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Discussion Starter #1
"I don't think they [consumers] should feel sorry for [GM and Ford]," he said. "I really think that what has happened to the companies is the fault of GM and Ford. You could blame other carmakers, the union [workers], health care costs, but it was the management of the companies that made the decisions.

http://autos.msn.com/advice/article.aspx?contentid=4023659&src=Home&pos=Edit2
So, what do you think?:thumbsup: Personally, I think GM is making a good comeback, but they need to score a homerun CAR, whether it be a muscle car, family sedan, whatever. We need a RWD, fun to drive car from GM, and it better be at the Detroit Auto Show!:
http://autoshow.msn.com/as/preview.aspx?shw=autoshow2006
 

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GM is making a good comeback. Despite their current lay offs and all that shit they're not doing so bad. The new Impala is great and definately an improvement. The cops might start buying them up and kicking their puny 4.6 Crown Victorias to the curb. I think if the two most successful GM brands are Caddy and Chevy. They seem to be very popular right now. Chevy has tons of potential and if we see a Camaro and a RWD Monte Carlo they'll be back in ass kicking business. Also if the other divisions get their own Impala variations then we'll be in business. Buick's new Northstar powered car looks promising for them. The other divisions will follow suit.
 

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Regardless of what wet dream they decide to follow with Buick, Saturn and Pontiac... IF they can introduce some REALLY GOOD mainstream bread and butter product in the Chevrolet line, I think they could start to gain ground very quickly. As it stands right now, I dont see it.
 

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I think that I could not DISagree MORE with any statement that begins, "What ever happens to them, they deserve" -or- "I can't feel sorry for domestic car makers" -or- "Serves them right" -or- anything similiar to that. These people have no clue.

Whatever happens to our domestic car industry will effect 90% of all Americans. The auto industry is the biggest and furthest reaching industry we have. Steel, glass, rubber, aluminum, paint, coatings, steel, on & on & on. As goes the domestic car industry - so goes America, so you danm better care!

I would never ever buy any German or Japanese car, no matter where on earth it was made. A Volvo or Saab, yes, I'd buy if I HAD TO. Likewise a Jag.

When you "Vote" for a brand WITH you money (you "Vote" by buying it) you are also supporting the homeland from wench that car comes from, 'Ya, even if it's made in South Carolina, dat don't matter.

I've only owned Chrysler, GM & Ford products in th epast 42 years. I have had 2 lemons (a pontiac & a buick) outta 24 new car purchases, or 8% ~ all the rest were near perfect or perfect. I see absolutely no reason to look across the pond for toothpaste, white bread, or cars !
We have exciting cars here Cadillac XLR Buick Lucerne, Pontias Solstice, Chevy SS & Corvette, Ford Mustang, Mercury Milan, Dodge Hemi Charger, Magmun, Chrysler 300C, Viper and others.
 

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That Milan is damn impressive for a Mercury! It's really bringing the brand in with the younger crowd!
 

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Sandy is completely right, if you don't support the American Auto Industry we're all screwed. The foriegn countrys have other things that keep their economy afloat however America's Economy relies heavily on companies like General Motors, Ford, and Dahlmer Chrysler. I've never bought a foriegn car and never will. There's something about driving an American car that gives you a sence of pride. Nothing gives me that pride more than my Chevy. Chevrolet is the ultimate american car. They should just make the bowtie red white and blue for god's sake. When I hear the words "American Car" Chevrolet is the first thing that pops into my head. Ford comes in a very close second too. The cars are well built and the only reason there have been so many less than perfect cars from the American companies is because the American car buying market has no idea what it wants. They want massive power and exquisite fuel economy. They want lots of room but a small car. They want something practical that goes really really fast. It's like the companies are getting so many obscure requests that they put out a product that goes and flops. It was so much easier 25 years ago when a car was a car and that was it. People need to accept the fact that they can't have both in most cases. Chevy made the Aveo to satisfy those interior room small car fanatics and what do you get? A zit on wheels.... Any suffering they're doing is not their fault, they're just trying to satify these obscure requests.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll buy American if they have what I'm looking for, and if it's the best available product, but I'm not going to make some sort of sympathy purchase to save American jobs. Hell, if its Americans that are building my Honda in Ohio or building my Hyundai in Alabama, I'm certainly not going to feel guilty about it.

