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History Why the American Automotive Industry Failed, and Continues to Fail: W. Edwards Deming

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by fur biscuit, Oct 17, 2008.

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  1. So you silly little gits, time to learn something. This is the man that lead to the down fall of the American automotive industry. Not that he destroyed because of his actions, but because of American automotive manufacturer inactions. THEY IGNORED HIM.

    The managment and unions that still permeate the American automotive industry, were there when this man and his techniques were acknowledged.

    Sorry kids. 30 years of industry lagging led to where they are today. And the desire to force them same line is going to sink them. The golden whore has been fucked to death and we all get to sit and watch.

    William Edwards Deming (October 14, 1900–December 20, 1993) was an American statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and consultant. Deming is widely credited with improving production in the United States during World War II, although he is perhaps best known for his work in Japan. There, from 1950 onward he taught top management how to improve design (and thus service), product quality, testing and sales (the last through global markets)[1] through various methods, including the application of statistical methods. Deming made a significant contribution to Japan's later renown for innovative high-quality products and its economic power. He is regarded as having had more impact upon Japanese manufacturing and business than any other individual not of Japanese heritage. Despite being considered something of a hero in Japan, he was only beginning to win widespread recognition in the U.S. at the time of his death. [2]

    Contents [hide]
    1 Overview
    2 Early life and work
    2.1 Work in Japan
    2.2 Honors
    2.3 Later work in the U.S.
    3 Deming philosophy synopsis
    3.1 The Deming System of Profound Knowledge
    3.2 Deming's 14 points
    3.3 Seven Deadly Diseases
    4 Quotations and concepts
    5 See also
    6 Notes
    7 Bibliography
    8 External links

    [edit] Overview
    Ford Motor Company was simultaneously manufacturing a car model with transmissions made in Japan and the United States. Soon after the car model was on the market, Ford customers were requesting the model with Japanese transmission over the USA-made transmission, and they were willing to wait for the Japanese model. As both transmissions were made to the same specifications, Ford engineers could not understand the customer preference for the model with Japanese transmission. It delivered smoother performance with a lower defect rate. Finally, Ford engineers decided to take apart the two different transmissions. The American-made car parts were all within specified tolerance levels. On the other hand, the Japanese car parts had much closer tolerances than the USA-made parts - i.e. if a part was supposed to be one foot long, plus or minus 1/8 of an inch - then the Japanese parts were within 1/16 of an inch. This made the Japanese cars run more smoothly and customers experienced fewer problems. This is an example of Dr. Deming's teachings, having been adopted by the Japanese, delivering better quality products [3].

    Deming received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming at Laramie (1921), an M.S. from the University of Colorado (1925), and a Ph.D. from Yale University (1928). Both graduate degrees were in mathematics and physics. Deming had an internship at Bell Telephone Laboratories while studying at Yale. He subsequently worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Census Department. While working under Gen. Douglas MacArthur as a census consultant to the Japanese government, he famously taught statistical process control methods to Japanese business leaders, returning to Japan for many years to consult and to witness economic growth that he had predicted as a result of application of techniques learned from Walter Shewhart at Bell Laboratories. Later, he became a professor at New York University while engaged as an independent consultant in Washington, D.C.

    Deming was the author of Out of the Crisis (1982–1986) and The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education (1993), which includes his System of Profound Knowledge and the 14 Points for Management (described below). Deming played flute & drums and composed music throughout his life, including sacred choral compositions and an arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner.[4]

    In 1993, Deming founded the W. Edwards Deming Institute in Washington, D.C., where the Deming Collection at the U.S. Library of Congress includes an extensive audiotape and videotape archive. The aim of the W. Edwards Deming Institute is to foster understanding of The Deming System of Profound Knowledge to advance commerce, prosperity and peace.[5]

    [edit] Early life and work
    Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Deming was raised in Polk City, Iowa on his grandfather's chicken farm, then later in Powell, Wyoming. His father's name was also William, so he was called Edwards (the maiden name of his mother, Pluma Irene Edwards).[6] In 1917, he enrolled in the University of Wyoming at Laramie, graduating in 1921 with a B.S. in electrical engineering. In 1925, he received an M.S. from the University of Colorado, and in 1928, a Ph.D. from Yale University. Both graduate degrees were in mathematics and mathematical physics. Deming worked as a mathematical physicist at the United States Department of Agriculture (1927–39), and was a statistical adviser for the United States Census Bureau (1939–45). He was a professor of statistics at New York University's graduate school of business administration (1946–1993), and he taught at Columbia University's graduate School of business (1988–1993). He also was a consultant for private business.

