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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?

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  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    62, plekto, both you had some good posts guys. I'm glad to GM, doing better at becoming profitable as that is the most important factor. Plekto, your way of putting it is important as people who keep their cars for a longer time have to be willing to risk the cost of repairs. One $4K bill on a Camry Tranny eats up a lot of resale value, eh? ;) That doesn't factor in what you pay for the premium of driving america's car either. ;)

    Rocky
  • Nothing y'all can say will change mediapusher's mind about GM (and he does make good points about GM's past performance - he just refuses to see anything beyond Toyota and Honda). I don't know why people keep trying.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    It's worth noting, though, that transmission replacements are exceedingly rare. My experience with Japanese brands goes back over 30 years - I bought my 1st Honda in '74 & my 1st Toyota a year later - & I've never had a lick of transmission trouble. (Some of those cars were sticks, though.)

    Even the sole American car in the family fleet - a Taurus that we bought in '92 & kept for over 13 years - was never in the shop for transmission problems. (It drove me nuts by eating power window switches at $100 a pop & every time I turned around, it needed a new starter motor, but the tranny was fine.)

    In fact, I can't remember the last time that anyone I know had major transmission problems with any American or Japanese brand. Modern automatic trannies are pretty robust & are probably good for at least 150K miles unless abused. I'd go so far as to say that the average driver will probably never have to replace a transmission.

    So when you're shopping for a new car, does it really make sense to base your purchasing decision on what you think it will cost to replace the transmission?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    Toyota trans replacements

    There are many transmissions being replaced by Toyo as we speak. There are other discussions re the Camry and problems that have similar problems and stories. Albeit these are under warranty (when the consumer can effect enough interest and admission on the company's part) what happens when they hit the end of the warranty?

    I can go through the Honda discussions and fine trans problems popping up often replacing a defective design with a new copy and in the past Honda has extended warranty to 100K but most are suppsed to be great to 300K miles and more and what happens after those warranties and extended warranties are out?

    I think looking at major parts replacements cost of transmissions as a surrogate for other major repairs is a valid comparison.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Yes, I've seen the "flare" discussions on the Lexus ES 350 forum (my wife has an '07), but don't forget the amplifying effect of the Web: even if only 1 owner in a million has a problem with any given product, that person can dominate a discussion board & give the impression that this problem is widespread. Mediapusher is an excellent (albeit extreme) example of this.

    According to Consumer Reports (April '07), the reliability of Toyota & Honda automatic transmissions are, respectively, better than average & much better than average. The Cadillac CTS automatic transmission is rated much better than average as far as reliability is concerned. So if I ever find myself choosing among Cadillac, Lexus & Acura, transmission reliability won't be a significant deciding factor.

    This is a big country, & somewhere someone is swapping out a bad automatic transmission. I just don't think it happens often enough to influence my buying decision.

    But why am I discussing automatic trannies? My '01 BMW is a stick, & whatever I choose to replace it will also have a stick. I'm here because I dig the idea of a RWD Cadillac with a 300 hp V6 & a 6-speed stick.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    When the day does come, which would you rather pay? $2000 or $4000? The thing is that it's like, say, an O2 sensor or a muffler or whatnot - it's not a matter of if but when it will eventually need to be replaced. It's not the same as say, needing a replacement fuel tank or a new sunroof - which may or may not ever fail on you. It's a consumable item and will someday need to be replaced. So it does factor into the long-term cost of the car.

    And $4000 is just too much money. My friend got his automatic replaced in his ~10 year old Mercedes E-class for about that.(to give you an idea of how silly Toyota's pricing is)

    It's almost like the typical InkJet printer. Cheap to buy but the consumables is where they make all of the money back. And for me, it's just wrong.

    Honda's upping their warranty to match GM on the drivetrain is good, but Toyota is nowhere to be seen. Given the number of teething pains they have been having with their mega-speed models lately, I just wouldn't be comfortable buying one. (Manual, though - sign me up - a manual Toyota or Honda is as cheap as it gets, or just about)

    You'll note the the cheapest to operate long-term are the GM products. Boring, stodgy, softly sprung as they are(few exceptions of course) they are inexpensive to run in the long term. (doubly so if you buy 1-3 years used/certified for 2/3 the new cost)
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    note the the cheapest to operate long-term are the GM products. Boring, stodgy, softly sprung as they are(few exceptions of course) they are inexpensive to run in the long term. (doubly so if you buy 1-3 years used/certified for 2/3 the new cost)

    You will have a very hard time finding any GM vehicle made today that is more softly sprung than a Camry. All Buicks have a stiffer suspension than the Camry. But, the Lexus ES is (at least the ES300 was, not sure about the latest models) even softer than the Camry.

