Re: R.I.P. General Motors (1931-2006)

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I will thank Ford. When I need a new work truck, it'll be another F-150. That's the one domestic I'll buy again. If only I could get one with an I-6 5 speed.

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Write to your Congressman, the EPA killed a great engine

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Hello, That reminds me of the problem that I had with a 1986 mini-pickup (Dodge RAM-50) that I purchased "new" from a Chrysler dealership. It had an auto. transmission. The carbuator was replaced three different times (for free) while it was under warranty. It was obvious that it was a factory defect. After the warranty ran out, the service manager refused to replace the carbuator for free. The service manager knew that it was a factory defect but refused to refused to replace the carbuator for free. It was the last vehicle that I ever purchased from an American car company. I was not shocked when Chrysler was taken over by Mercedes. I certainly hope that they are now treating customers much better at the local Chrysler dealership. Jason
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I have news for you Chrysler does not sell cars with a carburetors, like they did that long ago . Why would you judge the vehicles, of any manufacturer, on the market today with what they sold twenty years ago?
By the way that truck you owned, and the carbonator, were Japanese. If you are avoiding a brand because of the one you owned, you are avoiding the wrong brand. it should be the Japanese manufacture of the RAM-50 ;)
mike hunt
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This is one of my hot buttons. I don't disagree with your claim that your Toyota has served you well, but the fact is that an equal number of domestic cars are still on the road at ages like yours and have served equally as well. Toyota has no better of a record of nearly 30 year old cars on the road than GM or Ford, or anyone else. It's not a matter of the domestics learning to build a car like your 78 Toyota.

What do you mean when you say they had a recall but it was out of warranty. Recalls and warranties are two different things.
Having said that, my one and only real beef with GM is precisely what you're getting at there. The gasket issue is a prime example of something that GM should have stood behind the way that Toyota stood behind your 4Runner. Hats off to Toyota for that.

Well - you'll be a lot worse off getting in even a minor accident in your Toyota. Ask a body man about working on Toyotas and Hondas sometime. They love them. And not because they're so easy to fix...
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25% on a $3,500 worth of crash parts is better than 25% on $2,000 worth One thing import buyers forget to take into consideration are the very high prices of import parts. Insurance companies KNOW the difference. That is one of the main reasons they get so little of the fleet business, no matter how hard the try. Higher insurance rates and higher part prices
mike hunt

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If we're talking body parts and the car is 5 years old, one can buy imported parts for the same price. It is alot harder to find used parts for foreign autos.
As for parts like, ball joints for instance, they may cost a little more, but on a Ford they need replacing at 100K. While on a Toyota, they go 200K. Plus, they're easier to change; bolt on.
Parts aren't always cheap either. This 4runner appoaching 300k finally needs an idler arm, but surprise....it's rebuildable for a grand total of $8.00. Maybe you can to that with a GM or Ford, but I've never heard of it.

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Even if what you believe to be true were true, you still pay more since you would only change the part once. ;)
mike hunt

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I don't think domestics were creating reliable 4-cylinder overhead cam emgines in '78. Foreign companies have much more experience with modern engines. I'm not saying a Chevy 350 of and Olds 455 aren't reliable. But even when domestics went to fuel injection systems, they were putting in the TBI's, while foreign already had MPI. They enjoy a similiar lead in hybrid technology, while GM keeps cranking out Suburbans and Hummers.
Domestics may have been a little more resistant to rust than foreign.

Fortunately, I don't have one of the newer Trail Blazers with the piston slap issues. I've read that Blue Book value takes a $5000 hit on this issue. To be fair, Toyota had issues with this too.

I can change out a fender on a 4runner in 1/2 hour and it costs $70. Plus I don't waste my older 4runner in the winter salt. I have a Blazer for that.
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wrote:(...)

Total profit = profit per car X volume. If a company is losing money on each car it sells, it will lose even more if it sells more vehicles.
Your statement doesn't make sense.
Jeff
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What did you expect from one of the loonies that want to see so many American worker loose their jobs? Especially the loonies that think the vehicles buy are better, yet millions more Americans buy the GM vehicles they obviously believe are better. Every buyer is free to spend their money wherever they choose and far more Americans choose GM, Ford and Chrysler over any import.
mike hunt
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mike, Be honest, what are the three best selling cars in America? The Toyota Camry or the Honda Accord is usually number 1--almost every year. The reason that GM cars sell so well in America is because of their low prices and special discounts. Jason
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All manufactures offer rebates and other incentives, those offered by Toyota currently on 2006 models, are higher than on some similar GM and Ford models. You are saying the Camry is the number one selling car therefore more buyers must think it is the best buy for their money, in that respect you are correct. You reference is to individual brand names, GM sells more cars then Toyota but with different brand names, therefore they must be better in the minds of those that buy them.
Why it OK to say Toyota and Honda have the best cars because they sell more but not to say GM, Ford and Chrysler are the better because they sell more in total than Toyota or Honda? Conversely, using that logic, the Civic is the best small car to most buyers, since they buy more of them. The Camry is the best mid size car, to most buyers, since they buy more of them. Buick sells the most full size cars so they must be the best. The Escape is the best small SUV, to most buyers, since they buy more of them. The Explorer has been the best mid size SUV, to most buyers, since they buy more of them. The Chevy Suburban is the best large SUV, to most buyers, since they buy more of them. Dodge must sell the best full size van for most buyers, since they buy more of them. The Ford Econoline must be the best full size van, to most buyers, since they buy more of them. The Ford F Series is the best line of light truck, to most buyers, since they buy more of them. The Ford F150 is the best individual truck, to most buyers, since they buy more of them, more than any single vehicle on the market today and has been for nearly 30 years. The best selling car, the Camry does not even sell at half the rate of the F150.
mike hunt
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Mike, You made some great points. One of the main reasons that GM sells so many cars in America is related to the price of many of the models. For example, if a person planned to buy a new car and only made about $25,000 per year--that person would probably buy a GM Metro LSI instead of a Honda Civic. However, that same person would probably have preferred to buy the Honda Civic. It's for these same reasons that Walmart is number 1 in their field. Jason
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I have said all along that import buyer are paying 20% to 30% more to drive home the vehicles they choose. I think it is foolish to pay that much more for any vehicle that one thinks may be majority better when there are so many others that are as good or better that can be driven home for less. Apparently more buyer think that way as well since GM, Ford and Chrysler sell more vehicles in the US than any import. When I was in retail the last question asked by the buyer before signing on the dotted line was, "How much is my monthly payment?' ;)
mike hunt
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On Thu, 6 Apr 2006 13:29:04 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

