Are automotive editors misinforming the public regarding the quality level of American vehicles?

Below, is an actual letter to the editor of a local newspaper in response to the editor’s obvious biased views on American vehicles in general.


As I watch the coverage of the fate of the U.S. auto industry, one alarming and frustrating fact hits me right between the eyes. The fate of our nation’s economic survival is in the hands of some congressmen who are completely out of touch and act without knowledge of an industry that affects almost every pe rson in our nation. The same lack of knowledge is shared with many journalists whom are irresponsible when influencing the opinion of millions of viewers.

Sen. Rich ard Shelby of Alabama has doomed the industry, calling it a dinosaur. No Mr. Shelby, you are the dinosaur, with ideas stuck in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. You and the uninformed journalist and senators that hold onto myths that are not relevant in today’s world.

When you say that the Big Three build vehicles nobody wants to buy, you must have overlooked that GM outsold Toyota by about 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S. and Ford outsold Honda by 850,000 and Nissan by 1.2 million in the U.S. GM was the world’s No. 1 automaker beating Toyota by 3,000 units.

When you claim inferior quality comes from the Big Three, did you realize that Chevy makes the Malibu and Ford makes the Fusion that were both rated over the Camry and Accord by J.D. Power independent survey on initial quality? Did you bother to read the Consumer Report that rated Ford on par with good Japanese automakers.

Did you realize Big Three’s gas guzzlers include the 33 mpg Malibu that beats the Accord. And for ’09 Ford introduces the Hybrid Fusion whose 39 mpg is the best midsize, beating the Camry Hybrid. Ford’s Focus beats the Corolla and Chevy’s Cobalt beats the Civic.

When you ask how many times are we going to bail them out you must be referring to 1980. The only Big Three bailout was Chrysler, who paid back $1 billion, plus interest. GM and Ford have never received government aid.

When you criticize the Big Three for building so many pickups, surely you’ve noticed the attempts Toyota and Nissan have made spending billions to try to get a piece of that pie. Perhaps it bothers you that for 31 straight years Ford’s F-Series has been the best selling vehicle. Ford and GM have dominated this market and when you see the new ’09 F-150 you’ll agree this won’t change soon.

Did you realize that both GM and Ford offer more hybrid models than Nissan or Honda. Between 2005 and 2007, Ford alone has invested more than $22 billio n in research and development of technologies such as Eco Boost, flex fuel, clean diesel, hybrids, plug in hybrids and hydrogen cars.

It’s 2008 and the quality of the vehicles coming out of Detroit are once again the best in the world.
Perhaps Sen. Shelby isn’t really that blind. Maybe he realizes the quality shift to American. Maybe it’s the fact that his state of Alabama has given so much to land factories from Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes Benz that he is more concerned about their continued growth than he is about the people of our country. Sen. Shelby’s disdain for government subsidies is very hypocritical. In the early ’90s he was the driving force behind a $253 million incentive package to Mercedes. Pl us, Alabama agreed to purchase 2,500 vehicles from Mercedes. While the bridge loan the Big Three is requesting will be paid back, Alabama ‘s $180,000-plus per job was pure incentive. Sen. Shelby, not only are you out of touch, you are a self-serving hypocrite, who is prepared to ruin our nation because of lack of knowledge and lack of due diligence in making your opinions and decisions.

After 9/11, the Detroit Three and Harley Davidson gave $40 million-plus emergency vehicles to the recovery efforts. What was given to the 9/11 relief effort by the Asian and European Auto Manufactures? $0 Nada. Zip!

We live in a world of free trade, world economy and we have not been able to produce products as cost efficiently. While the gov ernments of other auto producing nations subsidize their automakers, our government may be ready to force its demise. While our automakers have paid union wages, benefits and legacy debt, our Asian competitors employ cheap labor. We are at an extreme disadvantage in production cost. Although many UAW concessions begin in 2010, many lawmakers think it’s not enough.

Some point the blame to corporate management. I would like to speak of Ford Motor Co. The company has streamlined by reducing our workforce by 51,000 since 2005, closing 17 plants and cutting expenses. Product and future product is excellent and the company is focused on one Ford. This is a company poised for success. Ford product quality and corporate management have improved light years since the nightmare of Jacques Nasser. Thank you Alan Mulally and the best auto company management team in the business.

Hey Junior, Mr. UAW, how many non-union contractors have you treated worse than terrorists? I have worked in Big 3 plants for over 10 years as a contractor. I want the Big 3 to survive and believe they build good vehicles. But it is the elitist union members who treat non-union workers as scum that makes me want the Big 3 to fail. You reap what you sow…

Whew! That’s quite a statement. First off, I think we can’t lose as tax payers if the auto companies get the money they ask for. Even if they go under, They could still sell off the machinery et al and still pay back the money at auction. I don’t think that will happen.
As for trucks, the US companies still builds the best.
My own personal experiences have been that a car is just a car no matter who builds it ( I do my own service & repairs). I’m not beholding to any particular car manufacturer. I’ve owned GM, Chrysler, Ford, Mitsubishi, Renault, Fiat, Toyota, Honda, and maybe one or two I can’t remember. They’ve all had advantages and disadvantages.
The Foreign companies setting up plants here don’t have the legacy of the unions’ situations to have to deal with. That gives them the advantage. But it also is one of the problems with today’s economic conditions. We need things like unions to protect the workers. The middle class is disappearing in the US. We are working harder for less benefits. It’s not fair. Without a strong middle class, there’s just going to be the rich and the poor; no in-between. Actually, I think we’re there now.
So give them the money, but with certain conditions, and quit being such (where the sun don’t shine).

