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Author Topic: New car suggestions  (Read 3044 times)

Rastus P Shagnasty

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buy a Crown Victoria
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2007, 05:39:53 pm »
Rastus P. Shagnasty

Dr Gene

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Lee Iacocca thinks Buick should follow Oldsmobile
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2007, 05:42:26 pm »
and disappear. He is not big fan of Saturn as well.

Shouldn't GM be like Toyota and have just Cadillac and Chevrolet? And two or three specialty brands?

What is the difference between Chevy Cobalt, Pontiac G5 and Saturn ION?

Would they really loose a sale if there was no Buick? If somebody wants to buy GM they could buy Chevy.


The Gorn

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Indians
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2007, 05:42:53 pm »
The specific factor that I was describing was the  model of tons of offshore coders working quite cheap in complete unison under a CMM-5 specific regimen. IOW, the image that has been used to bust US IT wages.

Offshoring has been proven to be a net cost increase, unless the sponsoring organization has the means to fund and staff its own outsourcing center overseas. Lots of cheap semi competent bodies with mundane talents may be cheap per man per hour, but watch out for the multipliers.

Large outsourcers make good coin off of mismanaged projects of smaller clients who don't have the muscle to impose discipline on the process.

Having said that, I have worked with extremely sharp, almost world class developers who are Indian - here in the US.

And I have worked with a few who completely fit the bullshitter model of being out in the hallway most of the time on their cell phone yakking with their business contacts lining up new deals, instead of actually working on the deals they have.
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The Gorn

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Re: Lee Iacocca thinks Buick should follow Oldsmobile
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2007, 05:48:22 pm »
I agree. The slight image differences between the different GM internal lines may have meant something, say, 40 years ago. They are a legacy of independent auto makers that GM absorbed in the 1920s and 30s.

But today, all it means is that the Pontiac version of a given platform is marginally sportier, Buick has more soundproofing and a softer ride, etc.

Back when there were like 4 or 5 variations of the mediocre Citation, it seemed especially stupid. A mediocre tinny POS with different trim in each line.
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I D Shukhov

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Re: buy a Crown Victoria
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2007, 05:48:59 pm »
That's about what the Accord with navigation system costs.

I wonder if the options include a searchlight and siren :|

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The Original Dinosaur

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Re: Lee Iacocca thinks Buick should follow Oldsmobile
« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2007, 05:58:25 pm »
Lido is/was a great car salesman.  He knows/knew all there is/was to know about selling cars.

However, Lido is just a tad weak on the aspects of actually planning, engineering, manufacturing and delivering the car to the dealer to be sold.  But that's no limit on his arrogance.

Which is why The Deuce fired him, in spite of the smashing success of the Mustang.  And why no other manufacturer will touch him today, in spite of his leading Chrysler out of government loan guarantees.  Y'see, Lido had nothing to do with the K-car or the minivan, except for peddling them on TV - those were on the drawing boards while Lido was still at FoMoCo.  All show and no go.  He had the product handed to him and did a fine job of selling it.  That doesn't make him an industry guru.

It was a mistake to kill Oldsmobile.  It would be a bigger one to kill Buick.

Richardk

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My experience
« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2007, 06:25:06 pm »
Had a '89 Honda Accord, ran it for 10 years, 250K miles and the only repair was the thermostat. Also had a 2001 Mazda minivan for a few years, beat the heck out of it and it ran great and really held up.

Today, I have a Pontiac and Dodge, plenty of repairs and I wonder if I'll get 150K miles out of them. A bit more wear and I'm looking at the head gasket going on the Pontiac.

If I was looking today, I'd lean towards a Jap car based on my past experience though I wonder how good American cars have gotten? I would at least look and compare.

Dr Gene

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Re: What would you do about GM?
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2007, 01:48:19 am »
Dino,

I enjoy reading about car technology and driving but I don't have your extensive experience working in the automotive industry.

Do you think GM has major issues that need to be resolved and if you were the CEO what are you going to do?

