Foreign cars pass Big 3

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Old 25 Jul 2006, 10:08 pm   #1 (permalink)
dbltap
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Default Foreign cars pass Big 3

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...plate=printart

Foreign cars pass Big 3

For the 1st time, U.S. drivers buy more import brands

Josee Valcourt / The Detroit News

For the first time, U.S. consumers are buying more cars and trucks built by
foreign automakers than vehicles made by Detroit's traditional Big Three.

New statistics compiled by R.L. Polk and Co., which counts new car
registrations and excludes sales to rental car agencies and other fleet
customers, show foreign brands commanded 52.9 percent of the retail auto
market in the first five months of 2006, while domestic automakers fell to
47.1 percent.

Domestic brands led foreign makes 51 percent to 49 percent over the same
period last year.

While the power shift has been long in the making, it's nonetheless a
disheartening sign that Detroit's auto industry is losing the battle for the
hearts and wallets of American car buyers.

Domestic brands such as Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge still control more than
half the U.S. market when fleet sales are included, but more profitable
retail sales are considered the best indicator of which auto brands are most
popular with customers.

"I'm not surprised," said Christian Wardlaw, senior analyst with
Autobytel.com, a car shopping Web site. "The proof is sitting there in black
and white on paper. People can't refute it anymore."

About 2.55 million new domestic-brand cars and trucks were registered in the
first five months of this year versus 2.86 million foreign nameplates in the
same period, Polk reported. The foreign nameplates figure includes some
brands such as Ford-owned Land Rover and Jaguar that are controlled by the
Big Three.

Chrysler Group spokesman Kevin McCormick said the Auburn Hills-based company
doesn't get caught up in the industry scorekeeping, saying the automaker is
"focusing on things we can control in our business. Our strategy at a high
level is to put out the best cars and trucks that we can at prices that are
attractive to consumers."

But industry experts say the numbers illustrate that Asian automakers such
as Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co. are doing a
better job meeting the needs of U.S. car buyers.

Domestic brands have been hurt by lower quality scores, and more recently, a
heavy reliance on large trucks and SUVs at a time of a high gas prices.

"People have been swapping SUVs for fuel-efficient cars, and the domestics'
car lineup hasn't been as compelling as the Asians'," Wardlaw said.

Amenities factor in

Import brands are leveraging strong profits to turn out cars packed with
safety features, creature comforts and the latest technology, said Phil
Reed, consumer advice editor of auto research site Edmunds.com.

"With American cars, you say 'This is nice and this is nice but why couldn't
they have done this?' " he said.

The Ford Escape Hybrid, for example, has an optional navigation system, but
the screen that displays maps and approaching roads is too small, Reed said.
In addition, a disc has to be inserted to operate the system, but there is
no additional slot to play music CDs meaning the driver has to choose
between listening to tunes and navigating streets.

With the availability of the Internet, buyers have become savvy about how to
compare the optional versus standard features they can get for their money
and can more easily calculate a vehicle's resale value.

Vehicles made by Toyota, Honda and other top foreign makes generally hold
their value better than American brand cars and trucks, which are often
heavily discounted.

"Toyota has a 10- to 15-year outlook on where the industry is heading," said
James Bryant, automotive industry editor for Hoover's Inc., an online
business resource site. "GM and Ford tend to play along with whatever
happens to be the flavor of the week.

"Everybody knew that $3 gas was going to come eventually," he added. "We
just didn't want to admit it."

And foreign automakers have done a better job capturing the emerging
crossover SUV segment with vehicles like the Nissan Murano and U.S.
automakers are racing to catch up with offerings like the upcoming Ford
Edge.

Toyota registrations rise

Toyota's U.S. brands posted a 12.5 percent increase in retail sales in the
first five months of the year. By contrast, GM's retail sales slipped 7.7
percent. Excluding fleet sales, Toyota brands now outsell Ford and Chrysler
nameplates in the United States, Polk reported.

Wardlaw said competing carmakers aren't only leading in important segments
but getting new products to the market at a faster pace.

The product life cycle for an Asian nameplate is about four to six years
compared to six to eight years for a new domestic car or truck.

Wardlaw points out, for example, that the Ford Focus was merely refreshed
for the U.S. market while the Focus sold in Europe was completely
redesigned.

