Yesterday Dorri made a post about the Ford truck plant in Dearborn making employees who drive off makes park across the street. I was intrigued to read the reply from a reader who is obviously a dyed in the wool Ford fan. As one who works in the retail side of the car industry, I just HAD to comment on this!
First of all, I grew up in a Chrysler household, so when i went to work in a dealership, it made sense that I should work in a Chrysler store. Guess what I discovered… their cars were poor excuses for automobiles and it felt so wrong taking peoples money for repairing this junk that I moved to a european import store. When my wife & I bought our first new car, we bought Japanese. My father was horrified. Over the next few years however, he saw how reliable the car was, even in the face of all the abuse I put it through. As consumers, we found that our money was better spent on an import (built in Ontario) than it was on a “domestic” car.
Now that I’ve spent many years in the industry, I’ve learned a few things about the way the car world works & I can make a few educated observations.
1 – criticise a “domestic” car and union workers all over freak out!
2 – when “domestic” content is counted, many “imports” have higher North American content than almost all “domestic” cars!
3 – having worked for European, Japanese & “domestic” makes, the “imports” are almost always vastly superior cars in the long run that hold their value much better.
4 – when Toyota, Honda, Nissan & Hyundai all design & build vehicles IN North America, what makes them less domestic than the crap that “domestic” manufacturers try to pass off on the public?
Number 5 may be the biggest one!
The quality of a car isn’t determined by the guys & girls on the line, but rather by the ACCOUNTANTS who determine how much money the designers are allowed to spend on design and materials. The line workers build the best product they can, with the raw materials given to them by the accountants!
The type of cars driven by the employee has nothing to do with the quality of vehicle he builds, nor with the pride in which he builds it.
What can the “domestics” do to regain market share? They can LET their guys build cars with better materials, that will last longer and feel new for more than the first year!