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Comments for: orrrrrlandoooooooo
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: March 03, 2007 10:16PM

Too bad Ford is going out of business unless the feds grant them another multi-billion dollar bailout.

They were just coming out with some decent cars and trucks for the first time in 20 years.
fossil_digger Report This Comment
Date: March 03, 2007 10:30PM

going out of business? nah, consolidation. thumbs
they made the same mistake that alot of big companies make nowadays by spending too much of the reserve capitol aquiring other companies that were not doing so well to start with.
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: March 04, 2007 12:38AM

Maybe they should've left alone such prestigious British Marques like Aston and Jaguar in the first place.

I've checked out the Fusion a bit online and at the Ford dealer, and it's quite impressive. Good feature set and much better build quality than the Tore-Ass it replaced. Or was that the staid and boring Five-Hundred that did that?

On the other hand, it looks quite contrived with styling elements like the defunct Honda Prelude's headlights, a bit of 90's C-Class Mercedes through the flanks and beltline, and most amusingly, the same Honda Prelude's tail lights.

Still, it's better looking and tighter than GM's mid-size sedans.

That is, until GM brings over the Holden Comodore from Australia rebadged as the Pontiac G8 / next Gen Chevy Impala SS. 400hp rear drive V8 sedans, baby.

By the way, the Fusion in the pic above looks totally gay.
quasi Report This Comment
Date: March 04, 2007 03:03AM

My son has a '98 Prelude (actually, I own it) and damn if those aren't the same headlights.
fossil_digger Report This Comment
Date: March 04, 2007 08:35AM

GAY? lmao! spoken like a true Chevy zealot. smiling
bouncing smiley
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: March 04, 2007 03:56PM

Chevy Zealot? Hardly! I'm actually an import guy praying to God that someday Detroit will finally get it right.

Why are parts for my '96 Chevy Impala SS being discontinued, when I can walk into any Honda dealer and still buy almost anything for a 1976 Civic?
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: March 04, 2007 07:08PM

I'll stick with my wife's Acura TL-S and my Acura 3.5 RL. My kids both drive Accords.

But I do have one American vehicle -- a 2001 Harley-Davidson Softail Classic.
fossil_digger Report This Comment
Date: March 04, 2007 10:38PM

i guess your past and present (i think) jags can release the zealot tag this time. eye rolling
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: March 04, 2007 10:47PM

Both of those Acuras are great cars, too. And you can't beat a Honda Accord for durability dependability, and resale. You can drive a '93 Accord 300,00 plus miles like one of my clients did without any major component failure. Timing belts, water pump, seals and gaskets, brakes and shocks. That's it!

I smile and try my best to look sympathetic when my BMW customers drive up (or get towed in) with 60,000 miles on the odometer, needing a $7,000 transmission.

...Or blown ignition coils, leaking steering racks and hoses, cracked radiator tanks, leaking plastic intake manifold plenums, O2 sensor and catalytic converter failures....

Shit, the list is endless.
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: March 04, 2007 10:52PM

Ah, so you remember I spent 5 years of my life restoring an XKE, Fossil?

Still in the family. And when Dad gets tired of his new XJR (probably next year) I'll buy it/steal it from him.the finger
fossil_digger Report This Comment
Date: March 04, 2007 11:03PM

I'm drivin' my cousin's '76 chevy stepside this week.
it's bad ass!
it's strange goin' from a little car to ridin' 7' higher.
maybe I'll do a truck project next. thumbs
ORLANDO399 Report This Comment
Date: March 04, 2007 11:48PM

Youre a good man fossil,now thats what im talking about.Maybe tommorow ill take a pic of mine,gotta show you after looking at this beautythumbs
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: March 05, 2007 02:32AM


Did you at least buy the pimp model with the AWD?
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: March 05, 2007 09:25PM

"I'll stick with my wife's Acura TL-S and my Acura 3.5 RL. My kids both drive Accords"

