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What is wrong with US Car Manufacturers!

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posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 02:34 AM
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reply to post by fooks
 


Excellent! Thanks for posting that.

It sure does explain alot of the hidden history in the evolution of the E-Car.
I plan on watching the whole series.




posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 03:07 AM
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Best car ever designed and made was the VW Beetle.

Air cooled rear engine is was and is a masterpiece in its simplicity.

And the damn thing was water tight and floated.

Was snowed in by a blizzard once and a friend with a VW called us and asked us if we needed anything. Told him not to try there was 6 foot drifts on the road.

He said he was already out and at the store.

Later I looked out the window down the road and here he was coming driving on top of the snow.

The car was so light and had a flat bottom it just cruised right over the snow.

He delivered us bread and milk and turned around and drove home.

Strangest thing I ever witnessed.



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 03:53 AM
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reply to post by calcoastseeker
 


We used to have the old 60's German-made VW Beetle with the light air-cooled 1.2 cc engines when I was a kid.

I'd say it's a phenomenal car. I dunno how they made the body so much harder than modern cars but still light. Retain a cooler temperature compared to other cars after being parked under the sun (despite 'inferior' insulation).

The car also drives nicely over beach sand where other cars would quit moving.... And lastly, for lasting decades of use/abuse!



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 07:48 AM
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Most gas heads will HATE electric cars....until they floored a Tesla and left Mustangs, Vipers etc in the dust. only problem is that it ends at about 200km/h for the Tesla and the noise is only attractive if you like soft, jet-engine whining, but nothing beats the "kick in the pants acceleration" from an expensive
electric car..and it happens from any speed you go...weird experience. (Driven it..cannot pay for it...Boewaaaaa..snif...)

Do not even mention "efficiency in transport of electricity" That discussion always leads to nastyness from pro-and contra electric car-people. And most of those discussions have the suspect smell of oil-industry "agent provocateurs"...

I do not give a hoot about gas- or electric cars. If it's fast, it's fast...

It gets even more ridiculous when mentioning that most electricity comes from coal-power...How about hydro-power then?(As in a large part of Canada)

Just try an electric sportscar, floor it(cannot wait for the Fisker)and call me again
;-)

[edit on 10/28/2009 by diakrite]



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 08:08 AM
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I suggest that anyone interested in this debate rent/download/watch the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car". Many answers to the OP's questions are answered in that documentary.



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by BigBirdsBird
The problem with the US car manufacturers is that for whatever reason they keep giving new contracts to a bunch of lazy overpaid union workers and now they are on the hook for billions in healtchare and benefits for a bunch of people that make up reasons that they are unable to work.


Yes, unions...
Those people that brought you the weekend.

Ever spend a day on the assembly line floor?

Further, why not look into the ability of the North American Auto Pact to export cars to Japan, Korea, etc. Then talk to your lawmakers about a little tit-for-tat legislation.

Then look at the work that's being sent off-shore, just to raise the bottom line for Wall Street. Mexico is no longer cost effective.

Cuz if you need a scapegoat, may as well try for the right ones, instead of targeting Joe Ordinary, whose union gig raises the bar for everybody.



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 11:47 PM
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Well, I for one have learned an awfull lot about why the US auto industry is in the dumpster. It just goes to show how valuable ATS really is.

Convictions about the way things really are require a deep dive into facts, and facts are all that really matter. Unlike other topics entertained by ATS, there exists a solid foundation of tangible evidence in this subject that just cannot be disputed. We might disagree with who and what might be responsible, but the underlying facts have legs that stick.

When this thread is done, and give it a few more days, I would like ATS's permission to copy it verbatim to the heads of all of our leading auto manufacturers. I would bet that had they done market research like this, much better solutions would have emerged from those board rooms.

A few copies to key offices in the Federal government would also be worth the postage, if, and ever it would ever be read.

Thanks to all who posted here



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck
Further, why not look into the ability of the North American Auto Pact to export cars to Japan, Korea, etc. Then talk to your lawmakers about a little tit-for-tat legislation.


