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Old 07-05-2008, 09:03 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
the UAW forced GM into building nothing but SUV's to be able to pay the benefits. GM execs didn't care because they have 401k style pensions and knew they can just switch jobs....

OT, i'm driving a borrowed Ford Explorer and I think it's a piece of junk compared to my Toyota Matrix. It has more cargo space and that's about it. Both are 2005. The Explorer has that it's falling apart feeling, the interior is horrible, lots of wasted space, crappy sound system, no electrical outlet, my wife complains the AC smells bad, etc. i'm 6' tall and feel a lot more comfortable sitting in the backseat of my Toyota than the Ford. my mom has a buick and it also feels like it's about to fall apart. no wonder the big 3 are doing so bad. only thing going for the Explorer is that it's huge and it gives you a nice feeling of control driving something that big.
You do realize your Toyota Matrix is a sister to the (GM) Pontiac Vibe?
(The Vibe is made in the joint GM/Toyota Nummi plant along with the Toyota Corolla. The Matrix is actually assembled in Toyota's Ontario plant along with other Corolla's. I test drove both when I last looked for a car...decided on a Subaru Outback.)
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:21 AM   #62
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Yes i know that, and my Matrix has a slightly higher US parts percentage than the Vibe and it was cheaper for all the options i got.

i might get a GM SUV next year just because they are literally giving them away. the way the deals are, a truck that cost $25,000 2 years ago i can probably get for less than $10,000 including my trade in and GM card points. even with the depreciation, the cost is probably well worth it.

my father in law is looking to trade in his acura and i'll tell him about this idea, except in his case i'll say he should hit the dealers around late august to look for 2008 models still left over
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:31 AM   #63
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I was thinking the Chevrolet Volt due end of 2010 would put GM back on track. Had heard they were determined to bring it in under $30K MSRP. Thought I might buy my first GM vehicle since 1978. But if what I read below is true, GM's only hope is for gas prices to plummet and to have Americans resume their (misguided) thirst for big. Good luck GM...

EVWORLD NEWSWIRE: What Is GM Thinking?
Quote:
GM's leaders are not nuts, and yet to pour hundreds of millions into a race to launch an electric car, the Chevy Volt, guaranteed to lose money on every unit sold, begins to seem a peculiar strategy for a company in dire liquidity straits.
With each hectic advance in the development process, the expected sticker price to consumers has gone up. Reportedly, off-the-shelf electrical fixtures, such as headlights and taillights, won't suffice because they draw too much power. At last leakage, GM is saying now the Volt may need a sticker price of $45,000.
At best, the Volt will be an affluent family's third car. It will have to be plugged in for six hours a day i.e., it will be a car for a suburbanite with a sizeable garage wired for power. It won't be a car for a city dweller who parks on the street or in a public lot. It will travel 40 miles on a six-hour charge. After that, a small gas motor will kick in to recharge the battery while you drive. Some reports claim the Volt will get 50 mpg in this mode, but that's hallucinatory: If using a gasoline engine to power an electric motor were so efficient, the streets would be full of such vehicles. (Our guess: The car will be lucky to get 15 mpg under gasoline power.)
The road to higher auto-fuel economy - BusinessWeek.com - MSNBC.com
Quote:
But even the plug-ins Lutz is championing could face resistance in the marketplace because of price. GM's Chevy Volt, first unveiled as a concept in January, 2007, can go 40 to 50 miles on a single charge of a lithium ion battery, and then a gas motor kicks in to move the car and recharge the battery at once. The company once targeted $30,000 as the price for a Chevy Volt. But the cost of developing the technology is making that an unreachable dream. Lutz now figures a more realistic price for the Volt would be about $48,000. He reckons that $40,000 might be possible, without making any profit. Only government tax incentives could take the price tag nearer to $30,000.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:57 PM   #64
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I'll be happy to wait to see what the Volt looks like when it is unveiled. All the speculation is just that.
However, at the moment, since GM has zero offerings that will even tie, much less beat the mileage of the Prius or Honda hybrid Civic, I see little hope for them if gas stays at $4 or more.
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:45 AM   #65
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You do realize your Toyota Matrix is a sister to the (GM) Pontiac Vibe?
(The Vibe is made in the joint GM/Toyota Nummi plant along with the Toyota Corolla. The Matrix is actually assembled in Toyota's Ontario plant along with other Corolla's. I test drove both when I last looked for a car...decided on a Subaru Outback.)
yeah, but the resale on the Matrix is MUCH higher than the Vibe, making a 3-4 year old Vibe the "deal of the year"...........
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:48 AM   #66
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I'll be happy to wait to see what the Volt looks like when it is unveiled. All the speculation is just that.
However, at the moment, since GM has zero offerings that will even tie, much less beat the mileage of the Prius or Honda hybrid Civic, I see little hope for them if gas stays at $4 or more.
But, they have hybrid MONSTER SUVs..............

