Obama Car Task Force Owns Sensible Group of Autos

2008odyseey The Detroit News is reporting this morning on the car ownership status of President Barack Obama’s task force on the auto industry. The Detroit newspaper of course highlights the fact that only three of the 18 members and assistants own American, and two don’t even own cars.

That’s all well and good, and it obviously covers the Detroit News’ angle, but the report really glosses over the array of cars these folks do own. From the sensible collection of Hondas and Acuras to the fun Mini Cooper, these folks don’t seem to take many risks when it comes to buying cars for themselves. Besides one 1985 Peugeot and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, that is.

Check out the full list, borrowed from the Detroit News, below.

  • Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner owns a 2008 Acura TSX. He once owned a 1999 Honda Accord and a 2002 Acura MDX, according to public records.
  • Lawrence Summers owns a 1995 Mazda Protege. He previously owned a 1996 Ford Taurus GL.
  • Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag owns a 2008 Honda Odyssey and a 2004 Volvo S60. He previously owned a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 1982 Datsun.
  • Carol Browner, the White House climate czar, said earlier this month at the Washington auto show that she doesn't own an automobile. Public records show she once owned a 1999 Saab 9-5 SE.
  • Energy Secretary Steven Chu doesn't own a car, his wife, Jean Fetter, said in a telephone interview on Sunday. Cabinet officials are typically transported to and from work by security officials in government vehicles.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson owns a 2008 Toyota Prius and a Honda Odyssey minivan, she said Sunday. "It's great," she said of her Prius.
  • Vehicle information was not available for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood or Christine Romer, head of the Council of Economic Advisers.
  • Here's what task force policy aides drive:
  • Austan Goolsbee, staff director and chief economist for the White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board, owns a 2004 Toyota Highlander.
  • Joan DeBoer, the chief of staff to LaHood, said in an interview Sunday that she drives a 2008 Lexus RX 350. She doesn't consider herself "a car buff" and views her car as a way to get around town.
  • Heather Zichal, deputy director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, owns a Volvo C30, according to public records and officials.
  • Gene Sperling, counsel to the Treasury Secretary, owns a 2003 Lincoln LS, and previously owned a 1993 Saturn SL2.
  • Edward B. Montgomery, senior adviser to the Labor Department, owns a 1991 Harley-Davidson and previously owned a 1990 Ford Taurus L station wagon, public records show.
  • Lisa Heinzerling, senior climate policy counsel to the head of the EPA, owns a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback station wagon, according to her husband.
  • Diana Farrell, the deputy National Economic Council director, doesn't own a vehicle. Her husband, Scott Pearson, owns a 1985 Peugeot 505 S.
  • Dan Utech, senior adviser to the Energy Secretary, owns a 2003 Mini Cooper S two-door hatchback.
  • Rick Wade, a senior adviser at the Commerce Department, owns a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier and previously owned a 1998 Toyota Corolla.
  • Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's chief economist, owns a 2005 Honda Odyssey.
By David Thomas | February 23, 2009 | Comments (50)
Tags: In The News

Comments 

Ziggy

Let's face most Americans don't own American, let alone Obama's cabinet. If they did then the Big 3 wouldn't be having the problems they're having. The reason for saving the auto industry is purely economic. It's not because they have all these fantastic, reliable cars that people are dying to buy.

Bowrider

It makes my ass tired to read that cabinet officials have security detail. 99.9% of strangers couldn't point them out in a crowd.

Six

It's silly that people are criticizing them for not owning enough domestic cars, as opposed to makes such as Saab and Mazda that are owned by domestic makes, and imports made in the US.

Would it really be better if they drove GM cars made in Korea?

...or Fords made in Mexico?

_

or Chrysler made in Canada?

John

It's ridiculous how misinformed the general public is regarding the reliability of the Big 3 cars. This is where perception clearly lags reality. American cars are highly reliable in recent times, as suggested by various car magazines and Consumer Reports. Get past the reliability issues ... it's getting old already.

The Big 3 woes mainly lies in the huge labor costs (thanks to the unions) that put them in an uncompetitive position with foreign car companies. Recent or new products coming from Ford, GM, and Chrysler show that they can produce great-looking, reliable cars if they put their money into them.

Happymantis

John, when you say the public is misinformed about the reliability of the Big 3 products, I hope you mean the reliability of Ford, which is the only domestic manufacturer that has multiple reliable platforms, GM's products are hit or miss with reliability, and Chrysler has absolutely no vehicles that Consumer Reports would recommend on reliability alone...

JP

Stop blaming the Unions for everything. Look at some foreign automakers and you'll see that they are also very unionized and work with labor. We have to get over the us against mentality here in the U.S. and look for win win solutions. What really hurts us is our entire model. Hurry and bring cars to market and then fix the problems or let the consumer deal with them. Corporate greed basically. The Big three did it to themselves, I believe the talent and ability to build good cars exists in the U.S.

Original sheth

happymantis:

CR's model for collecting information is a sham. No statistician would support what they do. In addition, I suggest you look at CR's data closely and get a handle on what they consider a "reliability" problem. GM models do just as well as Toyota models in many cases if you check out ratings for mechanical and electrical systems. CR surveys consistently show problems in GM vehicles related to more subjective areas like "body integrity" or audio systems. CR counts any complaint as a "reliability" problem and gives people the impression that anything not made in Asia (or by Ford) is supposedly unreliable. That is not the case at all. JD powers results show GM models doing better than average in many cases.

Original sheth

"It's silly that people are criticizing them for not owning enough domestic cars, as opposed to makes such as Saab and Mazda that are owned by domestic makes, and imports made in the US.

