The only "good" news for GM was that Ford and Chrysler were off even
more at 34% for Ford and 37% for Chrysler.
Confrimed in the Business section of our paper today -- "July vehicle sales
rise for Toyota and Honda..." GM sales were off 31.2% for trucks and cars
down for 2.7%. Chrysler was downs 40/23.5 percent respectively. So even
their cars present sales problems.
Toyota and Honda sales are bolstered by the midget cars that are in vogue
today. GM and Ford do not offer midget cars. Seems to me that is
temporary. Midget car buyers are not generally the average US new vehicle
buyers that buys a new vehicle every three or four years. Fords hit was the
F150, but it is end of the model year. Major F150 buyers will soon be
buying 2007s, not leftovers.
You are the master of SPIN Mr. Hunt. Perhaps you should be working in
PR or as a government Press Secretary.
Yes the market has moved to more fuel efficient vehicles, and no, the US
makers are not strong either in product or brand image with regard to
said fuel efficient vehicles.
Ford and GM lived high off the great 1990s truck boom, but that fad is
over and is not likely to come back. Large trucks are likely to fall
back to the 20-25% of the US market they enjoyed for many decades and
away from the ~50% level of the 90s and early 00s. Fads come and go, it
is their nature. This fad is over and the US makers are caught with
their collective pants down, again.
You are entitled to your own opinion but I am simply stating facts.
Actually the fuel economy of the comparable cars and trucks that both GM and
Ford have to offer are as good, or better. than import brands. Where they
fall short is in the midget car class where the do not generally offer a
competitive vehicle. When one considers the drive home price difference
between the domestics and most imports, the domestics have the advantage for
an astute buyer. One need prepay for their fuel by spending an extra 20% or
30% to get a few more MPG. The Koreans do a far better job of fuel economy
for the price than the Japs. Both GM and Ford have more vehicles that get
30 or more MPG than any of the imports.
What you call the "midget class," oh top posting one, is the class of
the future, at least until some kind of technological breakthrough
allows us to move away from fossil fuels. The US mfgrs. should have
known this but instead of planning long term, they've been milking the
SUV craze while it lasted, and now they're paying for it. You're also
completely disregarding reputation for quality, which is indisputably
in favor of the imports. One thing that you got right in your post is
that the Koreans are likely going to make a strong showing over the
next couple years.
Mike Hunter wrote:
The Omni/Horizon were decent cars. They had the 2.2 4 banger -- great
little durable engine. Small cars get bad reps for being junk,
unreliable. Usually it was lack of maintenance. People who buy cheap
cars tend not to maintain them as well as more pricier cars because of
the cheap initial cost of the cars and that these economy car buyers
tend to be of a lower socio-economic class. A lot of Yugo buyers never
bothered to change their oil and would have the Yugos with their seized
engines towed to the dealer angrily demanding a new engine and when told
no, replied "you expect me to change oil on a $3900 car!?" But the Yugo
engine is actually a bulletproof, reliable, easy to maintain engine.
designed, not made. However, if you can keep the rust monster at bay,
an old FIAT will actually last quite a long time; when I was a kid a
neighbor down the street had one of those little red boxy looking FIAT
coupes, and his wife drove the wheels off of it. It was a cute little
thing, and since he kept up with the maintenance (and squirting oil up
into all the nooks and crannies apparently,) last I heard it was handed
down to his daughter.
Apparently you can make a neat little GTI type racer by mixing and
matching FIAT and Yugo parts...
Mike Hunter wrote:
well, the Fox-body certainly lasted long enough... I think that had
some Pinto genes in it, no? the Vega was a POS from the get go though,
although it certainly was a sharp *looking* little car. Too bad GM
didn't see fit to put an actual engine under the hood instead of the
grenade they stuffed in there. You forgot to mention the Chevette as
well, which was another GM compact that simply disappeared off the
roads almost as soon as it was discontinued. The Horizon was a poor
imitation of the Rabbit...
meanwhile, up until very recently, any of the import brands offered
just the kinds of vehicles that you sneer at. Now that fuel prices are
going up, they're bringing over some of the smaller models (Yaris,
etc.) to fill the gap left when they moved their existing models
upsized and upmarket.
(still miss my old VW Scirocco... couldn't kill the damn thing even at
240K miles, and it would get close to 30 MPG if you could keep your
foot out of it. Sold it because I thought I wanted a new car, that was
dumb. Can I have it back now please?)
Among my collection of old cars there is a 1971 Pinto. Currently there is
305K on the clock. Looks and runs as good as new. It even wins it class at
old cars shows. Know what I have yet to see at an old car show? ANY
Japanese cars, in my class, except for a low mileage XR7 or a 'Z' car on
occasion in the sport class. Lots of British, German, even French and
Italian small cars from that era but hardly ever see a Jap car ;)
No offence, but I wouldn't buy one of those small cars if I was paid too. I
drive a Bonnie. It is a supercharged 3.8L V6 and *still* get's almost 30MPG
on the highway. She will move fast, she looks great, and is safe as safe can
be. If small cars are the 'future' you wish to see, then I want no part of
it and will keep my Pontiac.
That's your prerogative, and I can't really fault you for the choice
because the 3.8 is probably one of the best engines GM has made in
quite a while. I just prefer something lighter and more nimble, and I
don't worry about what most people think of when they say "safety" i.e.
passive safety features - I prefer to drive defensively and rely on the
handling/braking/acceleration of the car to keep me from wrecking.
Been working for me so far... (knocks wood) this is why there are
different kinds of cars on the market; you'd probably think my old 944
is too loud, rides too stiff etc. but it makes me happy to drive it :)
I don't really *want* to see any particular automotive future (although
if it includes more sports cars, I'm totally OK with that) but the
truth is that we're never going to see sub-$1 gasoline ever again, and
maybe not even sub-$2. I'd be happy with sub-$3 right now...
80 Knight wrote:
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