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GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Posted by AKAsTJ_Northern_CA (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 19, 05 at 9:23

and that's only one quarter. Losses were $1.3 billion worldwide.

IMO, I doubt if their management changes will help, except maybe in China.

You can read the complete announcement at the link below...

TJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Yahoo News / Business - AP / General Motors Reports $1.1B Loss in 1Q


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Factors:
- competitive car pricing to beat the competition in a soft economy.
- health insurance cost for its workers and pension members - national healthcare would help business more than anything else but our government refuses to take away profits from our pharma and insurance companies.
- Focus on SUV is reactionary and now gas prices are skyrocketing and it will take them years to come up with high efficient engine alternatives. Example the Hummer H3 is 15 mph, yet Honda has a hybrid car which seats the same number of passengers. If I was a new car shopper who commutes I would pay for the Honda over the Hummer.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Just how stupid does one have to be to lose 1.1 Billion $$$ ??
At that rate it will be $4.4 billion by the end of the year.
What are these morons doing? Is this a management issues? A union issue? or just plain old stupidity. Do these guys TALK to each other? Do they understand what is at risk - like their jobs??

I still recall the RHEINGOLD beer thing in NYC. The compnay opened its books, it showed losses, they asked for reasonable concessions from the union. They siad ah it's just bull - they wont go belly up. In a week the company closed its doors and thousands LOST THEIR JOBS because their unions were stupid.

BTW: I understand (correctly if I wrong please) that GM somehow carries the RETIREMENT funds on its books as if it was income. Is this INSANE or what? It shold be completely isolated from GM. How can the government let them do that. What BS phony crap. That should NEVEr be allowed. People are expecting their retirement and not have it dissolve in some corporate ripoff that I see coming. :-(


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Airlines are losing similar amounts. So, basically our nation is a bunch of stupids.

Worldcom,
Enron, etc.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Good time to buy GM stock. They'll be back.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

The fact is that the airlines, enrons, worldcoms. et al have GREED as their basic driver. They are STUPID in figuring out what to do. It's liek the hub and spoke system is very inefficient - BTW: some airlines now collect the takeoff & landing charges from customers.

If one looks at a GM car it does not matter almost which nameplate one sits in you get the SAME old feeling of the same od junk they put into every car. Its NOT like they were GREAT and then they decided to put it into a car, but rather they saved a few pennies here and there - of course with millions of cars thats millions BUT I rather spend a bit more and have a car that will last, is easy to service and not be built ass-backwards.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

"Same old feeling of junk." That's not true in the least. I own two GM vehicles, and I've owned a lot more than that over the years, and have gotten good service from all of them. As far as being easy to service, I can change the front brakes on a Blazer or S10 in about 20 minutes, an alternator in a half hour, and, what's more, those parts are dirt cheap and available at any convenient AutoZone. Contrast that to costly and hard to get parts of a lot of imports, not to mention $800 "scheduled services" on a lot of those cars.

I see in the automotive press a lot of raving about the new VW Jetta. Only $25,000 and it has a 2.5 liter 5-cylinder engine that produces 150 hp. A Chevy Malibu Maxx has a 3.5 liter V6 that produces 200 hp, and costs $4,000 less. Plus it's bigger, and a host of innovative standard features, and doesn't look like a slightly more classy Toyota Corolla.

I'm all for anyone buying whatever they want, but if you want to talk value, you ought to take a really hard look at what GM is offering. There are a variety of reasons why they have a loss during the first quarter of 2005, foremost among them the fact that they've tried to avoid massive layoffs, but they'll turn that around.

Criticisms of GM are just like all the other nonsensical criticisms that make up the bulk of what you see in the media today. The schools are awful, the post office is no good, everyone in business is a crook. The trouble is, anyone in society who actually DOES anything opens up himself or herself to criticism. Anyone, on the other hand, can be a critic.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Hi Cowboy:
....."I see in the automotive press a lot of raving about the new VW Jetta. Only $25,000 and it has a 2.5 liter 5-cylinder engine that produces 150 hp. A Chevy Malibu Maxx has a 3.5 liter V6 that produces 200 hp, and costs $4,000 less. Plus it's bigger, and a host of innovative standard features, and doesn't look like a slightly more classy Toyota Corolla....."

Well if one had a 3.5 Liter engine then one could get like 265 HP out of it if was a Japanese or a European car.

I drove many a GM car and it feels like the steering is attached via rubber bands when compared to a Jetta. I guess thats one thing I would like (I do not own a Jetta). As far as a Toyota is concerned I think it will be ont he road a lot longer than a GM car.

BTW: they are not nonsensical criticisms. A company should NOT be loosing Billions of dollars. There is SOMETHING wrong with this equation. Finally, large companies, their executives, should not be making gazillions of dollars while their employees get screwed royally. No golden parachutes for doing a bad job, their slary and bonuses should reflect how the company is doing - so since they lost money they should not be paid! One more thing....those SOB's should not be permitted to get away with stepping sown with compnay funds by transferring their huge salaries into multi-million dollar homes, etc. It should be reposessed from them - people who ran Enron, Worldcom, ad infinitum.

Cowboy...and others, no one answered my question about the retirement funds...is anyone out there understand what I said?? Are you all listening??? GM has on their income books - or shall we say as assets - ALL of the retirement fund. That is pure BS - it needs to be segregated away from the company to an independent section. Else lots of people are going to get hurt.

I for one am tired of all these bail-outs at OUR expense and rewarding incompetence.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

It's hard to put this into coherent words...but GM wouldn't be losing $$$ if it built cars that did not require mega-rebates to sell.

We can argue points of taste and preference, but by any yardstick GM's penny-shaving creates bland, uninspired cars up and down its product lines...and who can tell them apart anymore?. For every cool Caddy, i.e., CTS, or Corvette (two cars I like) GM builds acres of undistinguished rental fleet cars that just don't measure up to the competition. Sure, they probably won't break down on you anymore, and JD Power and whoever will rank their objective quality as pretty good, but it doesn't change the fact that when you sit in the vast majority of GM product you say to yourself, "cheap."

So what if I can change an alternator in 30 mins? How bout I don't ever need to change one?

PS, I don't own an import....:)


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

You mean I wouldn't have to dirty my hands changing an alternator if it were some other make besides GM? I do notice, though, that all car dealerships have service departments, and they all appear to be busy.

GM and all the other companies build cars that are more or less just transportation appliances, and they build ones that are geared to enthusiasts, too. Plus a lot somewhere in between. I like seeing how all the different companies design things differently, and GM has made some mistakes over the years as well as had some great successes.

I've owned Japanese cars and lots of Japanese motorcycles. A few VWs are all I can claim as far as European experience, although I did help a friend work extensively on an Audi once. I'm probably just not a discerning enough driver, but I find that most of the GM cars and trucks today handle quite well, and they also have excellent suspension and body architecture to give them a fairly tight and unique road feel. You have to remember that a lot of GM's models are selling at 10 or 20 times the volume of something like a Jetta, and many of their buyers want a car that rides better and steers easily.

I can't diagnose GM's financial problems, but I do know that they are building a lot of very good vehicles that are bought in large numbers by people all over the world. From what I read, the solution, as mentioned above in another post, is probably going to come in trimming health care and other costs.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

iam sure g.m. wil survive, maybe not as the huge mega conpany they are now. but in some form. it would probably be good if they slimmed down. get rid or combine some of those brands. chev.,buick,pont.,saturn,saab,gmc,holden,vauxhall,opel,cadilac,hummer,suzuki,daewoo,subaru,isuzu, come on! what do they need all these for, most of them are the same with a different grill.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

1.1 billion awh that is just a drop in the bucket Saturn plant has lost 1 billion per year for the last three years that UAW contract is good thru 2007 don't worry be happy mawn. Do you really think GM would sign the contract if they could not afford it??????????????????????


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

iam sure g.m. wil survive, maybe not as the huge mega conpany they are now. but in some form. it would probably be good if they slimmed down. get rid or combine some of those brands. chev.,buick,pont.,saturn,saab,gmc,holden,vauxhall,opel,cadilac,hummer,suzuki,daewoo,subaru,isuzu, come on! what do they need all these for, most of them are the same with a different grill.

That is starting to happen with the rebadging of several "entry-level" cars as Chevrolets around the world. IMHO, one of the big differences from GM's glory days and now is that -- except for Cadillac and Hummer -- none of GM's lines have a brand promise anyone can define conveniently. Chevy should be the entry-level brand -- but, then, what are they doing with Corvette or $45,000 Suburbans? Pontiac could be the performance brand, but they should have the Corvette, not warmed-over badge jobs like the current GTO and the Solstice. Look for SAAB to disappear as GM continues to build SAABarus like the 9-2. Saturn may blow away altogether, as (IMHO) the only thing that keeps them alive is the no-haggle pricing and customer service.

But can you see Chevrolet giving up Corvette? Or Cadillac getting out of the rebadged-Denali business? I don't.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I'm not surprised that nobody has mentioned the real reason for this:

FIAT.

GM had a deal with Fiat where they were either going to buy FIAT or give them money and tell them to get lost.

They did the latter. That's where the loss came from.


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Engine

"Well if one had a 3.5 Liter engine then one could get like 265 HP out of it if was a Japanese or a European car."

Here you go! GM ought to be using this engine in more places than just a Buick and a Cadillac!

Type: 3.6L V-6
Displacement: 3564cc (217 ci)
Compression ratio: 10.2:1
Valve configuration: dual overhead camshafts (4 valves per cylinder)
Assembly site: St. Catharines, Ontario
Valve lifters: roller follower with hydraulic lash adjusters
Firing order: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
Bore x stroke: 94 x 85.6mm
Fuel system: sequential fuel injection
Horsepower: 260 hp (194 kw) @ 6500 rpm (SRX) (revised 10/22/03)
255 hp (190 kw) @ 6200 rpm (CTS)
245 hp (183 kw) @ 6500 rpm (Rendezvous, preliminary)
Torque: 255 lb-ft (346 Nm) @ 3200 rpm (SRX) (revised 10/22/03)
255 lb-ft (346 Nm) @ 3200 rpm (CTS) (revised 10/22/03)
235 lb-ft (319 Nm) @ 3200 rpm (Rendezvous, preliminary


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

And gasoline at an all-time high and still rising in price, yet, not one word about fuel economy.

The Diesel engine - silence !

No wonder GM is losing money !
The problems began many, many years ago, but were not solved !
The problems are :
Overcompensation of the executives
Excessive pay for the UAW men (but this may not actually be a problem !)
Failure to fully cooperate with the government when this anti-pollution drive first began nigh 50 years ago..
Allowing far too much free health care for retirees in past contracts..
Obvious and blatant badge engineering
Giving money away to FIAT
Creating Saturn as a silly "small car". when the problems had nothing to do with "small cars"
Participating, along with Ford, in ruining the independents(Packard,Nash, Hudson, Rambler, Studebaker, Kaiser, Pierce, Dusenberg, etc)
$1,700 in health-care benefits added to the cost of a new car when Toyota spends one tenth of that per vehicle.

And that approximately $1,500 in plowed into higher quality and better new cars...
IMO, insurance is not the answer to the high price of health care. I think insurance causes the high price at this point in time. I even think we would be better off using the same pay as one goes system of 100 years ago..