    In 1927, Deming was introduced to Walter A. Shewhart of the Bell Telephone Laboratories by Dr. C.H. Kunsman of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Deming found great inspiration in the work of Shewhart, the originator of the concepts of statistical control of processes and the related technical tool of the control chart, as Deming began to move toward the application of statistical methods to industrial production and management. Shewhart's idea of common and special causes of variation led directly to Deming's theory of management. Deming saw that these ideas could be applied not only to manufacturing processes but also to the processes by which enterprises are led and managed. This key insight made possible his enormous influence on the economics of the industrialized world after 1950.[7]

    Deming edited a series of lectures delivered by Shewhart at USDA, Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control, into a book published in 1939. One reason he learned so much from Shewhart, Deming remarked in a videotaped interview, was that, while brilliant, Shewhart had an "uncanny ability to make things difficult." Deming thus spent a great deal of time both copying Shewhart's ideas and devising ways to present them with his own twist.[8]

    Deming developed the sampling techniques that were used for the first time during the 1940 U.S. Census. During World War II, Deming was a member of the five-man Emergency Technical Committee. He worked with H.F. Dodge, A.G. Ashcroft, Leslie E. Simon, R.E. Wareham, and John Gaillard in the compilation of the American War Standards (American Standards Association ZI.1-3 published in 1942)[9] and taught statistical process control (SPC) techniques to workers engaged in wartime production. Statistical methods were widely applied during World War II, but faded into disuse a few years later in the face of huge overseas demand for American mass-produced products.

    [edit] Work in Japan
    In 1947, Deming was involved in early planning for the 1951 Japanese Census. The Allied powers were occupying Japan, and he was asked by the U.S. United States Department of the Army to assist with the census. While Deming was there, his expertise in quality control techniques, combined with his involvement in Japanese society, led to his receiving an invitation from the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE).[6]

    JUSE members had studied Shewhart's techniques, and as part of Japan's reconstruction efforts, they sought an expert to teach statistical control. During June–August 1950, Deming trained hundreds of engineers, managers, and scholars in statistical process control (SPC) and concepts of quality. He also conducted at least one session for top management.[10] Deming's message to Japan's chief executives: improving quality will reduce expenses while increasing productivity and market share.[1] Perhaps the best known of these management lectures was delivered at the Mt. Hakone Conference Center in August 1950.

    A number of Japanese manufacturers applied his techniques widely and experienced theretofore unheard of levels of quality and productivity. The improved quality combined with the lowered cost created new international demand for Japanese products.

    Deming declined to receive royalties from the transcripts of his 1950 lectures, so JUSE's board of directors established the Deming Prize (December 1950) to repay him for his friendship and kindness.[10] The Deming Prize—especially the Deming Application Prize, which is given to companies—has exerted an immeasurable influence directly or indirectly on the development of quality control and quality management in Japan.[11][12]

    [edit] Honors
    In 1960, the Prime Minister of Japan (Nobusuke Kishi), acting on behalf of Emperor Hirohito, awarded Dr. Deming Japan’s Order of the Sacred Treasure, Second Class.[13] The citation on the medal recognizes Deming's contributions to Japan’s industrial rebirth and its worldwide success. The first section of the meritorious service record describes his work in Japan:[10]

    1947, Rice Statistics Mission member
    1950, assistant to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers
    instructor in sample survey methods in government statistics
    The second half of the record lists his service to private enterprise through the introduction of epochal ideas, such as quality control and market survey techniques.

    [edit] Later work in the U.S.
    David Salsburg wrote:

    "He was known for his kindness to and consideration for those he worked with, for his robust, if very subtle, humor, and for his interest in music. He sang in a choir, played drums and flute, and published several original pieces of sacred music." (page 254, The Lady Tasting Tea)[14]
    Later, from his home in Washington, D.C., Dr. Deming continued running his own consultancy business in the United States, largely unknown and unrecognized in his country of origin and work. In 1980, he was featured prominently in an NBC documentary titled If Japan can... Why can't we? about the increasing industrial competition the United States was facing from Japan. As a result of the broadcast, demand for his services increased dramatically, and Deming continued consulting for industry throughout the world until his death at the age of 93.

