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I would never buy a new GM. What I would do is to wait for the frustrated owners to sell them cheap after repairing all the stuff on them, and buy second hand for dirt cheap, only the premium brands (buick, olds).
I did it before and NEVER regreted! are the late '80's, early '90's GM cars known for reliability? NO, anyone would get rid of them pronto: I'll be there and buy them for dirt cheap. From my experience ('91 park ave and '89 GTA) they are ultra-reliable. If still something goes wrong, parts are also ditrt cheap. What more can you ask? ;)
 

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Many people on my school don't like GM for the fact that it's GM. Many are so stupid that they think a Cadillac Escalade is "totally different" than a Tahoe ;) It's all about image. Nobody would want's a Cavalier for the fact that every one wants a import from the fast and the furious movies. But people like me, that look past the image and see if the hype is worth it, I'll come out on top when they'll be on ther 3rd riced up Civic and I'll still be driving problem free in my Cavalier. Every car has problems. Theres no way around it. And this seems to be the major argument when I talk to other people. They tell stories of "someone they know" had a blank, and after the 50 thousands miles the blank broke down. then this broke down and thats why GM sucks :argue:
But it doesn't matter. For me and the people like me understand that every car is not perfect. And don't get influenced by one or two people of there horror stories. GM might have some problems, but all are not major problems. I have a 1987 Chevrolet S10 Blazer thats a little rough around the edges. But even though it dosen't ride like a Land Rover, it still rocks. If something breaks, I will fix it. If it was new and something breaks, hey I will still fix it. That can be said to every GM car, its all on how much are you willing to do something about it.
 

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GM, Ford, and Chrysler were very highly supported a couple of generations ago. That changed when the consumer for styling reasons and quality looked at foreign automakers. The one that stayed with the Domestics held tight, fore the most part, accepting the added faults and costs.
Brands such as VW and BMW, for their German engineering, became highly desirable. But, they were also expected to have fewer faults than domestics.
When one of these foreign brands had a common fault it would spread like wild fire and then the consumer would jump ship in a fairly large percent (30 to 50 percent).
As an example, after reading Consumer Reports, I checked out the Jetta, which got much lower rating than I would have guessed. I read consumer forums and polls taken directly from the consumer. It shared a common flaw. There was a problem with the door handle. Not debilitating but there. Otherwise, no problems.
I have seen comments here and at home where if GM had one flaw such as a tailgate cable it would generally be overlooked.
My point is that the Domestics will not suffer as much for reliability and quality.
GM is getting good ratings with Consumers Reports, good.
But I do not believe Consumer Reports is reporting justly but for consumer (US) support for reasons having to do with business. I see falsehoods in some of their claims.
 

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I think this relates: Car and Driver did not even have a car besides the Corvette in their top 10. They had a breif description of the GTO but only that it is a new vehicle. They mentioned the Audi TT even though it is the same and did not qualify for top 10, because of its great transmission.

Just interesting....... Thought it related and stressed a couple of my other points.

:rolleyes:
 

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Originally posted by actionjack@Mar 20 2004, 06:46 AM
As an example, after reading Consumer Reports, I checked out the Jetta, which got much lower rating than I would have guessed. I read consumer forums and polls taken directly from the consumer. It shared a common flaw. There was a problem with the door handle. Not debilitating but there. Otherwise, no problems.
WRONG!

The MKIV Jetta has had a myriad of common problems with their MAF Sensors, O2 sensors, heated seat systems causing fires, ignition control modules failing resulting in a shutdown of every electrical part on the car including the brakes and steering, faulty coilpacks (so much so that the part was on back order for the longest time across the nation), faulty window regulator clips that break thus making your window fall into the door (at one time it was a 3+ year wait for that part's availability due to it being so widespread)...

All known problems that VW took forever to recognize and fix under warranty. I don't know why you were expecting Jettas to have a high rating, maybe the price and fancy interior got you, but their low CR rating is well deserved.
 

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:woot2: Um Duh'..this reliability news, is actually not news at all. It may be news to those die-hard BMW,MERC,AUDI,PORSCHE fans who are mostly satisfied with the emblem that rest on the hood and rear deck rather than reliability.
Don't get me wrong these are great cars, but lets start giving credit where credit is due. In other words "wake up America".
 

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Talked to my brother-in-law, last night. His 2 year old Subaru Forester had a ticking sound that arrived with the purchase of the car. Initially, the ticking sound would cease when the motor reached operating temperature but became constant lately.
A trip to the dealership revealed 2 faulty cylinders and the motor had to be replaced. He didn't elaborate on specifics; I would guess that piston slap probably was created from poor piston to cylinder wall tolerances.
While on the phone, he's lamenting about how he heard other people talk of the Forester's high quality/reliability record and his bad luck.
I gave him my spin on the subject that every auto mfr is going to accept (Accept is not the word but accountants building unreliability in is more fitting) a percentage of problems. And he fell into that part of the curve.
By accountants building it in, companies will assume that they are paying too much for reliability. NO company wants to be far ahead of the pack since it is money wasted on the public and not going into the coffers. Now, this is sort of practical in its own sense. We would never have drugs (the pharmaceutical type) if their issuance was based upon nobody having side effects. Every company operates with known and accepted risks.
Anyway, he'll never buy a Subaru again.
 