    LaCrosse base car was targeted at Camry ride/handling with a bit less roll. CXS was set a couple notches higher and the LuCerne higher yet.
  • lemonhaterlemonhater Posts: 110
    I think the problem is most consumers do not want to fix their cars at all and if it breaks down enough soon enough then it will give the manufacturer a bad name. They would rather pay more for a part that lasts a little bit longer than pay less for a part that fails a little bit sooner because the of the hassle of getting the car repaired.

    Now if I were a mechanic and could do a lot of the work myself, then it might not be a bad trade off. In addition most people don't keep their cars 10+ years or if the car is that old and needs a major repair they are very likely to just buy a new one.

    O2 sensors, mufflers, and transmissions should last for years and premature failure of these parts will peeve off a consumer.

    I think one of the problems with Cadillac is that it is so low priced that some people who can buy it can’t afford to maintain it. Not sure if it rubs off on GM or not. Also buying a used GM car does little to help GM at all. They don’t make any more profit on the sale and unless you buy OEM parts they will make no more money.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    They would rather pay more for a part that lasts a little bit longer than pay less for a part that fails a little bit sooner because the of the hassle of getting the car repaired.
    ****
    But the rub is that the GM part lasts about 80-90% as long and costs 2/3 to replace when it does break. It's a false sense of economy as many import owners are beginning to find out. Toyota and Honda currently are living on their past reputation of being inexpensive and reliable. And the thing is, the "inexpensive" part of the equation has evaporated in the last decade while we weren't paying attention.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    >but don't forget the amplifying effect of the Web: even if only 1 owner in a million has a problem with any given product, that person can dominate a discussion board & give the impression that this problem is widespread

    I have seen this logic before with regard to another car displaying more than nonexistent problems a couple years ago. There just weren't any problems with anything according to some. After a few months the reality that there were more than 0 problems had become obvious.

    Of course the problem amplification is reversed when it's been GM products where problems have been discussed in the past. A few posts on the web and the problem is pervasion as kudzoo. Selective reversal :sick: .
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Although we keep our cars for 8-10 years - sometimes longer - we don't run up high mileage. (The oldest car in the fleet does railroad station duty, in which role it clocks only a couple of hundred miles per month.) So we're out of our cars long before the transmissions head south. In my experience, HVAC failure is the most likely big-ticket repair item for an older car.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I have owned auto's since the 1980's and am not familiar with GM's so called solid reputation for building unreliable vehicles. Here in the midwest they are the longest running cars on the road. It is rare to see a 1980's Japanese vehicle. What does reliability really mean?
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    "You people can say what you want, but whose reputation is worse that whose? Is it Toyota or Honda that has a bad reputation or GM? Now answer that question with a straight face."

    Certain models in the past may have had a poor reputation but not all the models. This goes for Honda and Toyota as well who have had some quality issues with recent cars including: Civic, Camry, Corolla, and the Nissans Sentra engine that catches fire.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    In the mid 90s a local mechnical that did a car repair talk show referred repeatedly to Honda motors as the BIC lighters of the auto industry because they went bad so early and were next to unrepairable for durability. I recall how a remote Honda dealer had a salesman call in to challenge him. Strange with all the Honda deals that existed at the time that there weren't other defenders.

    The reality is that everyone's cars seem to have a modicum of problems and some have a few more. It's the selective memory of some owners of econoboxes from the 80s who bought the cars for commute type duty and expected little in options and comforts let alone an automatic transmission. Then when few things went bad they were declared superb--because there wasn't much to give trouble and they did give the desired great gase mileage compared to domestics of the time.

    But the reputation was formed and CR loved them because they got great gas mileage and that's what the green folks at CR wanted.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Just to clarify: your position & mine aren't far apart. My earlier post was a reply to mediapusher, who seems to think that GM products have a half-life that can be measured in weeks. My message to him was that GM & the major Japanese brands aren't far apart.