Would it really be better if they drove GM cars made in Korea?"

six,

Is it really silly? How are people who have no connection to the industry and no familiarity with American branded products really going to help? Most of the internet media has attacked the Detnews for the story but their point is valid. The people on the task force dont drive or know anything about American cars and yet they are supposed to care about the companies that need US assistance. I can guarantee you that the majority of the people on this task force believe in all the CR propagated outdated nonsense about American cars being unreliable, low tech and inefficient.

As for vehicles imported by GM or Ford I would say that you need to remember that American content is what counts. GM and Ford import very few vehicles that dont have a substantial amount of US content. Cant say the same for Toyota which imports 46% of its vehicles into North America. The Fusion is made in mexico but thats just a final assembly point. I am willing to bet the NA content for Fusion is as high as the camry and accord. Meanwhile Toyota imports high volume vehicles from Japan (prius) with 100% Japanese content. Same for every infiniti except the QX56 and most of the small Japanese cars sold here. Sorry, but assembling Fusions in Mexico doesnt make Ford a foreign automaker.

Belly

Shet, I knew it was a matter of time before you started spouting your nonsense on this topic. It is not North American content that counts, it is American as in USA content that counts for this country, get it straight. NAFTA is not helping workers find jobs in this country.

And you put down CR reliability data which you previously whole-hearted endorse on other posts. Quit contradicting yourself (and anyway how is body integrity subjective and engine problems not? It either rusts or it doesn't) Either it is or isn't a good measure, pick one. And JD powers does not rate GM vehicles well. Ford is definitely getting better, but it still lags Honda and Toyota as an average.

Policy makers do not have to drive an American car to know about American car makers, where do you get your leap in logic? If you know cars, you know cars. And just because they don't own one now, doesn't mean they didn't before. They probably did own them, had problems, and vowed never to buy one again. People like you would just bow to the whims of the industry the first time they complained it was too hard to meet a legislative goal. Quit thinking you are as smart as a politician, you are a blogger who tries to bend the truth and doesn't even get half the story on issues.

Original sheth

Belly,

Poorly informed as always. Several GM brands do well in JD Power initial and 3 year quality surveys. JD Powers consistently ranks Asian brands (aside from Honda/Lexus/Acura) lower than CR and consistently ranks GM brands better than CR. Unlike CR JD power actually surveys different people every year and uses logical methods of collecting information.

"body integrity" could mean anything from a squeak or rattle to a lose piece of trim. Its very vague and its in categories like that where GM vehicles often get average or below average ratings. "Average" doesnt mean unreliable in today's vehicles. Remember, CR only rates vehicles by how they compare to an average problem rate, not on an actualy problem or failure rate. The average car may only have problems 5% of the time and thus anything over that is below average and supposedly "unreliable". CR's data is flawed no matter how you cut it. That said, if you are a believer than its undeniable that many GM vehicles and most Ford vehicles are reliable. Period.

Us content is better than NAFTA content. NAFTA content is better than Japanese content. I can guarantee you that Toyota has far more vehicles with neglible US or NAFTA content than GM or Ford. To equate assembly of the Fusion in Mexico with assembly in GErmany or Japan with 100% foreign content is ridiculous.

Original sheth

Belly,

The panel doesnt know anything about cars based on their backgrounds. Most industry experts agreed the Czar or panel needed to have a car or manufacturing background. Sorry, I am very familiar with the issues. You are of the naive position that anything said by anyone working closely with or inside the auto industry is to be ignored or dismissed while views of politicians and anti-car groups with an agenda are to be taken as gospel. That is just ridiculous. Trying to correct an industry with people who have no basis in the industry is questionable to say the least.

Belly

You couldn't be more full of it. Post a link to JD powers and then tell me again how CR and JD powers are so different. The only reason they are different is that they rank different things, like manufacturers as a whole. Yes there are standouts at GM, but they are few and far between. Honda and Toyota beat GM, Ford, and Chrysler in JD power studies, go ahead post the link or the information, you are wrong. Just like your statement about body integrity, engine could mean anything as well then - from a rattle to a full blow gasket. There is not a perfect system, JD powers system is subject to complaints just like CR, it is no better, period (I can write them out too! LOL!) NAFTA content? WTF, why is that any better than Japanese? It is money that is going to another country. Who cares if it is Mexico or Japan, just because it is within the same continent does mean it is any better for the American worker. Japanese companies are more likely to invest in production facilities in the US than what a Mexican or Canadian car company, are there any Mexican or Canadian car companies? Nobody equated Fusion assembly in Mexico with 100% content in Germany, WTH are you talking about? Get a clue.

What do you think makes up content anyway? If the vehicle's assembly is in Mexico, American workers don't build it. How many of the electrical parts do you think are made in America? Which do you think employees more US workers, a stamping plant for panels or an assembly line for a car? You haven't a clue.

And yet again you try to tell me you know something by quoting what the industry heads want. That shows how incorrect you are! The US industry heads are the ones who have gotten wrong time and time again, why listen to them? You are only familiar with one side of the issue, for the third time get a clue.

Original sheth

Belly:

Read this post slowly and try to comprehend what I am telling you.

1. JD powers ranks vehicle brands so your assertion that "GM" does poorly in JD Powers is stupid. They rank each brand separately. Buick tied Lexus in the 3 year dependability ranking last year or 2007. Cadillac also does well. To my knowledge Saab and Hummer are the lowest ranking brands from GM.
2. JD Power and CR methods are very different. CR sends surveys to the same group of people each year while JD Power RANDOMLY surveys car owners and thus has a different sample EACH year. You dont get accurate information by using CR's methods. CR defends its flawed methods by bragging about how many people it surveys. That is irrelevant.
3. All of the Big 3 have slashed warranty expenses over the past 5 years or so which tells you quality is increasing.
4. Long term tests conducting by various auto magazines show no proof that there is a discernable difference in quality between imports and domestics.
5. NAFTA production is better because US suppliers are more likely to benedfit. US suppliers get ZERO benefit from products made in Germany in Japan. Those countries have their own supply chains and have little need for US producers. Many of the vehicles assembled in Canada and Mexico have high US content. Obviously the best case scenario is to have US built vehicles with US based suppliers.
6. Do some research on Toyota's operations in the US. While vehicles like the Tundra are highly American many of their other vehicles use parts (including powertrains) imported from Japan. Toyota has a vehicle capacity of 2.2M in NAFTA countries but only 400k transmissions. Where do you think the other 75% of the transmissions come from?
7. When I say "industry" people I am including auto journalists and analysts. You are totally off base if you believe that everyone is in agreement with the anti Detroit position of people like yourself and environmentalists. I have read numerous blogs and articles where intelligent people who know about the industry are saying the Big 3 have gotten a bad rap from the press and politicians who know nothing about cars. Many industry people agree that forcing automakers to build more efficient cars while not instituting a tax policy ro make those cars more appealing is STUPID.

