: Perception vs. Reality



noahsdad
11-29-05, 11:53 AM
Hey gang - just heard this story from my brother in law, a quality manager at GM. Thought it would be of interest here...

In 2004, one of the VP's at GM (can't remember his name) offered his mother free use of a Cadillac DeVille to see if she liked it. She has been a die-hard Toyota buyer for 25 years, her last car being a Camry, which she was ready to trade in after driving over 200k of relatively trouble free miles.

The deal was she could drive the DeVille for six months, and at the end of that time she could either buy the Caddy as a GM program car, or turn it back in to GM and buy a new Camry - the price would have been about the same either way.

She drove the SDV, loved it, and at the end of six months, turned it back in and bought the Toyota. Her son was incredulous. She explained that although the Cadillac rode and handled perfectly, was supremely comfortable, and the build quality was as good or better than any car she had ever seen, she just wasn't sure it would go 200,000+ miles like her beloved Camry.

This could be the biggest hurdle American car manufacturers face: In the mind of the buyers, perception is reality.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-29-05, 12:17 PM
Agreed

mccombie_5
11-29-05, 12:22 PM
Yup, the reason American cars don't sell well here in the UK

My mother loves our Cadillacs, but refuses to buy one because it "Won't be as reliable as a BMW or Saab"

Completely wrong, my Seville is one of the best cars I've ever owned

SilverCTS
11-29-05, 12:38 PM
Quality of US cars might be better today, but the problem is that too many people got burned in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's by poor quality products.

Most people just aren't so forgiving.

What really hurts GM now is the amount of blue collar / union workers that are driving around in Hondas and Toyotas. Blue collar and union workers once represented a bastion of support for GM and Ford. Not anymore.

Kev
11-29-05, 01:14 PM
Perception = Ford, Fix Or Repair Daily, Found On Road Dead, etc.

Reality = 89 Mustang LX, 5.0 HO w/5 speed. 320,000+ miles and still going strong. Original engine, ORIGINAL CLUTCH! Only major repair was head gaskets at 225,000 miles.
:thumbsup:

Toyota can bite me if they can catch me! :D

Randy_W
11-29-05, 03:22 PM
Hey gang - just heard this story from my brother in law, a quality manager at GM. Thought it would be of interest here...

In 2004, one of the VP's at GM (can't remember his name) offered his mother free use of a Cadillac DeVille to see if she liked it. She has been a die-hard Toyota buyer for 25 years, her last car being a Camry, which she was ready to trade in after driving over 200k of relatively trouble free miles.

The deal was she could drive the DeVille for six months, and at the end of that time she could either buy the Caddy as a GM program car, or turn it back in to GM and buy a new Camry - the price would have been about the same either way.

She drove the SDV, loved it, and at the end of six months, turned it back in and bought the Toyota. Her son was incredulous. She explained that although the Cadillac rode and handled perfectly, was supremely comfortable, and the build quality was as good or better than any car she had ever seen, she just wasn't sure it would go 200,000+ miles like her beloved Camry.

This could be the biggest hurdle American car manufacturers face: In the mind of the buyers, perception is reality.

I'm glad my Mom is not stupid enough to pay the same price for a Camry as she could have gotten a DeVille for.:D

Jon
11-29-05, 03:29 PM
GM should put up huge billboards with the results from the JD Power studies, which show Cadillac ranked way up near the top in reliability.

noahsdad
11-29-05, 04:45 PM
Jon and SilverCTS make great points - and present the dilemma that Cadillac is in. Because of dismal quality in the 70s, engineering problems in the 80s, and just plain drifting through most of the 90s, GM and Cadillac have relinquished the mantle of excellence - but worse - they have lost the faith of all but the most faithful. Earning that back is a big mountain to climb.

They're now in the unique position of not just having to build cars equal to the Japanese (and now the Koreans), but substantially and consistently better cars, every day, for years to come. One slipshod model and everyone will shrug and say, "See, they don't have it anymore."

As I said in another post, don't start playing taps over GM's grave yet. I'm old enough to have seen this company reinvent itself many times. They'll do it again, and will emerge from this long dark tunnel a leaner, better car company...and NOT the bastard stepchild of Toyota.

ben72227
11-29-05, 05:37 PM
People, lets get past thinking Toyota would even touch GM. Most likely they will wait for the GM ship to sink, and then with no competition, everyone will be forced to buy Camrys and Toyota will take over the world!:devil: Bwahahahah:devil:

But, this is a true thing. While Jap cars got better, American cars got worse. They went from things of beauty (60's Mustangs, Corvettes, Eldorados) to things of boxyness (J-Body anyone???). At the same time, Jap cars went from little rust-body Corollas to the #1 in the country Camrys. No other western country has a top selling car that isn't a domestic (which goes to show how behind the times GM is).