Besides, like I said, they're making improvements, but they haven't gotten there QUITE yet. For example, if I wanted to buy a small sporty car, and it came down to a Cobalt SS and a VW GTI...well, I'd go with the GTI. And who wouldn't? Sure, it may have VW reliability...but its still more fun to drive, looks better (I'm talking about the NEW '06 .5 model), has a better interior, and I know I will get my money's worth.

If I were going to get a midsize car...I'd probably get a Mazda6/Sonata, and I MIGHT look at the Ford Fusion. Nothing GM has, though, even remotely interests me - the Malibu is mediocrity at its finest, as is the G6:yawn:. Don't even get me started on the Saturn L-series...:thehand:...

That's what I'm talking about - the cars that everyday people can afford (i.e. anything less than $25,000) - GM doesn't have any winners. I mean, and its a shame too, because they could. The G6 could have been a great car - it doesn't look half bad, but it had drum brakes, a pushrod engine, and its FWD, all which are faux pas in today's modern automotive designs...

Besides, I think NOT buying American (because they have inferior product) sends them a message that if they want sales, they had better shape up. If you buy American for "sympathy" then they have no incentive to improve product, and you end up with K-car like things...:tisk:
 

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ben72227 said:
I'll buy American if they have what I'm looking for, and if it's the best available product, but I'm not going to make some sort of sympathy purchase to save American jobs. Hell, if its Americans that are building my Honda in Ohio or building my Hyundai in Alabama, I'm certainly not going to feel guilty about it.
I dont always agree with you, but I have to here.

I want us to all take this to a smaller scale for a moment. Lets say you were my friend and I knew you were looking to buy a Widget. Well hell... I MAKE Widgets here in the U.S.A!

I see that you have your eye on some foreign Widgets, or hell, even someone elses domestic Widgets... but I go up to you and say... "Hey man, since your my friend, and my widgets are built here in the U.S., I think you really should buy mine regardless of what else youve seen. Cause really, if you dont buy my widget you are disrespecting our friendship and hurting the domestic economy!"

Who would have tha gall to say something like that to another person? Buy MY product because were friends, or on a larger scale, because its made here in the U.S., even though its not as good as the other product and may cost more... Its ludicrous. The point of economy is not to have dollar bills, but to have goods and services in trade for those dollars at a reasonable cost. Its not about hoarding all the cash in one place. Mexico learned this when trading tons of land for Gold.

NOW... ON THE OTHER HAND... I watched a special recently on Wal-Mart's insatiable appetite for Chinese/Taiwanese/Malaysian produced "CHEAP GOODS" that they can sell here at INSANE markup levels and in doing so not only produce staggering profits, but also drive domestic producers of such goods out of business. Now Im not so much bothered in that respect by the producers going out of business, as the low prices WalMart sells the goods for have the capability to give consumers more money to spend elsewhere, and then create other jobs in those markets... BUT... From a PERSONAL point of view, it really pisses me off now (I wish I had never seen this thing) that anytime I go to buy anything, ESPECIALLY electronics, I check to see where its made... and it doesnt matter WHOSE name is on the front (Sony, Samsung, Panasonic)... if the product is MADE IN CHINA, you are paying a huge percentage more for it than it cost to make. Look at the declining quality of electronics over the past 10 years... most of the 2-5000.00 Televisions sitting so prominently at your local retailer, cost a smidgen of that to produce, and the materials and build quality SHOWS THAT. Most of those TVs are produced by a company called TCL, or one like it. Thats on top of all the new branded shit thats also flooding the shelves... (Syntax-Olevia, Init, Initial, Averatec, MAXENT... etc.)

