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All of these are reasons for the auto maker troubles, but which is the biggest?

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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:46 PM
Original message
Poll question: All of these are reasons for the auto maker troubles, but which is the biggest?
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 01:51 PM by Husb2Sparkly
Which one of these problems is, in your view, the single biggest problem for the car companies?



Edit to change the word "both" to "all" in the thread title.

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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OffWithTheirHeads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Shitty managment is #1
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I vote for this. n/t
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. 3
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hendo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. yup NT
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Shitty management. I agree with that assessment. nt
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NoGOPZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. Another vote for shitty management
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 03:25 PM by NoGOPZone
If a company isn't making money, then executive management isn't doing its job, pretty much by definition.
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emilyg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Crappy products.
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. I want to buy American but none of them are making the car I want.
Fucked up business model.
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lutefisk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Every time I rent an American car I consider it as a potential model to purchase.
And every time I return the rental disappointed. The American companies just don't make cars as refined and well thought out as Honda and Toyota do.
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Honda and Toyota sales are down 30%. Exact same as US sales. n/t
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
29. But GM was already rapidly losing ground to Toyota
and the other companies with the sense to invest in hybrids and fuel efficient cars that people want.
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #29
52. GM makes more hybrids than Toyota. In fact, they make more than any company.

The difference is that (1) Toyota is already getting assistance from the Japanese gov't and (2) GM, Chrysler and Ford had the whole market to themselves while the other countries rebuilt following WW-II. Every increase in sales for other countries entering the market was a decrease for the Big 3.

So GM outsells every other car manufacturer in the world except for Toyota, yet the Stock Market views all those other car manufacturers as doing better because they are growing while GM gives ground.

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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #52
54. No, that isn't the difference.
Name one GM passenger car that gets over 40mpg. Go ahead. What model?

The hybrid-lights they have now are half-assed jokes and are more evidence that even when they produce a hybrid they really don't have a clue.
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Kalyke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #4
50. Refined?
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 09:07 AM by Kalyke
:rofl:

They're junk. Unmitigated junk. I drove a piece of foreign crap while my Mustang was being repaired after it was rear-ended by someone talking on a cell phone while driving. It was awful. I felt like I was driving plastic with a wimpy horn, not enough power to pull a greasy string out of a cat's butt and it looked like a bubble. I hated it.
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. "It's the economy, s-----!"

Given that foreign car manufacturers have experienced the exact same drop in sales, kind of hard to blame it on crappy products.

Unfair practices does apply somewhat. Cause while those foreign car manufacturers are experiencing the same drop in sales, they are not experiencing the same problems. They don't have to ask their govt's for help. They get that help automatically.

And legacy costs are definitely contributing. For a few decades after WW-II we had no competition as the other countries had to rebuild. Once they rebuilt they would naturally become more competitive. And that would mean a smaller slice of the pie for our manufacturers. But by then our manufacturers had already built up a lot of those legacy costs. Plus the "grow or die" business model enforced by the stock market -- shrinkage drives down your stock price which makes it possible for a competitor to buy your company then shut you down -- throws a monkey wrench into the works.

Then the credit crunch kicked off the current crisis at this particular moment.

But bigger than all of these, and the cause of some, is the overall economy. It takes away everyone's customers. It dries up credit.


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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. Agreed
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
10. Piss poor management.
But you would never know from the salaries they get.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
11. Other-bad management. n/t
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TheCowsCameHome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
12. Out-of-touch management.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
13. Another other for terrible, hereditary management. n/t
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 03:01 PM by greyhound1966
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
14. Lack of available credit
All of you "experts" can scream crappy products (according to a poll this weekend, 50% of Du members own Domestics, and are quite happy with them) and if you think it's bad management, then the heads of the Japanese companies have to go too, since they are SUV/Truck heavy in their lineups.The banks and captive finance arms are looking for people who ONLY have 700+ scores to make loans, and that will not sustain the industry as a whole.


I have heard that Toyota has YET to make a profit on the Prius, and that they may cut back importation dramatically because they lose way more now with the yen at 92 to the dollar.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Three from our friends in Japan






These me-too behemoths are so much more responsible products?