    Today, the real cost/reliability divide isn't between the American makes & the imports. It's between the Europeans & the non-Europeans.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    FWIW, my mechanic (an independent) often says that Honda automatics are good for 150K & Honda sticks for 200-225K.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    You're talking transmissions. The mechanic was talking engines. I assume your mechanic is overlooking the warranty-extended tranmissions at the end of 90s and early 00s.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Dunno, to be truthful. Although my Honda experience goes back over 30 years, I've never owned a Honda automatic. My latest Honda -- an '06 CR-V -- is a stick, as were its predecessors. So I didn't press him for details. I'll ask him the next time I see him.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The J-series automatics, that is. The other autos (and all manuals, of course) seem to hold up just fine.
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    After having the unfortunate opportunity to test drive a sloppily put together 2007 Chevrolet Impala, it does not seem like much has changed to me. And that's what they call craftsmanship? Puhleeez
    _______________________________
    Yes, but times are changing. You are living in the past. Soon there will be something announced that will rock your world

    I am wondering if you will be able to handle it
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    I'll stop complaining about GM when they have the good sense not to put cheap interior in a car like the Cadillac CTS. How embarrassing is that? What a bunch of dorks they are. (GM)

    Oh and how about the lovely Ken and Barbie quality plastic in most of the Saturn's I've seen? :\
    _____________________
    reference text:::::

    Nothing y'all can say will change mediapusher's mind about GM (and he does make good points about GM's past performance - he just refuses to see anything beyond Toyota and Honda). I don't know why people keep trying
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    Well it certainly is a good thing that we got competition from the Japanese in the mid 1970's, because if not, GM would still be making cars like they made them in 1972 wouldn't they??

    In Southern California ,GM only constitutes about 8% of the CAR market if that.
    _________________________
    The landscape is changing and many are caught in the past. The data is already there for the quality issues but a closed mind will have a hard time seeing it. But most of the people in this country are willing to look at the data and see the changes that have been going on for a few years. And once that mind frame is changed GM will keep increasing sales.
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    Of course they're not listening. They're the one's making their multi-million dollar per annum salaries whether they perform or not, and they think they know best. To hell with the public. That's why Toyota's is poised to surpass them in global sales soon.
    __________________________
    So, I think wooing the older generations may be rather futile. GM needs to concentrate on not leaving younger people with a bad taste in their mouth after trying a GM.

    Interesting! Makes sense, too. In the early 70s, Toyota grabbed the baby boomers, who were just reaching car-buying age at that time, & never let go.

    I wonder if anyone from Cadillac's marketing staff is reading this
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    After having the unfortunate opportunity to test drive a sloppily put together 2007 Chevrolet Impala, it does not seem like much has changed to me. And that's what they call craftsmanship? Puhleeez

    And the Accord, has a better one ? Puhleeez. Now the new Camry, has a better one I agree. You will only be able to gripe for a few more months as the 08' Malibu will be the same size as the current Impala, and blow your honyota's away in built quality just like the Aura, already does. By 09' the FWD Impala, will be gone. The question remains will the 09' RWD make it's debut. Well if you on the left coast have your ways it will not see production. :sick:

    Rocky
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    In Southern California ,GM only constitutes about 8% of the CAR market if that

    I would assume you have some kind of data to back up your wild claim?

    Toyota is FAR from taking over sales leadership in the USA. They sell a lot of little crappy cars in third world countries. A Corolla, Echo or Yaris should not count for the same amount as a Cadillac. Maybe 5 to one would be a fair number.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    A Corolla, Echo or Yaris should not count for the same amount as a Cadillac. Maybe 5 to one would be a fair number.

    And votes from people with higher education degrees should count more than those who don't.

    Got it.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    And votes from people with higher education degrees should count more than those who don't.

    Got it.


    Not if the higher education degree people have a IQ as low as some of the McDegree people I know. ;)

    Rocky
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    So next time before we vote, we should all take the IQ test first?

    WOW!!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    By your post and logic, McDonald's sells superior food to Ruth Chris Steakhouse. McDonald's sells a heck of a lot more meals than Ruth Chris.

    The last I checked Toyota had about $30 billion less in sales than GM, and about $20 billion less than Daimler Chrysler. So I think numbers of vehicles is a false indicator of who is the biggest automaker.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    GM could teach Toyota a lot on building crappy cars, here and abroad.

    Bringing up Cadillac doesn't make much sense, since Lexus easily outsells Cadillac. :confuse:

    At this point, Toyota has GM at the low-end and high-end. Without full-size pick-ups, Toyota would be in lock-step. :surprise:

    DrFill
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