"What Americans got was a rehashed version of the old Focus and as a result,
Ford isn't in a position to compete" against popular small vehicles such as
the Honda Civic in the U.S. market at a time when gas prices are pushing
consumers to cars.

In a separate study conducted by Autobytel.com Monday, online purchase
requests for large trucks such the Ford F-150 pickup fell 34 percent, and 43
percent for the Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Silverado for the second
quarter. In comparison, more fuel-efficient cars like the Toyota Camry and
Yaris, and the Honda Civic posted gains.

"The trick for the domestic automakers is going to be that they need to
spread development dollars across every development segment in which they
want to compete, and that includes cars and trucks," Wardlaw said.

You can reach Josee Valcourt at (313) 222-2300 or jmvalcourt@detnews.com.


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Old 26 Jul 2006, 04:01 am   #2 (permalink)
Picasso
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Default Re: Foreign cars pass Big 3

Well none of that surprises me.

Heres one of the problems... Fords Vision...

"Our goal is to build on our traditional strengths and redefine them for
the 21st century. We're going to apply fresh thinking and innovative
technology to everything we do, from our basic business processes to the
products that define who we are as a company," Ford says. "Our vision
moving forward is to build great products, a strong business and a
better world."


Nothing about the people at all....

building on traditional strengths... hrm, sounds old fasion. I like it,
but 200 million other people probally think its boring.

to build great products, a strong business and a better world...

Now if that isn';t cheesy

You may think I dislike ford, but the opposite is true, I just don't
think they are sufficiently competing with other companies.

dbltap wrote:
> http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...plate=printart
>
> Foreign cars pass Big 3
>
> For the 1st time, U.S. drivers buy more import brands
>
> Josee Valcourt / The Detroit News
>
> For the first time, U.S. consumers are buying more cars and trucks built by
> foreign automakers than vehicles made by Detroit's traditional Big Three.
>
> New statistics compiled by R.L. Polk and Co., which counts new car
> registrations and excludes sales to rental car agencies and other fleet
> customers, show foreign brands commanded 52.9 percent of the retail auto
> market in the first five months of 2006, while domestic automakers fell to
> 47.1 percent.
>
> Domestic brands led foreign makes 51 percent to 49 percent over the same
> period last year.
>
> While the power shift has been long in the making, it's nonetheless a
> disheartening sign that Detroit's auto industry is losing the battle for the
> hearts and wallets of American car buyers.
>
> Domestic brands such as Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge still control more than
> half the U.S. market when fleet sales are included, but more profitable
> retail sales are considered the best indicator of which auto brands are most
> popular with customers.
>
> "I'm not surprised," said Christian Wardlaw, senior analyst with
> Autobytel.com, a car shopping Web site. "The proof is sitting there in black
> and white on paper. People can't refute it anymore."
>
> About 2.55 million new domestic-brand cars and trucks were registered in the
> first five months of this year versus 2.86 million foreign nameplates in the
> same period, Polk reported. The foreign nameplates figure includes some
> brands such as Ford-owned Land Rover and Jaguar that are controlled by the
> Big Three.
>
> Chrysler Group spokesman Kevin McCormick said the Auburn Hills-based company
> doesn't get caught up in the industry scorekeeping, saying the automaker is
> "focusing on things we can control in our business. Our strategy at a high
> level is to put out the best cars and trucks that we can at prices that are
> attractive to consumers."
>
> But industry experts say the numbers illustrate that Asian automakers such
> as Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co. are doing a
> better job meeting the needs of U.S. car buyers.
>
> Domestic brands have been hurt by lower quality scores, and more recently, a
> heavy reliance on large trucks and SUVs at a time of a high gas prices.
>
> "People have been swapping SUVs for fuel-efficient cars, and the domestics'
> car lineup hasn't been as compelling as the Asians'," Wardlaw said.
>
> Amenities factor in
>
> Import brands are leveraging strong profits to turn out cars packed with
> safety features, creature comforts and the latest technology, said Phil
> Reed, consumer advice editor of auto research site Edmunds.com.
>
> "With American cars, you say 'This is nice and this is nice but why couldn't
> they have done this?' " he said.
>
> The Ford Escape Hybrid, for example, has an optional navigation system, but
> the screen that displays maps and approaching roads is too small, Reed said.
> In addition, a disc has to be inserted to operate the system, but there is
> no additional slot to play music CDs meaning the driver has to choose
> between listening to tunes and navigating streets.
>
> With the availability of the Internet, buyers have become savvy about how to
> compare the optional versus standard features they can get for their money
> and can more easily calculate a vehicle's resale value.
>
> Vehicles made by Toyota, Honda and other top foreign makes generally hold
> their value better than American brand cars and trucks, which are often
> heavily discounted.
>
> "Toyota has a 10- to 15-year outlook on where the industry is heading," said
> James Bryant, automotive industry editor for Hoover's Inc., an online
> business resource site. "GM and Ford tend to play along with whatever
> happens to be the flavor of the week.
>
> "Everybody knew that $3 gas was going to come eventually," he added. "We
> just didn't want to admit it."
>
> And foreign automakers have done a better job capturing the emerging
> crossover SUV segment with vehicles like the Nissan Murano and U.S.
> automakers are racing to catch up with offerings like the upcoming Ford
> Edge.
>
> Toyota registrations rise
>
> Toyota's U.S. brands posted a 12.5 percent increase in retail sales in the
> first five months of the year. By contrast, GM's retail sales slipped 7.7
> percent. Excluding fleet sales, Toyota brands now outsell Ford and Chrysler
> nameplates in the United States, Polk reported.
>
> Wardlaw said competing carmakers aren't only leading in important segments
> but getting new products to the market at a faster pace.
>
> The product life cycle for an Asian nameplate is about four to six years
> compared to six to eight years for a new domestic car or truck.
>
> Wardlaw points out, for example, that the Ford Focus was merely refreshed
> for the U.S. market while the Focus sold in Europe was completely
> redesigned.
>
> "What Americans got was a rehashed version of the old Focus and as a result,
> Ford isn't in a position to compete" against popular small vehicles such as
> the Honda Civic in the U.S. market at a time when gas prices are pushing
> consumers to cars.
>
> In a separate study conducted by Autobytel.com Monday, online purchase
> requests for large trucks such the Ford F-150 pickup fell 34 percent, and 43
> percent for the Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Silverado for the second
> quarter. In comparison, more fuel-efficient cars like the Toyota Camry and
> Yaris, and the Honda Civic posted gains.
>
> "The trick for the domestic automakers is going to be that they need to
> spread development dollars across every development segment in which they
> want to compete, and that includes cars and trucks," Wardlaw said.
>
> You can reach Josee Valcourt at (313) 222-2300 or jmvalcourt@detnews.com.
>
>


