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The Current State of the US Auto Market

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,069
    >I think if I can find a stronger magnet, it'll do the trick.

    That may work. Or you can drill a small hole through the plastic cover so you can use a paperclip to lift it back into place.

    This needle getting out of place happened when people had battery problems.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    Check the sending unit. It's often the culprit of fuel gauge maladies. The car is 14 model years old, so little stuff like that is bound to break sometime. Heck, most folks don't have a car around that long. I doubt Cadillac thought anybody would hold onto a 1989 Brougham for nearly 25 years! :P
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I've never understood the appeal of these "mild hybrid" vehicles.

    Extra costs to purchase, higher maintenance, less trunk space, and all for not any real significant increase in mileage.

    And, if one thinks their dealership has difficulty repairing their traditionally-designed vehicle, just wait until they get ahold of a hybrid with a problem.

    Seems to me like more of a feel-good, I'm environmentally conscious decision than a rational one, IMO.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Check the sending unit. It's often the culprit of fuel gauge maladies

    I've said this before, but I definitely wouldn't pay for any fuel gauge repair without trying Techron (black bottle) first. It worked for me in our Uplander, and there are a bunch of things saying the same thing online, for all kinds of cars.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I'm not interested in any hybrid vehicle--for me, not worth the added cost--and the partial hybrids--haven't I read that trunk room is reduced because of it? Who the heck wants that?

    You read it here.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,897
    I've never understood the appeal of these "mild hybrid" vehicles.

    Same here. I wonder if GM should have simply bought the hybrid equipment from Toyota, like Nissan did with the Altima?

    I thought some of those "mild hybrid" trucks were a good idea, under the right circumstances. You didn't get much mileage boost, but they were good for construction sites and places where a portable generator would come in handy.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    What's Techron? Where do you get it?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    You pour it in a nearly-empty tank. It's made by Chevron. I can buy it at any cheapo big-chain auto parts store. It's like $11 a bottle, but I use it preventively in my cars now. Besides cleaning internal engine parts, it actually says on it, helps erratic fuel gauge sensors by cleaning sulfur deposits. It did work for me.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,560
    Well, you know The three types of lies , right?

    The way it actually is (or has devolved to), according to our "I built it" pseudo-capitalists is a road to eventual ruin. It must change. My options are based on survival, which requires a more defendable playing field. A few billion? Chump change in 2013, just one beloved tax haven foreign aid dependent will suck down that much and more this year alone.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,560
    It seems early 90s Japanese leather is hit and miss - either OK, or it completely rots away - with the bad ones being more common.

    The modern base Lexus leather is nothing to brag about either, and I've read complaints about modern models with dashboard plastic that falls apart. Even the supposedly perfect have issues.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    It seems early 90s Japanese leather is hit and miss - either OK, or it completely rots away - with the bad ones being more common.

    That mirrors the experience of what I've seen over the years.

    American and European auto leather interiors seem to have had a significantly higher quality content than the Japanese leather.

    Or, maybe the Japanese make owners I know just don't take as much care of their interiors.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    Generally speaking, the "best" cars and trucks are probably the best-selling ones, especially if their ranking stays high year after year (so that you don't get fooled by the initial rush to a novelty item).

    One can certainly find legitimate faults with any car, but, for instance, if we go back to when Lexus beating the stuffings out of Mercedes in the early 1990s, they picked off a lazy, complaisant competitor----not with a perfect product, but rather one that hit that sweet spot of "bang for the buck".

    Toyota figured that most Americans didn't care if the LS400 hugged the road like the Benz, or had that wonderful global reputation---they wanted a cushy, good looking luxury car that wasn't in the shop every month---in other words, there was an excellent opportunity to steal market share from Cadillac and Benz, both of which were vulnerable.

    Introducing the Lexus was a very shrewd move, and by and large, the Japanese "did their homework" and did not introduce a half-baked product to market, like some people we know tended to do. :P

    MODERATOR

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    A good friend is driving his late parents' Lexus SC300. I'm largely unimpressed. He told me it cost $45K in 1995. It looks like a compact car with nice leather inside to me. But what do I know. (There, I keep on saying that! LOL)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    You'd have to compare it to other 1995 cars of the time, and it measured up quite well for the "luxury touring" segment. It is a bit bland but it was actually not a computer generated design, rather "hand styled" like in the old days.

    MODERATOR

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I remember a friend who would refuse to ride in the back seat of my Cavalier two-door to a Stude meet in York, PA, but he accepted riding in the backseat of my buddy's parents' SC300. Now, I didn't have soft leather in my car, but I showed him how there was actually more legroom in the back of a Cavalier coupe than a Lexus SC300. He simply refused to believe it...even after I showed him the numbers! People believe what they want to believe...or more likely, hate to admit anything! LOL
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,560
    edited May 2013
    Designing your cars based on the competition (first LS was an obvious W126 copy) and dumping them as loss leaders (was any profit made on the original LS at <40K? no way) helps, too. Add good engineering and very kiss-kiss customer service, and the brand was bound to succeed. It has helped the market, if anything, to keep prices down - an E class would probably be 100K today if not for the competition. It also moved the customer service of some makes out of the dark ages.

    Regarding the original SC, a Lexus I like, especially if not wearing gaudy period-correct gold emblems. SC300 is an I6, hard not to like that. Very dated today, but was really something back in the olden days.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited May 2013
    People believe what they want to believe...or more likely, hate to admit anything!

    There's more than a grain of truth in that statement.

    Marketers rely on that bit of human "self-deception" to sell us all sorts of products and services, not to mention politicians and the tactics they use to get votes.

