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As a native Detroiter, I had no idea how unpopular I was about to become when I picked up my Prius last month. Of course I did sort of expect dirty looks from my neighbors who work for Ford! Anyone know where to pick up the bumper stickers that reads: "Real Americans Drive What They Want"?
 

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Why would you want something like that? Real Americans might like to keep the "Green" on this side of the pond! We are fortunate enough to be able to make our own decisions. You have to understand, living where you do, flaunting any type of foreign car in your neighbors faces is equivalent to a slap. Enjoy your right to choose but don't delight in being the only one "right" in Detroit.
 

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Do it and you'll likely find your car keyed.

Irony about it is that the workers shold be keying the cars of the executives who made the "never mind gas prices, screw hybrids and make more SUVs" decision.
 

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GM and Ford just don't want to admit they screwed up. They really never pay attention to customer trends and what consumers REALLY like. The companies have a continued pattern of jumping onto the bandwagon too long after a fad hits the market...like with SUVs, and now with hybrids.

Incidentally, even the popular Escape-Hybrid SUV, which has long waiting lists in some areas, uses hybrid technology purchased from Toyota...so even if you buy one from Ford, you're STILL also paying Toyota :)
 

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paul16451 said:
Incidentally, even the popular Escape-Hybrid SUV, which has long waiting lists in some areas, uses hybrid technology purchased from Toyota...so even if you buy one from Ford, you're STILL also paying Toyota :)
ARGH! Stop that. The Ford Escape-Hybrid uses FORD technology... it does not use any toyota technology at all.
 

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Oh deer... to quote a former President, "There you go again." :roll:
 

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Jonnycat26 said:
paul16451 said:
Incidentally, even the popular Escape-Hybrid SUV, which has long waiting lists in some areas, uses hybrid technology purchased from Toyota...so even if you buy one from Ford, you're STILL also paying Toyota :)
ARGH! Stop that. The Ford Escape-Hybrid uses FORD technology... it does not use any toyota technology at all.
You're joking, right?

In case you're not:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4485998

http://www.automotivedigest.com/view_art.asp?articlesID=11826

http://www.hybrid-car.org/hybrid-news/45.html
 

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The national news has been filled these past days with reports on falling sales of both GM and Ford. Conversely, Toyota has had a 21% INCREASE in sales since last year. The hybrid is one factor, but also a dramatic slowdown in sales of large SUV's. If the trend continues, the economy will spiral downward along with certain job losses among American workers--once again. GM is in the news a lot today, none of it good. My neighbor encouraged us for years to buy American, which we did for 20 years. But when choosing a Hybrid purchase, it was hands down a choice for the Toyota Prius. I hope the American carmakers commit to fuel efficient cars. The technology is there--but is there the desire?
 

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Like the development of many emerging technologies Ford and Toyota came to the same conclusion regarding how to implement hybrid technology. Current asphalt technology is call the Macadam process, the name for the Scottish individual who developed the process, however at the same time across the pond in the U.S. another individual, who's name escapes me right now, discovered the exact same process as Macadam. Necessity is the mother of invention. At that time everything was clicking that it was possible for 2 different people, separated by a great distance and lack of instant communication to develop the same process at the same time.

The same applies to Ford's development of hybrid technology. There are nuances to the Ford system which make it different in mechanical implementation in some areas as compared to the Toyota implementation, however, to avoid any kind of legal battle, Ford decided to license the technology rather than try to convince a judge or jury that their development efforts were isolated from Toyota's. In this case they made a financial evaluation, it was less expensive to pay Toyota for a license than it was to deal with Toyota in court, which is what probably would have happened. As time progresses the Ford system will change and evolve to meet Ford's needs and the Toyota system will do the same. At that point they will probably be very different systems in which a licensing relationship will not need to exist.

I already see the differing point right now. Ford is choosing to use fluid couplings and transfer cases for their hybrid 4wd system, and Toyota in the Lexus and Highlander are going to use electric propulsion systems for their rear wheels. This is a major engineering difference which will create an implementation gap that really makes the systems the two manufacturers are using very different. I don't see Ford's licensing agreement lasting more than a couple of years or the term of the agreement.
 

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Big Multi National Corporations don't necessarily have national identity or loyalty. What country is Chrysler now? Who knows - who cares. You could buy a Ford build god knows where and a Toyota from Kentucky. American buying Toyota stock, Japanese buying Ford stock(maybe if it makes money..) Germans buy Chrylsler stock..

