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  #21  
Old December 5th, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landrovered
It is a shame that detroit has sold its product integrity for profit and plastic that looks like chrome.

Having just bought a 2008 F350 I will give you that one.

The thing is loaded with chrome covered plastic. I basically need it for the engine and towing ability, but I will fully admit they are trying to make the truck look like an 18 wheeler for no reason other than ego.
In the looks dept. I liked my 2001 better.
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  #22  
Old December 5th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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The dodge trucks were the ones that started that whole 18 wheeler thing, they ruined the American pickup truck.
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  #23  
Old December 5th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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The problem I see with the Big 3 is that they really have no market segment. Their trucks serve a purpose, and sell well. The Mustang/Camaro/Challenger etc. have a place, and the chargers are now sold as police vehicles, but look at the rest of the lineup... The big three have no competitive advantage in the car market. They don't make really cheap cars, they don't make really good cars and they don't make really reliable cars. BMW and MB aren't cheap, and have their fair share of problems, but they are really nice and drive really well. Japanese cars (with the exception of the high end ones) are not really luxurious or cheap but they are incredibly reliable. Also, with BMW's full maintenance and warranty for 4yr/50k and extendable up to 100k, you don't even pay for anything except wiper blades, tires and gas! If I wanted a ridiculously cheap vehicle brand new, I would look to Kia, Hyundai or Scion. The big three just don't do any of these things well. They have not carved out a niche or exploited any kind of competitive advantage since Henry Ford and his assembly line!
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  #24  
Old December 5th, 2008, 11:46 AM
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They have one niche...golfers cars, you can fit four bags of clubs in the trunk of a Buick.
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  #25  
Old December 5th, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Wow, are these numbers really accurate? I'd always heard that line workers made ridiculous salaries for their level of education, and the skill required to do their job, but I never imagined it approached $120 to $150K ($71/hr) a year. And this all because of the Union's milking the companies? If that's true, it is insane, and it is no wonder the Auto Manufacturers are going bankrupt. Damn did I pick the wrong career..


Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteD90
A line worker who needs no more than a high school diploma makes ~$120K annually, if his/her job becomes automated or they become unemployed they are compensated for 48 months. Is that competitive with the national or worldwide industry, I doubt it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij
The biggest mistake GM made was not busting the unions when they went on strike back in 1998.

Ford pays $71 per hour per worker. That is more than most attorneys/doctors etc.
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  #26  
Old December 5th, 2008, 12:13 PM
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Same with my 545i...the Germans even give you a little placard in the trunk to show you how to do it...leave it to the Germans to produce such a part! haha

Although, I like this take on it. This would be a perfect part for Cadillac to install...
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  #27  
Old December 5th, 2008, 12:49 PM
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The numbers are accurate. it is not really total takehome, but pay+benfits+pension

Ron
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  #28  
Old December 5th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG

That's true, you don't need a winnebago, but if you have ever had to put two kids, two dogs, couple pack and plays, some luggage, etc... and maybe some other gear in a vehicle not only would never fit in an allroad or other wagon but you would be way over what the recommended capacity is. I'm not a big fan of that, personally. I would rather have something safer to haul everyone around.

I'm amazed myself. I'm a new father and we're an active traveling family. I never expected how much stuff you end up carrying around. I used to laugh at people driving around in suburban's, etc.. but now I see why! I would rather have an 08' Defender 110. It's only 20" shorter (wheelbase) then the suburban.
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***maybe you need less stuff...



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Quote:
Originally Posted by landrovered
This is the workhorse of the ROW...

http://www.daihatsu.com/catalogue/delta/index.html
I hot wired a couple of these in Iraq to haul some pyro we seized....they were a blast to drive as well they could haul a serious load. Can you get them here??
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  #29  
Old December 5th, 2008, 01:04 PM
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I don't think you can but don't know for certain. In Latin America they are everywhere loaded to the gills with every manner agricultural products and then with people and goats on top of that. After seeing them in use down there, I have a lot of respect for their capabilities. I don't know of any US manufactured truck that could do what they do in that compact package.
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  #30  
Old December 5th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij
The numbers are accurate. it is not really total takehome, but pay+benfits+pension

Ron
Right. I've heard it's closer to $35 an hour in actual wages. Still, it's a problem.

The Big Three have already failed. A bailout won't change the past. The horse has left the barn. We need to just take the lumps.