"Japanese companies are more likely to invest in production facilities in the US than what a Mexican or Canadian car company, are there any Mexican or Canadian car companies? "

The big 3 have invested far more in the US than the transplants in the last few decades. They invest more, they employ more people and they source more content from US suppliers. Period. These are not debatable points. ON top of that Toyota and Nissan have production facilities in Mexico and/or Canada. I believe Honda has some production in Canada too. VW also assembled vehicles iN mexico for sale in the US. IN addition, Mexico and canada buy a substantial number of Big 3 products so it makes sense to offer them jobs. Japan buys no cars from America so their exports to the US are part of a one sided trade relationship. Canada and Mexico are markets for the Big 3- Japan is not in spite of haviing a far higher population and more wealth. The B3 get NOTHING out of Japan and SOMETHING out of NAFTA countries so it makes some sense to assemble products there.

Original sheth

PS:

Another difference between JD Power and CR is that JD power uses a problems per hundred vehicles stat to show you how brands rank. CR refuses to issue such numbers and instead relies on graphs and circles. Why do they do that? Because they dont want people to see how close the ppv numbers are between brands. If Toyotas have 90 problems/100 vehicles and Chevy has 105/100 vehicles it becomes hard to convince people that Chevys are "unreliable" so they present the info in a format that makes the differences seem large.

Belly

Shet, just read, actually learn to read and you might get somewhere for once:

1. JD powers ranks vehicle brands so your assertion that "GM" does poorly in JD Powers is stupid. They rank each brand separately. Buick tied Lexus in the 3 year dependability ranking last year or 2007. Cadillac also does well. To my knowledge Saab and Hummer are the lowest ranking brands from GM.

You are the one that was saying GM does well, so how can you now claim that GM isn't even ranked? You idiot, you just totally contradicted yourself.

2. JD Power and CR methods are very different. CR sends surveys to the same group of people each year while JD Power RANDOMLY surveys car owners and thus has a different sample EACH year. You dont get accurate information by using CR's methods. CR defends its flawed methods by bragging about how many people it surveys. That is irrelevant.

Survey size is irrelevant? In a survey? You think if you randomly surveyed 10 people then you would have a good survey? Why is it so much more important that the people are chosen randomly? Unless you are saying that all 10,000 or so people are biased. Good call.

3. All of the Big 3 have slashed warranty expenses over the past 5 years or so which tells you quality is increasing.

Or the Big 3 isn't selling as many cars. It is not a one to one connection. You don't know how surveys and variables work I understand.

4. Long term tests conducting by various auto magazines show no proof that there is a discernable difference in quality between imports and domestics.

Hah! Let's see those tests, not just a writer making that statement. I know American makes have improved, but to say there is no difference, you are wrong.

5. NAFTA production is better because US suppliers are more likely to benedfit. US suppliers get ZERO benefit from products made in Germany in Japan. Those countries have their own supply chains and have little need for US producers. Many of the vehicles assembled in Canada and Mexico have high US content. Obviously the best case scenario is to have US built vehicles with US based suppliers.

US suppliers of what? If US manufacturers make the parts that go into German cars yes they benefit. Many vehicles assembled in Canada and Mexico may have more parts made in America, but like I said, which is more important to actually build the cars in America or just to make the parts? Which process employs more workers? Do you know, no you don't, don't talk like you do.

6. Do some research on Toyota's operations in the US. While vehicles like the Tundra are highly American many of their other vehicles use parts (including powertrains) imported from Japan. Toyota has a vehicle capacity of 2.2M in NAFTA countries but only 400k transmissions. Where do you think the other 75% of the transmissions come from?

Then that means there should be more incentives for Toyota to bring their manufacturing operations over here. After all the other crap you post on here, I don't even believe your numbers are real.

7. When I say "industry" people I am including auto journalists and analysts. You are totally off base if you believe that everyone is in agreement with the anti Detroit position of people like yourself and environmentalists. I have read numerous blogs and articles where intelligent people who know about the industry are saying the Big 3 have gotten a bad rap from the press and politicians who know nothing about cars. Many industry people agree that forcing automakers to build more efficient cars while not instituting a tax policy ro make those cars more appealing is STUPID.

DA - quit bringing it back to tax policy, you have already been shown to have no idea in that area (or any other really). Anyway, when did I say there shouldn't be tax policy to encourage more efficient cars? I was the one who advocated for that, not the blind gas tax that would hurt new car sales that you advocate. How many of those blogs and other analysts consistently review Hondas and Toyotas and say they are better than Fords, GM, and Chrysler? A whole lot, even if all you read is the Detroit News.

