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Rank the Big 4 Ford, GM, Toyota, Chrysler. Best? Worst?

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    Ooooh, now those pics you posted, THOSE were drop-dead gorgeous! Thank you. :-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Ummmmm you would be wrong because last year toyota, recalled more vehicles than anyone and are out a head of everyone again this year. :P

    -Rocky
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Please remember this resurrected Taurus example of why "The Way Forward" might take some steps back to those bean-counter decisions...a failing proposition:

    If you follow such minutia (or read all 80 pages of our Detroit auto show coverage), you probably already know that the Ford Five Hundred is slated to get a Fusion-style, three-chrome-slat grille and a 260-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 for 2008.

    It also shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that the Five Hundred name has garnered precisely zero brand equity in its three years on the market. Blame it on the car’s inadequate power, its lack of competitive safety features, or its utterly forgettable styling.

    You might also know that the Taurus, which was once America’s best-selling car, is now out of production after years of neglect and sales that dropped in direct proportion to the number of times Ford cost-cutters said “Put off those Taurus updates for another year.”

    The obvious solution (even to people with a marketing degree, apparently) is to ditch the Five Hundred nameplate and revive the Taurus designation for Ford’s big sedan. Why didn’t we think of that? We’re not going to be too hard on ourselves, as Ford itself apparently got this bright idea after it had already introduced the vehicle as the 2008 Five Hundred at the Detroit auto show in January of 2007.

    The only problem with this name shuffling is that long-time Taurus buyers may be confused by the re-badged Five Hundred, as it’s a much bigger and more expensive car. But what do we know, Ford has confirmed that it won't de-content the Taurus and chop its $24k price to be competitive with the smaller Toyota Camry and Honda Accord which start around $20,000 for four-cylinder models.


    From C&D...Pretty Silly, don't you think?

    Regards,
    OW
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    that they really think that renaming it the Taurus will increase sales. This model is still fairly uninspiring even with the updates, and the last few years of the Taurus were totally rental-grade-uninspiring, so who will be inspired to go out and get a Five Hundred after the rename?

    This is the kind of bright idea that is causing Ford to slip further and further down my personal list with every passing month.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    you've probably read my opinion on the renaming of the 500 to Taurus on other boards. This should tell you how desperate Ford is to increase their car sales. They need to bring over some of those european models to the US very soon.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    The Brand/Division includes Jeep. They are good. Not a Tercel among 'em, but good none-the-less! :shades:
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I also have a preference for smaller manufacturers because they tend to be more focused, and more interested in getting to the top instead of sitting on their laurels. I agree with you, which is why I have preferred Ford in the past to GM generally (no pun intended there).

    I remember driving Chevys that would refuse to stay in a straight line above 55 MPH...just no excuse for that.
    As do I - and I agree - somewhere around the 70's, when I found out I had to slam a GM car door so hard it would practically tip over the car, I stopped liking them. Body by Fisher, I think they called it.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    circlew: The only problem with this name shuffling is that long-time Taurus buyers may be confused by the re-badged Five Hundred, as it’s a much bigger and more expensive car. But what do we know, Ford has confirmed that it won't de-content the Taurus and chop its $24k price to be competitive with the smaller Toyota Camry and Honda Accord which start around $20,000 for four-cylinder models.

    Ford has the Fusion to compete with the less expensive Accords and Camrys. Car & Driver should know this. It's a better-looking car than the Five Hundred/Taurus, and is earning decent reviews (and reliability ratings).
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    nvbanker: As do I - and I agree - somewhere around the 70's, when I found out I had to slam a GM car door so hard it would practically tip over the car, I stopped liking them. Body by Fisher, I think they called it.

    The automakers all had their "moments" in the 1960s and 1970s.

    This past Sunday I went to the local college library and looked up some old issues of Popular Mechanics to check out the "Owners' Reports" articles, which were probably the best measurement of quality (at least during the first year of ownership) through the 1980s.

    I checked what percentage of owners complained of sloppy workmanship, rattles and poor finish; how many owners reported experiencing mechanical problems; and how owners rated their vehicles (excellent, good, fair and poor).

    During the early 1960s, Chevrolets were generally the best built and least troublesome, followed by the Fords and then the Plymouths. By the late 1960s, however, the cheaper GM cars had slipped behind the cheaper Fords, with some exceptions (1968 Torino versus 1968 Chevelle). Except for the Valiant and Dart, Mopars were pretty bad across the board.

    AMCs were junk by the end of the 1960s. The high-line GM cars (Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac) were still pretty good.

    Bottom line, though, is that quality improved for everyone in the early 1960s, and then slipped in the late 1960s. At least, based on what owners said about their new vehicles.

    Some of the problems that owners reported on their new vehicles are pretty unbelievable by today's standards.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Excellent post, grbeck. Thanks for the feedback. I remember AMC junk because my brother had a Rambler and my uncle had 2 of those monsters.

    I think the level of quality has vastly changed since then but the perceptions persist against the big three because of the persistent lag time and market share loss which is a product of the bad decision making regarding Quality methodology.

    The Asians embraced it. We let it slide though our fingers!

    Regards
    OW
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Chrysler is up in sales for last month while Ford and GM are down. The people are speaking by buying.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    They are - however, much of it has to do with style, which Chrysler has tons of, as usual. Chrysler however, is on the block you know, because they are unprofitable....
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Imagine Chrysler style with Toyota reliability? That dream could have happened if it weren't for greed!

    Now it's time for re-engineering at the 5 Pointed Star! (or de-greeding, so to speak)

    Regards,
    OW
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    with Toyota reliability and VW interiors - unbeatable!! Will people pay the premium for such an automobile?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Take a look at BMW and Merc sales. I'm talking better quality ratings than these brands.

    Yes, yes, YES they will sell.

