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Posted May 24th 2008 7:02PM by Michael Harley
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Celebrities

"It ain't that hard folks -- make better cars." That's the word aimed at Detroit from Jay Leno, the late-night television host and avid hands-on car nut. According to Leno, nobody builds trucks as well as Americans, as he cites the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado as examples. Same goes with performance cars. "The Corvette Z06 has 505 horsepower, comes with a big warranty, and can hit 200 miles per hour. It weighs almost exactly the same as a half-million-dollar Porsche Carrera GT and gets higher mileage - 26 miles per gallon," states Leno.
However, Americans just can't seem to build a low-bucks economy car. "In order to make the more expensive car more appealing, U.S. companies feel as though they have to dumb down the cheaper car," the comedian reasons. "When you get into a high-priced, well-made American car today and the key is in the ignition, you hear a melodic bong, bong. But when you get in a cheap American car, like a rental, and the key is left in, it goes plink, plink, plink. It's just horrible. Every time you use the turn signal, it's like breaking a chicken leg."
Leno suggests that Detroit follow the example of Harley-Davidson, which turned around its quality-control problems and re-established itself as a market leader. Leno adds, "I believe that, all things being equal, Americans will buy American. It just has to be as good as the competition; it doesn't have to be better."
[Source: MSNBC]
 

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I think they're workin' on it Jay.
 

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Not hard enough but yes Jay...We are work'in on it
 

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Jay's right.

They are working on it, but the could move much faster when it comes to economy cars. The Malibu and Fusion are a good start, though. I'd like to see that effort put into the Focus and Cobalt.
 

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GM viewed Malibu one of the most important launches in history, along with the 900 Silverado. I wish they would have viewed Cobalt that important. They still sell well, but if only the next gen has the effort of the Malibu and 900's. Not so sure what to expect. I'm scared that the style of interior is heading the wrong way, (aveo opposed to Malibu).
 

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Jay's right.

They are working on it, but the could move much faster when it comes to economy cars. The Malibu and Fusion are a good start, though. I'd like to see that effort put into the Focus and Cobalt.
Seriously, bla bla if they worked as profitable companies, long drawn out **** fit right there, they could have had different teams working on the revitalizations of different models. Instead of this lets make one car the best and **** on everything else in the brand.
 

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He is partially correct, meaning the Big 3 have too much over head. But he also says things that are so 1980's, such as "if you build something as good, people will buy it." I don't think so, the last time I drove a Corolla, it was the worst car I had even driven; at least in the last 15 years. As for the Civic, that is a sharp car, but I still haven't heard many good reviews on this car.
 

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The Malibu is really better than Camry.. All round...
For the most part yes, but the Malibu is still short on features such as pushbutton start, DVD navigation, bluetooth, etc.. (Tho I hear that bluetooth may be coming in a year or two)

Turn by turn nav is ok, but it's not the same. Especially since it doesn't work if you don't get cell reception, such as in the bowels of a parking structure that doesn't have cell repeaters, or if you live in an area that has no reception. (Contrary to popular believe OnStar does NOT use the satellite for voice/data transfer)
 

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Some truth to his statements but let's put it in perspective. I will take a best in quality Fusion/Milan or a the well executed new Malibu any day over the sludge-o-matic, tranny imploding camry or the Clark Griswald inspired accord.

It would have been a nice time for Jay to have mentioned that new models such as Fiesta and Camaro are on the way.
 

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"I believe that, all things being equal, Americans will buy American. It just has to be as good as the competition; it doesn't have to be better."
That's what I've been saying for years. American people will gladly buy an American car that can compete. They don't have to re-invent the wheel.
 