"Japanese companies are more likely to invest in production facilities in the US than what a Mexican or Canadian car company, are there any Mexican or Canadian car companies? "

The big 3 have invested far more in the US than the transplants in the last few decades. They invest more, they employ more people and they source more content from US suppliers. Period. These are not debatable points. ON top of that Toyota and Nissan have production facilities in Mexico and/or Canada. I believe Honda has some production in Canada too. VW also assembled vehicles iN mexico for sale in the US. IN addition, Mexico and canada buy a substantial number of Big 3 products so it makes sense to offer them jobs. Japan buys no cars from America so their exports to the US are part of a one sided trade relationship. Canada and Mexico are markets for the Big 3- Japan is not in spite of haviing a far higher population and more wealth. The B3 get NOTHING out of Japan and SOMETHING out of NAFTA countries so it makes some sense to assemble products there.

No, no again you are arguing about some stupid point that you yourself made up. You think just because US automakers sell more cars in Mexico than Japan that it benefits the US so much? Get another clue. The B3 get a reduction in expenses by making cars in Mexico, that is why they do it, not because they sell cars in Mexico. Really what benefit does selling some cars in Mexico get them? Do you know what the percentage of profits is? Nope you don't. If cars are built in Mexico then Americans don't build it, got it? No you probably don't... Selling cars in Mexico does not mean that those jobs are coming back to the US. Honda and Toyota having plants in the US does more for the US economy than selling a small number of cars in Mexico (or Canada).

Belly

PS:

Another difference between JD Power and CR is that JD power uses a problems per hundred vehicles stat to show you how brands rank. CR refuses to issue such numbers and instead relies on graphs and circles. Why do they do that? Because they dont want people to see how close the ppv numbers are between brands.

You idiot, the reason they do that is because people have a an easier time looking at it. If GM vehicles actually were better it would show, CR does not have a conspiracy against American vehicles, JD power numbers also show this.

Original sheth

"You are the one that was saying GM does well, so how can you now claim that GM isn't even ranked? You idiot, you just totally contradicted yourself. "

Why would GM as a whole be rated and not brands? That makes no sense. My point still stands: In JD POwer surveys Gm brands and models do pretty well. CR's results are not consistent with that because they survey the same people every year and get the same results. CR readers are obviously going to be partial to Asian cars because thats primarily what CR recommends.

Survey size is irrelevant if the methodology is flawed. This is stasitics 101 my friend. Why do you think political polls contact new people every time? What sense would it make to sample the same group of people to gauge the public's sentiment about an election? I am not aware of any major poll or survey that uses methods similar to that of CR. The people who are surveyed are CR's captive audience and thus those people's opinions about their vehicle are likely to be affected by CR's ranking. CR makes it clear that all the best cars are Asian or German. Even though Ford is doing better in reliability CR doesnt actually rank many Ford highly in its tests.

"Then that means there should be more incentives for Toyota to bring their manufacturing operations over here. After all the other crap you post on here, I don't even believe your numbers are real."

Go to Toyota's media site. They have information about their US manufacturing operations on there. They have a capacity for only 400k transmissions a year in North America. That is far less than their vehicle capacity. On top of that Toyota imports more vehicles now than it did in 1990 when it had a smaller US presence. The US factories have given them cover amongst the ignorant to import more vehicles than ever from Japan. Its on their website. They imported 46% of their NOrth American volume in 2008.

"Selling cars in Mexico does not mean that those jobs are coming back to the US. Honda and Toyota having plants in the US does more for the US economy than selling a small number of cars in Mexico (or Canada)."

Canada and Mexico buy vehicles made in their countries AND the US. Japan buys no cars from the US. Also, the big 3 produce more vehicles in the US than all 5 transplants combined. Where do you get off suggesting that the economic impact of the Asian manufacturers in the US is larger than the Big 3? Ford and Gm have far more plants in the US than Honda and Toyota. furthermore, I just told you that Honda and Toyota make some vehicles in Canada and ship them to the US. Just like the Big 3. I know the truth hurts. You have been brainwashed into thinking that these companies are American and they are not. BTW, when Toyota advertises its US workforce size it counts dealer employees even though they dont get a paycheck from Toyota.

Hyundai has a commercial out now talking about how they employ 35k people here. I guarantee you that figure includes dealership people. They dont employ 35k people here with one US plant.

Belly

Let's take this one at a time, you obviously can't handle more than that. Here is how CR states they conduct their surveys (straight from their website):

We conduct most of our surveys by polling a portion of the several million readers who subscribe to Consumer Reports or to ConsumerReports.org. Our biggest effort, the Annual Questionnaire, is sent to all subscribers each spring. Our surveys of our subscribers afford us very large sample sizes and permit extensive and detailed analysis, which allows us to rate a large number of brands for quality of service and for product reliability. We also survey consumers outside our readership to get the most accurate representation of U.S. households.

Did you read that last sentence? And where is that you get the idea that they only survey the same people? Another one of your made up BS ideas.

Like the rest of Consumers Union, the Research Center is free of corporate influence and advertising. Its surveys are not commissioned or funded by industry, government, academia or big media. Rather, these surveys are designed to gather unbiased, objective information from consumers for the sole purpose of informing and protecting them.

And how about that, they even state they are unbiased. Do you know what it means to be unbiased Shet? No, you don't.

Belly

Survey size is irrelevant if the methodology is flawed. This is stasitics 101 my friend. Why do you think political polls contact new people every time?

They contact new people all the time? What?! Where do you think the political polls come up with the addresses and phone numbers for everyone? They just pull them out of a hat? That is illegal.

I am not aware of any major poll or survey that uses methods similar to that of CR. The people who are surveyed are CR's captive audience and thus those people's opinions about their vehicle are likely to be affected by CR's ranking.

Try any magazine that conducts a poll of its readers. They all do that. Your logic is also circular, even thought it is a stretch to call anything you post logic.

Belly

Dang lost my previous post, but here is what I was saying:

CR's survey methodology (straight from the website):

We conduct most of our surveys by polling a portion of the several million readers who subscribe to Consumer Reports or to ConsumerReports.org. Our biggest effort, the Annual Questionnaire, is sent to all subscribers each spring. Our surveys of our subscribers afford us very large sample sizes and permit extensive and detailed analysis, which allows us to rate a large number of brands for quality of service and for product reliability. We also survey consumers outside our readership to get the most accurate representation of U.S. households.