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

If you've ever had the occasion to price out body shop work, you've likely found out that insurance companies pay a lot less for body work than you would out-of-pocket.

I think the same is true for healthcare.

In both cases, the insurance companies are paying below-market rates for services, and the companies are making it up by charging those without insurance higher rates.

By the way, adjusted for inflation, gasoline is not at an all-time high. I think those who are complaining about the "high price of gas" ought to spend a little more time examining their finances to find out what the real problem is.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

There was a series of articles in the Detroit Free Press this morning regarding GM and their loss. Coincidentally, Ford posted an almost $1B gain, go figure.

Health Care costs for retirees, employees and dependants got the most play. $5.2B in health care costs, or $4B more than Toyota, which puts GM at a supreme disadvantage. Noted was that if the union employees had the same health package as salaried workers, GM would immediately save almost $1B year.

Cowboyind is correct that GM still sells a huge number of vehicles. However, that number/share of the market is declining rapidly. Chrysler has shown that the product drives the market. GM's product doesn't measure up. Period. Little inspiring beyond Cadillac and the Corvette. You can't get by making "good" cars anymore. Everyone, including Hyundai makes good cars. You have to make class leader cars. Chrysler has a class leader in the 300. GM's equivalent cars may be good, but they are not even close. VW and Honda's interiors from 10 years ago are better than what GM puts out today. Nissan's V6, which they put in everything, is much more powerful and hence, desireable, than GM's volume V6.

GM does good things, they just don't put it in enough cars that make people salivate. It's like they know going in that they can't get the premium part of the family car market so they design to hope they get the folks who can't afford an Accord or Camry.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion
Posted by: elhelmete (My Page) on Tue, Apr 19, 05 at 23:34

It's hard to put this into coherent words...but GM wouldn't be losing $$$ if it built cars that did not require mega-rebates to sell.
We can argue points of taste and preference, but by any yardstick GM's penny-shaving creates bland, uninspired cars up and down its product lines...and who can tell them apart anymore?. For every cool Caddy, i.e., CTS, or Corvette (two cars I like) GM builds acres of undistinguished rental fleet cars that just don't measure up to the competition. Sure, they probably won't break down on you anymore, and JD Power and whoever will rank their objective quality as pretty good, but it doesn't change the fact that when you sit in the vast majority of GM product you say to yourself, "cheap."

So what if I can change an alternator in 30 mins? How bout I don't ever need to change one?

PS, I don't own an import....:)
I do not think GM builds cheap bland unispired cars?Just the last year they have pulled a few mistakes.Like doing away with the S-10 for the Colarado.The problem with the Colarado is they put to much of the foreighn desighn into it.Im not buying a 5 cylinder.The Cobalt and Malibu have electric steering so does the Pontiac G6.Again im not falling for that.To much import junk there putting on the new ones.They should have left the Silerado they had a few years alone.Rather then making it look European.Again im not buying.They should have not bought into Saab and the other forieghn crap and then made the new ones look like and have European crap.They had a good line up and messed it up.Why change car desighns keep what worked.I never get tired of vehical that works out and is prooven.I went with a 05 Buick Century because the LaCross looks like a cross between a Ford Taurus and a Dodge.Im not a Ford fan and certainly do not want any Dodge junk.

The only import I like is the Hyudai and only because there cheap.I do not fall for the Toyota and Honda and Nissan hype.There import even if there built in my back yard.There priced up with a Good old GM product.So why would I buy into there junk.Its not cheaper and I do not fall for the better reliability nosense.Because I have never had a bad GM vehical.They all have been good.I went with GM in the early 90's.After having several of Fords junk.I go tired of having front end problems with Fords.I never owned a Dodge but seen all the problems others had and was smart enough to stay clear of any Mopar junk.As for VW no way I remember the Beatle bug and Rabbit and those silly little hippy vans the Flower children drove and the Thing that rusted out setting on the VW lot.If GM is so bad why are there so many more of them on the road then any other brand?I guess when you get to the big Cities you see more of the imports.But out here in Hicksville USA and Hooterville USA its GM country with a few Fords and fewer Dodges thrown in for those who do not know any better.You have to go to the bigger cities to buy the import trash that the Yuppies like so well.If you have to get it worked on you have to go back.Because the small town mechanics hate the junk.I seen a mechanic refuse to touch a Volvo wagon one time.He said go where it came from and let them fix it.He recomended a slow boat.IF you see a import around here.There is a dressed up suit wearing office smooth hand type driving it.If you get dirty for a living its a GM product or atleast a Ford or Dodge.How can the domestics be getting cheaper when they keep going more and more miles?Do not tell me its because of the import crap they slap on them either because I do not agree.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

If Toyota and Honda are all hype why are they doing great financially,while GM is losing money?I've gone from American cars like Chevy,Ford,Dodge to imports-VW,Nissan,Misubishi,etc. and in my 29 of years driving Toyota takes all the abuse I dish out and comes back for more like no other car or truck I've ever had!In fairness my friend who needed a truck to haul a large trailer bought a GMC Doublecab Duramax diesel with Onstar,XM radio,DVD player,leather int.and every option you can think of,but as awesome as it is it cost 48K-more than most would spend.The American car companies still build the better big trucks with the big payloads and towing capacity,but the Nissan Titan and the 06 Toyota Tundra are going after that market next.

I disagree with the post that said GM is doing badly because they have no big,flashy marquee car,it's because they are too big and need to consolidate their many divisions-incompetent management. The marquee cars for Toyota and Honda have long been the family sedans Camry and Accord,where is the GM equivalent of those two in their many brands?


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I have never heard GM is loosing money?If they are claiming it and people believe it I bet they would buy some swamp land and pay a huge price for it also.How could they be loosing money?There has to be atleast a 10-1 sales differance probably more like 1000-1 or greater.

Maybe there planing a trick like Chrysler pulled in the early 80's?Say there in trouble and get bailed out to make there selves very high on the sales for a few years.Those K cars and Caravans sold very well even if they were not very good.

If the Toyotas and Nissans are so great how come there are so many in the bone yards?


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Most of the cars abandoned (tags missing, orange "WILL BE TOWED" sticker on windshield) on the side of the road here in the Washington, DC area are older import cars.

Of course if I had to guess I'd say that the sort of person who'd just dump their vehicle on the side of the road for the state to deal with instead of disposing of it properly is also the sort of person who doesn't take care of their car and may not know anything more about cars other than that they need gasoline and imports are good ones.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

There are more mid 80s Toyotas and Hondas on the road where I live anyway and zero Chevy Chevettes.If you live in a cave and haven't heard about GM's financial difficulties,view the link below.Gas prices go up,sales go down-big surprise!

Here is a link that might be useful: GM Losses


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

They stopped making the Chevy Chevette in 1985 or '86, so the newest ones are 20 years old, yet I still do see some on the road here and there. It's hard to judge long-term reliability by what you or I see on the road because a lot depends on how popular a vehicle was when it was sold.

No study has ever found that Hondas or Toyotas last any longer than anything else. The JD Power studies usually pertain to initial quality, and even Consumer Reports tables only go back about 8 years. Vehicle longevity is a whole different thing than initial quality, and it depends a lot more on how the car is taken care of than who built it. The bottom line is, cars and trucks are a lot more alike than they are different, regardless of who makes them, and they will all last roughly comparable lengths of time if given comparable levels of care.

One thing to consider is that the average car on the road in the U.S. is 8.6 years old, according to R.L. Polk. That means that the typical U.S. vehicle is too old even to be counted in the reliability tables, as JD Power rarely goes back further than 3 years, and even Consumer Reports doesn't reach back more than 8. For this older vehicle -- the average vehicle on U.S. roads -- the serviceability and cost of parts and service is a bigger issue than how the doors sound when they close, which is the kind of thing that gets a lot of attention in "initial quality" audits.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I can not think of one 80's import I have seen latley?But I see a lot of old 80's Olds and Buicks.Those old Olds Cutlass suprems are every where.Buick Lesabres same thing.I can not remember seeing to many 80's Toyota and Nissan pickups a few years after they were sold?Maybe the cab but the beds were all rotted off of them?I drive a 71 Chevy pickup daily and just how many Toyotas from 71 are still around?

Mitsubishi is hurting just ask the workers from my area that work there.I think there all hurting people are keeping there vehicals longer.They have to for what they cost.Plus gas prices and Mid East problems still going on.People are afraid to buy and it will probably get worse before it gets better.GM did hurt there self however bringing out to many new models at one time.But some including my self hurried up to get a remaining inventory model before they were discontinued.Maybe more are like me and are just afraid to buy a first year or even 2 or 3 years new production vehical?Others bought new houses during the new home explosion.Now there making payments on a home and the high taxes are eating them alive.

But the local GM dealers around here are selling plenty of new GM vehicals.I live in a area of 6000 people and there is a Chevy Buick dealer and a Dodge Jeep dealer and a Ford Mercury.The Chevy Buick dealer sell more cars and trucks in a month then the other two do all year.Seems to be the same in other towns around here also.So just how bad off could GM be.I think its just corporate greed talking?


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Earthworm wrote:
..."IMO, insurance is not the answer to the high price of health care. I think insurance causes the high price at this point in time. I even think we would be better off using the same pay as one goes system of 100 years ago..."

Buddy, you hit the nail right on the head!!!
Somebody gave this example of the cause of high insurance rates.
You need food to feed your family. JohnDeere has a supermarket. I am the one that is going to pay for all your food. Now, since you're not paying is JD going to stock ground chuck or ground sirloin? Do you even WANT ground chuck? No, you want only the best! I am willing to pay up to a certain price for sirloin. Is he going to give me discounts or is he going to charge me full boat? I'll just pay and raise my premiums. And if JD's store is sued I'll just hit him for higher premiums too.
We need insurance to cover us for cancer, heart attacks or other catastrophes. But we don't need insurance to cover every doctor visit for our kids sniffles! And since insurance now covers eyeglasses the price of them has gone through the roof! I had a friend that worked for an eyewear manufacturer and she said the profit margin was greater than jewelry! Upwards of 700 percent! Those "designer" frames cost less than $2.00 to make! But insurance is covering it so the price has gone into the stratosphere.
If anyone here is paying for their own health insurance you know the companies cannot keep it up forever! Not when premiums are ranging at about $150 per WEEK for a family.
I know. I'm self employed.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Johndeere,
I have no beef with the overall design of GM stuff...I think every maker foreign and domestic goes through periods of inspired looks versus ugly looks.

My dad bought a Colorado for his company...I sat in it and the first thing I said was this feels exactly lke the 1990 S-10 we had. The Colorado ran just fine, and I'm sure dad will get 150K miles +++ out of it (though the 5-cyl. is a ratty sounding plant). But for a huge swath of drivers who expect (right or wrong) a higher level of the hard-to-define "feel" in their cars, GM's bread-and-butter sedans don't fit the bill. Will their cars last a long time and stay out of the shop for the most part? Absolutely. That battle was won by the domestics a while ago. But many buyers want a more refined feel that the average domestic sedan doesn't simply have. Especially as so many folks spend more time in their cars than in their livingrooms.