I thought the auto pact went out the window with NAFTA? And didn't the WTO rule it was an unfair trading agreement?

And what legislation do you think is needed? I'm not sure I see what you're getting at.



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 07:47 AM
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Originally posted by vox2442

Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

I thought the auto pact went out the window with NAFTA? And didn't the WTO rule it was an unfair trading agreement?


NAFTA worked around the auto pact but is was ruled unfair by wto, yes. I erroneously used the phrase as shorthand for Canadian/American built cars


And what legislation do you think is needed? I'm not sure I see what you're getting at.


There remains a great deal of Asian protectionism in the form of trade barriers erected/enacted against the North American car manufacturers. They ought to be called on it, or get a little trade war blasted back at them. That's where our Parliament/Congress could kick some butt. See:
www.unsustainable.org...

No nation has benefited more from protectionism than Japan. In recent years, however, the fact that the Japanese car market remains as protected as ever has dropped off the American press’s radar. Although Japanese officials first proclaimed the market open as far back as the 1970s, as of 2008 the combined share of all foreign makers was still just 5 percent. This was only a fraction more than in the 1980s and the second lowest in the developed world after only Korea.



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 08:22 AM
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As I know much of you dislike the government option...what is needed is an Apollo like program or Manhattan like project funded by the tax payer to research and develop alternative energy and transportation.

Human's in charge of companies cannot be trusted when given such power and wealth. The ideal of capitalism is a great one, but human weakness guarantees failure.

I am in a large company that keeps most of its employees as hired temporary contractors. I personally work very hard, end up in charge of the company men because of my vision and natural inclination to improve and work hard.

I gain recognition, but they refuse to hire anyone because they have a unwritten rule of how many company men there can be at any one time. My manager pushed to have me hired but failed. The company is making millions on the product I have developed for them. Yet they refuse to hire me or anyone else because of this number hidden from anyone under the 5th floor.

It has worn me down not having any way to progress. I can see an even better product and more improvements but I have little inclination to continue to rise above the rest for this company.

What does this mean? It means this company is not getting the best out of its employees, including myself, because they want to give the stock holder most of the money I earned.

So yes there are some lazy people out there but there are also companies screwing their work force to maximize profits.

So we need a cold non profit government R&D to create the new technology for our companies. One that pays and rewards the actual scientists and workers good fair pay rather than the fat useless talking heads on the 5th floor or stock holders.

In my opinion the failure of our government to do these things is a threat to our national security far more damming to us than the Taliban or Osama.



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 08:48 AM
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Well there are some nice American electric sports cars, the Tesla and the other one, the Finckler? I think a big difference with the past is that Americans dont buy traditional anymore. They dont buy a Cadillac for their entire life, but look on the internet and compare cars in the segment they want for best price/quality, marketing has also changed in this direction. I think they don care if its a Japanese car anymore..

[edit on 30-10-2009 by Foppezao]



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

Originally posted by vox2442

Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

I thought the auto pact went out the window with NAFTA? And didn't the WTO rule it was an unfair trading agreement?


NAFTA worked around the auto pact but is was ruled unfair by wto, yes. I erroneously used the phrase as shorthand for Canadian/American built cars


And what legislation do you think is needed? I'm not sure I see what you're getting at.


There remains a great deal of Asian protectionism in the form of trade barriers erected/enacted against the North American car manufacturers. They ought to be called on it, or get a little trade war blasted back at them. That's where our Parliament/Congress could kick some butt. See:
www.unsustainable.org...

No nation has benefited more from protectionism than Japan. In recent years, however, the fact that the Japanese car market remains as protected as ever has dropped off the American press’s radar. Although Japanese officials first proclaimed the market open as far back as the 1970s, as of 2008 the combined share of all foreign makers was still just 5 percent. This was only a fraction more than in the 1980s and the second lowest in the developed world after only Korea.



I know a nation that benefited more from protectionism: My home and native land. The auto pact built my hometown. The FTA killed it, and NAFTA buried it.

