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2020 Demolition Derby


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#41 Skywalkre

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 0801 AM

Why is this GM thing even political?  It seems to highlight poor leadership at the top and they're only now realizing Americans don't want to buy most cars anymore.  Ford came to this realization a while ago (1-2 years?) when they announced they were basically stopping all car production outside of the Mustang and one other model.


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#42 Ssnake

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 0837 AM

I suppose that without the new tariffs on aluminum and steel GM could have soldiered on for one or two more years, but now it becomes all too obvious for them that they must make some radical changes to retain a chance to stay relevant in the field of individual mobility. And chopping industry jobs, especially on a large scale, is exactly the opposite of what Trump wants.


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#43 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 0921 AM

The whole "not going to make cars" thing is fucking stupid.  Fuel isn't going to stay cheap forever and then smaller cars will come back into vogue.

Further, government interference in car manufacturing with regards to fuel and crash standards have made cars indistinguishable which opens the door for other, cheaper makes and models to thrive.

Low quality recycled metal and lightweight structures to improve economy lower the quality of the car as well.  People think that SUV's and trucks are built better but they aren't


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#44 Skywalkre

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 0936 AM

The whole "not going to make cars" thing is fucking stupid.  Fuel isn't going to stay cheap forever and then smaller cars will come back into vogue.

Further, government interference in car manufacturing with regards to fuel and crash standards have made cars indistinguishable which opens the door for other, cheaper makes and models to thrive.

Low quality recycled metal and lightweight structures to improve economy lower the quality of the car as well.  People think that SUV's and trucks are built better but they aren't

I'm in full agreement.  I don't understand why Americans seem hell bent on wasting as much money as they do on vehicles (to be fair, in my lifetime, Americans have always been pretty bad regarding their own monetary habits). 

 

But... at the end of the day GM is simply reacting to what consumers want no matter how foolish it may be.  That's not something to criticize them for if sticking with what consumers 'should be doing' could potentially set them up for disaster like back in '09 (some of what I've read about this recent move is critical because it highlights leadership that has learned nothing and is still too slow, putting the company at risk yet again).

 

If Trump is going to criticize them for anything it should be at how slow they were to make these changes, not that they're being made in the first place.


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#45 rmgill

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 1002 AM

Why is this GM thing even political?


Because it's been political for decades. See also Big 3 and Union Lobby.
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#46 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 1003 AM

Trump laid into Ford for moving the Focus production to China.  The Focus is a pretty good cheap car with a poor transmission design.  Ford got upset and said we just won't make the Focus here or anyplace else either.

Now Ford says that they can't make any money on a Focus but a Mazda 3 is the same car but with a better transmission.  Mazda can do it, why can't Ford?  Legacy costs and the costs of doing business in the US are very high, that's why.

Now Trump has done a boatload to reduce regulatory costs on manufacturers but 40 years of bloat can't be undone in two years.  The manufacturers have to build better cars for less money which is hard to do when 27 air bags are "mandated" for insurance purposes.  Add on the regulatory burdens associated with the actual production process and the expenses are real.  A generous helping of bad management (new Lincoln Continental built on FUSION platform!) and stuff is bad.

A new F350 is around $71,000 for a truck than has about $40,000 in value.  You'd have to sell a lot of Focus or Fusion cars to make the kind of profit that those trucks bring BUT there are fewer people that can buy a big $71,000 truck than there are a small $20,000 car.  Economies of scale enter into it as well.  If GM cuts out 40% of their production is it realistic to assume that their truck and SUV divisions are going to boost sales by 40% to compensate?   No it isn't.  The margins will go up a point or two but volume will drop tremendously.  Dealerships will be screaming at max volume because they've lost a quarter of their volume and used car prices will increase even further from their already high point.

In short what we have here is a recipe for disaster thanks to poor planning, bad execution, and very bad government actions.

GM cries that "we can't sell cars" and President Trump says: "funny, there's no difficulty selling Toyota Camrys" and there isn't.  I hope Trump calls Ford and GM and tells they both to fuck off.

Maybe a little of the Carlos Ghosn treatment is in order?