Rebates/incentives on GM vehicles average almost 50% higher than the industry average (approx $6000 vs. $4000 avg). That hurst the bottom line.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

The real reason is because so many are buying Hondas and Toyotas and VW.This is the do not by made in the USA no matter what.A few years ago manufacturing was still here.But now its the service trend in jobs.So the ones who jumped over the tracks to the services industry.All decided to burn there bridges and bad mouth American made products.They would not buy a USA vehical no matter what.Joe Blow drives a rice burner and I have to be like Joe.Joe is cool he drives a Toyota and has a Cell phone.I must have a Cell phone also.Now everyone has to have a Cell phone and a Car that is not from the big three.Because Joe has one.Someday all these service type jobs will fizzle out and then Joe Blow and his followers will be broke.They better start using that picture phone to snap a few pictures of what they had.Because they burned there bridges and its to late to get back across.

I guess I just do not under stand all the GM is junk talk?They have been building cars for many years now.They use to be hauled to the junk yard at 50000 miles.Then they made it to 100000 miles and now 200000 miles and beyond?How can they be turning out junk when there lasting longer?

Some say there bland?I for one would not buy a Toyota or Honda or VW.Because they look goofy?I would not mind ugly if they were cheap.But there not cheap there ugly with a big price tag?If the factory workers that build them are non union and not the greedy types.Then shoudnt they be cheaper?I do not understand where the bad build and handling talk come from?I think to many listen to all the Motor Trend shows to much.I watched it a few times.But they never have vehicals I would buy on there.Just VW and Toyota and that type thing.Little cars with a huge price tag.That have no more room then a Cavalier.

I see the imports on the interstates and big cities.But this is GM counrty around here and every other small area I have ever visited.1.1 billion dollar loss?Thats like me or you loosing are change out of are pockets at the fun park.The only mistake GM is doing is putting that import crap on there new vehicals.Us Red Neck Americans do not like it and there are more Red Necks then Yuppies so they better wake up.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I have never owned a "bad" GM car. I am 49 and have owned
four cars. 1972 Buick, had 270,000 miles on it when I sold
it, never a problem, never even had to have freon put
in the AC, the guy who bought it is still driving it.
1983 Chevrolet Caprice had over 350,00 miles on it when
i sold it, still ran and drove like new, only problem
was transmission overhaul at 200,000 miles. Six months
after I sold it, it was stolen and stripped.
Currently have 1996 Chevrolet impala SS, no problems so far.
Also have 1987 Chvrolet Caprice that was my late mothers,
again no problems at 150,000 miles.
My parents always drove GM cars, 1950 Buick, 1957 Chevrolet,
1965 Buick, 1974 Buick, 1979 Buick and the above mentioned
1987 Chevrolet. All had well over 100,000 miles with no
problems. The 1974 Buick did have a rust problem on the
rear fender that was repaired at no charge after the
warranty had expired.
Proper maintenance and care is the key to longevity.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Yes, it is. I've noticed that many Toyota and Honda owners have no problem, as an example, paying the dealer $700 for their 90,000 mile service. And they ask for it that way, too.. "Just give it the 90,000 mile service".

$700 later, they're out the door. No, that didn't include the timing belt. That was an additional $300, bringing the grand total to $1000.

But as long as the ridiculous expense is "maintenance" and not "repairs", I guess it's ok.

(Few cars need $700 worth of maintenance at 90K, but the dealer needs to make a profit so they take a very liberal view of what the 90K service includes)

(I just go by what the manual says and ask for THAT).


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Thats another thing.Those pesky timing belts on the import name brands.You can atleast avoid that on most GM vehicals.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

g.m. will sink or swim, depending on how they handle things now, but they will never get back the market share they once had, just too much competition. if someone had told me 15 yrs ago all my family would own hyundais,kias and toyotas, i would have laughed. but now with a sister, a brother, a broth. in law, and two cousins, working for those companys. seems like the right thing to do, their jobs depend on it.


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Toyota is going away from timing belts,my 03 Matrix has a timing chain.I've never heard of a 700 dollar 90k mile service,but like they say a fool and his money are soon parted. My advice to those people would be to find a reputable mechanic and stay away from ripoff dealer service departments.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Elhelmete, for what it's worth, I'm not a huge fan of the Colorado either. Actually I don't find the interior all that much like the S10, though; the S10 interior was nicer. (You did compare it to a '90 S10, though, so maybe it is more like the older ones. The recent S10s have really nice interiors that look more complex and multi-dimensional than the one in the Colorado, in my opinion.)

Obviously everyone's opinions are valid, because that's what a car company has to deal with - consumer perceptions. I do think, though, that a lot of critics of GM cars have not driven many of them lately. Also, to some degree people can find whatever they're looking for in any product. If they have bad perceptions of a particular brand, they can find things to support that perception, just as people who like that brand will find things to support their positive opinions of it.

You take a car like the new Malibu or Malibu Maxx; those are two very nice handling cars which go from 0-60 is just over 8 seconds (with the V6), and an amazing amount of cargo and rear seat room, especially in the Maxx. The body that those are built on has some qualities to it that you do not feel in any other car, which offers a unique combination of a smooth yet very well controlled ride. The stereos sound very good, and they come with trip computers and a host of other features that a lot of the competition does not offer at any price.

People often compare them to an Accord or a Camry, which is fair enough, but you do have to remember that you can get one of those two cars for thousands less than a Camry or Accord. Also, when you check the maintenance schedules, you find that they are all but maintenance free. Practically all you have to do is change the oil.

To me, these are two very moderately-priced cars that show that GM is doing some excellent product design and engineering all the way down the line -- not just with the Corvette and CTS.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I lost my beloved 2001 Golf TDI 3 weeks ago. Hit a patch of ice and swung into a guardrail, headfirst. After getting out and shedding a tear, I got into a rental. 2002 Saturn SL1 I believe. My Golf had 162K km on the clock. This had 62k.
Wow! What a difference. Both cars are approximately the same price. The only difference is the hatchback and 2 doors vs. 4 door sedan. But the feel!
The Saturn was a piece of crap! It had more visible "options" i.e. pw but it sucked where it really counted. The brakes were horrendous, drums in the back I wager, vs. the Golf's 4 wheel discs, we're not even going to go into the standard ABS, the fit and finish was average at best, all materials were cheap and looked it, and the ergonomics were a nitemare.
This car was designed like crap, built like it and will go down as crap, but it was reliable. Started every day.
Whoopee.
If you can't enjoy a major purchase like a car, what's the point? This thing sucked all enjoyment out of driving. The engine was buzzy, there was no confidence at highway speeds -- I dropped almost 30 kph during my daily drive, and too top it off, it got really lousy mileage. I had to fill it up every 3 days.
This is the new GM? Gahh.
Sure, there's different models that I would look at if I was buying GM, but this didn't hold a lot of promise.

BTW, I bought an 04 Jetta TDI Sport. Totally different experience, much, much nicer and diesel. After doing a header and being my own involuntary crash test dummy and walking away without a scratch, VW had an edge. With my preference for diesel, it wasn't much of an option though I DID look at other brands, mainly GM. Just not that much of an appeal. And that's why GM's in trouble. And Ford. GM has an incredible model range and they can't satisfy my tastes? Ford just doesn't have any models unless you're looking at a truck.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

The real reason is because so many are buying Hondas and Toyotas and VW.This is the do not by made in the USA no matter what. [content snipped] Joe Blow drives a rice burner and I have to be like Joe.Joe is cool he drives a Toyota and has a Cell phone.I must have a Cell phone also.Now everyone has to have a Cell phone and a Car that is not from the big three.Because Joe has one.

[more snippage]

Some say there bland?I for one would not buy a Toyota or Honda or VW.Because they look goofy?I would not mind ugly if they were cheap.But there not cheap there ugly with a big price tag?If the factory workers that build them are non union and not the greedy types.Then shoudnt they be cheaper?I do not understand where the bad build and handling talk come from?I think to many listen to all the Motor Trend shows to much.I watched it a few times.But they never have vehicals I would buy on there.Just VW and Toyota and that type thing.Little cars with a huge price tag.That have no more room then a Cavalier.

Interestingly, most of the Hondas and Toyotas (and many of the Subarus and Mitsubishis and Nissans and, soon, Hyundais) sold in the U.S. are manufactured in the U.S., by Americans who are spending their car-making paychecks on groceries and gasoline and taxes just like you and me. Meanwhile the Big Three are sourcing cars from Canada (Chrysler 300) and Australia (Pontiac GTO) and Korea (Chevy Aveo) and passing them off as "American." The people building those cars are not buying groceries at the local supermarket or paying taxes here. So who is doing more to keep good-paying skilled jobs in the U.S. -- the 300H buyer or the Accord buyer? And who really is exhibiting a "don't buy American" philosophy?

Interesting that you comment that Toyotas and Hondas and VWs look "goofy." Seen an Aztek lately? Or a Chevy Avalanche with all that (IMHO dumb-looking) plastic cladding? Do you like the "Rat Pack" look of the Chrysler 300? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not that I find the Camry (or the new Jetta, FTM) particularly attractive. But the attractiveness of a car has little to do with its cost. Or size. Or where it's made.

And you obviously haven't spent any time with a recent VW or Toyota to see just what you're getting. The cheapest VW you can buy in the U.S. has disk brakes on every wheel, six airbags, power windows, remote locks, an alarm system, A/C, a remote trunk/hatch release, a third sun visor, and better resale value than any American car that competes with it (except for the Honda Civic). And it's big enough to handle American-sized people. So what if it's no bigger than a Cavalier? Most people don't need much more than that to get themselves to work and back. If they do, they buy something bigger. VW and Toyota and Chevrolet are happy to accommodate.

The Saturn was a piece of crap! It had more visible "options" i.e. pw but it sucked where it really counted. The brakes were horrendous, drums in the back I wager, vs. the Golf's 4 wheel discs, we're not even going to go into the standard ABS, the fit and finish was average at best, all materials were cheap and looked it, and the ergonomics were a nitemare.
This car was designed like crap, built like it and will go down as crap, but it was reliable. Started every day.
Whoopee.
If you can't enjoy a major purchase like a car, what's the point? This thing sucked all enjoyment out of driving. The engine was buzzy, there was no confidence at highway speeds -- I dropped almost 30 kph during my daily drive, and too top it off, it got really lousy mileage. I had to fill it up every 3 days.
This is the new GM? Gahh.

On a recent business trip, I ended up in a Chevy Cavalier. Chevy's sold thousands of them, so it could be considered representative of what they sell, but I realize that the Cav has been around for 20 years pretty much as-is, so I'm willing to cut GM some slack and not judge the entire line by just this model.

The Cav seemed so ... unfinished. Power windows. Fine, but they were located on the center console. Why not put the controls on the doors, where they belong? Remote locks. Nice, but there's absolutely no indication that the car was locked or unlocked once you were outside the car, unless you could hear the locks moving up or down. The trunk bounced uncontrollably when it was opened because it's on springs, not a strut. The dashboard was hard and didn't fit really well. But the car started every time. 20,000+ miles and it didn't rattle. The engine was surprisingly smooth for an old 4-cylinder design. But not many nice touches. Ditto for my ex-wife's Taurus. Decent enough car. But no pleasant surprises.