    Ford Motor Company was one of the first American corporations to seek help from Deming. In 1981, Ford's sales were falling. Between 1979 and 1982, Ford had incurred $3 billion in losses. Ford's newly appointed Division Quality Manager John A. Manoogian was charged with recruiting Dr. Deming to help jump-start a quality movement at Ford. [15] Deming questioned the company's culture and the way its managers operated. To Ford's surprise, Deming talked not about quality but about management. He told Ford that management actions were responsible for 85% of all problems in developing better cars. In 1986 Ford came out with a profitable line of cars, the Taurus-Sable line. In a letter to Autoweek Magazine, Donald Petersen, then Ford Chairman, said, "We are moving toward building a quality culture at Ford and the many changes that have been taking place here have their roots directly in Dr. Deming's teachings."[16] By 1986, Ford had become the most profitable American auto company. For the first time since the 1920s, its earnings had exceeded those of arch rival General Motors (GM). Ford had come to lead the American automobile industry in improvements. Ford's following years' earnings confirmed that its success was not a fluke, for its earnings continued to exceed GM and Chrysler's.

    In 1982, Dr. Deming, as author, had his book published by the MIT Center for Advanced Engineering as Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Position, which was renamed Out of the Crisis in 1986. Deming offers a theory of management based on his famous 14 Points for Management. Management's failure to plan for the future brings about loss of market, which brings about loss of jobs. Management must be judged not only by the quarterly dividend, but by innovative plans to stay in business, protect investment, ensure future dividends, and provide more jobs through improved products and services. "Long-term commitment to new learning and new philosophy is required of any management that seeks transformation. The timid and the fainthearted, and the people that expect quick results, are doomed to disappointment."

    Over the course of his career, Deming received dozens of academic awards, including another, honorary, Ph.D. from Oregon State University. In 1987 he was awarded the National Medal of Technology: "For his forceful promotion of statistical methodology, for his contributions to sampling theory, and for his advocacy to corporations and nations of a general management philosophy that has resulted in improved product quality." In 1988, he received the Distinguished Career in Science award from the National Academy of Sciences.[6]

    In 1993, Dr. Deming published his final book, The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education, which included the System of Profound Knowledge and the 14 Points for Management. It also contained educational concepts involving group-based teaching without grades, as well as management without individual merit or performance reviews.

    In December 1993, W. Edwards Deming died in his sleep at his Washington home at about 3 a.m. due to "natural causes." His family was by his side when he died.[17]

    [edit] Deming philosophy synopsis
    The philosophy of W. Edwards Deming has been summarized as follows:

    "Dr. W. Edwards Deming taught that by adopting appropriate principles of management, organizations can increase quality and simultaneously reduce costs (by reducing waste, rework, staff attrition and litigation while increasing customer loyalty). The key is to practice continual improvement and think of manufacturing as a system, not as bits and pieces."[18]
    In the 1970s, Dr. Deming's philosophy was summarized by some of his Japanese proponents with the following 'a'-versus-'b' comparison:

    (a) When people and organizations focus primarily on quality, defined by the following ratio,

    quality tends to increase and costs fall over time.
    (b) However, when people and organizations focus primarily on costs (often dominant/typical human behavior), costs (due to not minimizing waste, ignoring amount of rework occurring, taking staff for granted, not rapidly resolving disputes, and failing to notice lack of product improvement—plus, over time, loss of customer loyalty) tend to rise and quality declines over time.

    [edit] The Deming System of Profound Knowledge
    "The prevailing style of management must undergo transformation. A system cannot understand itself. The transformation requires a view from outside. The aim of this chapter is to provide an outside view—a lens—that I call a system of profound knowledge. It provides a map of theory by which to understand the organizations that we work in.

    "The first step is transformation of the individual. This transformation is discontinuous. It comes from understanding of the system of profound knowledge. The individual, transformed, will perceive new meaning to his life, to events, to numbers, to interactions between people.

