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Old 12-05-2008, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,830 posts, read 23,307,749 times
Reputation: 4818

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To get more or less back on topic, thinking about it, what the American car makers need to do, technically, is to make cars that weigh less. Using advanced materials and techniques, "get the lead out" so to speak. And they have done this to some extent.

From a management standpoint, IMHO the best first move would be to embrace the Deming "Total Quality Management" approach, which he offered to them back in the day, and they were dumb enough to pass on.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:13 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,990 times
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The question should not be what can be done to improve American Cars but "what can be done to prove the publics perception of American Cars?" American cars, specially from GM and Ford are very much on par with cars from around the world today.
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL, USA
359 posts, read 802,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetjay View Post
The question should not be what can be done to improve American Cars but "what can be done to prove the publics perception of American Cars?" American cars, specially from GM and Ford are very much on par with cars from around the world today.
That will be difficult to do. People have long memories when it comes to their money. My father still complains about a Buick he owned briefly back in the 70's. Once people get a bad impression of your, it's almost impossible to change their minds, especially as they get older.

To fix this, I think the auto makers need to do two basic things.

First, they need to make sure that they never produce any unreliable cars again. This is a long haul goal. They need to produce reliable cars for at least a decade, with no screw ups.

Next, they need to concentrate on what the youngest drivers want and need. I'm talking about customers so young that won't be able to afford a car for the next 4 or 5 years. They are less likely to have bad memories keeping them in check.

These two goals are tied together. They need to appeal to younger customers, and keep them by earning a good reputation on reliability over the next few decades.
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Derby, KS
3,832 posts, read 8,040,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetreecity View Post
They need to produce reliable cars for at least a decade, with no screw ups.
In a lot of minds they'd have to make reliable cars for a half century to get their rep back. It's not good enough that the last decade was ok. Because of the reputation they earned in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's American cars will be on the defensive for many years to come.

But here's what I think the problem is (in my view as an owner of these much criticized American vehicles). It's not that they are so unreliable now in comparison to the competition (as can easily be seen by the many reliability studies). The service provided when there is a problem is what cheeses the customers off. If they got the service right people wouldn't write them off forever. Because of some poor service I've recieved in the past (along with some real crumby attitudes) at some Chrysler service depts I may never buy another one of their products again. It's actually a pretty good product (T&C Minivan). But the service I recieved at a couple of dealerships has just pushed me over the edge in frustration. They need to fire or demote about half the service managers at dealerships to prove a point. If they aren't 5 star service departments they need to change the leadership. They don't know how to treat customers OR work on the cars.....and they don't care about it either usually. I realize it's not like that everywhere but man I've seen some really crappy service departments.
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