Is the Cobalt better? Maybe. Am I inclined to find out? Maybe. But this is the battle GM and Ford face in getting people to even look at their product. Other (non-Big-Three) manufacturers manage to add enough to engage their buyers. Why can't two of the biggest car makers on the planet manage that?


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RE: GM's First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

We need insurance to cover us for cancer, heart attacks or other catastrophes. But we don't need insurance to cover every doctor visit for our kids sniffles! And since insurance now covers eyeglasses the price of them has gone through the roof! I had a friend that worked for an eyewear manufacturer and she said the profit margin was greater than jewelry! Upwards of 700 percent! Those "designer" frames cost less than $2.00 to make! But insurance is covering it so the price has gone into the stratosphere.

I don't know what kind of insurance you're paying for, but I have what most would consider to be excellent coverage through my employer and there's no way my vision coverage would cover the cost of most of the "designer" frames I've seen. Ditto for lenses (which I notice because I have a pretty strong prescription).

I agree that insurers could do more to encourage people to fill prescriptions cheaper, etc. But I draw the line at discouraging people from seeing doctors when they think they need to. Too many people ignore symptoms until they become far worse and more expensive to treat -- or they wait until it's no longer a matter of seeing a doctor; it's a matter of visiting the E.R., which is not an efficient way to practice medicine. I'd rather see poor pregnant women get proper prenatal care than deal with the sick children they bear as a result. And I'd rather spend the money helping immunize folks and help them lose weight and exercise instead of paying for the aftermath of not doing that.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Steve_o hit it on the head....

Cowboyind...I've driven a bunch of stuff and I do like the mid-level stuff GM in building well enough. I know it'll always start and go for miles and miles with just good upkeep. But if I'm a-gonna spend hours a week in the car, I want it to feel, well, nicer than these cars do. Call it superficial if you will, but it's an issue, I think, of little decisions GM makes to save a few pennies on quality feeling fittings. Am I worried that an interior piece will break or malfunction? No way. But if I'm going to spend $$$ on, say, a Buick, I want the insides NOT to remind me of the rental Cavalier I had last week.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I've driven a few rental cars. I wouldn't base an opinion on any of those. The ones I rented were different brands, both foreign and domestic. All were tinny pieces of cr*p. I figure they were all base models, and by the time 100 different drivers ran the cr*p out of them before I drove them, I don't think it would be fair to judge the entire manufacturers product line as junk. I do think GM has too many irons in the fire though.


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If GM products were well made, they would not be in this financial crisis and nor would we be sitting here bashing the junk that they make. I find this thread to be quite entertaining and with all the sh*t I went through, I am the one with the last laugh...well worth the $1000 in repair, 30 days in the shop w/ only 26000 miles. If the Cavalier had been in the market for over 10 years, one would think that they could have refined it and improved it but they could not and retired it. It is not that they do want to build a reliability car, it is that they CANNOT. I do not know one person who does NOT have problems with their GM car. With this reputation, there is no way they could return to its former glory unless they improve reliability and offer extended warranties. In my mind, as well the people I know, GM products are inferior quality - junk! Rest in peace, GM.

I saw an OLD Toyota Camry on the road yesterday - it had to be over 20 years olds with a temporary plate on. That confirmed all the good things I hear about Toyota. Like another poster, I too have seen a lot of old Hondas, Toyotas and a few VW bugs/wagons on the road but rarely see any OLD GM vehicles. That's because most of them are in the junk yards prematurely. From my experience, reasonable price does not equate reliability. It will cost you more in the long run. Money spent on a GM vehicle is money wasted. People talk about their Hondas and Toyotas still going at 150 to 275K miles. My dad's thinking of retiring his GM car at 110K. Big difference!


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Steve_o, you said that someone who posted above hadn't spent a lot of time with a recent VW or Toyota to see what those come with, and then listed, "disk brakes on every wheel, six airbags, power windows, remote locks, an alarm system, A/C, a remote trunk/hatch release, a third sun visor."

I don't know about a third sun visor, but other than that the Malibu Maxx has all of those features, plus a lot more, like a flat folding front seat, reclining and fore-aft moving rear seats, trip computer, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, electrically adjustable gas pedal and brake pedal, and a four-position rear cargo shelf/panel that even folds into a picnic table if desired.

Also, the new Jetta is a pretty good sized car. It's not small by any means. It weighs 3,400 lbs., and gets fuel economy of 22 city/30 highway with a 150 hp 2.5 liter I5 engine. The Maxx weighs the same and gets the same 22 city/30 highway mileage figures, yet offers a more powerful 200 hp 3.5 liter V6.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Don't go holding the Maxx up too high as NA GM's answer. It's one of their european imports given a NA nameplate. That's why the radical 5 door styling and decent handling.

The Jetta is terrible. I think that VW has made a horrendous mistake with this thing. Styling wise, it's fugly with that chrome monstrosity in the front and inside it's like it's in a tunnel. The rake of the windshield and the extra padding in the liner means the effective vision area is much reduced. Swoopier lines though. ugh! It's like VW was going for a Camry by Buick.


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I think VW made a big mistake when they decided to make many of their cars in Meh-hee-co.I read where Toyota is going to produce some trucks there and as much confidence that I have in that brand,I wouldn't buy one assembled down there.I've had chainsaws,weedwackers,watches and tvs made down there under the McCulloch and Casio brand names and they were total garbage.My Matrix was made in Canada and it's Pontiac cousin Vibe is made in California,but if they were made south of the border I'd pass!


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

**If GM products were well made, they would not be in this financial crisis and nor would we be sitting here bashing the junk that they make.**

That's not true at all. Your veiw is just skewed because you purchased one turned out to be a lemon, and that's understandable. A guy at work bought a brand new Toyota 4 runner and a brand new Toyota pickup one year. Within a couple of Years, both had to have head gaskets replaced. Guess that means all Toyotas are junk, huh? He must have thought so. He took a big hit and traded the pickup for a Ford. Don't know about the other one. Year to year you'll hear about all kinds of companies that either make big bucks or loose big bucks. 90% of that has to do with economic conditions of the times. Home sales have shot up for years in a row because of low interest rates. If the 30 year rate goes to 18%, what do you think that would do to the value of housing? It'll drop like a rock...and not because all that real estate is worthless junk. My experience has been the opposite of yours lexie. I see a lot more 20+ year old GM products running around than any Toyota. As was pointed out in another post, that's probably due to how many were on the road in the first place as much as anything. My son drives an '86 GMC pickup. I drive an '87 corvette. Neither is quite 20 years old but pretty close. Both are running fine. BTW, I work at a company that buys mostly GM products for their smaller needs. By smaller I mean 1 ton trucks and smaller, mini vans, and a few cavaliers. They get abused terribly but keep chugging along. They throw other brands in the mix from time to time to see how they hold up. In the 25 years I've been there GM has been the winner every time. No product loyalty there. If something else held up better, that's what they'd buy. Of coarse, things like the interior, power options, all that fancy stuff that most consumers want isn't a consideration either. All that stuff could go south and they wouldn't care as long as it gets from point 'a' to point 'b'.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I would expect the Maxx to be a much more competitive car, and it's encouraging that at least the feature list is up to date. Maybe the performance is, too; I simply haven't heard much about that. I was primarily responding to johndeere's assessment of VWs and Toyotas as "little cars with huge prices" and "import crap." Thousands of people have found good reasons to buy them.

Like I mentioned in my post, I don't want to ding GM too hard by extrapolating my experience with what admittedly is a very old platform. But the fact that The General kept the Cavalier and Sunfire going for two decades without a major redesign indicates to me that they don't/didn't consider this market important. That cannot have helped them win customers and future purchases. Who knows how many future purchases GM has missed out on because someone who could only spend for a Cavalier or Sunfire determined it was just not up to the level of the competition?

As a Jetta owner, I'm also disappointed with the new Jetta. (Watercooled) VWs used to be strong, economical cars which were great fun to drive. They're still strong and I would argue that they still are a good value, considering everything they come with. But they keep getting bigger and heavier and softer, and VW keeps adding features that are nice but hardly necessary. With the Jetta moving into Passat territory, I'd like to see VW bring in the Polo or even the new Fox as the new entry-level VW and keep it simple, like it used to be -- no rain-sensing wipers, no leather, decent struts and shocks. Doesn't seem to fit VW's image of itself.


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Lexie the Cavalier was available for 23 years.If they were all lemons im sure they would not have had such a long run?Also they did improve them over the years.The 82 was a far cry from the 95 body style that had 10 years alone.GM was getting told that the Cavalier was getting stale.So they did away with the name and came out with the Cobalt.Basically the same car if you look real close.Just another body style change like in 95 and more improvements to a prooven car.They changed the name to make it appear new.I take it you bought a Toyota and I wish you the best of luck with it.But if it turns out not to be the case.Im sure you will post how bad Toyata is.


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Steve_o, I looked at a new Jetta on display in a hotel lobby a few days ago. My only complaint with it is that I think the old one looks nicer. This really does look like a big Toyota Corolla. That's not to say it's ugly, but to me it's just not that distinctive looking, while the old one was.

I assume you can still get the TDI engine on the new one, and that engine of course would improve on those 22/30 mileage estimates by a big margin.

VW has always been a car company that's prided itself on function over form, so I doubt they'll have any problem selling the new Jetta. I think VW could score a big market hit if they'd make an "Enviro-Car" or something like that (make it German sounding) with everything made out of recycled materials, special environmentally-friendly paint, seats that don't use any toxic chemicals to make the foam, etc. Make it look dull and plain, and I think that'd enhance its market appeal. I'm not joking, I think this would sell.


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**I take it you bought a Toyota and I wish you the best of luck with it.But if it turns out not to be the case.Im sure you will post how bad Toyata is.**

I know how she feels. I had 3 VW's in the past. A beetle, a super beetle, and a rabbit diesel. Quality on all of them were awfull, nice paint job though. The beetles didn't get enough better gas mileage if any at all than a mid sized 6 cyl USA built car. The rabbit got very good mileage but was otherwise a complete piece of junk. From those experiences, every time I hear someone say they own a VW or how great they are, I think...YOU FOOL!! They probably are very good cars today, but in my mind they were always a POS. A marketing scam played on the american public, and always will be. Lexie spent good money on a car that turned out to be a piece of junk. Very understandable that she would be angry about it and think the worst about the company that made it.


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VW has the young 20s>30s market. It has driveability, economical and reliable. If you visit a big college campus in the NE - you'll see hundreds more VWs vs. Chevy.
I owned a Passat and had a $6500 accident and will say that thing was SOLID. It never gave me problems and for a mid-size sedan with 1.8T (adequate power for me) had 31 mpg usually 33-34 mpg highway.

I think many argue you get more HP in an American car but seriously people? We need to stop rating cars in HP as you aren't using the HP at cruising at hwy. speed limit, sitting in stop and go traffic or if you need extra boost to change lanes (perhaps you should wait until you have more clearance).

