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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    The new Fusion has a cramped footwell. I wasn't comfy in it. A shame because the hybrid model is a great value.

    My wife also had to duck to get in the back seat, but MANY big sedans have this issue nowadays.


    For whatever reason, Ford has gotten into style over function. The Taurus is a prime example. It takes up nearly as much garage space as my Expedition, yet it feels cramped. It's awkward to get in and out of and it's just not very roomy considering how big the car is.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm the opposite, I love recent Fords. Fusion is the best looking sedan, Focus takes the C segment, and heck, Fiesta in the B segment.

    I liked the C-Max, too, but I took the family to the auto show and all 3 of them said "No" the back seat is so poor. I couldn't disagree. But it's a shame because the front is comfy, it looks good, it's efficient and a good value, too.

    And Ford sells a Panoramic moonroof as a stand-alone $1150 option. Brilliant. I wish others would follow suit!

    None of us liked the Dart. 200 is seven hundred years old and needs a refresh. Fiat 500 was too small. I didn't see a canvas roof on the 500L, but an Italian car made in Mexico? How soon before parts just start falling off by themselves?

    GM doesn't have a panoramic moonroof option in my price range.

    I'm not buying anything until I find exactly what I want.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    I can barely tell a Fusion from a Focus, except for size it seems.

    I can say the same with the Cruze and Malibu. Exterior styling of the Malibu is boring and generic to me.

    The Impala has the potential to be a very nice car. My main beef with it is the base engine. My wife will be getting a new company car in a year or two. She can only get base cars, meaning a base engine. We'll see what happens, GM hasn't been on the list of cars her employer buys in several years.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited February 2013
    Has a magazine even tested the Dart? I'm not aware of any, but then I haven't looked very hard at all. I can't think of a new car that's gotten less attention, for any reason, lately.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I haven't bought a car, ever, without a side molding. I like that the Malibu has the option of one...although I have a problem with the back seat myself. Does the Fusion, do you know?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Exterior styling of the Malibu is boring and generic to me.

    We can agree to disagree, but I think the rear of the Malibu is distinctive (and nothing remotely like the Cruze).
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    We can agree to disagree, but I think the rear of the Malibu is distinctive (and nothing remotely like the Cruze).

    Absolutely.

    Honestly, I can tell a Fusion from a Focus faster than a Malibu from a Cruze. But I still don't see many Fusions running around yet or new Malibus for that matter.

    Ironically, I find the front of the fusion to be quite a bit different than that of the Focus, but the rear of the Fusion and Focus appear similar. With the Cruze, I think from the front they are very similar. But in general every manufacture maintains a certain type of look through the lineup.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dart didn't do anything for me. Free Dart! No thanks (can I sell it and keep the money?)

    That's a rare case of it looks worse in person.

    I wonder if the original Italian hatchback it's based on is any better?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There's nothing wrong with a family resemblance.

    Malibu should look like the Cruze's big brother, so when that owner has their 2nd child they move up.

    When they have their 3rd a Traverse should also look fairly familiar.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,596
    I've been there. But, I was sick that day, and didn't stick around as long as I should. I need to go back, it's less than an hour from me.

    Cool thing about the place is that a lot of the cars are unrestored or driver quality, not trailer queens.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,596
    edited February 2013
    Different workforce attitudes. In Germany, there's not nearly the friction between management and actual workers that is seen in the US. Not nearly the same socio-economic gap either, which I believe plays into it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,912
    I wonder if the original Italian hatchback it's based on is any better?

    not bad from the side, but kinda vulgar and sexually suggestive in front.

    My biggest issue with the Dart is that it looks like two different cars joined at the B-pillar. The front half looks like it could be a decent midsized car. Legroom's good, and I think it has something like 58.4" of shoulder room. That's actually more than most midsized cars today and probably on par with what passes for "full size" these days. My old Intrepid was something like 59.1", and I think my Park Ave is similar.

    But then, the rear-end looks like they just stuck something on, like a previous-gen Elantra, but at least gave it cool taillights.

    I don't hate the Dart, but not in love with it, either. But to be fair, that's pretty much my sentiment on most compacts.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'll take the Alfa from any angle. Prefer hatches anyway.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,912
    I'll take the Alfa from any angle. Prefer hatches anyway.

    Yeah, but I dunno how easily the Dart would translate to a hatchback. Not only did they lengthen the Alfa to make the Dart, but they widened it as well. So, while the Dart doesn't look so hot as a sedan, it might not look so graceful as a hatch, either.

    Maybe they should've just gone all the way, and made it a bit bigger aft of the B-pillar as well, and used it as a replacement for the midsized cars?

    Oh, I've heard they're thinking about badge-engineering it into a Chrysler 100 or something like that. Please, Lord, let that just be an early April Fool's joke! :cry:
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited February 2013
    Different workforce attitudes. In Germany, there's not nearly the friction between management and actual workers that is seen in the US. Not nearly the same socio-economic gap either, which I believe plays into it.

    Agree completely.

    Union leadership usually has some influence on the company's BOD and in decision making.

    Adding to the mix is that the government "imposes" many more benefits on the population, such as guaranteed vacation time, healthcare, etc., so there isn't as much for the unions/management to argue over in negotiations.

    While there are still union strikes in several sectors, strikes usually don't take too long to resolve, and they usually aren't as "poisonous" as they seem to be here.