    That's why I really enjoy the show Brain Games now being aired on NatGeo. Watch a few of these 30 minute programs and one quickly realizes the extremes people and companies will (and quite often do) go to in order to manipulate us.

    As it relates to your incident, usually all it takes is a single commercial viewing claiming car A has more interior room than car B to convince someone that car A excels in every aspect of interior room, not just total. Once that mindset is put into place, its very difficult to dislodge that misconception.

    Politicians know this all too well, and its why they attempt to insinuate that an unpopular program or legislation implemented under their watch was really done under someone else's.

    If you can get your idea placed into someone else's mind first, you've got the best chance of keeping it there.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    Regarding the original SC, a Lexus I like, especially if not wearing gaudy period-correct gold emblems. SC300 is an I6, hard not to like that. Very dated today, but was really something back in the olden days.

    I agree. It was definitely a better car than a Lincoln Mark VIII or Cadillac Eldo/ETC. Also, you could get the SC300 with a manual.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,897
    I think the problem with the Lexus SC300 is that there's also some temptation to lump it into the "personal luxury coupe" catch-all, which was still filled with cars like the Eldorado, Mark VIII, and Riviera. Cars that tended to put more emphasis on style and hedonism, than practicality or sportiness. It would probably compare more directly with the likes of the BMW 8-series of the time. Dunno if Benz really had anything directly comparable, as its hardtop coupes of the era seemed much bigger. And more upscale.

    The SC300 in those days was probably a lot like the Hyundai Genesis of today. Sure, it might be a very nice car, and might be competitive, but when you get into this class, it's all about brand image. And back in 1995, that's something Lexus was still working on.

    I'll say one thing for it...those SC's were much classier than that SC430 retractable hardtop thing that followed.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,560
    edited May 2013
    The SC was kind of an in-betweener - not fullsize lux, not really sporty - more tuned to the softer side but could be had with a manual. More of a MB than a BMW.

    image

    MB still had the CE (E class hardtop coupe) back then (through 1995 here), but no manuals for NA - however in Europe you could get it with a 4cyl and manual. Heck, in Europe today, you can get the current E (hardtop) coupe and cabrio as a manual and diesel. A diesel convertible with a stick. Unimaginable here.

    The second SC is a ghastly thing.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,560
    I kind of like those Lincolns, but the Caddy C-pillar always irked me a little.

    SC300 was a Supra engine. Lexus is just now seeking the idea of an involving car again.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,897
    I never liked the C-pillar on the Eldorado, either. In contrast, the Seville sedan seemed just about perfect from every angle.

    As for the Mark VIII, I didn't like them when they first came out, but I've warmed up to them over the years.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,560
    I actually like the Seville more when it got updated (98 I think) - it aged pretty well.

    The Mark did too - futuristic in a way. The first American made car with HID lights, IIRC.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    A diesel convertible with a stick. Unimaginable here.

    The 2013 VW Beetle can be configured that way. Pretty intriguing combination, if you ask me.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,742
    I just heard on the radio that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. Gee, I wonder why corporations don't want to do as much business here, and want to keep their profits offshore?

    What effect would it have on our economy if we could entice them to come back, by having more competitive rates? Perhaps even companies like GM and Ford would be adding more manufacturing here than they have been, versus other areas like Mexico and South America.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,560
    edited May 2013
    Heard from who? Rates vs what is paid are different worlds ...Not even close, you know that. We also have more loopholes. Not to mention, those tax havens and others often leech off the back of the American private taxpayer in one way or another. We subsidize our own competition. Who buys the laws? The ones pretending they are being forced to flee. What a coincidence.

    I am all for an experimental corporate tax holiday of sorts, to see if it actually works. If it doesn't go as the free marketeers claim, it will be time to break out the guillotines. Let's see if they can put up, if not, it's time to shut up.

    Sadly, taxes are only a fraction of the story, labor issues and corporate accountability are larger.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,560
    edited May 2013
    I didn't think of that, I wonder if any exist. Special order only, I bet - you'd have to find the right nut to want it. Potential future special interest car.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited May 2013
    I just heard on the radio that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. Gee, I wonder why corporations don't want to do as much business here, and want to keep their profits offshore?

    That's true, and on the surface, it sounds excessive. Problem is, the true tax rate is the "effective" tax rate, after all the givebacks and deductions have been applied, much like you may see if you have deductions for mortgage interest, etc. Your effective tax rate ends up being far less than your published (marginal) tax rate.

    And, it makes a big difference.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-us-companies-paying-no-taxes-2013-03-26
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    The Mark did too - futuristic in a way. The first American made car with HID lights, IIRC.

    The Mark VIII had all the right pieces. 32v V8 power, RWD, independent rear suspension etc. Plenty of technology, but unfortunately it had to much Ford DNA. They didn't seem to hold up very well, and while the interior had a modern design (at the time) the materials weren't all that great. Overall the quality of the car wasn't all that good and the depreciation on those were horrendous. It would have been a good used buy.

    I still have a soft spot for the late 80's Lincoln MK VII LSC with the 5.0 Mustang engine. That car had some attitude.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    That's true, and on the surface, it sounds excessive. Problem is, the true tax rate is the "effective" tax rate, after all the givebacks and deductions have been applied, much like you may see if you have deductions for mortgage interest

    True, we have a situation were some companies pay a 30% effective rate and others pay 0. of course you have to earn a profit. And like personal taxes, corporations pay their share of payroll taxes and other employee related taxes etc regardless of Fed and state income taxes.
This discussion has been closed.