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38 comments

American Cars - Do we really get it??

Posted January 11, 2007 8:01 AM by stilljester

Jeremy Clarkson recently shared his opinion on why American cars constantly are the brunt of design & quality jokes worldwide. His first point which struck me was the comment we lack a "sense of time" as 200 years here in the U.S is considered old. I have to agree we do live in disposal society were expectations for products are vastly different then the rest of the world. Working as an automotive designer first hand I can tell you we designed parts with the goal of lasting at least 10 years. 10 years being considered the life of a car!! Try telling this to any European manufacturer and they'd laugh at you as 10 years is just a drop in the bucket. Personally I feel if the US is ever going to recover the ground lost to imported car manufactures recently the first thing we need to do is change the field we compete on. Competing on 'cost' like we are today is always going to return the same shrinking market share results as someone will always we willing to undercut your price. Those who create quality and build technology driven vehicles will always command and receive a premium for their products.

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#1

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/11/2007 8:36 AM

Don't overestimate the rationality of the average consumer, stilljester. Selecting a car is often an emotional decision. A mini-van might be the most practical vehicle for a family man, but an SUV is a lot more appealing.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/11/2007 9:32 AM

Moose certainly a good point and I believe even myself to be included as emotional car buyer, everyone is at some level. However I don't think it's a stretch to say many consumers in the US don't have the expectation that their car is going to last 50 years. Most buy with the intention of making the next emotional decision probably less then 5 years down the road. While buying may be emotional build quality and design standards shouldn't be. With Toyota's staggering growth in recent years it would be difficult to overlook the value proposition of building 'what is' and 'is perceived' as a higher quality vehicle. Ford is very capable of building a higher quality car the issue is there trying to compete with a low cost model. Thousand in rebates, 0 % etc etc – someone has to pay for these saving and in many cases it's the tier 2/3 suppliers.

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Anonymous Poster
#5
In reply to #2

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 3:39 AM

A petrol VW Passat CL within the family is now 17, and going strong every day after 138,500 miles. It can do >53 miles to the imperial gallon if one drives it gently. Because of its age, its insurance is third-party-fire-and-theft, rather than fully comprehensive. There is no body rust whatsoever. It's still on its original clutch. Its lifetime overall running cost has now dropped below £0.15 Sterling per mile, including depreciation, inclusive of local taxes.

Please give an example of an USA-built vehicle that compares?

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Anonymous Poster
#7
In reply to #5

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 7:10 AM

American built? A 1982 VW Rabbit Diesel. Family owned since 1987. 145K miles. With my added turbo charger, I get 65 mpg highway and 45-50 mpg city. The 2nd gear syncro wore out at 130K miles only because I was driving it like a crazy person. So I put a new transmission in it then and its great. I will never ger rid of this car.

The Rabbit wasn't American enough??? How 'bout a 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. 190K miles. Zero rust. Original paint. (garage kept) My parents bought that car new and the only major repairs have been the gas tank and water pump. Oh yeah, the radio died too. Never any internal engine work or transmission work. Our V8-6-4 system never broke, but the dealer forced my parents to have the V8-6-4 system disabled. (Oh I can't wait 'till I get flamed for me saying that, that engine is good) My mom still drives it every few days now.

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#18
In reply to #5

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 1:55 PM

Since the US hasn't really embraced the use of diesel engines like other countries around the whole your right it is tough to find an example. Especially one from the 80's

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Anonymous Poster
#32
In reply to #5

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

05/01/2007 8:31 AM

1992 Geo Prizm built in Fontana, California USA. 151,000 miles, Original motor, gearbox, waterpump, alternator, radiator, (1) brake job. 35MPG and I don't drive gently, I DRIVE this car. Paid for 10 years ago, same insurance...

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

05/01/2007 10:54 AM

Keep going. I have had two Prizms; each got more than 250K miles. One rusted out pretty bad at 275K, and I sold the other, with its body still in great shape and with only a valve job, at 255K.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

05/04/2007 7:37 PM

Thank Toyota for the great engine - Thank GM for the rust.

