I hate asian cars. Always have since the first one I saw. But the Daewoo
gets a bum rap compared to Mitsubishi's bastard child, Hyundai..
You wanna see junk, wait till the geelys from china start showing up,
understand they are already available in Canada. A 4x4 in competion with
the Kia was tested in germany and scored "0" in the crash test. Driver and
passenger would have died in the 40mph head on, driver may survive in the
30mph side impact but will suffer major injuries. But it will sell like hot
Very important. I blame the dealers as much or more than the product. That's
just my opinion.
I agree. American autoworkers certainly don't make any more than Japanese
and German ones. Plus, GM and Ford have scale that has always been bigger
than everybody else. I know Toyota is just as big as GM, but GM had an 80
year head start where it was bigger. That should still have some value.
On 19 Sep 2006 07:16:57 -0700, Harry in Montreal wrote:
The problem isn't the workers, it's the management, or lack thereof. Until
the Japanese carmakers invaded the states, there was no competition
whatsoever. The Japs could make cheaper cars of better quality and still
make a bigger profit.
The Japanese model is to invest lots here and now, and then earn it in over
the next 15-30 years. The only reason they use people to do the work,
instead of robots like it is in their plants in Japan, is because the only
way they will get permission to open a new plant in the states is by
providing a certain number of jobs per sqft of land they occupy. It's part
of the deal. They get tax deductions as a compensation to pay for those
The Detroit companies didn't have any need to compete with each other
before the Japs came. The US and Canadian market was so big that there were
plenty of pieces in the cake for all of them. Once they got competition,
they went to drastic measures, and quality and the workers suffer as a
German built cars are based upon the concept of not going on compromise
with anything. The makers pay high salaries, and refuse to lower quality.
As a result the cars are crazy expensive, but will gladly go a whole
million on the dial with nothing more than everyday maintenance. They do
have problems with other carmakers being cheaper, but the German market is
still big enough, that with having a big chunk of the worldwide luxury
market as well, they can more than cover their asses and keep up their
The only exception is GM Europe. They're the only European carmaker that
has a worse reputation than Ford. Seeing GM built cars in Europe is almost
a rarity, simply because GM focuses on profit over quality. They're crappy
cars with very short lifespans, and they're not even cheap. Even Hyundai
delivers a better product...
In Japan, the carmakers run clinics and hospitals where their workers and
the worker's family, can be treated for free. They don't get medical as
such, and if they go to any other clinic than the one their employer
assigns them, they have to pay the full cost themselves. And they gladly
pay for all sorts of other things, like kids' education, to ensure the
workers loyalty, and that of their families. On the other hand, Japanese
workers work an average of 12-14 hrs a day, and retire when they're not
much more than 50, because their health simply isn't for working much
longer than that. In Japan, robots pay taxes, that goes to cover the
unemployment for the workers they replaced. So for a Japanese carmaker,
complete automation isn't a profit-making strategy, as it'd cost them about
the same as keeping the workers. Instead they train the workers thoroughly
and ensure that they know that if they screw up their little task, what the
result would be for the rest of the company. If you ask any Japanese
lineworker what the part he makes is, he'd be able to tell you exactly what
it is, what it does, and where it goes in the final car, and why it has to
go in that peticular spot. But it comes from a workmorale that's unlike
anything in any other country in the world. A pride in taking one for the
team that most western countries don't have.
The Japanese model is that all the workers take a paycut if just one makes
a mistake that costs the company money. So they all do their best to not
make any mistakes. With unions and all that crap, such an idea would never
The problem with that argument is that the Japanese car maker with the
lowest rate of automation, in the U.S. or Japan, is Toyota, and it's
the lowest cost producer. And in the 1990s, Toyota even strove to
decrease the level of automation.
I don't see how, considering that Japan has long had socialized
medicine. Toyota does supplement this, but their health care costs in
Japan have run well under $200M a year.
It depends on the company, but Toyota is one of the most praternal
companies anywhere and has even hired people laid off by companies that
have nothing to do with the automobile business.
