Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Why American Cars Suck

...relatively speaking that is.

With the newly drawn up contract between the UAW and GM, the automaker will transfer almost $30 billion into a what is basically a health care fund, with another $5 billion to $7 billion added down the road.

...that's more than enough to just buy the General outright, essentially turning it into an employee-owned company.

They should buy the company. Together with GM's notoriously arrogant and short-sighted management, the UAW has ridden GM this far into the ground. Why not finish it off?

I can't think of a better example of the anachron that organized labor has become. How many more American industries have to go bankrupt?

American automakers can't compete any more when every car they push out the door carries the weight of several thousand dollars' worth of pension and health care obligations to workers that no longer contribute, and when they did they produced such poor product they had to force feed it to the dealers.

Meanwhile, the Japanese invest these same dollars in superior materials and engineering and ultimately create a more secure employment scenario for their workers, who seem to have retained the pride in workmanship that the American worker has long since discarded.

Don't believe that? Look at the paint on my car, Chrysler's top of the line; then look at the same on even the most lowly Japanese car. Granted, my car was screwed together in Ontario, but many Japanese cars are made in America by Americans. American automakers have allowed mediocrity to dominate their culture, extending all the way out to the dealership.

As the UAW and their "pay me more, then I'll work harder" minions gut the General, eventually bankrupting the company, those pensions and benefits will be slashed any way so what good will the union ultimately bring to their members?

American consumers have long since turned a deaf ear to "Buy American" rhetoric after being cheated on so many times and despite being begged to come back home with ever-larger rebates and gimmicks.

Meanwhile...there may be hope for Chrysler, now owned by Cerberus an organization with a history of turning around companies bereft with labor issues. As for GM and Ford? A merger of equals?

Equally in trouble that is.


Bike Bubba said...

One big thing that GM, Ford, and Chrysler-berus could do to help their quality scores is to actually hire engineers. I looked into working for them a few years back, and discovered quickly that the vast majority of "their" engineers were actually on contract.

This is significant because most quality professionals estimate that about 80% of quality problems (like your peeling/whatever paint) aren't the fault of the factory, but of the engineering team designing the part. So when you tell your engineers that they won't benefit when the company does well, guess where the effort goes?

Right down the toilet on an extended potty/smoke break. You got it.

Anonymous said...

When I bring my 2006 Chrysler Sebring Convertible GTX (with about 28k miles) to the dealership to get the horn fixed (it goes off at random times for 30 second increments when I am not even touching the horn) they claim they cannot replicate the problem, and fix nothing. Tell it to my neighbors. I picked up my car last Thursday after leaving it with them Monday and evidently for 4 days, they could not replicate the problem, but as soon as I drive it 15 minutes down the freeway... Hooooooooonk. Why should a car with this low mileage have horn problems, rear defrost problems, radio clock issues, and the power window shakes badly when being rolled down? The answer is, Chrylser is synonymous with super-low quality. If the fixing is done on their dime, they will find nothing wrong. Don't bother getting it fixed at their dealerships. If you buy a Chrysler, you are nothing but a sucker. This car I bought is a throw-away, disposable, junk heap. I am now embarrassed to drive it... beeeeeeeeeeeep!

Anonymous said...

My argument against GM and Chrysler, and Ford has nothing to do with their unions but the fact..all they produce is GARBAGE. There cars just flat out SUCK. I don't even know where to begin. Most American vehicles exhibit what I like to call 'Excessive plastic' syndrome. American car designers think that somehow caking on a whole bunch of cheap plastic panels will somehow make the car more appealing and 'stylish.' The actual effect is a tacky, cheap, and boxy looking vehicle that tries to look like it's Japanese and European counterparts but fails miserably. The interior of an American car suffers the same problem. Cheap plastic everywhere. So much that I'm scared to adjust the Radio for fear of breaking something. Next is there reliability. You'd be lucky to get 100k out of an American Vehicle before you have a major problem (I.E. Transmission, engine). My father gave me his old 1996 Chevy 1500k and once it got to 80k miles an avalanche of problems started to occur. The transmission went out, the water pump died, the wind shield wiper pump went out, and the truck started making these horrible squeaking sounds when driving. I later got a 1997 Honda Accord which I still have to this day (sad I know..but what can you do when you're a poor college student) and the car has now over 230k miles on it with not a single problem. I'm on the cusp of buying a new vehicle and it actually pains me to send my money overseas instead of keeping it here in America but when American car companies are producing this garbage can you blame me? In my opinion the Unions and Pension plans aren't killing American Auto Makers..it's their product!