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#35
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Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

05/04/2007 7:58 PM

Well, actually, it the Prisms were pretty much all Toyota in design and even construction. Toyotas rust too.

In fact in southern Indiana where I live (pretty much a malarial swamp) I've seen Toyota pickup truck frames completely dissolve. There's one about ten miles from me that's squatting in a field bent in half like a camel after one too many straws. It's pretty amazing.

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#3

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 12:13 AM

Oh what a bunch of bloody nonsense. I've owned an Austin Healey, an MG and a Triumph TR250. I'd worked on a friend's Jag-yoo-arr XKE. I've owned a FIAT Cinquecento-based sports car, and I've never been without an Alfa Romeo (I'm restoring a '62 2600 convertible right now). I've had 2 Peugeots and assortment of Hondas and Toyotas (even the funky old Van with two sunroofs and a 'fridge between the front seats).

I can tell you that all those cars dissolve under the "tin worm" (rust). Most have gremlins that'd never be tolerated in the USA, and require more maintenance than the average American can handle. (Have you oiled the throttle shafts on your Solex carbs...if you don't, you'll burn a piston)

Their companies have also had horrible labor and supply problems that drove their companies under...or into American hands...as with Jaguar!

It's a Ford, you know. The British Bean Counters killed off all the British marques in the 60's/70's, so that now, even the once lauded Rolls Royce is in foreign hands.

I do love foreign cars. I'm a car nut; I have even owned a Volvo. But when, just for example, Alfa Romeo started buying cheap Russian steel, you could actually hear the cars rusting in your garage. Last ten years? Ha! ...Not even in Europe, where they try to keep their FIATs running with chewing gum and bailing wire.

Let's not forget that Japanese cars weren't anything but goofy looking and unnecessarily economical until the Fuel Crisis of '73. They got better when we started filling their coffers with cash. BMW almost killed itself with its lovely, but unbuildable 503. Volkswagen had nothing but the Beetle until the Golf came along. In fact, nobody had anything that suited our market until the 70's, when gas prices made big luxobarges abhorrent...and when our unions, foreign steel prices and bad economic policy from our government brought Detroit to its knees.

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#4

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 3:34 AM

Looking at the whole picture, if we humans in this technology age continue to turn up the production rate of what ends up as trash, and even further accelerate the rate with planned obsolescence, isn't the result rather obvious? We end up living in a trash bin.

And for what purpose? Our desire for increasing wealth instead destroys our quality of life and eventually leads directly to burn-out (total destruction), simply because we ignore the consequences of our actions (we only respond favorably to what tickles our ears). Responsible people will buy few items, select for high durability, and care for their few possessions so that they will last as long as possible.

I.E., refusing to be simple people, they will live simply and ignore the advertiser's lies claiming (or implying) they will improve the quality of their lives by buying more and more stuff.

They will opt for true high quality living by refusing to let their lives be occupied by working to get more stuff, working to get more stuff for their family and friends, working to keep their stuff maintained, working to replace their obsolete stuff, working to have a larger place to keep their stuff, driving a longer distance to be better able to afford to buy more stuff, working longer hours to build a retirement account to ensure their ability to maintain their stuff race in retirement - the proverbial 'rat race'. (Try replacing each occurrence of the word stuff above with the words pleasure or power. You will have described perhaps every way in which people in all cultures live in bondage to the lies about how to live 'the good life'. Fighting and stealing may be substitute for work in the above sentence as well.)

I'm getting depressed thinking about the path our technology race is taking us on, as well as the many paths of the world cultures. It's not just the designed-in 10 year life cycle of American cars, guys! Let's all wake up and take the better path - seek the truth - the real 'good life'. A life that is marked by a real sense of hope and inner peace - to have joy in adversity - and an eternal purpose for life here in this mess. To be truly loved and forgiven - welcomed and mutually supported by others like-minded - and so much more!

