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  • GM versus Toyota

    GM is putting Toyotas into its Saturn showrooms.
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/AUTOS/05/25/...mry/index.html

    They want people to compare the Aura to the Camry, and then buy the Aura.

    One thing about GM and the former big three. They make a good product but I wonder if they have fallen off the pace for improvements. People are getting tired of buying vehicles that fall apart. My last one was a Chevy I bought new, and from 36k to 80k miles I spent thousands fixing it. Now I have a japanese make and it has been problem free with almost 50k miles. They keep making their cars and trucks more stylish but people just want something that works.

  • #2
    GM is putting Toyotas into its Saturn showrooms.
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/AUTOS/05/25/...mry/index.html

    They want people to compare the Aura to the Camry, and then buy the Aura.

    One thing about GM and the former big three. They make a good product but I wonder if they have fallen off the pace for improvements. People are getting tired of buying vehicles that fall apart. My last one was a Chevy I bought new, and from 36k to 80k miles I spent thousands fixing it. Now I have a japanese make and it has been problem free with almost 50k miles. They keep making their cars and trucks more stylish but people just want something that works.

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    • #3
      GM could be onto something. Not so long ago I tried to buy a Honda. The dealer had little inventory and wanted me to pay upfront and wait six weeks for delivery. I went a mile down the road to the Toyota dealer. They had some inventory of cars but plenty of trucks. They demanded full price plus Gulf States (dealership for certain states) mandatory added charges for stuff like upgraded wheels and first aid kits.

      I bought a Hyundai. Sixty thousand miles later without a problem or even a rattle (knock wood). I haven't owned an American car since 1989.

      The major Japanese car makers have growing competition.

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      • #4
        They DON'T compare!

        My GMC truck has over 170,000 miles on it and no problems ever.
        My Oldsmobile (yes, I still HAVE one) has over 200,000 miles on it and no problems.
        My old Firebird(s): the 68 has over 140,000 miles on it and the 1980 has over 240,000 miles on it and both still going strong.
        My new (2005) Equinox only has a mere 74,000 miles on it and no problems.

        My wife had a little piece of sh_t toyota and it only got 6,000 miles on it before it froze up and everything was wrong with it ... I just burned it for the heat camping one trip.
        That's why she's driving my new Equinox!

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        • #5
          I prefer Toyota over GM because they're fuel efficient and easier to maintain. BTW, my first car was a used '83 Corolla.

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          • #6
            I switched from GM to Toyota and Honda back in 1990. I had a new Olds and within 6 months I was on a first name basis with the service dept. It had so many things go wrong with it. With Toyota and Honda I only go in for scheduled maintance.

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            • #7
              Have had two Hondas that were the best cars I have ever had. On our first GM product now and it seems ok thus far, kind of surprised me actually...

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              • #8
                I have had one Toyota I bought new in 1991 and drove for 10 years and 200,000 miles trouble free daily as a work car and got around 42-45 MPG.

                I have yet to have a GM car do that and even a Ford product! I have several Toyota Supras, Turbo and non turbo and they seem to be very reliable and get good mileage also, along with plenty of power.

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                • #9
                  quote:
                  Originally posted by TigerTeam:
                  GM is putting Toyotas into its Saturn showrooms.

                  They want people to compare the Aura to the Camry, and then buy the Aura.

                  One thing about GM and the former big three. They make a good product but I wonder if they have fallen off the pace for improvements. People are getting tired of buying vehicles that fall apart. My last one was a Chevy I bought new, and from 36k to 80k miles I spent thousands fixing it. Now I have a japanese make and it has been problem free with almost 50k miles. They keep making their cars and trucks more stylish but people just want something that works.


                  I have owned two Saturns (bought new, 1998 and 2003) - and also purchased a third (used '93, low mileage, gave it to my daughter as her university graduation gift).

                  The 1998 one, I preferred to this one. The 98 was smaller - but all my wife and I needed. It got better gas mileage. 30 all-around 32 highway, this '03 Ion gets 29 all-around, 30 highway, that's OK.

                  I bought the Ion because it was made at the Saturn-only Spring Hill plant. The L- series cars were made at the GM Wilmington factory, and that was a concern (could it be a generic GM car in a Saturn package).

                  I did have one MAJOR repair on this 03 car - front end carriage ...

                  It's good, comfortable -- but Saturn also made their passenger line just too big. I also had a minor service hassle -- which means when it's new car time (this fall or next spring) I am looking at other vehicles.

                  Right now, I'm considering a hybrid for my next car, but durability is a key. I balked at hybrids in '03 - because that was the "bleeding edge" of technology then and there wasn't much of a selection.

                  I have always been happy (generally) with GM cars, and I must admit that in spite of the recent front carriage repair, the Saturns have been pretty good.

                  I was going to spend between $18-25k on my last car. I was looking for a late model used Mercedes Benz, one of the smaller ones. Unfortunately, M-B dealers don't take a guy with long hair and wearing jeans very seriously -- I waited a month and never got a call, and two calls to the dealer were never returned.

                  (NOTE TO CAR SALESMEN PROFILING CUSTOMERS - HEY STUPID, JUST BECAUSE I LOOK LIKE A COMPUTER GEEK DOESN'T MEAN I DON'T HAVE $25,000 IN MY POCKET. A LOT OF COMPUTER GEEKS ARE LIKE ME).

                  So I went back to Saturn. I got the car I wanted, price I wanted, and we had the whole deal done in a day and a half.

