enzl

The Decline & Fall of the Amreican Auto Industry by B. Yates

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I just picked a 1st Edition 1983 Hardback edition for $1.95 on Amazon...

The first few pages could apply to almost any set of products from GM until about 2005. Scary.

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From when until 2005; 2000 ? 1980 ? 1960 ? 1910 ?

Why not jot down the passages in question ?

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From when until 2005; 2000 ? 1980 ? 1960 ? 1910 ?

Why not jot down the passages in question ?

Well, it is specifically referencing the J-car intro & development, but the description of that project's target (Accord) vs. actual execution covers any 'import fighter' from GM between 1970 & 2005.

Unbelievable that such myopic behavior could grip a corporation that large and (historically) successful.

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I read the book and still have it. I also highly recommend reading John Z DeLorean's "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors." Many of GM's problems date back to decisions made in the 1960's.

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Yes, both excellent books..I have both in my little collection of automotive industry books..

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>>"...almost any set of products from GM until about 2005"<<

So 1981 - 2005 covers "almost any set of products" ?? Ummm, OK.

You know; most of GM's problems, by popular choice, seem to stem from overlapping brands / models / pricing. Would this not support dating the cause back to 1908? By only 1920, GM owned or had owned 21 different brands, flirted with bankruptcy and ousted it's CEO twice, yet was a distant 2nd to Ford (with just 1 brand). I don't know about you guys, but I see a clear parallel from that right up to the current STS not having a glove box light, don't you?

Ain't hindsight a barrel full of drunk monkeys ?

Edited by balthazar
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>>"...almost any set of products from GM until about 2005"<<

So 1981 - 2005 covers "almost any set of products" ?? Ummm, OK.

You know; most of GM's problems, by popular choice, seem to stem from overlapping brands / models / pricing. Would this not support dating the cause back to 1908? By only 1920, GM owned or had owned 21 different brands, flirted with bankruptcy and ousted it's CEO twice, yet was a distant 2nd to Ford (with just 1 brand). I don't know about you guys, but I see a clear parallel from that right up to the current STS not having a glove box light, don't you?

Ain't hindsight a barrel full of drunk monkeys ?

Hey, Bitter-zar....

Give the book a read...it's incredibly prescient regarding what has brought GM to its knees today.

Don't want to believe the truth? I'm sure there's a corner office at GM for you.

There was a lesson to be learned that clearly went unnoticed, that's all I'm saying. I guess when collective heads are shoved up their nethers, the message can't get thru.

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>>"...almost any set of products from GM until about 2005"<<

So 1981 - 2005 covers "almost any set of products" ?? Ummm, OK.

You know; most of GM's problems, by popular choice, seem to stem from overlapping brands / models / pricing.

Well, in the 80s, though, the overlapping between the CPOB brands got to the point that the models all looked much the same. All the generic, low quality, bland boxy FWD models that had very little differentiation in style or content...the X, J, A, N cars...

Edited by moltar
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>>"Hey, Bitter-zar.... Give the book a read...it's incredibly prescient regarding what has brought GM to its knees today. Don't want to believe the truth? I'm sure there's a corner office at GM for you."<<

I will give it a read if I can get my hands on a copy, but I'm never eager to accept one person's account as unvarnished truth without corroborating evidence. The 'whistleblower' is too often given great benefits of doubt, even tho there be 6 or 8 different positions on the same issue.

What convinced you the book is "the truth" ??

You have to admit, in the publishing field, accounts of wrong-doings and scandalous practices are at the forefront of successful efforts. People seem to inexplicably enjoy failure and finger-pointing in this country.

In my study of the Corp over many years, if it has revealed nothing else it's that the entity is incredibly complex, has changed its SOP countless times and has generally shown indiffference to it's own history. However, no one has ever claimed they have been even close to perfect.

At this point I have to believe a clear, succinct picture of the inner workings over it's history is completely beyond reach.

