Will you still buy cars from the "[Big] Three"?

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Will you still buy cars from the "[Big] Three"?

Postby batty » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:25 pm

So the American car makers are on the brink (or so say their Execs to get free taxpayer handouts).

Has that made you reconsider what kind of car you will get in the future?

Is the looming bankruptcy of a car maker something you will consider.

When Daewoo was going bankrupt in the late 90s, GM took it over and customers weren't affected...
But now, if say, Chrysler goes under, who would buy it? And if so, why?

Don't know if those deals are going on down south:

2-for-1 is moneysaver for Quebec car dealer
Last Updated: Friday, November 28, 2008 | 5:10 PM ET Comments16Recommend15
CBC News
A Quebec car dealership offering a two-for-one vehicle promotion says it will help save money down the road.

Girard Chrysler, a dealership in Repentigny, launched the offer earlier this week as a way to curtail a slowdown in the auto industry.

Buyers who purchase a luxury Chrysler 300C will receive a free Dodge Caliber, said sales manager Michel Leduc.

The car dealership east of Montreal is interested in moving more vehicles given that it wants to stock up on next year's models.

"We had about 250 cars total on the lot, and those 300 C [models] well, they're worth $50,000, we need to pay interest on those cars, and it can be anywhere from $300 to $500 dollars a month per car," he explained.

The dealership has sold 17 of the luxury cars since the offer started this week, giving away 17 Dodge Calibers, worth about $17,000 each.

There's no profit to be made from the promotion, but the dealership hasn't lost any money, Leduc said.


Although the offer sounds tempting,

I'm wondering what kind of customers take him up on the offer?

I mean it's not like cars are a one-time purchase. If you don't need two cars (or can't afford to maintain 2 cars), do you go through the hassle of finding a buyer for your "spare" new car?

Granted the 300 is a very smooth drive, but it's quite the lush on gas. And of course it does not deal with the "problem" that the carmaker may not be around to honour the full guarantee...
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Postby edu999 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:10 am

Never have, never will.
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Postby yes_I_am_so_what » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:34 am

Currently driving a five-year-old Olds Alero. It has about 70K miles and I'm not overly confident that it'll reach 100K.

The 1976 Plymouth Fury and 1984 Ford Tempo I've had in the past both lasted more than 250K miles. It's not as if American companies don't know how to build a quality product.

It's a bit nauseating that the execs fly to DC in private jets to beg for money without giving up their golden parachutes. Honda and Toyota both build cars in the U.S., buying their products will still support domestic employment...
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Postby Schlodesss » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:41 am

My moms 99 Z 24 has 320000 KMs on it, still on the original clutch and the car still rides and drives nice. It's been a great car.
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Postby blackmet » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:48 pm

yes_I_am_so_what wrote:Currently driving a five-year-old Olds Alero. It has about 70K miles and I'm not overly confident that it'll reach 100K.


1998 Intrigue with almost 96K on it. Just spent a ridiculous amount of money to fix the heating/cooling system and the passenger side windows, and it's still having issues. Right now I'm trying to will it thru the winter until I get my tax return and possible spring bonus and can figure out what to do next.

The next car is either going to be brand new and foreign, or something that costs $1000 and can be simply thrown away if something really bad happens to it. And if the public transport around my home and work wasn't so bad, it'd be a bus pass.

If they get this money, they'd better have some damn huge strings attached. 40-50 MPG highway minimums by 2020 for anything that isn't made specifically for commercial use would be good start. As well as strict limits on how much production can be outsourced to other countries, and strict limits on CEO pay and benefits.
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Postby dracuscalico » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:18 pm

blackmet wrote:
If they get this money, they'd better have some damn huge strings attached. 40-50 MPG highway minimums by 2020 for anything that isn't made specifically for commercial use would be good start. As well as strict limits on how much production can be outsourced to other countries, and strict limits on CEO pay and benefits.


That'll happen...

....and Santa is giving me a Gulfstream G550 and pilot on standby for Xmas... :P
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Postby olywaguy » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:45 pm

All of my cars have been foreign cars.

--1980 Toyota Corolla 4-door station wagon

--VW Jetta (i hated this car because it was a stick shift)

--1995 or 1996 Hyundai Accent 4-door

--2001 4-door Hyundai Accent (current one)


The next one will probably also be a Hyundai Accent. I just like that car. :D

The only other car I would go for would have to be a red Mustang convertible. It would need to have a large trunk for my sister's wheelchair however.
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Postby blackmet » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:15 pm

dracuscalico wrote:
blackmet wrote:
If they get this money, they'd better have some damn huge strings attached. 40-50 MPG highway minimums by 2020 for anything that isn't made specifically for commercial use would be good start. As well as strict limits on how much production can be outsourced to other countries, and strict limits on CEO pay and benefits.


