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mustang84

The average joe's thoughts on the auto industry

21 posts in this topic

Today at the dentist, my dentist and the assistant started talking about cars after there had been an article in the local paper about gas possibly approaching $4/gallon. They started talking about how they were phasing out the incentives for hybrid cars and how the auto companies could be making more fuel efficient cars if they wanted to, they just weren't because they were in bed with the oil companies. I had all kinds of metal $h! in my mouth and it was numb so I couldn't refute.

But there have also been other times where people have said stupid and uninformed things about the auto industry. For example: "I hear those electric Japanese cars get 60 mpg...I just don't get why American car companies don't make anything like that, all they build are gas guzzlers." But sometimes I will just stay out if it because I'm too passionate about the subject and don't want to rub someone the wrong way, as much as I want to correct them. Or if you do manage to correct them politely, they don't believe you or they just don't seem to hear.

And this is the bread-and-butter Midwest where GM and Ford have always reigned; people are starting to doubt them and go out and buy a Hyundai because "it has that 100,000 mile warranty" even though they say their last Oldsmobile or Mercury wasn't really a bad car. Especially the old folks around here...more are more can be seen leaving the traditional "old people brands" like Buick, Mercury, and Olds for Hyundai, Toyota, and sometimes Nissan. My dentist used to drive a Crown Victoria and a Taurus and now drives a Honda Accord.

I guess it's just a sign of the times...you can't rely on long-time customers to continue to be loyal any longer.

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I correct people if they say something misinformed. Because if educated car enthusiasts like us don't...who will? And if we don't try to set the facts straight it's just one more person the domestics loose because of false information.

Of course, some people are just stupid...like the refrigerator mechanic who thought that Toyota's 500k recall on the Tundra was a conspiracy by the domestics.

Edited by Dodgefan
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Usually, if someone is complaining about the price of fuel, I will often point out that the bottle of Evian they plunked two bucks on is more expensive than fuel on a litre by litre basis. Plus, they can get water for practically free.

It gets the gears in their heads turning. Try it sometime.

Edited by Captainbooyah
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I correct people if they say something misinformed. Because if educated car enthusiasts like us don't...who will? And if we don't try to set the facts straight it's just one more person the domestics loose because of false information.

Well said. Same here, if someone says something retarded I usually

can not keep my mouth shut, like my airhead co-worker who told

me that she bought a Scion tC because ALL American cars are ugly.

Also she told me the Scion was a "great value".

You know me, I had a fw things to say about that. :huh:

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It's hip and stylish to buy Japanese or European, so no logic will change will people's minds. I know plenty of people who had wonderful service out of their prior Ford or Chevrolet but change to Toyota for no good reason.

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I correct people if they say something misinformed. Because if educated car enthusiasts like us don't...who will?

I wouldn't advise that you do that to your waiter for instance, at least before he brings you your order. You just might get a little something extra added to your meal that wasn't on the menu! :smilewide:

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I wouldn't advise that you do that to your waiter for instance, at least before he brings you your order. You just might get a little something extra added to your meal that wasn't on the menu! :smilewide:

Why would your waiter be carrying on a conversation with you about cars when he's supposed to be taking your order?

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You seem very defensive about that, you weren't ever a waiter were you? :P

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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I like this part. It is true. Volt was like an innovation that they caught on early and they need to capitalize it. If I was GM, I would let Ford join the party, like they did for the 6-speeds, and churn them out in numbers, which Toy and others will take a while to achieve.

4. I'm still waiting for Detroit to stop waiting. A few weeks ago, Bob Lutz set-off a flurry of hand-wringing by suggesting that GM would put all of its future rear-wheel-drive product programs on hold to see where the government discussion ended up on the next generation fuel economy standards. As I've said many times before in these pages, Detroit has a chance to seize the advantage right now and go after becoming the technological-environmental leader. It's a platform they're well-equipped to go after without hesitation, but they continue to wait and see. Well, waiting and seeing at this point accounts for nothing. I have no doubt that there will be purely rear-wheel-drive automobiles worth buying in the future, but they will be special interest and niche models for the most part. In the meantime, Detroit is letting a golden opportunity to seize the mainstream market with future-tech vehicles slip right through its fingers.

Detroit needs to come to the realization that some things about this business and this country are never going to change and that there are certain "truisms" at work here that cannot be swept under the rug.

The biggest one being that certain parts of this country are permanently lost to the domestic automakers, and they're never coming back. And the people in Washington representing those regions couldn't care less about Detroit or what happens to the domestic auto industry, either.

Given that, Detroit needs to stop worrying about things they can't control and start doing something about the things they can.

That means Detroit needs to lead with conviction, not react to what's dictated to them or appear yet again to be dragged by their nose to where the business is obviously going.

The sad thing in all of this is that Detroit used to lead as a matter of course.

Can they get back to that?

I, for one, still they think they can.

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You seem very defensive about that, you weren't ever a waiter were you? :P

No, I've just never carried on a conversation about cars with my waiter/waitress when they're job is supposed to be making sure the food is good, getting me refills on my drinks, etc.

Anyways, my roommate thought that because the Corvette is made out of fiberglass that it was very unsafe in the event of a wreck.

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No, I've just never carried on a conversation about cars with my waiter/waitress when they're job is supposed to be making sure the food is good, getting me refills on my drinks, etc.

