6th Jul 2009, 14:05

"It is the repetitive 91 Vs 9% argument that is laughable"

Putting 91% of U.S. auto-related jobs in jeopardy is "laughable". And I thought I had an odd sense of humor!!

6th Jul 2009, 14:36

The ironic thing here is that we have the same two sides arguing: "domestic" (which I assume must mean Ford, Chrysler, and GM) and "Imports", which I assume must mean Toyota since they have taken the spot of the world's largest automaker.

I fail to see how this is even an argument. GM and Chryler went bankrupt because they build decades of poorly engineered, utterly clunky vehicles. You can only get away with that for so long before the public becomes wary and distrustful of your brand. It's not a coincidence that pretty much every consumer publication has ranked the former big 3 at or near the bottom of the quality ratings, and for the last 20+ years below the levels of Toyota and Honda. You can only get away for so long with screwing customers over by selling them products that break down, fail to deliver, or provide reliable transportation before they will look elsewhere. Toyota provides the answer and once these people found that their Toyotas often ran for decades with few problems, they gave their trust to Toyota.

This didn't happen overnight. It took decades. Years of the Big 3 screwing up and making faulty products. Years of more and more people jumping to Japanese brands. Years of people being satisfied with their reliable Toyotas giving them no reason to "try" the big 3 again. Then one day the Big 3 realized they had a serious problem of losing market share. We were promised that they had "improved". Yes - we still read about how Ford or GM has a higher INITIAL quality than (name that evil foreign car company's) car or truck. But the public doesn't care. They know what works and that would be a no-nonsense, reliable car or truck. Hence why Toyota is in the position its in.

Thus I'm confused why this is so completely intangible to some of you who act as if it's a giant conspiracy and that all of us who drive Toyotas are totally wrong. If we were wrong then Toyota would have gone the way of the Yugo long ago. We are right and you know it, and trying to tell us how crappy YOU think our cars or trucks are doesn't belittle reality.

Lastly, yes - I'm all about supporting the US economy. I buy American when I can. But I'm not about to waste my hard-earned money on junk neither. If US car companies built good products - products that were better than Toyota, sure - I'd buy them. But they don't and that's why I have little reason to switch.

6th Jul 2009, 19:56

If you want to buy inferior products and call it patriotic, that's your business. I buy the best products Toyota and Honda) and call it smart.

The truly funny thing here is the handful of people here that will actually argue that Ford, Chevy, or Dodge produce better engines than Toyota or Honda, which is absurd. Honda simply makes THE best engines on the planet. Period. But you can't tell that to the "patriotic" guy who thinks the engine in his Dodge Neon is as good as the vtec in a Civic. I truly do love spreading that kind of 'propaganda' around... it's called FACTS.

7th Jul 2009, 09:33

Are we on cars or truck production. If it sales figures meaning the best, it's not Tundras. Maybe go to the Prius forum.

7th Jul 2009, 09:52

The Toyota is built here in the USA by Americans, by the way.

While GM, Ford & Chrysler close down US plants, to build their vehicles in Mexico & Canada, at least Toyota has opened plants here.

7th Jul 2009, 10:33

I have a Corvette, and also had the Acura VTEC in our TLs, both great engines. Not impressed with Hondas trans however.

I also prefer the new Silverado's ride, handling, room and warranty. I prefer new Chevrolet V8 engines.

The miles per gallon is very good as well. Our VTEC 3.2 took 93 octane as well.

I am not missing the loss of GM Hummer or Saab and like Chevrolet. I think the Prius is ugly, but to each their own. Many like to view the fuel monitor though.

8th Jul 2009, 12:17

I don't miss the status-symbol Hummer (which served no practical purpose) or the Saab either. With regard to hybrids, the new Fusion hybrid outdoes the egg-shaped Prius in ever category. USA Today calls it the best hybrid ever built... and it still looks like a CAR, not an egg!!

8th Jul 2009, 20:16

12:15.. Lexus has been wiping the floor with Ford, GM, and everyone else for a decade and a half. They still are. If I wasn't in shock, I thought maybe I read something about a DODGE OMNI being a better car than a Civic. I must be mistaken. No one could really think that.

