Sunday, 31 May 2009

Car manufacturers got themselves to blame?.

I notice that GM is in the shit in the States. Fiat is gonna clean up there. LOL. Ford, here, is fucked. Could they have buffered the damage themselves by making COMPETITIVE electric/hybrid/hydrogen vehicles?.

I appreciate it isn't as simple as that but it seems to me not having all your eggs in one hen house is a basic hard times strategy. People WOULD buy cheaper running cars if they looked good, performed well, and were affordable. Toyota's hybrids are ugly and expensive. I noticed a coupla new ones - that really ARE high performance (0-100 in 4 secs) - that range from 60G's to 250G's......umm yeah right.

Is it the fault of the oil industry?. They seem to pull some significant strings.


  1. I think plenty of lobby groups, from both sides of the political spectrum have influenced inefficiency in the US auto industry. Oil, Farmers, Unions - the list goes on.

  2. GM has been badly run for decades. This last bit of trouble saw them plodding onward, likely hoping for gov't help. Well, they got it, but I bet it isn't what they were hoping for.

    Ford in North America isn't as bad off, and will likely take market share. I don't know if Fiat will do well, they are going to be tied to Chrysler, and we know what that did to Daimler Benz.

  3. Doug is spot on, Ford were smart enough to see the writing on the wall a little early and rid themselves of a lot of dead wood like Jaguar and Land Rover, etc.

    The car makers are in trouble because they have been poorly managed and as Lerm has described the political environment allowed it.

    That said the market changes at the same rate as the fuel price. If you look at the number, when fuel prices are cheap, people buy big cars.

    It's a tough business the auto industry, I don't know why anyone gets involved in it!

  4. People are just plain out of money themselves. I doubt that anyone doesn't know someone who has lost they once secure job and are now battling. Too many people are looking at their present car and thinking that it can last them a while longer, rather than put themselves in debt or use savings they may need to live on some time in the future.

  5. Its strange, I would venture, that its never been the ff shoots or other owned brands which have really failed to make money. More a case of Corp HQ, GMH, FORD which are so fucked up, that they do fire sales and divest. Ford got in early. GMH here may well be better off for it, long term. We build and design cars here as good as anywhere in the world, I would venture better than the US. Its unions over there that hav essentially stopped us exporting BULK vehicles, to protect their employees, eg, Monaro gets assembled etc over there, percentage gets made over there.

    Which all coms back to them being not only inefficient, lacking the talent and generally severely fucked up, but the gummit their has sunk a lotta cash into a fucked over, dead arse horse and will NEVER GET IT BACK. They might as well have burnt that cash in a fire, least tht way, they would have gotten something from it..HEAT, co's they are about to get FA for what they have just done.

  6. Yes and no DD.

    Service departments are doing well with people putting more money into existing cars to keep them a little longer than normal.

    But there are plenty of people out there, that with the reduction of interest rates, are in the best position they have ever been. They can now add car finance payments to their mortage and be paying out the same amount they used to pay for their mortage alone.

    The market is definately down from the last 2 years, but the last 2 years were massive record years.

    The other thing to remember is that a large amount of car sales are fleet and rental sales which have definately dropped.

    Anyway to answer your question Moko, whether the manufacturers could have saved themselves by building better alternative fuel/hybrid type cars. Probably not. It takes an enormous amount of money to develop a standard fuel car and so committing to the type you describe and failing could have killed a manufacturer anyway.

    As I said before, I think Lerm has the answer. You need to get all those self interest lobby groups to work in the one direction to make the investment worth the risk.

  7. Ford is the only one of the big 3 in the States that has shored up enough credit to not, yet, anyway, require immediate govt help. Now Chrysler and GM are directly overseen at all levels by Uncle Sams accountants making for a nice little noose around their necks. Expect their cars to become even more crap.
    Havock, GM (US and Aus) have built their sucess over the years on clever marketing, as their drivelines and finish quality have always been inferior to the Fords, whose marketing conversely has always been shithouse. The new overseers won't have a positive effect on this.
    Hope they get it together. Bathurst would be pretty dull without em.

  8. It's all well over my swede, but enjoying the read.

  9. forget all your battery powered cars and hybrids..just give me a vehicle that has a better than 95% combustion rate of a retrofit kit for autos (gas engines only because diesels compress their fuel)

    I don't want a stinkin' particulate filter on the exhause either..just something else to go wrong.

    Cleaner burning cars make more power..i know because I've tinkered around on 2 strokes and 4 stroke engines and when I get that carb running just slightly leaner than has just a touch more power.


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