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The Current State of the US Auto Market

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,234
    I was just recently looking at the Enclave and Traverse. The Buick is plusher, but the Chevy actually had a more supportive and longer seat to me. The Buick maybe rides a bit nicer and quieter, but I'm not seeing two grand difference, let alone more like 5. It seems to me that with the '13 redo GM may have gotten a bit greedy in pricing compared to Explorer, Durango and the Asians. Once the market cools down a bit, I'm expecting bigger GM rebates to offset this, but I suppose that could be awhile. The Traverse badly needed the update, it was kind of ugly outside and cheapo inside, but not any more. I don't think the less competitive earlier Traverse necessarily moved buyers up to Acadia and Enclave. I think it probably helped out the competition more.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    Here is some relevant info regarding why GM is not the leading automotive manufacturer. Like it or not, the bankruptcy loss to the taxpayers might be a success to some but Ford is #1 regarding return on investment.

    GM, who is years behind in consolidating its platforms, had 30 platforms in 2010 and plans to narrow that to 17 by 2018. This is definitely part of the reason that Ford's operating margins in North America were 11% in the first quarter, whereas GM only managed 6.2%. It's also part of the reason GM's net income in North America last quarter was $1.18 billion, trailing Ford's $1.6 billion.

    Ford (NYSE: F ) and its crosstown rival General Motors (NYSE: GM ) have been battling for a century to be the best-selling domestic automaker. It's hard to believe after so much time that the automakers are still really neck and neck here in the U.S. market. With the first half of the year in the record books, GM sold 1,420,346 units in the U.S. compared to Ford's 1,289,736. Ford is narrowing the gap and has increased its market share more than any other automaker from the same time period last year. Ford's 13.1% increase over last year's sales was also the second best of all automakers – only because Subaru had such a smaller unit of base sales to increase from. While Ford continues to narrow the sales gap there's more to the story here – Ford is killing GM on the bottom line.
    :)
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,651
    edited July 2013
    OTOH, GM has been rolling out new product. My guess is the main difference is with trucks. I'm sure GM has been spending a bunch to launch the new trucks in addition to big rebates on the '13 model.

    Ford is also developing a new F series, but by not letting the current F series get so out of date, they are still selling very well w/o heavy rebates.

    At least we can compare profits between Ford and GM instead of bragging about who lost less money;)
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,196
    Until they uglified the heck out of the Avalon, I'd say it was nicer than the Lexus ES.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,050
    I saw an Avalon the other day. Honestly, from the back and sides it's not that bad. It's just that front-end they really need to work on.

    I was just thinking...I should have kept my mouth shut about my uncle's Camry. That way I could have borrowed it and driven up one day to meet you and keystonecarfan for one of the car shows and you could be like what the hell has gotten into Andre! But, that wouldn't be until the Fall Carlisle show, since I'm driving the 5th Ave this weekend, and the LeMans out to the car show in Macungie in August.

    It's funny though, how once you're forced to look at something up close enough, what once seemed ugly, you get used to. And I've gotten that way with my uncle's Camry, although in its case, I think it's nice, light blue hue helps immensely, since it's one of those colors I'm kind of a sucker for. :blush:
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    Well to be fair the current Camry isn't really ugly, just really bland. It may or may not look better in a few years than the Sonata but it will still be dull, there is just noting to it that adds to the design ( somehow to me both the Passat and the new Accord both manage to not be flashy but still have detailing that makes them look classy and really classic, but the Camry misses out on that somehow)
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    It's funny though, how once you're forced to look at something up close enough, what once seemed ugly, you get used to.

    I haven't heard of anyone getting used to an Aztek.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,050
    somehow to me both the Passat and the new Accord both manage to not be flashy but still have detailing that makes them look classy and really classic, but the Camry misses out on that somehow

    Yeah, I can see that. In fact, I followed a Passat for a little bit, on the way into work this morning. It was a nice light blue, similar to my uncle's Camry. I thought to myself, that's a really nice looking car. From some angles it does make me think a bit of the '06-13 Impala, but I think the proportioning is a bit better.

    As for the Accord, I think it's definitely more handsome looking than the Camry, less so than the Passat. But to me, it just blends in too much. At a quick glance, I don't even notice it.

    And I agree, I think what messes up the Camry is the details. The overall shape isn't bad...a bit boxy and angular, but proportioned okay. But the front-end just seems too fussy and overdone, in sort of an alien/insectoid look, as I think Lemko once said. And the shape of the taillights seems to me like two different designs got stuck together, but someone saw it an approved it, so it ended up on the final product.