    "Once the individual understands the system of profound knowledge, he will apply its principles in every kind of relationship with other people. He will have a basis for judgment of his own decisions and for transformation of the organizations that he belongs to. The individual, once transformed, will:

    Set an example;
    Be a good listener, but will not compromise;
    Continually teach other people; and
    Help people to pull away from their current practices and beliefs and move into the new philosophy without a feeling of guilt about the past."
    Deming advocated that all managers need to have what he called a System of Profound Knowledge, consisting of four parts:

    Appreciation of a system: understanding the overall processes involving suppliers, producers, and customers (or recipients) of goods and services (explained below);
    Knowledge of variation: the range and causes of variation in quality, and use of statistical sampling in measurements;
    Theory of knowledge: the concepts explaining knowledge and the limits of what can be known (see also: epistemology);
    Knowledge of psychology: concepts of human nature.
    Deming explained, "One need not be eminent in any part nor in all four parts in order to understand it and to apply it. The 14 points for management in industry, education, and government follow naturally as application of this outside knowledge, for transformation from the present style of Western management to one of optimization."

    "The various segments of the system of profound knowledge proposed here cannot be separated. They interact with each other. Thus, knowledge of psychology is incomplete without knowledge of variation.

    "A manager of people needs to understand that all people are different. This is not ranking people. He needs to understand that the performance of anyone is governed largely by the system that he works in, the responsibility of management. A psychologist that possesses even a crude understanding of variation as will be learned in the experiment with the Red Beads (Ch. 7) could no longer participate in refinement of a plan for ranking people."[19]

    The Appreciation of a system involves understanding how interactions (i.e. feedback) between the elements of a system can result in internal restrictions that force the system to behave as a single organism that automatically seeks a steady state. It is this steady state that determines the output of the system rather than the individual elements. Thus it is the structure of the organization rather than the employees, alone, which holds the key to improving the quality of output.

    The Knowledge of variation involves understanding that everything measured consists of both "normal" variation due to the flexibility of the system and of "special causes" that create defects. Quality involves recognizing the difference in order to eliminate "special causes" while controlling normal variation. Deming taught that making changes in response to "normal" variation would only make the system perform worse. Understanding variation includes the mathematical certainty that variation will normally occur within six standard deviations of the mean.

    The System of Profound Knowledge is the basis for application of Deming's famous 14 Points for Management, described below.

    [edit] Deming's 14 points
    Deming offered fourteen key principles for management for transforming business effectiveness. The points were first presented in his book Out of the Crisis (p. 23-24)[20].

    Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and stay in business, and to provide jobs.
    Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
    Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
    End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move towards a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
    Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease cost.
    Institute training on the job.
    Institute leadership (see Point 12 and Ch. 8 of "Out of the Crisis"). The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
    Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. (See Ch. 3 of "Out of the Crisis")
    Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.
    Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
    a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.
    b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute workmanship.
    a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
    b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective (See CH. 3 of "Out of the Crisis").
    Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
    Put everyone in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everyone's work.

    [edit] Seven Deadly Diseases
    The Seven Deadly Diseases (also known as the "Seven Wastes"):

    Lack of constancy of purpose.
    Emphasis on short-term profits.
    Evaluation by performance, merit rating, or annual review of performance.
    Mobility of management.
    Running a company on visible figures alone.
    Excessive medical costs.
    Excessive costs of warranty, fueled by lawyers who work for contingency fees.
    A Lesser Category of Obstacles:

    Neglecting long-range planning.
    Relying on technology to solve problems.
    Seeking examples to follow rather than developing solutions.
    Excuses, such as "Our problems are different."
  2. bustedlifter
    Joined: Jun 26, 2005
    Posts: 756


    One step to help the auto industry would be to do away with the CAFE standards. When the gubmint sticks it's nose where it has no business sticking it , things are bound to go downhill.
  3. No. Gov't must do something, regretably...they need to justify themselves.

    Gov't standards need to be guided. Regratably "uneducated" people make decisions that affect the rest of us.
  4. Demming was a total genius.

    Detroit's failure has little to do with government,
    everything to do with "Management" ,"Leadership" and "Salesmanship"; or lack there of.
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. 49coupe
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 551


    I've read his books. Brilliant and simple. Between the executives and the employees raping the golden goose for decades they can't compete. I said over 10 ten years ago that you can't build an average quality car with extraordinary labor costs fueled by executive greed.

    If you keep buying, things will never change. I put my money where my mouth is. I haven't bought a N American built for over 20 years.