I have found great wisdom in the book of Proverbs in the Bible, and in the teachings of Jesus in the book of Matthew, in the Bible as well. The master teacher shows the better way by his life and a living relationship with him as lord and master guarantees the real 'good life'. All that is required is that you want this real good life more than anything else. Simple. True. Worth more than all the Earth's treasures combined.

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 9:00 AM

Christianity is on the rise in Africa, and in rapid decline in the USA just as already happened in Europe. So, then...things are better in Somalia...or what? I'm hopeful. Maybe I'll move my family there.

But what are you trying to say about auto technology, and to whom/what are you comparing our situation? I'll agree that world culture is heading for trouble. But not because of wealth or American cars!

The Free Market (and not capitalism, as some would confuse it) has always been humanity's best motivator for peace, prosperity, healthcare and comfort. I see no evil in it. In fact I'd argue (in another forum) that God wants us to have a libertarian government.

Politicians screw things up, of course. But I'd like somebody to tell me how the stock market, Bill Gates and Starbucks actually force anybody to do anything. Buying is voluntary.

I see more trouble from unions, tax laws, regulations, subsidies... The list can go on.

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#21
In reply to #9

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/13/2007 3:29 AM

"Christianity is on the rise in Africa, and in rapid decline in the USA just as already happened in Europe." Yes, popular Christianity is as you say... but do they believe and follow the teachings of The Master? In any culture? It is the only way for any or all of mankind to achieve the highest quality of living. Only a few find the way.

"So, then...things are better in Somalia...or what? I'm hopeful. Maybe I'll move my family there." It's not necessary to move anywhere. The best life is available anywhere, anytime, to anyone.

"But what are you trying to say about auto technology (?)" When the masses want to pay for cheap products, you get cheap products. Then you throw them away. Cars are large... a lot of human and natural resources are spent manufacturing and purchasing them. We could improve our lot by making them last longer. Simple truth. Would manufacturers loose out if longevity was a requirement? If cars lasted 30-40 or more years, the auto economy would be changed radically. Manufacturers would have some idle time, to say the least. And to support them in this ideal scenario, let's say they (their employees) have chosen the ridiculous idea that a simple life with few (but good quality) possessions is the path they want to follow. They now need a smaller income. Workable. (I have data to back this 'ridiculous' idea up, from real-life examples of many people who are doing something very similar to this in America right now.)

"I'll agree that world culture is heading for trouble. But not because of wealth or American cars!" That's true. It's those who seek to be rich who get themselves in trouble. Legitimate wealth comes primarily to those who seek to serve well, and do it well. (The wealth gained may not be monetary. It may be such intangibles as joy, or a sense of being of value to humanity and God; it may be a sense of security in a tight group of genuine friendships that were developed through a generous heart.) The problem is that our popular press teaches us to be dissatisfied, leading us all to believe we need to have more... and more... and more... That having more will cure the troubles of mankind. This capitalistic mantra is a major deceiver in our culture and our believing it is counterproductive to our heartfelt desires for peace, love, joy, etc. It weaves a web that strangles the life out of us in direct proportion to our acceptance of it.

"The Free Market (and not capitalism, as some would confuse it) has always been humanity's best motivator for peace, prosperity, healthcare and comfort. I see no evil in it. In fact I'd argue (in another forum) that God wants us to have a libertarian government." The motivator for peace, prosperity, healthcare and comfort is not the 'freeness' of the market any more than a child's motivation to create or maintain these is the fact that his parents are away. Peace is available to anyone who chooses to be a peacemaker (and seeks the wisdom to accomplish it); prosperity is available to anyone who is wiling to work with a good work ethic and live within his means; healthcare is a job, not primarily for the physician, but the steward of the property; and as for comfort, I am not saying I am any sort of expert, but as an arthritis sufferer since my youth, I have found that comfort comes to me when I find ways (that work) to manage the things or situations that cause suffering. Sometimes the comfort comes from my choosing a different behaviour, other times it is a gracious gift from others. Always it is dependent upon a certain attitude in my heart (the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and seeking the wisdom to know the difference).

