Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Houses Cheaper Than Cars in Detroit


The U.S. auto industry is in dire straits, and thousands of auto workers have lost their jobs. The Detroit housing market has hit rock bottom.

Now, I probably have a controversial stand upon the U.S. auto industry. I know that the suffering auto worker is not to blame, but the U.S. automobile manufactures are at fault. They produced some of the biggest pieces of junk in the 1980s and early 1990s. They thought that Americans would buy their cars because they were Made in the USA. Guess what, they were wrong. During this time, Americans began to buy Japanese vehicles because they were better quality, lasted longer, and drove better than American vehicles. Now, U.S. automakers want to make better quality vehicles, but they cannot afford to make better vehicles. The U.S. automakers have dug themselves into a deep hole, and I hope that they can pull themselves out of it. Our country's economic well-being is tied to the automobile industry, and we need them to succeed.

These views do not reflect the opinion of Torpor Indy himself, but the opinion of freelance contributor, Brick.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I know several people that live in the motor city they are forced to stay b/c they can't sell. I am not sure you guys rememember a comment I posted about De-t-rot. How I think it should be used as a progressive bio dome experiment. I really think I am on to something and it could save the city.

March 20, 2007  
Blogger The_Kid_ said...

Actually most reports that I have seen reference the quality of American vehicles versus those built by a Japanese to be minimal. The studies I have seen found that the perception of the quality of Japanese vehicles to be
disproportional to the perception of the poor quality of American cars. In sum American car companies make cars every bit as good as anyone else.

Now for the record I don't drive an American car. Sadly I couldn't afford an American car with all the same features as my car. The main problem is American cars are just too expensive.

March 20, 2007  
Blogger Brick said...

I agree that American cars have finally matched the quality of Japanese cars. My problem is that when the Detroit auto companies were making money in the 1980s, they did not care about quality. They wanted their cars to only last 4-5 years so that you would have to buy a new one.

March 20, 2007  
Blogger torporindy said...

As for cost, I'd say one can buy an American model with similar features for the same price as a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, but American models still lack in design.

The UAW has served as a scapegoat for the American car industry's woes, but people should compare the CEO of Toyota's salary with his GM counterpart. Also, the salaries of top-heavy management within Ford or GM factor greatly as well.

March 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I guess I have to be the voice of reason and say that the blame should be shared by both the Big Three and the UAW. When there is no downward flexibility in wages and there are giant bloated pensions to fund then there is a problem.

Who is not to blame?: The individual autoworkers and consumers.

This seems to be a preview of what we are facing with Social Security in so much as younger workers cannot fund the retirement/health care benefits of those soon to be retiring.

US automakers must not only completely close the gap (as "the kid" stated they pretty much have) but leap over the Japanese and Koreans in quality, design, and price if there is any hope to stop the atrophy. Will this happen? Probably not. The asian automakers have cohesive corporate cultures which allow them to keep secrets on advances and cut costs where necessary. The greedy US execs and greedy Unions will not allow the type of cooperation necessary (atleast short of major restructuring....which appears to be already starting).


March 21, 2007  
Blogger torporindy said...

Sly, I disagree somewhat about the UAW. There is little disparity between the hourly wages of Toyota and UAW workers. Non-union Toyota workers make almost as much.

I don't blame the UAW so much because the Big Three automakers basically threw money at them in the 1950s/1960s so they could keep the assembly lines open. The automakers were merely buying time so that they could move into the next phase of automation and eventually outsourcing. There was no foreign competition at the time and the automakers knew that they could continue to make record profits as long as they were pumping out cars.

March 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, did you see that chick at lunch? She was hot.


March 21, 2007  

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