Ten cars that sank Detroit

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Chuck, Jun 7, 2009.


Which vehicle listed hurt Detroit the most?

  1. Ford Pinto

  2. Chevrolet Cavalier

  3. Chevrolet Astro

    0 vote(s)
  4. Ford Taurus

  5. Ford Explorer

  6. Jaguar X-Type

    0 vote(s)
  7. Toyota Prius

  8. Chrysler Sebring

  9. Jeep Compass

    0 vote(s)
  10. Vega

  11. Buick Riviera

    0 vote(s)
  12. Chevorlet Lumina

    0 vote(s)
  13. Civic

  14. Corolla

    0 vote(s)
  15. Accord

  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    [​IMG] Ever since the 1970's Detroit has introduced vehicles that have hurt them

    [fimg=LEFT]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2009_Chrysler_Sebring_Convertible.jpg[/fimg]Rick Newman - YAHOO - 2008

    Hummer is not on the poll - looking for the runner up --Ed.

    The global financial crisis is suffocating the Detroit automakers, but the problems at General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler have been festering for years—even when the mighty "Big Three" were earning billions. Aging factories, inflexible unions, arrogant executives and shoddy quality have all damaged Detroit. Now, with panicky consumers fleeing showrooms, catastrophe looms:

    There will be plenty of business-school case studies analyzing all the automakers' wrong turns. But, as they say in the industry, it all comes down to product. So here are 10 cars that help explain the demise of Detroit: GM and Chrysler need a multibillion-dollar government bailout to survive, and both could be in bankruptcy by summer if they don't meet tough government demands. Ford hasn't asked for a bailout—yet—but it's bleeding cash and racing the clock to turn itself around.... [rm]http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/923/10-Cars-That-Sank-Detroit;_ylc=X3oDMTE4aGI2MDhuBF9TAzI3MTYxNDkEc2VjA2ZwLXRvZGF5BHNsawNzYW5rLWRldHJvaXQ-[/rm]
  2. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Not only is the Hummer not listed, but the EV1 is not either.

    I'll add other candidate on request
  3. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    Um I'm not sure the hummer really hurt them? I mean lots of people were buying them for a while.

    Anyways, at least for me, the two cars that made me decide to never buy an american car ever were the Buick Riviera and the Chevorlet Lumina. My dad had the Buick, and that thing was in the shop every other month getting fixed. The Lumina was ok for the first year or two, but after that it was the same as the buick.

    Really it might just be GM, but whatever. Everyone knows Toyotas, Hondas, and Subarus last forever so why would you want to waste time and frustration experimenting with a different brand?
  4. Indigo

    Indigo Witch with wry sense of humor

    I'd say it's a combination EV1/Prius.
  5. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    The Civic- it was a good small car. It gave the Japanese the "credit" to take the chance and build factories in the USA. They would have been excluded from taking significant market share from the Big 3, if they weren't building here-and keeping jobs here. We-our pols- would have protected USA based industry from pure overseas competition(because they were owned by the big 3-the Japanese bought a few in right to work states).
  6. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    My thinking of excluding Hummer is like a poll of the most evil person ever...you know where that will go? ;)
  7. DrEvil

    DrEvil Evil2012

    Of course I know where it would go!
  8. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Maybe I should have had two polls:
    1. American cars that sank Detroit
    2. Imports that killed Detroit
  9. chilimac02

    chilimac02 Bible Professor & Minister

    I think the general attitude of "more power" probably did them in. If they had balanced their linups with "economy" versions (limited production for sure) then they would have been able to shift their production numbers from performance to economy whenever the market dictated it.
  10. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    My impression is that GM's failure was that it ended up being satisfied with cars that were "about as good as...." "The 91 Lumina is about as good as a 91 Taurus." "The Cobalt is about as good as a Civic." There isn't much profit margin in being second (or third) best if you have to cut prices to sell your cars.

    My experience with Lumina's differed from yours. I'd say they were solid but unexciting. Where I used to work we had two '92 (maybe '91?) Luminas that took a helluva beating. Both needed alternators at around 190,000 and one needed a heater blower at around 175,000. Otherwise all maintenance was routine--and only about once a year since they weren't assigned to anybody. We got rid of them both in '02 with about 200,000 miles on them because as rough looking as they had become, it wasn't worth converting them to the new A/C chemicals.