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Why not just indict our Capitalist-cum-Socialist system? With the massive rescue of the Financial System, we're all Socialists now. These same people saw National Health-Care as too expensive to implement. The frauds.

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>>"...almost any set of products from GM until about 2005"<<

So 1981 - 2005 covers "almost any set of products" ?? Ummm, OK.

You know; most of GM's problems, by popular choice, seem to stem from overlapping brands / models / pricing.

While that HAS been a huge stumbling block for GM, that has nothing to do with the fact that all those overlapping models were so clearly uncompetitive in the marketplace they were launched.....

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While that HAS been a huge stumbling block for GM, that has nothing to do with the fact that all those overlapping models were so clearly uncompetitive in the marketplace they were launched.....

That I would have to agree with ...the 80s were real bad...

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>>"...almost any set of products from GM until about 2005"<<

So 1981 - 2005 covers "almost any set of products" ?? Ummm, OK.

You know; most of GM's problems, by popular choice, seem to stem from overlapping brands / models / pricing. Would this not support dating the cause back to 1908? By only 1920, GM owned or had owned 21 different brands, flirted with bankruptcy and ousted it's CEO twice, yet was a distant 2nd to Ford (with just 1 brand). I don't know about you guys, but I see a clear parallel from that right up to the current STS not having a glove box light, don't you?

Ain't hindsight a barrel full of drunk monkeys ?

:lol:

I can pull out any number of MT, CD, R&T from the '80s and read all about Detroit's 'comeback.' Makes for more than a few good laughs.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: the media and most 'journalists' are jaded and, let's face it - it's all been said before. There ain't any more pullitzers out there for writing about the car industry. Anyone who thinks GM and Ford could have held onto their stranglehold of the North American industry that they enjoyed 35 years ago is a serious fool.

It does not matter one iota what Ford or GM did 'wrong' in the '80s or '90s: the fact remains that Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai and many others, built ugly crap back then, and now they do not. If someone had told me 10 years ago that they were buying a Hyundai, I would have said they were an idiot. Now, I would merely say they are selling our future up the river, but the car itself is not bad. How would the Big 2.5 fought against a gradual awakening of the compeitition (well, except Toyota) that good looking, well designed products sell?

The one thing I realize as I hit my late '40s: I have read all this before, and I am sure I will read it again. There are very few original thoughts out there left, and none of it is being written about the auto industry.

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Why not just indict our Capitalist-cum-Socialist system? With the massive rescue of the Financial System, we're all Socialists now. These same people saw National Health-Care as too expensive to implement. The frauds.

You guys would have your 'free' Medicare by now with the money Washington is using to bail out the vultures on WallStreet. Did I not predict this just a year or so ago?

Will the trillion (read: TRILLION) dollars that this is going to cost, NASA could set up a base on Mars, then send the WallStreet bankers to it. THAT would be a far better use of a trillion dollars, IMO.

A certain somebody (who no longer posts here) took exception to my disdain for accountants and banker types, but I am being being proven right. We cannot live in a country that produces only paper assets.

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You guys would have your 'free' Medicare by now with the money Washington is using to bail out the vultures on WallStreet. Did I not predict this just a year or so ago?

Will the trillion (read: TRILLION) dollars that this is going to cost, NASA could set up a base on Mars, then send the WallStreet bankers to it. THAT would be a far better use of a trillion dollars, IMO.

A certain somebody (who no longer posts here) took exception to my disdain for accountants and banker types, but I am being being proven right. We cannot live in a country that produces only paper assets.

The GOP/Republican base have their tentacles into everything down here to the extent that the flim-flamming of your southern neighbors took place at their capricious whim and at their pleasure. Well, the piggy-bank's broken and we're creating 'wealth' to bail ourselves out.

The financial pages here lament the lack of car buyers. Funny*.