(I agree with you)
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JANdad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
15. Other: Dumbass Americans giving credence to a myth
that American cars are crappy...tell a lie long enough and all non-thinking DUMBASSES will believe it...
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. HEAR HEAR
Most of them have NEVER owned an American car, or aren't old enough to drive, or like one suckass, rides a bicycle and hates cars period.
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tabbycat31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. I have owned an American car
A 1999 Ford Escort, and it gave out (died suddenly) at 116K miles. I'm not the typical car consumer the manufactures/dealers want, who leases every 3 years then turns in the car and leases again. I'll buy a car new, and I want to be able to drive that car for at least 150K miles. I think I put $3000 into that car the last year I owned it.

The car I'm driving now is a foreign car, bought the same week as my American car (by my parents), and had no problems (just routine maintnance), and is going very strong at 140K.

The day that the American car companies put the same quality into their cars as they do their trucks, and have a track record of it, I will consider American again. In the mean time, I'm sticking to Subarus.
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1gobluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. Yep
And 2% import tariffs.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. American cars may not be crappy now, but they were for quite a while.
My first car was a 1949 Chevy, I've had a 65 Goat, 70 Road Runner, 62 Sport Fury 'vert, 69 390
AMX and a crapload of other American cars..

But starting shortly after 1970 or so American cars took a major nosedive in quality and stayed crappy for at least a decade and actually more like two decades. I had a Chevy Monza Spyder that the interior plastic literally turned to powder and just rubbed away, I actually liked the styling of the car but it was such an ill designed and assembled bucket of nuts and bolts that it was hard to keep it running and the quality of the interior was just pathetic.

Right now I have a 97 Expedition with the 5.4 and a towing package that I use for my business which sometimes involves towing heavy loads.. Not a bad truck overall but when I pressure washed the engine compartment about 18 months ago I had to replace all eight coil packs at a cost of about $500. I've pressure washed lots of engine compartments, I do almost all my own work so I like to keep it clean but I've never once had anything like that level of failure from a Japanese car.

When you have personally owned crappy cars it's not being a dumbass to be suspicious about others from the same source.

Overcoming the bad personal experience that a lot of us older people have had with seventies and eighties and even nineties American cars is hard to do with just statistics. Once you have been thoroughly burned on a big purchase like a car it's not likely you're going to open yourself up to being burned by the same company again.

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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. My third car was a '65 Goat tri-power
Bought it in '69 from the dealership I apprenticed at. Paid $1500. It had 6000 miles on it. My insurance bill for 6 months from State Farm was $1200. Needless to say, after 6 months, I bought a '63 Olds 98 luxobarge for $300 and sold the GTO for the same money I paid for it (luckily). My insurance for the year at the age of 19 was $350 with the barge.

My first car was a '59 Impala, my second a '64 Corvair Turbo Spyder. My fifth a '64 Olds Cutlass Supreme with the 350 Carter 4bbl. (converted to Qjet with Edelbrock manifold) motor (sucker screamed with headers and Thrush mufflers), my 6th a '66 Mustang "K" car, my seventh and most favorite a '67 Camaro convertible. That car, and the story surrounding it, are for another day. :evilgrin:
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. It took you that many cars to get layed?
jus funnin' ya :evilgrin:



A friend had a turbo spyder and let me tell you that thing would litterally fly. The first car I actually rode in that would pin you in the seat from acceleration. WOW was/is all I can say about that car.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. The '63 Olds, it was the ULTIMATE drive in car.
ALL I cared about was cars until I got that Olds 98. I would drive down the street on a Friday night in Ridgewood NJ with my Pioneer 8-Track under-dash tape player with Craig amplifier and Jensen coax 6x9 speakers cranked up and the ladies would pull me over for a ride. They were tired of "muscle heads". Until I blew the motor on that (too weak an anti-freeze mixture, cracked the block one fine winter day in 2003) I was king of the drive-in.

The Corvair was a pisser. I changed out the "Turbo" muffler and put a Corvette muffler on, so the turbo kicked in at 3000 instead of 4000. I changed the spring on the bypass so it opened later. That sucker was easy over 200HP. And it launched like a dragster.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. My Goat had the Quadrabog...
Buhwaaaaaahhhh.. About two seconds worth of bog when you first jump on the loud pedal and then it would scoot.. I had Hedman headers, Thrush mufflers, a 4.11 posi and a shift kit in the Turbo 400 tranny, the thing sounded like a Gold Cup offshore racer when idling.

I eventually found a guy that tuned the Quadrajet correctly and it didn't bog any more after that. Quadrajets are complex carbs and not very many people understand them well. Holleys are more popular with performance folks but they are about as sophisticated as a stone axe.