I think a few have mention health care cost is what is killing GM and there is a SIMPLE solution if that is the core problem. National healthcare. Take a 12-15% of every paycheck for healthcare which stays with you whether you are employed, retired, disabled, etc. It continually feeds itself and would be a huge relieve for GM. Lobby your politicians if you think that is the problem - as it appears to work in other nations.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

**I think a few have mention health care cost is what is killing GM and there is a SIMPLE solution if that is the core problem. National healthcare. Take a 12-15% of every paycheck for healthcare which stays with you whether you are employed, retired, disabled, etc. It continually feeds itself and would be a huge relieve for GM. Lobby your politicians if you think that is the problem - as it appears to work in other nations.**

How about first you lobby the politicians to get rid of the millions of illegal aliens who are getting free national health care here now. Because other nations have socalized medicine, I'm not ready say it's better, worse, or costs more or less. No matter what, it will be cost prohibitive if you try to pay for your own citizens plus those of another country.

I want to like Bush, but I don't. He's breaking the bank goofing around with Iraq, which it appears wasn't in a possition to do much to us to begin with. Yet, doesn't see an invasion of millions from Mexico as a problem. I don't get it. I'm afraid he doesn't either.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Socialized healthcare works in small countries like Sweden with a population of 9 million,but it would be a disaster in the U.S. with a pop close to 300 million.Such a system would get ripped off every second of every day-back up the truck boys, billions and billions from the goverment to be had!I hardly have any faith in government to run heathcare efficiently when they ran up a 7 trillion dollar plus deficit!

The solution for GM is obviously to offer other plans where the workers go into an HMO or pay a little more each week out of their check,which is what every other company is doing these days.I mean if GM went bust they'd have a hard time finding a job that payed even close to what they are making now.And the only unions with any real power these days are the teacher unions anyway!


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

RooseveltL, right, horsepower isn't the only factor that's important. It's just one factor among many. I did point out numerous features of the Malibu Maxx, not just the horsepower.

However, this is pretty much a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" conversation. If you talk horsepower, some will say 200 isn't enough, and a 3.5 engine should be making more than that (I guess they think every engine should be a high-maintenance multi-valve or turbo), while others will say that companies shouldn't even promote their cars' horsepower because most of the time cars use little of their full available power. (Maybe that could be used as an argument for raising the speed limit.)

BTW, I agree with you on national health care. Not only would it help GM, but it would actually return honest-to-God freedom to American people. People fight to keep the long-broken system we have now, despite the fact that it chains people to jobs they hate just because the job provides health care. Want to start your own business? Forget it unless you're 25 to 35 years old, have no family, and are in perfect health. Plus, the current system's grossly unfair. If you buy a GM car, you're paying hundreds or thousands of dollars in the price of that car so that their employees can have good health insurance -- even though you may not even have any insurance at all for yourself or your family.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Don't hold your breath,because socialist medical benefits will never happen in this country.That issue is a perrenial loser for the democrats every four years in presidential elections and I wish they would drop it.Think of the cost of the bureaucracy alone! Give the government a trillion dollars and they will find new and innovative ways to waste and throw away a good chunk of it. The last agency the majority of the American public would trust with healthcare is the incompetent government!


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I don't wish to tangent off however, many say it will fail here but give no real reasons? We are too big (Canada doesn't have the population but is a larger country), doesn't work in BIG countries (France & England). I will admit it isn't a perfect system but we must consider the average person with health coverage is being raped:
a. pay HMO/PPO hundreds per month for family coverage
b. pay a co-pay for each visit to the dr.
c. pay a ton of money to pharma if you need a prescription.
d. pay out of pocket for all the things not covered above (ie. operations, test, etc.)
e. pay Medicare
And despite all of the above, if you lose your job - you are forced to take Cobra coverage which is a much higher cost. I would think the smart American public would realize the above is a MUCH higher rate vs. simply a flat medicare tax of xx for each working citizen of our nation.
Why I don't think it is a reality is it would reduce profits for the pharma companies, and insurance companies. Dr's would make the same, and people in general would be more healthy.

In response to one item above about illegals. Are you kidding me? Do you know how many American senior citizen go to Canada for medical perks? Do you really think GM is going belly up because of Pablo or because the retirees they expected to die at 72 are now living into their 90s.

I do not see an easy resolve for GM or other companies require to give health benefits as part of the pension until government steps in. The benefits would also STOP the off-shoring of jobs overseas as healthcare is becoming the biggest handicap as lawsuits increase and our diet decreases.

Our government is incompetant but they are currently incapable of stopping the leaking of jobs to cheaper foreign countries.


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I'm just going to wrap up all the comments I'm going to respond to here in one message. Here goes:

"If you talk horsepower, some will say 200 isn't enough, and a 3.5 engine should be making more than that (I guess they think every engine should be a high-maintenance multi-valve or turbo"

Ford's Duratec line of V6 engines are multi-valve and with a timing chain, are not high maintenance. In fact, doing a sparkplug change on these engines is easy because the sparkplugs face up. No needing to undo dog-bone mounts to rock the engine forward to access the rear plugs, as on some OTHER transversly-mounted V6 engines...

"VW has the young 20s>30s market. It has driveability, economical and reliable. If you visit a big college campus in the NE - you'll see hundreds more VWs vs. Chevy."

Seeing as how the NorthEast is a small chunk of a very big country, and seeing as how many in the 20-30 age segment are working as opposed to going to college, I'm not sure how you can support your statement about VW based on the fact that certain parking lots contain more VWs than Chevys.

"We need to stop rating cars in HP as you aren't using the HP at cruising at hwy. speed limit, sitting in stop and go traffic or if you need extra boost to change lanes (perhaps you should wait until you have more clearance)."

You don't think that stopping on a highway on-ramp is an acceptable driving practice, do you? (Not that on-ramps should be so short as to preclude merging safely without hard acceleration, but many of them are. Not that drivers should wait until they enter the merge lane to figure out where they should merge, but many do.).

"Don't go holding the Maxx up too high as NA GM's answer. It's one of their european imports given a NA nameplate. That's why the radical 5 door styling and decent handling."

How much does it matter? GM still makes money on each one sold. They're made also using GM corporate components, such as the engine, transmission, electronics, etc.

"Fine, but they were located on the center console. Why not put the controls on the doors, where they belong?

The 1997 Mercedes C230 has the power window controls on the center console, and the current models are probably the same way. I figure that if it's OK for Mercedes, then it ought to be OK for GM.

"Do you really think GM is going belly up because of Pablo"

Too many freeloaders and not enough paying customers causes a business to go bankrupt, which has happened to several hospitals near the US-Mexico border. It's especially a problem because the government mandates that the hospital treat anyone who shows up.

Next time you go to the hospital and they charge you $20 for a $1 pill, just keep in mind that it's probably because they had to write off 15 pills, and made their money back off of you, the paying customer.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Interesting article about the medical-insurance issue (link below). I know some people discredit Lorenzo, but I think he's spot on in this case.

Unions have performed tremendous service to workers in this country, but they seem more concerned now with maintaining the status quo than actively serving their members, even if it would mean taking some of the funds they've banked and spending them on training their members for jobs which still exist. There's handwriting on the wall. Union management (and some of the more reactive union members) will be far better off if they can read that writing before they hit that wall.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

It's true that not all multi-valve engines are high maintenance, but many are. The bottom line for me, I guess, is who really cares how many horsepower per liter the engine produces, unless you're an auto racer who's limited to a certain size engine? If you have a small engine that produces a lot of horsepower per liter, it often uses a lot of fuel for an engine its size. If a lower-performance 3.5 or 4 liter engine produces the same horsepower and gets the same economy as a high-performance 2.5 (a common situation), what have you gained by making the engine smaller with a high output per liter? All I can really think of are disadvantages: Often higher maintenance and shorter engine life (with turbos especially), and horsepower that tends to peak at higher rather than lower RPMs.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Many import engines in Hondas and Toyotas are higher revving multi-valve engines and they hold up for 200k miles or more-yesterday's technology actually.Now variable valve technology is what the imports are using to get high milage and higher power output at higher RPMs when you want it.Frankly the point of your post seems to be rooted in the technology of the past.Are you a GM engineer by any chance?


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Regarding fuel economy..consider the Taurus, available with both a 140HP 3.0L OHV (Vulcan) and a 200HP 3.0L DOHC (Duratec) engine.

The Taurus with the Duratec engine gets better fuel economy, according to the EPA estimates, than does the Taurus with the Vulcan engine.

You could also compare ANY GM N-body (Alero, Malibu, Grand Am) with the 3.1L or the 3.4L V6 (150HP and 170HP respectively) with the Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique with the 2.5L 170HP Duratec V6. The Contour/Mystique has better EPA estimates.

Regarding torque, the Duratec makes 75% of peak torque at 1500RPM due to the usage of dual intake runners, which Ford refers to as "Intake Manifold Runner Control", first used on the 4.6L DOHC V8 which is well known to last upwards of 200,000 miles and can handle police car level abuse.


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Also

You could compare any GM N-body with the 3.1L (150HP) with the same GM N-body with the 2.2L DOHC Ecotec (140HP) and observe that the fuel economy figures are much better on the Ecotec than the 10HP difference would suggest.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Nine7xbam, thanks for thinking I could be a GM engineer, but sadly I don't know anywhere near enough to be one of them. I just like cars. But you don't want the horsepower at high RPMs, you want it at low RPMs, where it's more accessible to you when you press the pedal. As far as engines lasting a long time, they all can with proper care, and everyone has stories of this or that car lasting a long time. If the engine has to spin faster to do its job, it won't last as long, all other things being equal.

Brianl703, the EPA figures I'm looking at do not bear out what you have said. The Malibus with the 145 hp Ecotec barely get any better economy than with the 200 hp 3.5 (24/35 for the Ecotec vs. 22/32 for the 3.5.)

I can't check the Contour/Mystique mileage because they're no longer sold and don't show up in the EPA Gas Mileage Guide, but I think I recall from a previous post you made that they get a mile or two per gallon better than the Malibu with the V6, but the fact that the Contour/Mystique are lighter and have 30 less horsepower could be a factor in that, too. Looking at cars currently in production, the 4-valve/cylinder 3.0 liter Taurus and Sable both get 20/27, whereas the 2-valve/cylinder Impala with a bigger 3.4 gets 21/32. Even with the stronger 3.8 the Impala only goes down to 19/28.

There's the Audi A4 with the 1.8 turbo: 23/29 -- roughly the same mileage it'd get if it had a bigger V6 that didn't have a turbo. Or the Subaru Impreza, with a 2 liter and a turbo, and it gets all of 19/26. There are V8 cars on the list that can practically beat that.

In fact, I think you could make a pretty strong case from the numbers in the 2005 EPA Gas Mileage Guide that a smaller multi-valve or turbo engine actually gets worse mileage than a bigger 2-valve/cylinder engine, if the two engines produce roughly the same power.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Don't forget gearing too and the tricks played with auto trans to yield good EPA-cycle fuel economy numbers.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

True, but that can cut different ways depending on the car and the driver. Some can do better than the EPA estimates, while others may do worse.

FWIW, the Ford 4 valve/cyl 3.0 Duratec puts out 201 hp at 5500 rpm in the Taurus and gets 20 city/27 highway. The 2 valve/cyl 3.8 in the Impala puts out 200 hp at 5200 rpm and gets 20 city/30 highway.