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#47 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 1018 AM

additionally,

the whole SUV platform thing is an outgrowth of trying to meet CAFE standards in the first place.  Some say that CAFE in necessary to move technology forward and at one point that may have been true but now the market is really in the driver's seat.  If people want fuel economy then that is what they will buy.  Ditch CAFE entirely, relax crash standards by a generous portion ans let the auto manufacturers build what they can sell.  If people want Volvo grade safety then they can but it.  If they want 1959 Cadillac styling then they can get it at the cost of some safety.  Since you are wondering, old school bumpers and fins with big chrome don't meet standards for pedestrian impact.  Turns out that big steel bumpers coated in chrome are much harder on pedestrians that cheap plastic bumpers 1/16" thick with a foam absorber behind them.  Then people hit a deer and wonder why their two year old car is totaled.


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#48 Josh

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 1042 AM

The whole "not going to make cars" thing is fucking stupid.  Fuel isn't going to stay cheap forever and then smaller cars will come back into vogue.
Further, government interference in car manufacturing with regards to fuel and crash standards have made cars indistinguishable which opens the door for other, cheaper makes and models to thrive.
Low quality recycled metal and lightweight structures to improve economy lower the quality of the car as well.  People think that SUV's and trucks are built better but they aren't


Fuel will likely stay sub $100 a barrel forever. Probably closer to $50-60 for the next several years. US production and export infrastructure is steadily rising while global demand is dropping off, despite Iranian partial sanctions and Venezuella's continual drop in production.

In any case, GM isn't betting against cars in favor of trucks, it is betting heavily on electric vehicles instead of gas ones. It is a gamble. But the gas car production market is demonstrably saturated. Those GM plants are working at one shift per day.
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#49 Josh

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 1044 AM

additionally,
the whole SUV platform thing is an outgrowth of trying to meet CAFE standards in the first place.  Some say that CAFE in necessary to move technology forward and at one point that may have been true but now the market is really in the driver's seat.  If people want fuel economy then that is what they will buy.  Ditch CAFE entirely, relax crash standards by a generous portion ans let the auto manufacturers build what they can sell.  If people want Volvo grade safety then they can but it.  If they want 1959 Cadillac styling then they can get it at the cost of some safety.  Since you are wondering, old school bumpers and fins with big chrome don't meet standards for pedestrian impact.  Turns out that big steel bumpers coated in chrome are much harder on pedestrians that cheap plastic bumpers 1/16" thick with a foam absorber behind them.  Then people hit a deer and wonder why their two year old car is totaled.


None of this is what Trump is proposing. He's merely threatening GM for working inside the current legal and customer trend framework.
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#50 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 1432 PM

gas car production market is saturated?  Seriously?

There are plenty of people in the market for an affordable new car. 

It just has to be affordable and that is hard to do when the car is full of technology designed to deliver every last ounce of economy and safety cost be damned.

Electric vehicles have been "coming soon" for 80 years.  The existing power grid won't support one fourth of the current gas car count converted over to electric and team "D" is damn sure that no no energy production facilities are going to be built (excepting crazy expensive solar, of course)


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#51 Josh

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 1619 PM

gas car production market is saturated?  Seriously?
There are plenty of people in the market for an affordable new car. 
It just has to be affordable and that is hard to do when the car is full of technology designed to deliver every last ounce of economy and safety cost be damned.
Electric vehicles have been "coming soon" for 80 years.  The existing power grid won't support one fourth of the current gas car count converted over to electric and team "D" is damn sure that no no energy production facilities are going to be built (excepting crazy expensive solar, of course)


Every other car company that sells in the US deals with the same gas and safety standards. Ford has already had the same issues. Apparently foreign companies just do it better?

Note this article is from March. Far before the Dems took the house, which is generally what you attribute all economic downturn to:

http://www.autonews....february-sedans

The automaker on Thursday reported sales of 220,905 vehicles in February, a 6.9 percent decline from a year ago. Crossover sales were up 6.8 percent, while cars declined 15 percent, and trucks, including full-size SUVs and vans, dropped 12 percent.
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#52 Harold Jones

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 1730 PM

Just a reminder, a lot of those foreign cars are made in the US, but for the most part in plants that have declined UAW representation located in what are called right to work states.    This means they don't pay union wages and probably more importantly aren't constrained by union rules.


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#53 Jeff

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 1753 PM

 

The whole "not going to make cars" thing is fucking stupid.  Fuel isn't going to stay cheap forever and then smaller cars will come back into vogue.

Further, government interference in car manufacturing with regards to fuel and crash standards have made cars indistinguishable which opens the door for other, cheaper makes and models to thrive.