Sorry to hear that. I treat everyone with dignity and respect, so if they ask about whatever the subject may be, I answer. I treat them like real live Human Beings. It some times pisses my wife off because she thinks I'm flirting with the waitress, but we always get great service and talking helps pass the time as we wait.

Just yesterday evening I had a very nice conversation with my waiter about my 1969 Custom-S which was parked out front. See I don't always drive my GXP, and I have been known to be in the Equinox too. Oh the Custom-S and I are the same age, for some reason that fascinated my waiter. :lol:

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Sorry to hear that. I treat everyone with dignity and respect, so if they ask about whatever the subject may be, I answer. I treat them like real live Human Beings. It some times pisses my wife off because she thinks I'm flirting with the waitress, but we always get great service and talking helps pass the time as we wait.

Just yesterday evening I had a very nice conversation with my waiter about my 1969 Custom-S which was parked out front. See I don't always drive my GXP, and I have been known to be in the Equinox too. Oh the Custom-S and I are the same age, for some reason that fascinated my waiter. :lol:

Oh please... :rolleyes: you know I didn't mean that I treat them like they're my servant or whatever. That's what their job is... take your order, make sure your happy with everything, get you refills on your drinks... not carry on a conversation about random stuff while you're trying to enjoy your meal and have a good time eating out. They're usually much too busy with other tables as well to carry on any sort of conversation other than "how are all of you today?" before they go on to "what can I get you to drink?"

You mean to tell me that you had a good 5 minute conversation about your car with your waiter while he should have been waiting on other people as well?

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Oh please... :rolleyes: you know I didn't mean that I treat them like they're my servant or whatever. That's what their job is... take your order, make sure your happy with everything, get you refills on your drinks... not carry on a conversation about random stuff while you're trying to enjoy your meal and have a good time eating out. They're usually much too busy with other tables as well to carry on any sort of conversation other than "how are all of you today?" before they go on to "what can I get you to drink?"

You mean to tell me that you had a good 5 minute conversation about your car with your waiter while he should have been waiting on other people as well?

It never hurts to be nice, so if they want to talk I talk. I don't think 3 - 5 minutes out of my 30 - 45 minute meal is a big deal. Who knows maybe just by taking the little bit of extra time, telling them about my car and where I work, might even get them to consider looking at, and buying a GM product. You catch more flies with Honey than with Vinegar.

On that note, you have a good day! I'm off to a Cinco de Mayo party! :spin:

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I'll side with NorthStar on the waiter. Especially since I've leave had one strike a conversation about the automive world.

Still Pontiac has a point, which I have noted before. The fridge mechanic I didn't argue with him too much since he's supposed to fix the refrigerator...and I doubt my boss would be happy with me and I pissed the guy for making him look like the dumbass he was. Sometimes you have to hold your tongue...but usually I have no problem pointing out Toyota's flaws. In class, at a friend's house, or whatever.

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I do it with my Grandpa, the only person in the family I talk cars with. He usually mentions what he's heard on the news or whatnot and I correct him. Plus, he's just old school. He can't grasp that cars make it over 100k miles. *shakes head* :P

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My neighbor had an 88 Caddy and dumped it for an 04 Camry V6...they are in their 70's.

Alzheimer's?

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I do it with my Grandpa, the only person in the family I talk cars with. He usually mentions what he's heard on the news or whatnot and I correct him. Plus, he's just old school. He can't grasp that cars make it over 100k miles. *shakes head* :P

Yes! Same here! Mine is actually fairly into cars, or at least was years ago, but definitely has some odd views.

Like over Thanksgiving when we had a little Cadillac discussion, and I mentioned that the Deville/DTS was the only remaining FWD model, but that will be changing before long. "Oh, really? I wonder why. I think the FWD would be a lot more popular than RWD ones, especially places like here in western PA with the snow and all," he said. I tried to simply explain weight balance, handling, and even how a lot of new stability systems, not to mention optional AWD, can be great on their own, but just got a blank stare.

Oh well, you can't convince everyone. That's still the same deal with the ever prevalent "Honda and Toyota just have more efficient cars overall" mantra, which won't ever seem to go away. A perfect example was a situation someone mentioned in the new Acadia owners group, where someone said a stranger was admiring their new Acadia then asked "Why not the Pilot that gets better gas mileage?" Number one it's just not as strong of a package, and number two, the Pilot actually doesn't have the mpg ratings or the real world performance to match the new Lambdas in that regard...yet the perception-misconception continues.

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I do it with my Grandpa, the only person in the family I talk cars with. He usually mentions what he's heard on the news or whatnot and I correct him. Plus, he's just old school. He can't grasp that cars make it over 100k miles. *shakes head* :P

I do the same thing. My grandpa's been working at a Flint auto auction for about 7 years now and has driven just about every car known to man. He is the perfect person to talk to if you want the import/domestic myths straightened out. His opinion of Toyota: "They're nice, competent cars, but they're not beyond perfect like everyone thinks." He hates Scions with a burning passion and has told me that he doesn't like Lexus because, since they've got so much in the way of electronics, if left alone for a week or so, they'll need a jump. The man swears by Chevrolet and Ford up and down and judging by the conditions of his 11-year old F-150 and 15-year old Silverado, he's got some reason to.

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