They had to have a journeyman mechanic or two on staff take the Opel
training on the different systems in those cars so they could repair
them quickly and competently. And if the training courses weren't
offered at the regional office, they might have to fly them to Detroit
or Europe for a week or two, lodging and per diem.
And the Parts Department had to stock an assortment of the different
Opel spare parts so the cars that they sold could be serviced in a
prompt manner - no customer cars sitting idle for days just to get in
simple items like a filter or thermostat.
And they had to buy any Special Service Tools that weren't already
at the dealership - oddball socket wrenches, special jack cradles to
remove and install transmissions and engines, and such like.
Between all that, it could easily add up to more than $50K in
start-up costs. And if you aren't ready to service them we won't let
you sell them - all part of being a car dealer.
--<< Bruce >>--
You should read the Car & Driver review of the Opel in an early
issue. (They reprinted it in their anniversary issue last year.)
Scathing (and hilarious) review.
*** where would I find this amusing piece?
Actually Opel was founding in 1863 and by 1913 was Germany's largest
automobile company. GM bought controlling interest in 1929 and
increased it's ownership to 100% in 1931. Thus for 50 years Opel was
independent of GM.
Holden's founding goes back to a saddle making company in 1856 which
evolved into a body factory (much like Fisher bdoy in the US). GM
bought Holden in 1931.
Vauxhall has a similar history having been founded in 1857 and bought by
GM in 1925.
Post WW-1 GM was in a position to expand by buying up foreign
competitors at a time when those companies were struggling to recover.
By 1931 in the middle of the great depression GM did some buying on the
Just setting the record straight.
Ford bought Lincoln, Aston-Martin (now mostly sold), Land Rover, Jaguar,
Volvo, and a controlling interest in Mazda. Mercury was created, not bought.
I agree that the bulk of Ford products are sold under the Ford brand name,
although there are exceptions.
Natalie, The Fusion is a Ford, think about it. Ford=Cheap POC. The last
Ford I owned was a '98 Mustake - what an over-rated POC that was, built
Ford cheap. Fords are cheaper to buy (but not to own), that's all they
have going for them (besides heavy marketing). Of the worst cars ever
made Ford has probably made most of them. Two of the most recent that
come to mind are the roll-over Explorer and flaming Crown Victoria.
Considering that Ford is joined at the hip with Mazda, I suggest you
avoid them, too.
I was once a GM mechanic, eventually NIASE double-gear certified (only
meaningful to professional mechanics). Our Saturn Sky, which is really a
Opel GT, is the first GM car I have owned in over 25 years - it's my
wife's car (wish me good luck with it). The Sky's gas mileage is
disappointing. I have rented a couple of Chevy Cobalt LS cars lately and
was really impressed with their gas mileage. Not sure how the car itself
would hold up over the long haul, but I would be tempted to buy one.
It seams everyone slams Dodge, but I have had the best luck with my '98
Dodge Stratus. It has the Mitsubishi 2.5L V6 engine (a derivative of the
3.0L V6) and has been very good to me. It now has over 138,000 miles on
it and still gets me over 31 MPG on the highway. I do take good care of it.
If you take care of a car, it will take car of you. This is probably
true of Ford, but I seriously doubt it. I suggest that you wait and see
on the Fusion, or any Ford for that matter.
So, the Crown Vic is one of the "worst cars ever made", and yet is still the
number one Police cruiser? The things are tanks, and they stand up to just
about anything. If you go to Ford's website, you can see the harshest test
an auto manufacture puts a car through. A Crown Vic being smashed in the
rear-end by another car going 75 MPH. And, guess what? No gas tank
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