Re: GM, Ford reputations take a hit



Hopefully that tells them something. It might even help if they surveyed their customers desires, but building cars the customer wants may be too much for them after years of telling the customers what they should buy.
This evening I saw the first intelligent auto ad in years. It was locally (Vancouver, BC) produced for the Chrysler Caliper.
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wrote:

vehicles
by a

If their vehicles are getting higher marks with Toyota on the nameplate then what the market wants is the nameplate, you dumb idiot, not the features of the vehicle.
I don't see how you can complete with that. GM ought to just turn their back on that market and go find a different one. A perfectly obvious market would be the car buyers that don't want to spend the $20K or so that a new Toyota costs but still would like to buy a new car and not have to be stuck with someone's off-lease, used Toyota.
If GM brought out a same-feature car as a Toyota in the $8K range, there would be a market there for it. It wouldn't be the market of people buying new Toyotas, it most likely would be the market of people buying USED Toyotas.
Ted
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Sign me up as soon as they put out an $8000 car with all the features of the Camry. I just don't see that happening.
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$8,000 is more like the 'pack' the F & I guys add to the drive home price of a Camry, after you get a selling price. LOL
mike
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wrote:

replaced
It isnt the nameplate, but you are not far off. It is the reputation that is behind that nameplate, merited or not.
GM and even Ford, if they can stay alive long enough and, if they will devote themselves to producing a quality item and treating their clients courteously and fairly, can regain or even improve their images.
If they can't adopt a code of progress and fairness, then maybe they should enter banking, or the stock market, or fast foods.
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wrote:

It's also the type of car. I bet there would a different response if GM put a Toyota nameplate on one its trucks instead of a car.

Well, a problem is that they have too many clients, the dealers. Instead of most dealers selling over 1000 cars, like they do for foreign nameplates, Ford and GM dealers sell maybe 500, on average. That means more dealers are supported, which makes for more ligistical problems.
It would also help if, when there is a problem with thedesign of their cars, they own up to it and fix the cars right without owners have to jump through hoops. They might save $2000 on a repair, but they won't sell the owner his/her next car.

Why? Without treating costumers right, they won't make it in any business.
Jeff
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wrote:

People tend to buy what suits them, with lots of emotion where styling is concerned. For me styling must be good but it follows function.
I'm looking for a replacement for my Chrysler, but Sebring sized. Nothing new from Chrysler for several years meets several of my most basic needs.
For example I need a full sized matching spare, and I don't like how GM, Ford and Chrysler have cheapened the body construction so the rear door edge forms the front edge of the wheel well. I'm also preferring a station wagon body design. These are just two of several functional aspects I don't like about the new cars from the big 2.5. In tune with current leading edge engines I want a VVT engine.
Unfortunately I need to go beyond the big 2.5 to meet my functional requirements. The Ford Fusion comes closest to my needs with the big 2.5, but several "foreign" makes do meet my needs. Since my Chrysler is still running very well I can wait it out a bit longer, but if I suddenly had to buy a replacement car the big 2.5 wouldn't be on my short list with their current products.
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Unfortunately to many customer, 'treating costumers right,' equates to fixing the vehicle for free for as long as they one the vehicle. LOL
mike
,

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No doubt that's a strong motivator for some customers. The 100,000 mile warranties were designed to appeal to them.
It is, after all, what I do at home. I don't spend much money at all fixing my cars. Maybe $100 a year per car, if that. My expectations are going to be hard to live up to.
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Actually, this is an inexpensive thing for the car makes to do. Some of the repairs they already cover if there is a design problem with the car or truck. And most vehicles don't need major covered repairs in the first 100,000 miles. Things like brakes are considered normal wear and tear items, so they aren't covered. So it is usually not a big cost for the car makers.
Some Hyundai dealers near where Mike lives purchase insurance contracts (aka extended warranties) on the drivetrain for their costumers for between 100,000 and 200,000 miles (after the regular 100,000 mi warranty expires). Most people don't keep their cars that long, so it is a small risk.
Jeff
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Mike Hunter wrote:

And to others, being treated right means the manufacturer fixing what are very obviously design mistakes in the vehicle even if the warranty has expired. :)
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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"Design mistakes?" Maybe.
When these problems show up and are not corrected nor supported for LONG periods of time, one might wonder if these defects are not planned obsolence, or intentional time bombs.
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Considering that the next version of the engine or transmission has this problem fixed, I doubt it is a design feature, as you suggest.
The other thing is that the automaker who made the faulty vehicle is less likely to get repeat business, whether it is to buy a car for the owner's kid or replace the fault vehicle.
One thing is clear, there are fewer new cars on the American road than last year. Auto sales are down like 2.6% from the previous year. They were down in 2005, too. And Americans are driving more each year. Cars are more durable than ever before. It used to be that car engine would last maybe 100,000 mi, if the owner was lucky. Now engines regularly go to 150,000 or 200,000 mi or more.
This was good for my dad and my college education. Dad owned a machine shop that rebuilt engines. He also made lots of money selling tail-pipes, shocks, carburetors, spark plugs and ignition parts. With fuel injection, electronic ignitions, longer-lasting shocks and stainless steel tailpipes, they rarely sell these parts, now. And there is far less engine-rebuilding work now than 20 or 30 years ago. In fact, one of the five machine shops in town closed completely, the staff at his shop is down 75% (from 6 to about 1 1/2), two of the remaining shops have much small staffs, too.
The market also changed with a lot of the tailpipe and shock business going to chain stores that don't go local independent warehouses; a lot of garages put on new rotors rather than have them resurfaced because the cost of new rotors is better. In addition, dealerships will often get new short blocks or engines for in-warranty work rather than send out to work to a machine shop.
So the loss of business is due to both the increased longevity of engines and the changing market.
Jeff
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.

Sorry, Jeff, when it takes GM 10 years or better to correct an obvious problem, then your explanation doesnt wash.
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Which problem are you talking about?
Ed
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I am specifically referring to the plastic plenum problem which continued for about 10 years.
The old rusty rot under the rear window problem continued for a number of years too. GM knew about it, chose not to fix it. It was a simple fix which they found more convenient (and perhaps profitable) to avoid, according to people on the inside.
There are others.
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I've read that GM didn't correct that nasty failing intake gasket problem because most were failing after the guarantee period. Unfortunately when they failed the engine was often toast. Great for new car sales if their customers are stuck on GM in spite of having big problems with their cars.
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Well, let's get it right. The intake problem and the plenum problem did not toast engines. Both of these were very survivable even after many, many miles were put on the car in that condition. It took a lot of driving with failed intake gaskets to cause engine problems. The leaks started on the outside of the engine and were visible. But... owners today don't even open a hood unless it's to put windshield washer fluid in, so many never even noticed they had a problem.
Their car otherwise ran so trouble free that no one who might see and pay attention to the leak, ever had occasion to notice. This problem is at once both a plague and a praise to GM.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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not
with
open
once
That isnt my experience, Mike. On our car there was no external leak. Wife drove it home from bridge one day and it was missing badly. Made it to the garage and the cylinders filled with water causing hydraulic lock.
It was sudden, no warning. Had she been on the road, it might have been worse.
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Hogwash. The head gaskets never failed catastrophically. I was leaking into the cylinder you simply did not know it.
mike

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