17th Jul 2009, 21:26

I saw one regular at our building supply with a Tundra; a small plasterer. Most everyone drove diesel full sizes, obviously new loaded domestics. I worked there 2004 to 2008, saw many lined up at 630 every day. One Tundra, that's it.

17th Jul 2009, 21:57

A 55-year-old GM that is still 100% original with 258,000 miles on it is "unacceptable"? We have one of those. It was my father's car. It's worth many times its original price. Not a speck of rust, original interior even. The engine is smooth and powerful. The GM 4-speed hydramatic has never been touched.

325,000 virtually trouble free miles is "unacceptable? That's how far we drove our 1975 Ford (over 17 years).

Or how about 277,000 TOTALLY trouble-free miles from our 1977 Buick LeSabre (sold in 2008)? I guess that is "unacceptable" as well?

Or maybe our 1990 Dodge that was sold in perfect running condition at 240,000 miles. It never even had freon added to the air conditioner. Yeah, it MUST have been garbage. Golly. It never even made a quarter of a million miles!

Then there are our 4 present vehicles. 2 GM and 2 Ford. The oldest is 9 years old. It has had one light bulb replaced. The others are 7, 4 and 3 years old and (as I'd expect with a domestic) have never had ANY problems.

I'm a "car guy" AND a mechanic. Not even the American cars of the 70's and 80's were as bad as our three imports, NONE of which made it to 100,000 miles without MAJOR problems. That includes one of those supposedly "perfect" Hondas that was built in Japan. It was the least reliable car I ever was cursed with.

I'd hardly regard cars that served me flawlessly for over 200,000 miles as "unacceptable". That's why our cars are all now Ford and GM. They are in Warranty longer than our imports even LASTED. We no longer trade because our cars are wearing out. We trade only if we want something newer. Most modern domestics will literally last as long as you want to drive them.

18th Jul 2009, 14:08

10:25 back in the excessive 80's I owned new luxury imports including 2 Mercedes, a Datsun Z car and Acuras 89 up.. and some nice domestics as well. Quite frankly them I could care less in a strong economy and it was a time pretty centered around yourself.

Lately I have seen some real hardship with family and friends, with some very talented individuals losing their jobs. And business owners trying to hold onto business and even to get paid by others.

I am driving new domestics now, quite frankly they have exceeded our expectations and I am letting others know. There is a really good feeling to #1 have a job and drive new domestics. I am not being hurt whatsoever, the quality is great, I am feeling I am putting 100% of my purchase not going to Japan but here.

I think quite a few people are taking a extreme negative on the lack of objectivity of current domestics. Whether someone owned used domestics 20 years ago and is driving new imports, try the reverse. I am comparing my import experience from a former positive to domestics being excellent. I am not an expert on all makes and models, but I know what is in my driveway is certainly less trouble prone than we had with our latest imports.

Again, I use to care less, it was my money and all about our family. The sudden severe gas hike last year and the continual banking-mortgage mess is more of a factor today, otherwise in a great economy imports would have held the #1 spot.

Not everyone wants to buy a SUV, or a $60,000 pickup maybe more Prius, Corollas instead. I do not want to drive these. I can live with 25 MPG on a trip in a V8 with a family. Just because a vehicle is larger, does not mean the MPG and likely maintenance can be low. I know I will not buy a new vehicle without a 100,000 mile warranty... all cars should offer that today. They are not cheap to buy if they are built right as they go by all the advertising simply do it.

I do take pride driving a Made In America (2 new vehicles) I feel I helped someone out there in a small way... vs. car manufacturers that are offering much low wages and limited benefits, lowering our standard of living. How many people do you know accepting lower pay, furloughs and how many new businesses or auto manufacturing plants are giving great paychecks. I would rather not see my town and state tax and home devalue further so that I can drive an import today. It seems like poor economy to me.......... drive a cheap car and lose and pay out more to those out of work. It took a long while to get away from the "all about me" perspective. And by the way the new Silverado is great...

19th Jul 2009, 17:49

Actually, you're helping in a BIG way. 91% of auto related jobs in the U.S. are for U.S. auto companies. German and Japanese companies in the U.S. employ literally a handful of people (NINE PERCENT OF TOTAL AUTO RELATED JOBS). I buy American. I'll KEEP buying American.

19th Jul 2009, 22:53

Here's the problem with the domestic versus import argument. Its likely split between two very different groups of people. It's a split that Detroit hopefully understands and is working on to rectify. On one side you have the loyal Chevy and Ford buyers. They are likely older, conservative, and suburban. As in 50+ years old and from an era where "Made in USA" actually meant that the product they bought with an American name was made in USA.

On the other hand you have another generation of car buyers who came from parents who got burned from buying sloppily produced American cars from the late 70's-early 80's, which was the era where US car producers were desperately trying to compete with Japanese cars, which at that point were light years ahead in terms of quality and reliability. These parents bought Japanese cars and the contrast between these cars and the junkers they bought before was drastic and they never went back.

I am one of those younger 30-something year old Americans who grew up with Toyotas that NEVER had problems, did their job well for sometimes decades on end, drove Toyotas all through high school and college, and again - never had any problems with them. So for people like me who have owned cars that have performed flawlessly, we have absolutely no reason to consider a product from a company like Ford or GM when we know that it wasn't long ago that the product they produced was basically a cheaply produced, inferior product.

Sure - I will freely admit that the stuff coming out of the big 3 today is better than what they used to make. But the problem is that it isn't in my opinion startling or interesting enough to make me want to take the chance on another brand. That's the problem. JD power for years has been stating for years that such-and-such Ford or GM product is supposedly better than some famously reliable Japanese brand. But when I see these "award-winning" cars falling apart when they're 2-3 years old, that tells a different story.

It also doesn't help that all 3 US automakers have either gone bankrupt or close to it. Why should I - a young professional - want to buy a product from a company that went belly-up? That in my mind doesn't show leadership or quality.

The problem in the end is that GM, Ford, and Chrysler are not going to become successful again by catering to those who buy only because its made in the USA. They will need to get people in my generation to look up and get interested. So far they have failed miserably. Until that occurs, expect their fortunes to remain the same.