Re: Chinese Lessons: What GM Has Learned in China

China invites American companies to set up shop only for the purposes of industrial espionage. Once they extract all there is to steal, they'll
evict the foreigners and collectivize the operation.
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This has been a traditional perspective of doing business in China. Although capable of quality manufacture, it did not always happen, but prices were quite low. China is moving toward a free market society. 60-70% of the GNP is now attributed to the private sector.
Prices are beginning to be based on global factors now, such as the price of oil, steel, etc in the global economy. The false economy allowed by a synthetic exchange rate is beginning to break apart.
The Communist party is still in charge, technically, but the basis for them remaining in charge is perhaps weakening.
One thing that you can bet on, there will be change, and American industries are not always ready, or prepared, to respond quickly and correctly to changing situations..
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That's it. We are simply showing China how to make copies of our well worked out designs at lower prices due to low labor costs.
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wrote:

Well, that could be a poison pill, couldnt it? Copy our technology???...ROTFLMAO
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I usually am pretty good natured.But I read or hear shit like this and it really sets me off. So I suggest you GFY and then buy a one way ticket to where you think the technology is better, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
Whitelightning
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says...

Agreed. Just another pissant troll we all could do without.
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Contrary to popular belief, American technology is no longer universally revered as best in the world, especially in the automobile industry. What do you think anyone wants to copy?
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That's also a good point. Perhaps copying GM is a dirty trick supported by Bush.
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wrote:

It is a fair point...We Americans do have some things that are copied.....for example, movies, software, etc...
Cars are not in the list...We have bragged about our superiority for so long that we have begun to believe we are invincible...We arent.
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Then why don't the two of you pack up and go where you think its better.
Whitelightning
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A case in point
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I'll put it in simpler terms for you, don't let the front door hit you in the ass on your way out. I've yet to figure out why people who do nothing but bitch about how lousy everything is here, and how much better everything is any where else don't pack their bags and move to one of those any where else countries.
Whitelightning
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In simple terms would be the only way you could put anything.
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No but I wanted to make sure there was no misunderstanding of what I was saying.
Whitelightning
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No way to misunderstand that if everybody doesnt agree with you, you want them to leave.
Dont worry you with facts, your mind is made up.
By the way, I dont live in the USA.
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Whitelightning wrote:

