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The Current State of the US Auto Market

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,349

    I'm not sure saying "...and of course you remember we didn't take the bailout" is precisely "trashing another brand". ;)

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,946
    edited January 26

    @andre1969, knowing how strong the dealer lobby is, I bet your right. Even with the bankruptcies, it was hard for GM and Chrysler to dump dealers.

    @suydam, when we were looking hard at the '99 Quest, the salesguy gave me the "comparo book" to flip through. It was intended to be a sales tool and listed all the pros and cons of the Quest vs the Odyssey, Sienna, Caravans, etc. The warts were plainly stated with suggestions on how to try to explain them away. The salesguy was very open and willing to share anything - guess he knew that the internet was happening even though '98 was still early days in lots of ways.

    The fact that the AG's office had hammered the dealership into a consent decree the week before for ripping people off probably had nothing to do with the guy's attitude. And the fact that he went to the Jeep dealer crosstown a week later probably didn't mean anything either. :D

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 882

    I found cross shopping the Accord and Altima this year both dealerships knew their competition very well and did have comparos to make. I didn't mind though, as I was mentally making my own. And both said that they are very similar and it depends on what you are looking for.

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,641

    Trashing or insulting the competition is, so say the pros, a sign of weakness to the client. He wonders why you fear the competition so much as to denigrate them. I think showing some crash test results or making copies of a comparison test from a magazine, would work okay.

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,698

    @MrShift@Edmunds said: Trashing or insulting the competition is, so say the pros, a sign of weakness to the client. He wonders why you fear the competition so much as to denigrate them. I think showing some crash test results or making copies of a comparison test from a magazine, would work okay.

    Totally agree, but when you assume this isn't happening, I think you are putting a higher degree of capability and professionalism on car salesmen en masse than is warranted, based upon some of the examples I've seen. :)

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,641

    Of course it happens. It just doesn't appear in programs that train a sales force. But hey, when a salesperson is hungry, and not making money, one is apt to try anything--especially when the sales manager is cranking up the pressure.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,627

    I've worked in sales in various industries and capacities for a long time. Trashing the competition is a huge turn off to me. I'd never work for a place that promoted it and I won't buy from a salesperson who does.

    IMO, if you have to bad mouth your competitors, it means you don't have much good to say about your own product.

    It's not a failure to admit that a competing product may have some advantages over your own product. That's where sales skills come into play.

    I shopped several dealers and brands before I bought my Ram. I didn't run into anyone who blatantly trashed their competitors, most of the sales people new their product well enough and simply stuck to where theirs stood out.

    As for the bailout thing. I've definitely talked to people who claim they won't buy a GM product due to the bail out, but I never heard a sales person bring it up. But it wouldn't shock me either. Particularly in rural/conservative areas.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    edited January 30

    @dieselone said: I shopped several dealers and brands before I bought my Ram. I didn't run into anyone who blatantly trashed their competitors, most of the sales people new their product well enough and simply stuck to where theirs stood out.

    The other Monday when I had my Ram at the dealer getting an oil change, I struck up a conversation with a salesman. I mentioned that I liked my truck for the most part, but that I thought its transmission was one of its weak points. I told him that I didn't like the way it sometimes had to "think about it" before shifting, and sometimes seemed like it didn't know which gear to go into. And I mentioned how sometimes the older 3-speed automatics seemed a lot more responsive.

    He had a cute little response to that. He said "Well, when you go into Baskin Robbin's with their 31 flavors, it's going to take you longer to pick the one you want, right?" To which I said "Not if I go in knowing I want mint chocolate chip!" He sort or stumbled after that. I also stumped him, inadvertently, when I asked him about the 3.2 that was in the Cherokee on their sales floor. I asked him if it was an all-new engine or based on the 3.6. He didn't know, but I didn't hold that against him. I told him I could look it up online. BTW, now that I think about it, that Cherokee was the reason why I went off on the transmission tangent. That sucker had a 9-speed. Seriously? They need NINE speeds these days? For a cute-ute?! I'm sure there has to be a diminishing point of return at some point.

  • Michaell@EdmundsMichaell@Edmunds ColoradoPosts: 1,143

    @andre1969 said: I also stumped him, inadvertently, when I asked him about the 3.2 that was in the Cherokee on their sales floor. I asked him if it was an all-new engine or based on the 3.6. He didn't know, but I didn't hold that against him. I told him I could look it up online.

    It is my understanding that the 3.2 is a cut-down version of the 3.6 Pentastar engine.

    michaell@edmunds.com

    Moderator, Prices Paid and Leasing Experiences

    2013 Hyundai Elantra GT / 2010 Mazda CX-7 GT / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702

    @andre1969 said: That sucker had a 9-speed. Seriously? They need NINE speeds these days?

    I can only imagine the cost to repair or replace that transmission when it fails.

