Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Stong words. Strong words from a strange man.

Daniel's Wednesday night strong words: (not to be taken too seriously)

OK, people who drive foreign cars. What is your problem? Seriously. Do you even care about your fellow Americans? I love the free market, I love the choice but sheeez, choose American!

And don't give me that crap about "German engineering" or "Japanese efficiency." I don't want to hear it.

Are you really telling me that you can't find a single American car you like? If so, the problem might lie with you. Get some help.

What REALLY make me mad is the anti Wal-Mart crowd driving Honda's to there capitalism protests. So they support jobs in foreign markets AND THEN they protest new jobs in the local community.

Oh yeah, don't tell me about the whole "some foreign cars are assembled in America" garbage. They aren't American companies! I have a 401(k) and you probably do too, don't you want those American companies stocks to go up?

Please buy American. You have no excuse.


Sailor Republica said...

I don't like American cars, and I will not buy American cars.

Why? Because I have not seen a good American car that has been able to outperform my little 1980 Toyota Corolla, especially in oil leakage and durability.

Basically stating, I want a car that lasts longer and does not require me to take it into a shop to get the computers rebooted. Secondly, I want a car that I can fix myself and not have to worry about "Frankensteining".

The only one for me is a Toyota. I'm sorry, Daniel, but that's how I do things.

MAX Redline said...

Sorry, but I'm with Sailor on this. I bought fords and chevys for 20 years. FORD really is an acronym for Fix Or Repair Daily, and Chevys are no better.

Hondas and Toyotas are built straight and clean, and they run forever.

My Ford Ranger blew a head gasket at 25,000 miles. Sure, it was under warranty, but what a pain! Before that, I had an Escort. The camshaft fell out of that at a stoplight, and then were the little matters of the multiple recalls.

Mind you, unlike Sailor, I take the rigs to dealers for maintenance - so it isn't a matter of me screwing something up. Nope, the vehicles are just plain inferior, and while I love and support the USA, there are just some lines I won't cross. Snake oil was popular back in the late 1800's, and it's still here today - diguised as American made cars and trucks.

Ever taken a look at the parts suppliers? Yep, Ford and Chevy are really into diversity.

I just can't go with you on this one, Daniel.

Anonymous said...

Daniel, A car is the 2nd biggest chunck of money we ever spend usually (a house is #1) A House usually Appreciates, Cars do NOT.
After making payments & interest & Insurance & gas & oil & tires, you wind up with SQUAT!
5 MILLION people surveyed by Consumer Reports (a un-biased Mag.), 31 most reliable cars: 29 are Japanese! In fact amazingly, the most reliable were also the MOST complicated; Toyota & Honda HYBRIDS! Since Cars are such a HUGE waste of money, I am going to get the BEST VALUE. i.e. Japanese.
GM, Ford & Dodge have had over 25 years to beat the Japs and they give us the New Malibu? The NEW (MADE IN MEXICO) Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan/Lincoln Zephyr as competition? (VW is pulling out of Mexico,'cause they can't make anything well, 'cept Tequila!) I will not be insulted or embarassed and buy American Cars/Trucks and will never buy an SUV. Those Arabs can try to buy explosives selling rugs.
NOW CHINA is next and YES I will NOT support a Commie Country. p.s. That NEW Pontiac Torrent motor is Made in CHINA!
And yes most Honda,Toyota,Nissan,Mazda,Mitsubishi and soon Hyundai's are MADE IN THE U.S.!

Kate said...

I'm with Sailor on this as well. We are a Toyota family. I'm a conservative accountant and buying a Toyota gets you the most bang for your buck. GM is on the verge of bankruptcy - no way will we be buying a GM product.

My Camry was manufactured in Tennessee in an American-owned factory by American workers and the factory is owned by an American corporation. Yes, some of the money I'm sure goes back to Japan to the mother Toyota company but much of it stays here.

Anonymous said...