I work on them and yes quality has come up. Actually Ford’s goal with the purchase of Volvo was to build cars like the Japanese do and service them the same way. Saturn came about with GM with that thinking and needs to be implemented company wide and Ford is trying to follow the Japanese way of treating a customer thinking.

Chrysler, in the 10 years under Mercedes should have been the best out the group, but we guess that Mercedes instead of making it a better company figured it was easier to fold it and sell off than rebuild the company like Ford did for it’s European luxury brands before recently selling them off.

Quality has gone up on the American side due to people not willing to put up with inferior parts anymore and many of these same biased writers have said publicly (Consumer reports on Toyota) that with the newer mass produced Japanese vehicles coming out nowadays that they won’t automatically give the cars a pick just based on past reputation like they did for years due to issues creeping up on these cars.

Also fast fact. The pickups that everyone goes down on, it’s still a top seller in mid America and for workers. It’s been said the days of the family pickup are gone and trucks for truck buyers are back.

Remember something, Toyota, Honda, and Nissan do not make trucks above half ton for the North American market currently (with Nissan supposedly being the first in 2011). These trucks are used for public works, all kind of commercial service and even as part of Ambulances and Fire trucks. The Americans are the only ones building them because of the demand, that the Japanese don’t want to tap as people may refer to them as unreliable until more is known.

On a final note, What is so funny is that technically the Americans screwed themselves with having the quality issues one, but in actually rebuilding the same competition that is threatening them now. The big auto manufacturers went to Japan in the 1950s and helped them rebuild their corporations after World War II, The Japanese cars when they hit these shores were considered garbage until the 1970s pollution equipment made the imports a bit better cars, and only now are the big three realizing the global market has come to America.

Hell YES The media is biased and anti-american when it comes to autos. Consumer Reports is probably the biggest one against american cars and they always have been for god knows how many years. The quality that everyone always seems to talk about with *** cars is BS. American cars have the same in quality ratings than the toys, hondas, etc. Today the cars are all built at pretty much the same standards throughout all plants so really…to say that one is better than the other is a crock. My own experience with *** vehicles is crap. I had a brand new 88 Toy 4wd truck and it was THE biggest piece of s**t I ever owned..never again with the ***, korean,or other crap countries autos!! I have a 92 ranger 4wd w 178000 on it and have had no problems with it at all. I also just saw a GM commercial that showed like 15 gm cars that all were rated over 30 mpg. So there again the US autos are right there with the japs at the same level. I just cant see how our government can give money to all these lieing cheating bastards on wall st without blinking a eye but will not LOAN money to the auto industry!! Those old wrinkled bastards in Wash should all be fired and start over!

so… there is a section of japan called “kobe” they raise cows there and call it “kobe beef” its the best thing they could produce with a cow. its expensive and hard to produce. but its good quality… just like a few of the cars they make there. so now there are all these people who think all american beef is bad because there is this one great japanese version…

apply that to our auto situation, there are some good cars coming from japan, but civic, accord, corolla and camry are not better than their american counterpart.

i own a 93 corolla, if i wanted an american car from that year it would not be that great of a car, i can admit a 93 tempo or escort is the last car i want, and in the case of the tempo it IS because of bad reliability… but i would not trade my 05 focus for an 05 corolla, not even close because by that time ford had small cars figured out just look at europe… i also would never trade an F-150 for a tundra or titan anyone who actually KNOWS trucks would say the same.

LOL, well put. Your answer is the complete and absolute failure of our schools. Our schools have become political footballs and abandoned the mission of education and teaching folks to think long ago. The goal of both parties is to indoctrinate. They fail, but the unintended consequence is that students are confused and do not have the tools to decide for themselves. Consider the situation in Israel. Without taking sides, when was the last time you read an answer that contained a fact and a supporting source? That’s what I thought. Unless we teach our students to identify BS, what can you expect? Bush! And that’s what you get, twice, for 8 years, Bushed.

1. Have you driven a foreign car?
2. Have you driven an American car?
3. Have you worked on a foreign car?
4. Have you worked on an American car?

I can say yes to all of these questions….as a Mechanical engineer I have enough knowledge to tell you what each team was thinking….

If the customers best interests are to be one of the key requirements in designing a vehicle….the design should minimize the interaction between service and that customer….

In other words…a good engineering team’s job is to try and put field service out of business….and it seems that Ford and other American companys, do the opposite….they design turds forcing the customer to take their vehicles in for service.

I cannot imagine paying $500+ dollars for every service the car receives. At every 15,000 miles this can get expensive.

One night, a collegue and I spent 6 hours trying to get a starter off of a 4.6L engine from a mustang…..

Never again and Good riddance!!!

I’ll take MY MONEY and my business to those who care about their customers. I have a choice NOT to buy a turd! Detroit needs to wake up to this fact!

yeah that is a long *** question lol!!!!! i think comparing is a waste of time. Sounds like another case of mis-management and the workers are goin to pay the price


My God, I’m not reading all that.

I’ll only answer the top part about “editors misinforming the public”.

No, people aren’t buying American cars because of what some stupid editor says or does, they’re not buying them because of the s***** ownership experience they had. People like you need to get your head of your a** before your stupid Ford, GM and Chrysler go under.

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