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The Current State of the US Auto Market



  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    "Hard to imagine that they're actually selling any trucks at all."

    I just bought a 2014 Ram 1500 Laramie. Yeah I could have gotten a better deal on a Ford, but I liked the Ram enough to pay more for it.

    The F150 is a great truck, but I don't want to buy new the year before a new model regardless of how much money they throw on the hood.

    Plus I don't buy new vehicles often, so I figured I'd buy what I wanted, not what I could get the best deal on.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,609
    edited September 2013
    Best of Luck with the new Ram. It was Truck of the Year. It did quite well last month in the Top 10 sold.

    Vehicle August 2013 Year-to-date
    Ford F-Series 71,115 499,050
    Toyota Camry 44,713 287,119
    Chevrolet Silverado 43,603 328,269
    Honda Civic 39,458 230,578
    Honda Accord 38,559 256,926
    Honda CR-V 34,654 207,643
    Ram pickup 33,009 234,642
    Nissan Altima 30,976 228,297
    Toyota Prius 27,358 170,866
    Toyota Corolla/Matrix 26,861 210,296
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    The F150 is a great truck, but I don't want to buy new the year before a new model regardless of how much money they throw on the hood.


    Most folks won't be a first year model due to the learning curve but last model year usually are the best quality.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    "Most folks won't be a first year model due to the learning curve but last model year usually are the best quality."

    I understand that line of thinking, but if that is what most folks do, GM (for example only) wouldn't have huge discounts on '13 Silverados and none on the new '14 model.
  • ohenryxohenryx Posts: 285
    The term “pilot fish” in relation to a car dealership comes from the “pilot fish” to “loan shark” relationship. The “pilot fish” steers customers to a loan shark. The loan shark is a predatory, blood sucking monster, who most people would avoid at any time. He has to be, he is the one who makes you pay up, who sends around the leg breakers if you don’t pay.

    The pilot fish is a nice guy, he helps you out by telling you where you can get money if no one else will make you a loan.

    At a car dealership employing this sales technique, the shark, the true salesman, stays in the background. He never greets anyone at the door, he does not show you around the lot, he does not take you for a test drive. The pilot fish does all of the above. And he knows absolutely nothing about pricing. He may or may not know answer questions about the actual car (gas mileage, performance, etc), but he will answer nothing, profess to have no knowledge of any kind about pricing.

    “Let’s just go inside, and someone will answer all of your questions about pricing (or financing or whatever).”
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,346
    I think this is also known as a liner/closer store?

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    I just bought a 2014 Ram 1500 Laramie. Yeah I could have gotten a better deal on a Ford, but I liked the Ram enough to pay more for it.

    Congratulations! And welcome to the dark side. :P
  • js06gvjs06gv Frisco, TXPosts: 436
    So did you dump your Expedition? I've never been a Mopar guy, but I did at least consider a new Ram when I bought my F150 King Ranch in March. I really like what Ram has done with the interior lately. Their Laramie Longhorn edition rivals the King Ranch in interior trimmings. And while I'm very happy with the 5.0 motor, a Hemi would still have a little more grunt.

    Congrats on the new purchase!

    2016 Kia Optima SX, 2015 Ford Mustang GT, 2013 Ford F-150 King Ranch, 2000 Pontiac Trans Am WS6, 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721

    Yep, I traded in the Expedition. Overall it was good vehicle considering the abuse it endured. But at nearly 130k, it was time to go.

    I really like the F150's. Like you mentioned, the interior of the Ram really drew me in. Plus the 8 speed trans is very slick (well until it breaks).

    I'm not "mine is best...period" type. Particularly with trucks. I think they all have their advantages/disadvantages.

    For whatever reason, I just liked the combination of looks (inside and out) of the Ram the best, plus I really like how it drives.

    The F150 King Ranch is a heck of a truck. I have several friends with late model F150's and they all love them.