Hondas and Toyotas aren't PERFECT, but they're a hell of a lot more perfect than anything GM puts out right now. I mean, the Camry competes against what? The Pontiac G6/Chevy Malibu with old pushrod technology? Engines that have to get overhauled at a certain point, while the Toyotas/Hondas never have to get taken into the shop except for routine maintaince(sp?)...;)

It is no perception that GM cars suck, it's a REALITY. When you have as many recalls, as many service bulletins, etc. as GM, yes ITS A REALITY.:helpless:

thu
11-29-05, 06:11 PM
Yup, the reason American cars don't sell well here in the UK

My mother loves our Cadillacs, but refuses to buy one because it "Won't be as reliable as a BMW or Saab"

Completely wrong, my Seville is one of the best cars I've ever owned

My two Devilles lasted well into the 200,000 mile category. My 1985 lasted until 238,000 miles (had a catastrophic water pump seal failure) and my 1993 has 298,000 miles on it. Engine is still going strong! Body and interior are in excellent shape.

When I considered buying another car this year, I considered BMW, but realized that when things broke (not 'if', but 'when'), I'd be paying through the nose in repairs. Same for Mercedes. Ironically, same for the Japanese makes, too!

mccombie_5
11-29-05, 06:23 PM
My two Devilles lasted well into the 200,000 mile category. My 1985 lasted until 238,000 miles (had a catastrophic water pump seal failure) and my 1993 has 298,000 miles on it. Engine is still going strong! Body and interior are in excellent shape.
When I considered buying another car this year, I considered BMW, but realized that when things broke (not 'if', but 'when'), I'd be paying through the nose in repairs. Same for Mercedes. Ironically, same for the Japanese makes, too!

Indeed, the Cadillacs cost about the same to maintain as any other BMW Mercedes or Lexus in this country because of parts.

She trades her car every year or two anyway.

She cant see that Cadillac has a bigger repuation in America as BMW has here, but because its a relatively unknown brand, she doesnt see this, next year she will probably buy a Saab 9-3...

Sandy
11-29-05, 06:40 PM
It could all be fixed very easily. It's called "protectism"

George Bush signs into law a 7% income tax rebate for anyone who purchases a 2006/2007 GM or Ford car (except a Chevy Avio) between Dec. 1st and Dec 1 '06. Anyone who purchases any other car, has to pay an tariff of 7% on their income tax, in 2006.

All done. Fixed.

EcSTSatic
11-29-05, 07:03 PM
....and all the other manufacturers pull their assembly plants from the US, creating more unemployment and no one to buy those GM or Ford cars.

My point it it's a global market place now, an entire ecosystem just like in nature. You try to 'fix" one problem and you cause more, maybe larger problems.

I don't have the answer either.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-29-05, 07:24 PM
It could all be fixed very easily. It's called "protectism"

George Bush signs into law a 7% income tax rebate for anyone who purchases a 2006/2007 GM or Ford car (except a Chevy Avio) between Dec. 1st and Dec 1 '06. Anyone who purchases any other car, has to pay an tariff of 7% on their income tax, in 2006.

All done. Fixed.


Good idea! Didn't we have something like this in the late '70s/early 80's?

EcSTSatic
11-29-05, 07:30 PM
Good idea! Didn't we have something like this in the late '70s/early 80's?

Uh oh.... this is turning political.

from someone who had to deal with the hyperinflation during those Carter days!

90Brougham350
11-29-05, 08:02 PM
Then let's make sure it doesn't go political. GM has an opportunity here. GM is facing one of the bigget crisises it has ever faced. Rough times have come before, anyone remember 1992? But GM is now dealing with, as stated above, a global market, and significant image perception problems. Now GM can either do one of two things. Emerge from this crippling experience with a fleet of new and remodeled vehicles, and advertise to the world their quality is excellent, or it can continue to use the same strategies it has used for the past 30 years, and die. People don't believe GM quality is back like it was in the 50's, so GM needs to advertise the hell out of the fact it is! We're here because we're all enthusiasts and we know the truth about the matter, but like I've said before, it's not what we know, it's what Joe Blow walking down the street thinks about GM quality.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-29-05, 08:13 PM
Rough times have come before, anyone remember 1992?

What happened in '92? I was only 5 years old at the time

SpeedyArizona
11-29-05, 08:47 PM
In 2004, one of the VP's at GM (can't remember his name) offered his mother free use of a Cadillac DeVille to see if she liked it. She has been a die-hard Toyota buyer for 25 years, her last car being a Camry, which she was ready to trade in after driving over 200k of relatively trouble free miles.

