26th Dec 2007, 10:15

Kind of funny that we're talking about Dodge Omnis. The cars were designed in Europe and used VW engines and transmissions. In other words, these were about the same as the Dodge Colts, which along with countless other cars like the 80's Chevy Nova, Plymouth Laser, Ford Escort, and Ford Ranger were knows in the industry as "Captive imports" because despite the badge, the cars relied very heavily on imported or foreign designed drivetrains. The Colt was built by Mitsubishi. The Ranger had a 4 cylinder from Mitsubishi. The Laser was also a Mitsubishi product 'cleverly' re-badged as a Plymouth. The Chevy Nova was a Toyota Corolla.

Even today, Domestic automakers rely very heavily on foreign designs and components. The New much-hailed Fusion is designed in Europe with a Mazda engine and platform and assembled in Mexico. The Chevy Equinox has an engine from China-yes... China. The Taurus uses a Volvo Platform and frame.

SO all these little arguments about Japanese versus 'Domestic; brands is a moot point. The fact remains that Toyota and Honda are still mostly self-sufficient, own and operate much of their parts distributors, and design their cars and trucks on their own platforms. On the other hand, many domestic companies cut corners and use whatever cost-cutting method they can get away with and slap a name on the front. Never mind that they also lay off thousands of employees yearly in the name of cheaper labor in Mexico and Brazil. Their American right? So they must be better.

26th Dec 2007, 23:38

My 350 LT1 (Caprice-non police) was driven very carefully and was not raced. At 66,000 miles it needed a rear main seal and many other oil seals. Replaced leaky ones for $1500 or more. At 125,000 miles Car was leaking oil all over the garage. Informed by Chevrolet that rear main seals and manifolds leaking plus power steering system. Instead of fixing them again I traded it on a Honda Accord that is plenty powerful and that is more reliable and build quality that is decades ahead of my Chevrolet.

26th Dec 2007, 23:41

Same guy over and over again talking about his Civic blowing up a whole street at 40k. I am hearing a broken record. Funny, My neighbors Honda Civic has 250,000 miles, and my 2000 and newer Civic, which is supposed to be unreliable because of the 2000 and newer import crusade held by domestic owners, has almost 200k. Sorry, but you are not going to sway anyone to trade in their Civics for Omnis.

26th Dec 2007, 23:49

(funny, I do not see people flocking to trade in their imports like you make it sound). I have seen Toyota dealers, even amongst the Tundra problems taking in trade many Silverados and F-150s and their variants such as Tahoes and Expeditions.

Last time I checked it was the consumers leaving Ford and GM for faulty airbags, brakes, etc. What reasoning do you hold that it is just Honda and Toyota?

I am not biased, I used to own GM and I know that they do not hold their value that well. Do not give me crap about classic cars. Only real life cars! When I switched to imports I only came into the dealer for oil changes and maybe an occasional tire rotation. I cannot say the same for my GM cars.

27th Dec 2007, 13:59

Added to the import/domestic ownership comments previously on transmissions, a/c units and sound systems...Over many years I have owned many various imports and domestics in our household and the a/c were definitely one of the weakest areas on all accounts in nearly every import model I have ever owned. They either failed or in the case of my wifes last new TL you cooked it was undersized (granted it was a black car, but never cooled off and I sweltered) the brakes were lousy and the Xenon lights although great on other cars where terrible on my Honda undersized bulbs. The transmissions also on late models (Honda) were also the weakest major mechanical components I have ever experienced ever... as far as sound systems I liked the Bose with the factory sub in my Acura the best of any new car I have owned and the Infinity in my wife's Intrepid when they first came out had an outstanding factory sound system. But she switched to imports until recently. I also owned new Nissan Z 2+2 models had great sound systems at the time, but awful a/c units as well. As far as sound systems it is so easy to just remove and upgrade the sound system add better speakers, IPOD etc. today. My son was not even content with the one in his Range Rover and redid it all front to back including removing the factory sub with better aftermarket units. I have new domestics and am still upgrading them and they are better than ever especially the more durable drivetrains.

27th Dec 2007, 16:13

11:29 I have to disagree with one thing at least: engine-wise, as you say, it's no comparison. You can't try and tell me that any of the big 3 domestics make an engine that's comparable to a Toyota or Honda engine. Especially Honda; they simply make the best engines in the world. Period.

Most of Toyota's engines are pretty close, and some are as good I believe, such as the 22RE that they used to put in all of the small trucks. That engine is as good as anyone's ever built anywhere in the world. And all of the small 1.5 liter's and such that they used to put in the Tercels and now in the Corolla's are also next to perfect.

But GM, Ford, and Dodge don't have a prayer of competing with the quality of any of those. Plain and simple. You may be able to nurse one of them along once in a long while to achieve the kind of mileage that Toyota's and Honda's routinely get, but still, it won't be even close to the level of efficiency and refinement.

28th Dec 2007, 07:21

I see otherwise more so people trading in large domestic SUV's and the like primarily due to high cost of fuel, not because of quality. The newest large SUV's are better than the imports we owned. However it costs over $100 now to fill just one of mine, and it may make one think gas is high and they are sick of being gouged. I would rather not forsake the high level of quality I currently have over fuel cost. I feel fortunate and am not alone in my opinion to not be blindly herded into small uncomfortable bland vehicles with 50 mpg such as a Prius. I cannot imagine trying to repair that vehicle myself down the road, but I imagine people don't see that aspect just immediate gratification at the pump.

So if a manufacturers primary focus is on fuel economy and small vehicles, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see people will feel they need to buy them so they will not sacrifice driving any less. I work hard paid off my home and have the capability to buy the nicest vehicle first with gas secondary. I can understand however why sales figures reflect the very high costs of fuel, including the increase of fuel oil, rising property taxes and health care, so people may be dropping the luxury of buying what they really would prefer driving. That is the true question if you could drive whatever you wanted... would you expect more in the way of performance, handling and comfort if the fuel issue was removed or is it watching the fuel pump that has been the determining factor on sales? I would even drive less to not be forced into a corner this way, and I feel domestics are more satisfying to drive and with much less repairs on the newest models. It's unfortunate people will not give up driving just a little less to avoid having something so bland that just gets them around. I enjoy driving too much to let that occur.

My opinion is that we will see more of these underpowered vehicles with new glitzy paint colors and pretty seats to attract buyers, instead of drivability and the passion of driving a car?