I understand the thinking behind throwing money at the credit markets to preserve some semblance of liquidity (though it seems not to be working -- banks are just hording the cash). But throwing money at failed automakers who couldn't/wouldn't remain competitive on their own just seems like the wrong move.
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  #31  
Old December 5th, 2008, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgrrvr

I also dont think we need to pay off mortages for jackasses who signed on for an interest only loan that has come due and they cant come up with the cash. If you loaned money to this person you are a fool, if you take out this loan you are a fool, and all they rest of us pay for their mistakes with our hard work. Is this the American way? Is this healthy?
This could be it's own thread...don't get me started. One added point is government relaxing standards on lending qualifications accelerated this to the effect of taking a tired 3.9l out of your defender and dropping an LS1 in.
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  #32  
Old December 5th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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[QUOTE=rgrrvr]***
***maybe you need less stuff...


Maybe......
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  #33  
Old December 5th, 2008, 03:50 PM
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the problem seems to be that 1) the big three have no downcycle hedge and 2) unions crush already thin margins.

When oil is cheap and the economy is booming, you sell tons of SUVs. When either of those things moves the other way, you don't. Unions see the big profit in the cycle peak and want a piece, but when things get bad wont give up anything, so the business can't be a going concern without increasing prices in the good times to pay for the bad. Problem is, if they actually did that, they wouldn't sell anything because they arent cost competitive with comparable companies.

Should we be making comparisons to the bank rescue plan? Nope. Did the Ibanks f'up? Yes. Could the US economy survive without an immediate bailout to provide liquidity? Nope. Does this mean US automakers should get bailed out? Nope. (Im not a banker, and hate most of them that i have known, but i do have a masters in international economics)

Sure, they may go bankrupt and have to go through restructuring, but if ford trucks can be profitable, someone will always make them. We cant keep paying $71 bucks an hour for something another american will do in the south for $45.
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  #34  
Old December 5th, 2008, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Taylor
Right. I've heard it's closer to $35 an hour in actual wages. Still, it's a problem.

The Big Three have already failed. A bailout won't change the past. The horse has left the barn. We need to just take the lumps.

I understand the thinking behind throwing money at the credit markets to preserve some semblance of liquidity (though it seems not to be working -- banks are just hording the cash). But throwing money at failed automakers who couldn't/wouldn't remain competitive on their own just seems like the wrong move.
That $71/hr equates into worker wages today + benefits + pension + legacy costs (i.e. paying for guys to stay home). I grew up in a GM town and have family at GM. My one brother-in-law took a retrement package last year from GM, and he is still working there, doing the same job but under a 3rd party labour providor. Now how the hell does that make economic sense to GM?

It's somewhat ironic that on the day the Big 3 were in Washington, Toyota Canada was having their grand opening of their new car plant in Cambridge Ontario. Sure they cut back their original projections, but they still provided 1200 new jobs to the area, and still have demand for their vehicles in NA.

IMHO, all you need to do to is look at the vehicle lineup of the Big 3 and that will tell you why they got to where they are. Each one has multiple vehicles in the same segment, under different brands. Confusing to the buyer.
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  #35  
Old December 5th, 2008, 05:42 PM
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Big 3

Chrysler is the one I have the least sympathy for. Cerberus purchased Chrysler, what, a year ago? 18 months? They paid pennies on the dollar from what Diamler paid. Other than a cyclical economic downturn, what is that they didn't know a year ago?
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  #36  
Old December 5th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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Good point, John. Similar to Tesla motors trying to get in on gov't loans. ridiculous.
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  #37  
Old December 5th, 2008, 11:35 PM
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unfortunately I don't think there is much any of us can do about the bailout of the big 3 or anyone else, but maybe if we all write our Congressman about getting fuel efficient clean diesel vehicles we can change the current laws. That seems to be the one unifying theme on this whole thread. " give me a diesel" Of course with diesel being on average a $1 more per gallon than Unleaded, most folks would probably shy away if diesels were here. Most people are very short sighted, now that gas is cheap, then nevermind about the diesels. I recently spoke with a LRNA field rep. and he said LR is all but pulling the plug on the rush to get diesels here because of the reduction in gas prices as well as engineering probs. Again a short sighted approach. he also said that it will probably be at least 2012 before we get a diesel, if ever.
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  #38  
Old December 6th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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Speaking of clean diesel could you stick a Blue-Tec in a D?
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