I figured I should just buy what I want. Competition should help the Big 3 get it together more than government bailouts or consumer loyalty. Hopefully ;)
 

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dgstan said:
You're joking, right?

In case you're not:
Please see the reply below for a great response. Also, for all those URLs you provided, I have just as many URLs explaining what was already well explained below.

There's a difference between being Pro-Prius and being anti-everything else. I see too much of the second around these days.
 

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Jonnycat26 said:
dgstan said:
You're joking, right?

In case you're not:
Please see the reply below for a great response. Also, for all those URLs you provided, I have just as many URLs explaining what was already well explained below.

There's a difference between being Pro-Prius and being anti-everything else. I see too much of the second around these days.
JC26/jerome,

Thanks for the information. I was not informed and assumed that when Ford licensed Toyota's technology it meant they were using it. I need to research this further. If you have a link to a good explanation, feel free to provide it.

In my day-to-day travels, I run across a lot of people that despise anything having to do with Japanese autos. Quite often, they're loyalty blinds them. It looks like this time that might have happened to me.

With regards to calling us (me?) "anti-everything", I'll just say that, in my experience, the people on this (and other) Prius forums are much more mature and open-mined than any other boards I've participated in.

Regards,

DGStan
 

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There's anpother point to be brought up and that is the opinion of some that all Japanese Cars are better than American products and I completely disagree with this. Regardless of whats been said, I believe the SUV has been the "cop-out" detested on this thread and the US manufactures are getting the blame for supplying what the US buyer has been demanding. Do you possibly believe Cadillac and Lexas make one so that they can force it down the buyers throat. I've had many American cars over the years and those purchased new have been trouble free for the length of the time I've had them. The problem and reputation some get is from owners who have bought the "smart" way and got a used car a year old and with the "markdown" saved. Unfortunate buying skills have given them lemons and they have turned to the cheap import as their first new car and have taken care of them from the "GO." Call this reliable if you like but it has a lot to do with correct attention from the start.
I bought the Prius because it was a hybrid and I believe it is the way the auto market will go for the next dozen years. Every manufacturer in the world has now come up with this opinion and we will shortly see a lot of "different" types of hybrids hit the streets. This includes the US and that will certainly be my choice. I will never admit that a Frenchman has more national pride of country and will buy a Renault piece of *%#* rather than buy foreign, and I won't, when there is a similar product available.
People seem to blame Detroit for the SUV craze which I think personally is ridicules, but they were making what the public wanted and did not force the public to wait six to nine months to supply them. Every auto manufacturer in the world now makes an SUV to supply the American buyers desires.
And for saying that all you want is a non polluting car that gets great milage as a side effect and has the additional room as a hatchback you should have taken a look at the Chrysler PT Cruiser. More room, great milage and made by an American company with a great reputation for service and reliability. Stick a hybrid power plant in one of those and as far as I am concerned Toyota can lock up their doors. Not a hybrid, mind you but $10,000 cheaper, and more than meets the California emission standards. And if you like "after market" you can get catalogs with hundreds of pages of "add on's".
I don't mean to say all this as sour grapes but just as my opinion and I am looking forward to my first American hybrid.
Please excuse the "rant". and for what ever it's worth, always make the extended warranty the number one option on any car purchased.
 

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Sorry, I just can't accept that American quality is on a par with the Japanese, when I see professional evaluators with statistics to back it up (Consumer Reports, JD Power) say otherwise. The news in the last month included a major recall by Chrysler for self-opening rear hatvches on minivans and a GM recall for failing ABS on trucks and SUVs, for example.

You are right about giving buyers what they want, but there is also blame on the companies for fostering this. GM doesn't spend billions in advertising without believing there is "market development" and not just competition going on. If they don't offer a hybrid (a REAL hybrid, not that 1mpg better POS truck) then they can't say people won't buy them. Does Cadillac advertise they offer better mileage? No, they advertise that their SUV is the biggest on the road, and hides a full-size police sedan from the jackrabbit at the light.

But as long as we don't require better CAFE (not happening in this pro-oil Bush admin) and exempt "trucks" from the same safety, emission and mileage requirements, we will see Detroit build gas hogs. Sure, we'll buy them, right up until the say we run out of gas for our catered-to foolishness.