Shet, read the last sentence, I know it is hard. But you want to say they are biased because they don't agree with your biased opinion.

Belly

Whoops, guess it wasn't lost but anyway, maybe Shet will get the point then.

They imported 46% of their NOrth American volume in 2008.

How content from GM and Ford was built in Mexico and Canada in 2008? And what was Toyota imported volume in 2007?

Original sheth

Only a fool would think GM or Ford imports CLOSE to 46% of their vehicles from Canada and Mexico. EVen if they did many of those vehicles use US made parts. Simple question: How many vehicles imported from Japan or S. Korean or Germany use a considerable amount of US componentry? Try to answer that for me before going on and on about GM/Ford plants in Mexico and Canada. It is lunacy to criticize them for doing that while praising Toyota as "american" for importing 46% of their volume. To my knowledge some Focus are built in Mexico as well as the Fusion/Milan. Mustang, Taurus, F150, MKS and some focus' are built in the US. GM builds the Impala and Equinox in Canada. They build the Vue and some large trucks in Mexico. The Malibu, CTS, most pickups/large SUVs, Aura, lamdba crossovers, STS, Cobalt, Corvette, Soltice/sky, small pickups, Hummers, etc. are all built in the US. So is the Vibe. I can assure you GM and ford do not build 40% of their vehicles out of the US.

CR brags about their large subsriber base in EVERY new car issue. They never offer specific numbers of "outsiders" nor do they indicate that the majority of their survey respondents are outsiders. The point is that if you want reliable data you RANDOMLY survey people. For example, if you want to a political poll you dont survey the same groupd of Fox News fans each time and then pretend the results are objective. Does not work like that. Even if you believe in CR's methods their presentation of information is flawed. They only report "reliability" as it relates to the average for the class, not overall reliability. This is another reason why surveying the same people caused problems. If 90% of CR respondents drive "reliable" Asian branded cars that skews the "average" and means a slightly less reliable Chevy will be shown as "much worse than average" and get a black circle.

Most people that follow the industry (including CR) knows that "reliability" problems these days are typically annoyances. For example, if someone has trouble with a nav system or iDrive (it may even be their fault or lack of understanding) they respond by saying their car is having electrical or audio system problems. MB said a while ago that their cars did worse in CR surveys because of the number of gadgets and the amount of technology they put in their cars. This makes some sense because cars with complicated user interfaces or nav systems tend to to worse in CR than simple economy cars from Toyota and Honda. Cadillacs dont do well in CR for this reason. If you look at CR's breakdown on any cadillac the problems are usually related to electrical systems or audio systems.

"Try any magazine that conducts a poll of its readers. They all do that. Your logic is also circular, even thought it is a stretch to call anything you post logic."

Magazine opinion polls are not scientific and are only interested in a quick gauge of opinion. That is not the same as gathering statistics. Use common sense. Next you will be telling me that web polls are scientific. here is the bottom line: If CR were to do a random survey of car owners their results would change overnight. Their data is not consistent with JD Powers, long term tests in magazines or even real owners that I know. My brother had a first gen 3 that had numerous issues in his 2 years of ownership and the car had at least 3-4 warranty repairs. according to CR the 3 is supremely reliable. Another flaw with CR is that they wont recommend vehicles that dont "pass" their road tests. They never tell us what score you need to be recommended. The Impala isnt recommended because it scored a 62/100 in their ambiguous road test but other models that are recommended have scores that low. Can you explain that? There are a few GM models that have average reliability but cant get recommended because CR determined the cars werent good enough to recomment. Cobalt is another example although they gave the SS model an extremely high score.

Original sheth

"And how about that, they even state they are unbiased. Do you know what it means to be unbiased Shet? No, you don't."

Name one automotive publication that calls itself "biased". Are you serious? Every publication believes that its results are the best out there. CR's basic premise is that any magazine that accepts ad revenue cant be trusted to be objective. How does that make sense when the Big 3 have spent millions on ads over the years and generally have had their vehicles panned? Edmunds has tons of GM ads running every single day and they rarely give GM products stellar reviews. Aside from the CTS and G8 there are few GM products they wholehartedly endorse. They dont even like the corvette that much. CR's position is a ruse to make people think their methods should not be questions. To this day I am waiting for CR to explain how they come up with their road test scores. see if you can find that on their site. Two identically performing vehicles in a test might score 10-15 points apart and they dont even provide an explantion. Every domestic midsize sedan they test inexplicably scores lower than a comparable import even if there is little difference in performance, space, saftey gear or ergonomics.

DL

most automotive publications' long-term vehicles that are American brands tend to have few more problem areas than Japanese brands; especially when it comes to little things like squeaks and rattles.

JD Power's "Dependability" data only goes back 3 years. that's pretty worthless since cars these days all tend to be quite "dependable" in the first few years. previously, someone posted other sites that have tiny sample sizes. regardless, an informed shopper uses more than 1 or 2 resources and will make an educated conclusion for him/herself. suffice it to say, each survey has its strength and weakness.

Belly

^Yet again Shet, no one believes your garbage. Thank goodness.

H

Here's what I believe, Belly: Right or wrong, OS provided mostly thoughtful responses in defense of his positions but the only position you have is trying to prove him wrong for the sake of proving him wrong and nothing more. So why not give it a rest and believe what you want to believe and let him believe what he wants to believe and the rest of us will do as DL stated - make an educated conclusion for him/herself.