    Put another way, if the 300C, 2009 Camaro, FORD Mustang, Corvette, 2008-9 Challenger had bulletproof build quality, do you think they would sell?

    No brainer! Off the charts, IMO. The problem is it takes time to develop the brand.

    The reason this will NOT HAPPEN is US Auto keep killing the brands!

    Regards,
    OW
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    The 300C has an interior not worthy of a car costing 2/3 the price, let alone the $25K+ it commands in the real world.

    Ditto the Ford Mustang. Cheapness everywhere, a crappy shifter, I could go on. This is a little more acceptable in an $18K V-6 pony car (but I sure wouldn't put up with it in the $25K V-8 model), but isn't something to be proud of. The Mustang sells on its iconic reputation and inexpensive horsepower-per-dollar ratio.

    My point is, give all those cars you mentioned bulletproof reliability, and you're still only 2 for 3 IMO. (In fact, neither the 300C nor the Mustang have proven to be unreliable models, have they? Not that I have read)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    The point is that if they actually were built with exceptional materials and quality that is bulletproof not the crappy product you get today, then sales would be hard to stop.

    Not to worry. As I said, that will never happen anyway.

    Regards,
    OW
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    And I truly believe that Toyota or Honda are not as durable or as reliable as some people like to think (or not think).
    At least not as much as they were.
    That is why I'm always shopping around and also why I'm not brand loyal.
    My humble opinion.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    I predicted that so am not surpised. On their way striving to be #1. Toyota can easily weather that storm though, because of their reputation. It will be interesting to see if the #1 spot becomes a curse.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Let's hope the top spot soon is American again.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Soon is relative. The auto industry is over 100 years old and that is a nanosecond in universe time. I'll bet it takes a good part of the next nanosecond for an pure-bred American Auto Company to gain that spot again, if ever. :(

    Regards,
    OW
  • oldguy70oldguy70 Posts: 97
    As much as I lament the situation for the former Big 3, Toyota is now in no.1 spot and will very likely remain there.
    Toyota is just too far out ahead of the US automakers just now in all categories especially quality and reputation for reliability.
    That's not to say that GM might catch up someday, but for now they're going to have to be satisfied playing second fiddle.
    Also too, it's GM's fault in the long run; too big, too arrogant, for too long.
    As for Ford and Chrysler? I think they're on the way out. It's just a matter of when now.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    I agree with your entire post! Well said!

    Regards,
    OW
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Chrysler's survival is very iffy...but as to whether Ford or GM is more likely to survive:

    GM has been making progress, but its largest vehicles (full-size pickups and SUVs), the Corvette and Cadillacs are still its best offerings. That has been the GM story since the 1960s.

    GM's smaller passenger cars are either mediocre or underwhelming (except for the Aura, and even it still hasn't bested the class leader). And I'm seeing too much emphasis on vehicles like 700-horsepower Corvettes, when what GM really needs is a Cobalt that makes money and bests the Civic and Mazda3.

    Which tells me that GM hasn't undergone a fundamental culture change, which it really needs to do if it is to survive, especially if gas prices continue to rise.

    Mullaly is taking on Ford's entrenched corporate culture, and attacking the root of its problems. And Ford has learned a great deal from Mazda and Volvo, and incorporated that knowledge into its vehicles. Imagine how awful Ford's lineup would be without the Mazda-based vehicles!

    The key question is whether he will have enough time to do so, or whether changes in the market will simply overwhelm his efforts.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    "Imagine how awful Ford's lineup would be without the Mazda-based vehicles!"

    Umm....Ford has non-Mazda based vehicles? Oh wait, yeah, they do. Everything with a frame is pure-Ford. If it's not body-on-frame, it's Mazda-based :D
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    If the American automotive industry fades to grey, and becomes a relative extension of foreign interests, we could readily "live to regret it."
    In all honesty, I do not perceive the off shore branded vehicles as really being superior to the domestic brands-- not in the larger picture. But our car culture has gone dangerously far off that shore, so to speak, and we need to drag it back and preserve the industrial base of this nation. Who's tending the store? And by the way, I for one hope that Daimler liberates Chrysler. If our good friends and neighbors, the Canadians buy Chrysler's option, it would be a great boon to North America. That is only slightly less good than if the USA grabs it back, wouldn't you agree?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    I already regret the fate of the US Auto industry because after hoping beyond hope that they would find a way to offer superior product, I see only failure.

    IOW, I went with my heart in 2006 and purchased a superior product.

    It would be great if some rich US engineers who love cars bought Chrysler and ran it regardless of what bean counters say is good for the company, and instead make great cars! How much money would they loose if the product blew away anything on the road? It should be a challenge rather than saving $2/unit for 200,000 pieces of crap! Tear after year of that led to the current fate. Let's try something completely different and see what happens.

    Regards,
    OW
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    And while the offshore axis specializes in copying and reverse engineering, the domestics find such an approach anathema. Maybe the best hope is that Chrysler just melts into a current builder's holdings, but who could that be? All the domestics are in trouble. By the way, in mid April I bought a new 2007 Jeep GC.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Chrysler Group to Be Sold to Cerberus
    Monday May 14, 7:05 am ET
    By Matt Moore and Tom Krisher, AP Business Writers
    DaimlerChrysler to Sell Controlling Stake of Chrysler Group to Cerberus Capital Management LP

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- DaimlerChrysler AG will sell 80.1 percent of its money-losing Chrysler Group to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP for $7.4 billion, the company announced Monday, undoing a 1998 merger aimed at creating a global auto giant.
  • smittynycsmittynyc Posts: 291
    Daimler's only getting $1.35 billion in cash out of the deal. After putting in $36 billion ten years ago.

    That's just incredible. I mean, I understand why they had to do it, but man.
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