I'll never forget reading recently in Motor Trend about the new Mustang. They commented on how the frame hadn't changed for over 35 years and was as solid as COOKED SPAGHETTI!
But the new one was better, even with a 30 yr.old SOLID REAR AXLE!
Did you know that GM is the only maker left still using CAST-IRON PUSHROD MOTORS? In 2006? How sad.
In fact if you get the top of the line SATURN SUV, that motor is made by HONDA. I wonder why? hmmm
2006 Car & Truck of the year? HONDA Civic & Ridgeline!
Just sit and look at the dash and buttons in a new Jap vehicle compared to the plastic in the US car. What a shame. I don't complain about Wal-Mart when I drive there in my precision built Honda.

Daniel said...

I knew that I'd get reamed on this one.

But really, I keep hearing about Ford, what about the other manufacturers? Are all American cars inferior?

I consider myself a brand loyal kind of guy and a guy who tries to buy local when I can. (not just country of origin but within my community/state/etc)

I must admit though that while all my computers currently have Intel chips I will be going AMD for my next purchase. Better price and better performace does win out over supporting an Oregon company.

But I only have two choices there, there are lot's of cars and trucks to choose from.

Anonymous said...

Here again our News people never told the true story back in the 70's when the United Auto Workers strangled the US auto manufacturers with absurd pay, benefit, working condition, vacation and retirement demands.

They were also saddled with having to hire unskilled, unmotivated workers, then make safety and pollution control equipment changes and all that without increasing the prices of the products one penny. The Federal Red Tape alone was mind boggling and hugely expensive.

I was in the Biz and watched as quality controls were drastically reduced to off-set these losses and never once did the consumers ever learn why their new cars were less dependable than their trade-ins.

Sailor Republica said...

The question of all American cars being inferior comes down to two things:

1) Which companies are primarily American-made companies. The answer: General Motors and Ford.

2) Which cars constantly break down for mpoor people like myself: General Motors and Ford.


Anonymous said...

I have never purchased a new car, so with me the argument is a moot point. But, if I ever did buy new (which I doubt) I would never, ever, buy american.

I have driven a few newer american cars over the past couple of years at work. Without fail they all suffer from poor quality, most noteably cheap materials. I prefer Volvo, at least the older ones, but if I was to buy new it would probably be a Lexus or Acura product.

Gunslinger said...

My beef with the rice? Shitty interiors, and they rely on gadgets and gimicks in their cars.

Top four selling vehicles in the U.S. for years have been, in this order: Ford F-150, Chevy 1500, Dodge 1500, Toyota camry. Last year toyota Camry sold around 215,000 units. F-150 sold over half a million. When it comes to trucks, the U.S. has the market cornered.

The argument about the mustang using a 30 year old chassis is bullshit. The falcon was the chassis for the fifth and sixth generation mustangs, they are currently on the eighth generation. they are sharing similar parts with the lincoln LS chassis. Wich is also the Jag XK class chassis.

Unions/Healthcare. Want something to blame for shitty cars coming out of the big 3? Blame this. Healthcare alone at GM (who has some 4 million employees worldwide) adds approximately $1200 per unit made on top of MSRP. Does a guy really need to make $36 an hour + benefits to set screws onto a machine panel for 8 hour stretches? It is hard to be competitive even in price, when you are faced with high production costs.

The japs found a niche market in the late 70's with the econo box, and ran with it. They have completely mastered the building of the economic car. GM's respnse? Cavalier, and now Cobalt. These cars, admittedly, are not the best cars. GM could do better. Ford, on the other hand, has made a pretty good econo box out of the euro-inspired Focus. Dodge with the Neon. I would buy a focus before I bought any other econobox.

Europe: They are in a whole other league, and have been since the 40's. Cadillac is hot on their heels, and may possibly be one of the saving factors for GM. The Nuremburg proven CTS is a helluva fine car. I have always like the kraut flagships of Mercedes and Bimmer, but I would buy a CTS-V before I picked up something out of the boys in bavaria.

Chrysler: They sold out to the Nazis, and are on the up and up in a big way. The 300/Magnum platforms are incredible cars. The magnum, also on the LX platform is a little too new to decide, but I think it will be hot. Watch in 2007 for the reinvention of the Challenger. Chrysler's current mantra? That thing got a Hemi in it? Stuff that hemi in anything mad out of the mopar world, and it will be potent.

