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Minivans - Domestic or Foreign

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Comments

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    "My priorities are saftey, comfort, reliability and performance"

    I think that's what most minivan owners priorities are.
    But, you've been dancing around the question of do you want the safest family vehilce on the market?(that isn't a Mack truck or an Abrams tank).There ARE safer family vehicles on the market that meet your criteria.
    Because if do not have the absolute safest family vehilce on the market...aren't you putting your family at unnessesary risk...or more risk? Ya see where we're trying to go with this art? Can you empathize at all?? :cry:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I think this is going a little bit too far...If someone wants the safest vehicle, but wants a minivan at bare minimum, logic would say he will buy what he finds to be the safest minivan. Art bought the Odyssey because it has superior safety qualities. It's not hard to figure out.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    Thank you, I could not have said it better myself.

    There is no absolutely, 100% fool proof, without defects van on the road. Even if I had a Mack truck I could get hit by a bigger KW. My Odyssey, with all its modern safety advances, is still prone to severe damage if it is hit at the wrong angle or too high a speed.

    In its class of minivans I chose Odyssey for its outstanding standard safety features. Even the vaunted Sienna still has VSC as an option whereas it is not even offered on the DCX vans.

    Some of you like DVD RES in your van, I do not. Some of you prefer a NAV system, I do not. You like chocolate I like rum raisin. This goes on and on.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    If the man had answered the question in the first place,instead of answering it like a politician, we wouldn't be here. "Logic" would say if saftey is the most important priority(as art clearly posted that it was)then why not buy the safest family vehilce on the market? If art can say he cares more about his familys saftey than someone who doesn't choose VSC and side curtain airbags...then someone who has a safer family vehilce can say the same thing about him.

    A smarter way to have phrased it would be "I bought the Honda Odyssey because it is one of the safest minivans on the market" or "I chose the Ody because I believe it to be safer than the DGC". NOT, " I chose the Ody because if I chose something else it would be like murdering my family if we were to get into an accident"

    I do apologise to our host, and fellow members, for hopelessly pursuing a straight answer...which I now realize would not happen in a million years.
    So, agree...let's move on. ;)
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Agree...good nonflaming post. Why couldn't you have said that in the first place? Though chocolate is much better than rum rasin. :P
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    To continue the off-topic theme....

    "Foreign auto makers get big tax and land buying discounts from states when they build a plant here."

    And domestic auto makers don't? Do you honestly think the states discriminate against the domestics by offering tax breaks ONLY to the imports?

    "That plant is also more automated than older American plants, which means they need less workers."

    So, in other words, we're supposed to SUPPORT obsolecense?

    "Then they are able to hire younger workers and that helps them get cheaper medical insurance rates."

    Why don't the domestics hire younger workers? Why should this labor pool be open only to the imports?

    "They are also not saddled with the pension plans American companies have, or the higher wages American companies have, because their workers are younger and have not worked their way up the seniority ladder yet."

    Hmmmm, sounds like you're trying real hard to NOT mention the fact that the domestics were/are saddled with Union labor and contracts which bled the domestics dry. And yes, they are not saddled with UAW contracts. You're right; that's a huge advantage for the imports.

    "That gives them a huge advantage on profits and research and development costs over American companies."

    Yes. So, should you and I SUPPORT a system which doesn't added intrinsic value to the vehicle (UAW contracts sucking the lifeblood out of the domestics) or support a system whereby some of the profit goes into making future products better?

    "As I stated before, much of that profit will work it's way back to Japan, Germany, N.Korea and etc. and not help build more jobs here."

    As the domestic content of the 'imports' increases (that's American produced parts by American companies), those American companies grow. And add jobs. Toyota alone utilizes in excess of 600 different American suppliers for parts in Toyota vehicles. In addition, the R&D and design costs for many of these 'imports' are incurred here in the U.S. since these costs are for cars designed SPECIFICALY FOR the U.S. market. Where do you think all the R&D and design costs were spent for the development of the U.S. market Odyssey?

    Also, where do you think the 'import' brands get the money for all their new plants and plant expansions? That would be profit which is spent HERE. You want proof?

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=109241

    In short, Toyota posted a 3rd quarter net profit (that's worldwide net profit) of $3.3B with an operating profit of $1.1B for North American operations.

    I'll repeat: operating profit of $1.1B for N.A.

    At the same time, Toyota is on track to invest $11.8B in plants and equipment for their fiscal year ending 3/31. That's an increase of 29% from the $9.1B they invested last year. Sounds to me like they are spending their profit here in the U.S.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    that's exactly what I've been driving at.

    jipster, I enjoy your posts. Not because you drive the same vehicles that I drive, but because you are a logical thinker and a reasonable person and you do not over-aggressively trumpet the virtues of your own vehicles while badmouthing the competition.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Thanks bluedevils. I must agree with your post ... you make some very fine points. ;)

    Claires(host)...now...about that raise I've been talking about. ;)
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Claires(host)...now...about that raise I've been talking about."