People here are out of work so they aren't buying cars. Home values and home equity has become a quaint memory and those folks are not going to be tapping their home's value to purchase a new ride. We may see levels of sales here consistent with the actual purchasing capabilities of the American consumer. Likely to see U.S. sales stagnate in the range of 12.75 to 13.5 million per year for several years to come as the dust continues to settle.

*ironic and sad

Edited by longtooth
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Not sure how this became a 'bailout' thread...but let's not cast stones, GM fans---the Det3's turn at the gov't trough will be coming down the pipe real soon.

(The complete meltdown of our financial system certainly required intervention...the wisdom of the solution can be debated all day).

As far as Yates' book goes, it's simply sad to see the same errors made generation upon generation. And while I agree with 'Biz that the erosion of the Det3's marketshare was inevitable, I completely disagree that the current crisis couldn't be avoided.

High quality, competitive product produced consistently would have enabled the Det3 to maintain profitability and pricing discipline for their car line-up---and as a subscriber to Car & Driver since '81, I can promise you that few Detroit products were considered "Best" anything.

The J-car (and T and Vega and X car) were simply not good. The A, N, GM-10 and W's that followed were, at best, mediocre. The other co's were similarly spotty with their cars.

The Culture that allowed this to happen hasn't changed---just open the doors of most Det3 products to find the truth is self evident--and the only way to right the ship is to make demonstrably superior product that will bring back customers that wouldn't have previously come into the showroom.

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Not sure how this became a 'bailout' thread...but let's not cast stones, GM fans---the Det3's turn at the gov't trough will be coming down the pipe real soon.

(The complete meltdown of our financial system certainly required intervention...the wisdom of the solution can be debated all day).

As far as Yates' book goes, it's simply sad to see the same errors made generation upon generation. And while I agree with 'Biz that the erosion of the Det3's marketshare was inevitable, I completely disagree that the current crisis couldn't be avoided.

High quality, competitive product produced consistently would have enabled the Det3 to maintain profitability and pricing discipline for their car line-up---and as a subscriber to Car & Driver since '81, I can promise you that few Detroit products were considered "Best" anything.

The J-car (and T and Vega and X car) were simply not good. The A, N, GM-10 and W's that followed were, at best, mediocre. The other co's were similarly spotty with their cars.

The Culture that allowed this to happen hasn't changed---just open the doors of most Det3 products to find the truth is self evident--and the only way to right the ship is to make demonstrably superior product that will bring back customers that wouldn't have previously come into the showroom.

The J-Body, coming on the heels of the at-the-time successful X-Body program. They were initially well received. As a 20-something autoworker in the Spring of '82, I can still remember the new Cavaliers lined up and showing their pretty faces on Main Street at Stockburger Chevrolet in Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Right in the heart of town. Real Americana.

You really had to have been there to have understood the heady nature of the times and sweeping dynamic of it all. 26 and one-half years ago. Middle of an oil-shock induced recession. My goodness.

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The J-Body, coming on the heels of the at-the-time successful X-Body program. They were initially well received. As a 20-something autoworker in the Spring of '82, I can still remember the new Cavaliers lined up and showing their pretty faces on Main Street at Stockburger Chevrolet in Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Right in the heart of town. Real Americana.

You really had to have been there to have understood the heady nature of the times and sweeping dynamic of it all. 26 and one-half years ago. Middle of an oil-shock induced recession. My goodness.

:deadhorse:

Forget it. I've stopped arguing with people who dredge up the original J-bodies, K-cars and others. Those of us who lived it (and worked in the auto industry in the '80s) KNOW that the original Civics, Accords, Tercels, etc. were pieces of &#036;h&#33;, too. But REVISIONIST HISTORY states that only GM and Ford built crap back then.

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:deadhorse:

Forget it. I've stopped arguing with people who dredge up the original J-bodies, K-cars and others. Those of us who lived it (and worked in the auto industry in the '80s) KNOW that the original Civics, Accords, Tercels, etc. were pieces of &#036;h&#33;, too. But REVISIONIST HISTORY states that only GM and Ford built crap back then.