    I just wanted something a little different.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Interesting. I guess I have run into that..although only maybe a couple times..never knew there was a term for it. What I have run into though after a deal has been agreed upon, you are walked into the business mgr's office, and then be exposed to all the attempted up-sales..

    Plus, I guess I am immune to their technique then. OTOH though, there are a few turn-offs that I see every once in awhile from the salesman's level. If I know more about the car I'm interested in on their turf, than they do, that is a huge turn-off. It sorta depends I guess on the brand and how many offerings they have if judging a level of excusing their ignorance. Still though, if I were a salesman at a new brand that I was not as familiar with, I would educate the you-know-what outta myself so that I could come across as confident about my brand (and the varied models within it, no matter how vast) and be as helpful to a potential customer as I possibly could.

    Another turn-off is, if you catch them not really listening to you...responding yes to something said that I don't really think they would have said yes to had they been listening..if that happens I am then in full use-'em mode..

    So if the guy that greets me, knows a LOT about the car, then lies to me that he has no clue as to pricing, well....I'll use him/her for purposes that are useful to me, and then I will use the shark (if there are no other choices) to do the paperwork and take my money. The thing is though, I have never ever fallen into the category were I had to pay higher rates due to my credit rating...even back when I financed cars when I was in my early 20's. (I haven't financed since then, unless it was 0%...and even then, only if the math proved that no better cash deal could be had by committing my own invested cash) for over 30 years. So I guess I have always been in the driver's seat as long as what I was buying was mainstream or the colour, options etc were not in short supply.

    There is a local Toyota dealer I popped into the other day as I intended to drive a hybrid so that I can put to rest my curiosity about them..and maybe end up owning one...who knows..I intend to use them for my purposes and in the end there will be an ultimatum on the table which will amount to primarily $. It will be an opportunity for them to right some wrongs they tried to get away with when I bought a new Matrix back in 03. Things like instead of freight being 1099.00 they tried to get away with 1199.00 and thought I wouldn't notice. And instead of having had the contract filled out correctly including the extra 200 buck Red Tag days discount, tried to sweep that under the rug too.."Well, we already have the contract typed up.." To myself...well gee...isn't that a shame.. you'll have to type up another one..
    And there were quite a number of other negative issues regarding the delivery of it..ranging from a botched front license plate hacking, to a mark on the headliner that was there AFTER the lot boy had 'detailed' it.

    Nope...if I decide on a Toyota on the next car, I am going to 'tax' them for their attempted sneaky dishonesty. And if they don't 'pay up' when I'm ready to sign-up, they won't sell me the car. Instead they will have no return whatsoever on the wasted gas, time, and miles I intend to put on their cars when I do my test drives. Instead, I will go to the next dealer a little farther away and suggest that since I already know exactly what I want, they need not invest any of that time and $ so that potential outlay can be kicked back in my direction...or maybe we'll split it..

    The moral here as I see it...don't mess with me if you are a dealer that exercises in dirty, sneaky practices. There will be some customers who are not at their loan-shark mercy and that customer could come back and retaliate with their terms..
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 9,654
    I swung by the nearest Chevy dealer to me. I'd guess his new-car inventory is about 100 units. I saw one Impala. By far the biggest stock was '13 Malibus, then Cruzes (including '14's). I did not see a single '14 Malibu. For a short family like me, now is probably a good time to get a great deal on a '13 Malibu. As I'd said earlier, we're picking up our '09 Cobalt Tuesday; hope it's what it's supposed to be (eBay).

    The '14 Camaro was a black SS model with black wheels. I was surprised to see new taillights...retro Chevy in that they look somewhat like a "triple" unit on each side with a smallish backup light in the middle red lens.

    I've only ever liked the "new" Camaro from the rear. This '14 had the largest tires I think I've seen on a car. It stickered for $37,945....yikes. Built in Oshawa, ON (that doesn't bother me...I looked at new '73 Monte Carlos that were built there), 70% U.S. and Canadian parts content (not bad), but both engine and trans made in Mexico, which I personally dislike for a number of reasons, none having to do with quality.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    GM must use more than one type of 4 cylinder 2.4. If you have ever read the horror stories that continue to go on with new daily victims of the Equinox, then you'd see why I ask. I don't think Malibu or La Crosse and Regal owners are having anywhere near that level of grief are they? Or maybe they are..