Then I got Maxwell Smart's car, a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger.. 289 Ford with a top loader 4 speed in a car about the size of a Miata or an MGB.. "The Poor Man's AC Cobra" is how I thought of it..



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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. And next to that Tiger is an actual Cobra ....
... or a replica, depending on when that picture was taken.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. Yeah, I noticed that..
Always wanted a Cobra, never will have the money for even a replica. :(

But I wanted a Q45 when they first came out and didn't think we'd ever have one of those either, then my wife totaled her car and we got an insurance check since it was paid off. Got a cherry 92 Q45; state patrol car with a leather interior and a nice sound system is how I thought of it. Almost as fast as a lot of the old muscle cars, I had it a touch over 100 one day with a car full of middle aged women and it was so smooth they never even noticed, just eased up the speed slowly and they kept yakking. :evilgrin:

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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. Tiger's kicked ass and didn't take names, one of my dream cars I never had.
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 06:19 PM by DainBramaged
Almost all of the Super Stock drag cars we ever won with were QJets. You could put on one of the Corvette 427 400HP 850CFM QJets on and slip past tech except at a National Event or a points meet where they checked the carb numbers. Was good for a full tenth over the usual 650CFM can. And NOTHING was simpler than changing the secondary metering rods depending on atmospheric conditions (we actually checked barometer and humidity in the primitive day). And finding a hanger with just the right amount of up angle (usually from a Pontiac Grand Prix) gave you a micro-second quicker opening speed. Edelbrock now sells them with the proper (optimal) degree of lift built in.

all for $4.00
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. The Tiger was fun but it didn't go around corners very well..
Too much weight on the front end for really good handling, having a lot of horsepower didn't help things either, you went from considerable part throttle understeer to radical oversteer in about a quarter inch of throttle movement. That would get your undivided attention very quickly. You could make pretty good time around a track but it was a lot of work, I later traded the Tiger for an old Lotus and it was much easier to go fast in even though the engine was about 1/3 the size of the Tiger.

Nice trick with swapping out the Q-jet and the metering rod hangers, I hadn't heard that one.. But then I was more into road racing than drag racing, I used to drag race my bike sometimes but never took my own car to the strip.

Q-jets also have a plug in the bottom of the float bowl that tends to develop leaks and will foul up your metering and kill your gas mileage and performance since raw gas drips straight into the intake manifold.



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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. We fixed those with epoxy. Later on, you could get phenolic plugs
that we sealed with epoxy. The difference in float sizes was worth a lot of CC's of gas in the float bowl. Float bowls from small block Chevy's in Malibu's and Impalas had little float bowls and little floats (550 CFM Q Jet), so we got more gas in the bowl of our tweaked carbs.

The Tiger had leaf springs, and I remember seeing them at the drags with homemade traction bars (simple steel tube with eye bolts on either end) with adaptors to the spring hangers and attachment points at the spring eye. It helped them hook like well, my Corvair! Like these Traction Masters, the ORIGINAL traction bar.



They worked then, they STILL work today.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. So you were putting small floats in the big bowl?
That is sneaky.. :evilgrin: I didn't know they had different size bowls on the different carbs, interesting.

I had traction bars on a couple of different cars and they do help hook up..

My bible was Gordon Jenning's "Two Stroke Tuner's Handbook", if you can understand and make a two stroke run well four strokes are a piece of cake relatively speaking. I road raced an RD350 for quite a while and learned a hell of a lot about how to get something from almost nothing. Chambers, porting, crankcase stuffing, I did just about all of it at one time or another. Literbikes were just becoming popular at the time and it used to royally hack off the big bike boys when I outran them on a ring a ding bike with about 1/3 the displacement. My favorite mod was to replace the stock coils with two 12V car coils, that was good for nearly fifteen percent power gain all by itself if you opened the plug gap up to about .045", the stock coils sucked.

http://www.chuckbunnell.com/kart/jennings/jennings.html









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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. We used to melt lead and pour it in the rear cross members
attaching the frame rails. You'd stuff rags in the ends up to the point where the inspectors could stick a finger into the casting holes and see if anything was in there (lazy guys stuffed bags of shot and got caught when an inspector poked a propane torch in the hole to burn the canvas bags ) so we could add ballast at the rear for traction.