Solstice. This just debuted from Pontiac. (one of the other names that will keep GM alive.) It is the Miata fighter. It is a little underpowered by the ecotec four cylinder, but watch for a supercharged version ala cobaltSS next year, and the Miata will in trouble. Solstice is already scoring high marks with reviewers, except in the power category.

Retro will not save the big 3: The HHR (if you see it, you will think it is a PT cruiser) is a lame late entry horse. The charger should have been a two door, and the new mustang, while a truly fantastic looking car is a little short on the power side. What the big three need to do at this point, is to narrow their lines, and offer less, not more models. Ford is now offering 4 sedans; Focus, fusion, 500 and crown victoria. Dump at least the crown vic, the cops and grandma can shop for something else. They have five Suv's Escape, escape hybrid, explorer, expedition, and excursion (this is the last year of the excursion) and at least three vans, the freestyle, windstar, and E-series vans. Less product, lower production costs, equal a better, less expensive product.

Toyota: Tenessee blah blah blah. They still are a non American company. The only thing they have going for them are light trucks and the camry. Corollas bottom end these days. The tundra/t-100 are crap. Ever see anyone put, say, a jet ski in the bed? Suspension will be bottomed out. Tacoma trucks are not too bad, but once again it comes to the comfort and size of the interior. Not for me thanks.

Honda: They make a decent car. I will never buy one. Yes, I have heard that they last forever. Fantastic, that means that you will keep yours and it won't be on the market.

Mazda: (ford owned) Miata. The up until this year was the only sports car (unless you really want to count honda's s2000. Me either) in the U.S. That sums up Mazda. Zoom Zoom.

Mitsubishi. They made the Zero during WWII, it bombed Pearl Harbor. Keep your EVO-8. What's that you say? 300 horsepower? zero to sixty in over 5? wow. so what, it is an uncomfortable little fourdoor rice box. Enjoy that commute.

Subaru: Transfers power from the wheels that slip, to the wheels that grip. If you need Paul Hogan as a slogan guy... By the way, Outback, not the world's first sport utility wagon. It was called the willy's overland wagon in the 50's. Still not good enough for you? The Jeepster Commando was oficially dubbed a utility sports wagon.

Kia? Look through the auto trader sometime. 2 years old, $3000.

Hyundai. See Kia.

I have heard rumors about these Chinese cars being imported, and I wouldn't hold my breath. The guy putting the whole deal together (I can't remember his name, or find the article) is kind of a flake. He has had numerous failed auto businesses. He also needs to raise over $200M just to get started. He estimated 5 years.

AS far as Saturn's VUE Suv having a Honda engine, I have not heard that yet. GM does not hold any of Honda, so I am guessing it may be a Daewoo, Isuzu, or Suzuki. reason? Brand shareability. It has nothing to do with reliability. and everything to do with the ability to remain modular between divisions. Pontiac Torrent is built by GM-Canada, so it also has the asian engines. It also shares the platform with the VUE.

Honda Civic is the car of the year. For the last two it was the Chrysler 300. The Ridgeline is lame. It also is not a truck, it is a crossover, so I am kind of perplexed at the casting of that vote. The SUV is the Nissan Xterra. This may be the only deserving vehicle. The civic has come a long way since the late 70's, but it is just a lame little econo-box. Hit it with an F-350 and see what happens. These tests are not very scientific either. A bunch of different drivers drive a bunch of different cars and pick the high and low points of each one. The ultimate choice is seriously just a vote of which one they like better. Thank you very much Csaba Csere.

Max, how could a camshaft fall out?

The whining about how GM still uses pushrod V-8's is weak at best. The Gen 3 Ls2 is also not all cast iron. It is also making better than 400HP. It is in the CTS-V Race car, the GTO-R, and the C5_R corvettes. Oh yeah, but that doesn't matter, they are just pounding the hell out of the competition (which is Ferrarri, porsche, BMW, Lexus, and others.) But that must not be important. Corvette at Le Mans? 5 straight years. Suck it Enzo.

