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
Japanese kaizen ran into kabe ,or 'wall", as in "brick" wall many
Their cars simply were no better than American nameplates, but
perception, led by the American media kept preaching about Japan's
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
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
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
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
Maybe Kaizen is not what it is cracked up to be.
And maybe a good American translation could be "has been."
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.
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
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
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,
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
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
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 Volvo’s 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..
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
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.
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, it’s 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.
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?
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
The service quite often given or sold by GM and its dealers remained
poor until the very end.
That is why GM died.
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:
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.
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. "
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.
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.
.... 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
Mike, Mike !!
Please read a post before hurling an answer. Not every
post is an attack on you or your knowledge.
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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