LosAngeles

If you could fix the chief problem Big 3 cars had

I already feel like I know what the answer is, but...   31 members have voted

  1. 1. What would you pick?

    • front-drive
      2
    • pushrod engines
      0
    • not building Euro/AUS models for N. America
      0
    • cheapness in quality
      12
    • frumpy styling
      2
    • engineering that cut corners
      8
    • pitiful performance
      0
    • focusing on trucks and SUVs
      3
    • other (specify just ONE thing)
      4

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30 posts in this topic

Look at it as if one of these would have trickled over into every other issue and made most of what Detroit sold us back then desirable to this day and kept the reputation at a higher level.

ETN: Look at the "not building Euro/AUS models for N. America" option to also reflect North American models being so extremely different from Europe and Australian-market GM, Fords, and Chryslers.

Edited by LosAngeles
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Other: Roger Smith.

You think he affected Ford and Chrysler too?

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Other: Roger Smith.

Wish I had thought of that

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It's either cheapness in quality or engineering that cut corners. If you could pick those 2 that would sum up nearly all of the problems Detroit has had.

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interiors and dated pushrod v6/4sp autos

the interiors i was reminded of after riding in someone's blazer over lunch today.

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-other

I think it was just a lazy attitude about what to keep options open for.

they should have had more concepts for everything---size, performance, styles

or at least stop gap products in the ready with "easy updates" something kinda like toyota's echo until the prius was ready, only for example.

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Other: Roger Smith.

He is basically responsible for all of the above except FWD. Kill 7 birds with one stone. I don't really think FWD is a bad thing, just the over emphasis on it.

GM not had Roger Smith, they would have done much much better, we probably wouldn't have Saturn, we might still have Oldsmobile, and Chrysler and Ford would have had to keep up.

A lot of the domestic's problems revolved around ignoring the threats from the east. If Ford and Chrysler <and AMC>, had a domestic competitor that they couldn't ignore, things would have been much different.

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Cheapness and settling on 'average' rather than building 'outstanding'. Instead of building segment leading world class products, they built too many mediocre generics that sold only on price.

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to be completely honnest, people buy cars on emotion, and previous experiance, and i have not consistatanly heard good remarks on any American brand since the 60's... so, without style, and without quality... there was no reason to choose the american brands, and since no one offered style, reliablity was the only option, and that wasnt going to be consistant if u purchased a american made vehicle, you would have a lot of 'lemons'

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Pouring so much into trucks and SUVs was a terrible idea. Putting money into cars would have been a better long term strategy. Then again, Chrysler did pour most resources into cars, and look where they are.

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Pouring so much into trucks and SUVs was a terrible idea. Putting money into cars would have been a better long term strategy. Then again, Chrysler did pour most resources into cars, and look where they are.

there is a winning stratagy, and im not going to say that chrysler didnt try with their cars, but somewhere along the way, the funds were wasted with poor perception and brand quality. all i ever heard was, i'd buy a dodge truck, but never a car, haha i heard you cant even get it all the way home.. or something stupid...

GM got lazy, thinking instead of making cars for everyone, just make cars for those who are easy to please.

instead of making desireable cars, they made them appliances, 4 wheels 4 doors an engine and a transmission. extra was optionable, but see your dealership...

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Chrysler should have put a few more dollars into transmission reliability.

otherwise known as "Make the check out to General Motors Corp."

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It's either cheapness in quality or engineering that cut corners. If you could pick those 2 that would sum up nearly all of the problems Detroit has had.

:thumbsup: My thoughts exactly.

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When thinking on it, I went with engineering that cut corners. I would think far more inspired engineering would have trickled over into the styling, performance, and quality. Completely different North American cars wouldn't have mattered as much, and the suspension, drivetrains, engines and such would have fallen in line. Might have kept them excited enough to not BS around with cars. They've basically figured that part out today, but they do have catching up to do. If they paid Toyota, Volvo, BMW, et al more attention, it would have done wonders.

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I voted cheapness in quality, especially RUST. So many cars from that era bit the dust after a few nasty winters.

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Poor reliability and quality from the late 70s and early 80s allowed the imports to gain a sense of legitimacy.

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Poor reliability and quality from the late 70s and early 80s allowed the imports to gain a sense of legitimacy.

And I don't even think there was more "there" there with those particular imports, so much as consumers wanted to try something different after getting burned Pintos, Vegas, Volares and the like.

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Many valid points being made here...

I voted "FWD = major suxage"

BUT

I think that an even bigger problem that eclipses FWD is to blame

more than all others.... and it has to do with the safety nazis, tree

huggers and MOST OF ALL, bean counters!

It's the same reason why America does not build even

ONE pillarless, fixed roof hardtop cars, it's why we don't

have any stunning designs south of the $50,000 price

point, why the Germans & Japanese are eating our lunch

and will continue to do so...

While the Germans & Japanese emulated American cars

in the '60s and '70s and GAINED loyal fans & market

share for decades after Detroit started going bland &

unimaginative, FWD-everything, GM Ford and Chrysler

spent a couple decades (talk about wasted time!) trying

to build a better mouserap... er... japanese car.

Leavee Camrys and Civics to the Japanese, build REAL

American cars again and people will buy them.

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Many valid points being made here...

Leavee Camrys and Civics to the Japanese, build REAL

American cars again and people will buy them.

Of course, if you look at "reality", you will see that Americans buy Camrys and Civics more than pretty much anything else. That's where the sales are.

Edited by moltar
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Thinking about it, I believe the worst tactical error the North American automakers have made in the past three decades were neglecting passenger cars for SUVs and trucks.

Looking at the big picture, I can see that one error being a sort of "root of all evil" here. Because the major effort was being put forth with trucks and SUVs that continued to offer Americans the attributes they long associated with their cars before government regulation and oil shortages stepped in and somewhat sterilized them, passenger cars suffered that much more. And when the Japanese competition finally surpassed the Big Three in building a better car, GM, Ford, and Chrysler were left to play catch up. This subsequently led to billions of R&D dollars being spent to "reverse-engineer" Camrys, Civics, Corollas, and Accords. And that money would ultimately be wasted because not GM, nor Ford, nor Chrysler had the foresight to think two steps beyond what they had learned from their exercises in reverse engineering those cars, meaning that whenever GM, for example, would debut a new product, it was already dated in comparison to the new Honda product that debuted that year or the year prior.

Edited by YellowJacket894
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Underestimating the Beast from the East . If the Domestics had taken the competition from Japan seriously, and weren't cynical towards their small cars, and quality, they'd likely be in great shape today, with a great selection of small cars, as well as good ol' American muscle cars/trucks.

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