    One other positive is that, in a large way, Germans are willing to pay more for perceived quality, and a large part of at perception is the product being made in Germany (or Western Europe).
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,209
    Rinse and repeat with a Mexican VW. Or Spanish. Or Swedish. All places where VW has factories and deals with local governments and unions.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,596
    edited February 2013
    Here's the difference I see:

    USA: management to union: do as I say, not as I do

    Elsewhere: management to union: let's work together to get this going quickly and efficiently, and think about the future

    It might not all be so easy and glib, but pretty much, that's how the relationships work.
  • I find the front of the fusion to be quite a bit different than that of the Focus, but the rear of the Fusion and Focus appear similar. With the Cruze, I think from the front they are very similar. But in general every manufacture maintains a certain type of look through the interesting facts about that. :shades:
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,209
    edited February 2013
    Hasn't there been union membership on the"supervisory" board of directors for VW forever? Wiki is a bit vague on this point, but says VW "Volkswagen continues to have complicated relations with both unions and shareholders."

    "German corporation law, the Aktiengesetz, requires all public companies (Aktiengesellschaften) to have two boards: a management board called a Vorstand and a supervisory board called an Aufsichtsrat.

    "In Germany the supervisory board of large corporations is composed of 20 members, 10 of which are elected by the shareholders, the other 10 being employee representatives. The supervisory board oversees and appoints the members of the management board and must approve major business decisions." (link)

    You might say it's union to management, especially so since Saxony owns ~20% of VW and likely votes with the unions. :shades:

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  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,744
    Here's the difference I see:

    USA: management to union: do as I say, not as I do

    Elsewhere: management to union: let's work together to get this going quickly and efficiently, and think about the future


    Pretty accurate, except that it's VERY two-sided. Perhaps even more so on the union side. The union says to management: "We won't put up with you guys. We will stand fast and TELL you what we are willing to do. And if you don't like it, we'll strike".
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,596
    Yes, the unions have a say in the direction of the company - and guess what, the company doesn't automatically fail. Funny how that works. Managers and should-be-hanged execs can't be completely out of control as they are here, and at the same time, actual workers are less willing to get out of control as well. Of course, the factors you mentioned earlier (mandated holidays, healthcare, etc) help a lot.

    I don't have a huge problem with a government having a stake in entities that contribute to the well being and future of a given system. They rely a lot more on cooperation than the pseudo capitalist (in reality statist oligarchy) we cling to here.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,596
    edited February 2013
    And with how it works here, the union is replying to the managers/should-be-hanged execs saying "you need to take less and less over time so we can unjustifiably inflate our salaries, my trophy wife and devilspawn kids need a new Range Rover and a bigger mcmansion. If you don't take it, we will turn our backs on the system that enabled us to exist, refuse to maintain it for those who come later (I got mine, you can pound sand) and move labor to second world locations".
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,209
    edited February 2013
    Has a magazine even tested the Dart?

    Edmunds has a long term road test going (as of Jan. 17, '13).

    2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test (that's the latest update)

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    And, doesn't the government have quite a bit of direct conrol in VW?

    From Wiki...

    Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft is a public company and has a primary listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, where it is a constituent of the DAX index, and secondary listings on the London Stock Exchange, Luxembourg Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and SIX Swiss Exchange. As of September 2012 20% of the voting rights are held by the State of Lower Saxony.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,209
    Yeah, we touched on that. So, government involvement and union representation on the board. Are we talking VW or GM? :shades:

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good point. I bet GM and VW (may as well toss in Toyota) are more similar than we'd like to think.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I'm guessing government "participation" was far more accepted in VW's case by the company.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,912
    Okay, so I bought some wood trim from Home Depot, decided it wasn't really what I was looking for, so today, I decided to take it back and get something else. Just looked on the label of the stuff I was returning. Made in Chile. Mmkay. Why are we importing wood strips?! Is it really THAT cost effective to grow the stuff in South America, and then transport it up here?!

    Oddly, the replacement stuff I bought, was made in the US. Or, Hecho en EE UU, as the label also said. It was vinyl/composite strips. Oh, and the cheap toilet flap I bought was also made in the US. That actually shocked me, as I could see them making some cheap rubber part overseas and then shipping it here. Same with the composite trim parts.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,209
    edited February 2013
    I'm guessing government "participation" was far more accepted in VW's case by the company.

    It's very likely ingrained in the national consciousness, since VW didn't get off the ground until Hitler built a state owned factory.

    Andre, Home Depot can't afford to sell US grown timber because they lose so much money taking stuff back from everyone. :D Tis a bit odd; I see loads of logs going by my place every day.

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  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,769
    Okay, so I bought some wood trim from Home Depot, decided it wasn't really what I was looking for, so today, I decided to take it back and get something else. Just looked on the label of the stuff I was returning. Made in Chile. Mmkay. Why are we importing wood strips?! Is it really THAT cost effective to grow the stuff in South America, and then transport it up here?!

    Yes it is. Chile is one of the largest exporters of softwood milled molding and trim, plywood sheathing and raw logs. A combination of low costs, skilled labor and cheap transportation makes it effective to import those products.

    BTW, I was as Home Depot recently and saw bagged firewood - what I call romance packs. It was advertised as European Birch. When I looked at the label closer, it was from Estonia. I was surprised that it was cost effective to buy precut and packaged firewood from Europe.
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