As far as the "you can't work on American cars"? that is retarded. I have a 92 pontiac Grand Prix that I do all of the work on. It is easy. It also has 206,000 miles and counting. My dad had an '89 Jeep Cherrokee with more than 325,000 miles on it. The only thing we ever had to replace? Clutch and slave cylinder.

I have ranted long enough. I will give the soap box back to my friend, and patriot, Daniel. You guys can do what you want. As for me? It is American brands or nothing.

Gunslinger said...

Sorry about how long that was, Daniel. I started typing and lost track of lenght.

Gullyborg said...

I will only buy an American car. But I am driving a Toyota. I didn't buy it. I sort of inherited it. I'll keep driving it until I can buy a new Jeep.

The first car I bought, when I was young and stupid, was a Nissan 300 ZX. It was a maintenance NIGHTMARE. The hell with so-called Japanese efficiency and engineering.

After that debacle, the cars I have bought have been:

'69 Chevy Camaro
'79 Pontiac LeMans
'84 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
'94 Ford Escort
'98 Dodge Neon
'00 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The next two vehicles I will own will be a Jeep Hemi and a Dakota Hemi.

Must graduate and get job first.

Sailor Republica said...

There are reasons I will not buy a truck or an SUV. Most of them follow around the necessity function. They may be safer, but I don't need it.

Pretty much, when I buy a car, the reason is to get me to my long destinations quickly (Point A to Point B, ASAP.) That is also the reason I buy older cars, they usually can get me there with just as good gas mileage (if not better) than comparable new cars.

My little Toyota was able to get my from Portland to Kelowna, BC, Canada. 3 times. And down to San Francisco and back. Not to mention many of the necessary times to the coast and back.

It was a dependable vehicle, the Sailormobile. Until it got impounded due to someone in my family forgetting to move the car while I'm here at the U.

Old Toyotas. That's my schtick.

Steffan said...

I have always owned American cars (Ford and Chevy) and have no plans to change. All automakers have a "Lemon Factor”, some higher than others I admit. I find that neglect or lack of maintenance is sometimes a factor. I have had some minor problems over the years, but not enough to convince me to buy a "Rice Burner".

I suppose I could drive a Volvo or BMW, They seem to make a decent car.
But if I did then I would have to buy a "John Kerry for President" bumper sticker. Then I would drive around talking on a cell phone while I drink my Starbucks latte, flicking my cigarette butts out the window.

Then the next thing you know, I would start having those urges to take up two parking spaces or park illegally in the fire lane right in front of the Wal-Mart or better yet park in the “Handicap Parking” spot without a permit.

Then I would salivate with excitement every time Michael Moore released a brilliant new and amazingly accurate documentary.

Are you seeing what happens here when you don’t buy American whenever possible?
Do you want this happening to you?.... I don’t think so.
Sometimes we don’t have a choice, but often times we do.

Try to make the “Right” choice.

Anonymous said...

Daniel, i am as conservative as they come here in oregon. But i drive a BMW. I have a new 330i manual tranny. this car kicks ass, dude, especially in the twisties. there are some American cars that do better in the straights, but in the turns, even a Z06 has trouble hanging with me.

A good conservative value is one that is market-oriented. I once had a 1983 firebird. I loved that car, but I tore it to shreds, and quickly. If the americans made a car like my 3 series, I'd be in it, but they don't, so they lose. It's a buyer's market, man, end of story.

That said, I do see a lot of these socialist driving around in their Volvos and Audis. Every now and then I see enthusiasts driving an Audi, BMW, MB, but for the most part, these are badge-wearing idiots. They don't know they first thing about their cars and can't enjoy them. They suck.

Sailor Republica said...

The problem, Steffan, is that those that do that have a problem with themselves. It's not the car that they drive that causes their misgivings.

Besides, the best way to handle those people is getting their license plates down, finding out where they are, and leaving a nice note that tells them never to do that again unless they wish to have the longarm of the Sheriff's office on them, especially during quota time.