    I'm sure that Edmunds could see fit to pay you 25% more than they're paying you now..... :P
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Is there a clearly defined "safest" vehicle out there? Some might say an Excursion....biggest and heaviest, but more likely to roll over than a Camry...etc...

    My opinion is that there is no SAFEST car, as you want art to point out.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    "I'm sure that Edmunds could see fit to pay you 25% more than they're paying you now..."(minus the emotorcon giving me the rasberry)

    Ummm...yes. Zero times 25% is zero...thats why I REALLY need Claires to give me that raise. :sick:
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    Sorry gratuate...but you wanted to move on from this topic and I agreed. So, lets move on. :shades:
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Well gee, based on that info, they could probably give you a 30% raise..... :)
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I'll try answering this and let it be the last post on the subject.

    And domestic auto makers don't? Do you honestly think the states discriminate against the domestics by offering tax breaks ONLY to the imports?


    No, states would give domestics the same tax breaks. But do you think the American companies have the money to build a lot of new plants when they are closing so many down?

    Why don't the domestics hire younger workers? Why should this labor pool be open only to the imports?


    What are they to do with the workers they have, fire them all? Of course if they were able to build new plants the labor would be much younger.

    Hmmmm, sounds like you're trying real hard to NOT mention the fact that the domestics were/are saddled with Union labor and contracts which bled the domestics dry. And yes, they are not saddled with UAW contracts. You're right; that's a huge advantage for the imports.

    Your right, I am glad you can see one of the problems

    Yes. So, should you and I SUPPORT a system which doesn't added intrinsic value to the vehicle (UAW contracts sucking the lifeblood out of the domestics) or support a system whereby some of the profit goes into making future products better?


    I think if we better supported the domestics, they would be able to add these things and make a better product.

    As the domestic content of the 'imports' increases (that's American produced parts by American companies), those American companies grow. And add jobs. Toyota alone utilizes in excess of 600 different American suppliers for parts in Toyota vehicles. In addition, the R&D and design costs for many of these 'imports' are incurred here in the U.S. since these costs are for cars designed SPECIFICALY FOR the U.S. market. Where do you think all the R&D and design costs were spent for the development of the U.S. market Odyssey?

    I think I showed in a few models that right now, American companies have quite a bit more in domestic parts than imports. Yes, imports can buy more domestic parts here, but they also have an unwritten responsibility to keep jobs in their home countries and I don't think your going to see them buy as many parts here as domestics do.

    Wouldn't it be even nicer if domestic had enough profit to spend on more R/D and be able to come out with better vehicles? I mean we are Americans, wouldn't most want to support American companies if they could?

    While you seem to have figures of how much Toyota spends here on R/D and how many factories they are buying parts from, I noticed you have no figures on how much they send back to Japan to help the Japanese economy.

    Also, where do you think the 'import' brands get the money for all their new plants and plant expansions? That would be profit which is spent HERE. You want proof?


    I agree, but I ask again, how much is not spent here and sent back to their country that helps no one here. Americans could spend the same amount as imports on expansion and new plants if the playing field was level and have billions left to help the American economy.

    In short, Toyota posted a 3rd quarter net profit (that's worldwide net profit) of $3.3B with an operating profit of $1.1B for North American operations.


    They should be able to. They have newer automated plants which require less workers. Some don't have to pay union wages, they have younger workers which makes payroll smaller, insurance cheaper, no pension plans to pay out on or medical to pay for retired workers. Now how much cheaper do you think they can build a vehicle for, compared to domestics? With all that extra profit and being able to make cheaper cars, are you paying less for it when you buy it? No, your paying thousands more. So they are not passing any savings back to the consumer and sending billions back to their country to make more jobs there.

    I'm finished with this subject.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 979
    let's get back the real issues in minivan shopping (you know... debating whether minivans should be equated with luxury autos and extolling the virtues of various seating options).

    If you want to talk about American vs. Foreign, take it here, please:

    Buying American Cars: What Does It Mean?

    MODERATOR
    Need help getting around? claires@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 979
    I tripled your salary just last week.

    MODERATOR
    Need help getting around? claires@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • "Is there a clearly defined "safest" vehicle out there? Some might say an Excursion....biggest and heaviest, but more likely to roll over than a Camry...etc... "

    For 2004-2006 MY vehicles, there is a website that uses published data to combine factors like the NHTSA crash tests, IIHS crash tests, weight and rollover risk into a single factor comparable across all vehicle classes and weights. Unlike other attempts to produce such a rating by various publications, this one references all its sources and the formulas are made public.

    Of course, it doesn't include some crash avoidance features like emergency handling and braking. Those are very important, too, but much more subjective. It's also hard to say what mix of crash avoidance features with crash protection features is the right one, of course.

    http://www.informedforlife.org

    You may not agree with the published studies they used to weight the individual factors, but at least it isn't biased by subjective measurements or interpretations. Granted, vehicles that do not have results for a particular test are given an "average" rating as a placeholder. This may be better or worse than they will actually perform, but the site includes a nice calculator that lets you enter your own data to see the results if you speculate on the blanks, if you wish.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I tripled your salary just last week."