There are two things wrong with that:

1) If he's a VP at GM, would he actually buy his own Mother a car for her birthday or something....what a jackass :D!
2) I'm sure she is pretty well-to-do if she's the Mother of a VP, she should be able to afford a nice car other than a Camry.

What is the world coming to...

ben72227
11-29-05, 09:02 PM
It could all be fixed very easily. It's called "protectism"

George Bush signs into law a 7% income tax rebate for anyone who purchases a 2006/2007 GM or Ford car (except a Chevy Avio) between Dec. 1st and Dec 1 '06. Anyone who purchases any other car, has to pay an tariff of 7% on their income tax, in 2006.

All done. Fixed.

Ah, but Sandy, you forget, It's Honda of AMERICA now. Besides, people would pay extra for Jap quality. I mean, look at the situation now; most people pay sticker price for a Honda, which fly off the lots, while GM has to dish out like $5,000 in rebates, "employee pricing", etc. just to get people to LOOK at their cars, which just sit there at the lots and have their brake calipers rust over...:p

Kev
11-29-05, 09:33 PM
The thing that bothers me most about this whole story is that there is a VP of GM who can't even remember his own name, how's he supposed to make decent cars?!! :hmm: :thepan:


.... one of the VP's at GM (can't remember his name).....:D

FSU_Noles
11-29-05, 09:54 PM
1) If he's a VP at GM, would he actually buy his own Mother a car for her birthday or something....what a jackass :D!


Roger that, cheap bastage shouldn't be making his mom buy a car - no doubt she could have got employee pricing, not just program pricing. That is why she bought a toyota - to spite her cheap-arse kid.

FSU_Noles
11-29-05, 10:00 PM
I must be in the minority but why does everyone think this is a good looking car??? My dad owned two and they were just BLAND. When I see Camry first thing I think of is rental car.


BTW - anyone seen a grill that looks like this anywhere... hmmm...

http://www.tundrasolutions.com/photopost/data/524/06CamryXLEV609.jpg

Night Wolf
11-29-05, 10:45 PM
I must be in the minority but why does everyone think this is a good looking car??? My dad owned two and they were just BLAND. When I see Camry first thing I think of is rental car.


BTW - anyone seen a grill that looks like this anywhere... hmmm...

http://www.tundrasolutions.com/photopost/data/524/06CamryXLEV609.jpg

The world will never know... its sad really.... people loose all common sense because "its Toyota, it runs forever"

The last Toyota engine to ever "run forever" much less the last Toyota engine that was amazing, was the 22RE from the 80's... todays mix and match stuff is no better then anyone else.... in alot of casses, behind.... just like Honda and Nissan.

IMO the G6 looks so much better then the Camry, and they are in the same price range, both midsize family sedans etc....

http://www.pontiac.com/images/gallery/g6sedan/sm_image21_lrg.jpg

and uh... oh yeah, you can get a G6 Coupe... can't with a camry :)

Night Wolf
11-29-05, 10:48 PM
Oh yeah... functional Ram-Air anyone?

SOO much better then a "Camry" :D

ben72227
11-29-05, 11:24 PM
Oh Please. That's the reason they sell well. They (and Lexus for that matter) have what are called "down to earth" designs. I mean, we own Cadillacs, so for us, it's a bit hard to understand. But for many people, the "understated" look is very appealing. I mean, why do you think Buick is still so profitable? Their cars are extremely luxurious - but they AREN'T flamboyant, like Cadillac, or BMW or MB. They are cars you can take to church and not be ashamed of.:shhh:

Besides, the Toyota may not be eye-popping, but it IS elegant, and more importantly, it is REFINED...much more so than it's competition. Ahem...:

Figure 1 - Notice the center console; with knobs that look like they were designed for kindergartners and so much GM RUBBERMAID interior that I could PUKE.:bighead:
http://www.familycar.com/RoadTests/PontiacGrandAm/Images/Stack.jpg

Figure 2 - Take notice of the body design; the hideous black window sills, the side panneling that has become synonomous with Pontiac. Since this is about perception, I will give you my HONEST perception when I see someone driving a Grand Am, or other Pontiac like this one: I IMMEDIATELY think that the person is a dumb, blue-collar American. Most likely they're what some would call "white trash" or as some people would say (but certainly not me): Poor Old ***** Think Its A Cadillac. Now, lets move on with the body design: It's old, worn out, and lasted for WAY too long. It reminds me of those other AWFUL GM cars of the 90s - everything from the Beretta:bighead: to the Lumina. *PUKE*
http://www.familycar.com/RoadTests/PontiacGrandAm/Images/LeftFront2.jpg

And that's what the general public (i.e. People who buy Jap cars) think when they see this. A flawed GM car bought by an ignorant American who is either too proud to look at a Honda...or simply can't afford one:(

I think it's terrible (really I do:( ) that people think these things - but hey, people stereotype. It's not right, but it happens regardless. And while I think the G6 is going to help shift away this negative connotation, well...It's still too new. I mean, that Pontiac above was a '02 Grand Am. That's only 3 years ago...GM can rebuild, but it will take TIME, lots of it. And it will also take competent leadership, with people who can read the market.