Low quality recycled metal and lightweight structures to improve economy lower the quality of the car as well.  People think that SUV's and trucks are built better but they aren't

I'm in full agreement.  I don't understand why Americans seem hell bent on wasting as much money as they do on vehicles (to be fair, in my lifetime, Americans have always been pretty bad regarding their own monetary habits). 

 

But... at the end of the day GM is simply reacting to what consumers want no matter how foolish it may be.  That's not something to criticize them for if sticking with what consumers 'should be doing' could potentially set them up for disaster like back in '09 (some of what I've read about this recent move is critical because it highlights leadership that has learned nothing and is still too slow, putting the company at risk yet again).

 

If Trump is going to criticize them for anything it should be at how slow they were to make these changes, not that they're being made in the first place.

 

 

I see plenty of cars on the road, they just don't have badges from the Big 3.


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#54 rmgill

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 2025 PM

Every other car company that sells in the US deals with the same gas and safety standards. Ford has already had the same issues. Apparently foreign companies just do it better?


Yeah, they apparently do. Kia just contacted a friend after looking at paperwork to see that he had a tow after getting dealer service and then another tow after that dealer service. He'd argued with the dealer about some 'warranty work' that cost him $800. Kia contacted HIM and offered to cover almost all of that cost just out of the blue. Needless to say he practically fell out of his chair and is pleased. It sounds like Kia needs to send a Narn Bat Squad after the dealer ship because he had problems crop up after service there that they had trouble getting right (including the wrong type of oil after an oil change). But that's the Dealer...not the MFGR.

I can't imagine GM doing that at this point. Kia has expanded their West Georgia Plant twice.

Edited by rmgill, 28 November 2018 - 2026 PM.

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#55 shep854

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 2307 PM

Kias come a long way. It wasnt too long ago that there was a joke about Kia meaning Killed In Action.
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#56 Simon Tan

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 0254 AM

Kia is part of Hyundai. GM killed Daewoo.
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#57 Soren Ras

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 0307 AM

The Koreans have been very focused on improving quality for years.  My number one concern when I purchase an automobile is reliability.  I switched from Mazda to Hyundai a decade back and we've bought four different Hyundais since 2004. Never had a problem with any of them, except one dead battery that the dealer replaced 15 minutes after I arrived at no cost (that 5-year warranty is nice).

 

My parents had a string of Fords over the last fifteen years, but finally switched to Hyundai due to too many problems with the Ford cars and the dealerships. They are just kicking themselves that they waited so long.

 

--

Soren


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#58 GregShaw

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 0326 AM

The first car I purchased was an '86 Hyundai Excel, my brother bought another one a few months later. Mine never had a problem, my brother's never didn't have a problem. I understand that isn't uncommon with the early Hyundai cars, inconsistency. Since then I've owned a Jeep Cherokee (loved it), Ford Explorer (hated it) and a Dodge Ram 1500 (loved it).

 

Last year I had to replace the Dodge, due entirely to my negligence in maintenance. After some research I went with a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, excellent reviews and the 10 yr warranty were the clincher. None of the US crossovers I tested were even close. Only problem was I have a car payment again after 7+ yrs without one. I tend to keep cars a long time; 5 yrs for the Excel, 7 yrs for the Cherokee, 8 yrs for the Explorer and 12 years for the Ram. So the reliability and long warranty are important to me.


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#59 toysoldier

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 0328 AM

My brother and i have an 2002 Elantra and boy oh boy does that wagon rolls on :wub:


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#60 Rick

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 0540 AM

The first car I purchased was an '86 Hyundai Excel, my brother bought another one a few months later. Mine never had a problem, my brother's never didn't have a problem. I understand that isn't uncommon with the early Hyundai cars, inconsistency. Since then I've owned a Jeep Cherokee (loved it), Ford Explorer (hated it) and a Dodge Ram 1500 (loved it).

 

Last year I had to replace the Dodge, due entirely to my negligence in maintenance. After some research I went with a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, excellent reviews and the 10 yr warranty were the clincher. None of the US crossovers I tested were even close. Only problem was I have a car payment again after 7+ yrs without one. I tend to keep cars a long time; 5 yrs for the Excel, 7 yrs for the Cherokee, 8 yrs for the Explorer and 12 years for the Ram. So the reliability and long warranty are important to me.

Bolden part; 20 years for my Mustang, 26 years for my F150 work truck, and 66 years for my favorite, my 8N tractor :wub:

Sold my '88 still running Accord this year. How is this done? The owner's manual and I are good friends! I also keep $1,000 back for each vehicle just in case!


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