    This message has been approved.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590

    Yeah, I looked it up when I got home. The 3.2 is a 3.6 with a smaller bore...3.6" versus 3.8". Same 3.3" stroke. And yeah, I have a feeling that as we get into more and more speeds, it's going to be much easier to "total out" a vehicle simply because of a transmission failure.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,627
    edited January 30

    I never drove a Ram with the 6 speed, but I will say the 8 speed in mine is by far the best auto trans I've owned or driven. It shifts quick, smooth, and rarely gets caught of guard. It almost seems like it can predict how I'm driving. It's nice to have an ideal gear ratio for most situations. The 6 speed in my wife's Taurus is slow to shift and clunky compared to the ZF 8 speed in the Ram. I'm almost at 10k miles and it has yet to misbehave in any way.

    As for repair/replacement costs, I'm not worried about it. The same comments were made about 6 speeds and I never had a repair issue with the 3, 6 speeds we've had in our fleet. The 6 speed in my Expedition went over 3x the mileage of the 4 speed in my Suburban, the Expe had 130k miles on it when I traded it in, the the 6 speed trans still worked as good as new.

    FWW, Alpar states the retail replacement price of the ZF 8 speed is around $4k.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590

    One reason I might have trouble with the 6-speed in my Ram is simply because I'm too used to driving those older 3-speeds in cars like my New Yorkers, Silverado, LeMans, and Catalina. Usually, where the Ram seems to annoy me is in passing situations where I don't need too much power. I'll give it a little gas to merge over into the next lane, but it won't accelerate, so then I give it more gas, and finally it decides to kick in, downshift more than I wanted it to, and suddenly it's taking off like a bat outta hell. With the older 3-speeds, give them a little gas and they'd start accelerating immediately, in top gear, and if I needed more speed and punched it, they'd downshift to second, and would do it more more quickly than the Ram seems to. Sure, the Ram is a lot faster than any of those old cars in absolute terms, but in some situations it just seems slower to react. FWIW, I have the same complaint with the 5-speed in my buddy's 2006 Xterra.

    I'd guess though, that if I used it for towing, hauling heavy loads, etc, I'd appreciate those additional gears a bit more! And, if I didn't drive those old cars on a regular basis and the Ram was pretty much all I drove, I'd probably adjust to it more.

    I'm curious now, to see how the 8-speed in the Ram would feel. And, I guess I am needlessly worried about repair costs, since they don't break down like they used to. I remember one big jump was when they started going from 3- to 4-speed automatics. I've had mechanics tell me that something like the old Torqueflite in my New Yorkers, or the THM350 in the LeMans or Silverado, would be around $650-700 to rebuild. The 4-speed 4L60E or whatever it was called, in my uncle's '97 Silverado, was $1860 to rebuild. I've also heard mechanics say that the 4-speeds automatics used in the likes of the old B-body Caprice, Ford Panthers, and so on, was around $1800. So roughly 3x the cost of the older 3-speeds. I think the transmission in my Intrepid would have been around $2500, and the one in the Park Ave would be around $1800 as well.

    I guess though, that all transmissions are not created equal though, and number of gears isn't always a predictor as to how expensive they would be to replace.

    Thinking back, I've only had to replace two transmissions on all the cars I've had. The first was a 1982 Olds Cutlass Supreme coupe, which was 11 years old but only had 61,000 miles on it. The second was a 1979 Chrysler Newport that was 18 years old at the time, and had about 230,000 on it. I don't know if it had been rebuilt before, though. Each one was around $650-675 which isn't much nowadays, but the Cutlass went out just before I graduated college, while the Newport's died as I was recovering from a bad divorce, so back then every penny counted! But, for the most part, it's not like transmission failures are everyday occurrences!

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,584

    Pretty sure no one rebuilds (in the shop) these newer high tech trannies anymore. They get core exchanged for a rebuilt unit.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,627
    edited January 31

    There is no denying the 8 speed shifts a lot. And generally for any decent acceleration, it has to downshift. I've gotten used to the shifting. It's very smooth. With the ratios being so close together, you don't notice the downshifting much. Also, you don't have to press on the gas much for a downshift, so that makes it far more seamless.

    I think gearing in these newer transmissions do much of the work which the torque converter did in 3 and 4 speed transmissions. With so many ratios, you don't need a torque converter with a lot of slip/stall. That also means the transmission won't heat up as much, since the TQ is locked a lot more and doesn't have much of a stall speed (an unlocked TQ generates lots of heat, which of course kills transmissions).

    My Ram has a digital read out for oil/trans temp etc. Even in 100 degree heat, towing 7k lbs, the trans temp never rose more than 10-15 degrees.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    edited January 31
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,698
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590

    Hurry Hurry Hurry, get 'em while they're hot!! We're gonna burn up the competition with our Fire-Sale prices!!

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,946

    Guess every forum needs one discussion where where you have to wear a flame suit.

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,698

    @Stever@Edmunds said: Guess every forum needs one discussion where where you have to wear a flame suit.

    This thread is going into spontaneous combustion.

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