Seriously, I see why GM went to the SUV market for hybrid, they can't compete with Toyota and Honda in small cars like the Prius. However, they didn't count on $4+ gallon gas.

My friend just bought a loaded 2007 GMC Envoy for $18500 cash, the car listed for $34,500 a YEAR ago..........
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:49 AM   #67
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I was thinking the Chevrolet Volt due end of 2010 would put GM back on track. Had heard they were determined to bring it in under $30K MSRP. Thought I might buy my first GM vehicle since 1978. But if what I read below is true, GM's only hope is for gas prices to plummet and to have Americans resume their (misguided) thirst for big. Good luck GM...

EVWORLD NEWSWIRE: What Is GM Thinking?
The road to higher auto-fuel economy - BusinessWeek.com - MSNBC.com
Bottom line, the Volt will be hyet another "failed GM experiment"........
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:01 AM   #68
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GM is in a heck of a dilemma. The most financially prudent thing they could do is to hire a gang of hitmen and take out a bunch of 70 year olds.

Company
Retirees
per 100 Workers:

Toyota
2
Honda:


5
Nissan:


11

Chrysler 153
Ford:


163
GM:


320

So, for years, employees have been promised that if they put up with inferior working conditions, one day they'd retire and receive a pension, health care and benefits for life.
Now people feel that for the good of the economy, they'll just take these benefits away from these retirees. I guess the viewpoint depends upon whether you're a retiree or shareholder.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:06 AM   #69
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In the early 90's when I was in the auto business, I talked to a guy who worked in Detroit for GM.

He told me that basically HALF the MSRP was the cost of production, and the rest was a couple thousand dollars profit, health care costs, pensions costs, etc.

So let's say an SUV listed for $28,000. GM could MAKE the car for $14,000 worth of raw materials and labor, but the cost to the dealer net holdback was about $24,000. So about $7-$8,000 of EVERY car went to paying the lifetime health care, pensions, etc..........

Maybe he was telling me a BS story, but it sure seems to have played out that way.

FWIW, Hyundai's costs to produce are going up quickly, so their price advantage over Honda and Toyota due to lower costs may be gone in a couple more years.

Actually, it depends on how long the car has been in production. The old Cadillac Sedans Devilles up to 1985 were much less than 1/2 the cost. The cost of building is in the making of the molds for new parts.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:19 AM   #70
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Actually, it depends on how long the car has been in production. The old Cadillac Sedans Devilles up to 1985 were much less than 1/2 the cost. The cost of building is in the making of the molds for new parts.
I used to hear old urban myths about warehouses FULL of 350 engine blocks that GM would store for decades until needed. Then they would clean them up and put them in a new car. The block was 10 years old but the car was "new".........

Sounds crazy, but there was some shred of truth to it. My 96 Grand Prix I bought new, the battery failed at 9,000 miles. The dealer looked at the code, and it said it was produced October 1994.............
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:20 AM   #71
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BTW, I've owned well over 30 cars. I used to trade every 6 months, now it's probably closer to every year and a half. I've owned pretty much every line out there and right now I own a GM product and am very happy with it. It's a crossover and I'm getting over 24 MPG with plenty of pep. I'm waiting for a good deal on a Cadillac XLR. I recall the big cars getting really cheap in the late 70's.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:23 AM   #72
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I used to hear old urban myths about warehouses FULL of 350 engine blocks that GM would store for decades until needed. Then they would clean them up and put them in a new car. The block was 10 years old but the car was "new".........