For the millionth time... Toyota and Honda beat the s@*& out of GM and Ford every single year in overall quality ratings and reliability ratings. Those two companies have FAR more recommended vehicles, and a MUCH higher percentage of their automobiles recommended. Which is why they are doing well, why consumers buy them, and why Ford, Dodge, and what used to be GM is going out of business and not even worth mentioning anymore. They make junk, always have, Toyota and Honda make quality automobiles, always have. Get used to hearing the truth. It won't go away.

8th Jul 2009, 21:03

9:52... what if many individuals were not panic prone and rushed to buy so many very small plain uninspired cramped econo cars over very high gas prices a while back. Gas was definitely high and I am certain it affected what was bought and sold.

Why do people buy Prius; is it MPG perhaps?

Tundras full size truck sales have been very small compared to the full size domestic trucks even in a good economy. Now that gas prices have dropped I am sure families are missing the better room, comfort, performance and the vehicles they gave up. And the lesser warranty that can run out quick.

It will be interesting to see long term repair costs (more than the gas gauge MPG obsession) over time. I am not convinced Hybrid models are cost effective long term with their complexity no doubt to repair. I would rather have a regular full size domestic V8 sedan capable of 28 MPG plus on trips, barely loping on the interstate instead.

9th Jul 2009, 10:13

It is not the patriotic duty of Americans to buy US-made products. If such a attitude were to become commonplace, our economy would actually be in worse condition than it is now. The perfect example is the 1930's when early in his term, FDR made it a point to impose tariffs on imported goods and heavily promote domestic consumption. That only caused other countries to throw up barriers of their own, thus casting us into a severe depression that would have likely ended sooner had such protective barriers been put up. Capitalism exists to promote open economies, which in turn leads to more reliable stability.

Secondly, people can spout that they think that somehow Dodge builds a better engine than Honda but that very idea is so outlandish that it's almost a joke. I don't even need to say more. Our last car was a 90' Honda Civic that was still in amazingly good condition before we sold it only because we inherited a 2002 Prius from my Wife's Father.

That brings me to the next point. There has been far-reaching, often misguided information about hybrids-particularly from the far right- claiming that the cars are faulty, unreliable, uneconomical, and so on. Let me set the facts straight one more time. For starters the Prius is a medium sized car along the likes of a Chevy Malibu or Ford Fusion. It is priced at around $22,000-$25,000, which is right in line with the cost of other medium sized sedans. On the other hand the Ford Fusion hybrid will set you back more than $30,000. So for the cost of a conventional Fusion you get a Prius which is an actual purpose-built hybrid.

Our car, though the first generation, gets anywhere from 50-53MPG in real world driving. The Civic we had before got around 30MPG. So even comparing one fuel efficient car to another proves the Prius gives you significant fuel savings. Secondly there has also been tons of misinformation about the fear of battery failure. The battery in the prius and other hybrids (like the Fusion hybrid) have a controlled charge/discharge cycle. The battery charges 40-60%. With batteries, charging cycles determines the life of the battery. A good analogy would be the difference between redlining your engine all the way to work every day versus driving at a lower RPM. The same with batteries: a lower charge/discharge cycle puts less stress on the cells. At this writing our car has around 100,000 miles on it and is 7 years old. So far we have had no problems with it or the battery. In fact there have been hardly any of these batteries failing in the Prius. Far less battery failures than the number of Cadillac Northstar V8 engines. But even if for some reason the battery were to fail, the battery is easy to get at. Its under the back seat. Toyota offers a buyback on these units and there are also tons of used units at wrecking yards for as little as $400-$500.

What I'm getting at is that a hybrid is a legitimate drivetrain. It's just different, newer technology. The battery has become part of that drivetrain just as electric start did back in the early 1900's for car engines. Yet people have this "fear" of them because they either don't actually understand them or they label them as "hippy cars" or something along those lines. Soon we will have all-electric cars, which will further progress our development of better transportation.

But in conclusion, The Big 3 failed because they failed to deliver a product people wanted to buy. Sure - there are die-hard flag-waving folks out there who have succeeded in convincing themselves that by golly, Honda builds crap while GM builds the best darned engines on the planet. But truth overrides fiction.

I want GM, Ford, and Chrysler to succeed like most Americans. I'd be proud to own a car made in my own country if the car was really and truly reliable and of high quality. But that hasn't happened yet, and until that does occur, I will use my rights as a free market consumer to choose the best product to extend the use of my hard earned dollars.