The US was not made great through complacency. The US was made great by people asking "how can we do this better?" The US auto industry, however, once arguably the world's best, was made mediocre through complacency.
Perhaps we should spin off a state or two for all the "love it or leave it" idiots to move to where they can wave the flag and defend the status quo until they're blue in the face and meanwhile the rest of us can get on with things.
nate
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It wouldn't be an issue Nate if they wanted to work to make things better. They don't, they never will accept anything made in this country by an American corporation as being a good buy, and can't stand the labors of their fellow Americans. The so called gap between American cars and Japanese cars is gone, in reality it never existed. The fact that junk like Mitsubishi and Hyundai are on the road says it not about quality, its about price, and miss perceived value. For 30+ years I made a very good living with grease under my finger nails, paid for a house, raised a family doing it. I never saw a day where I didn't work on a as many foreign cars as Americans, not one. And I have worked on just about every brand on the road including Rolls Royce and Bentleys. What I did notice is the model years difference, seldom an older Japanese car, but a steady flow of everything year wise from mid 60's to the mid 90's for the American cars was coming through the shop when I hung up my wrenches. Daily drivers, not weekend cruisers. And I see the same things on the roads daily now, a late 70s early 80's anything Asian on the road is a rarity, and mid 80's to early 90s are not common sights, and road salt isn't an issue down here in the sunshine state.. I don't see foreign car dealerships with no repair facilities, yet to hear the hype from the media and from people like "his" and "who" foreign cars never break down. I noticed that Aldata and Mitchell all of a sudden don't have the recall and service bulletin lists available to non subscribers for Honda and Toyota and their subsidiaries. The last year I was able to do a comparison was 2005, and Ford's worst car, the Focus had fewer recalls and service bulletins than Acura's flagship the 3.5RL, or Honda's Accord which had almost twice as many. The recalls, only an emission sticker missing on the Focus, fuse box problems with a fire hazard on the Acura and Honda, and side air bag issues, as well as drivers side air bag issues on the Hondas. . The Ford 500 AWD, 2WD, the Crown Vic, and the Taurus had no recalls that year, and half as many service bulletins. I originally dug this up for discussions on a ford group last year, or I would have the Chevy numbers handy as well. And its not just current models that are gone, everything is gone for Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti. Now then as I spent a good chunk of money over the years with Mitchell manuals, I asked my old sales rep why? He danced all around but finally the gist of what I got is it was pull the info off the sites, or loose the ability to have it for pro shops completely. I figure maybe it had something to do with things like Honda's on going as in 7 years worth of problems with rear suspension arm failures, or Toyota's issue with ball joint failures across its line up, or the rear hub bearing failures from the late 90's all the way up to 2004, or all the vehicle fires they had with the Toyota Mini van, they finally recalled all of them, gave the owners a couple hundred dollars towards a new Toyota and then crushed them.. Nissan has sunk so low Renault has their hooks in them. Last American company Renault did this to doesn't really exist anymore, That was Mack Trucks, now wholly owned by Volvo, Renault milked what they could out of Mack and then sold what was left. Then there are the design and look issues. One of my favorites, GM's Avalanche. Ragged on as a horrible design, butt ugly etc etc etc( and rightly so it is ugly). Honda comes out with a copy, the Ridgeline and its all ooo's and ahh's Lexus has been copying Mercedes 'lines" for years. Toyota's copy of the 69 Mustang in 77 was so blatant I never understood why Ford didn't sue. Have the American auto makers missed the mark a few times or moved too fast, or too slow , yes. My favorite, the Vega was way too far ahead of its time. The engine design was ingenious, but the average American car buyer's mindset was still 1955 when it came to maintenance. Sadly too much recycled steel was used in the body and the re-smelting process wasn't so good, so rust was a major issue the first four years, but then Ford and Chrysler suffered the same problems with many of their vehicles those years, but none of them rusted out faster than a Honda Civic, or a Toyota Corolla, or Datsun F-10s Paterson Publishing got 320 hp out of the Vega engine, with out turbos, super-chargers, fuel injection or Nitrous Oxide. 320 hp out 2.3 liters. Actually 2 liters because they sleeved the block. Not to shabby for 1977 when they did it. There have been some down right nasty things too, Chevettes, Escorts, Festiva, the K-car line. I can appreciate the design of the 240 Z, and its subsequent models the 260 and the 280, but everyone seems to over look at how the rear diffs fell out of them literally. If it wasn't for the little datsun hustler p/u trucks, my beloved S-10's might not have come to be. Datsun sold the shit out of them, but you never see one today. S-10's are every where. See my beef is with the damnation of anything American, and the glorification of everything foreign.
Whitelightning
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says...

Good post! The S/T trucks were good for their time up until they dropped TBI then they were like working on PITA Fords... The last Datsun I seen, which more than a decade ago, was being held together with coat hangers... I almost forget these things existed for as fast as they rotted away.
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Whitelightning wrote:

I'm ready to, as soon as I see one. e.g. I am ready to admit that GM has the light truck thing down pat. Unfortunately, I don't buy light trucks, I buy cars.

Spoken like a man who has never driven a Japanese, or better yet German car.

I'll give you Mitsubishi (every car a POS save for the Eclipse,) but Hyundai? AFAICT they are about even with GM in terms of reputation with the general public, and they have quite impressively brought up quality without raising price too much since their intro into the US. They have a great warranty, are inexpensive, and everyone I know that has one made in the last 5 years or so loves it.