So Im trying to only buy American, Japanese, German, Swiss etc. products from now on. Not because I care so much where the items were made, but it bothers me knowing Im being charged 20.00 for a cable that Circuit City is making 19.00 of profit on. I want what Im buying to cost the merchandiser almost as much as Its costing me to buy, with a HEALTHY profit margin, not an outrageous one.
 

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I understand the desire to support the American Auto Industry but to say that our economy depends on the american auto industry is a little extreme. Most of the parts that the auto industry uses are bought from suppliers in the US who make the parts in other parts of the world. Its all about profit, Ford, Chrysler, and GM are all in it for the money they lay off American workers so they can make their cars in other countries who do not have as many labor laws and environmental laws. Along with less stringent laws they also have an abundance of people willing to work for very little money. GM for example now makes the 3.4 Liter V6 in China which used to be made in Mexico. Chryslers "great American engine, the Hemi is made in Mexico. Lincolns new car the Zephr (not sure how it is spelled) is made entirely in Mexico. Look at the Pontiac Vibe, that car is actually a Toyota Matrix. The Chrysler Crossfire is actually a rebadged previous generation mercedes SLK. The Ford Explorer, America's best selling SUV, 4.0 Liter SOHC engine is made in Germany and its transmission is made in France. All of the above examples are reasons why American consumers should not feel like they have to buy American cars. On top of this most domestic cars just are not up to the quality of the imports. I do think their are some good American cars but most are upper line models from primarily Cadillac and Lincoln.
 

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To answer the initial question, no. American auto manufacturers are in the same shape as all auto manufacturers. Toyota and Honda are the only two companies that would be left standing if we suffered a severe economic depression; and even Toyota might have some trouble. Nissan, Kia, Hyundai - they didn't build plants in the US because they want to be nice to us. They built them here because without the US market they cannot survive. Their own home market has been battered by a severe recession lasting almost 20 years.

Here's the simple truth: the current crop of manufacturer problems have nothing to do with quality of product. That's an American media generated mound of BS. The problem is simple economics. Because the biggest bubble of baby boomers are now reaching retirement age, auto industry planners know that they will likely buy one or two more cars in their lifetime. For the next 20 years, the number of new car buyers in America is going to dwindle. By 2030, the number will be slightly over half what it is today. Yet right now - THIS WEEK - the manufacturing capacity of domestic and foreign US based plants exceeds the current demand. All the manufacturers know that in order to survive, they must get leaner or die of obesity. Supply must be reduced by consolidation, merger, etc. That's exactly why Chrysler merged with Daimler. Don't be surprised if Ford buys Nissan in the not too distant future, Daimler Chrysler becomes Daimler Chrysler Mitsubishi, and GM absorbs Kia or Hyundai, or both, or perhaps they will shock the world by entering into a mega-merger with Toyota.

That explains why all the foreign manufacturers build these mammoth plants in the US. New, automated, hi-tech, non-union manufacturing plants in the south make you a much more attractive aquisition candidate than the obsolete, polluted, union infested plants in the rust belt.

I live in Michigan and know scores of people at the big three, from a Chrysler VP through a quality manager at GM to line workers at Ford. None of what you're reading in the papers today surprises anyone around here.
Delphi was doomed from the start, and GM has been planning these plant closings for years.

In a way, Sandy is right. Buying a foreign car does hurt American workers and the American economy. If you know the history of auto manufacturing, you know that some fine makes like Cord, Deusenberg, Packard and Studebaker did not fail because they built substandard product. They failed because once sales began sliding, cash reserves went down, R & D was cut, product lines were reduced, and finally bad press and public perception turned even loyal customers away. Who wants to buy a car from a dying company? (present Oldsmobile loyalists excluded)

Ultimately, it just becomes a question of who buys who. Trust me, you don't want Toyota owning GM, or Honda owning Ford. If that happens, better brush up on your Japanese my friend.
 