That's why I think things like the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Soltice are GREAT. They look good, and they are those "gotta have" cars. Now, if only GM could make their regular cars like that...:rolleyes:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-29-05, 11:38 PM
and uh... oh yeah, you can get a G6 Coupe... can't with a camry :)

Camry Solara

90Brougham350
11-29-05, 11:45 PM
What happened in '92? I was only 5 years old at the time

GM lost 23 billion and was 40 minutes away from filing bankruptcy. Google "GM 1992" or something like that. :duck:

Night Wolf
11-29-05, 11:52 PM
Camry Solara

Nope, thats a Solara... not a Camry.

It may be the same chassis... but not the same car :)

ben72227
11-29-05, 11:55 PM
Nope, thats a Solara... not a Camry.

It may be the same chassis... but not the same car :)

Well it USED to be:cool: Besides, it costs about the same (for the non-convertible version) as a Camry.

If you REALLY want a Toyota coupe, well, hows this?:
http://www.garage-frey.ch/tuning/Celica_T23/celica_2.jpg

The G6, well it just DOESN'T look QUITE that good:lildevil:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-30-05, 12:00 AM
Cars like that are the reason I buy big american luxury sedans.

90Brougham350
11-30-05, 12:03 AM
Well it USED to be:cool: Besides, it costs about the same (for the non-convertible version) as a Camry.

If you REALLY want a Toyota coupe, well, hows this?:
http://www.garage-frey.ch/tuning/Celica_T23/celica_2.jpg

The G6, well it just DOESN'T look QUITE that good:lildevil:

Can someone tell me why the fuel door is a different color? They were so close! The body kit is actually painted, except for that little fuel door. Oh well, guess they ran out of money to paint it!:devil:

ben72227
11-30-05, 12:05 AM
Or maybe it was intentional??? I've seen people that do that on purpose. Admitedly, I've never seen a black fuel door, most of them are satin silver...

Night Wolf
11-30-05, 12:07 AM
Now we are talking about the Grand Am... ok.....

the last gen of '99-'05....

I think the '99+ Grand Am is one of the BEST looking midsize family sedan cars out there...

of course posting a bland SE may not look good, to other people, I think they are nice...

also whats with the plastic cladding everyone knocks? it looks good, thats all I care.

Gosh, Pontiac has had some of the best styling, when you compare them to a boring Toyota... its hands down for me...

Here is my favorite '99+ Grand Am... 2003 GT Coupe, SC/T Fusion Orange... oh yeah *its stock*

http://inoventionseast.com/GAOC/pics/PDR_0103.JPG

http://inoventionseast.com/GAOC/pics/PDR_0129.JPG

Compared to a boring, bland, ugly contraption called a "Camry Solora"

http://toyota20032004.free.fr/images/japon/toyota/2003_camry_solara_1.jpg

Sorry, from every angle the Grand Am looks far better :)

Night Wolf
11-30-05, 12:08 AM
Can someone tell me why the fuel door is a different color? They were so close! The body kit is actually painted, except for that little fuel door. Oh well, guess they ran out of money to paint it!:devil:

dude, stop living under a rock man.... it adds 20hps, duh.

Night Wolf
11-30-05, 12:17 AM
BTW I like the Grand Am interior... alot. Far more character then any boring Toyota.

Its funny how we can only keep coming up with "ewww... thats a rubbermaid interior omg!11!!!1" They don't bother me one bit. I'll rather take a sweet rubbermaid interior over a boring slab of multiple different colors thrown onto a flat piece of plastic called a dashboard.... atleast thats Toyota's train of thought....

Grand Am interior.

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_interior_15_346x270.j pg

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_interior_17_346x270.j pg

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_interior_19_346x270.j pg

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_dashboard_10_346x270. jpg

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_dashboard_11_346x270. jpg

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_dashboard_13_346x270. jpg

Thats a nice interior.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-30-05, 12:19 AM
I like how Pontiac has always used hundreds of little grey buttons. :)

It brings back memories of going to the Pontiac dealer back in '92 to see my dream car when I was in kindergarten, the 1992 Bonneville SSEi!

