They were on their way back years before the economic meltdown. Their products are looking great now. Okay, Chrysler still has some work to do, but they've already patched their biggest problem.
Fe203, I guess we have gotten so use to sound bites and instant gratification that we now have no patience for fully thought out opinions.
To summarize, Big Three made mistakes in the past, some a have some interesting models available some, some makers seem lost.
How do you feel about American car companies and their products?
Toi the OP, good topic, interesting responses.
I'm 44, and grew up loving and driving everything American. Any of the Big 3, didn't have a preference. Yet when I look in my driveway right now, I see 3 German cars. The shift didn't happen because of reliability, because my American cars were far more reliable than the German ones have been. For me it was a combination of driving dynamics, ergonomics, and precision...things that were always lacking in my domestic rides.
That said, the German cars seem to have taken a turn for the worse IMO...really the whole auto industry... toward more and more weight, complexity, features, and just needless complication that I never asked for. The ONLY new car that even remotely interests me right now is the lowly Kia Rio5. I drive a 22 yo Porsche and a 17 yo VW as my daily drivers.
And coming full circle, the vehicle I'm shopping for right now is an older Wagoneer. Why? Because it is simple, cheap, classic, and does a couple of things really really well.
I don't see how utilizing a company's resources to design cars from elsewhere is an issue....in fact it is probably one of the big 3's problem from before that they didn't do that sooner. After years of half-ass attempt at making sub-par compact when their foreign offices have been making competitive one for years...
I have nothing against American cars and when i was a kid it was always a dream to own one. I prefer American cars made pre 1973. Only owned one American car,that was a 77 Caprice coupe wich i liked,that thing was very comfy and solid as a rock,no trouble at all exept i changed a battery,but it was not a GM battery lol. Let`s just say i did not compare it to an Europen car,i did see it for what it was,a comfy,safe way to travel wide highways with,not chase seconds on the green hell. I`m what you could call a MB fanboy,but i really miss that old Chevy.
I have little experience with more modern American cars,have only driven a few Tahoe and Suburbans made after 2000. I liked them,felt solid and there was no more cheap plastic inside than you will find inside a BMW e36,wich by the way have horrible interiours if you dont have leather. I would say the worst American cars i have had somthing to do with are the mid 90`s Mopar products.
Would love to try a Cadillac CST-V or somthing,they both look amazing and goes like stink. Never been a fan of Corvette and the retro flashy Mustangs. So,i have nothing against American cars,even the ****ty models have more soul than the Japanese ever managed,and i like Japanes cars too. That said Europe have made tons of ****boxes upon years.
89 W201 2.5-16v - 80 Corrolla KE70 wagon - 77 Caprice Coupe.
my family had a family get together/reunion of sorts yesterday and the question of reliability of foreign vs domestic came up. off the top of my head these are the stats
cliff notes: foreign had no major issues, domestic did
land rover disco 250k miles. never a major issue
2 prius's 175k+ miles. never a major issue
audi s4 140k miles, eats brakes, otherwise good
my 89 vw diesel jetta 475k miles. second engine. 1st was fine but i had a lower mileage one so i figured i'd rebuild higher mileage one. no major issues but trunk rust
toyota t100 300k miles. SO clean. virtually perfect still. just oil and brake jobs.
bmw z4 120k miles. no major issues.
mercedes g55 amg. 80k miles. just a tank. uncle says it only needed a $$sensor. mercedes tax?
honda civic 250k miles. clear coat peeling and thats it!
thats all foreign i can recall
cavalier 100k miles. headgasket, alternator, waterpump, alternator again, door needed realignment, couple other silly things
dodge caliber 30k. alternator, sensors, trans slip, interior trim coming off
ford f150 100k miles. trans rebuild at 80k, 3 alternators, rust, sensors, fuel injection system needed overhaul, crack in exhaust mani
dodge diesel 200k miles, 2 engines, 2 trans, turbo rebuild, needs a 3rd heater core
chrysler cirrus 110k. 2 sunroof motors, broken struts, rust, engine knock
there were a few more but you get the point
the preventitive maintenance of each group was polled as well and pretty much all cars got regularly serviced, not just when something major broke
bottom line is this is completely anecdotal and not much help. all my family who drive domestic howeever plan on buying foriegn next time around.
Last edited by ienjoysnails; 05-21-2012 at 10:23 AM.
What I can comment on is I've owned over 100 cars in the last 30 years, from most major manufacturers around the world, Domestic, Asian, and European, and the fact is, there has been no clear winner in the reliability or cost to own categories. if we add in family and friend's cars, the sample size gets into the few hundred level, again from around the world, and the results are the same.
I've now owned my Mustang for a year and it's been flawless, and at 52k miles, it's still tight and feels like new.
I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.
I think American cars are coming along. Right now we own a Ford Flex and a Jeep Wrangler and they have both been great. I generally dis-like GM but that is mostly due to the common thinking in my area that GM is the best and everything else is UN-American. I could see myself driving a GTO or a CTS-V though.
My only experiance with US cars is my dad's 01 Taurus, 175k miles. The car is absolutely terrible to drive, fit and finish are horrible, engine is an outdated pushrod beast, transmisson can be realy jerky when cold etc, lots of things that say this car is a major pos...However this thing is propably the cheapest car he ever owned, very little maintenance...In general this is how people see american cars, floating boats on 4 wheels slapped together, at least when I was living on the old continent, that was the consesus..Of course you cannnot compare old Taurus to something like CTS-V or even the new Taurus..I guess they are improving every year.
In today's day and age of technology and globalization, isn't it all just semantics anyway?
I just asked a lot of questions, but seems like anyone can twist anything to claim the car to be "european" or "american." So what's more important, who owns the company, or where the car is assembled, or does none of this even matter anymore?