I don't see many American cars that old on the roads either, what's your point?
nate
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Ok, Asian: Datsun 510 sedan, ate head gaskets for lunch, and snacked on universal joints in the independent rear suspension, Stuck in a Hyundai Sonata for 2 weeks in 2004, had 6,000 miles on the meter when I rented it. I've driven model A's that handled better, and the engine sounded like a thrashing machine at 70 mph, passing trucks made it squirrelly as hell. Only good thing is I wasnt paying for the rental.
German cars: 74 Mercedes 300SEL, while stationed there for 4 1/2 years, rot bucket, hydraulic clutch issues, wiring problems(made me wonder how the cabbies stayed in business as the 280 and 300 series seemed to be their car of choice),72 Simca 1500 Special, lousy oil system, and a hardened piece of carbon instead of a throw out bearing, but held the road great, nice interior, weird feature, 5 spd manual on the tree, Simca mid engine Bagheera, not a bad ride, capable of running the autobahns with the best of them, and this was when they didnt have speed limits except in the built up areas. 71 Ford Escort Mk I, 1.3 litre engine, rear wheel drive before the Americans ever heard the name, bare bones econo box, Opel Admiral, bought soley to aquire the 283 small block and 5 speed tranny in it for my 73 Vega GT Wagon. I lived there from early 1976 till late 1980. Did you know that in 56 Opel had a car that was about a 1/2 size copy of the 55 chevy, the Opel K-40. service members loved it, but they were rare when I was there. Rust is not tolerated on cars, its grounds for failing the annual inspection, an inspection that makes one in California look like a joke.
Family owned before I went in the service, a 69 Opel Kadette wagon, ecno box, nothing spectacular about it, heater stunk, lights so so, ate brakes. Engine gutless, but ran well, sloppy shifter on the 4 speed.
English cars: MG Midget, gutless wonder, but amazing leg room for such a small car, MGB another gutles wonder, both with weak engines, only three main bearings. Triumph Spitfire, loved the look, the handling, same lousy engine and wiring as the MGB. 74 Jensen Healy MK II 2.0 Lotus engine, 5 speed(not an over drive box), this one I should have kept, run like the dickens handled well, body rot an issue in door sill areas which were structural compnenet of car, and of course a lousy wiring system, but any one who worked on English cars knows all about Lucas the Prince of Darkness, why do English men drink warm beer, because Lucas manufactures the coolers too. Did you know that Rolls switched to using Delco electronic ignition systems and Fridgidare AC systems in the late 70's. I've driven many Jags, love the early models, hated the junk of the 80's. Also took care of an MG TD for a gentleman for years, I think the Morgan was a better car.
Family owned: Sunbeam Imp, fun car, king pins went to hell, sold to a guy who raced it on ice for three years in upstate NY.

How can you rate Mitsibishi a POS, and then rave about the Hyundai, its the same drive train between them for years The Mitsibishi Precis and the Hyundai Excel were the same car. Both of them suffered from soft crankshafts, the keyway groove would waller out and then let the bottom timing belt gear move almost 20 degrees. But the media never reamed them for such issues, or the cover up of defects across the mitsi's line up of cars, and especially the medium duty trucks, be very afraid when you see a Fuso in the rear view mirror, they have had problems with the stub axle snapping of the spindles, and hub bearing failures. Mitsi/Hyundai/Chrysler world engines, you cant rave about one and ditch on the others, they are one and the same.

I do see them on the road ever day.some like one customers Butterscotch 71 rag top Cougar 351 Cleaveland I would love to have. she'll drive it till she dies, 12 years ago in '94 we pulled the four speed and put a C-6 in it for her, at 60 years old she was tired of shifting it in our lousy traffic. She kept all the parts. My neighbor just parted with his 72 Buick 225, gave it to his grandson, wont last long, all ready has a few dents now. The number of late 60's early 70's chevys I cant count, Corvairs, Chevelles, Novas, Impalas, Caprice, 1/2 trucks the entire line. and 80's models are so common you sometimes forget they are all 20 years or better old. The Chevy Celiberty/Olds Cutlass Ciera Wagon bounced back and forth with the Crown Vic/Mercury Grand Marquis as the number one selling vehicle in Florida for 10 years, untill GM dropped the line, and the ball by not coming out with a replacement wagon, and some times it seemslike they are all still on the road. See another flub, Ford Focus wagons selling like hot cakes, where is the Cobalt Wagon?
Whitelightning
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