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      10-15-2009, 12:16 AM   #29
adrian1480
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantm3 View Post
You are right, but that's not the solution. The solution is for american car companies to build better cars that appeal to the market. If they are not selling, then they are obviously doing something wrong. We have great designers and engineers in this country. Somebody is steering them in the wrong direction.
they are doing that. the reality is that if foreign brand names were slapped onto some of these cars from Buick, Cadillac, and now Ford...people would be fawning over these cars like they were the Second Coming.

No, the technology isn't the problem. The engineering isn't the problem. The design and appeal isn't the problem. The problem is public trust. They sold customers up the river in the 90s BSing with quality to the point where people decided they weren't coming back. People have long memories when it comes to cars because they play such an important part in their lives. My ex will never buy another Ford, for example, because her alternator died during a long road trip 30 minutes after her cellphone battery died. In the middle of nowhere, stranded and afraid to let people who stopped by to help...help. That traumatic memory is attached to FORD. Can an alternator give out on a BMW? Honda? A Benz? A Bentley? Abso-dam-lutely. But they don't have the burden of that bad experience in her mind...that association isn't there...so she'll feel more comfortable buying any of those other brands.

And how many repeat customers did BMW blow with the whole fuel pump fiasco? Many of those customers will never come back. And if BMW had let that kind of quality issue persist for 10 or 15 years, they'd find themselves in the same position The Big 3 are now in. Not because their engineering couldn't improve with the next year's models...but because the trust of their potential buyers would have been dissolved. Because their name would be saddled with those bad experiences...they'd be struggling to get by.

No...the only thing that can save The Big 3 now is time. YES, their quality is now equivalent to anyone else in their classes. YES, they now have good designs that can sell. But trust...they don't have that. Trust will only come back with time and consistency. Trust is funny like that, and anyone who knows someone who's had their trust violated in an intimate relationship know that it's a loooooong road back to redemption.

Let us hope GM, Ford, and Chrysler survive that long walk.
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