I've never had a problem with them since. :)

Me said...

American cars, for the most part, are crap. I have a Mercury villager minivan (so, I guess you could say I have an American car), though all of the important parts (engine, transmission, etc) are made by Nissan. That is the ONLY reason I bought this minivan over another make.

I will gladly buy an American car when they decide its worth their time to compete with the Japanese on quality. Our cars have always been inferior, and until they are not, I will not buy them.

Brian B said...

So when you say "Foreign Cars", Do you mean the Ford built in Mexico or the Honda built in Tennessee?

Troutdale Councilor Canfield said...

I've had American cars-- they were bolt dropping whale wallowing mechanical nightmare pieces of crap. Ford Taurus wagon. Dodge Caravan. In the shop. Out of the shop. Breakdowns. Not exactly reliable.

My very first car was a brand new 1977 Toyota Celica. No mechanical problems. Ever.

I bought a 1984 Volkswagen Jetta, new. It was a blast to drive but the stupid window cranks, heater knobs and other plastic parts kept on falling off. The alternator had to be replaced twice. The clutch broke, twice within a year. Who needs this hassle?

Our latest car is a 1999 Subaru Forester. 120,000+ miles so far and counting. It's seen thousands of miles in British Columbia and Alberta. It's been to Yellowstone, Glacier, and every three calendar greasy spoon small town in between.

It's been over hundreds of miles of the worst dirt and gravel roads in eastern Oregon. It's been to the Oregon coast dozens of times.

It's also been my commuter car, and most weeks my commute is 60 miles a day, round trip.

The only thing that's stopped working on my Forester: The clock radio.

I'd love to buy an American car. I really would. But I'm looking out for #1, here. I want a car like I already have. One that goes and goes forever with regular maintenance.

I never had an American car that did that.

CapitalistPig said...

There are more Honda's built in the US then in Japan. Same for Toyota, I think. Within 2 years (more likely by the end of 2006), Toyota will be the biggest car maker in America. Buying a japanese car is helping American workers keep their jobs. Furthermore, the Japanese assembly plants in the US have not been fully infiltrated by the United Autoworkers Union, as all of the American car companies have. The UAW is one of the top (I think top 5) doners to Democrats. Furthermore, Honda and Toyota have tended to build their assembly lines in Red States, rather than blue states. Therefore, when you buy Toyota and Honda less of your money is likely to be going towards supporting leftist polititicans.

Kristopher said...

You want to know why American cars suck?


Until they get rid of that millstone, they will have to continue to cut corners.

If you buy American, you support a socialistic and gangster ridden union.

Anonymous said...

Define 'American' built?
- Assembled from parts manufactured in other countries?

Parent company is non-US based
- no Dodges or Jeeps for you !

Many 'large' cars are assembled in Canada or Mexico, because technically they are imports and as such don't count on the fleet mileage requirement ( not that a mileage requirement is a good thing)

Your GM or Ford likely has a high percentage of foreign components - and may have been assembled in Canada or Mexico.
Check your VIN - it codes where the manufacturing/assembly plant is.

If you have your VIN handy for your GM, you can call their fine customer assistance center and find out if your Pontiac Aztec, or Buick Rendezvous is actually an import.

I am sure you can do the same for Ford.

Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth - foriegn now. Those popular Dodge Mini-vans - Assembled in Canada for years.

And hey, I did see an earlier post, but some compaines, like Toyota & Honda, design, build assemble, and sell some models exclusively in the US.

How much of Mazda is owned by Ford?

What ya gonna do once GM opens their China assembly/mfg plants - they are closing US plants as you read this.

Same holds true for other products - ie TV sets. If Thompson a French company assembles TVs in Ohio for a variety of brand names, how will you even know.

Jon said...

The argument about the mustang using a 30 year old chassis is bullshit.

Its not so much a "30 year old chassis", as it is 30 year old technology. And a solid rear axle on what they try to market as a sports car? please. It corners like a pig on skates.

