, and re-riveting. Instead, I found a similar carb on a Pontiac at a salvage yard, bolted it on, and it worked fine.
The point is that no matter what broke on my GM car, I could find a reasonably priced replacement, retail or salvage. Used foreign cars were way overpriced, and parts for them, if they could be found, were extremely expensive.
I always bought used cars, maintained and drove them until they completely wore out. Then I would take $1200 and buy another big comfortable well-used car, with an engine big enough to push it smoothly into freeway traffic. This usually meant a GM car. I was never afraid of a GM car based on reliability. All cars have parts which can go bad. For me, it was comfort and overall cost.
Rodan. ___________________________________________________________________
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I case you haven't noticed this is 2010! Apparently you have never checked the cost of parts for any of the import brand vehicles, if you believe GM parts cost too much LOL

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"Rodan" wrote:
.... The point is that no matter what broke on my GM car, I could find a reasonably priced replacement, retail or salvage. Used foreign cars were way overpriced, and parts for them, if they could be found, were extremely expensive. ___________________________________________________________________ "Mike Hunter" answered:
Apparently you have never checked the cost of parts for any of the import brand vehicles, if you believe GM parts cost too much ___________________________________________________________________
Mike, Mike !!
Please read a post before hurling an answer. Not every post is an attack on you or your knowledge.
Best regards,
Rodan.
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What attack? All too many poster fail to remove everything that has been added to the original post. To read through them all is not necessary, when one is responding the latest comment.
My comment was just that.
Apparently you agree that import parts are more expensive, as well as much harder to find, in many instances
Have a good day! ;)

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