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Everyone has a car horror story. I've had lemons from Honda, Mazda, TWO from Saturn (both IONs), and even my kept-it-for-9-years Camry had some serious breakdowns (like warping its rotors and bursting its timing belt). On other hand, the Geo Prism I had for 6 years held up amazingly well, along with a few others.

One aspect of reliability is how well the manufacturer really wants to help when the car breaks down. Honda? They generally make reliable cars but like many Japanese and Euro vendors, have real trouble saving face and if you get a lemon from them, you will have to fight very hard to get them to fix it. Toyota? Their dealers seem more like persian bazzars than showrooms. On other hand, Chevy (possibly because its car sales-back was to the wall for a few years) is now trying hard to improve and support their products (the Malibu bumper fixup is one example).

The point of a car for most people is it reliably takes you from point A to point B. Yes it's nice to have some performance and handling to go along with that, but is it all that much fun if your favorite "NurmBurginer" dies in mid-transit?
 

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Originally posted by R.E Sanchez@Mar 24 2004, 05:57 PM
:woot2: Um Duh'..this reliability news, is actually not news at all. It may be news to those die-hard BMW,MERC,AUDI,PORSCHE fans who are mostly satisfied with the emblem that rest on the hood and rear deck rather than reliability.
Don't get me wrong these are great cars, but lets start giving credit where credit is due. In other words "wake up America".
Just a quick update ...

The TrailBlazer is gone; traded in on a VERY different vehicle, a BMW M3 (I don't need the passenger or hauling capacity any more and I figure it's high time for a bit of a midlife crisis). All I can say is "wow!".

My first impressions of build quality are very positive: this thing is tight. Acceleration is good: it's not the quickest vehicle I've ever owned (that honor goes to my Grand National, which was moderately breathed on and simply ridiculous in a straight line!), but overall handling cannot be beat. The steering is tight & accurate, and the suspension is perfection.

The interior is stunning. No silly iDrive / Nissan Quest techno controls here (although rumor has it that the new 3 & 4 series due in 2006? will adopt some of this garbage) -- everything is located in its proper location and is intuitive. The seats are wonderful, even for my 6'6" frame. Just as a comparison, the C6 interior (from the photos I've seen) looks GREAT, but you can't buy one yet. The C5 interior didn't compare. The new GTO looks VERY competitive, but you can't buy one in Canada, dammit! <_<

Hopefully reliability won't be an issue; only time will tell (who knows? You might see me ranting about crappy BMWs in a few months! :blink: ).

Was it cheap? No. Does it seem to be worth the cost? Absolutely. This is the standard, folks. The interesting thing is that ergonomics & interior "feel" shouldn't be high-cost (at least to my naive self): there's no reason that an Ion, Cobalt or a 1/2 ton can't have a proper interior layout, switchgear and "feel" ... and I think this would go FAR in competing with the imports. Look at what Ford did with the new F-150; it's a HUGE selling point!

Just another $0.02,

-John
 

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Now back to the original post topic: The widening gap between the Media and the Reality.

We are seeing this type of reporting more and more. The media have their own industry darlings: Toyota, Honda, BMW. But of late, there seems to be a disconnect between actual sales trends (the only opinion that matters) and the desires and opinions of the automotive journalists. Sales for Honda have slipped noticeably this year (like 8.3%). THAT is newsworthy. But why aren't we hearing about it in the mainstream. What about Camry sales that are flatlining? What about the surprise resurgence of Chevrolet passenger cars with an aging lineup?

THOSE are news stories. The idea that people like some European cars despite their inferior quality isn't. That sounds alot more like trying to justify a personal preference.

Personally, I really didn't find the article overly offensive. The author brings up the valid point that as the quality difference narrows, value, style and performance all become bigger players. So what. We've known that on this site for years now.

The BIG PICTURE that unfortunately the media seems to be missing,is that there's a sea change going on right now in the marketplace. The top sellers of the past five years (and the FWD, sensible HP, bland styling formula that they follow) aren't resonating as much with consumers anymore.

The Return of RWD, Long Hood, Big Trunk Sedans may be what the market is going to shift to. But will the media recognize this, with them having so much reputation tied up in their darlings?

Where's Hudson on this topic?
 

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One of the reasons people may still prefer a foreign car over a domestic - even if the reliability is better on the domestic - is refinement. We haven't gotten that perfected yet. I tried convincing a foreign-car owner to convert to domestic and brought him into a Lincoln dealership to see the LS. He got in, spotted a few things, and left. Refinement...
 