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Old 26 Jul 2006, 06:22 am   #3 (permalink)
Bassplayer12
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Default Re: Foreign cars pass Big 3

snip

> While the power shift has been long in the making, it's nonetheless a
> disheartening sign that Detroit's auto industry is losing the battle for
> the hearts and wallets of American car buyers.


Does anybody know how much it costs Toyota and Honda to build a car compared
to
the Big 3?
What are the benefits and salaries paid to the employees?
If there's a difference, the day may come when the Big 3 are going to demand
concessions
from them to save the companies and their jobs.

snip

> Chrysler Group spokesman Kevin McCormick said the Auburn Hills-based
> company doesn't get caught up in the industry scorekeeping, saying the
> automaker is "focusing on things we can control in our business. Our
> strategy at a high level is to put out the best cars and trucks that we
> can at prices that are attractive to consumers."


Sorry, Chrysler. Count me out as a customer. For good. I've had too many
problems with my
minivan's transmission, peeling paint, etc. I'll remember.

> But industry experts say the numbers illustrate that Asian automakers such
> as Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co. are doing a
> better job meeting the needs of U.S. car buyers.
>
> Domestic brands have been hurt by lower quality scores, and more recently,
> a heavy reliance on large trucks and SUVs at a time of a high gas prices.


2 years ago, my 93 Camry with 234,000 kms at the time, felt more solid and
gave a better ride
than a brand new rental Alero.

> "People have been swapping SUVs for fuel-efficient cars, and the
> domestics' car lineup hasn't been as compelling as the Asians'," Wardlaw
> said.