That was a good read, though. Thanks for posting it.

But there are some inaccuracies. Or at least some things that don't match up with what I see when I look around me.

In my experience, Japan is a far more open market, as far as imported vehicles, than Canada. Possibly more open than the States. I can buy anything here. Can't buy a new Alfa Romeo in Canada. Can't buy a Renault, or an Opel (badged as such), or a Peugeot. Can't buy a Volkswagen Polo, for that matter, or anything made by Fiat. Maybe that's changed, I've been away for a while.

But how many are actually on the road? Good question, and tough to gauge.

Here's one indicator:

www.carsensor.net

It's a Japanese version of Auto Trader. More or less. There are three sites like this that I know of, this one is one of the biggest. I use it, anyway. If you look down the left hand of the page, there are car manufacturers listed. The top bunch is Japanese, the bottom bunch is imported. The numbers beside each show how many new and used cars are available for each.

the totals as of now:
Japanese: 187,000
Imported: 26,000

A more partial list is here, but grouped by country:
www.carsensor.net...

This isn't a scientific survey, but it's a decent snapshot of the market.

That's a fairly big discrepancy. But there's a wild card in there, that a lot of commentators - including the article you posted - seem to forget about. The Kei Car..

When this idea was put in place in 1949, there were quite a few imports that were classified as Kei, but over the years the numbers have dropped off. There aren't all that many cars being made outside of Japan that still fit the bill.

www.carsensor.net...
kei - 64,373

That leaves 122,000 domestic cars that are comparable to the imports. Comparing apples to apples, about a fifth of the cars available for sale on that site are imports. If we weed out domestic heavy trucks, buses, heavy equipment listings, snowblowers and so forth, the number drops to about 110,000, or about a quarter of the cars for sale.

And it also leaves a huge market relatively untapped. The Kei market in Japan is huge - they are nearly everyone's first car, and remain the standard second car nationwide. Nearly every house on my block has one. Some have two.

I have heard the case that the existence of the Kei class constitutes protectionism. And I'm not sure about that. Years ago, when other countries made cars that fell into this category, it was not protectionism. Now that those companies have willingly stopped making those cars, they claim it is. Smart was the last big name manufacturer to take a run at this market, and despite decent sales, they ditched the model.

Oh, and the Renault line in that story is utter BS. I pass a Renault dealership every day on my way to work, and have done for years - and as far as Peugeot is concerned, I have no idea what that guy is talking about - I see them often, and there is also an established local dealership. Likewise Opel.

Here's the Renault for sale:
www.carsensor.net...

Living here, I have the ability to buy just about any car made in the world. Certainly any car worth owning. And the prices are not out of line with what I would pay for a comparable import in Canada. Have a click around the site I posted, you'll see what I mean.



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 09:55 AM
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reply to post by vox2442
 


I appreciate your lengthy post. I suppose it comes down to the lens through which the world is viewed. I can't dispute your observations, but I will refer to mention in that piece of the subtle ways in which you can choke out the competition. Suffice to say that there is a serious disparity in the balance of trade...much of which is orchestrated by Korea and Japan. It doesn't help the North American market get back on its feet, and ought to be addressed by lawmakers.

Thanks for your thoughts on the matter.



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by charlyv
 


Get rid of the unions!

2 line post.



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by anotherdad
reply to post by charlyv
 

Get rid of the unions!


What? Blame the victim? Like I said, to my experience, it is a rare employer that gets a union, whose workers don't heartily require one.

Unions...the folks that brought you the weekend...



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 10:25 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


I can't speak about Korea, I don't know the market very well.

But I do know that Canada crippled Hyundai in the 80s. The government sued them for dumping, the media crucified them, and you were generally considered to be something below a communist if you drove one (communists drove Ladas) thanks to the media blitz. Six of one, half dozen of another.

Canada and the USA aren't innocent in this. If anything, the legacy of the Auto Pact has been that trade barriers and backroom deals, government subsidies, manufacturing content legislation are ok when WE do it, but...