    The GM Oshawa plant has a fairly good build quality reputation don't they?

    I used to weld frame rails for the Van plant about 30 min west of there back in the 70's. There was no dope smoking or drinking in the parking lots on break that you tend to read about here in these forums. I have no reason to suspect that the Oshawa plant would be any different.

    I have to say, I like the Corvette-like taillight styling cues on many cars GM has done in recent years...even with the Cobalt. And yes, I too like the rear end of most GM cars lately better than their fronts. I guess if I bought one, I'd have to back it in at home so when I go out in the morning I get to see its best side first thing, haha
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 9,654
    I have read of oil consumption isues with 4-cyl. Equinox models (as I have with a friend with a '10 4-cyl. Camry), but our Malibu uses zero oil between changes. Fact, I just checked it yesterday. I'm the kind of owner, though, that wouldn't let that happen...I actually check my oil level every so often (maybe I'm lucky).
  • berriberri Posts: 7,741
    That's interesting. We have a cousin who recently traded in his F-150 for a RAM. He said he did it for two reasons: The Ram drove and road better and his Ford was giving him too many issues after it was out of warranty. I guess he'll find out one way or the other down the road. Personally, we had several Fords and didn't have the best of luck with them either. I don't think your decision is necessarily any riskier than buying an F-150.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    GM must use more than one type of 4 cylinder 2.4.

    What I could find on wiki is that the 2.4 is an Ecotec III engine and it's been used in various versions on many different models. It is slated to be replaced by a 2.5 version of the Ecotec III.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,741
    I'm not sure, but from what I've read I believe there is a before DI and a DI version of the GM 2.4L. Personally, I don't understand why they haven't converted all of their 4 cylinder models to the supposedly much improved 2.5L engine. Mediocrity is not the road to success. "Good e'nuff" is what got them into BK in the first place.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    There have been many versions of the 204L Ecotec. Here is a link to the wiki article:

    I don't know exactly which engines are in which models but since the 2.5L was only introduced for the 2013 for the ATS and Malibu - and now the Impala - I presume their are production and/or marketing reasons for not converting all vehicles over at the same time.

    It looks like the Ecotec 2.4L goes back to 2006. Before that there was a 2.4L version of the Quad 4 engine.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 58,858
    It looks like the Ecotec 2.4L goes back to 2006.

    True - when we bought our '06 ION, it had the option of the 2.4L engine.

    Too bad we didn't get it. :-(


    2016 VW Jetta 1.4T SE / 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

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  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    edited September 2013
    "I know why I continue to buy Chevrolet. It's value, low-cost maintenance, and a competent dealer. Plus, for many reasons, I prefer to buy an American brand. I've bought four new Chevrolets that were built forty miles down the road. All were driven high miles by me, reliably and economically. People who live here, and also live in the town where I grew up forty miles on the other side of the plant, work there. There's no bad in any of that."

    You are absolutely right - nothing wrong in any of that, and we are wrong to criticize your choices - which I don't believe we have done. What most of us are saying is, you defend the Chevy as "state of the art, world class, excellent, which is fine, because it's not a "bad" product in the way a Yugo was a "bad" car. But they are also not the undisputed "jewel" of the industry you say they are. Pretty much universally here, I see consensus that the Chevy is a low-end, baseline, cheap, noisy, vibrating and harsh car that runs pretty well, lasts pretty long, and gets the job done in an unremarkable way. Not bad, but not particularly good in any way in particular. In no way, class leading, state of the art, or premium. The Malibu may actually outlive the Kia, but they aren't refined, and saying they are doesn't make it so.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "The F150 is a great truck, but I don't want to buy new the year before a new model regardless of how much money they throw on the hood."