Night Wolf
11-30-05, 12:23 AM
Like I said, sweet from every angle:

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_exterior_2_346x270.jp g

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_exterior_3_346x270.jp g

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_exterior_4_346x270.jp g

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_exterior_5_346x270.jp g

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_exterior_6_346x270.jp g

http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/pontiac_grandam_gtcoupe_2005_exterior_8_346x270.jp g

compared to:

http://images.automotive.com/tmpimages/1/Toyota-Camry-8263.jpg

http://images.automotive.com/tmpimages/1/Toyota-Camry-8266.jpg

http://images.automotive.com/tmpimages/1/Toyota-Camry-8268.jpg

Yeah, I'll take the Grand Am, "Rubbermaid interior" and all, please.

ben72227
11-30-05, 12:28 AM
Once again, you compare a fully loaded, quad tail pipe, chrome rim car to a stock model family sedan. I'm not impressed:cool:

ben72227
11-30-05, 12:32 AM
I think this picture is more accurate. It pretty much sums up why GM isn't number one. Now, use your imagination and pretend that's a Grand Am instead of an LTD...:lildevil::

http://www.pre-checkedautos.com/Mechanics0.jpg

Night Wolf
11-30-05, 12:38 AM
Is that the best you can do? lol, I completly prove my point, and thats it?

yeah, last I checked on a Camry, 2003, much less 1999 when this Grand Am came out, you couldn't get hood scoops, quad tail pipe and until recent, chrome rims or a spoiler.

Plus, all that on a Camry would make a POS look like more junk.... but a basic Grand Am still looks better then a "top model" Camry.... ah yes...

...its so bad now, we have to bring up past vehicles that are no longer made to prove our point...

ben72227
11-30-05, 12:43 AM
...its so bad now, we have to bring up past vehicles that are no longer made to prove our point...

Ah, but the Camry IS Still made, and your Grand Am...well, it bit the dust.:devil:

But, I mean, that's what happens when you produce a crap car that looks bad, performs bad, and worst of all, isn't reliable...;)

Ah, I just love hypocrites...;)

Night Wolf
11-30-05, 12:46 AM
Ah, but the Camry IS Still made, and your Grand Am...well, it bit the dust.:devil:

But, I mean, that's what happens when you produce a crap car that looks bad, performs bad, and worst of all, isn't reliable...;)

Ah, I just love hypocrites...;)

Ah yes, we are too simple minded to realize what happens when one car model is discountinued, and another one takes its place.

You compare a last gen GM to a current gen Toyota..... yeah, ok.

G6 (6th generation Grand Am) replaced the Grand Am, so far, it is far more of a car then the Camry will ever be :). 3900 V6 with 240hp, 241ft-lbs torque, 6spd manual, dual exhaust, chrome rims, huge panaromic moon roof, sweet interior, sweet exterior styling, nice after market Ram-Air hood to really kick it up.... mmmmm....

ben72227
11-30-05, 12:53 AM
Oh yeah, last I checked it was YOU that compared the last gen Grand Am to the Camry with the photo-collage of yours.

In my mind the Grand Am is DEAD. If it was such a "great" car, GM wouldn't have to change the name. It's just like the Cimmaron; it sucked, so they dropped it like a hot potato.

Notice how the Camry KEPT its name when the upgraded it...And it's STILL the number one car in America.

Bwhahahahaha:lildevil:

Also, your beloved Pontiac had LOADS of problems, not to mention it FAILED the highway safety test:
http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Reliability.aspx?year=2001&make=Pontiac&model=Grand%20Am&src=vip
http://www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id=137

You see Nightwolf, there are MANY more things to cars than just the engine performance.
BTY, what was that you were saying about that "small POS, death trap of a Honda". It seems to me that this Pontiac is a death trap...I just love how much of a fanboi you are...Get off GM's nuts already...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-30-05, 01:31 AM
Actually, the 1999 Grand Ams are notorious for their poor reliability. I would have to choose the Camry over the Grand Am, but I would sell the Camry, and get a Grand Prix GTP :D

Wouldnt it be more fair to compare the Camry and say a Impala?

Night Wolf
11-30-05, 01:53 AM
Being a regular on a Grand Am site for more then 4 years now, I would say I am well aware of the "problems" they have.

Funny though, they are cheap to fix, unlike imports.

Lower Intake Manifold gasket, take half a day, do it yourself, do it right, never worry about it again.

warped front brake rotors, upgrade to some nice slotted rotors, never worry about it again.

window regulator, replace with the revised regulator.

Thats all.... now what about Toyota's failing transmissions in the late 90's or their engines sludging up?

Sorry... can't beat me at the Grand Am game, wont work.

I am a "GM fanboi" ? I am not the one trolling a forum to bash their product, if Toyota is so good, why are you over here trying to defend yourself, instead of over their prasing some boring car while waiting for GM to out bankrupt? Really, you do nothing but cause trouble here... you are like a kid with ADD who says "my bike is better then yours" then kicks dirt and pedals away to the safety oh his mommy to hide from bad boys. It gets old quick.