    HEY! Waitaminute!

    You only doubled mine! :(
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Interesting link.

    It appears that for both the '05 and '06 models, the Nissan Quest w/ side airbags had the highest ratings amoung minivans with the Honda Odyssey close behind. In fact, for '06, the overall rankings for all vehicles had the Acura RL 1st, the Nissan Quest 2nd, the Volvo S80 in 3rd, and the Honda Odyssey in 4th.

    The Toyota Sienna w/ airbags/ESC ranked 18th.

    The highest ranking DCX van was the Chysler T&C SWB w/ airbags......ranked 96th. :sick:
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    "The imports build plants hire people and spend their money here in the US."

    That's a commonly used argument. I say "so what?" Is Toyota gonna spend all the $1.1 B profit (at the expense of the domestics) on US soil? For every US supplier Toyota grabs, how many GM suppliers do you think were forced to shut down. The imports are gradually REPLACING the American automakers, which results in a NET loss of jobs. Imagine a world where there's no more GM, Ford or DCX and all the US auto workers work in Japanese-built plants here in the States. Do you want to see that happen? It's coming. Is that a good thing for this country? If the 3rd world war broke out and we ended up fighting Japan again, who is gonna build the Abram tanks that Art was thinking about purchasing ;) ?

    Not trying to make excuses for the domestics, but making it sound like there's no difference in buying domestics or imports defies logic.
  • "The highest ranking DCX van was the Chysler T&C SWB w/ airbags......ranked 96th"

    Overall ranking is not so important as the risk rating. Even at 96th overall, the risk factor was still better than average. As a class, minivans do quite well. Granted, this is somewhat theoretical, but many of the studies used do correlate these factors to real world fatality statistics.

    Pure fatality statistics are not as useful because they have a large element of driver profile in them. Keeping that in mind, here's another take:

    http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/RNotes/2006/809979.pdf
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Imagine a world where there's no more GM, Ford or DCX and all the US auto workers work in Japanese-built plants here in the States."

    Still off topic but....

    All of these companies are global companies. All of these companies compete on a global basis. The failure of GM, or Ford, or DCX will NOT occur simply because they lose market share solely in America. Should these GLOBAL companies fail it will be because they couldn't compete on the GLOBAL market.

    Ford/GM also compete against Toyota/Honda in Europe. In Europe, they are ALL 'import' brands. So ask yourself: how does Ford/GM compete against Toyota/Honda in Europe? How SHOULD they compete? They can't appeal to someone's sense of 'patriotism' - they must actually compete with their product. Do you think they CAN'T compete?

    Why can't they do that in the U.S.?

    Example - the European Ford Focus matches up EXTREMELY well with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. In the U.S., one of the biggest areas where the 'imports' hammer the 'domestics' is in the small car class. So why doesn't Ford sell the current version of the Focus in America? Why do they STILL sell the previous generation here rather than the edition which is competitive (and in many ways superior to) the 'imports'?

    My last comment on this issue in this thread (I promise ClaireS!):

    The domestics should compete with the imports PURELY on the strengths of their product. Period. To say that one should buy domestic due to some sense of 'patriotism' is akin (IMO) to saying that Americans CAN'T compete purely on the strength of our product and that we MUST appeal to 'patriotism'. It's like admitting, "well, we can make a car that's NEARLY as good as the imports, but you should buy ours instead because it's good for the country".

    No.

    We CAN compete; we CAN build a better product; and I refuse to let the domestics continue to skate along offering mediocre product that is NEARLY as good but which we should support anyway for the 'good of the country'.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    For the second year in a row the 2006 Honda Odyssey is Motorweek's pick for minivan of the year.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    And one of Car And Driver's 5 Best Trucks.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    For the second year in a row the 2006 Mazda MPV is Jipster's pick for minivan of the year. :surprise:

    With that raise I just got from Claires(host)...I'd say my pick carries more weight/prestige than Motorweek's. :P
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    The Kia dealer I pass daily (where we bought our Sportage) has about 20 of the new vans. The Enterprise Car Rental place across from the delear has a Sedona in the fleet.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    My argument was on the consequencies of buying domestic vs import. How and whether the domestics can compete with the imports is irrelevant to my point. Again not trying to excuse GM/Ford, just trying to point out that it's not a good thing for the US to see them perish.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Jipsters 2006 pick for Best Minivan of the year is also the "Best Minivan Posting" of the year.
  • I'm looking for a used minivan that I can put 3 car seats in the second row does anyone have any ideas. I know the newer sienna and odyssey have that third seat in the middle row option but it's out of our price range. We have about 15k. Please let me know if you have any ideas, we need at least a 7 passenger. Thanks!
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