Aren't Impalas fuel efficient cars? Here in Canada, they are rated at around
40MPG.
BTW, if you think it's too optimistic, remember that Canadian and US gallons
are different.

snip

> "Everybody knew that $3 gas was going to come eventually," he added. "We
> just didn't want to admit it."


In Europe and Asia, they have been building ecenomical cars for the longest
time. In North
America, oil was cheap and we didn't care much.

snip

> "The trick for the domestic automakers is going to be that they need to
> spread development dollars across every development segment in which they
> want to compete, and that includes cars and trucks," Wardlaw said.


The trick is also to hire less people with accounting and business degrees
and more "car people".


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Old 26 Jul 2006, 07:03 am   #4 (permalink)
Mike Marlow
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Default Re: Foreign cars pass Big 3


"Bassplayer12" <perettij@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message
news:yfIxg.17744$pu3.351347@ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...

>
> The trick is also to hire less people with accounting and business degrees
> and more "car people".
>
>


I disagree. I propose that the trick is to hire finance and business
managers who are skilled and experienced in business that is customer
centric. I know it's a buzz word, but it does have a value. There are
industry segments out there that have been fighting the competitive battle
on the low margin commodity battle ground for quite a while now and they
have been the ones who have defined the notion of satisfying the customer -
on the terms of the customer, not by the terms of the manufacturer. They
have built successful and profitable businesses. Bring in executives from
the High Tech sector, for example. They understand the notion of leading
edge designs that actually bring new value to a product and create a
competitive position for that product. They understand how to cut
manufacturing costs without cutting reliability. They understand the
pitfalls of claiming quality, nifty program names (Quality is job 1) that
serve nothing but to put out a new slogan, and they understand the nature of
a rapidly advancing environment. It would be a radical change, but just
like the phone companies needed radical change after divestiture, the motor
companies of today need the same. What they don't need is another
"alliance" as has been suggested for GM.

--

-Mike-
mmarlowREMOVE@alltel.net


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Old 26 Jul 2006, 07:17 am   #5 (permalink)
jg
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Default Re: Foreign cars pass Big 3


"dbltap" <DoubleTap@37.com> wrote in message
news:G0Bxg.3225$gF6.1123@newsread2.news.pas.earthl ink.net...
> http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...plate=printart
>
> Foreign cars pass Big 3
>

..............
> "The trick for the domestic automakers is going to be that they need to
> spread development dollars across every development segment in which they
> want to compete, and that includes cars and trucks," Wardlaw said.
>

Even including cars & trucks huh? Observations like that one from an
"expert" might give some insight into why they are losing ground.


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Old 26 Jul 2006, 07:46 am   #6 (permalink)
rantonrave@mail.com
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Default Re: Foreign cars pass Big 3


Bassplayer12 wrote:

>Does anybody know how much it costs Toyota and Honda to build a car compared
>to the Big 3?


Big 3 = GM, Ford, Toyota.

Toyota and Honda probably average 3-6 hours less in final assembly time
per car, and Toyota does it with less automation than

> What are the benefits and salaries paid to the employees?


Same pay, worse medical and pension than GM, Ford, and
Damlier-Chrysler.

>The trick is also to hire less people with accounting and business degrees
>and more "car people".


Don't promote people to managerial positions unless they've worked on
building cars. I believe a major reason the US chip business remains
so competitive is because almost all its CEOs have built chips.

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Old 26 Jul 2006, 07:55 am   #7 (permalink)
asadi
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Default Re: Foreign cars pass Big 3

Al gore talks a little on that subject in his movie Politics aside, it's a
good movie.

