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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.
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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Agreed
 

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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
 

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CTS
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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.
 

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1989 Sedan DeVille is now just a fond memory ....
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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
 

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noahsdad said:
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
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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.
 

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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:
 

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mccombie_5 said:
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!
 

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thu said:
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...
 

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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.
 

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....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.
 

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Sandy said:
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?
 

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I~LUV~Caddys8792 said:
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!
 

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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.
 

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90Brougham350 said:
Rough times have come before, anyone remember 1992?
What happened in '92? I was only 5 years old at the time
 

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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...
 

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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
 

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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:

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