    I just hope they can pull their heads out of their asses before one of the big three become a piece of history again.
  6. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,431

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    agreed..and they treat their suppliers like shit..and dont want to pay them either..guess what? the supplier finds some one else who will appriciate them. or they go out of Buisness, because they are squeezed so bad on the 4 letter word "profit" that they can no longer build the american made part that the company provided to them.

    ( yes i know profit isnt a 4 letter word, but they sure make you feel like it is)
  7. Scott K
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 826

    Scott K

    Just a note that many universities do not allow students to use Wikipedia as a reference. It is not a credible source.

    Use at your own risk.
  8. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,087


    Interesting thread, Fur Biscuit.
  9. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,004

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Passion for profit has replaced passion for the product. The concept of working for the long haul, "workmanship" and "pride" are sadly archaic. Everyone (labor and management) is simply trying to grab all they can for as long as they can. The advesararial relationship between labor and management have poisoned the workplace. Accountants should never be allowed to be managers, and and managment should understand their job is have a company to pass on to others. Greed has brought us to this.
  10. yorgatron
    Joined: Jan 25, 2002
    Posts: 4,228

    Member Emeritus

    great post! :D

    i read this book;

    awhile ago,fascinating stuff.

    any amateur automotive historian (and aren't we all automotive historians here on the HAMB? :confused: )
    should try to understand why it is we worship the products of a bygone age,since the manufacturers have failed to bring us the quality we can only find in "obsolete" cars
  11. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,966

    Shifty Shifterton

    Had no idea I grew up in such close proximity to Deming's childhood. Totally explains my awesomeness.
  12. Revhead
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,027

    from Dallas, TX

    oh yeah, that make total sense :rolleyes:
  13. Yup. I needed a quick reference source. But feel free to disprove.
  14. This is a very important point, profit is essential, greed is needed, and competitiveness is required. Short term gains on the first 2, led to the long term damage/descruction of the 3rd.

    Never before has the Economic Superpower of the time willingly forced itself into a situation that brought it self to its knees.

    I hope that we are seeing a fundamental shift towards personal responsibilty. Professional responsibilty. Accountability.

    The problem is that we have sucessfully brought others online who are less prone to "ethics" than we are, we spawned our own demise.
  15. Exactly, it became a perpetual US vs. THEM. It appears that the Unions won and for years. Now they have won so well they will starve. Business must expand and contract through the good and bad.

    The problem is that the Union leaders have a job that is parasitic and must be perpetuated in order for them to survive, they must justify thier existance by repressing thier own.

    Management does the same, just in the opposite.
  16. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755


    I don't think the biggest problem now is build quality, as that has gone up considerably since the dark days of the mid 70's to mid 90's. The real problem now is they design and market cars that are not at all innovative and are at best rehashes of previous former glory days with little to no consideration for what people will want and need in the future. The designs are out of the past and are not competitive with foreign companies who design and produce for the future. I have said it before and I will say it again, if they continue to design and produce products that recall the past and ignore the future, that is exactly where they will find themselves - in the past.

    American manufacturing companies have lost their edge and progressiveness and have become too conservative because of their fear of losing profit. They build mediocre, middle of the road crap with old conservative design concepts that just aren't suitable for the current market conditions and aren't now desirable from a public that can't afford second rate mediocrity. When times are good and gas is cheap, it isn't that critical if you drive around in wasteful garbage as if it is going to stay that way forever. Sort sightedness is killing them because it takes so long to produce new product. They have no clear long term vision and can't produce innovative product to solve the needs of the future. They need to do a thorough cleaning of house starting at the top. It is the top end that is deficient and killing the companies, not the quality, the workers or the workmanship at the lower end.

    I predict that there is a lot of opportunity for smaller, leaner more innovative companies to produce better, cooler, more attractive and useful cars and trucks. Tesla Motors for instance.
  17. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,539

    from Kent, Wa

    Deming is a god in his field, when the US ignored him he went to Japan and they listened and began the search for continous improvement and quality and are what they are today because of guys like him (including Dr. Taguchi & Dr. Ishikawa). It wasn't until NBC published its white paper "If Japan can, why can't we" did America discouver him.
  18. With all the good stuff being said about Deming, I'd be hard pressed to add anything additional.

