Skip to comments.Asian brands dominate Consumer Reports' 2011 Auto Survey
Posted on 10/26/2011 7:06:16 AM PDT by DallasBiff
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Did she buy the car new?
I think the problem is union pay scales combined with their lower productivity. Bottom line is that to sell their products for roughly the same price as the Japanese manufacturers, despite the higher cost and lower productivity of UAW labor, Detroit has to lower the specs for their automotive components, which translates into higher repair bills for domestic car buyers.
I don't think the problem is the workforce itself - it's the fact that the UAW is higher cost and less productive (thanks to inflated negotiated pay levels and productivity-killing work rules). Since this added cost has to be factored into the cost of the car, management makes up for it by taking costs out only way they can, by substituting inferior materials and thereby reducing the specs for engine, transmission, electrical and other parts. Note that Detroit is required by union contracts to source a large chunk of their parts from UAW parts makers. Bottom line - it's not only the original parts that come with the car that are bad, the replacement parts that are used to repair the cars are no better. The whole Detroit system is one that coddles UAW workers at the expense of customers, who have to put up with expensive repair after expensive repair.
Thanks for these comments. Your points are very good and the more I think about it, the more I suspect your are probably largely correct. I'd still suggest a unionized workforce has less incentive to excel and do the best job they can, but what you say about the American car companies being forced to use cheaper parts in order to compete makes sense.
Unfortunately, this just reaffirms my thinking that it is best to avoid anything made in a union shop if possible.
I’ve been happy with Fords.
Happy to buy American built Japanese cars, but poor experience with American car companies means I won't be buying "American" cars (maybe built from Chinese components).
Car is the same age as mine (6 years) with 10K more miles on it than mine. To be fair, she’s a widow and her late husband used to drive it around for work.
Why do you think that?
Buying is about getting value, not nationalist sentiment.
Currenly own a Honda Ridgeline (the pickup truvk with a trunk) and a Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Coupe.
The Ridgeline is the wife’s vehicle. She had an accord and decided she wanted something a little bigger and more utilitarian. The Ridgeline rode a million times better than the Ford Sporttrac and also blew away the smaller Nissan and Toyota pickups.
I traded my one year old 2010 Ford Mustang GT on the Genesis. The Genesis has the full ‘Track package’ on it and has the same horsepower, comparable performance (slightly slower off the line, but almost 20 MPH higher top end), nimble handling, every creature comfort known to man, and about 5 MPG better mileage. I loved the Mustang, but I am 50 now and the ride was just beating the absolute hell out of me, it was so stiff and rough my wife got to where she refused to ride in it.
The reason I asked if the car was purchased new is this - some new car buyers seriously abuse their cars because they know they'll be selling them after a given time interval. She may simply have inherited problems induced by abuse on the part of the original owner.
No, she’s the only owner of the vehicle, but her late husband apparently beat the Hell out of it. I maintain the car now, but parts aren’t cheap. I’ve replaced two O2 sensors, the spark plugs, the TPS in the throttle body, and do regular oil changes, but those parts alone were almost double what I paid for similar parts in my car.
Own a 99% Japanese-made auto, a Mazda RX-8. Sadly, they won’t be making any more after the 2012 models (discontinuing the rotary engines). Too bad, it’s a nice sports car with a very different power curve...