They're both good engines and good cars. My point is just that multi-valve technology doesn't save gas.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

And all of them are crap compared to the TDI. It's only 100hp but 177 lbs/ft of torque and that's all the difference in the world. I'd stack my Jetta against anything out there for driveability. Are there *faster* cars? Sure. But that doesn't mean diddly in real world driving.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Four bangers don't spin at all that much higher RPMs than a 6,about 6.5k redline for most.As far as reliability goes Honda figured out a long time ago that spreading the stress on the valvetrain to two smaller valves vs. one bigger valve would allow the engines on it's motorcycles to operate at higher RPM and still be durable and later on they just applied that same principle to it's cars.If you want torque though a 6 cylinder is the way to go.I wouldn't buy a 4 banger with an auto anyway,but nowadays even some grown men never learned to drive a standard tranny-sad!

Variable valve lift technology is the way imports are getting better fuel economy today,don't rev it as high or cruising at freeway speeds and the intake valves don't open as high allowing much better fuel economy.I've gotten 35mpg on highway trips in my Matrix,about 32 mpg combined.The Matrix and Pontiac Vibe were developed as a corroboration between Toyota and GM,the interior in mine was designed by Pontiac and I have no problem with it.In fact I think GM does make some nice cars,but it's the suvs that account for their big profits and because they're not selling now is why they're in the mess they're in right now.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

FYI.

For those trying to believe it's Healthcare that's the only cause of the GM problems, take a look at the information The Car Connection released today (linked below).

Scroll down to the article titled: "GM Woes Go Beyond Healthcare"...

TJ

Here is a link that might be useful: TheCarConnection.com / Daily Edition: Apr. 25, 2005


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

..."I've gotten 35mpg on highway trips in my Matrix,about 32 mpg combined.The Matrix and Pontiac Vibe were developed as a corroboration between Toyota and GM...."

So what, my 6-cyclinder Nissan Maxima got 31.5 mpg on a 200 mile highway trip. So where is the benefit of the Matrix when you compare it the Maxima? Isn't the Matrix that small 4-cylinder econobox?


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

>> More GM Recalls <<

As of today, they're recalling 2 million vehicles. Of this, 1.5 million is for second row seatbelt issues.

"the largest of the latest safety actions included nearly 1.5 million full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles from the 2003-2005 model years with second-row seat belts that may be difficult to properly position across passengers' hips. The recall includes some of GM's top-selling pickup trucks and SUVs, including the model year 2003 to 2005 Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Hummer H2, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL and the crew cab versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra."

However, also noted:

"GM also announced five other recalls on Monday. They include a recall of 332,202 of the 1500 Series Chevrolet Suburban and Yukon XL SUVs from the 2000 and 2001 model years for possible overheating of fuel pump wires that could lead to engine stalling, failure to start, a possible fuel leak and inaccurate fuel-level readings. Owners will be notified when repair parts are available, GM said."

TJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Yahoo News / Business - Reuters / GM Recalls 2 Million Vehicles, Most Sold in U.S.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Try comparing the 2003 Chevrolet Malibu with the 2004 Chevrolet Classic. Same body, one has the 3.1L V6 and one has the 2.2L Ecotec:

2003 Chevrolet Malibu:

20/29

2004 Chevrolet Classic:

24/34

(The Chevrolet Classic is made for fleet sales, but they are turning up in the used car market).

I was making the comparisons between the Contour and the old-style (2003 and prior) N-body Malibu...which came with a 3.1L 150HP engine.

The new Malibu is NOT an N-body. I believe it's an Epsilon-body.


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also

The Chevrolet Classic is an N-body if that wasn't clear.


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I think

..there are big aerodynamic differences between a Matrix and a Maxima which come into play for highway mileage.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

You can check mileage on any car in the past 10 yrs at www.fueleconomy.gov

Earlier comments: "You don't think that stopping on a highway on-ramp is an acceptable driving practice, do you? (Not that on-ramps should be so short as to preclude merging safely without hard acceleration, but many of them are. Not that drivers should wait until they enter the merge lane to figure out where they should merge, but many do.)."

I've been to many countries which have faster & smaller highways and smaller/slower engines yet they seem to get it. They seem to have less fatalities vs. the US. Perhaps, our drivers suck or lack respect for other motorist. I live in the compact NE and agree it helps to merge onto a highway with some power however, I started driving a Rabbit Diesel and have only owned one six cylinder car of my many. I realize I was less respectful of others in the V6 because I had the power. I sped as much as saved a ton of gas. I would argue I was able to get to my destination faster because I didn't have to stop for fuel.
My last car was a 5 spd 1.8 Passat which average 34-35 mph at highway speed. I think this goes off the topic but you can have fuel efficient small engines (less pollution) with great mileage.

Another comment, "ou don't want the horsepower at high RPMs, you want it at low RPMs," - that is the problem - unless you are cutting someone off or merging onto a highway it is useless as this HP won't help at highway speed. It would be easier if everyone drove manual tranny (whereas they can maximize rev) vs. throwing in a V8 so novice impatient drivers can merge onto a highway.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Every single day I see evidence that our drivers suck and/or lack respect for other motorists.

As far as having torque at low RPMs, a vehicle with a manual transmission is MUCH easier to tolerate in stop-and-go rush-hour traffic when it can do things like accelerate from 10MPH in 4th gear without complaints from the engine. I actually once started it from a dead stop in 3rd gear without realizing it! Ford has proven with their Duratec engines that it's possible to have both low-end torque and high-RPM horsepower.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Horsepower is king, but torque is your friend.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

JohnDeere,

No, I did not buy a Toyota. I am entitle to an opinion based on my own experience? I hope to have better luck with my current car but I do not expect perfection. What I hope is that Honda will do a better job in taking care of their customers. I told a friend I got a foreign car and he made this statement "Buying an American car is like gambling, if you get a good one, it will run for many years but if you get a bad one, it will crap out on you before 50K. Your chance of getting either one is 50/50. Good thing you took your money and gambled somewhere else".

I heard there was another recall today - what happened to quality control or does GM even know what it is??


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

"Your chance of getting either one is 50/50"

99.5% of all statistics, including this one, are made up.

All of the cars that I or my family have owned in the last 15 years have been American cars. All but one have made it well past 100K.

The one that didn't was recently sold at 88K because it was a stickshift, and my mom wanted an automatic.

The guy who bought it has driven it from DC to LA several times (3500 miles or so) already (so one would assume it's close to 100K if not over) and when he last stopped in at my mechanic's shop where I parked the car with a for-sale sign on it, he mentioned that it's been a great car.

Tell your friend that retro is cool, but he might want to step out of the 80s for a little while.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Nine7xbam, the advantage of multi-valves isn't to spread out the stress on valves. It's to make the engine "breathe" better so it can take in and let out fuel/air and exhaust gases more easily. And it works, too: If you take a 4-cylinder engine with an 8-valve head and design a 16-valve head for it, you'll get more horsepower out of it from that change alone.

But the reason why Honda developed those high-output motorcycle engines was for a different reason entirely. In Japan, motorcycles are taxed on the basis of their engine displacement. So, clever as they are, they came out with tiny little engines that put out huge amounts of power. Honda as well as the other manufacturers have 250 cc motorcycles available in Japan that will out accelerate practically any car on the road.

But the downside is that when you make a very high performance small engine, you also reduce its economy. I have a Suzuki Bandit 1200 motorcycle that only gets about 35-40 mpg. That seems good, maybe, but remember that this bike with me on it only weighs about 750 lbs. But, of course, it has 16 valves and produces 100 hp., and redlines at 10,000 rpm. If you were to take the engine out of a Toyota Corolla or something and put it in that bike (if could make it fit, which obviously you couldn't) you'd find that the bike would get far better mileage. This is so because even though the car engine might be 1.6 liter (bigger by 400 cc) than the bike engine, the car engine would be set up to be far more efficient because it would rev lower and would have far less "hot" valve timing, meaning that the valves would open and close at times that maximize efficiency rather than extract maximum power from the engine.

There are 1,000 different things you can do to an engine to change its performance curve, and all the manufacturers know all of them. Building engines is a very mature science. It's not like Honda or Toyota has deep, dark secrets that they're using to make them. Most things you do to change an engine's performance amount to a trade-off, and the "best" engine is the one that's most suited to the vehicle it's in and the use it's put to.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

The 2 valve/cyl 3.8 in the Impala puts out 200 hp at 5200 rpm and gets 20 city/30 highway.

The 4 valve/cyl 3.5 in the Avalon puts out 280 hp at 6200 rpm and gets 22 city/32 highway. Wha?? More valves, way more power, and better mileage?!?

They're both good engines and good cars.

Sounds like they're all mediocre at best.

My point is just that multi-valve technology doesn't save gas.

My point is just that you have no clue what you're talking about.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Deere 180-That's very good mileage for a 6 in your Maxima,but I'm guessing it doesn't average 32 mpg in everyday driving.I paid just under 17k for my car,probably about 10k less than a Maxima.Econobox?Status symbol be damned,it's pactical and fun to drive,I'll invest that other 10k for early retirement!

cowboyind-I'm just repeating what I read in an article about Sochiru Honda and what he was aiming for when he built his multi-valve motorcycle engines.High power output at higher RPMs and durability were his goals, not necessarily high fuel economy.But like I said,variable valve lift technology is changing that.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

The most recent Toyota Avalon listed on the http://www.fueleconomy.gov website is the 2004 with a 3.0L V6 which gets 21/29. Not very impressive.

The only place I could find fuel economy figures for the 2005 Avalon is on Toyota's website, making me wonder if they're official EPA estimates.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

i dont think the general public cares what horsepower,tourqe,or number of valves an engine has. they care about price num one looks num two, then the other tings gas mpg, warranty etc. whe i was in my 20s h.p. was a big deal, bragging rights and all. now i dont know the h.p. amount of valves, or size of the engine in my cars, their 4cyl, they run, they do the job. beyond that dont know,dont care. as long as they run.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I think the new Toyota Avalon has a 5 or 6 speed automatic vs. the 4 speed automatic in the Impala.

No conclusion about whether multivalve engines are more fuel efficient can be drawn by comparing two vehicles that don't have the same number of gears.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I agree with bill_h as long as a car has enough get up and go,is reasonably priced,is pleasing to your eye,has fuel economy that you find suitable,is enjoyable to drive and you fit comfortably in it nothing else should matter.In short different strokes for different folks.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I agree with Bill H also


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Advertising would lead one to think differently..

"The new 245HP Honda Accord" and other examples. Apparently enough people care that they need to mention it.

At least the ones who make their car buying decisions based on car commercials, anyway.

I guarantee you, however, that my mom has no idea how much HP or how many cylinders are in her car; only that it will last a long time and get good gas mileage. It will and it does, even despite it being a GM (and an ex rental car, at that).


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I live in high attitude and having switched from the Cavalier to an Accord, the difference is HUGH between a 130 HP and 160 HP and 4 speed vs 5 speed automatic. I could barely go up the hills near my house in the Cavalier. The Accord has a LOT of speed for a 4 cylinder. I would NOT go back to anything with less than 160 HP.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

20 years ago a typical 5-liter V8 made 160HP. A typical 3.8-liter V6 made 130HP. These were typically connected to 3-speed automatics.