That'll happen...

....and Santa is giving me a Gulfstream G550 and pilot on standby for Xmas... :P


Oh, I know it WON'T. But it'd be nice.

I'm at the point now where I think we should take this 1 trillion dollars and use it on something that will actually benefit both the corporations and people of this country. Like Universal Healthcare or non oil/coal based energy. That's not going to happen either, even though in the long term it would provide a lot more benefits, and both are going to be absolutely necessary within 15 years either way.
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Postby dracuscalico » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:54 am

Truth be told, we the people CAN control things with our spending habits, proven by them lowering gas prices. People started driving less so they had no choice. Worldwide demand dropped creating a surplus. Open market competition makes a lot of things happen that seem impossible until enough of a trend develops. 8)
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Postby DerWanderer » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:44 am

Anyone else noticing how OPEC is now starting to squirm and has been talking production cuts in order to drive prices back up?

The Saudi's are trying to strike a middle ground by saying $75 a barrel is fair, while Venezuela and Iran are screaming to get prices back to $150.

Mind you, before this last inflation cycle $50 a barrel was considered reasonable.

I wonder what will happen when the surviving auto makers figure out that they need to drop all their non-hybrid models, or even shift to completely non-gasoline based designs. It may not happen immediately, but eventually the existing oil supplies WILL run out or become prohibitively expensive over alternative technologies

Mind you, the airline and shipping industries will still keep the oil companies in business for a while, but still...

Ford is at least starting to make some good business decisions.

GM is still making bad ones.

Crysler just fired 100% of its contracted IT staff before Thanksgiving...Problem with this is that is virtually all of its corporate IT staff, and every development unit now has 0 IT support.

I think if my next vehicle purchase were to come from the Big Three, it would likely be a Ford, simply because I could save some money using the Z-plan, and the quality is generally good.

I've been quite happy with my Saturn, but I don't trust that the company will survive GM's death throes, and my next vehicle will likely be the most economical I can find given the amount of driving I have to do.
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Postby Earl Butz » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:11 am

I think all this doom and gloom in the media is a big load of crap. Mind you I live in an oil town, and when oil goes for $150 a barrel people jump for joy.

The price of oil has averaged around $30 most of the last 30 years.

Oops....cars, cars. I own a 98 Dodge Caravan with 84K on it. Yeah. Before that I owned an 88 Dodge Caravan. And a 77 Volare.

Have no idea what I want next. :?
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Postby devilnuts » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:04 am

We have a 2003 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab with about 54k miles on it (poor thing has only put about 2500 miles on in the last 15 months) and a 2007 Toyota Prius with about 12500 miles on it.

My main mode of transportation is my motorcycle, a 2008 Suzuki C50. In just over two months, I've got 3000 miles on it...and my California trip is coming up soon...so it will be 5000 before the first of the year.

Prior to the Prius, all my vehicles had been Ford (no particular reason, just coincidence, I suppose). I've always liked Toyota trucks. My dad had a T-100 and that thing lasted for a looooooooooooong time. I think he was damn near 300k miles before it blew up. So I trust Toyota to make a good product. My luck with Ford has been about 50/50. Family and friends have had about the same with GM.

American companies and unions need to quit bitching and blaming and get their asses out there and build better products. I'm not going to spend money on an inferior product...and I'm pretty sure the rest of the world isn't either...
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Postby mrbrian200 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:24 am

Yes I would still buy the big 3. Their CEO's try to make the case nobody will buy a car when parts availability might be in question. This argument is BS, frankly. The big 3 do not fabricate a terrible lot anymore, they are primarily assemblers. 3rd party suppliers of all the parts they use will simply sell direct to aftermarket. This is a process that already occurs, but delayed as newer vehicles are covered by mfr warranty. Absent the manufacturer this distribution chain will simply adjust. Major parts that the car companies do fabricate (body panels etc) are are generally handled by aftermarket already.

