The American government kept Chrysler afloat. Over night Dodge replaced
the jeep built 5/4 ton truck with an over rated under powered dodge, those
that served will remember the M880 and M890 series trucks as the junk they
were.. Ford Mavericks disappeared out of the TMP Motor Pools and were
replaced with Dodge Aspens. Ford Medium duties disappeared and Dodges came
in their place.
Iacoca took a stripped down Simca 1100 design, slapped a VW 1.7 ltr engine
in it to get it through emissions and sold the snot out of them, along with
the K-cars that followed. Damn things didn't even have automatic brake
adjusters on the rear brakes. Dodge Diplomats became the number one cop
On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 23:45:24 GMT, "Whitelightning"
The government certainly did a lot to help keep Chrysler out of the
dumpster, but so did a lot of other people. Chrysler pushed a lot of
technology into the American marketplace at that time as well. Pretty
much inventing the concept of the minivan and bringing the concept of
frontwheel drive vehicles into the big threes frontal lobes. While
both cars may not have been much. They certainly sold the hell out of
them. Chrysler has been sitting on the sidelines through the entire
SUV war until now just bringing out the Aspen which may be to little
to late for them in that market segment. I'm surprised they've waited
this long to compete in that area.
How about front wheel drive is cheaper to build. That's the only reason
that has jumped on that band wagon has jumped on it. a transaxle is 40%
cheaper to manufacture than a transmission assy and rear differential assy.
The rear suspension is cheaper to manufacture because it doesn't have to be
strong enough to handle the torque of moving the vehicle. which means the
chassis doesn't have to be as strong ether. Its got nothing to with
technology and everything to do with cost. I don't see Mercedes jumping on
the front wheel drive band wagon. And with the exception of the Mini Cooper
I don't see BMW doing it ether.
But beyond that, Chevy had the Citation out in 1980, and it was Motor Trends
car of the year in 1980. GM actually had the car in 1979 wanting to race it
as the X-11 in the SSB/SCCA class. Ford was actually working on the front
wheel drive escort with its European counterpart in 1978 as replacement to
the rear wheel drive Escort MKII. Sad really, I had a 1975 Escort MK I, the
last year for the body style, its was a real runner and embarrassed more
than a few muscle cars on the autobahn, and in the mountains.
As to the mini van concept, I think the VW Micro bus and the Chevy Corvair
Greenbrier Van both predate chrysler's mini van entry by about three
decades. Not to leave out the entry in 1961 of the Ford Falcon Van, the
Chevy Sport Van in 64, , and the1964 Dodge A100 for that matter
>While both cars may not have been much. They certainly sold the hell out
Given the number of Yugos imported, Yugo sold the hell out their cars too.
They were cheap.
Mitsibishi sold the hell out of the Precis, and Hyundai its clone of it, the
Excel. I wouldnt wish none of them on anyone, well maybe on one or two
The fact they sold so many just proves the point that there are too many
idiots that would rather buy a piece of junk new car, rather than a
dependable used car.
The issue with the automakers & the airlines is a different economic
model. The don't have to run an entire plant just to make one run of
cars, but they do have to run a flight if it isn't fully booked. The
Airline business is very capital (fixed asset) intensive. The
variable costs per passenger is pretty small.
When auto sales slow down they can idle a plant, cut back shifts,
layoff workers. When planes are flying at less then capacity its a
However, I agree with you that something has to be done to control the
escalating labor costs facing domestic automakers. Hyundai must be
making a small fortune on its vehicles because I know they don't pay
their workers at the same level as us. I personally haven't seen that
big of a price differential between their cars and domestically
produced Big 3 ones. Perhaps I'm missing something.
Because there isn't one. Lets look at 1971. A Chevy Nova, six banger, auto,
ac, ps,pb AM radio was $2,200, a Ford Maverick similarly equipped was
$2,100, a Plymouth Duster w/o ac was $1,975, and a VW Beetle 4 spd manual,
no ac, no power steering, no power brakes, no radio was $2,350. The VW was
advertised as a low cost car, yet cost more than the big 3. The Toyota
entry was the Corolla and it was $1,960, the little shit box Honda was $20
cheaper. The Datsun 210 sedan was same price as the Corolla. None of them
had AC, PS, or automatic tranny at that price. The whole "cheaper" thing
was all an illusion, but advertising made it seem otherwise, and the
American public will swallow anything.
A lie told often enough becomes "truth". The Opel Kadette was $1,800, had
more room than the three ricers, a cheaper price, and a better engine, why
didn't it take off?
The biggest issue I see is the big three have some of the lamest advertising
on the market
GM's best car ad in a long time was the one for the Cobalt where it bumps
the Vette. Mitsubishi is a pile of fertilizer, yet they sell like hot
cakes, they have great advertising.
again a lie told often enough........
On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 03:02:25 GMT, "Whitelightning"
Because the Opels were in the shop more than they were on the road and
had a lousy reliability rep. They were NOT very good cars. How could
they be? They were a GM product!