From the Chicago Tribune (4/2/06 Sect 12, p8) Truck Rebate Guide:
    Pickups Ford F150            $2,500 - 3,500 Ford F series        $2,500 GM Avalanche        $4,000 GM Silverado        $500 - 2,500 Toyota Tundra        $1,500 Honda Ridgeline    $1,000
    Huge SUVs Ford Excursion ('05)    $3,000 Ford Expedition        $5,000 GM Suburban        $5,000 GM Tahoe ('06)        $5,000 GM Tahoe ('07)        Financing Toyota Land Cruiser    None Toyota Sequoia        $2,000 Hummer H2        Financing
    Large SUVs Ford Explorer        $2,000 - 3,000 GM Trailblazer        $1,000    (SS finance only) Toyota Highlander    $600     (hybrid finance only) Toyota 4Runner    $1,000 Honda Pilot        None
    Small SUVs Ford Escape        $2,000 - 3,000    ($0 - 500 hybrid) Ford Freestyle        $1,000 - 1,500 GM Equinox        Financing Honda Element        Financing Honda CRV        None Toyota RAV4        None
Cash rebates always have an alternative financing option of uncertain value.
The Sunday Tribune alternates trucks and cars weekly on its Rebate Guide so I don't have the Car Guide this week. Generally GM and Ford cars have much higher rebates than Toyota and Honda.

Fully 25% of GM vehicles are sold to fleet buyers at prices below even what the dealers pay. The Japanese companies don't offer those discounts because they don't have tons of excess capacity. So, in the minds of a lot of those who buy them, better means it's real cheap and I don't have to drive it.

GM sells a lot of cars because they have to sell a lot or their unit price skyrockets due to their fixed costs. Like everyone else, GM aims for a price and volume that will maximize profit. In GM's case, the best they could do in 2005 was a $8.5B...oops, $10.5B loss. If their cars were really "better" they could charge enough to make a profit.
BTW, if GM had paid absolutely nothing for health care in 2005, they still would have lost over $5B.

And people are willing to pay enough that Honda and Toyota make a good profit.

But GM has to discount them so heavily that they are losing money on them. (Are any Japanese cars classified as "full size?")

But not so good that Ford doesn't have to give a $2,000 to $3,000 rebate on them.

31% fewer in March than a year ago.

Are there any Japanese competitors in this segment? With gas up to $3 again, I think GM and Ford are going to have this niche to themselves for as long as they want it.

Again, no Japanese competitors.

I thought Dodge had the best full size van.

Ford probably makes a profit on these, even with the $3,000 rebate. But with more serious competition form Japan and $3 gas, even that may change.
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wrote:

I believe that the Avalon is classified as a full size car.

I believe that the Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada are in the same segment as the Suburban and Expedition.
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Ray O
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Not so, you obviously know little about how corporate fleets operate, if that is what you believe. Corporate fleets, generally, keep their vehicles longer than any other new vehicle buyer and average more mileage as well. Because of federal tax deprecation laws they run the vehicles, that are just one more tool used in their business, for five years or 300K WOF.
Fleet discounts are offered by all manufactures, domestic and import. It currently is around $600 per vehicle, if one buys at least five, for all manufactures hardly below cost. GM nor any other manufacture can sell directly to fleets or any other buyer. ALL sales are through the franchised dealers. ALL dealers can sell to fleets and they all are eligible to sell at the same discount. Besides what difference does it make who buys the vehicles?
Imports would love to capture more of the fleet business, but the only ones doing so in any great numbers are the Koreans. Courier car fleets who easily run their cars up to 100K annually, buy a lots of imports. They run Civics, Corollas, Neons, Cobolts, Focus', VWs and Hyundais etc. Courier fleets buy from many manufactures because not one, or even a combination of them, can provide the numbers of vehicles the courier companies need. Most every rental car company offers imports as well but rental car companies, unlike fleets, sell off the cars in a year or less.. Corporate fleets prefer Fords vehicles, by far, over any of the GM or import vehicles in any event.
No matter how you spin it more buyers still choose GM, Ford and Chrysler over any import. If you prefer to spend 20% to 30% more to buy an import you are free to do so, its your money
mike hunt

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It wasn't me that posted the paragraph you're responding to. The facts in Mike's post are correct.
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