It might be wise for the big 3 to lease or sell their warranty division to an outside company or insurance group which can survive the company's collapse. This would be prudent for alleviating warranty coverage fears for potential new car buyers. Using a good chunk of any government "bailout" to set this up is in itself a good argument for getting said bailout. This is dependent on the availability of aftermarket parts, which are likely to be available for most common breakdowns. Parts not available= warranty insurance policy would dictate an equivalent replacement vehicle. I bet a good accountant could make it work in light of all the miscellaneous tax deductions/corporate writeoffs allowed.
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Postby crankycurmudgeon » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:10 am

Dad always said not to buy something that was so exotic that obtaining parts would be difficult. I never thought I'd see it, but the Big 3 could fall into that category soon.

Since I don't purchase vehicles very frequently - I've only driven 3 vehicles (VW Bug - 10 years; Subaru GL 16 years; Toyota Tacoma 9.5 years and counting) - I probably wouldn't purchase a Big 3 vehicle. As some have noted, although they are capable of building quality products, it is hard to determine what is good and what is dross (Chevy Citation anyone?). I'd want to be sure that they were still around to support the vehicle.
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Postby The_Machinist » Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:43 am

I will probably still buy from Ford/GM, but the machining/assembly practices I have seen at Chrysler are apalling. They have all of the probe units on the transfer lines for main transmission case machining bypassed, so if something goes wrong (broken tap, broken drill), it keeps running. The parts with missing holes/threads are then reworked by hand... so who knows where the position of those ends up. Even something as silly as motor mount holes have a true position tolerance of +/- .5mm MMC, and there is no way in hell you can hold that by hand. I have not seen this same practice done at GM/Ford.

As far as the whole "begging for money" thing goes, I would not cry one bit if any of them were to go under. Sure, I would lose my job, but I have seen the stupid decisions and practices firsthand for the past five years. The latest stupid decision I have seen is the possible scrapping of a $15M CNC machining line at GM/Allison Baltimore that is only two years old--- because the engineers designed the next generation of castings a little too big to fit inside the machining centers. The workholding fixtures cannot even be reworked--- the parts don't even fit through the doors for the gantry robot load! You would think they could standardize a bit to maintain the flexibility that CNC machining offers. Ford is still buying/reworking machines to make huge RWD transmissions and 5L V8 engines... The current job I am working on is the Ford 6R140 6-speed auto transmission. They come in a version for a 4.4L, 6.2L, and 6.7L... and they cancelled the 4.4L version for some stupid reason. Whey they would cancel the 6-speed for the most efficient engine completely baffles me.


sh*t like this is why I would not shed a tear to see them go belly-up.
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Postby Earl Butz » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:47 am

Oh yeah. All three of them make some of the shittiest cars. I can't help but laugh at GM's balance sheet. I mean how do you run up 700 billion in liabilities? That is just ridiculous.

Chrysler installs faulty gaskets on their radiators. Or maybe they just wear out. I had a leaky transmission on a Pontiac. Never owned a Ford, but I imagine they have some fatal flaw as well. Their exhaust stinks too.

What a bunch a morons... :P
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Postby DeckApe » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:57 am

Earl Butz wrote:Never owned a Ford, but I imagine they have some fatal flaw as well.


Electrical, mostly. That having been said I've never owned anything but three Ford pickups. (Okay, half interest in a Toyota Camry, which I adore as much as one can adore an inanimate object.)
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Postby RedRage00 » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:55 pm

All my cars have been foreign.
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Postby matinee » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:59 am

Well, Ford now claims that their vehicles are beating Honda and Toyota in quality and reliability. If that is the case then it is too late!
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Postby Cajun » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:59 am

matinee wrote:Well, Ford now claims that their vehicles are beating Honda and Toyota in quality and reliability. If that is the case then it is too late!


Before I'd even CONSIDER buying American again, I'd need to hear it from someone OTHER than Ford that their vehicles are beating any of the foreign car makers - and not just on a one-time instance, for one make/model only.....

Otherwise, I'll stick with the Japanese when it comes to spending my hard earned dollars on dependable transportation, like I've done for the past 25 years :wink:

My industry competes on a world scale, against nationalized companies, and so should the auto makers.
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Postby Tygrrrr » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:48 am

I've owned Fords and GMs and Datsun/Nissans and Hondas and Toyotas. My current 2 vehicles are Toyotas. Having been born and raised in Detroit, I saw enough and learned enough about the Big 4 now Big 3. I'm sticking with my Toyotas. 350k on my pickup and still going strong.
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Postby Schlodesss » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:31 am

Wow not much love for American autos in here.. I dunno, I still see a lot of old Ford Rangers and S-10s, old F 150s, etc and 20+ yr old US cars on the road, bodies looking ok and going strong.