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Perhaps it is refinement. But in the end, is that a subjective term? I hate the seating position in a friend's Mercedes; He even admits that it's pretty bad. Nonetheless, it's a Merc, so does that make it "refined'? One of our GM cars ( a Pontiac) has great bucket seats, far better than that Merc, but is not "refined" because it was built on these shores.

It's a question of perception, and some biased journalism.
 

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mariner, people do care about reliability...That is how Toyota and Honda (as well as the rest of the other Japanese automakers) made business. I care about reliability. I took a risk buying a 2003 Caddy CTS. It has only been in the shop about 2 times (pretty, good!). Before the CTS, I owned Beemers and Toyota's.
 

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Originally posted by gmwsag@May 8 2004, 01:49 PM
mariner, people do care about reliability...That is how Toyota and Honda (as well as the rest of the other Japanese automakers) made business. I care about reliability. I took a risk buying a 2003 Caddy CTS. It has only been in the shop about 2 times (pretty, good!). Before the CTS, I owned Beemers and Toyota's.
qmwsag, I couldn't agree more, because I want quality too; that's why I buy GM cars. I didn't get quality in my wife's Civic or Accord, nor the Toyota Corolla she bought after those two. Perhaps it was bad luck, perhaps it wasn't. I do know that personal experience goes a long way, at least in my case.

As far as perception goes, I note that the big magazines have a definite lean towards the German and Japanese vehicles, and the local auto journalist in our local rag even admits (privately) that he won't write a favourable review on any North American car. Your CTS is one of the cars that will change that view, slowly but surely, because of GM's innovation, and yes, quality.

And there's one more small thing while I'm here on this rant:

Here in Canada, the import duties to bring a Honda into the country are about 2 to 3 percent. What do you think the duty is to bring a Malibu into Japan? Don't trust my word, go look for yourself, it's over 50%.

I believe in reliability, good value, and fairness. We didn't get that in our Japanese cars. She has a Buick now.

And..that Bonne on your profile is just Bellissimo, as the Euros might say.
 

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Yes...I looked it up. And from what I found, there are NO duties for a manufacturer to import a car into Japan. All vehicles must meet the basic Japanese specifications, but there's no special cost for an import vehicle in Japan. Maybe that's why Honda sources some of their products from the US for sale in Japan.

I do know that importing a truck into the US from outside of NAFTA, there is a 25% tariff, which, in effect, bars any imported pickups.
 

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I stand corrected, Hudson. There are no actual "duties", but what I should have said was that the requirements to bring in a North American vehicle since the bi-lateral treaties between the US and Japan, and Canada and Japan, expired in 1995 are very prohibitive. It is a well known fact that since that time, there have been a number of very restrictive regulations put in place, and that has caused the number of vehicles imported from North America to drop to less than half of what it was in 1995. Some of these regulations require conversion to right hand drive, which can be prohibitively expensive.

To be fair, the Japanese have met with the the US Government since that time to try to alleviate this situation, and the hope is to eliminate duties on all vehicles worldwide by 2005.

The 25% tariff on pickups coming into the US is puzzling to me though. I was unaware of it, and am a bit confused on why it would be necessary. I would think that the US industry would be secure in it's position, at least as far as pickups go.
 

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It is not prohibitively expensive to sell American-made products in Japan...it's just that they don't want what we have. Sure, there are some products that have a niche following in Japan, but none that would provide the volume necessary for a Big 3 company to engineer a RHD version almost exclusively for Japan. Models like the Honda Accord Coupe, Toyota Voltz, Toyota Pronard, and Jeep Wrangler are built in the US for sale in Japan and are priced competitively. But American companies don't make any models with engines smaller than 2.0L (key for tax purposes in Japan) and definitely not any "kei" class cars (under 660cc, a REAL bonus for Japanese ownership).

Looking the other way, the most popular Japanese-built vehicle in the US is the Toyota 4Runner. Since production of the Nissan Maxima moved to the US, all volume vehicles with Japanese badges have been built in the US. The Big 3 have reciprocated with production of the Ford Laser (by Mazda) and Chevrolet Cruze (by Suzuki) in Japan. But there are no major (artificial) barriers to actually exporting from the US for sale in Japan.

On the US side, we still have the ancient "chicken tax." Founded in 1963, the tariff was created in a dispute with Germany. In retaliation for a tax that the Germans imposed on frozen chickens, the US put a tax on furs and trucks (and one other product, but I can't remember what it was). In the years since, the other taxes have been repealed but the 25% tax on trucks remains. Today, Volkswagen (the original target of the tax) no longer imports trucks since SUVs don't count under the provisions of this tax. Ever wonder why all Japanese-branded pickups are built in the US? Here's your answer.
 
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