Belly

Sure Shet, the reason I have proven you time and time again is because if everyone was like you they would not demand a better product. They would just keel over and let GM succeed by building crap like they have in years past. There was no reason to tolerate it then, nor is there now. But really I have a question for you, why do you think CR is biased against American makes? Specifically what purpose does it serve for them to be biased about vehicles?

scratch

Are the American people that stupid. this is a consumer driven economy. think about it. when you buy american made products that money stays in america to feed the economy. when you send your US dollars on there one way trip to japan it is gone forever. it is no longer able to feed our economy. even when foreign cars are made in the america, only one third of that money stays in the US. the american big three pay taxes in this country, there employees pay taxes in this country. and your consumer dollars stay in this country. the us government is 1.3 trillion dollars in debt. our economy has gone down the tubes and still people keep sending there money to japan. if you are looking for who to blame for all of this, first look in your drive way. then look in the mirror.

scratch

when the ford plant closed in hazelwood, mo. the hazelwood school district lost four million dollars a year. the city of hazelwood lost seventeen percent of it's operating budget. buy american stupid

.

Damn right, buy American (are) stupids!

The American car companies build cars in Mexico and Canada does NOT help US workers to keep their jobs.

This is capitalism, and I spend my hard earn money on whatever I want, whatever is the superior, and whatever that worths it.
Why am I spending my hard earn money to "help" a company that makes inferior product, housing incompetent workers, and sending jobs across the border!

Belly

That is just it, buying American doesn't serve American workers as much as it does a fat cat CEO, or a private equity company. I don't even believe it is the American workers that are the problem as much as I believe that GM, Chrysler, and Ford try to save money by using cheap components.

Original sheth

"Sure Shet, the reason I have proven you time and time again is because if everyone was like you they would not demand a better product. They would just keel over and let GM succeed by building crap like they have in years past. There was no reason to tolerate it then, nor is there now. But really I have a question for you, why do you think CR is biased against American makes? Specifically what purpose does it serve for them to be biased about vehicles? "

Belly:

I hate to have to explain so much to you but you are so naive and ill informed that its a nonstop task. CR is about JUSTIFYING ITS OWN EXISTENCE. I know you hate American products and embrace any source that bashed American products but CR is a sham. They dont hate American products because they are build here, they hate them because they need to have someone be the bad guy to justify their auto issues. Crs road test scores and comments are often way out of line with other publications. CR claims that virtually every Toyota and Honda product scores near the top of the charts in their road tests. No other magazine shares that view of Toyota products. Generally speaking Toyota makes some of the softest handling vehicles on the road.

CR has been preaching that import cars are the best for the last 30 years and they arent going to change that position. IF they did change that position people would question the need to consult the magazine. Think about it: if people start thinking most cars are reliable they will not care about reliability rankings and CR's car issues would be worthless. This is why they dont offer PPV stats in thier issues. They never tell you what the actual problem rates are for any vehicles. They just offer you charts and circles that rate vehicles vs the mean.

CR's testing and procedures are inconsistent and unfair. They NEVER automatically recommend ANY domestic vehicle but until recently they automatically recommended EVERY new Toyota vehicle. They have changed that policy for Toyota but not Honda and others. Meanwhile the 2010 Fusion will likely not be recommended because they will say they have to wait for reliability data. If a prior generation of a domestic vehicle is reliable the new version should get the benefit of the doubt but they refuse to do that. There are also instances where cars on the same platform with the same mechanicals get different reliability or recommendation ratings. The Lacrosse and Impala are exampled. Both are average in reliability but the Impala is not recommended because they say its road test score it too low.

Original sheth

"That is just it, buying American doesn't serve American workers as much as it does a fat cat CEO, or a private equity company. I don't even believe it is the American workers that are the problem as much as I believe that GM, Chrysler, and Ford try to save money by using cheap components."

The big 3 and the Asian automakers use many of the same suppliers. It makes no sense to say that ONLY the domestics are using cheap components. Wagoner got his salary cut in half a few years back and agreed to work for $1 while GM took public money.

Wrong again.

Also, to claim that buying american doesnt help american workers is just silly. I dont think buying any of the hundreds of thousands of cars Toyota imports helps Americans. At least Honda makes most of its vehicles in the US. While you are focused on Mexico and Canada you continue to ignore that cars like the MKS, Mustang, Cobalt, Malibu, Aura, CTS and Focus are built in the US.

C

Hate to jump on board, but just to share my 2 cents.

Recently rode in my neighbor's Edge.
Good: Good acceleration, sporty muffler sound.
Bad: Material, hard plastic.

Original sheth

"Why am I spending my hard earn money to "help" a company that makes inferior product, housing incompetent workers, and sending jobs across the border!"

Which companies are you talking about?

The ones I am talking about:

a) employ more americans than the transplants
b) make quality product
c) pay their line workers about the same as what Toyota pays their non union workers.

So your logic is to help American workers by buying cars only from companies that import millions of vehicles (combined) into the US and do most of their engineering abroad? In case you didnt know there are jobs at an auto company not related to assembly. The foreign automakers primarily have assembly operations here. Most of their administrative work and engineering work is done at home.

Get informed.

.

Get informed?
WTH are you smoking?
The engineering work is done back home? California is the home.
How many designs came out from California nowadays?
Quality products? Rattle, leaks, and recalls weekly are quality products?
Employ more American workers while trying their very best to send jobs across the border to Mexico!
Paying as much, but the work that the workers do is much less, and that's what I mean by INCOMPETENT WORKERS.
Learn how to read.

.

Some Focus is also built in Canada.
Quit acting like you have no idea about it. Crack head.

H

Focus production was consolidated to Ford's Wayne Stamping & Assembly facility located where? Why in Wayne, Michigan. Take off hoser!

Go work as an engineer for a Japanese company and then tell me how much the Japanese allow their American employees to do.

Last publicized recall? Mazda CX-9, designed and manufactured where? Hiroshima, Japan.