I may be totally wrong but in my opinion there are no GM cars in the compact segment that can generate any excitement for the car enthusiasts.

Look a this two forums:

www.pontiactalk.com/forumid_12/tt.htm
www.chevroletforum.com/forumid_29/tt.htm

Now look at this one:

forums.vwvortex.com/zeroforum?id=142

I can't believe all these people are snobs. Even if 50% of them are the forum still have 10000 times more activity compared to the GM forums above.

And aren't the compact cars the entry level vehicles?

So maybe Iacocca was onto something with the Mustang trying to appeal to the young people.

That's why my uneducated idea was - why have one car branded 4 different ways? Why not spend the money to get one model right.

I look at the Chevy HHR and shake my head. Who styled that beast? The PT Cruiser has certain character - The HHR is just plain ugly.
What about the Pontiac Aztec? The back looks like a garbage track.

How could the biggest car company in America can come up with models like this in the recent years.

All you need is a top management with some taste that would just shut down those stupid projects very early on. Or just make the CEO drive every new model for year. It would be fun watching Mr. Wagoner get out of that HHR every morning in the GM parking lot.

DG9

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Re: My experience
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2007, 02:07:59 am »
After years of F0rds (with their never ending repair bills), I finally went to H0nda.  Got a good price and no problems so far...  Hated to do it, but the Fords were nickel ($500) and diming ($1000) me to death!  We'll see what happens.

I recommend H0nda, T0yota or M@zda for the long haul, based on what I have seen.

I D Shukhov

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Re: Lee Iacocca thinks Buick should follow Oldsmobile
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2007, 03:06:14 am »
I wouldn't care if they had dozens of product lines as long as they could get one line right.  One line that people rave about instead of feeling like buying a car might be a case of: "fools rush in where wise men fear to tread."


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David Cressey

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Re: Lee Iacocca thinks Buick should follow Oldsmobile
« Reply #40 on: August 16, 2007, 03:31:49 am »
I think you and Gene are both frustrated over the fact that your preferences are not being sought after by any of the suppliers in the market.

I've noticed the same thing for myself in other products.  The bewildering variety of products being offered and advertised differ from each other only in relatively trivial ways (form my point of view),  and none of them address preferences that seem important to me.

WRT cars,  for several years,  the car market in the US was chasing the segment of the public that wanted big cars that would carry a lot of stuff.  Things like SUVs.  That,  according to them,  is where the money was.  And the markup on SUVs was lots higher than on sedans.  

Competition was fierce among SUV vendors,  but it centered around things like the number of cup holders,  or the built-in DVD player.  I would have been more interested in lowering the center of gravity.  But there aren't enough people with the same preferences I have to get the car designers to pay attention.  

Not at the low end, anyway.  At the high end,  there is much more attention paid to niche markets.  Or so it seems to me.

David Cressey

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Solidarity with assembly line workers, ramble.
« Reply #41 on: August 16, 2007, 03:47:20 am »
Elsewhere in this discussion, someone said you could feel good about buying a BMW because it was designed by an American.  It's not clear whether "Feel good" was about solidarity or self interest.

With regard to self interest,  I think I can evaluate the appeal that any given design has for me without knowing the nationality of the designer.  

With regard to solidarity,  I feel just as much solidarity with the assembly line worker as I do with the designer.  My income, now that I'm retired, is more like theirs.  And as far as feeling myself to be a member of some kind of "intellectual elite"  that would include car designers and exclude assembly line workers,  that feeling is long gone from me.  I'm just as emotionally distant from one as from the other.

That leads me to ask,  more generally,  what groups do you feel solidarity with?

Do you feel solidarity with other Americans living in the US?  Non citizens holding a green card residing in the US?  does region within the US make a difference,  such as North East versus Mid West?  Does urban, suburban, or rural make a difference?

Do age, race, gender, faith, or life style make a difference to you as far as feelings of solidarity go?

Do Canadians and/or Mexicans score higher for you than Asians,  because they are North Americans?  If Canadians score higher than Mexicans on your "solidarity meter",  does that include French speaking Canadians?