I summary, I can - and do - (with the help of God), have peace, hope, love and joy in this messed up world, so much as my willingness to follow the teachings of The Master Teacher (Jesus) allows. Freedom from this world's insanity through knowledge and acceptance of his good news for mankind was life-changing to me in an indescribably good way. The consequences of my behaviour (mental and physical) goes either way. This is also true for any company (automobile manufacturers included), community, country or planet. It takes hearing the truth, believing it, and moving courageously with faith that those who follow will be generously rewarded with the fulfilment of those inner longings for something more. Something better. Satisfied at last! No more need to seek (steal, beg, work or fight) for more wealth, power or pleasure. It all just comes to me. Just enough for today. Each day. Naturally. A gift of God. Thank you very much!

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/13/2007 2:09 PM

Well, thank YOU very much. That was a nice post.

I'll not quibble with the few areas where you and I differ a little. In fact we've chosen homeschooling, homesteading, and a Reformed Presbyterian Church that seems to embody much of what you said.

But as all this applies to cars, I've started rolling my own because I've found that building a car is much more fun than having it. I think that God would agree that building is better than hoarding.

That's certainly not for everybody. But there's really no arguing that cars are better engineered and built now than in times past. They can last forever if you're willing to dive into the electronics that get fussy after a while.

But that "while" is no longer a weekly maintenance chore.

My old foreign cars with their multiple carbs (and sometimes even Lucas electrics! There are many Lucas jokes) required constant fettling just to keep them on the road. My old Healey was a crude design and badly built. It leaked, which was a good thing because your feet would get horribly hot if not for the constant drafts eminating from every joint and seal. The exaust system dragged so low that the tamest of speed bumps would cause something of a diaspora.

While I'm welding up my rusty old Alfa Romeo (that has only 60K on its odometer), I can completely ignore my Toyotas because I know that they'll run and run until I need to rebuild them to run and run again.

I have an old Corolla that I used for political campaign purposes (it's been painted in campaign graphics and driven all over Indiana) that has 275K miles on it. I just rebuilt the engine because it burned a valve...but the bores still showed factory crosshatching. What a machine!

No old British car ever came close to that. Not even a Rolls.

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#6

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 7:01 AM

U.S. car manufacturer's have been crippled by the stock market's demand for immediate and short term profits. Hasty decisions are made to satisfy stock holder's demands but it can hurt in the long run. Example: Kerkorian's short lived stake in GM; he owned the stock for less time than it takes to launch a new vehicle.

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#8

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 7:34 AM

When it comes to cars if you change it every 20 years, social pressure comes into play.

But in fact, looks, technology and safety (could be better at a price) will be motivator.

Why should we buy all these clothing, the 1970 pants were built with long lasting materials ...

I know what is the problem, the opposite (?) sex, we want to impress deep inside, admit it.

I drove Audis, Jags , TR6, etc etc Apparently the Japanese cars are the most reliable , apparently. The new roadsters from Saturn and Chevy are so pretty, not made for the US (the front plates kill the car) and i cant put my golf clubs in the ... i dont know how to call it.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 9:34 AM

I completely agree with the statment about the stock market and immediate returns. It seems that most companies (automotive and otherwise) bow to "the Market". This is very unfortunate in my opinion.

Look at the great accomplishments of the past: the internal combustion engine, the network of paved roads built throughout the world, commercial airliners.

These all took a great amount of investment to become reality and did not immediately realize a return on investment. Arguably something like a paved road is nothing more than a money-pit. In the U.S. our taxes pay for most of the road maintenance and the roads themselves do not generate revenue (of course without them we would be in serious trouble financially but I'm purposely taking a superficial, nearsighted stance).

