I'd put the metal in my 1987 Buick's doors against a new Focus anyday.
I've had tree branches an inch thick land on my roof and not make
more than a tiny dent. My ex kicked the door as hard as she could
and made a scuff - no major dent. The focus can be dented with a
couple of fingers. Even my old Buick issn't half as good as my
old Volvo 240. That thing had major steel sheets - just a tank.
Well in a way yes. I can just as easily put a dent in the side of a vehicle
built in the 70's as one built in the current year. That is not quite showing
the strength of the material. When the part is formed and how is where the
strength comes from. How the metal reacts to out side forces like when that part
hits a tree. That is what I'm talking about in strength. Modern sheet metal
reacts different from sheet metal used 20 years ago. The thinner metal used
today does as well if not better than sheet metal used in the past. As I've
said, I'm not a metallurgist. This is information that is passed on in the
industry and it is even made publicly known.
IIRC, a Volvo 240 did just fine in crash tests. So did my old Buick.
The Dodge Neon I had for 3-4 months, OTOH, was a deathtrap. Like
driving around in a coffin - at least they can bury what's left of you
in it. Tinny, nasty little car. Breathe on it too hard and it got a ding
in the doors. Push on something too hard and the plastic nearly broke.
When hit in a little "cat cart" like a Neon by say a...........Excursion mass is
a big factor as well as the contact area of the bumper of the big car on the
little car. In that fight the driver or occupant of the Neon is in a big
What could go wrong? The tranny, that's what. It's a FORD! There's
a reason people say "found on road dead" .... they're talking about
Yikes. Paid ~$1300 for my shot Ford tranny.
Neither do I. Ever. Yes it's a major problem for Ford. You may
still be able to get an extended warranty somewhere. I had a 97 Ford
Taurus, junk junk junk tranny, among other things. That car almost
nickel and dimed me to death, it's like almost every time I drove it
something else broke (and no I'm not exaggerating). Like the time my
mechanic had it to fix one thing, he took it out to test drive it
after he did his repair, and something else broke! I kid you not!
Never again! My Chevy has 177k+ miles and still going strong (knock
PS I do agree with others posts about Chrysler having similar tranny
problems, my friend has a minivan (I think it's Dodge I'm not certain)
and the tranny has already been rebuilt once and still has problems.
Fortunate for him it was under warranty.
5% mandadated cost reduction per year is part of it.
Soon, a Hyundai will be better made.
Here's some math:
Say a $10K budget car like an Aveo:
Figure $8K in parts and materials and a $10K selling price.
25% seems like a good margin - I can't imagine they'd sell
it for less and still remain able to pay for the labor and
Take a Ford Focus. $12K in materials and a $15,000 price.
(give or take - this is a basic example, not an exact quote)
It's a better car - 50% more spent on raw materials and
Fast forward 5 years. Figure 2% price increase per year for
materials on the Daewoo and 5% decrease per year(mandated
by Ford or else you are dropped) on the Ford. Daewoo passes
the cost on to the consumer. Ford keeps their price exactly
the same(not likely, though - but I'm trying to be as nice as
Aveo: $8,800 cost. 20% increase. $11,000 selling price.
Focus: $8,821 cost. $15,000 selling price.
Ford makes lots and lots of money. Shareholders are estatic.
The car, unfortunately, is $3000 more than the Aveo and now
made with the same $8800 in components. The only way Ford's
distributors can stay in business is to outsource themselves
to Korea and China. Ford plays the parts shell game to get it
claimed as a "domestic" vehicle, or the outsourcers lie.
Nodoby can tell Chinese steel from high-tensile strength new
Japanese/American/Euro steel without a lab and tests, afterall.
And you wonder why the transmissions fail so often.
Let me see if I understand your story correctly:
You bought a used vehicle. It broke. Then you took it to the most
expensice place possible to get it repaired. Now you are complaining
about the cost to fix it. Correct?
And what everybody else saya about cost reductions is probably correct
as late model Fords are junk but I attribute it mostly to that Arab
bean counter that was in charge a couple of years ago. I'm going to
be avoiding Ford and Mazda in the future.
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