Very telling statement of the mentality of the average American consumer. They love the engineering of foreign products but they don't think of the deeper implications of their behavior. The U.S. has to be one the most import hungry nations in the world. The problem is, this behavior is simply not economically sustainable. The fact of the matter is, Americans cannot continue to voraciously consume other nations products without trading anything of value in return. This is in direct contravention to basic economic theory. The ever increasing trade imbalances and current account deficit will correct itself eventually, and this will occur in the form of a massive devaluation of the US dollar, which will raise the price of imports to unaffordable levels. The only reason this has not already occurred is because the central banks of many countries artificially keep the US dollar high in order to maintain their high exports to the USA. This is achieved through the massive buying of US dollars and maintaining huge US dollar currency reserves. Eventually, these foreign governments are going to realize that it is not in their interest to continually ship their nations high value products to the USA without getting anything of value in return. They aren't going to continue it just so some American and his wife and kids can have Acura TL-S's, Acura 3.5 RL's and Accords. People might think, "well, these countries are getting a lot of US dollars for their Acuras!" Yes they are, but those dollars are worthless if they don't want anything that those dollars can purchase. Some people say "Well a lot of Japanese cars are made in the USA now". Actually, most Japanese vehicles in the USA are still made in Japan, and where do you think the highest paid engineering jobs are? In Japan. Inevitably, the American kids who must drive Accords will not be able to afford the Hondas and Toyotas that their parents used to buy for them.
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: March 05, 2007 09:40PM

It's a bit deeper than that, but well put. On the other hand, If the big three US automakers would give me a more compelling reason to buy American, I sure as hell would. I bought a Chevy Impala SS in '96 even though I thought it was crude compared to its import rivals, which...come to think of it, weren't any. No other manufacturer built as large a car with as much horsepower in a rear drive format with body on frame construction for as little money as these sold for back then. I'd buy another one if they still sold them new.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: March 05, 2007 10:27PM

I'm the Acura guy. I switched over to Honda and Acura after having EXTREMELY bad luck with several American cars.

My nearly-new F-150 pickup threw a rod right through the block on the Tulsa turnpike. My Mustang GT dropped a linkage in the transmission after only 50,000 miles and wouldn't shift into reverse. My Dodge Intrepid electronic control module had to be replaced at least four times over 80,000 miles -- then the transmission completely crapped out.

I won't even mention the huge gaps, wind noise, squeaks, rattles and other annoyances that I've noticed that Detroit includes in all their proiducts.

I always have all recomended maintenance performed on my cars, just like clockwork. Oil changes every 3,000 (5,000 if I'm using syntehtic), radiator flush, transmission fluid changes -- the works.

Just before I bought my RL, I was driving a Toyota Tundra, assembled right here in the good old USA.

By the way, I just retired from the Air Force after 21 years of service and five Middle East deployments. (Six months in Balad Iraq last year helped me make up my mind to retire early.)

I'd like to be patriotic and spend my money on American cars, but I just can't stand to get ripped off.
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: March 06, 2007 12:18AM

Welcome home, and thanks for your service.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: March 06, 2007 12:51AM

I wrote the economics thing. Yeah, I have a 99 Ford Ranger and I have also had some expensive engine problems recently. I just think the long term trends I see are worrisome for North American society and our future generations. I think the real problem is not the American consumer purchasing the best products available to them , it is that the corporate culture in the USA ends up creating an inferior product to the Japanese. The culture within large public companies in the U.S. is one of short sighted self interest. The most important thing on the minds of top management is networking in order to get promotions and how to manipulate the boards into giving them hundreds of millions in unjustifiable bonuses, instead of figuring out how to create an organization capable of producing a superior product. They are only accountable to the shareholder, and the shareholders are the passive and anonymous masses. This attitude trickles down throughout the entire organization. Everybody is looking out for themselves, and they don't care about the final product. The produced goods are only an means to the ends of personal gain. Ostensibly, the culture within Japanese organizations hold the creation of a superior product as the most important goal. Personal gain is secondary. They take more pride in the corporation's success than their own success. I think the public company copncept with it's Board of Directors oversight is flawed, and the government badly needs to start reforms for corporate America, and they need to start with the corporate governance issue.
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: March 06, 2007 03:51AM


My first job at age 15 was at a Honda motorcycle dealer. I had a work permit, and spent long hours in the shop after school as a mechanic's apprentice scraping gaskets and cleaning parts.