DL

we have a global economy; "buy American" now could often mean purchasing products made elsewhere (components or assembly), putting money into a company actually owned by a foreign entity, or supporting a business that cheats our country by evading taxes and hiding money in the Cayman islands.

we need to look ahead, become more competitive globally, and stop focusing on little crappy details like what the Obama taskforce is driving or whether more Chevy's are made in Mexico or in the US.

.

Hiroshima, Japan.

Wasn't that the place where the US troops dropped their first atomic bomb in Japan?

No wondered.

Belly

Stupid Shet,

IF they did change that position people would question the need to consult the magazine. Think about it: if people start thinking most cars are reliable they will not care about reliability rankings and CR's car issues would be worthless. This is why they dont offer PPV stats in thier issues. They never tell you what the actual problem rates are for any vehicles. They just offer you charts and circles that rate vehicles vs the mean.

CR does not only review cars, they also review many other products. They don't "justify their own existence just based on car reviews. They don't need to offer PPV, JD power has already shown that. The top selling GM brands don't compare, both JD powers and CR show that.

CR claims that virtually every Toyota and Honda product scores near the top of the charts in their road tests. No other magazine shares that view of Toyota products. Generally speaking Toyota makes some of the softest handling vehicles on the road.

Just about every car review magazine or website ranks Toyota and Honda at the top. There isn't one that doesn't. They are the ones every other car is compared to. You yourself have proven that. Wake up moron.

CR's testing and procedures are inconsistent and unfair. They NEVER automatically recommend ANY domestic vehicle but until recently they automatically recommended EVERY new Toyota vehicle.

This is complete BS. CR has always road tested the vehicles at one point or another. They never automatically recommend anything. You are a compete liar on this one.

The big 3 and the Asian automakers use many of the same suppliers. It makes no sense to say that ONLY the domestics are using cheap components.

Tell me which suppliers they share and for what parts? You have no idea, and no answer. Many suppliers are different, how's that for response? Domestics use cheap components because they have to make more money on each vehicle to support themselves, that has already been discussed to death don't try to deny it.

Wagoner got his salary cut in half a few years back and agreed to work for $1 while GM took public money.

Oh my gosh, his salary got cut to 1.2 million from 2.8 or whatever it was. Wow he must be feeling so sorry. What about all the bonuses and other incentives that he gets that isn't classified as salary? Again you haven't a clue. You are a real ass for standing up for a piece of garbage CEO who has run a company into the ground. Who loves American? You want to see the man at the top keep living large huh? What do you do for living really?

Also, to claim that buying american doesnt help american workers is just silly. I dont think buying any of the hundreds of thousands of cars Toyota imports helps Americans.

I never claimed that. You are putting your own words out there like usual. Buying Toyota does help if it is a car that is built in the US. It makes the demand for the car go up therefore it justifies the existence of the plant in the US. Economics, ever read about it? Can you read? Really, I am asking you that as a serious question? Or does your Mom have to help you?

While you are focused on Mexico and Canada you continue to ignore that cars like the MKS, Mustang, Cobalt, Malibu, Aura, CTS and Focus are built in the US.

Yeah what about them? What about the ones that are built in Canada and Mexico that used to be built in the US?

Belly

And as for H (Otherwise known as Stupid Shet), here is a nice article that details what being made in the US is all about:

http://www.autobytel.com/content/shared/articles/templates/index.cfm/article_id_int/1965

"in order to be “American Made,” a vehicle must be assembled here, with 75 percent of its content sourced from the US. The top selling cars that failed the test, in alphabetical order:

Chevrolet Equinox,Chevrolet HHR,Chevrolet Impala,Chevrolet Tahoe,Chrysler 300,Chrysler PT Cruiser,Dodge Charger,Ford Focus,Ford Fusion,Ford Mustang

sheth

DL;


Its sad that you have that view. Please share that thinking with the Germans and Japanese. They dont agree. Only Americans are in a rush to dispose of their auto industry because "it doesnt matter". Other industrialized powers disagree. Having the ability to design and build a car with US knowledge is important.


Belly:

The cars you named are build in Canada or Mexico. No suprised that they would not top a list of the most American cars. You think Lexus models or the Prius are more American? Think again.

1. CR automatically recommends imports based on prior reliability. This is AFTER they road test the vehicles. I never said they dont road test the vehicles. They never recommend ANY domestic vehicles without waiting for data. Just one more reason why they cant be taken seriously.

2. JD Power results are not consistent with CRs with regards to reliability. Buick ranks amongst the most reliable brands in JD Power surveys. In CR they are average. cadillac ranks high in JD Power but in CR no cadillacs get recommended and cadillacs repeatedly get poor reliability scores. You are a liar. And you are poorly informed.

3. Toyota's generally get lukewarm reviews from much of the automotive press and Toyotas rarely win comparison tests. Toyotas are not known for handling prowess. Hondas tend to do better.

4. North American producers use some of the same suppliers. Toyota and the other transplants like to brag about how they utilize American suppliers. read articles about the industry and you will see what I am talking about. This is why Toyota and the others have not publically opposed the bailout. They know what ford said was true: If GM goes down many suppliers wont be far behind and GM's competitors need those suppliers. Get a clue.

5. Most CEOs non salary compensation is made up of stock options. GM's stock is almost worthless. Whatever shares Wagoner gets for compensation are not helping him out now. This is common sense. If you know of additional compensation let me know. As usual you are doing nothing but engaging in foolish speculation. wagoner's salary is not out of line with other automotive CEOS. You call $1 a year living large? You make less than that per year? I know I make more than Wagoner will make. I would think 99% of Americans will exceed Wagoners new salary. What more do you want him to do? Commit suicide?

6. All CTS, Malibus, Auras, corvettes, Cobalts, Mustangs, MKS' and lambdas are built in the US. Let me know if you can find any made in Canada.

