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Observing and Reporting

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About Observing and Reporting

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  • Birthday 07/07/1975

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  1. I'm struggling to see the difference in these two interiors... help me out here will ya? If that is the Regal interior then I stand corrected. The Lacrosse we drove had chrome trim on the center stack, around buttons etc. and also had an AWFUL wooden steering wheel (although way too many manufacturers are doing this, it looks and feels bad on all of them-Lexus included)
  2. So a Toyota Corrolla with a 4-speed automatic transmission and no platform update since 2003 is a complete package? Quote The mahogany-tinted high-gloss wood looks like it came from a downmarket furniture store, and what's with the old Mercedes-style shift gate for the shift lever? And we nearly called an anthropologist when we spied the ES 350's cassette tape player. Sure, Lexus drivers are known enthusiasts of books on tape, but does Mark Levinson know it's still there? That is the high quality and completely packaged Lexus for you. Or Honda with its 5-speed transmission, no direct injection engines and design that will put GM's 90s design blandness to shame is a complete package? The quality of my 2005 TSX is better than the new TSX. But yes, they are cars that people buy. How about the howlers from Nissan - Sentra and Versa. Are they complete packages as well? BMW's fit and finish is nothing short of glaringly deficient. The plastics of my 2005 BMW 330i are terrible, the upholstery is peeling off, leather is blemished. The TSX and my 98 Lumina look better in shape than the BMW. The car has had electrical gremlins and also seen all its windows motors replaced. That is indeed a quality product! Have you heard of BMW's HFPF problem? The F30 has no design theme, the plastics look cheap and the interior is virtually unchanged since 1990s. At least Bangle had balls to be creative and polarizing. And as for the Corvette and the stereotypes you are adding to the car - the ignorance is similar to the one in your comment about Prius and Volts. Yes Porsche may put clubbed baby seal leather in its anemic 320 odd hp Boxter S but then it clubs the customer $85k for that car. For half that price you can get the 370Z and club the Boxter if you are willing to forget the 85% quality at 105% performance. If I was shelling $200k on a Panamera Turbo S, I will expect the car to have clubbed baby Panda leather sewn by Matthias Muller with his own hands. I still stand by my statement that GM lacks in perception game that Japanese and Germans have mastered and now Koreans are mastering. The GM products except for a few are vastly better than the perception you have. Is there a room for improvement? Sure, but they are not howlers as you claim to be. Observing and Reporting, on 07 August 2012 - 05:27 PM, said: I agree, "Observing and Reporting" was making stereotypes of GM owners. I just wanted to point out that same can be said of car brands his cohorts own. I was not trying to be rude, this is what came up in a lively conversation, in all fairness it was over dinner at a restaurant/pub and was very animated. Neither was I. What I mentioned about those brands also came casually in a lively conversation with informed automobile enthusiasts. I know nothing of the Corolla, I have never driven or owned a vehicle in that class. I would certainly value that car over the latest GM cavalier-class car. You always see Cobalts driving about in various states of self-destruction, yet you see many nicer old Corollas, although this may have to do with demographics. As for a Civic, so many have been wasted by "enthusiasts" and "tuners." My business partner has a new Lexus ES, it certainly has no cassette player, so I can not comment on your snippet of info. Even though his ES is little more than a Camry with gadgets it feels modern, comfortable and well made. You GM people certainly are touchy. I would take the Boxster over the Corvette or a Nissan any day of the week. It feels good. Even if the performance of the Nissan and Corvette are better, the experience would be ruined each time I looked at the tacky wheels or cheap interior. As for stereotypes. the Corvette has always been the "everyman's" sports car, there is certainly nothing wrong with this. It is a high performance "exotic" style car that is within reach of the average person, I like the Corvette, it has character. As for your issues with BMWs, perhaps they stem from a lack of care on the part of the owner. I have owned three BMWs since 2000, two 7 series and one 5 series and other than hating earlier versions of iDrive I never had an issue. I have since moved to Audi A8s because they are more attractive to my eye. Even though it is an 8-year-old car "Blemished" leather would indicate that you do not care for your car or have it regularly cleaned. From your vehemence and description of yourself as an "enthusiast" I would assume you are the type of person that likes to beat on cars because you feel it is fun. The Corvette is well suited for this as it is simple and anvil-like. As for Honda's five speed automatic, the vast majority of of people who buy cars in this class do not care. The Accord is smoother, more comfortable and a better value than the Malibu. One drive and it is immediately clear that it is the better car all around. It does not rely on gimmicks or "camaro-style" tail lights to distract from the cheap materials and poor American low-cost engineering. With this being said, the "Americanization" of the Camry has done it no favors. From my perspective there are also two tiers of Japanese Cars. Honda and Toyota are known for their quality. Manufacturers like Mazda, Nissan and Mitsubishi frequently push loaded "sporty" cars whose quality is dubious. The Americans are not alone in playing this game. With the Europeans, Mercedes quality has gone down drastically since the mid-1990s. The 124 E-Class and 90s vintage S class and SL were the last of the quality Mercedes. Now they have shunned the engineers for the marketers, and their tacky AMG versions appeal to the same gold chain-wearing people that flock to old BMW M3s. At the end of the day you can defend GM all you want. I can afford to buy what I want, as can most of my friends, there are no GM vehicles on the list because they are American cars at their worst. GM takes advantage of customers by cutting corners with their manufacturing and engineering. This is old school Detroit, no doubt this is to both maximize profits and make up for the UAW leeches that squeeze every penny out of the manufacturers with their unreasonable demands. This is not an anti-american car issue. I recently traded a Toyota Tundra for a Ford F150 Ecoboost to tow our boat and horse trailers. This vehicle has proven to be modern, comfortable and fuel efficient. What I find most interesting is that GM can get it right in other areas. The Saab 9-5 and 9-4, even with their cheap GM stereos and displays, were far nicer than their Buick and Cadillac equivalents, their dashboards were clean and uncluttered, and the Opel Insignia is also more appealing than the Buick version for the same reason. GM in America seems to tart everything up, even when it was unnecessary, and they cheapen the vehicles in the process.