:CanadaEmoticon: I'll hoist one to you then 'Biz. You know of what you speak. I would say that going forward, GM really needs to apply what they/we preach to what we build. I'll do what I can in my small part.

As for the 1980's vintage J's and X's, it was something to see and something to have been privileged to have been a part of. Like the song says: " They can't take that away from me".- George and Ira Gershwin.

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There was plenty of crap being made by all companies in the 80's and early to mid 90's. However if you compare a `95 Civic, Corolla, and Cavalier...there's the competition. The Cavalier was completely outclassed.

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I have to concur with CARBIZ & longtooth RE the '80 X-cars & the J-cars. It is only thru the distorted lense of revisionism that these cars were 'clearly uncompetitive' in their day. Anyone who values C&D's opinion should read the eye-opener review of the '81 Cimarron; they loved it.

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I have to concur with CARBIZ & longtooth RE the '80 X-cars & the J-cars. It is only thru the distorted lense of revisionism that these cars were 'clearly uncompetitive' in their day. Anyone who values C&D's opinion should read the eye-opener review of the '81 Cimarron; they loved it.

Meh...they were still mediocre crap any way you look at it..lots of recalls and they rusted out quickly. Not GM's best by any stretch of the imagination.

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I have to concur with CARBIZ & longtooth RE the '80 X-cars & the J-cars. It is only thru the distorted lense of revisionism that these cars were 'clearly uncompetitive' in their day. Anyone who values C&D's opinion should read the eye-opener review of the '81 Cimarron; they loved it.

The J & X were crap--the X's sold well and were an ownership night mare---as well as severe braking problems that were never fully cured during production of these "revolutionary" products...and the J were crappy from the start and got marginally better until they became as stale as week-old bread.

If there's any revisionist history going on here, it's you guys. The only point I will concede is that the popular press played a critical role in cheerleading these products up to intro (couldn't have had anything to do with a historically expensive ad campaign, huh?).

AS for Cimarron circa '81...That's absolute BS.

I'd like somebody to pull this C&D article. IIRC, it wasn't well received by anyone...the 6 cyl. versions years later got much better reviews.

(and PS--the book is from 1983, that's why these products are relevant to this thread....I'm slowly getting the feeling I'm not wanted, as the same posters love to bash me--usually without an actual clue or concern as to the accuracy or truthfullness of their statements---)

Anyone who knows anything about the industry won't wade into a conversation defending either the J or X's...it's simply not possible to credit these cars with anything, other than help lose a generation of domestic buyers to the imports---shame on you!

Edited by enzl
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The J & X were crap--the X's sold well and were an ownership night mare---as well as severe braking problems that were never fully cured during production of these "revolutionary" products...and the J were crappy from the start and got marginally better until they became as stale as week-old bread.

If there's any revisionist history going on here, it's you guys. The only point I will concede is that the popular press played a critical role in cheerleading these products up to intro (couldn't have had anything to do with a historically expensive ad campaign, huh?).

AS for Cimarron circa '81...That's absolute BS.

I'd like somebody to pull this C&D article. IIRC, it wasn't well received by anyone...the 6 cyl. versions years later got much better reviews.

(and PS--the book is from 1983, that's why these products are relevant to this thread....I'm slowly getting the feeling I'm not wanted, as the same posters love to bash me--usually without an actual clue or concern as to the accuracy or truthfullness of their statements---)

Anyone who knows anything about the industry won't wade into a conversation defending either the J or X's...it's simply not possible to credit these cars with anything, other than help lose a generation of domestic buyers to the imports---shame on you!

I honestly can't imagine anyone defending the J, X, A, or N cars of the 80s..they were absolute crap, GM at it's lowest point. The Cimmaron was an abomination, against everything Cadillac was about--it was a simple rebadge of a Chevy sh*tbox. The FWD garbage of the '80s are the cars that earned GM its poor reputation it's been struggling to overcome ever since then.

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