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Comments for: bailout
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: December 10, 2008 08:45AM

Unfortunately there's waaaay too much truth in all this. Though buyin American used to be a part of my automotive acquisitional process, I've been a devoted Mitsu cat for the past 10-12 yrs now.

Here's a real simple example of American automotive design dysfuction and stupidity. One of my nieces has a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire with a standard tranny. Last week the slave cylinder went out on it, although some jackass parts engineer decided that a simple slave cylinder just wasn't exotic or expensive enough so they instead engineered some rediculous POS assy that now requires droppin nearly $200 on the part itself (which actually consists of about .25 worth of plastic and about another .20-.50 worth of seals and fittings), then removing the transmission from the engine to install it. This means the repair now takes about $500 total to get her back up and goin along with at least a days worth of down time with the car in the shop to have it done.

On my Mitsu the slave cylinder is $60, takes a 10mm metric line wrench to remove the hydraulic line from it, remove the 2-8mm bolts that attach it to the outside of the tranny, install the new slave cylinder, reattach the hydraulic line to it, take 5 minutes to bleed it out and you're back in business.

I'm all for good engineering and improvements in mechanical processes but NEVER in adding in MORE work and MORE money and that's what the Big 3 seem to be really good at thumbs upthumbs upthumbs up

Mint Report This Comment
Date: December 10, 2008 12:29PM

all i have known was Nissan. Dont think i will ever switch
pulse Report This Comment
Date: December 10, 2008 03:43PM

In Australia, I owned a Ford (Australian built) for 10 years, and loved it. Then I sold it and bought a new Mitsubishi Lancer early this year.

And I fucking HATE it. I hate almost everything about it. If you're saying Mitsubishi has good build quality, you're having a laugh. Have you seen the quality of the boot linings? The cheap nasty plastic in the dash? The gearbox which feels like it's straight from a piece of farm machinery?

The thing with this bailout is it's not really anything to do with making crap cars. ALL manufacturers sales are down. Honda's are down nearly 40%, the French government has to bail out Renault (which make very economical, quite good cars and sell them globally), Mitsubishi have left the Australian manufacturing sector (they used to make loads of cars here) etc.

The real problem is your unions. During the 60s and 70s, they managed to secure ridiculous agreements such as the manufacturers (GM, Ford etc) paying their pension for as long as they live after they leave the company. This works out to something like $3,000 USD on the price of every single car sold just to fund it.

So while Toyota is locally made in Alabama, they already have the benefit of being able to sell their cars $3,000 cheaper, thus competing directly against the American manufacturers on locally made cars in the local market and still being able to kill them on price. The only way they can make up for that is -- you guessed it -- lower the quality to compete on price.

This also means that when sales drop off, they still have to pay off these 40 year old agreements, so need even more money to do so. If their lobbyists were actually any good they'd have stopped that years ago smiling
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: December 10, 2008 06:56PM

I build Mitsu engines pulse, and I can assure you they are an incredibly durable platform to build hi-po turbo engines from. As in all hot rods, many things get glossed over since the overall result is the goal.

However, I'd take a bone stock Mitsu over anything made by the US automakers any day, period!

I hafta agree with the BS the UAW pulled. If you took the exact same jobs auto workers do and put them in any other industry they'd be gettin about $8-10 for their work, no life long benefit stream, and certainly no where near the $60 per hr average I heard lately UAW members get including their benefits! Most of the auto workers I've known personally don't know jack shit about cars and honestly couldn't do anything but the one or two tasks they perform as the cars roll by 'em which makes them no more talented or skilled than any other assembly line workers.

I used to live across the street from a cat who worked at a GM plant here locally as a relief man. He told me the hardest job on the line was puttin in windshields (windscreens to a lot of ya'll). He said when the dude that did windshields went on vacation he had to fill in for him, and here's how that went.

The 1st day he'd go in, work an hour or so and then claim his back hurt and head off to the company infirmary. From the infirmary, he'd get sent to a back doctor (on GMs dime of course) and the doctor would then send him home to rest for the remainder of the week, meaning another relief guy would now have to relieve HIM! All in all, GM was now payin 3 people to do one job and only really gettin the benefit of one mans labor and also paid out no tellin how much in infirmary and doctor expenses too !!