    In a weird sort of way, my uncle's Camry gives me a bit of a flashback. The car is a shade of blue that's pretty close to my Mom's old 1980 Malibu, which she gave to me when I got my license. We lived with my grandparents for about a year, and I lived with them in college. Now my uncle lives with Grandmom, and he parks it in the same spot where we always parked the Malibu. And that Camry is a angular like the Malibu was. So at a quick glance, when I go over there, sometimes I'll get an 80's flashback!
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,651
    edited July 2013
    I saw an Avalon the other day. Honestly, from the back and sides it's not that bad. It's just that front-end they really need to work on.

    Mayabe I'm half blind but I think the Avalon is a good looking car. Sure I'm not particularly fond of the front end, but I like the looks of the rest of the car.

    As for the Accord, I think it's definitely more handsome looking than the Camry, less so than the Passat. But to me, it just blends in too much. At a quick glance, I don't even notice it.

    I really like the new Accord particularly in Sport trim. To my eyes it looks like a more expensive car than say a Camry.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    I agree. Seems Honda got their MOJO back with the new Accord..... it was about time!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    "Most of the top passenger car manufacturers continue to reduce their warranty expenses, as calculated by the size of the expense per vehicle and as a percentage of their automotive revenue.

    The good news spreads across Europe, Asia, and North America, as we reckon that six of the top eight automotive OEMs saw decreasing warranty expenses in their most recently completed fiscal years.

    1) all of the European OEMs plus Ford and Toyota managed to successfully reduce their warranty expense rates in their most recent fiscal years, 2) Honda is back over $250 per vehicle for the first time in five years, though it still has the lowest vehicle warranty expense rate in the world, 3) Ford has the second-lowest vehicle warranty expense rate in the world, 4) Fiat once again has its warranty expenses under control, and 5) Toyota is now fifth out of eight, after holding second place from fiscal 2002 to 2006, but continues to recover from the massive recalls of 2009 and 2010."

    Warranty Week

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    At least I know now that my constant harping on Mercedes reliability is backed up with some solid stats. Benz owners don't like to hear this.

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  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    If Daimler learned anything from Chrysler, it was how to make an unreliable car! :D
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,955
    Could it be reliability, or parts and labor costs? I'm not seeing many of these vehicles on tow trucks or stranded alongside the road.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    Point is they are in the shop I think, a *lot* more than other cars. I bet it's mostly fussy electronics---a German weak point, IMO.

    I would fully expect if I bought a new Mercedes or VW that I'd be in for warranty work of some kind in short order. I don't mean "break-down" but some niggling thing or another.

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  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766
    Looks like GM's claims are higher even than Ford's.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    "Both Fiat and Ford are cutting their warranty costs to within range of longtime low-cost leader Honda. Ford had the second-lowest accrual rate per vehicle, and that GM and Fiat were almost in a tie for third."

    Sounds like all the Big 3 are doing pretty good with their claims.

    Wish we could see Nissan's accrual rates.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    Well it helps if you deny them a lot :P

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  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    edited July 2013
    I was thinking the same thing. Can't duplicate...famous words of a GM service advisor.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Well it helps if you deny them a lot

    That same thought crossed my mind, too...
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    Those words from GM were the foundation of the :lemon: Law!
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766
    ...and it looks like Honda leads the industry in low warranty claims.

    Pretty amazing since the transmissions keep blowing up all the time according to some posters. :P
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    And AC compressors. :)

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,948
    well, they don't replace those under warranty. so of course the claims are low.

    and there is a difference between "good will" and technically under warranty.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,955
    I don't know about that, as this data measures cost rather than frequency. When labor and parts cost twice as much, the results will show.

    No doubt Germans like complexity for the sake of complexity, and my car needed a couple of fettling visits, but on the forums I read, there aren't any real horror stories, or issues greater than mine.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766
    And AC compressors.

    Yes, forgot about those, too. :blush:
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766
    I don't know about that, as this data measures cost rather than frequency. When labor and parts cost twice as much, the results will show.

    As I recall the MB claims were well more than 2x the D3. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Perhaps related to that spate of poor quality earlier in the 00's?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I haven't heard of anyone getting used to an Aztek.

    The Aztek looks like Maria Sharapova compared to a Cube or a Juke, although few here will actually admit it.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I was thinking the same thing. Can't duplicate...famous words of a GM service advisor.

    Uh...oby...GM's warranty costs are apparently higher than Ford's. It would be Ford most-likely denying them. ;)

    And Ford has had lots o'problems with their new vehicles in the past couple years.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Just to clarify...I think the Aztek is ugly, too. Predictably though, it's used as the poster-child for ugly when contemporary Nissan vehicles are at least as bad, IMHO.
This discussion has been closed.