And is GM really building what people want? Their market share has dropped almost 20 points in recent years, their bonds are now junk class, and they are losing money.

If I could buy a comparable American car I would. But it doesn't exist.
 

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Hi, Phil:

Your last two paragraphs are evidence enough that we don't need more CAFE or other restrictive laws (laws with loopholes ready for exploitation).

We're not God. Even God didn't save the dinosaurs; what makes us think we're so high and mighty that we could?

A few species will adapt. Some will be early to the party, others will be late, but may still make it. Unfortunately, a few of them will not be equipped to survive in the new ecology, and will eventually die off.

New species will appear and supplant the old ones. It's just nature on display.

PS - The Detroiter should enjoy his Prius. But the best way to get even is not to put on a bumper sticker. The best way to get even is to be as successful as you can. That's what I did. Oh yeah, and I moved out of the state. :shock: :D
 

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evander said:
The national news has been filled these past days with reports on falling sales of both GM and Ford. Conversely, Toyota has had a 21% INCREASE in sales since last year. The hybrid is one factor, but also a dramatic slowdown in sales of large SUV's. If the trend continues, the economy will spiral downward along with certain job losses among American workers--once again. GM is in the news a lot today, none of it good. My neighbor encouraged us for years to buy American, which we did for 20 years. But when choosing a Hybrid purchase, it was hands down a choice for the Toyota Prius. I hope the American carmakers commit to fuel efficient cars. The technology is there--but is there the desire?
NPR had a story two weeks ago about GM relocating the majority of their major manufacturing and assembly to Windsor, Ontario because of cheaper overhead, insurance, and labor costs.

That being said, that would make a majority of GM production being foreign with a foreign employee base... still considered US as they keep the dollar in US funds and handle their cost accounting from the US side of things.

Given that, the Honda plant in Marysville, OH is more domestic than a Pontiac that is manufactured in Windsor.

Also I was at the understanding that for some time now Ford vehicles had more imported parts than any other domestic vehicle, however the chassis and body remained domestic, giving it a domestic label.

Then this past week they ran a story (2nd time I heard this) that they are on the brink of closing down the Buick and Pontiac lines for poor profit.


That is pretty amazing, given the 21% increase in Toyota sales.


...and I love it.
 

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I don't believe I'm joining in this discussion

Sigh. This whole topic makes my head hurt. If American businesses do poorly, then America is hurt by it. Even with plants in America, foreign companies send much of their money out of the country, so we end up with a trade imbalance. Yes, I know there are economic thisses and thats, too, that show that the economy is global and we're more productive per person, etc. But, I want America and American businesses to succeed!

I've had 5 cars in my relatively short car ownership life (28 years of owning). The first two were Buicks. Excellent machines, lasting well over 100k miles each. Driven into the ground, more or less (ok, more). My next one was a Camry, which I leased. Why Camry? It was 1986, and the end of the relatively boxy body style. I was just starting a new job, and needed something reliable and affordable. The lease payment, because of the transition of body style, was much lower than a comparably equipped car by another manufacturer. But after that car, I was hooked on Toyota. I justified it by saying "probably made in America." Next one was a Camry, loaded this time, and it was great. I drove it for nearly 100k miles, and gave it (in perfect condition) to friends, who are happily driving it now. I was briefly victimized by a Chrysler K-car in the mid 80s, but I don't like to talk about that - I'm blocking.

Now Prius. Why? Read almost any of the posts from happy Prius drivers, and I agree. Yah, I could have gotten the mileage from a smaller car, but I'm a "woman of hip," so I don't DO tiny little front seats that I have to have medically removed from my backside. So, for comfort I wanted something with some tush room. And since it's my only car, I needed something to carry dog, groceries, bags of compost, garden equipment, bike, luggage, and whatever else I need to haul, and I don't want to be always borrowing or renting to do what I need to do. I try to be independent. My commute is relatively long (70 miles a day), so I wanted mileage and comfort, and since I'd rack up miles quickly, reliability. I know Toyota has that. And it has low emissions, which makes my tree-hugging self happy.

American mfg have been giving Americans what they want, for good or for ill, by mfg SUV and large rides. Americans have wanted bigger, more powerful, faster, macho, slick, prestige cars, and US mfg have provided (so have foreign). Mfg make money, Americans are happy. Right up until we get swatted in the purse. Now, I guess, some of the American mfg have been caught short.