If auto workers received a realistic wage and benefit package cars could be made better and priced better too winking


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2008 06:59PM by Mrkim.
90130_ Report This Comment
Date: December 10, 2008 11:30PM

I'd personally like to kick the shit out of the Arlington Texas motherfucker who put my 1996 Chevy Impala SS together.
Missing upholstery and trim clips, loose dash fascia, jagged metal poking through the leather bolster on the passenger side door panel....etc. etc. Warrantee fixed everything, but definitely stuff you don't see on a Honda or Toyota.

Last one off the line, friday the 13th, December 1996. Project manager Jon Moss's signature on the inside of the trunk lid.

I guess everyone was in a hurry to go home and collect their benefits after that B-body carline shut down so they could refit the factory to build those lumbering SUVs.

Funny thing though. My nice, low mileage Impala is still worth as much now as it was brand new on the showroom floor 12 years ago. Not too many late production cars can do that! the finger

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2008 11:31PM by 90130_.
pulse Report This Comment
Date: December 11, 2008 12:31AM

The engine in the Lancer is one of its okay points. It lacks a lot of grunt but you get that from a 2L engine. Btw, the Lancer is as stock as it gets, it's not the EVO or anything crazy like that smiling

My problem is hanging down the back of the rear seats in the boot are 2 flaps of carpet, secured to nothing, about 10 inches longer than they need to be so they flop onto the floor of the boot, with a cut down the middle. I'm sure there's some bizarre reason it's like this (as the show model EVO I saw had the exact same thing) but for the life of me I don't know what it is, and it looks shit. My brother is one of the design engineers for Holden (GM to you folks) here. When he saw it he took one look and burst out laughing and said "we'd get fired if we let our cars out the door finished like that".

That said, cars GM make in Australia are actually pretty good. The Monaro (Pontiac GTO to you folks), the HSV Clubport (Pontiac G8 to you, I think they will come over there in the ute, the sedan and the wagon) are all really good cars (though for the life of me I'll never understand why Americans need to butcher them with the ugly fucking Pontiac grill etc).

But unfortunately, Holden is also copping the brunt of the GM US issues, which is a shame because as I said they actually make good cars. With that, and petrol going up to nearly $1.70 a litre recently (which isn't much to the Europeans, but is a lot more than the Americans pay) it pretty much killed the locally produced car market here.

Petrol is currently around $1.05 per litre here (but should be cheaper except the USD -> AUD conversion went from $0.95 to $1.00 recently to $0.65 to $1.00 over the course of about 6 weeks recently) so maybe that'll help breathe some life into the market again.

Who knows?

Anyway, the other thing that Americans need to realise is you need to do everything possible to bail out these companies because directly and indirectly (eg through parts, servicing, suppliers, distributors, dealers etc) they employ something ridiculous like 20,000,000 Americans! You lose those jobs and the fragile economy is *fucked*.

Now I wish our government would see sense. They just announced a multi-billion dollar bailout of car dealerships here! What the fuck? What's next? Bailing out chemists? Milk bars? Supermarkets? Where does it stop? A massive car manufacturer is one thing, small dealerships (which are rarely more than private businesses with a handful of employees) is just silly.

[/rant over]
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: December 11, 2008 07:30AM

All this "financial bailout" crap really gets on my nerves. What about simply suceeding or failing by your own merits and actions? If you build a good enough mouse trap and price it reasonably enough you'll do fine as this is the basis of capitalism.

But, building mousetraps that don't work, or at least not work as expected/marketed by companies that are executively overburdened by overpaid and over compensated policies regarding their managers is a recipe designed for failure. Why should the taxpayers be further burdened by an expectation to keep such poorly engineered and managed enterprises afloat?

The really sad deal is that this bail out crap has seemed to snow ball and now more and more industries are stickin their corporate hands out goin "What about us?".

For this hardline capitalist the whole issue smacks waaay too much of socialism to me hot smiley