Makes me wonder how drivers managed to get up the hills near your house 20 years ago.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

***Makes me wonder how drivers managed to get up the hills near your house 20 years ago. *****

My neighborhood was not developed 20 years ago. It was a natural preserve - 8000' above sea level.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

There are certainly other hills in other areas of this country close to the same grade as found in your neighborhood. Pittsburgh, PA comes to mind as one very hilly area that has been developed for decades.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I think it is safe to say there were less cars on the road and drivers were a bit more patient.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

***I think it is safe to say there were less cars on the road and drivers were a bit more patient.***

Exactly. You could take your sweet time to make it up those hills but now day, a zillion people will cut in front of you. I am not saying that cars with 130 HP cannot make it up the hills but you certainly see that they have a harder time and take a bit longer to go up than someone with a V6 or V8, at least with the Cavalier I noticed it. The air is thinner at 8000' and I felt like I was floating air in the Cavalier with my foot pushing as hard as I could before acceleration picked up. With the current car, it is a breeze. Heck, people drive whatever they want. If one could afford a little bit refinement, by all means.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

In stop and go traffic, due to having been in front of a line stopped for a light and then the light turning green again, I sometimes have a gap in front of my car, with stopped traffic 100-200 feet in front of me. Instead of punching the go pedal to get to the stopped traffic faster, I just accelerate gently to about 15MPH, and sometimes, the traffic in front of me will be moving again by the time I get there. (Does wonders for fuel economy over punching the go pedal to stop faster, amazingly enough)

Rarely do cars from the other lane cut in front of me even with such a big gap. Maybe other drivers actually realize that there's stopped traffic ahead, or they just don't care about being first. I don't know.

If someone does cut in front of me..big deal. I don't mind being passed. Better them passing me than tailgating me.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

The most recent Toyota Avalon listed on the http://www.fueleconomy.gov website is the 2004 with a 3.0L V6 which gets 21/29. Not very impressive.

The 2004 Avalon gets better city mileage than the Impala, 1 MPG less on the highway, and has more power output. I don't see what the shortfall is, other than the 1 MPG.

The only place I could find fuel economy figures for the 2005 Avalon is on Toyota's website, making me wonder if they're official EPA estimates.

The figures I quoted came from edmunds.com which says that they are indeed the EPA estimates.

I think the new Toyota Avalon has a 5 or 6 speed automatic vs. the 4 speed automatic in the Impala.
No conclusion about whether multivalve engines are more fuel efficient can be drawn by comparing two vehicles that don't have the same number of gears.

It has a 5 speed automatic. An extra gear only slightly favors city driving....so consider only highway driving....the Avalon still gets better mileage, and it weighs more too.

So....I take it you'd like to see yourself proved wrong (again) in a more apples to apples fashion. Let's go back to 1991. Mitsubishi and Chrysler had teamed up to make the Stealth/3000GT twins. They were offered with 3 power plants....SOHC 12 valve 3.0L V-6, DOHC 24 valve 3.0L V-6 and a DOHC 24 valve 3.0L Twin Turbo V-6. We're going to ignore the Twin Turbo since forced induction is out of the realm of this discussion. The two non turbo engines got identical gas mileage...18/24. Right about now you're probably saying I told you so, multi-valve engines aren't more efficient. You're wrong (as usual). The SOHC engine put out 164 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, whereas the DOHC engine put out 222 hp and 201 lb-ft of torque. They were put in the same chassis, same transmission, driveline, everything (except the DOHC cars weighed just a smidge more). More output, same amount of fuel consumed, therefore the DOHC engine is more fuel efficient.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

"It has a 5 speed automatic. An extra gear only slightly favors city driving.....so consider only highway driving...."

So which, city or highway, does the 5-speed automatic help most?

I never said that DOHC engines were not more efficient than OHV engines. What I said is:

"No conclusion about whether multivalve engines are more fuel efficient can be drawn by comparing two vehicles that don't have the same number of gears."

That remains true..and there are other factors besides the engine and transmission which can effect fuel economy, notably aerodynamic drag.

My definition of fuel efficiency is the amount of work that an engine can do per unit of fuel consumed.

By my definition:

The example you gave does NOT show that the DOHC engine is more fuel efficient than the SOHC engine. It puts out more horsepower, but it'll still take a gallon to go 24 highway and 18 city miles in either engine.

"More output, same amount of fuel consumed, therefore the DOHC engine is more fuel efficient."

You need one gallon of fuel to travel 24 highway miles and 18 city miles with either engine. If one of those engines were more fuel efficient, it would go further with less fuel. (The amount of work done to travel 24 highway or 18 city miles is assumed to be the same for both engines).

If you have a different definition of fuel efficiency, please share it.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

In reality you are both right..

Fuel efficiency is how many gallons of gas does it take to go x miles. If two cars require one gallon to get from point A to B than at the fuel pump they are identical.

However, I think the discussion by RulesSuck was about engine efficiency and the ability for one engine to produce more HP or carry more weight vs. another engine. In Physics - it is Weight * Acceleration = Force (Power). A simple analogy - if I weigh 95 pds and you weigh 342 pds. and we both get on bicycles and pedal 100 miles on a very warm day. And we both only require one liter of water for our entire journey. It is easy to say you at 342 pds are more efficient vs. myself - as you produced more power and moved more weight with the same requirements. OR you could say I am very inefficient as I produced less power and moved less weight but still required a liter of water.

This is similar to the conversation regarding a Wankel/rotary engine which is very small but produces beaucoup HP in comparison to heavier conventional engine. The rotary may have worse gas mileage for the same distance but produce 1.5-2x more HP. You can only realize this efficiency if you utilize the full band of HP - which we rarely can in this country.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

The example RulesSuck provided shows that it is possible to make an engine breathe better (increased volumetric efficiency which is not the same as fuel efficiency) at higher RPM for more torque (and therefore horsepower) without decreasing it's fuel efficiency.

This makes perfect sense--why would increasing the ability of an engine to fill it's cylinders with air at high-RPM, wide-throttle operation change the amount of fuel it uses during normal city/highway driving..either for better or for worse? It shouldn't.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Posted by: brianl703 (My Page) on Tue, Apr 26, 05 at 10:24

The most recent Toyota Avalon listed on the http://www.fueleconomy.gov website is the 2004 with a 3.0L V6 which gets 21/29. Not very impressive.
The only place I could find fuel economy figures for the 2005 Avalon is on Toyota's website, making me wonder if they're official EPA estimates.
IMO, those Avalon figures of 21/29 are excellent considering its size and weight and the power of its engine - no way would I compare these to a Chevrolet Cavalier, or a Honda Civic, either .

But, if compared to a Volkswagen Passat TDI(or any Diesel), then the numbers are poor.

More gears are good to have, but the effect on economy is not direct; at one time a 4 speed VW Diesel had better EPA economy than the 5 speed.
Of course, the EPA numbers are but estimates - I think it would be better if the EPA just stuck to emissions.

Granted, that the DOHC design is a bit more efficient(even at low RPMs), but its $100 to $200 added cost will take time to pay off, but then there is the prestige of owning a two camshaft engine, as I do..


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

"More gears are good to have, but the effect on economy is not direct"

In many cases it is. Compare the 2001 Toyota Corolla with the 3-speed automatic to the one with the 4-speed automatic. In that case the highway fuel economy suffers (probably because the 3-speed automatic lacks an overdrive gear, I didn't look at the gear ratios to compare them).

By the way..I have a 4-camshaft engine..with 6 cylinders..and 6 quarts (of oil)..and 5 speeds...and 4 doors..and 4 wheels..and 2.5 liters..it can get pretty good city fuel economy if you shift it at 1500RPM too..


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Avalon MPG

"IMO, those Avalon figures of 21/29 are excellent considering its size and weight and the power of its engine"

Compare it with another car of the same size: The 2003 Buick LeSabre gets 20/29 with a 3.8L V6 that puts out about the same HP (205 vs. 210) and the Buick has more curb weight (3567lbs) vs (3417lbs).


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

So which, city or highway, does the 5-speed automatic help most?

City. The engine can better stay at its most efficient speed because it has more gears to choose from. On the highway, they both go up to the top gear, probably at or near optimality for highway speeds, and stay there, so all those extra gears don't do any good.

You need one gallon of fuel to travel 24 highway miles and 18 city miles with either engine. If one of those engines were more fuel efficient, it would go further with less fuel. (The amount of work done to travel 24 highway or 18 city miles is assumed to be the same for both engines).

Yes, but if the gearing was different to take advantage of the engine with more output, then it would turn fewer revs and have better gas mileage.


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EPA test and torque

"On the highway, they both go up to the top gear, probably at or near optimality for highway speeds, and stay there, so all those extra gears don't do any good."

As I recall, the EPA highway test involves several stops and accelerations so the extra gears would have an effect on the results of that test.

"Yes, but if the gearing was different to take advantage of the engine with more output, then it would turn fewer revs and have better gas mileage."

That would be true if the DOHC engine has more torque at the low RPMs used during normal driving than does the SOHC engine. Does it?


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Buy American or you are shooting yourself in the foot, not to mention your children's feet and the rest of your countrymen's feet for that matter. The difference between american and foreign cars is very little currently. People buy what they percieve to be " cool ", or they have an axe to grind w/ america in general


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

That's your opinion.

I suggest you review the information in the thread linked below...

TJ

Here is a link that might be useful: Toyota Recalls Double in '05


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Buy American or you are shooting yourself in the foot, not to mention your children's feet and the rest of your countrymen's feet for that matter.

So which is more American? The Toyota built in Kentucky or the Ford built in Mexico or the Chrysler built in Canada? Or does the Chrysler get a double-whammy because not only is the car built outside the U.S., but, ultimately, the profit goes outside the U.S. as well?

And where can I buy an American passenger car with a turbodiesel engine?


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

g.m.s losing money. gee i wonder why. iam in the market for a 2 seat roadster, the miata or the solstice, mazda dealer- sure take it for the day see how you like it. pontiac dealer- we need a signed sales agreement and 500 bucks down, to show your serious, then you can drive it with the salesman. the mazda has better fit and finnish, smoother reving engine, smoother shifting trans, and a longer warranty. plus the top is 10 times easier to use. now to the price, the sticker is about the same on both, in fact i little better on the pontiac, but the dealer wants a premium for the solstice because their in short supply, 3k over list. screw you g.m. you deserve to go under! iam buying a miata!


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

GM's biggest problem is the high cost of pensions and escalating medical costs. They were forced into signing rediculous, unsustainable wage, benefit and medical packages by the suicidal liberal unions. The same liberal types who hate America and buy everything foreign all the while complaining that nobody is doing anything about "it "


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

beaglebuddy,

Those are only a few of their problems. I suggest you follow the information coming out of Wall Street and other financial news related to GM...

TJ


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

They were forced into signing rediculous, unsustainable wage, benefit and medical packages by the suicidal liberal unions. The same liberal types who hate America and buy everything foreign all the while complaining that nobody is doing anything about "it "

Yeah, I'm sure that spending two billion dollars on FIAT and getting pretty much nothing out of it was a wise way to spend money. I'm sure that keeping the J-body (Cavalier, Sunfire, etc.) in the line for almost a decade and a half (four generations of any other car line) was a wise way to conduct business. I'm sure that selling cars for the prices normally charged to company employees was a wise way to ensure the long-term health of the corporation.