Ask yourself whether or not these innovations would have become reality in this day and age. That is my concern. These required high-risk large-investments with no immediate return-on-investment.

Alternate fuels are of great concern at this time but let's face it - gasoline refinement, processing, and distribution in the U.S. (and worldwide) is an old and extremely well developed technology. The current gas crunch will help competition but anything new will require a significant investment in order to get it close to being competitive. We as consumers are also reluctant to buy into an unproven technology. We want our cars to be reliable and something new doesn't always have the bugs worked out of it.

I'll get off of my soap box now. I am frustrated when I see technologies like biodiesel, advances in ethanol cars (the French apparently found that they could turbo-charge IC engines running ethanol AND crank up the compression ratio without knock making them as efficient as gasoline engines), and continuing work in the electric car technology and get frustrated when "experts" claim it will never fly or become practical on a large scale.

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#12
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Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 10:10 AM

This is a common misconception. Most road miles are paved by private contractors for private developments. We had roads before Eisenhower's grand scheme, of course, and don't fool yourself into thinking that without politicians, there'd be no roads. In fact there is no greater amassing of pork and corruption than the Highway Omnibus Bill...don't believe for a minute that there is ANY altruism in the D.C. Beltway.

You tell me something: What has government invented? What has it done for engineering compared to what the Free Market has done without force of arms and involuntary taxation?

Look up the truth about the space program and you'll see that all the inventions we commonly cede over to NASA (Tang, Velcro, microchips...etc.), were invented by private innovators long before.

Do you believe that capitalists don't want to invest their money on long shots? Are you serious? This is what they live for!

Guys...if you want to work for free and without money, go for it. You'll see why the USSR crumbled in less than 70 years.

But if you want to raise money to design and build something wacky like a spaceship, then don't ask government for the money. Ask the guy who gave us Amazon.com.

Oh, and by the way, your French innovators were copying the work of Smokey Yunick from some twenty years earlier.

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#19
In reply to #10

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 2:02 PM

"I'll get off of my soap box now. I am frustrated when I see technologies like biodiesel, advances in ethanol cars (the French apparently found that they could turbo-charge IC engines running ethanol AND crank up the compression ratio without knock making them as efficient as gasoline engines), and continuing work in the electric car technology and get frustrated when "experts" claim it will never fly or become practical on a large scale."

I agree it does get frustrating as somethings need be be explored simply because there the right thing to or the potential for them is so big you'd be foolish not to. Experts in IMO are a fickled bunch. They'll ask why are you wasting your time condemning your use or time and resources & then 20 years later reticule you for no trying to develop a technology sooner

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#11

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 9:52 AM

I know people who lease cars just to get the lastest and greatest. Every couple of years, they simple trade in their "old" cars for new ones. Amercian car manufacturers, responding to market demands, are ever so happy to give us what we want.

The idea of manufactutering a long lasting car is obsene in the US. Sure, we can keep a car runing longer by replacing the worn out parts, but can you tell me how close your nearest auto parts store is? Most people simply take it in for repair because they don't have the time to mess with repairs and with ever more complex systems on automobiles, they simple have the skills to repair them anymore.

Amercian car manufacturers have the ability to make cars that are much more technological advanced then the current oil industry dependent models. Fuel cell technology has been around ever since NASA has deceided to goto the moon, but why has it taken this long to consider them for use in cars. Sure cost and technology has something to do with it, but big oil doesn't want any other way.

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#13
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Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 10:17 AM

Indianapolis had the world's best public transportation system in the world when, ironically, Indiana/Indianapolis was the center of USA automotive technology with Duesenberg, Studebaker, Auburn, Cord, many others, and the Indy 500.

A combination of things killed both Indiana's preeminence in auto manufacture and its public transportation system.