john

"dbltap" <DoubleTap@37.com> wrote in message
news:G0Bxg.3225$gF6.1123@newsread2.news.pas.earthl ink.net...
> http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...plate=printart
>
> Foreign cars pass Big 3
>
> For the 1st time, U.S. drivers buy more import brands
>
> Josee Valcourt / The Detroit News
>
> For the first time, U.S. consumers are buying more cars and trucks built
> by foreign automakers than vehicles made by Detroit's traditional Big
> Three.
>
> New statistics compiled by R.L. Polk and Co., which counts new car
> registrations and excludes sales to rental car agencies and other fleet
> customers, show foreign brands commanded 52.9 percent of the retail auto
> market in the first five months of 2006, while domestic automakers fell to
> 47.1 percent.
>
> Domestic brands led foreign makes 51 percent to 49 percent over the same
> period last year.
>
> While the power shift has been long in the making, it's nonetheless a
> disheartening sign that Detroit's auto industry is losing the battle for
> the hearts and wallets of American car buyers.
>
> Domestic brands such as Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge still control more than
> half the U.S. market when fleet sales are included, but more profitable
> retail sales are considered the best indicator of which auto brands are
> most popular with customers.
>
> "I'm not surprised," said Christian Wardlaw, senior analyst with
> Autobytel.com, a car shopping Web site. "The proof is sitting there in
> black and white on paper. People can't refute it anymore."
>
> About 2.55 million new domestic-brand cars and trucks were registered in
> the first five months of this year versus 2.86 million foreign nameplates
> in the same period, Polk reported. The foreign nameplates figure includes
> some brands such as Ford-owned Land Rover and Jaguar that are controlled
> by the Big Three.
>
> Chrysler Group spokesman Kevin McCormick said the Auburn Hills-based
> company doesn't get caught up in the industry scorekeeping, saying the
> automaker is "focusing on things we can control in our business. Our
> strategy at a high level is to put out the best cars and trucks that we
> can at prices that are attractive to consumers."
>
> But industry experts say the numbers illustrate that Asian automakers such
> as Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co. are doing a
> better job meeting the needs of U.S. car buyers.
>
> Domestic brands have been hurt by lower quality scores, and more recently,
> a heavy reliance on large trucks and SUVs at a time of a high gas prices.
>
> "People have been swapping SUVs for fuel-efficient cars, and the
> domestics' car lineup hasn't been as compelling as the Asians'," Wardlaw
> said.
>
> Amenities factor in
>
> Import brands are leveraging strong profits to turn out cars packed with
> safety features, creature comforts and the latest technology, said Phil
> Reed, consumer advice editor of auto research site Edmunds.com.
>
> "With American cars, you say 'This is nice and this is nice but why
> couldn't they have done this?' " he said.
>
> The Ford Escape Hybrid, for example, has an optional navigation system,
> but the screen that displays maps and approaching roads is too small, Reed
> said. In addition, a disc has to be inserted to operate the system, but
> there is no additional slot to play music CDs meaning the driver has to
> choose between listening to tunes and navigating streets.
>
> With the availability of the Internet, buyers have become savvy about how
> to compare the optional versus standard features they can get for their
> money and can more easily calculate a vehicle's resale value.
>
> Vehicles made by Toyota, Honda and other top foreign makes generally hold
> their value better than American brand cars and trucks, which are often
> heavily discounted.
>
> "Toyota has a 10- to 15-year outlook on where the industry is heading,"
> said James Bryant, automotive industry editor for Hoover's Inc., an online
> business resource site. "GM and Ford tend to play along with whatever
> happens to be the flavor of the week.
>
> "Everybody knew that $3 gas was going to come eventually," he added. "We
> just didn't want to admit it."
>
> And foreign automakers have done a better job capturing the emerging
> crossover SUV segment with vehicles like the Nissan Murano and U.S.
> automakers are racing to catch up with offerings like the upcoming Ford
> Edge.
>
> Toyota registrations rise
>
> Toyota's U.S. brands posted a 12.5 percent increase in retail sales in the
> first five months of the year. By contrast, GM's retail sales slipped 7.7
> percent. Excluding fleet sales, Toyota brands now outsell Ford and
> Chrysler nameplates in the United States, Polk reported.
>
> Wardlaw said competing carmakers aren't only leading in important segments
> but getting new products to the market at a faster pace.
>
> The product life cycle for an Asian nameplate is about four to six years
> compared to six to eight years for a new domestic car or truck.
>
> Wardlaw points out, for example, that the Ford Focus was merely refreshed
> for the U.S. market while the Focus sold in Europe was completely
> redesigned.
>
> "What Americans got was a rehashed version of the old Focus and as a
> result, Ford isn't in a position to compete" against popular small
> vehicles such as the Honda Civic in the U.S. market at a time when gas
> prices are pushing consumers to cars.
>
> In a separate study conducted by Autobytel.com Monday, online purchase
> requests for large trucks such the Ford F-150 pickup fell 34 percent, and
> 43 percent for the Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Silverado for the second
> quarter. In comparison, more fuel-efficient cars like the Toyota Camry and
> Yaris, and the Honda Civic posted gains.
>
> "The trick for the domestic automakers is going to be that they need to
> spread development dollars across every development segment in which they
> want to compete, and that includes cars and trucks," Wardlaw said.
>
> You can reach Josee Valcourt at (313) 222-2300 or jmvalcourt@detnews.com.
>
>