7. Your original argument was that to help American workers you should buy imports. Then you say you were only talking about imports made in America. If that is the case you are eliminating all LExus and Infiniti models, some Acuras, some Hyundais, the RAV4, the Prius, the Yaris, fit, all scion models, all German cars, etc. Your options are really down to midsize cars and SUVs. I fail to understand how buying from the Big 3 hurts american workers. Maybe you can run that by me one more time.

Dont argue any further until you start making some sense. Your retorts are childish.

BTW, not all Camrys are built in Kentucky. Bet you didnt know that. Just one of the many things you dont know.

sheth

"Go work as an engineer for a Japanese company and then tell me how much the Japanese allow their American employees to do."


Supposedly one of the reasons Jim Press left Toyota was that he realized he could only go so high within the organization. Also Toyota recently replaced their head of US operations with someone from Japan. Based on what I read there was some concern that the US operation was getting to autonomous and they wanted to bring it firmly back under Japanese control. I read that Hyundai execs have little regard for their US operatives and the US people have no say so in future product plans or strategies. In fact, Hyundai would assign someone from S. Korea to shadow the US execs and keep an eye on them. Supposedly US dealers were not in favor of the Genesis luxury sedan because they felt Hyundai rep in the US was not ready for that yet. The execs in Korea dismissed their concerns because they feel Hyundai is on par with Toyota and the Germans and they wanted to flex their muscles with the Genesis.

Belly

Stupid Shet, you can say it, but that is all you are doing. How about you provide those facts that you are always telling everyone else they should have.

Toyota's generally get lukewarm reviews from much of the automotive press and Toyotas rarely win comparison tests. Toyotas are not known for handling prowess. Hondas tend to do better.

I think what you are saying is that Toyota's don't win handling comparison tests. Because plenty of Toyota's have and still do win in various comparison tests by various auto magazines and websites. How do the GM cars do? They must win a lot more of the time for how you tout them up.

Most CEOs non salary compensation is made up of stock options. GM's stock is almost worthless. Whatever shares Wagoner gets for compensation are not helping him out now. This is common sense. If you know of additional compensation let me know. As usual you are doing nothing but engaging in foolish speculation. wagoner's salary is not out of line with other automotive CEOS. You call $1 a year living large? You make less than that per year? I know I make more than Wagoner will make. I would think 99% of Americans will exceed Wagoners new salary. What more do you want him to do? Commit suicide?

I would like him to resign and give back every bonus, yes bonus not stock option, he has ever received. That would be fine with me. Why do you fall for a gimmick like a $1 per year salary? The guy has millions, what difference does it make for him? You act like he lives like some normal human being, seriously how can you defend a guy that basically ran GM into the ground? A guy who has moved countless jobs outside the company to increase the company's stock? Don't even try and tell me that was a positive for everyone involved.

Your original argument was that to help American workers you should buy imports. Then you say you were only talking about imports made in America. If that is the case you are eliminating all LExus and Infiniti models, some Acuras, some Hyundais, the RAV4, the Prius, the Yaris, fit, all scion models, all German cars, etc. Your options are really down to midsize cars and SUVs. I fail to understand how buying from the Big 3 hurts american workers. Maybe you can run that by me one more time.

My original argument was that you are an idiot. That is pretty much it. Everything you say on here is just gibberish. You provide no sources whatsoever to back anything up. You think there is a conspiracy at Consumer Reports against US automakers, you have not shown any good reason why. It is just so stupid and unbelievable. You also can't understand inferences I see that. I never said to help American workers you should buy imports. You need to take a remedial English class, try to figure out reading comprehension - it is a wonderful skill.

Buying American does not hurt American workers anymore than buying a Honda or Toyota that is built in the US. Just make sure that American car you are buying is really built in America, the United States that is.

They never recommend ANY domestic vehicles without waiting for data. Just one more reason why they cant be taken seriously.

This is complete BS. I have seen CR magazines that say a vehicle is too new to predict reliability for both foreign and domestic makes. But if the car has been consistently reliable they predict it to be reliable as well. Crazy huh? And I know you are so hung up on sample size for CR, they say their survey reflects over 1.4 million cars.

All CTS, Malibus, Auras, corvettes, Cobalts, Mustangs, MKS' and lambdas are built in the US. Let me know if you can find any made in Canada.

Good point, can you repeat yourself again in the next post? Oh and what happened to the Focus on your list? I thought you said it was made in the US?

Chevrolet Equinox,Chevrolet HHR,Chevrolet Impala,Chevrolet Tahoe,Chrysler 300,Chrysler PT Cruiser,Dodge Charger,Ford Focus,Ford Fusion,Ford Mustang - are not made in America, see I can just repost the same information too.

BTW, not all Camrys are built in Kentucky. Bet you didnt know that.

Yes you had that Ace in your pocket and no one knew about it. Did Mom just give you a star for that one? Good job buddy.


Belly

"Go work as an engineer for a Japanese company and then tell me how much the Japanese allow their American employees to do."

Way to answer your own question Stupid Shet.

Also Toyota recently replaced their head of US operations with someone from Japan. Based on what I read there was some concern that the US operation was getting to autonomous and they wanted to bring it firmly back under Japanese control. I read that Hyundai execs have little regard for their US operatives and the US people have no say so in future product plans or strategies.

So what? They run their company how they want. That doesn't mean they are going to close up shop in the US does it? Also how about posting a link to some of these inside tidbits you have. Or are they from an anonymous source?

American Economy Supporter

It is a fact that 3 million Avalons and Camrys had engine failure.Toyota blamed the customers and the customers blamed Toyota.If that happened to an American company they would get slammed.

American Economy Supporter

Those who buy Honda and Toyota primarily support the economy of Japan,because the primary investors there get the lions share of the profit.The workers here get very little compared to what those foreign investors get.The big three have supported the US economy for over a hundred years and have poured billions into the US economy.

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