Besides, when those terrible "liberal" (huh?) labor unions were holding that figurative gun to GM's head, GM owned the majority of the U.S. car market. Would it have hurt GM or the unions more if GM simply said "Go ahead and strike. We don't need you."? Stand the relatively short-term cost of a strike and start over again with a different deal. Like PATCO. Like the airlines. Like most of the other car companies manufacturing in the U.S.

Don't get me wrong. GM does have very high expenses for pensions and health care. The unions have played their part in pushing hard for benefits way beyond what most manufacturing workers (heck, maybe most all workers) enjoy. Union leadership also has failed its membership in not offering compelling reasons to continue to hire union workers. But to blame those terrible horrible awful liberal unions for the mess GM is in now excuses a few decades of poor management and bad marketing.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Some good points steveo, but don't try to say that unions are not a liberal institution, they are major demo fundraisers and have endorsed liberal candidates seemingly forever. Every car co. out there has made some whoppers of poor decisions. Are you saying that GM should bust the union ? I can hear the caterwalling and cry for a boycott already, Boxer and Kennedy screaming in outrage. You are under estimating the pension problem. Unions were necessary, but now the pendulum has swung too far their way. You don't see any brick chimney's around here anymore as their unions have priced them right out of a career, chimney's are framed in wood now. I'll bet the packages for foreign car makers in the U.S. are nothing like UAW gives.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

**I'll bet the packages for foreign car makers in the U.S. are nothing like UAW gives.**

I'll bet you'd be wrong. Seems I read some time ago the UAW wanted to unionize Japanese manufacturing plants in the US. They didn't get anywhere because the workers in those plants were already getting comparable wages and benifits to those in the US unionized plants. The workers weren't interested in joining for that reason. Nothing to gain plus dues to pay.

Everyone always gripes about those high priced union assembly line workers. Wish someone who has the job would chime in and say what the pay is per hour. Mostly what people post on message boards goes something like 'I know a guy who knew a guy who knows a guy that was a ford assembly plant worker for 20 years, who retired at age 40 and lives in a mansion. I have a hunch that the real deal is the assembly line workers earn a lot less and have to work harder than what many of the people doing the griping earn. Just a hunch.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

GM must of been doing something right keeping the J body Cavalier for a decade and a half acutually 23 years.After all they sold more Cavaliers then any competitor sold there compact models.

I do not under stand the Liberal comment either.Must be different in your area.Around here its Conservatives driving Rice Burners and helping to sell the Country out.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

In California, a liberal would not be seen dead in an american car.They mostly drive volvo,toyota,vw,saab( I know GM owned )ect..Interestingly however there are some soccer moms who express liberal sentiments yet drive yukon xl's, go figger. Only old people and hard core conservatives drive american. Yeah yeah there are always exceptions, save it.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

well as a very conservative liberal, no wait make that a very liberal conservative, well anyways the north american auto show is going on now. so come to detroit and see it all, from the azera to the zepher. and being its detroit, while your looking at the new cars, someone will most likely steal your old car. so then you have a reason to buy a new one from the country of your choice.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Are you saying that GM should bust the union ? I can hear the caterwalling and cry for a boycott already, Boxer and Kennedy screaming in outrage. You are under estimating the pension problem. Unions were necessary, but now the pendulum has swung too far their way. You don't see any brick chimney's around here anymore as their unions have priced them right out of a career, chimney's are framed in wood now. I'll bet the packages for foreign car makers in the U.S. are nothing like UAW gives.

I probably should state that I have never belonged to a union -- in fact, for 'most any job I ever held, union membership wasn't even an option. Similarly, the only person who ever fights for my job and compels companies to pay what they pay me is -- me. With that out of the way....

Bust the union? No. But GM could have stood a lengthy strike to make the point that benefits were getting "out of hand." The time to do that was years ago, when GM was strong and the UAW was just starting to build on their great benefits. Now all GM needs is one more solid punch and they're down.

I still don't understand the "liberal" characterization unless you're using the sloppy meaning in which "liberal" is used to mean "not-pro-business-at-the-expense-of-workers".

Didja ever notice that Southwest Airlines is about the only airline out there making money now? While American/Delta/Northwest/United/USAir/etc. are trying to force their employees to work for cheap, SWA keeps right on going. Funny thing is, they're as unionized as the bankrupt carriers. But they've figured out that working with the necessary unions is a better way to go than constantly being at each other's throats. Detroit never learned that lesson, so in addition to some stupid short-term thinking, they have an enemy in the UAW. Brilliant.

Motor vehicles is not the only business facing huge pension liabilities. So are airlines. So are city, county, and state governments, because accounting practices let them defer the real cost of paying pensions and now those pensions are coming due. Speaking as someone who has never had anyone guarantee my pension, I think current and future retirees are in for some nasty surprises. What was promised (either by the business or their union) is just not sustainable. Especially if SSI will be handed out indiscriminately and especially for a generation or two that has seen the biggest increase in personal wealth in the history of the U.S. There will be a lot of caterwauling as people realize either they get stiffed a little bit now or they get stiffed a lot later when whoever is providing the pension and health care goes bust.

FWIW, my next-door neighbor retired from one of the Big Three about four years ago. He was a line worker and was making in the mid-50s when he left after his 30 years. Including full health coverage for his family. Minus UAW dues. Not too bad for a guy who has no degrees and no certifications. He's d@mn good at what he does, but people in fields requiring far more education and certification are making far less than that even today. Not a bad deal at all.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I worked at a UAW job for a short time about four winters ago Caterpiliar.When I started I thought I might stay.But did not stick around to join the Union in 30 days.Because the new guys did not get the benifits.You are casual workers considered partime.Yet work 40 hours a week and get a lot of over time.Start out at 12 to 14 dollars per hour.Depending on the job and shift.No benifits unless your hired full time.Went thru a few days of testing to see where I would be best suited.Was placed high experinced with hydraulic systems and was placed with 25 year veterans making big money and doing the same job as me.This did not set well with me.I never did like being a puppet on a string anyway and told them what to do with there job.Because im a independent cuss and I was not about to let them make a fortune off me.When guys around me were getting rich bossing me around and calling me a scab.

Thats how it is there now.At one time was the best place to work.My brother worked there for 30 years and retired and so did other family members and friends.Now there working other jobs to pay there insurance they were swindled out of.Im sure GM has the same new practices and there not going to tell me there not making money.I will not fall for it.

As for College people making more then people with out a degree.So what I here that a lot.I know people who went to college and do not deserve to make more money.Because they do not know anything except what they found in a book.

Example I work on a farm operation.I have a life time of expirence.They hired a college guy who thinks he is worth more then me because of that piece of paper.Problem is he does not know what he is doing unless he can read it out of a book.He is afraid to get dirty and does not like to sweat.If he made half what I make he would still be over paid.Because I went to the school of hard knox.

Example two my wife works in the nursing home industry.Has a few certificates but no college degree.Has been there 25 years.She works with a 25 year old who has a degree and is worthless and has poor work ethics also.She saids she better be making more then my wife because she has a degree behind her name!Yet has 0 comonsence and is lazy.She thought when she went to college it was buying here a life on easy street just like the college boy I have to put up with.If she was a nurse it would be different.But she replaced a worker who did not have a degree anyway.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Example [snip]

Example two [snip]

I'm sure you know there's a difference between "book learned" and "common sense". I know enough "absent-minded professors" -- and enough people who make me wonder how they stumble into the button factory everyday. You can have common sense without book learning and book learning without common sense. And d@mn few of us ever got to our first jobs knowing everything we were supposed to know.

Your two "examples" are going to run out of steam pretty quickly if they think all they have to do is show up. That has nothing to do with letters behind their names.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Steveo, I was in the plumbers union for about a year and a half but left because they had me locked into a job classification where I would never be able to make journeyman wages. They had a thing called tradesman, I was used for service and repair instead of construction. Getting in was like joining their own little private club. I felt there was tremendous waste w/ the union. For example they sent out a video every year that showed how great they thought they were. Very profesionally produced, probably cost tons to make. Whoever made it was probably related to a union official or gave them a kickback. They took out money from my paycheck every payday for a " vacation fund " when I went to take out the money there was less than I put in, I was told they have to charge to administer the service !
I am completely w/ you in regards to common sense /book sense it is something I have subscribed to for a long time.
SW air is succesful because they follow a complete different business model, use all the same airplanes and other things.
Johndeere I think the only way for the working man to get ahead nowdays is to own his own business. In the land of fruit and nuts there are so many illegal aliens here , they are taking all the jobs, not just the jobs nobody wants to do. They are working their way up to management positions in the construction and other industries. I don't know what the legal american's coming up will do for work if they don't have a degree.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

You would think they would run out of steam.But they must of taken a class in Brown nose because the bosses in both cases think there great.I can not stand that Worm I have to deal with.Thats just what he is a Worm.He worms him self out of work daily.Looks at me like im a looser for working on a farm.Yet he has a degree in it.I might be a looser but atleast I never went 4 years to college for it.LOL


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

On a related note, Ford is having the same problems. They will be closing many plants here in the states, laying off around 30,000. I really dislike the UAW, I'm sure there are those that will defend them, but I think they have outlived thier usefullness. They are not the only problem, the corporate stucture is not what it should be either.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

One huge factor in the current GM and Ford financial problems is GREED. And their CEOs set a very bad example with only only being over-compensated but refusing to cut back by a meaningful amount as they have had to gall to expect the union members to...

Not that they are not greedy, they are, we all are !

But there must be some limits to this madness..
And this has been going on for a long time.
The Europeans also have their problems, but the Orientals ???

There is much we can learn from them..

Now I read from the "car Connections" that the red ink continues to flow and as a raging river, and that there is renewed talk of GM going bankrupt..

Maybe it would be better if they did !

When GM was at their most successful era, they made for their entire line up just three main body shells during the 50s. This was before the "import invasion", and their pathetic responses (Corvair, Vega, BOP "med-sizers, etc)
GM should make, in the USA, but one line(maybe two) of body shells and that being a family size, reasonable in dimensions..
Leave the European sized car to the Europeans and of course the Japanese....
JMO


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

Good points, I say three lines, truck, SUV, and small econobox. The preformance crowd will always buy foreign on principle.


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I was omitting the trucks,beaglebuddy.
They should make a rear drive to compete against BMW, Mercedes and cater to those who still carry the torch for rear drive ..(Nova, Camaro, Firebird, and onward, with clever design, all is possible) ..
A modern Camaro with a V6 could do 25 mpg - save the V8 for the Pontiac...Both must be rear drive..
I think all the "small econo-boxes" should come from either Mexico or Korea..


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RE: GM First Quarter Loss is 1.1 Billion

I disagree they should make the so called econo box here to keep jobs here.Because as soon as reality hits that we have seen the end of cheap gas.About what its priced at now.Soon it will be back to $3.00 and possibly beyond again and eventually to stay.Thats going to make the econobox and midsize what everyone drives.Might as well have the obsolite vehicals like the Tahoe and Silverado built across the border.


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