So, why the Prius? It's what I want, and Toyota provided it. I guess that's really the point.
 

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Sanny,

Well said. You know, I took a media and society class back in college. There was a quote my professor gave us that always stuck with me (relating to consumerism and the "take what they give you" police of people). "If you always take what you're always given, you'll always get what you always got." If we want the American manufacturers to move away from the big, expensive, gas-guzzling cars we have to stop buying as many of them, launch letter-writing campaigns.

I like to look at manufacturing companies (ALL manufacturing companies, not just auto dealers) as big dogs. They look intimidating, and they can make you pretty miserable as they bound around and knock stuff over, but at the base of things they really want to please. Maybe in this case it isn't because the manufacturers love you (like your dog does), but it's because they love that green stuff you give 'em. Money is the doggie treat. So, if they chew on the sofa and you give them the doggie treat anyway, they'll keep chewing on the sofa and you'll keep being irritated by that (and rewarding them anyway because you want to be supportive won't help them become better dogs). Knowing a bit about economics, I know this is a simplification of the situation, but the bottom line is if we don't want the big SUV anymore (because of gas prices), we don't want to buy it. If we buy something they don't offer, maybe (in much the same way the foreign auto makers started offering SUVs) they'll start changing they products they do provide.

--Moon
 

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Globalization is making the distinction less and less meaningful.

If Americans own stock in Toyota (many do, including mutual fund accounts), and if the production is done in America (as my last Toyota was), and the taxes paid in America, how it it not an American car? How is that different from Ford making Crown Vics in Canada?

It's more pride than money now.

I'd love it if American car companies did better. But as long as their quality is worse, their dealers are arrogant, their service is poor, and their prices high, it's just asking too much. To buy American is just a form of welfare, and rewards poor performance.
 

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Phil, you are making an assumption that isn't there. If you think American dealers are arrogant, read some of the posts on this site about remarks made to Prius owners from their dealers when they have brought back what the owner see's as a problem. No one who treats customers shoddy in any type of business remains there long. The town I live in sports longtime Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler dealerships and I haven't heard a complaint of any of the three. You have to use personal experiance to be a correct judge. Yours, and your neighbors. Last year, we had our kitchen remodeled and I checked out consumers who rated Amana at the tops of kitchen appliances and purchased a stove, micro wave, diswasher and refrigerator on their ratings and the fact that we had a local Amana appliance shop in town. Two months after completion the timer in the stove went kaput. Because of the lack of timer the oven was inop. It took six weeks to get the timer part and get our new stove back in service. This was because "the timer never fails" and there were none in stock "in the country", The fridge is noisey, but that's another story so don't talk to me about Consumer Reports.
If it makes you feel better to have an excuse to buy Japanese so be it. I use the same one now because I wanted to try out a hybrid and no one else makes one. I like and appreciate the premise and engineering done but I feel the car lacking in what I have grown use to for the past fifty years. Size, comfort, and performance mainly. It gets "great" milage but this months AAA newsletter states that very few Americans will be cutting back on their driving vacations as a twenty cent per gallon increase in the price of gas only adds five dollars to the cost of a five hundred mile trip. Even with the increase cost of fuel and the drawback from the SUV craze by your friends and neighbors the largest increase in SUV sales has been on the Dodge Durango which has outfitted their new model with the high displacement "hemi" V8 engine.
Their have been all kinds of articles in this weeks papers about GM, and Fords troubles and have you noticed what has been causing them? The high cost of retirement and health benefits for their large number of retiree's. When the companies are forced into bankruptcy these costs will be transfered to the governments insurance plan and the taxpayer will be responsible for them. In the not too distant future Toyota and Honda who have plants here will start to experiance the same problems as their employees accrue seniority and start retiring. I'm sure they have a benefit package, but maybe not! The new airlines do not, and the oldies are having a hard time competing just as is the auto industry. If you believe an employee that stays with the same company for thirty to forty years does not rate something like this, "so be it."
We do have a problem today and it is with the American consumer who does not insist on a label stating "made in America" They are getting almost impossible to find anyway. You don't really believe that Honda and Toyota are building plants in the US because they want too? They are doing because it is cheaper to build cars here and the profit is greater. Check out under the hood. practically everything on the Honda Civic my neighbor had which was made in Marysville, Oh. was made in Japan. From the water pump to the starter and generator, and battery. And tires, I could continue with half the car, but this has turned into another "rant"
 
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