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                  • #10
                    Talk about ironies here. So many of the 'advantages' of Asian manufactorers can be traced to the USA.

                    'Lean' or 'just in time' manufactoring. This is the concept of only having enough parts on hand for a day or so of production. This cuts the costs of storing large stocks of parts that may not be used for several weeks...if ever. Toyota and Honda use this idea to cut costs. So did Charlie NASH during the '30's right here in Kenosha.

                    Self inspecting and worker input. Under this idea, ALL workers are inspecters. No matter what his position in the plant, no matter what department he works in. A story that's been around since the '60s tells of a fork-lift operator noticed that a piece of tirm on a car was loose. He then pulled a cord that ran along the assembly line to stop the line. He pointed out the defect to a foreman and was then congadulated for upholding quality!
                    Worker input is the very basic idea that the people best qualified to improve the line are the people who work the line.
                    John Denning, an American, tried to sell the ideas to Detroit. The (then) big three told him to 'get lost'. He did. Tp Japan where almost all (not just car companies) companies embraced his plans. The rest is history.

                    From the 1930's right up to the mid '70's desgned their cars under the mantra "Spend the money where the customer SEES it!" During that period, GM cars where much better trimmed, had higher quality upolstery and hardware than compareabls Ford or Chrysler products. Plus there were tangable differences from one brand to the other. True, hidden items were the same. For example, window winders would interchange from the cheapest Chevy to the most expensive Cadillac.
                    All that fell apart after the bean counters came to power.
                    Toyota learned that lession. When my 'other' bought her '06 Corolla, it was from a combined Chevy-Toyota store. Comparing the Corolla side-by-side to a Cavalier was embaressing.

                    BTW, around town, you'd swear the Corolla is one of the best cars ever. Just don't do long highway drives! Just after the Toyota was purchased, I drove to Florida in my '97 Ford Escort. I soloed the 1200 miles down there stopping only for gas and to releive myself. On the way home, I was slowed by severe weather in Indiana, but was still managed about to put 1000 miles on for the day. With very little fatigue.
                    A few days after I came home, it was off to Iowa and Missouri for a familey wedding. In the Corolla. After 'only' 400 miles, I could not drive it any more. While the Escort was rock-steady and did not budge off it's intended path even in high winds and heavy rains, this Corolla was buffetted by winds almost as bad as an early Corvair. And I have NEVER felt a car being rocked on it's longitudinal axis just by following a semi... Until the Corolla.

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                    • #11
                      I dont know those models, and GM is rarity at my region. Yet I know most of Japaneses quite well. If GM specialization is to produce a heavy, serious but very un-modern (yet very wear-stable) engines.

                      Whilst the Japs are specializing to produce a super-modern engines what are designed in a way them brakes capitally in the third day after the warranty have been ended. The said refers even to cars not raided much. Just time have gone and it crushes.

                      My choice is for car with a calculated maximal life-span ~sixty years (!) what factory warranties at 10 engine lives for car as whole, just change the engine at 15 minutes and come after next two million kms again. Military VW-Transporter or VW-Caravella T3 (=luxurious version of Transporter). Sad, but model T4 have been lost all of those good qualities, offering only bit stronger engine in the exchange.

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                      • #12
                        I wouldn't hesitate to buy another GM product. I wish that I had the money to replace my current car, but the new Corvette prices are a bit high.

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                        • #13
                          johny, I know what you mean. My Aunt Ruth has been driving the same '65 VW Combi for 42 years now! I think she has been through 6 engines (so far). She lives in Southern California, so rust is not an issue. And there are several shops in her area that specialize in rebuilding air-cooled VWs, so finding 'new' engines is not a problem, either! In fact, the Combi just might outlast her!

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                          • #14
                            We have an Infiniti Q45 (Japanese luxury car) and a GMC Yukon. The Infiniti has 100,000 miles and the Yukon has 90,000. We love the Infiniti, and it has been as troublefree as one should rightfully expect. Having said that, the GMC has caused us fewer problems still; and for long trips we take the Yukon because it is more comfortable.

                            Before the Yukon we had a Chevy van that we drove with few problems for 190,000 miles. The car before that was another Chevy van that had 240,000 miles on it when we sold it, and it still ran and drove nearly as good as when it was new. All cars have to be maintained, but both vans exceeded my expectations.

                            Personally I think that GMC has cars that are as good as anything that comes with a Japanese label. However the Japanese—-especially Toyota and Honda--have shown superior skill in anticipating where the market will go and being ready with cars that match the demand. With gas high and more people concerned about pollution GM isn't the first company that comes to mind for super-efficient and super-green cars. Neither are Ford and Chrysler.

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                            • #15
                              Against my better judgement I'm weighing in on this thread. Whenever a car forum comes up anywhere on the web, people get so emotional and fired up. I just don't get it; It's only a car!
                              I mean, who cares? One person's junk is another's prize, and it'll always be this way.

                              I own a Pontiac Vibe and am very happy with it. However, it's really a Toyota Matrix with plastic cladding. List prices for the Vibe are $3,000-$4,000 higher than for a comparable Matrix. (I paid the same as I would have for a Matrix, otherwise I would have bought the Matrix). Why the price markup I wonder? Surely plastic trim can't be worth this much. Connected to this, I wonder if part of GM's sales slowdown is due to inflated price schemes such as this. Could be; there are far more Matrices on the road than Vibes.

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