  3. if you value room over quality then it is perfect. If that is the only criteria why not buy an AWD minivan? My mind was made up when the storage console door fell off of a vehicle with less than 1,000 miles. UAW Quality!
  4. I agree, "Observing and Reporting" was making stereotypes of GM owners. I just wanted to point out that same can be said of car brands his cohorts own. I was not trying to be rude, this is what came up in a lively conversation, in all fairness it was over dinner at a restaurant/pub and was very animated.
  5. "GM's problem is perception. The person above gives a good cross-section of ignorance that GM has to deal with. Honestly critics like these need to be taken with heart by GM and worked on. That is where marketing should be effective and concentrated. GM is not doing a good job with marketing." It has little to do with marketing and more to do with product. How about simply making appealing products that don't feel and look cheap, and don't feature over-the-top styling and lackluster fit and finish? I have no animosity towards American cars, or any particular love for many of the foreign brands, but I know that every vehicle from GM's core group of vehicles that I have driven or ridden in has been a disappointment on many levels. Some had good engines, some had good styling, some had ok interiors, rarely did they posses all three things. Some examples are below: Rentals: Chevy Malibu: OK styling, wheezing engine, cheap plastics inside. An Accord is so much better it is amazing! Camaro: OK styling, cheap interior, decent engine (the V6-the V8 is fun but old-fashioned) Cadillac DTS: Cheap Cheap Cheap interior, poor ride quality, engine sounded like a powerboat, Chevrolet Traverse: Nice styling, nice interior with the exception of many plastic details that were cheap, storage compartments whose latches did not work, poor alignment of panels, and fabric that felt as though it came off a dead mouse. Reasonably smooth engine. Why would a person buy this over a Pilot or Highlander?? GM vehicles test driven while shopping for recent car purchases. Buick LaCrosse-Excellent styling with the exception of the excessive plasticized chrome (which was rough and uneven on the edge of many surfaces. Good engine, nice interior with too much bling. Cheap fake wood, shiny surfaces that reflected off the windshield. It wants to compete with Acura and Lexus, it even comes close, but it is so far away in the details. Cadillac SRX: TOO MUCH CHROME ON THE INSIDE. 3.6 engine lacked oomph and sounded rough, instruments difficult to read. many squeaks and rattles. Audi Q5, Lexus RX do it better for the same money. Electronics in the Cadillac were also about 5 years out of date. GMs halo cars are cheap and fun. The corvette handles well, has lots of power and is inexpensive compared with its rivals. It may have leather that came from a plastic factory and fit and finish that leaves much to be desired, but it is fun and can be a reachable dream for an average person. It is not as well made as a Porsche, but it is viable and a good mid-life crisis car for Joe the Plumber. The Camaro is much the same-good cheap fun. Not something you would want to drive everyday, filled with antique engines and engineering, a throwback to the late 60s, but great at doing smoky burnouts on deserted country roads. It doesn't have to compete with anything other than the Chrysler and Ford equivalents because they are the only cars occupying this class.
  6. It would have been very nice if GM in its entirety had been allowed to die. In reality, this suit seems reasonable. GM is focusing only on the Chinese market at this time as this is where their profits are being made. Their American cars, with the exception of a few buicks that are Opel clones, are junk. The Volt is a joke that is being propped up by government purchases and loss-leading leases. They can not run Opel because their attitude about giving the customer the lowest quality product they will accept has made their vehicles less desirable than those made by the VW group companies. Ford is doing a good job, they have quality, competitive products, both here and abroad, they treated Volvo, Aston Martin and Land Rover well when they were sold, and they are pushing forward. GM used threats and the media to squash Saab's deal with the Chinese that was perfectly within the bounds of their technology licensing agreements with GM. GM, apparently, even threatened to stop producing the SUV made for Saab in their plant under contract. This entire issue is even more absurd when one considers that GM has very little technology worth stealing. GM's technology is dated, it is not an innovative company, it is simply a dinosaur run by dinosaurs who still have the misguided belief that the American car industry, and the country as a whole, is a leader and on top. I had to laugh. In a conversation with friends recently, no-one had owned a GM vehicle. No-one had friends that had GM vehicles. Several had distant family members in the midwest that still drove GM cars, but the family members were old, and being from the midwest, conservative and backwards thinking. Many had Hondas and Toyotas, a few had Fords, there were a few Jeeps, many BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo drivers, a few Saabs, but nothing from GM. The opinions of the group were that Cadillacs were tacky and driven by old people, drug dealers and people striving to attract attention to themselves. Buicks were for middle class people who were disappointed with their lives and needed tacky chrome trim to show that they were not poor, and Chevrolets were rental cars. police cars, and a brand favored by white trash. The trucks and SUVs were for tradesmen, people with large families (Suburban) and rednecks. GM had lost any credibility with successful people from 25-45. The subject of the Volt brought a chuckle. The typical response was "Why buy a Volt when we could buy a Prius?"

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