Playdrv4me
11-30-05, 05:08 AM
You can say whatever you want about the current egg Camry... but please dont put down the previous gen Camry by comparing it to a plastified GrandAm. The last gen Camry had one of the most down to business practical and pleasing to the eye car designs I remember in a while. Not spectacular in a flashy way... just so beautifully well proportioned...

Other cars like this...

1992-1997 Cadillac Seville
19xx-1991 Mercedes Benz W126 S Class
1990-1993 Honda Accord Sedan
2004-2006 VW Phaeton
Mid-nineties Chevrolet Lumina (the last one, not that hideous abomination before it).

Which brings me to another interesting point... What the HELL was GM thinking with the Chevrolet Lumina APV, Olds Silouhette twins!! Rick... even YOU cant possibly endorse those piles of junk! (except for the 3800 of course)

http://www.westol.com/~blcars/images/sale2070a.jpg

Night Wolf
11-30-05, 06:48 AM
Eh, say what you would like about the Grand Am, not worth debating anymore.

That van, besides the somewhat quirky looks, it was a really good van, and the 3800 just put it ahead of the rest. I know a few people that have one and they love it, with over 200k miles.

I don't think its that bad... when I think of ugly ~1993 era vans, these are what comes to mind:

http://i4.ebayimg.com/03/i/05/91/9a/9b_1.JPG

http://www.imagehostplus.com/v2/is.php?i=477422

noahsdad
11-30-05, 11:33 AM
FYI - The first Grand Am appeared in 1973, and went through several revisions until it was dropped in 2005. That's 32 years of manufacture fellas, hardly a failure by any standard of measure. The biggest problem/compliment to the Grand Am was that it was one of the most popular models in history as measured by purchases of rental car fleets (Camry isn't even close). That's good because rental car companies tend to buy cars that have a proven track record of holding up well. It's bad because being a rental fleet car kills resale value - there's too many on the market, and the rental companies dump them cheap. The same thing happened to the previous Chrysler 300M.

Camry and Grand AM are both great cars, but never in the same class. Camry was designed to compete with Taurus, which was kicking Toyota's a** in the mid 80s.

Jesda
11-30-05, 12:08 PM
Pontiacs are so god awful ugly to me, inside and out. I make an exception with the Bonneville, which is quite striking and sleek. The damned "PUNCH A BIG HOLE WHERE YOU CAN!" vents in the dashboard ruin the otherwise excellent interior.

Elvis
11-30-05, 12:10 PM
Back to the original post, my perception is based on reality...

--the reality of my family owning several GM and Ford cars through the 70's and 80's. They all started experiencing serious problems between 50,000 and 80,000 miles. To us, that was acceptable because we liked to trade every three or four years whether we needed to or not. My father's '77 Sedan DeVille lasted until 83,000. His Mercedes made it to 124,000.

The Acuras and Hondas I owned never flinched, even up to 93,000 miles. Just very basic maintenance required.

We'll see what this Ford of mine will do, but I'll be happy to get 75,000 out of it. That should be almost 8 years the way I drive it.

Jesda
11-30-05, 12:35 PM
I've rarely purchased US-built cars, but of the ones I have, my Ford-built 1995 Mazda 626 was sold at 250k, flawless. 1991 Ford Explorer sold at 170k with a tapping noise that was pretty harmless, ran strong.

The 1988 Celebrity wagon my Dad sold to a family friend 15 years ago is STILL running at 230k up in Alaska.

Randy_W
11-30-05, 12:42 PM
My 1980 Grand Am 25 years and no problems, so far;
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/toppop52/images/GrandAm.jpg

Katshot
11-30-05, 01:26 PM
Ah the old 'G' bodies (was the Grand Am a 'G' body?)! Fond memories of my Grand Prixs (I had a '78 and a '85). Loved them both. But back to reality here. I've said it a million times over the years. If American OEMs would just stabilize their model lines and keep consistent quality across the line, they'd know what it's like to be Toyota or Honda. The average consumer needs a friggin' program to keep up with all the model changes in American cars over the years. Names come and go models come and go. Whole brands come and go. Just when you might be able to get comfortable with a given model car, it gets discontinued!
My mom drives a Toyota Corolla. Why? Because she's in her 70's and when she went to buy her car, she remembers hearing for many years about how good the Corolla was. Was it the cheapest? No. Was it the most well equipped? No. Was it the best looking? No. She bought it because there is a high degree of model recognition and great word of mouth. And how do you get those couple things?
Build a good product and keep building it for a LONG time. Eventually, people catch on that it's a good product. I mean hell, I'm a car guy but yet even I cannot name every model in the GM line-up. Hell, I don't think I can even name all the Chevy's! I can't tell you how often I see a car on the road and have no idea what it is. 9 times out of 10 it's an American car. Some new mini van or econo car usually, but lately there's even higher level cars too. Buick, Pontiac, Ford, Mercury, Chrysler and Lincoln have all been releasing new cars that are all new to the consumer. With all the new stuff coming out all the time, how is anyone supposed to ever get a feel for whether a particular brand has any sense of consistent product quality or reliability?
But they car always find long familiar brands and models in the import lots, huh? People are simply more comfortable with something that strikes them as familiar in some way. And as far as JD Power reports or whether something was Motor Trends "Car of the Year" or not, that's all crap to me. Look back at what cars have been heralded as the "Car of the Year", or something similar over the years and look at how many turned out to be terrible cars and or dissmal sales flops.
IMO, consistent quality product, or at least consistent value is the key to success in virtually any market.