Maybe white collar workers, but not blue collar workers. Also
vacations tend to be longer there, about a month a year.
Japan's labor force is more unionized than the America one, with most
of its auto makers having mostly unionized blue collar workers.
The selling prices of Toyota that are only assemble in the US average 20% t0
30% more than those of domestics of similar size, and similarly equipped,
yet the average wage Toyota pays their US employees is over ten dollars an
hour less, with fewer benefits and less desirable pensions. No wonder
Toyota is showing greater profits, when one adds in the fact they pay no
federal corporate income taxes on the profit earned form those vehicles..
That says lot about the wisdom of the people who are willing to pay so much
more for a vehicles in reality is no better ;)
I know cost more, but 20-30%? I find that hard to believe, even when
0% financing is included.
Toyota is a good Republican corporate citizen, paying no income taxes
and resisting unionization.
But they are usually better, and not just for reliability any more, a
point that still hasn't sunk into the Detroit auto maker mindset.
If people had wisdom they'd buy mostly minivans and small hatchbacks
and few SUVs or trucks, but the American auto companies would be hurt
the most by this.
Toyota is not just better, they have world beating hybrid cars on the
The new Camry hybrid is even a cost effective purchase price. A mid
sized car that sips gas like a small car, for a few thousand $ more!
Toyota does it, while other companies such as GM just talk about it.
Has it! I'm going to go look at it.
When my Chrysler dealer realized a few years ago I wasn't into the
Chrysler 300, he suggested I look at the Camry, which he sold at his
Now it seems like time to take up his suggestion.
I was considering a 300M for my wife, since it was one of the few RWD cars
available. When we parked and walked toward the car she took one look and
said that's ugly, I'll keep my Lincoln LS.
Most manufactures do not like multi franchised dealers to have one brand
store too close to another brand. A good explanation why they do not is
things like happened at a Toyota, Ford, Lincoln Mercury multi franchise. A
guy with a 2003 Camry broke down while traveling. He was towed to the
complex. They told him he tranny was toast. He was out of warranty on
mileage and it would take three days to get one in.
An enterprising Toyota salesman suggest he look at a new Camry so he could
continue on his way. He was given a trade price and taken for a ride. When
he returned there was a car carrier unloading the then brand new 2006
Mercury Milan. He asked the salesman what it was. To make the story short
he drove off in the first recorded retail Milan sold by LM, one with more
equipment than the Camry for five thousands dollars less ;)
And the American car makers had how many years to step up to the plate?
Really? So there are no robots in Japanese-owned American car plants? Care
to back your claims with real data? How about how many people-hours it takes
to make a Japanses make car vs. an American-make car in a plant that has
been open a similar amount of time?
Quality suffering as a result of competition? Please show the data that
shows American cars, on average, having lower quality over time.
Bull doo-doo. Money is always a factor. You have to make compromises. No way
That is not the same no compromises.
Unfortunately, they do break down. And when they do, they are expensive to
Actually, not true. The German luxury makes had to lower their prices to
compete with Lexus.
In your opinion.
Not true. Robots are a profit-making strategy. Robots work without
complaint. They do repetative tasks perfectly every time. They don't take as
I would also like to see you back your claims about robots paying taxes.
And the unions got good wages for American workers. Got better working
conditions. Pensions, so after working 40 years in the factory, workers
could retire. Health care, too.
Unions have their problems, like stupid work rules (a line worker can't
change a lightbulb). But, they prevented the auto makers from taking unfair
advantage of their workers.
Do you believe the average line worker has TIME to change a light bulb? If
you do you have never been in an assembly plant. Even if he did, does he
know the differ between a 110V bulb and a 220V bulb? The fact is
management does not want him to change light bulbs. They have a job
description.that includes proper training for the guy that does that job, as
required by OSHA. The Union does not make the work rules, management does.
The only "rights" a Union has, in any contract, is the right to represent
the workers. One way they do that is by requiring the company to abide by
the contract ;)
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