24th Aug 2017, 23:59
"Hello?" Did you not read my comment? Nowhere did I mention the compacts and sub- compacts that GM rushed into production because CAFE had them at gunpoint, nor did I try to start anything on an import vs domestic warfare. Just mentioning the better built GM cars we had in the 80s. If anything you are the one who stated that Toyota & Honda were mainstream back then, which is not necessarily true due to the fact that most of the decade they were outsold by domestic nameplates such as the Escort and Cutlass Supreme.
As far as the cars you mentioned; Citation, yes bad build quality and recall numbers that were up there with Toyota 2009 fiasco, but the two engines used in those cars were fairly reliable and used in many models beyond.
Chevette. This car was more or less criticized for being a cheap stripper model with rubber carpeting and a back seat as an option. The drivetrains were OK and the car itself had an 11 year run with decent sales figures.
Olds diesel, rushed into production, bad quality diesel fuel from the time and GM techs not knowing how to work on them was part of the problem. By 1985 they had it right, but by then it was too late. The engine option was available at no extra charges. I have seen YouTube videos where these engines are tough as nails when you add a water separator and rebuild the heads using the proper bolts.
Sagging doors on a Firebird. I remember my brother owning a 77 with the same problem. Not really a reliability nuisance, but nothing a couple of new hinge pins can't fix.
25th Aug 2017, 10:23
The 80s were a great decade with the economy. Some call it the excessive 80s. We went through some cars, likely a dozen during that period, as business was great. The most unusual vehicle looking back was a new 84 Dodge Caravan, 2 tone blue and silver, 3 seater. It was a new design with the 6. Shows how tastes change over time. Now we have Crossovers to choose from. This was a new idea vehicle at the time. Something different. We had it a few years and I don't recall it costing us maintenance wise on anything major. We had sports cars and sedans as well. Our best overall in the 80s reliability wise were our Legend and 280zx.
25th Aug 2017, 15:49
Its important to separate emotion versus facts here. GM, Ford and Chrysler all went through some rather nasty growing pains in the 70s and 80s. While the trucks were pretty solid, along with some of their older still-existent platforms of the time, all 3 of them had to more or less completely revamp their product lines. Yes, part of it had to do with emissions, which is good: untreated exhaust and lead gasoline aren't good for anybody, but the bigger challenge was that suddenly Japanese automakers started making some serious dents in their market dominance.
It takes a long time to turn such huge companies around, and often times it can get ugly. All of those companies had to develop vehicles they had little experience with. Mostly with FWD architecture and unibody frames. I distinctly recall that pretty much most people I knew back then with an American car were at the shop a LOT, my parents and grandparents included. This was all during the early 80s when many of the cars being introduced were totally new and untested.
But now? Sure. I'd have no issue buying any number of either American or overseas brands and feel fairly confident in it too. It's not like it matters that much anyway, since at this point all of the parts suppliers have been consolidated into just a few companies such as Bosch, Denso and Delphi. That and the cars themselves are comprised of a mix of parts from around the globe. Heck - my Volt is assembled in the US and is about 45% domestic content; the rest coming from Korea, Japan, a few European countries and probably Canada, Mexico and China. I don't care. The car does what it's supposed to do.
25th Aug 2017, 21:53
From 70-72 the big three had fantastic mid size and full size V8 choices. Not all 70s were bleak cars. Till all the anti pollution and emission mess and 5 mph ugly bumper addons took affect. And the price of gas shooting way up, with odd and even gas days, stretching around the block waiting for gas. While large heavy commercial vehicles were exempt from emissions. The governments and insurance companies were applying pressure in that era. Fast forward to the present fortunately and forget the 80s. Gas is cheap and power is high. There's great choices on both sides now, import and domestic. Do you currently own any 80s cars? We have no desire for any. Unless it's air cooled Porsches.
26th Aug 2017, 06:42
You're missing the point of energy saving and low emission vehicles. And plugging it in takes me about four seconds of my day. All vehicles will be electric someday anyway, so you'll get the hang of it. Amazing car.
26th Aug 2017, 16:17
Let's see, how is electricity actually made? Power Plants. Maintenance to run. Transmission towers to your location. Operators that work and drive to plants to even create it. These very people are customers of mine. It's not pure energy. Even wind farms and solar have much of the same. Destroying natural landscapes. And fracking everywhere for even natural gas with environmental impacts. Then there's lead plates and acid in batteries being produced.
7th Sep 2017, 21:58
There is a big difference between how electric power companies produce energy and oil companies extract energy.
Huge wells are drilled, platforms are erected and then the crude is shipped, piped or otherwise delivered to a refinery where many different chemical processes - many of them incredibly toxic - are employed to create different petrochemical products. In that process the refineries will often have to flare, burning raw gas products in the open. I live about 30 minutes from one of these and the flares are HUGE.
And then it goes to the consumer, the consumer being the American public, and since many states don't even require inspections, there are then millions of cars in poor condition or in some instances having had their emission controls compromised, meaning even more pollutants get spewed into the air. Over the course of a car's life, many 1000s of gallons of gas shall be burned.
The takeaway? Petroleum powered cars can only be fueled by... petroleum. Or maybe ethanol, but otherwise a product that burns.
With electric cars the source for power can be either from coal (which is rapidly falling out of favor for natural gas), natural gas powered plants, nuclear, which is clean but risky, wind, solar, hydroelectric, thermoelectric, tidal movement generators... etc. What's more is that unlike conventional petroleum powered power plants, the improvements in efficiencies being reached via solar, wind, etc along with those costs is rapid. So too is the improvements in battery technology with promises of solid state, rapid-charge batteries on the way.
The takeaway? While cars running on gas can only get their energy from a very narrow set of extraction based processes, cars that run on electrical power have a very diverse portfolio of sources, and of those many are improving quickly.
EVs are probably the wave of the future. At this point all car manufacturers have major electrification plans for the future, some with entire lineups getting either partial or full EV capabilities. Something tells me these folks are a lot smarter than we who do armchair debates on an automotive forum...