Caddy Man
11-30-05, 03:05 PM
Ah the old 'G' bodies (was the Grand Am a 'G' body?)! Fond memories of my Grand Prixs (I had a '78 and a '85). Loved them both. But back to reality here. I've said it a million times over the years. If American OEMs would just stabilize their model lines and keep consistent quality across the line, they'd know what it's like to be Toyota or Honda. The average consumer needs a friggin' program to keep up with all the model changes in American cars over the years. Names come and go models come and go. Whole brands come and go. Just when you might be able to get comfortable with a given model car, it gets discontinued!
My mom drives a Toyota Corolla. Why? Because she's in her 70's and when she went to buy her car, she remembers hearing for many years about how good the Corolla was. Was it the cheapest? No. Was it the most well equipped? No. Was it the best looking? No. She bought it because there is a high degree of model recognition and great word of mouth. And how do you get those couple things?
Build a good product and keep building it for a LONG time. Eventually, people catch on that it's a good product. I mean hell, I'm a car guy but yet even I cannot name every model in the GM line-up. Hell, I don't think I can even name all the Chevy's! I can't tell you how often I see a car on the road and have no idea what it is. 9 times out of 10 it's an American car. Some new mini van or econo car usually, but lately there's even higher level cars too. Buick, Pontiac, Ford, Mercury, Chrysler and Lincoln have all been releasing new cars that are all new to the consumer. With all the new stuff coming out all the time, how is anyone supposed to ever get a feel for whether a particular brand has any sense of consistent product quality or reliability?
But they car always find long familiar brands and models in the import lots, huh? People are simply more comfortable with something that strikes them as familiar in some way. And as far as JD Power reports or whether something was Motor Trends "Car of the Year" or not, that's all crap to me. Look back at what cars have been heralded as the "Car of the Year", or something similar over the years and look at how many turned out to be terrible cars and or dissmal sales flops.
IMO, consistent quality product, or at least consistent value is the key to success in virtually any market.
great post!

Playdrv4me
11-30-05, 04:12 PM
Agreed! Terrific points Katshot.

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
11-30-05, 04:48 PM
Well, I'm looking at this from an outside perspective (obviously).

Over here Japanese cars do not sell especially well.
They get excellent ratings in the JD Power report (which has been with us for about 8? years maybe). Japanese cars are by and large assumed to be reliable.

However most private buyers over here by German then Japanese perhaps. Although the best selling cars over here are almost always Ford and GM due to fleets etc.

To the best of my knowledge a Japanese car has never won a magazine group test review. They always come somewhere near the bottom. Because they're boring to look at (something Honda is fixing with the Civic althoguh it got a terrible review) and very dull to drive. They don't handle at all well, the interiors has too much low grade dark grey and black plastic and the whole thing is very uninspiring.

BUT

I suspect this is becuase european cars, and I'm talking about very small cars through to Accord sized cars, are far better than the offerings you get over there.
Don't get me wrong, I love american car styling, but the interiors are awful. They're like the interiors of european cars of the early 90s (at best). I'd rather the cool car and cheapo interior than a dull Japanese car (whose interior frankly isn't much better anyway).

But at enthusiasts american car shows over here when I look at european sized american saloon cars, to be honesrt, apart from the outside appearence, (which is great) they're awful.


The american manufacturers made bigger and bigger cars with bigger and bigger engines and it caught them out in the 70s and the Japanese got a real foothold. Detroit just didn't have a small car to compete and was late to market. Then as petrol prices went down in the mid - late 80s they found trucks and SUVs and started making them bigger and more powerful and motorists bought them. In the meantime they neglected their cars and the Japanese improved theirs. All of a sudden the cheap and nasty economy car from the Far East wasn't cheap and nasty anymore (unlike Detroits offerings).
Detroit rode the truck and SUV wave until we had our recent massive rises in fuel costs. All of a sudden motorists wanted economy and reliability and in the Detroit catalogue found next to nothing.
Can't really blame the Japanese, Detroit abandoned the family car.


