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Re: Are/Cars That Bad

"Kevin Wolford" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> On WLS Radio's "Car Talk" this morning, it was mentioned that the U.S.
> Consumer now has the choice of over 1500 different automobiles, trucks or
> whatever else you can call a passenger conveyance.
> From our perspective, isn't it interesting that from 1900-1963, more than
> 2500 U.S. Companies organized to manufacture automobiles failed and ceased
> to exist?
> The upheaval in our favorite industry started long ago. Even though there
> are periods of relative peace, the competitive forces are never at rest.

<snip>> One large difference between today and the times of yesteryear is
that the
> supplier base to the industry is much more consolidated and less varied.
> Sorry to say, but Toyota and GM both rely heavily on mega suppliers like
> Delphi. Competitive makes more than ever have parts coming from the same
> supplier. This has kind of homogenized the industry. As it was said on
> "Car Talk" this morning, no journalist can point to a single "bad car"
> today. The comment was also made that you can not buy a bad car today.
> The current "anti GM / anti Ford" atmosphere is nothing new. It's been
> developing for the past 40 years. It started with the assassination of
> the Corvair. Continued in the Pinto gas tank trials. Explorer Rollover
> Lawsuits. GM full size truck side fuel tank lawsuits (In which NBC was
> caught planting an incendiary device on a tank for a videotaped "event").
> etc., etc. Like a snowball running downhill in a snowstorm, these events
> have added up to a public relations nightmare of catastrophic proportions.
> Did the Japanese (namely Toyota) exploit our market? No. They did a
> bang-up job in the area of public perception. They've aggressively
> managed their public persona. They've gone as far as refusing to give
> test cars to journalists who give their models bad reviews. (I have a
> story somewhere written by a guy who blasted the Echo). I remember once
> we had a "Toyota Troll" monitoring what was said on this newsgroup. He or
> she got in between me and JP one time, I think when we were discussing the
> big Toyota engine sludge recall a few years back
> Meanwhile, American companies, almost paranoid about their negative public
> image, cower like scolded animals in a burrow, and are afraid to even
> raise their heads to voice opposition, or more appropriately, even defend
> themselves. Even if they could find someone willing to publish any
> positive news. (Who here knows GM produced and sold their second highest
> number of vehicles ever last year, just over nine million, second only to
> 1978???)
> Who would have thought that the same forces that helped bring down
> Studebaker would threaten GM and Ford two generations later? Studebaker's
> problems have been debated for 40 years. Blame management? Blame labor?
> Once the PR battle is lost, both labor and management are powerless.
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