I just bought an 88 S-10 with a 5 cyl speed for 600 bucks, had around 115000 miles when I bought it, it flew through a safety, needed a cat for E test and I haven't done anything since but change the oil once from all the miles I been putting on it.

I don't see many if any older mid to late 80s Japanese trucks, the bodies generally didn't stand the test of time. Same with a lot of the older cars..

Now don't get me wrong i'm not a 'Merican cars only person. There are a lot of foreign cars I drool over. Past and present, but i'm not convinced they are THAT much better. My buddy Derrek bought a brand new Civic in 2002, and it was a nice little car but it had no options except air, was slow as hell, the front "H" just decided to fall off one day and I had to spend 4 hours stenciling out 2 sided tape to put it back, some of the plastic interior trim was really cheap. It cost as much as my moms Z24 which IMo was 10X the car for the money.
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Postby mrbrian200 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:30 am

I can't think of any really good success stories with Chrysler unless you go way back to the '60-70's. In defense of GM where I live "T" and "W" body cars dating to the early 80s are quite a common sight with the 3.8L V6/AXOD, most at this point with well over 200k on them and still running strong. My '89 now has 276,000 miles. Barely uses 1/2 qt of oil per 3000 miles (switched to synth around 150k). Minor problems aside (body/trim/accessory electrical) I have to say I'm impressed considering in a year or two there wont be much left for the motor to push around (rust/northern climate/road salt)

In the past I have owned one of GM's disasters. A Century with 3.1 V6 OHV head design where the rocker arms were mounted on a steel tube, held in place by plastic push retainers that fall out allowing the rocker arm to slide, releasing the pushrod which then springs off the lifter and crashes back down on the camshaft while running (catastrophic). That car went to the junkyard with well under 100k on it.

I don't like Ford cars mainly due to lackluster engineering/ cheap build quality of their body/suspension. Taurus/Sable were the worst (owned two, and '87 and a '92) Together with every other mediocre Ford experience I've had dating back to models from the mid '70s I can't say I feel comfortable spending hard earned $$ on their products. This is what I consider one of GMs strengths (build quality body/suspension).

Just because it's a Toyota or Honda doesn't mean it's a sure bet either--though there are shining good examples in their lines, they have had some disasters too. The good ones are still on the road. Walk around any large salvage yard and you'll get a feel for their problem children. My sister once owned a Cressida with the 5MGE inline 6. Alum head, cast block, alum pistons. Common design today, back then that combo would best be considered experimental: an engineering nightmare of different expanding new alloy tech vs. machining tolerances and gasket technology that weren't quite there yet. Sis never looked at another Toy. Her next car was a Cadillac and now she drives a VW.
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GM cars are way ahead of where they used to be, BUT....

Postby sammyboy » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:29 pm

The way they tried to cut costs at every turn and put out crappy, under-engineered products - especially throughout the 1970's and '80's - still ticks me off.

Two lemons that I know of personally are:

My parents '78 Malibu wagon that was delivered new from the factory with a cracked engine block (V-6) and the metallic silver paint began to flake off before it was 2 years old.

The '90 Cadillac DeVille my ex and I (before I came out to her and she divorced my ass in 2006) bought used from her mom. We owned it from May 1995 to November 2001, but were ready to disown it before we'd had it a full year. Supposedly GM's top brand (??), but the engine began to leak oil like a sieve shortly after we bought it and on one occasion due to an electronic SNAFU, the cruise control spontaneously set itself at FULL throttle. It was a brief, but harrowing ride before we could stop the thing using maximum pressure on the brakes while the engine was still roaring at full throttle. Once we shut the engine off and disembarked from our "Amity-De Ville Horror", we saw flames coming from the super-heated front brakes. That was the last straw for GM in my book...

We replaced the Cadillac with a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan ES (top of the Caravan line) with all-wheel drive - lived in Alaska at the time - which both of us really enjoyed and which my ex is still driving in great running condition.
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Postby J » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:45 pm

I've never owned a car NOT from the "big three". Over the past 19 years, I had a Plymouth (Chrysler), Buick (GMC) and three Saturns (all GMC).

You know what turned me against imports initially? The god awful horns. I HATE that nasally sounding "Jap-meep" (as I call it). I don't think Nissans do that, but the others do, and if I was forced to own one, the first thing I'd do is replace the horn with an American (sounding at least) one.
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