    The company I retired from dabbled with Demings ideas for awhile (showing real promise, I might add), until they were swallowed up by a larger multi-national. That outfit substituted their bastardized version of the Toyota Production System which made life at work pretty difficult. I'm just glad I got out of the mess...
  19. jdustu
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 726


    There was a study done by MIT, and the resulting book "The Machine That Changed the World" is pretty amazing. The hubris that Big Three management showed throughout the eighties and early nineties is unreal. They made a lot of "attempts" to lean out, but mostly they were pr moves that inevitably failed because they weren't rooted in the right philosphy. The UAW isn't without blame, but the Japan auto industry has a strong union as well. Labor needs a voice.

    As far as buying american, the '06 Ram I leased didn't even have enough domestic content to be considered "domestic", and the toyota camry has more domestic content than any other car in its class.

  20. Tiger II
    Joined: Mar 10, 2007
    Posts: 96

    Tiger II

    They all have there problems. We purchased and drove an 88 and 92 Merc Sable and put 120k miles on both. The 88 was a better car but each were essentially trouble free. We now have a 98 Lexus 400 which has many infuriating problems. 1. Starter failed at 108kmi. $1400 dealer fix. I did it myself and it was a bitch as its buried beneath the intake manifold(heat soak eats them up). No consideration given to R+R, a tool had to be fabricated to loosen and install bolts from back side of block because of 1" clearance of firewall. Sunroof at times will not close fully, closes partially but then opens fully and parks. No obsructions, no outward reasons. During this sequence passenger seat fully extends and reclines. WTF? Again with no prompting. Have had to cover top with plastic during these episodes as we do live in Seattle! Half an hour later all is fine. Cabin trunk opener no longer works. $400 keys break where plastic meets metal(key shop tells me this is typical). Window fogging major problem. Weather stripping not the issue as this was replaced at 92k. All that said it does get 20+ around town and will haul ass when its hammer down.
    Spent some time in a new Chevy Duramax P/U hunting this last week and was very impressed. Isuzu/Allison and build quality
    appear to be in order. Recent Ford CEO Alan Mullally (an engineer) from Boeing will hopefully resurrect a great Marque for the American consumer. We will see.
  21. jdustu
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 726


    Jobs are huge. Shoot, Toyota even opened up a design center in Ann Arbor...They will soon have a vehicle engineered and built completely in the USA.

    For years GM and Ford took those "profits" and invested them overseas anyways....that's gotten them pretty far, eh? And Chrysler was owned by a German company for the better part of the last decade, now they're owned by a bunch of corporate raiders that don't have CLUE when it comes to the auto industry. They had all had to stop shouting "buy american" because THEY no longer bought american. Parts from the cheapest suppliers in china or brazil, I.T. sourced to india, ect. ect.

    Home Depot is american owned, how is that the same? And a retailer isn't quite comparable to manufacturer.

    I do find it funny when I see a guy with a "BUY AMERICAN" sticker on his canadian built ford coming out of wal-mart. Do they even sell anything made in american anymore?

    That's kind of a different topic: American's love cheap shit. Harbor Freight and Wal-mart are two of china's biggest buyers. They won't pay for top quality, they want mass produced crap.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
  22. Bookz
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 221


    I don't think a Fair Trade Agreement is the answer. People are voting with their cheque books and buying what suits their lifestyle. The American Industry is not building what they want so they buy foreign. I recently drove the latest Mustang and what a outdated piece of unimspiring junk that was compared to my 3 year old BMW M3 or my 1991 Porsche 964.The majority of American cars are about as relavent to the modern world as a horse and cart.
  23. jdustu
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 726


    I think there is plenty of blame to spread around:) The big three took the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach and got passed and lapped in innovation(in both design and manufacturing). The government allows other countries to freely peddle their products here without reciprocation. Toyota gets all kinds of credit for bringing the Prius to the market so quickly, but that wouldn't have happened with out Japan subsidizing it(something that only now is happening in Detroit, and it's a little late). Execs keep pocketing huge checks, especially in comparison to their Asian counterparts, and then can't understand why the union would resist taking paycuts. Our country's health care costs our out of control, and until the VEBA takes effect GM is the largest private health care provider in the country. Those costs start to take from research and development. There are so many reasons, and any one or two of them would cause problems over time. Now there are too many to count, and the credit fiasco right now isn't doing anyone favors.