  Reply With Quote
Old 26 Jul 2006, 08:02 am   #8 (permalink)
Jeff
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Default Re: Foreign cars pass Big 3


"Bassplayer12" <perettij@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message
news:yfIxg.17744$pu3.351347@ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...
> snip
>
>> While the power shift has been long in the making, it's nonetheless a
>> disheartening sign that Detroit's auto industry is losing the battle for
>> the hearts and wallets of American car buyers.

>
> Does anybody know how much it costs Toyota and Honda to build a car
> compared to
> the Big 3?
> What are the benefits and salaries paid to the employees?
> If there's a difference, the day may come when the Big 3 are going to
> demand concessions
> from them to save the companies and their jobs.


It's already here. The companies are demanding concessions involved health
care. Soon they will involve pensions. The Big 2 and the American part of
the Dialmer-Chrysler and many of their suppliers have pension obligations
that have not yet been met. IN most of Europe, the government takes care of
the pensions.

> snip
>
>> Chrysler Group spokesman Kevin McCormick said the Auburn Hills-based
>> company doesn't get caught up in the industry scorekeeping, saying the
>> automaker is "focusing on things we can control in our business. Our
>> strategy at a high level is to put out the best cars and trucks that we
>> can at prices that are attractive to consumers."

>
> Sorry, Chrysler. Count me out as a customer. For good. I've had too many
> problems with my
> minivan's transmission, peeling paint, etc. I'll remember.


I would still consider them later. Their quality is improving, thanks to Dr.
Z and others from Germany. And from competition in the US.

>> But industry experts say the numbers illustrate that Asian automakers
>> such as Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co. are doing
>> a better job meeting the needs of U.S. car buyers.
>>
>> Domestic brands have been hurt by lower quality scores, and more
>> recently, a heavy reliance on large trucks and SUVs at a time of a high
>> gas prices.

>
> 2 years ago, my 93 Camry with 234,000 kms at the time, felt more solid and
> gave a better ride
> than a brand new rental Alero.


My Contour is the same way. It only has 131,000 mi, which is about 220,000
km.

>> "People have been swapping SUVs for fuel-efficient cars, and the
>> domestics' car lineup hasn't been as compelling as the Asians'," Wardlaw
>> said.

>
> Aren't Impalas fuel efficient cars? Here in Canada, they are rated at
> around 40MPG.
> BTW, if you think it's too optimistic, remember that Canadian and US
> gallons are different.


The domestics were expecting SUVs and low gas prices to rule. Oops.

That is why they needed more diversity.

> snip
>
>> "Everybody knew that $3 gas was going to come eventually," he added. "We
>> just didn't want to admit it."

>
> In Europe and Asia, they have been building ecenomical cars for the
> longest time. In North
> America, oil was cheap and we didn't care much.


Oil wasn't really cheap. How much are we paying for the Iraq war?

> snip
>
>> "The trick for the domestic automakers is going to be that they need to
>> spread development dollars across every development segment in which they
>> want to compete, and that includes cars and trucks," Wardlaw said.

>
> The trick is also to hire less people with accounting and business degrees
> and more "car people".


Incorrect. You also need accountants and other business types. Both car
types and bean counters are important.

Jeff


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Old 26 Jul 2006, 09:00 am   #9 (permalink)
Mike Hunter
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Default Re: Foreign cars pass Big 3. but not on a steep grade

I guess one can assume, in the opinion of Josee Valcourt the Corporate and
government fleets and rental car companies, who individually are the largest
SINGLE purchasers of ones vehicles are NOT making vehicles that are popular
with THOSE customers? If those buyers are not customer why are the
import brands try trying so hard to sell to them?