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Posted May 24th 2008 7:02PM by Michael Harley
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Celebrities

"It ain't that hard folks -- make better cars." That's the word aimed at Detroit from Jay Leno, the late-night television host and avid hands-on car nut. According to Leno, nobody builds trucks as well as Americans, as he cites the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado as examples. Same goes with performance cars. "The Corvette Z06 has 505 horsepower, comes with a big warranty, and can hit 200 miles per hour. It weighs almost exactly the same as a half-million-dollar Porsche Carrera GT and gets higher mileage - 26 miles per gallon," states Leno.
However, Americans just can't seem to build a low-bucks economy car. "In order to make the more expensive car more appealing, U.S. companies feel as though they have to dumb down the cheaper car," the comedian reasons. "When you get into a high-priced, well-made American car today and the key is in the ignition, you hear a melodic bong, bong. But when you get in a cheap American car, like a rental, and the key is left in, it goes plink, plink, plink. It's just horrible. Every time you use the turn signal, it's like breaking a chicken leg."
Leno suggests that Detroit follow the example of Harley-Davidson, which turned around its quality-control problems and re-established itself as a market leader. Leno adds, "I believe that, all things being equal, Americans will buy American. It just has to be as good as the competition; it doesn't have to be better."
[Source: MSNBC]
Yes he is a car guy, but this sounds just like typical celebrity posturing to me, you know "hey look at me blaa blaaa Detroit blaa blaaa Auto Makers blaa BAD blaaaaa, but its ok that I say this because I have a big car collection." Let's not forget Jay who helped YOU with some of your project cars (like your Toronado, LS7 powered roadster, 572 powered Buick, etc, etc), Instead focusing on things that EVERYONE already knows, why not focus on the new good things that are happening: like the new Malibu, and the Hybrids coming from both GM and Ford (you know Toyota isn't the only one that makes them), build quality has improved greatly through the years and it is starting to show, but I digress, since it is so much easier to bash Detroit, why risk your celeb status on defending it.
 

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the quality is there, it's the perception of that quality where we are suffering. maybe someone will come up with an effective, low cost method of marketing to communicate this message and thereby alleviate this trouble.

oh wait...someone did. too bad RIR isn't interested.
 

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For the most part yes, but the Malibu is still short on features such as pushbutton start, DVD navigation, bluetooth, etc.. (Tho I hear that bluetooth may be coming in a year or two)

Turn by turn nav is ok, but it's not the same. Especially since it doesn't work if you don't get cell reception, such as in the bowels of a parking structure that doesn't have cell repeaters, or if you live in an area that has no reception. (Contrary to popular believe OnStar does NOT use the satellite for voice/data transfer)
If you're in a parking structure....do you really need the turn by turn to tell you to follow the only lane leading you the way out?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?
 

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The only semi-glaring hole in the domestic lineup is a Civic-beater, which is strange when you consider it's long been a car-company strategy to pull 'em in young and keep trading up as they get older. If I were 20-something again, it would be a hard sell to get me into a Cobalt instead of a Civic--can anyone argue that? Although I'd probably buy something like a Mustang instead.
 

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I disagree with Jay Leno. It might sound cynical, but the reality is: "with all things equal" Americans tend to buy Foreign which is why we're losing so many of our well-paying jobs to overseas manufacturers. I, for one, when I hear of someone complaining about losing their job, can't help but wonder if he owns a car built by an American company. Economies, by nature, are competitive and it is basically a Zero Sum game, notwithstanding Wall St's diatribes to the contrary. We have been seduced to giving up our national competitive advantage and will unfortunately soon find out that Globalization is highly inflationary.
 

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If you're in a parking structure....do you really need the turn by turn to tell you to follow the only lane leading you the way out?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?
It would be nice to have the maps/directions already loaded up in the navi, so you know where to go when you exit the structure, even more so if the structure has multiple exits, such as the case when the structure is surrounded by one-way streets. (at least around here)

Hopefully it remembers your last known location for when it does load up new maps. Cuz that's the one thing I hate about my garmin I use when I travel. When I exited a structure in SF for example, I had to drive aimlessly for 20 blocks or so for the SAT to be able to figure out where the heck I am before it calculates directions.

In my factory NAV, if it doesn't have a SAT signal it goes by where it remembers my last location was, and then estimates where I'm going based on compass and speed.

Hopefully the Turn-by-Turn doesn't suffer this same limitation.
 

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i have friends who worked for GM but drove ford trucks and now they wonder why their jobs went away. it ain't rocket science
 

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"with all things equal" Americans tend to buy Foreign which is why we're losing so many of our well-paying jobs to overseas manufacturers.
That's not a case of "all things being equal", that's a case of the foreign manufacturers being cheaper. (if you are talking about losing jobs due to outsourcing)
 
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