  24. Honestly, I agree with you, but protectionism has its own problems associated with it. If your products can't compete, they don't possess a worthy trade currency on a global scale. That puts our GDP in trouble. Tariffs won't correct that-- for long, anyway. Our economy is based on consumerism.

    The biggest problem with the Big Three- especially with GM- is arrogance and greed. No one wants to admit that the underdog has one-upped them, right? but we've had a LONG TIME to figure this one out.

    A company like Honda only makes a couple of motors for their entire line of cars-- generally, a 4 cyl and V6. They sink a ton of R&D into those engine configurations initially, with planned upgrades and improvements in displacement or cylinder head technology. How many four cylinders has GM made?? toyota survived with a single 22RE design for almost two decades, and saw quality ratings and durability that GM couldn't touch at the time.

    GM is still somewhat stuck on the idea that worked in the 50's/60's, racing to come up with new platfoms and body styles for multiple lines of cars, but now stuck using older motor technology or quick fixes and borrowed engineering. The heritage of rapid planned obsolescence to excite consumers has started to dissapear, but not fast enough.

    Nevertheless, Honda has it's own inbred engineering problems, and as Toyota has grown, the initial quality of Toyota/Lexus has taken a second to Buick's--which is very cool to see.

    What matters is that the longer this persists-- globalization and such-- the cooler our vehicles become. I will never let go of my truck, and every time I come across some real Detroit iron that I can afford, I hold on to it. Our kids, if they have any sense, will be amazed at what we have preserved. They might end up having their own tuner electric cars with composite plastic space-frames, but nothing will ever be as cool as the likes of a metal body that was made from a hand sculpted clay buck, or an iron engine block that was cast from a plug fashioned by a real American patternmaker-- back in the day.

  25. jdustu
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 726


    You're right, Toyota's profits are still going back to Japan. Meanwhile GM is spending their money buying parts from china and brazil, making another piss poor investment in Europe, while closing two more plants in Michigan. They have no loyalty to this country unless it profits THEM, why should an average consumer be any different?
    Toyota still employs americans to build cars, and I obviously think that is more important than you do. They still pay taxes, they still pay to operate factories in America. Would I rather Detroit get the same oportunity to sell vehicles overseas? Yup. Look up one of my many reasons the domestic industry is failing. But the consumer is looking for the best value. They don't care about Gm, Ford, or Chrysler, and they won't unless they build something outstanding, which they've actually done some of recently. Right now the perfect economic storm is making it hard for anyone, asian or domestic or otherwise, to sell vehicles.
  26. jdustu
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 726


    It's all good dude, I'm the same way:)

    And every now and then there may be a little bit of devil's advocate in me:D

  27. Of course, you've heard the conspiracy theories associated with this, right??
    That connections with Big Oil is what really killed the project.....and then GM does what? Dumps almost ALL of their R&D into a full-size, full-frame truck/SUV platform.

    The truck/SUV platform is by far and away the most profitable per unit for all of the Big Tree.
  28. jdustu
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 726


    Look for GM's press release for the new Camaro. "Muscle Car" is nowhere to be found, instead it's "efficient sports car" and the like:)
  29. jdustu
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 726


    If everything was selling for sticker, or close to it, the trucks have a much larger profit margin. Obviuosly the last couple of years they've had to discount the heck out of them, but when they "killed" the electric car they were making bank on trucks/suvs

    Too many dealers is also an issue for the big three, and it looks like this economy is going to take care of that...
  30. Jeem
    Joined: Sep 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,886

    Alliance Vendor

    I think it's funny all the hubbub about GM's large SUV hybrid....what?! 20mpg?!
    AWWWW yeeeeeaaaaah! Can you just feel our "carbon footprint" melting away?

    Anybody catch the FORD ad a while back touting "...with Quality Standards EQUAL to Toyota's"?
    Oh my GAWD!!

    It's no wonder we HAMB'ers, right or left, look back fondly to the pride we had as a country decades back. Certainly we've had our dark periods socially and economically but all in all we've always excelled. I think the American spirit is taking a beating right now, but we'll prevail. I'm a proud American. Proud of the individuals of this country and the pioneering spirit many of us have, maybe not so much of our TOO LARGE government and some of our industry leaders.

    ...anyway, resume!
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