Sounds crazy, but there was some shred of truth to it. My 96 Grand Prix I bought new, the battery failed at 9,000 miles. The dealer looked at the code, and it said it was produced October 1994.............
The serial number will tell you when the car was built and on which line. They can track it back to the employee if need be.
Those old Cadillac Fleetwood Broughams were some of the most profitable cars of all time.
When buying a new car, avoid the ones with more than 30 miles on them. More than likely, they found a problem and had to re-route them to be reworked.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:25 AM   #73
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So, for years, employees have been promised that if they put up with inferior working conditions, one day they'd retire and receive a pension, health care and benefits for life.
What inferior working conditions? I have been in several auto assembly plants and they were well above average working conditions for manufacturing in my experience. And I thought auto workers also had relatively high wages along with their outstanding benefits.

I sympathize with the challenges that the auto workers and others face, but my pension was frozen and retiree health care disappeared in 1994 (while I was still working, and still am) after I had 17 years of service in. The same has happened to millions of others, so I don't understand why auto workers should be protected? I understand restricting the pain on current retirees, but not active workers. Just asking...
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:33 AM   #74
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BTW, I've owned well over 30 cars. I used to trade every 6 months, now it's probably closer to every year and a half. I've owned pretty much every line out there and right now I own a GM product and am very happy with it. It's a crossover and I'm getting over 24 MPG with plenty of pep. I'm waiting for a good deal on a Cadillac XLR. I recall the big cars getting really cheap in the late 70's.
Every 6 months?? Man, you are the "hero of depreciation"..........
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:38 AM   #75
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What inferior working conditions? I have been in several auto assembly plants and they were well above average working conditions for manufacturing in my experience. And I thought auto workers also had relatively high wages along with their outstanding benefits.
I recall a news story several years back, when they interviewed a UAW worker when there was a strike looming. He complained that he could "barely afford" to but two new GM cars every couple years, AND put his kids through private colleges. Turns out he was making $100,000 a year. I'm sure noone felt sorry for him...........

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I sympathize with the challenges that the auto workers and others face, but my pension was frozen and retiree health care disappeared in 1994 after I had 17 years of service in. I am sure the same has happened to millions of others, so I don't understand why auto workers should be protected? I understand restricting the pain on current retirees, but not active workers. Just asking...
The ONLY pensions that are truly "guaranteed" are govt ones, because they are funded by taxes. All others may appear "bullet-proof", but really aren't. And PBGC is VERY underfunded, so the pension amount you get will be cut substantially if GM goes BK. I hope they find a way to turn things around, but they have an uphill battle. I do NOT see Chrysler making it another 5 years..........
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:46 AM   #76
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What inferior working conditions? I have been in several auto assembly plants and they were well above average working conditions for manufacturing in my experience. And I thought auto workers also had relatively high wages along with their outstanding benefits.

I sympathize with the challenges that the auto workers and others face, but my pension was frozen and retiree health care disappeared in 1994 (while I was still working, and still am) after I had 17 years of service in. The same has happened to millions of others, so I don't understand why auto workers should be protected? I understand restricting the pain on current retirees, but not active workers. Just asking...
Conditions have gotten much better since the 60's and 70's, but consider doing the same job, non-stop every day.
My father-in-law talks to himself all day now.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:48 AM   #77
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Every 6 months?? Man, you are the "hero of depreciation"..........
Very rarely have I been upside down in a car. It's all in buying them right, and not chasing the "trend car".
I've made money in a few cars after 6 months.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:50 AM   #78
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The ONLY pensions that are truly "guaranteed" are govt ones, because they are funded by taxes.
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:21 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Art G View Post
GM is in a heck of a dilemma. The most financially prudent thing they could do is to hire a gang of hitmen and take out a bunch of 70 year olds.

Company
Retirees
per 100 Workers:


Toyota
2

Honda:


5

Nissan:


11

Chrysler 153
Ford:


163

GM:


320

So, for years, employees have been promised that if they put up with inferior working conditions, one day they'd retire and receive a pension, health care and benefits for life.
Now people feel that for the good of the economy, they'll just take these benefits away from these retirees. I guess the viewpoint depends upon whether you're a retiree or shareholder.
more like 50 year olds

when a GM retiree hits 65 he or she is Medicare's problem
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:40 PM   #80
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Very rarely have I been upside down in a car. It's all in buying them right, and not chasing the "trend car".
I've made money in a few cars after 6 months.

Congrat's Art, your one of the only people in the world that buys a car, trades it in after 6 months and makes money.

You are one smart guy.

In 35 years in the car biz I've never seen that happen.
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