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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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
For this hardline capitalist the whole issue smacks waaay too much of socialism