    I certainly don't criticize your choice - but your rationale escapes me. The truck that outsells the one you bought 2 to 1, outsells every other vehicle sold in the country for 32 years straight, is a better deal - but you didn't buy one because a newer model is due out next year? Usually it's the first year out model to be more afraid of, not the last year, which is usually beyond bullet proof.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    "but you didn't buy one because a newer model is due out next year?"

    That wasn't the only reason, but was certainly part of it. A year or so ago when I test drove an ecoboost f150 Lariat and I liked it alot. It's a very good truck and it's obvious why they sell so many. I have several friends with them that are happy. Honestly, the rational thing would have been to buy an F150. I decided to spend more and get what I liked better.

    I'm not particularly brand loyal and I simply liked how the Ram drives and looks, inside and out. It has a bit more attitude that I like and as much as I like the Ecoboost v6, the Hemi sounds so much better;).

    Truth be told, I bought the Ram for the longer warranty;) LOL
  • greg128greg128 Posts: 418
    edited September 2013
    "Chevy is a low-end, baseline, cheap, noisy, vibrating and harsh car that runs pretty well"

    I find the engine in my son's 2007 Cobalt to be smoother than the turbo 4 in my cousin's RDX. . There is a vibration at idle that reminded me of my old VW Rabbit. I can understand why Acura replaced it with a V-6. The Cobalt is also quieter on the highway and rides better.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 9,654
    Furthermore, greg, the guy puts words in my mouth never once used in this forum by me.

    With "banker" in his name, know.

    I brought my daughter's "new" '09 Cobalt home today. Real nice, quiet, tight little car. Drove it 124 miles home.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,741
    I always thought that new car trim was just shiny plastic. Today I was watching a Modern Marvels show on cable about chrome and lo and behold, they actually chrome coat some of that plastic trim. Didn't know that and wouldn't have guessed it either.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 9,654
    edited September 2013
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,609
    edited September 2013

    Right now, in the U.S. automakers are churning out cars like crazy. There certainly is some risk there that, on the one hand, they could be stuck with a lot of inventory. On the other hand, even if they're not, what is there to build future growth on? Really, the only thing to build future sales growth on is to do a better job of satisfying customers. You've got win over some of those purchasers of Asian brands and European brands.

    LOT's of work for some manufacturers that buried their heads in the sand for decades.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 9,654
    edited September 2013
    Again (sigh)--what is the yardstick? New car quality after 90 days? Sales satisfaction? Satisfaction after 3 years? What?

    Interesting to note, regardless, that there is only an eight percentage difference between the lowest (low-priced brand incidentally) and the highest (high-price brand incidentally).
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,317
    I'm sure that Cobalt will work out for you. I still think it's the perfect car. Since my son has latched onto my black Cobalt, I would like to replace my 98 leSabre. But it only has 200K mi (in 1300 more miles), so there's lots of good miles left there.

    The Cobalts ride and drive so nice and quietly,
    I had looked really hard at a one owner local 60K mi 2010 with a 2-year GMPP extended warranty through the dealer. It was just the wrong color and it was a 1LT and I'd like to have had a 2LT for the high price they were asking. It wasn't too much of a step to buying a '13 Cruze LT or +.

    But I really had to push away and think about what I want and what I need to buy. I still think the Malibus that are from fleet and rentals are the best buy. I'm expecting some to return to retail sale as the toyotas flood the rentals along with all the HyKias.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    A good friend of mine just bought his daughter a silver 2007 Cobalt coupe.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Interesting to note, regardless, that there is only an eight percentage difference between the lowest (low-priced brand incidentally) and the highest (high-price brand incidentally).

    Yeah, if that was put into, say, high school grading terms, that would be like the worst kids getting a C+ (I think those lowest ranks are actually around 78-79%) while the cream of the crop is getting a B+. So while I'd like to see the "problem children" do better, at least there is hope.

    Now if the best was getting somewhere in the 95% range while the worst were below 70% or so, then I'd worry.
This discussion has been closed.