Why are light truck buyers, who comprise nearly half of new vehicle
purchases in the US, not customers? When one considers that there are
nearly twenty import manufactures who are selling cars in the US, why are
they NOT doing a far better job our outselling only three domestic
manufactures? The domestics are indeed behind in total car sales, but
import brands offer far more of the midget cars than domestics, and as a
class are the least popular with buyers. When it comes to the more popular
mid-size cars, although the Camry is the number one seller, domestics sell
more mid-size cars although under several different brand names.


mike hunt.


"dbltap" <DoubleTap@37.com> wrote in message
news:G0Bxg.3225$gF6.1123@newsread2.news.pas.earthl ink.net...
> http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...plate=printart
>
> Foreign cars pass Big 3
>
> For the 1st time, U.S. drivers buy more import brands
>
> Josee Valcourt / The Detroit News
>
> For the first time, U.S. consumers are buying more cars and trucks built
> by foreign automakers than vehicles made by Detroit's traditional Big
> Three.
>
> New statistics compiled by R.L. Polk and Co., which counts new CAR
> registrations and excludes sales to rental car agencies and other fleet
> customers, show foreign brands commanded 52.9 percent of the retail auto
> market in the first five months of 2006, while domestic automakers fell to
> 47.1 percent.
>
> Domestic brands led foreign makes 51 percent to 49 percent over the same
> period last year.
>
> Domestic brands such as Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge still control more than
> half the U.S. market when fleet sales are included, but more profitable
> retail sales are considered the best indicator of which auto brands are
> most popular with customers.
>

..
>
> You can reach Josee Valcourt at (313) 222-2300 or jmvalcourt@detnews.com.
>
>



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Old 26 Jul 2006, 09:14 am   #10 (permalink)
Rev. Tom Wenndt
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Default Re: Foreign cars pass Big 3

Jeff said: "You also need accountants and other business types. Both car
types and bean counters are important."......

I would agree with that assessment overall. But one of Detroit's HUGE
problems is that the bean counters always got the final word.

This was especially true at GM. Going back to the days in the 1980's when
the ultimate bean counter, Roger Smith, was head of GM, you could see that
mentality. It could be said that GM still has not gotten out of the shadow
of the Smith era, no matter how much money he made the company back then,
and in fact, are now paying a heavy price for going down that road.

Regardless of what you think of President Bush, he may have nailed it.
Within the last year, when there was talk of possible subsidies to the
failing domestic car industries, his answer to the Big Three was short,
to-the-point, and right on the money: "BUILD RELEVANT CARS!" Why haven't
they? When you check what the Detroit bean counters have been doing, you
have your answer.

As has been pointed out, Detroit has now been reduced to mere marketing
slogans. For example, Ford may say, "Quality is Job 1," but a look at their
quality numbers, whether compiled by J.D. Powers, Consumer Reports, or
whomever, tell a very different story. Why? When you check what their
Detroit bean counters have been doing, you have your answer.

And when I am looking to find an economical family sedan, not too big, and
not too small, I look out in the car world, and the choices are impressive.
Beginning with the wonderful re-design of the Hyundai Sonata, I can look at
Camrys, Accords, Passats, Optimas, Legacys, the list goes on and on.

Then you have the Chrysler entry, the Stratus/Sebring. They were never good
cars when they first came out, and to say they are horribly outclassed now
is an understatement. Why are they still being sold? When you check what
their Detroit bean counters have been doing, you have your answer.

As was also pointed out, Detroit banked on large SUV's, large pick-ups, and
oversized coupes and sports cars, while the country now needs (and wants)
good, small SUV's and reliable, roomy, well-handling sedans. Why has
Detroit's recent response been to put out even more new re-designs on their
big vehicles? When you check what their Detroit bean counters have been
doing, you have your answer.

I'm not against bean counters. As I said at the beginning of the post, they
more than have their place. And make no mistake, the bean counters still
carry enough wait at places like Honda and Toyota to make sure they are
making plenty of money.

But enough time has passed that, if Detroit was ever going to "get it" in
terms of how best to make money and stay a world force long-term, it would
have by now. Instead, we have the news story that prompted this and other
posts.

So back to driving my Hyundai and Kia, and having LOTS of people asking me
if I think they are worth buying? (they are).

Tom Wenndt


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