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I think that Japanese companies make better more reliable cars than American companies becuase they take more time, are more carful, and pay more attentinon to detail when the create their cars.
 

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American car companies try hard to match the imports. Saturn seems to be doing pretty well, and was an effort by GM to "start a new sub-company from scratch with no legacy of tired, old GM".

I think part of it is cultural. Although Japan is much more westernized than it used to be, there is more sense of "saving face" by producing a good product that does not get public scourn. I am not talking about Toyota vs GM, but rather all the little suppliers/subcontractors that give parts. I would hazard a guess that it is more common for some "fly by night" substandard parts supplier to crop up, sell a bunch of (junky) stuff to GM at low bid, then disappear. In Japan, people are more inclined to think that their jobs and businesses are "lifetime", rather than some quick way to make a buck.

But maybe I don't know what I am talking about...
 

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well i think the japanese use higher quality parts in their cars that last longer. i think the new acuras and the maximas havea 100,000 mile service period? that's outstanding. i can't go 20k in the m3 without having to do another service. i'm thinking that the quality of the parts and the reliability that must've been tested for long periods of time are the answer for this.
 

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Originally posted by TEG:
American car companies try hard to match the imports. Saturn seems to be doing pretty well, and was an effort by GM to "start a new sub-company from scratch with no legacy of tired, old GM".

I think part of it is cultural. Although Japan is much more westernized than it used to be, there is more sense of "saving face" by producing a good product that does not get public scourn. I am not talking about Toyota vs GM, but rather all the little suppliers/subcontractors that give parts. I would hazard a guess that it is more common for some "fly by night" substandard parts supplier to crop up, sell a bunch of (junky) stuff to GM at low bid, then disappear. In Japan, people are more inclined to think that their jobs and businesses are "lifetime", rather than some quick way to make a buck.

But maybe I don't know what I am talking about...

TEG:

You're absolutely correct....Japanese take pride (I mean real pride) in building their products.

GM??? All they care about is how much money they can make.......
 

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Labor union and Management have been cooperative since the 1960s. Ever heard of a strike in Japan? Or a massive layoff? (OK, there have been some layoffs due to the continuing recession here in Japan.)

This has enabled both sides to concentrate on the pursuit of efficiency and improving competitiveness. Or in other words, capitalism.

And not to mention the different attitudes towards things. I heard the phrase "Don't fix it if it ain't broken" often when I lived in the US. In Japan its "There's always room for improvement (kaizen)".

And there's of course the fact that since the Japanese are shorter and smaller, we have smaller hands that will reach into places where Americans can't. (Didn't I hear this joke in Saturday Night Live?
)
 

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American car companies just want to make a quick buck....

Japanese definetely take pride in their work and they've developed so many manufacturing theories (JIT, KANBAN, etc) that make their processes so efficient and first-class.

therefore, whatever processes American Car companies develop, it is always copied from the Japanese, and therefore, Japanese car companies will always be 3 steps ahead no mater what.
 

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i think it is a management issue. it all comes from the fact that american car makers try to sqeeze every single penny they can from the cars they make. so much so that they will sacrifice build quality and produce a sub-standard product just to outsell the competition. not that trying to make money is bad, but trying to make money and knowingly give the consumer a half-assed product tends to be more of an American ideal than any other country.

i'm sure that toyota and nissan and audi don't want to be known for car problems, especially generalizations. like "VWs have electrical problems" or "Pontiacs are all plastic"...you know what i mean. when i think of Nissan, i can't think of any 'slogan' to go along with the company. the same with toyota. But, "Fix Or Repair Daily" has been around for YEARS! it's all about building a reputation and keeping it, not just selling cars for the sake of selling cars. another reason why nissan and toyota have everyday cars for "enthusiasts" like the the IS300 and the 25th Anniversary Maxima. unlike for which ditched its only everyday enthusiasts car with the death of the Contour SVT. the mustang will live on, but what father with 2 kids (who wants performance and comfort) will go out and buy a Cobra SVT Mustang? not many. so instead of making a great car better, they just trashed it altogether and made another small SUV with the same sub-standard build quality as all the rest of their cars.

i'm rambling, but do ya see what i mean?