One day, something strange happened. Parked inside the shop were three of the very first tiny aircooled two cylinder Honda Z600 and AN600 coupes and sedans. Just sitting there, unannounced, unloaded off the convoy truck that morning.

These were the very first (for the US market) Honda automobiles, arriving just in time before the Arab oil embargo, which created huge lines and gas rationing in the early seventies.

People clamored over to buy these new cars which got over 40 mpg, while most of the American manufacturers were still building these huge, wallowing highway absurdities that barely mustered 10 mpg.

I got sent to American Honda for training on the first Civics, and then the Accords, and had an opportunity to go to Japan after receiving a service citation to see first hand this Japanese corporate culture you mentioned.

Company dormotories and housing. Day care for the employee's kids, Morning exercises and regular work breaks. Clean, spacious, and bright factories with plants placed near all of the workstations to break up the otherwise stark rows of machine tools and assembly lines.

Employees were regularly reassigned different tasks to lessen the monotony of the repetitive work, and to learn other aspects of the vehicle's manufacture.

Everyone wore the same uniform, from company head to assembly technician.

High morale, almost zero-percent non-attendance, and a skilled, well paid and efficient workforce building a precision, reliable product in huge numbers. Quite an achievement.

This is the model that US automakers and many others in the manufacturing sector are using to build better products now.

But we've been quite busy outsourcing that.

The Germans, Japanese, and Koreans have invested billions of dollars in new US manufacturing plants which have created jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans in places around the country where there's very little else for them to do.

Jobs for factory workers, all the way down to the lot attendants washing cars at the dealerships.

I know this because that Honda motorcycle dealership had a job for me 35 years ago.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2007 06:31AM by 90130_.
Anonymous Report This Comment
Date: March 06, 2007 12:45PM

Yes, Toyota and Honda have been building assembly plants in the US, and they are providing jobs that are somewhat compensating the massive layoffs occurring in the big 3 US auto makers. This is partly a strategy to head off any possibility of the US congress passing any protective tariff legislation. Have you noticed the recent Toyota ads touting how many US jobs they created? However, like I mentioned previously, where do you think the high value design and engineering work takes place? Japan. Is the US going to concede that all they are good for is the hourly wage assembly work while the Japanese do all the highly paid work that require university degrees? - you know what? In that case in the long term, Americans on average will only be able to afford the economy Japanese compacts, not the Acuras and Lexus. Is the US moving forward towards being a knowledge based society that outsources low-skilled assembly work to less developed countries? Or is it moving backwards towards a cheap labor, uneducated, menial work society? Well isn't the high tech Silicon Valley a good example of American progress? A friend of mine with an electrical engineering degree just moved to California for a job with a semi-conductor company. He said all of the engineers there are from Russia, Canada, and Europe.
When a US company does design a superior product, foreign countries are very unreceptive, and let nationalism influence their purchases. Microsoft for example, designed a very good product in the XBox360, and in some aspects is superior to Sony's PS3. For one thing, MS has a far superior online and multiplayer service. However, it was an unmitigated failure in Japan, even though it was released long before the PS3. The Japanese likely recognize that even though the PS3 is assembled in China, the high paying engineering jobs at Sony are being threatened in this case, and it would be unpatriotic to support a foreign competitor.
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: March 06, 2007 06:22PM

A quaint little story;

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motor Company) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won the event by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and feeling depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.

A management team made up of senior management was formed to look into this matter and recommend the appropriate action. Their conclusion was that the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting firm, and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized into 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the "Rowing Team Quality First Program" with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower.

There were discussions of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment. But when the event was held again the next year, the Japanese won the race by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for more new equipment.

The money saved was distributed to the Senior executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was outsourced to India.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2007 06:27PM by 90130_.