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Force the Change in the Automotive Industry
It’s time for you, the average consumer, to take a stand!
Fellow consumers, for years we have been led to the cleaning of the automotive industry: It is time to demand changes in product quality and the way the automotive industry does business! As consumers, we need to pressure the industry to change course and give us the best products and services they can or let them die – let them go bankrupt! If a few surviving American companies could just get it – they might finally understand that Americans deserve and expect more.
Don’t be fooled by the stories of bad economy and poor sales! The American automobile industry did this to themselves!
I am not saying that a bad economy does not exist but they have been on this road to destruction for a long time. I used to work at an Oldsmobile, Subaru dealership: in 1986 we sold all models from both manufacturers, please allow me to quote two models from the 80’s to make my point.
1) The Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra wagon came with a 4-cylinder engine, air conditioning, AM radio, power steering, power brakes, approximate retail price was 10k to 11k.
2) The Subaru GL wagon came with 4-cylinder engine, air conditioning, FM stereo, power steering, power brakes, 4-wheel drive, power windows, power locks, split rear seats, rear defroster, multi-position front seats with tilt, roof rack and more: approximate retail price was 10k to 11k.
Olds had a reputation for having major engine problems and often wouldn’t survive past 100,000. In contrast, the Subaru was well known for surviving 200,000 plus miles with little engine trouble. In addition, there was a massive difference in standard comfort features for the same price – we sold the Subaru at a rate of 40 to 1 compared to the Olds.
The American automobile industry continued down this path for many years, as the price of cars increased dramatically they began to use financing tactics to sell inferior products. The inevitable happened and many of the cars sold failed to last the loan term without major repairs and the resale value of a US car was poor so you could not trade them without going financially backwards.
Around 1990 US automobile manufacturers started to pay attention, they produced some better cars and kept the prices more stable. Unfortunately, along with the better quality of the product came a substantial increase in the cost of parts. Thus, their repair bills began to rise and they continue to lag behind foreign competitors and their technology. Around 2000 it seemed we went down again in the Quality department, around 2005 we started to go up some but I think it was too little and a little too late.
In 2008 Ford Motor Company had an ad campaign to declare that they now had cars with equivalent quality to Toyota. I don’t know about you, but if I own a Ford I would feel like “Oh great, so the Ford I bought before 2008 was admittedly inferior!”
American automakers sponsor racing teams to the tune of two million dollars a year: they continue to overpay their executives: they grossly overstate the compensation of unionized workers: and still, after at least 2 decades of foreign competitors nipping at their heels, they still stay so far behind in technology and quality. Quite frankly, I don’t understand why!
Now, after years of inferior products, higher repair bills, exuberant executive payments, there must be unions in order to work in the plants, they put their hands out for the taxpayer to bail them out? There should be no question about the answer: a resounding NO!
Thank you Mr. Ford for making the model T and more pioneering in the industrial age, thank you US auto manufacturing for providing good work for many years: But you are a business after all and you have to keep doing or die like the rest. the business world!
I am not advocating Americans should buy foreign products – especially in our current economic crisis! However, the majority of the working public in the United States has a limited amount of money to purchase automobiles so we need to use this limited amount wisely. With the past and current conditions in the automotive industry better quality, better comfort, more options for the same price suggests foreign car makers to give “more bang for the buck”.
(By the way, I own two American cars, one I’m not happy with at all and the other so far *fingers crossed* has been fantastic.)
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