[This message has been edited by baco99 (edited October 26, 2000).]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm sure that Ford has a bunch of bean-counters calculating the point where the negative impact of repairs/replacements/bad rep will cost less than built-in quality. One of the pitfalls of super-efficient capitalism. Remember the cost of ownership is significantly higher overseas so the Japanese and Europeans tend to be more appreciative of cars than Americans. We treat our cars like a piece of appliance.

[This message has been edited by Chiphead (edited October 26, 2000).]
 

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Actually saw something on the history channel the other night that talked about how the Japanese workers actually are involved in engineering improvments as well as the production of the vehicles. The also are trained in multiple areas of production as to not get 'bored' with there jobs.

------------------
Spectra Blue
Black Leather Ecsaine

[This message has been edited by BLUEBYU (edited October 26, 2000).]
 

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Japanese have higher quality standard than American .001% defect. if they found a defect in the product, they will hold shipment and check 10,000 items b4 the defect. and american probably just fix the defect and ship(Explorer). but i could be wrong.
 

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Whats even MORE interesting is why ALL Japanese companies arent reliable. Take Mitsu for example; their cars are not the most reliable around, yet they are Japan's 4th largest automaker (before the D/C purchase). They have gotten better in recent years (my 3G Eclipse has been great, so far) but early to mid 90s, they trailed the Big Three significantly.
 

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Maybe because the Japanese are real real REAL competitive when it comes to an education. They grad more people from HS than the US, but less of them go to college. Japan's school system is freakin nuts. So competitive. And then these guys are the ones that are engineering the cars, etc.

[This message has been edited by HIBBoyScott (edited October 27, 2000).]
 

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Here's a neat tidbit about about Mitsubishi. DId you know that they sold and setup for Hyndai all the tooling and machinery they used to make the wonderful and award winning Excel/Sonata/Scoupe etc lines? Hmmmmmmm.....
 

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Originally posted by RotaryBzzz:
Here's a neat tidbit about about Mitsubishi. DId you know that they sold and setup for Hyndai all the tooling and machinery they used to make the wonderful and award winning Excel/Sonata/Scoupe etc lines? Hmmmmmmm.....
Yeah, well Mitsu is also the company that held back and hid what were supposed to get recalled.
 

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There's no single reason why. The manufacturers that produce a rotary knob (for example) that controls how the air circulates throughout the cabin is essentially the same whether the car is a Ford or a Toyota. Yet when I drive a Taurus (the king of rental fleets), it really does feel cheap compared to a Camry.

For Toyota, it has had over 50 years of TPS and Kaizen. Kaizen is the continual, no matter how small, improvement and it builds on past improvements. If you've ever seen Camrys or Corollas (by UAW!) built, it's a monumental feat, the way parts come together, how these parts are delivered literally minutes before they are needed at the factory.

I would agree the blame lies mostly on management, but as much as they would like to change, it's hard to change 80+ years of "tradition."

It's really too bad to see Chrysler repeat its troubles every 10 years since the '70's. Great design, but relatively poor quality. Now they've lost $500M this qtr (or year -- I forget), and are dragging down DC as a whole.
 

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I know its almost factual that GM sucks, but here is just more proof. I just read an article in Drive it Forever from a retired man with a 2000 S10. He says that he cannot turn his heat off, it blows constantly. He has taken it back to the dealer only to be told that "all S-10s do this". The service manager told him if enough people complain, then they will PROBABLY do a recall.


Its sad that the largest American automaker cant take more pride in their products.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't like to generalize, but it looks like the US auto industry is capable of making world class cars if they are proud of it. Here is an article describing Csaba Csere's visit to the GM C5 plant. Something to take note is that UA workers have a strong negative influence on factory automation. Japanese factories are full of robots while US factories are still using mostly human labor.

http://www.caranddriver.com/Article/print/display/0,1835,1255,00.html

[This message has been edited by Chiphead (edited October 30, 2000).]
 
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