    Subaru's have probably improved, but my family's experience with them in the 70's and 80's makes me put their reliability then somewhere between American cars of the day and the Yugo. My grandfather's '78 wagon rusted out in 8 years--his Rambler lasted him 10 more or less troublefree years and then got passed around the family. He replaced it with a Justy that got passed around the family as the extra car/RV tow car for about 20 troublesome years (maybe 80,000 miles?). The Justy burnt through a clutch about every 20,000 miles for whoever owned it. Subaru never thought there was a problem with that:eyebrow:. The Justy was a fun car to drive occasionally, but I'm glad I never owned it. You won't convince me that Subie's were reliable back then--they sold because there wasn't much competition in the small 4WD market.
  11. drimportracing

    drimportracing Pizza driver: 61,000+ deliveries

    I would add the Honda Accord and Honda Civic as the cars that did the most damage to Detroit. They were the bench marks of reliability from the time they hit the market until just recently, the last 3-4 years when Toyota took over that reputation. :D - Dale
  12. fuzzy

    fuzzy Mild hypermiler

    I'll certainly vouch for the Accord as drastically changing my expectations for car reliability and longevity. I feel guilty about plans to scrap it in a few weeks. While dad has kept old Ford beater pickups to a greater calendar age, no previous car in the family has ever come close to what this Accord is still doing. And DW's Integra, basically a dressed-up Civic, is well on track to match it.
  13. Earthling

    Earthling Trying to be kind to Mother Earth

    The write-up on the Taurus failed to mention the "transmission from hell." The transmission was the Achille's heel of that car. I couldn't afford to keep replacing transmissions on the Taurus I owned. Other than that, it was a good car, but that one defect was major, and extremely expensive, and a deal-breaker.

  14. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Added more poll choices.
  15. drimportracing

    drimportracing Pizza driver: 61,000+ deliveries

    I voted Accord ingly. When they came out with the 1986 hatchback they changed the world. It was reliable when nothing else came close and held a respectable value even 10 years later when few American cars would do the same. I still see them on the road now. Most have 3 or 400,000 miles on them.

    Honda Accord history: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/articleId=46009 :D - Dale
  16. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    My first wife had a Pinto when we met. It was as loaded as you could get one with a lot of mods. It was lowered, LSD in the rear, traction bars with mini ladders, beefed up transmission, And the 4 banger was turbo charged! What killed it was a Fram oil filter. The top of the can cracked and there went the oil. Motor junk in seconds. The force of the engine locking up instantly broke the frame right by a motor mount. Thus busting the tranny housing and throwing the fan into the rad.

    I hate Fram oil filters. Will never use one again. The Pinto was a monster!
  17. drimportracing

    drimportracing Pizza driver: 61,000+ deliveries

    Perhaps the Fram filter saved your life, from a fiery death. :Banane54: - Dale
  18. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I voted for the Civic, though on second thought I might vote for the Accord. Either way, these were the standard bearers. Detroit could sell you something 'comparable' in size and features for less, but it was just that: less.

    True, Subarus weren't so great back on those days, and they were pretty crude (I remember Consumer Reports, back in the 80s, commenting in their review of one that its engine made "a distinctly agricultural sound.")

    But if you look at Consumer Reports' reliability ratings, for the last 15+ years Subaru has been smack at the top of the charts, up there with Honda and Toyota. And noticeably higher than some of the "other" Japanese makes like Mazda and Mitsubishi. With the 1990 Legacy they became an order of magnitude less crude, and each new generation has passed the previous one by leaps and bounds.

    By the time they "made their move" for the mainstream in 1996 by coming out with the Outback and dropping all the 2WD models from the lineup, they were already of better quality (in both design and reliability) than most of what Detroit was putting out. The level of refinement at the time was still more comparable to Detroit's offerings, but the level of reliability wasn't.
  19. desdemona

    desdemona Well-Known Member

    I voted for Pinto. It was back in the older days and had an instant message of making American cars seem (and they were at the time) unreliable, even dangerous. Then you had good Japanese cars. I recall my first Japanese car, which was a Datsun. I remember showing people how the doors called tightly with just a tap. American car doors had to be banged closed. I heard some discussion of how some baby boomers never had American cars. I had a few and they were with exceptions much less reliable than Japanese cars I had.
    So there had to be a combination of unreliable American cars and good Japanese cars.

  20. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    If the GM marketing group was in charge, they would have just rebranded the Pinto the Firebird.

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