DING DING DING...we have a winner! After castigating auto workers for
making a good living and other stupidity, someone's finally hit upon a
big chunk of the problem.
You've got it...in spades. The Japs learned in the '80s (from us) the
power of false and hyped advertising, and the advantage of pummeling
couch potatoes with tons of it. Log your cable or broadcast viewing
any given week...Toyota and hell, even Subaru and Mazda will
out-advertise GM OR Ford by as much as 3 to 1.
One has to remember...Americans, by and large, aren't very bright.
They fall for advertising scams like this every time, and have for
over a century.
Ed, the common buyer doesn't know all of what you just stated, he only knows
what he sees on TV, and what the biased car buyers mags like hachettes car
and driver say(hachette, its a fitting name most everything they publish is
a hatchet job)
The "young" market buying Mitsi's and Honda's aren't looking at anything but
the "kool" factor.
The older market has had the myth of Toyota quality and American lack there
of shoved down their throat so long they don't know anything else, even
though in 2005 the Toyota Camry had 4 times the number of recalls and
service bulletins than the Ford Focus.had, and its been that way for years,
but it never makes the media. I wonder why not?
it's like the earlier poster's comments about Opel, cant be any good because
its a GM product, yet it was the number one selling car in Germany, and the
only thing I saw more of on the road over there were VW's when I was there
in the mid 70's. My family had one, a '67 wagon, old man beat it to death,
and it just wouldn't quit. In 69 opel was the number 2 import car in this
country. Biggest issue, the 1.1 ltr was gutless, the 1.5 a lot better the
1.9 was a good engine.
Never understood why Ford didn't bring in European Fords. yeah we got the
Capri, why not the Escort? The German Escort was a great little car and
bore no resemblance at all to the American one that came later, it was
offered as a standard looking two door and 4 door sedan, and so was the
German Taurus and Tanus.
Oh what a feeling means they were nice enough to use Vaseline.
your wrong there- how "bad off" can they be, when GM is #1 in sales
units, and Ford is #3 ??
Toyota is number 2, gee, they must be worse off than GM then, aren't
stop listening to CNN and the gloom and doom liberal press- the
American Big Three are alive and well.
If Ford "lost" 5.8 billion, and had 50 billion in assets, well 2nd
grade math says, they still have 44.2 billion in assets. And that
"loss" can be disputed, as it's an accounting loss, taking in wasting
assets, depreciation, bad debts, etc. Lots of stuff they can write
off and save on taxes with.
that's a lotta dough, pal !
You can be #1 in sales, but still taking losses if it it is costing you too
much per vehicle to produce. Toyota can be #4 for that matter and be making
a killing. For example, Ford can cut the price of their vehicles in half.
Sales would go way up as people flocked to get half price cars, but they
could not exist long in doing so.
The real culprit in all this is over-regulation by the federal
government. All of the "safety" and "emissions" regs the automakers
have to put up with are driving the cost of vehicles beyond the point
where someone making an average salary can't afford one. I was just
reading today that the average US family income is $34,500. The
average cost of a new car is up around $22,000. By that token a new
car costs 2/3 of income. And a lot of the cost is all this safety and
emissions equipment. And the feds keep piling it on. I heard
somewhere that in the 2010 model year all cars are required to be
drive-by-wire with electronic stability control. By the time the feds
are done regulating only CEO's and Senators will be able to afford a
It isn't just but other things that the Feds have mandated that large
employers must have as well. Workers Compensation, Unemployment
Taxes, Social Security Taxes, Health Insurance, the list goes on. On
average it is safe to assume about another 33% over and above salary
in additional costs for each employee. So the Bubba making $34,500 is
costing the company $45,885.00.
On the other hand poor Bubba isn't seeing his $34,500 because the Feds
& the State are chewing away from it at the other end as well. Same
story for Bubba. He's got to pay Social Security taxes, FICA, State
Taxes, Medicare, Health care, Sales Taxes and his list goes on.
Usually again to the tune of about 33% so when all is said and done
his $34,500 magically turns into $23,115 which is right about the
price of a new car. Bubba can't freakin win.
I think the point I was trying to make Jeff is that the Feds on are
eating away on both sides of the equation taking money out of the
functioning economy. This hurts both the people producing products
and those buying those products. When people can't buy products the
company that makes products don't need as many people to make them
which leads to less people making money and hence a death spiral into
Burger King jobs.
I'm glad that you have good reliable public transportation where you
live. I certainly wish I did, but I realize that the economics of it
simply don't work. I could walk about 45 minutes to the Mall where
there is a bus stop, take a two-hour bus trip to go twenty miles to
work, and then walk about another thirty minutes to my work place, but
I think you can see the overall logistics issues that presents.
Yet, people also benefit from the federal government. The Soc. Sec. taxes go
towards retirement, people get government-sponsored health care, Congress
gets paid to make laws, the courts get their share, grants made made for
fire trucks and training, schools get money, a lot of research gets done,
transportation dollars go for highways and subways, soldiers get pay so they
can defend the country, etc.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.