What about role:  do you feel solidarity with other employees?  Other employees, but not managers?  Or low level managers but not high level execs?  What about investors?  Do you feel solidarity with your fellow small investors?  Do you feel solidarity with your fellow consumers?

When you say "we have to hang together?"  who do you mean by "We"

codger

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Re: Lee Iacocca thinks Buick should follow Oldsmobile
« Reply #42 on: August 16, 2007, 03:54:42 am »
Dino, You hit the nail on the head. Iacocca is/was a SALESMAN. I don't think that most people understand that he was not a product development expert. And yes, he has a lot of chutzpah.



Quote
Quote:
It was a mistake to kill Oldsmobile. It would be a bigger one to kill Buick.


I'm in complete agreement with you on this too.

jbucks

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The Process I went through when I bought my Crown Victoria
« Reply #43 on: August 16, 2007, 04:53:44 am »
I think they're still being sold.  ISTR the 500 was going to replace the Crown Vic, but it hasn't seem to have happened yet.

I had cash in my pocket (I had earmarked / saved 20k) for my complete (the car, the plates, a better audio system, reese hitch, etc)  price for a new car.    My Ford Escort was falling apart (mostly due to my lack of maintenance to it)

I really, Really (REALLY) wanted a big, dark red Caddy.  I took that one out for a test drive and LOVED it.  Went back to the dealer and started asking about the price, and she proceeded to scoff at me - told me this one was closer to 65k - and there would be no negotiations.  I just got up and walked out (stopping by the manager's office to let them know about their lost sale).

Next, I went to the Lincoln/Mercury dealer and was looking around what they had to offer.  Prices were a little less than the Caddy, but still above what I wanted to spend.

Last I went to the Ford Dealer.  The in-stock Crown Vics were the price range of what I wanted to spend, and rode almost as good as the Caddy.  They didn't have any cars with the options I wanted in stock, so I ordered one with all the options that were available except for the electronic dash board and leather seats.  Took about 3 months for it to arrive, but has been a GREAT car ever since (and my drive it off the lot price was about 17k).

I keep up on the maintenance with this one, and it's been extremely reliable.  The only "unexpected" maintenance I've had has been:
    - original front brakes wore out at about 165k,
       and then a well known muffler /brake shop took three
       tries to get the brakes installed properly.
    - one of the catalatic convertors went out at about 240K
   - one of the rear air shocks / suspension went out at the same time as the catalatic convertor.

I generally use the quickie lube places for the oil changes & fluids servicing (tranny, radiator, diff, etc.) because the dealer's shops are only open M-F.  I also try to put good tires on it (to keep the noise down, as my commute is about 3 hr / day).

I'm hoping to get another 250k out of this one (you see a lot of these as cop cars & taxis).

Jim

Dr Gene

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Re: Lee Iacocca thinks Buick should follow Oldsmobile
« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2007, 04:56:49 am »
David,

My taste about cars is probably outside of the mainstream so I don't know if it is a good idea for GM and Ford to try please people like me.

For better or worse the American public has been sold on the idea that bigger is better. And by this I mean bigger on the outside.

Maybe VW Passat Wagon can carry more luggage that a lot of SUV's but is just a boring station wagon to the American public while the SUV is COOL.

The thing is that the Passat is a World car that can be sold everythere while I don't think any of the American sedans would sell anywhere outside of North America.

So Toyota and Honda have an economies of scale advantage since most of their models are "World Class" cars. The Camry and Accord are just considered "Executive Class" cars in Europe and Japan.

On the other hand GM and Ford maintain almost completely different lineups here and in Europe for example.

The SUV's are a good idea (for a while) since GM and Ford have the home field advantage. People in Japan don't drive Tundra's to work. The bigger the vehicle - the better in terms of protecting yourself from foreign competition. (Have you seen mobile homes made in Japan on the american roads?)

If gas prices when really high though - the big two may become just marketing machines for cheap Korean and Chinese made cars.

Or they could move into the mobile homes market :(