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Holy Shit Noahsdad, you have 200k on your 4.1?!?!?! Now I can see why you stick to those 4.1's so much!
 

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I~LUV~Caddys8792 said:
Holy Shit Noahsdad, you have 200k on your 4.1?!?!?! Now I can see why you stick to those 4.1's so much!

Not quite - my '87 SDV has 47K right now - we're on the way to 200k. I told my wife if it makes it, I will personally drive it to the junkyard and let her operate the crusher. Then I'll let her buy a brand new XLR. Of course at 6k a year, we'll be driving the '87 for another 25 and a half years.
:thumbsup:
 

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ahhh I see I see. If I can get 200k on my 4.9 with the coolant leak. I will be amazed, and I will buy another caddy with a 4.9, maybe this time a Sixty Special or Fleetwood. It would be awesome to find a '92 Fleetwood Coupe!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ultimately, it just becomes a question of who buys who. Trust me, you don't want Toyota owning GM, or Honda owning Ford. If that happens, better brush up on your Japanese my friend.
True, but do you really think Toyota would even TOUCH GM??? I mean, all they'd get is a bunch of whiny Union employees, crappy factories, etc.

More than likely, they will wait for GM to go OUT OF BUSINESS and then they will snatch up all of the market share that GM lost...And we'll all have to drive Camrys!:lildevil:
 

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ben72227 said:
True, but do you really think Toyota would even TOUCH GM??? I mean, all they'd get is a bunch of whiny Union employees, crappy factories, etc.
More than likely, they will wait for GM to go OUT OF BUSINESS and then they will snatch up all of the market share that GM lost...And we'll all have to drive Camrys!:lildevil:
This is true.

Here is my take on this.

I think the US is capable of producing the world's greatest automobiles on the planet (by far and away). I just don't think GM and Ford are.

We design and build the best, most innovative products right here in the US.
Just some examples:

  • Boeing: Aerospace, best jet aircraft, space shuttle (enough said)
  • Cisco: Computer networking products, world class routers and gear
  • IBM: High end computers
  • Apple: iPod & Macintosh
  • Microsoft: Operatings systems and software (like 'em or not, they must be doing someting right)
  • Intel: Micro Processors
  • Texas Instruments: They make all the guts in all the gadgets
I think everyone would agree that these companies have nothing to worry about in terms of foreign competition.

Manufacturing in the US is alive and well, but GM and Ford are dead.

"I don't think they [consumers] should feel sorry for [GM and Ford]," he said. "I really think that what has happened to the companies is the fault of GM and Ford. You could blame other carmakers, the union [workers], health care costs, but it was the management of the companies that made the decisions.
This is wrong. It is both (mgmt & union workers).
 

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As an aside, I was reading the pre-show preview for the 2006 Detroit auto show, and the bullet point under the 2006 GMT900 SUV's says at the end... "... GM Promises much better build quality this time around..."

THIS TIME??? Have you not BEEN building trucks for what... 50 years now?? This is where things get really ridiculous. If they havent been able to produce a quality product, under their OWN standards for the better part of half a century, why would I assume the next one is going to be any better?

That sounds pessimistic, but for some reason that little quote really bothered me. Its almost as if they were saying "Eh, well always get another chance if we mess it up this time."
 

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It will be extremely interesting to see how this pans out in the next 20 years.
 

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'Ya, like Chrysler? The Feds bailed them out so that 2 schmucks could sell them to Mercedes ? Gee, thanks!

I'd like to see Mercedes take the next generation S-Class and GIVE IT to Chrysler as an Imperial and NOT make a twin car outta it badged as any Mercedes, as a thank you. Mercedes will not even give them a car! Oh, ya, they give them the old SLK when the new SLK comes out, to re-body as a Crossfire. Great big deal, to Mercedes is coming a great big Thank You. Some "Parent" company ~ like parents buying you a used pair of sneakers, but you have to supply the shoe laces !
 
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