Sure the old american cars were great to look at and a thrill to ride in. But no-one (aside from a few of us enthusiasts) would want them now. Hell, that's why they stopped making those kinds of cars.


Don't get me wrong, I own 2 American V8 cars and I'm celebrating that gas prices are now "only" $3.20 a gallon. Frankly it could be twice that and I still l wouldn't sell them.

I love Detroits cars and I will be heartbroken to see them go.
I don't want a Camry!


Detroit should grab the cars htey sell in the UK, put tyhe steering whele on the other side and sell them in America.
As is.
With no cost cutting on part quality.


They had such an opportunity over there with the Focus, but due to their cost cutting it's called the Ford Recall.
Over here the car wins almost every group test it enters (against German and Japanese competition). It's a top seller that's well put together and a blast to drive (for a hatchback). But not so the one over there.
Again, they goofed.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-30-05, 05:10 PM
And how do you get those couple things?
Build a good product and keep building it for a LONG time.

Can anyone say 3800?

ben72227
11-30-05, 05:31 PM
Funny though, they are cheap to fix, unlike imports.

Yeah, but Jap imports don't need fixing;)



now what about Toyota's failing transmissions in the late 90's or their engines sludging up?

Like I said, Toyota isn't PERFECT (like Honda:devil: ), but also, it's quite documented that the engine sludging came because people DIDN'T CHANGE THEIR OIL when they should;) But yes Rick, I'll give you that one; but then again, my '99 V6 Camry has NEVER given me ANY problems, nor did my '98 Honda Accord I4. So far, my '05 CR-V has been wonderful.

And of course, my land yacht...well, at least it still runs:p. And sometimes the heat will come on...sometimes...;)


if Toyota is so good, why are you over here trying to defend yourself, instead of over their prasing some boring car while waiting for GM to out bankrupt? Really, you do nothing but cause trouble here... you are like a kid with ADD who says "my bike is better then yours" then kicks dirt and pedals away to the safety oh his mommy to hide from bad boys. It gets old quick.

Because somebody needs to be here to give a reality check. Besides Rick, I think you'd like me better if you knew more about me. I admire GM a lot, and especially Cadillac, but I call it like I see it. The Grand Am of the late 80's up to the G6 just wasn't anything spectacular. Sure, it may have had a nice engine, but on the other hand, its safety ratings were abysmal at best.

BTY, in case you haven't already, check out MY sticky;):
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55934

Playdrv4me
11-30-05, 05:40 PM
To the best of my knowledge a Japanese car has never won a magazine group test review. They always come somewhere near the bottom. Because they're boring to look at (something Honda is fixing with the Civic althoguh it got a terrible review) and very dull to drive. They don't handle at all well, the interiors has too much low grade dark grey and black plastic and the whole thing is very uninspiring.

Actually they win quite often. I was just looking for reviews for the Phaeton yesterday on Car and Driver of all places, and came across a six car comparo of the 2003 Mercedes S Class, 2004 Phaeton, 2003 745Li, Audi A8, Lexus LS430 and Jaguar XJ. To me astonishment, the Mercedes was dead LAST, the Phaeton was 5th and the LS430 was FIRST place. I couldnt believe it.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-30-05, 05:41 PM
ben, what exactly are you trying to prove?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-30-05, 05:45 PM
Actually they win quite often. I was just looking for reviews for the Phaeton yesterday on Car and Driver of all places, and came across a six car comparo of the 2003 Mercedes S Class, 2004 Phaeton, 2003 745Li, Audi A8, Lexus LS430 and Jaguar XJ. To me astonishment, the Mercedes was dead LAST, the Phaeton was 5th and the LS430 was FIRST place. I couldnt believe it.

Yup, I have that same magazine. (it was a car and driver right?) The automotive press LOVES the Lexus LS, usually it always wins every comparo its in, and those LS's have a sterling reputation with the general public, they think they are the best damned car ever built.

ben72227
11-30-05, 05:55 PM
Yeah, I'm pretty sure Japan dominates the magazines, and last time I checked, Lexus was #1 on JD Power's chart. Nothing surprising really. I mean, since we all know Jap cars are the bestest.:lildevil:

mccombie_5
11-30-05, 05:56 PM
Yup, I have that same magazine. (it was a car and driver right?) The automotive press LOVES the Lexus LS, usually it always wins every comparo its in, and those LS's have a sterling reputation with the general public, they think they are the best damned car ever built.

It seems to be different in the States

In this country Lexus hasnt won one, it may be the best car, but there isnt chracter liek a Jaguar, engineering like an Audi or Phaeton, Styling (it sucks but some like it) of a BMW or the badge of a Mercedes.

The Japanese may make great cars, but they arent anythign to be excited about.