It was a great time in my life.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
23. consumers have no jobs and no money
crappy strategic management is also to blame. fighting the unions is short-sighted and counter-productive longterm; fighting increased mileage standards the same.



But if the built the best and greenest cars on earth, people still couldn't buy them without jobs and stable, secure income, which repuke rule has destroyed.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
27. Other: Fickle, gluttonous, ignorant consumers. nt
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
31. I figured it was because of the same things that are hurting everybody: no jobs & no money
I guess you see it differently.
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4 t 4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. I agree with almost all of the above, but
at this time I wouldn't want to see 1 more person in the United States out of work, not 1 more. I'm sure it won't work but it will buy more time for so many workers. How can anyone be against that?
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. How would you know from the OP how I see things?
The OP states NO opinion whatsoever.

:shrug:

:eyes:
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #34
42. Ok, so why wasn't that in your definitive list of reasons?
People are without jobs and homes. Retail sales are in the crapper. Unemployment is high and getting higher every week as more and more people get laid off. I'm sure you are aware of it, so how could it *NOT* be on your list? I'm not sure, but I think that's called a 'push poll'.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 06:54 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. You earned your name
You're also blowing shit out of your ass.

And don't lecture me, you fucking blowhard. Go pick a fight with some who opposes you, you dumbfuck.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. Push push in the bush (remember that song, or were you old enough)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wgswKSJ8GQ

That's for you!

Push poll my wrinkled old ass.
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
37. All car sales are way down because of the
economy, that includes the European and Asian car makers. Why the hell does everyone keep bashing the management and workers at the Big 3? It is not their fault the economy collapsed and people can't buy cars. Why didn't anyone question all the billions that were handed out to banks? Because there are labor Unions involved perhaps? Is it the contractors fault people aren't buying houses?
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jakefrep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
45. Other - lousy economy
Even sales of supposedly superior Japanese brands are in the tank.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
46. Its another Republican administered economic disaster where no one is spending
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 08:56 AM by NNN0LHI
And we have stupids who want to blame the workers for the Bush economy.

Don
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
47. Other: LIES told by the media and gross misperceptions the part of the public
They don't build crappy products no one wants to buy. If that were the case, why/how did they sell 17,000,000 last year? Who the hell are all these "no ones?" And, GM has more hybrids in it's fleet than either Toyota OR Honda -- whose sales have also tanked along with every other auto makers.

We've had this discussion a hundred times now, but I see far, far too many people who post their diatribes against Detroit based upon their experiences with a 1980 Chevy Monza or something, and haven't sat behind the wheel of a new Detroit-made car since.

The media plays into this -- that's all you hear them trumpet: "But why bail them out if no one wants their cars?" Because 17,000,000 ain't no one, that's why. And GM is selling hybrids. We're being fed a line of crap from a Republican-run corporate whore media whose only goal is to smash the unions and get the car plants moved to their Southern home states. Have you heard one Congressman without a heavy Southern drawl who is opposed to helping Detroit? Fat chance.

I think most/many people simply aren't doing proper research, and are basing their opinions on outdated and flat-out WRONG information.

.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #47
53. Huzzah Huzzah!!!
I agree with every word you said.
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wartrace Donating Member (920 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
48. Lack of consumer confidence & the low mileage vehicles.
I would buy a new pickup truck today IF I was confident enough to sign up for a car loan. I have good enough credit to easily qualify but I am not so sure I will be working in a year. The spike in gas prices also contributed to the lack of demand. Who can afford to buy a vehicle that gets 20mpg when gas is 4 bucks?

Poor management & the huge overhead that management agreed to with the union is not helping things.
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Kalyke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
49. Wow - there is an awful lot of DUers still living in 1988.
It's 2008. American cars are far from crappy. They're cheaper to purchase, last as long as their (butt-ugly) foreign counterparts (sometimes longer, in my case) and when they do need maintenance or repairs, they're cheaper to fix/maintain (my oil change: $30. Hubby's foreign POS oil change: $50).

I'm guessing none of you have looked at the past two years' recall lists (foreign cars in all the top spots) nor the best selling cars for November (Ford and Chevy top the list - far above distant third Toyota).

But, then when has knee-jerk reaction over fact swayed a certain faction of DUers?

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081...

http://seekingalpha.com/article/107263-six-myths-about-...
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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:07 AM
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51. Jobs
Without life sustaining wages and a sstable job buying a new car is out of the question.
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