I bought American up until my most recent purchase, a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. I traded in my 97 Ford Expedition. Before that I had a Pontiac, and a Dodge minivan. All those American cars were problematic, plastic bits breaking off, mechanical problems, etc. I wanted a change, and Nissan has a good rep. Resale value is great too. To top it all off, it was built in the US.

Anonymous said...

sailor, I hope you are kidding about trying to track people down and leaving a note on their car. I'd like to see you do that to me. I don't take kindly to people who throw that kind of garbage around that we'll hunt you down and get you, etc. I hope you were kidding, but it doesn't appear that you were.

Gunslinger said...

The reason that the Big three (mainly GM and Ford) ran to Canada and Mexico is because of the UAW and healthcare. Of course, they were criticized as bailing out on America. I say, why not. American bailed out on them years ago.

I could give a shit if Hondas and Toyotas were built right here in Salem (although Salem would drive them out because they hate business), I would still never buy one.

I really found it surprising that Toyota will be eclipsing GM by the end of the year (they think, GM has not projected production for this year yet) But they will outshadow GM by one plant.

I hope that now that there are more Toyota plants in the U.S. than GM, they are required to get screwed eternally by UAW, Healthcare, and things like Governors on their cars. Seeing as how they are no longer foreign.

Pontiac Aztec is no longer built (thank God) Rendesvous is built in Canada. It also has a few recalls on it. (four I think) But, one of the record holders on having the most recalls in history? Jetta.

Ford does not market the Mustang as a sports car. And to be fair, it does not just have a solid rear axle, it has a three-link live axle with Panhard rod. It pulls .85G in the slalom, .05 less than the new 350Z.

Speaking of handling. One of the Anonymous above said that their 33i can outhandle a Z-06 vette. Laughable. Vette: 1.2 G in the skidpad. Acura NSX? .91G and it has been dubbed one of the world's best handling cars. And as for the new 330i? .84G on the skidpad, and 67.5mph in the 600ft slalom. The Stock c-6 does it almost 2mph faster. So either the driver was no good, or did not know they were racing you.

Even if GM (specifically) and the rest of the big three fixed all of their problems today and started making just a few cars really well, it would take maybe 5 years for the effects to be felt. I am not sure they can survive that long. I hope they do, it would be sad to see one of the founders of modern transportation as we know it evaporate.

Ford owns all of Mazda.

As far as the expeditions go, the versions from the late ninteys until '04 were not the best built. I would encourage you to take another look at them now. they are extremely nice, and seem to be very well put together.

I will always buy from one of the big three. They are an American name and icon. I think what Daniel's post was more about than the quality of the product and what they build, had to do with brand loyalty, and loyalty to an American namesake. But I could be wrong.

I also think that as a whole, the U.S. needs to take a hard look at unions, and how they adversely effect commerce, and life in the U.S.

benshlomo said...

It's rather amusing to read the comments of some busybody who gets this close to calling foreign-car buyers un-American, deriding those who drive "foreign" cars to demonstrations at Wal-Mart, when everyone knows that Wal-Mart is doing its level best to pay wages that won't allow its employees to buy American cars in the first place.

Where did you guys get the idea that the market is a perfect instrument, anyway?

Sailor Republica said...

To Anon:

DMV Records and other things like that are easy to get a hold of. Especially if you're linked to information.

Just make sure to stay out of my way, and you'll be quite fine.

And since I recently got rid of my old Toyota Corolla, you won't probably have to worry about stuff like that.

Daniel said...

We all realize that Unions and things like the "prevailing wage" make our products and services uncompetitive at times.

While I definitely support market forces on this matter and all matters I still wish that people would buy local as much as possible.

The "where it was built" factor is important for jobs but I made sure to make the point about American stock.

I love the recent (last few years) op-ed pieces about the "investor class." This is basically any guy who works 40 hours a week has a 401(k) and now owns a little bit of lots of American companies.

We should do our best to support those companies.

I realize that sometimes price/performace are better eleswhere and you should take your dollar to the best value. This is why competition is so great, it will force American companies (or any company) to improve their products/service.

I for one have only owned American and currently own a Dodge. No problems. *knock knock* (0n wood)

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