The CRTC put the hit on a telecom company the other day because they wanted to enter the market without enough Canadian ownership. In Canada, that's seen as an ordinary day. Elsewhere, it's protectionism. Ontario did the same to the solar power industry this week, and will probably face a WTO challenge sooner or later over it. Fought for decades on softwood lumber, despite the fact that we were probably in the wrong.

Japan has no real barriers to the market, in that all imports get treated the same.

Canada gives preference to manufacturers who build factories in Canada, and build with Canadian labour and Canadian parts, and throws up barriers to companies that don't, as far as access to the market and advertising and so forth. Some might consider that to be overly protectionist, verging on extortion.

It's been good for Canada, thusfar. But it'd be dishonest to say that Canada has been playing fair throughout.



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 10:53 AM
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Slam me if you want!

I can say from experience , that it is union related %100

I am almost 40 years old have a degree in mechanical engineering/metalurgy, I very fluent with machining, welding and productions efficencies, assembly line, and the union hireing process goes by senority....NOT SKILL....its no wonder that these CO.'s are falling behind!
The answer I kept getting was "this is how its been done for years, and why do we want to change a proven method!"
This is not only in the auto industry! It is happening all over, and with most all big manufacturing CO.'s
I ended up in a large stainlees steel pharma/milk/winery equip manufacturer, and lo & behold 8 years after I started, they lost the biggest part of thir contracts to outside contractors, and overseas CO.'s that did a much better job....cheaper! 1000+ union workers, and 50 office ppl......they "union workers" refused to settle for anything less, and lost everything!
Due to that fact that the union guys only work, "if prevailing wages are paid!"

Unions were needed and used in history, but their practical purpose is no longer needed, unless the entire USA workforce had a nationwide "labor" union....hmmm good idea, but would never work!
It would end up like our greedy lying, gov't.....
end of rant s+f



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 11:07 AM
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The original question was about the technology, not the manufacturing.

The answer is (and I realise I'm not going to make many friends here by saying this...) that the US has never been a centre for technological innovation. This is beginning to change, but in terms of truly novel R&D the US still lags behind many other countries. I don't know if it's the culture, the ethos, the way R&D is funded in the US but it's true...

Now, many will rebuke this I'm sure and cite examples to the contrary. Of course I'm not saying US technologists have never developed anything novel, of course they have. But of all the examples that come to mind I will bet that in 90% of the cases the US has 'borrowed' the initial technology, found processes to manufacture it efficiently, marketed it well so as to make it a consumer product or identified a niche for the technology. All of these things are essential, but are NOT innovation.

I'm afraid that until you guys start to foster your 'ideas people' better, you'll be stuck one box down the manufacturing flow diagram from Japan/Scandinavia/India/China etc.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by Doc Holiday
Unions were needed and used in history, but their practical purpose is no longer needed, unless the entire USA workforce had a nationwide "labor" union....hmmm good idea, but would never work!
It would end up like our greedy lying, gov't.....
end of rant s+f


You may have had some negative experiences with unions...but it is them that set...in concert with management...the 'prevailing wage'.

You touch upon the problem when you allude to overseas contractors who do it for less. So, in a global environment, how can you make enough money to buy a house and raise a family when you are often in completion to what is tantamount to slave labour?

Like I said, Mexico is losing your former jobs...because the labour is too expensive. You picking up on the nature of the bleed here? So it is Wall Street that is picking up the difference...ironically, so that your pension fund earns the max.

Loose, yes, but don't blame the unions.

Finally...talk to ANY steward and ask if they are busy. I was chief steward in an academic environment and believe me, management was just as recto-cranially challenged as on any shop floor. And the fact remains, that in the vast majority of cases, it is only the employers who deserve them, that get unionised.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 11:49 AM
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Foreign vehichles are not that much more reliable then American cars these days. They have only launched an intensive campaign to make you think so.

As for keeping up with green technology, I find the irony in Fox reporting this condering their campaign for oil and against any global warming efforts.




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