Besides the political causes like inventory tax (which drove manufacturing and warehousing out of Indiana) and the Federal Reserve Bank system, Americans fell in love with cars, and stopped getting elbow-to-elbow with their fellow man in the trolley car.

Are you going to pry folks out of their leather-lined Lexus cars into a bus? No.

Can you make city folk stop buying SUV's? No.

Why blame anybody but us for our problems? Bill Gates didn't do this to us.

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#14

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 11:40 AM

The thing I found most disturbing in the video was the apparent lack of awareness of the rest of the world by people questioned in Las Vegas. Are the American people really that uninformed about the rest of the world or were the people shown a non representative selection and if it is that bad how did it get to be so?

Since a pretty good chunk of the Australian population knows that Washington DC is the capital of the United States of America, for curiosity's sake I would to like my American CR4 friends the following question;

What is the name of the capital of Australia?

PS Pleas try and answer without reverting to an atlas or the like.

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#15
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Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 12:12 PM

OK, well, we are idiots here. How many of us have ever read our own U.S. Constitution, though it takes only a half-hour to read and was meant to be simple, clear, and obeyed without exception by politicians...including Supreme Court Justices?

But at least I know that the Capital of Australia is Paris.

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 12:23 PM

Canberra?

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#20
In reply to #16

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 3:23 PM

Well, I'm not a true American, I was actually born in Europe ;)

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#17
In reply to #14

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/12/2007 12:32 PM

How embarrassing, my first thought was Perth.

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#24
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Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/15/2007 2:03 AM

Judging by the underwhelming response to my question on the capital of Australia I will assume that few actually knew it was indeed Canberra. As for Mustang's question in post #23 all I will say is that while it is within New South Wales it is not in New South Wales and it is not the landlocked place that most believe it to be.

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#30
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Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/17/2007 11:02 AM

My blonde girlfriend said the capital of Australia is A

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#31
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Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/17/2007 11:11 AM

I bet you told her she's right. I would.

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#23

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/15/2007 1:43 AM

omg how coulod anyone think that the capital of australia is perth??? its like the most secluded city (well capital city) in all of australia, well obviously u can tell that i come from australia so there is no big suprise that i know the capital is canberra, but here's one for you.

What state/territory is Canberra in?

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#25
In reply to #23

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/15/2007 5:35 AM

Sorry, I've had little if any exposure to Australia in my personal or business life. Perth came to mind immediately because I remember watching intensely on TV the America's Cup race back in 1987. Given the chance, I would like to visit one day.

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#26
In reply to #23

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/15/2007 5:47 AM

well the answer is (quite simply) The Australian Capital Territory. how original and yes masu u r right it has a lake in front of it band it is not apart of NSW

oh and perth is a beautiful place i recently went there for the red bull air race and i didn't see one piece of rubbish while i was there, and the scenery is absolutely amazing.

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#28
In reply to #26

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/15/2007 11:16 AM

"well the answer is (quite simply) The Australian Capital Territory. how original and yes masu u r right it has a lake in front of it band it is not apart of NSW "

Actually there is a portion of Jervis_Bay that was designated part of the Australian Capital Territory and was meant to give Canberra access to the sea. When the ACT was granted self government in 1989 it became a separate piece of Federal Territory but for governmental purposes it's part of Canberra and the ACT.

I have heard that there was also a strip of land 300mm or so wide that connected the two but I have not been able to confirm this and it would most likely have become redundant at the same time the ACT was given self government.

So you see it has nothing to do with the lake, there was a piece of coastline that was part of the ACT so it wasn't landlocked the way most thought it to be.

By the way it's good to see that there are other Ausies here at CR4.

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#29
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Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/16/2007 5:27 AM

well there ya go i'd never heard of that before

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#27

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

01/15/2007 9:43 AM

We strayed a bit on this one. Yes, Americans are mostly knuckleheads. We have the most expensive and worst public school system on earth.

But Clarkson was so breathtakingly wrong about the relative quality of European and American cars that talking about American ignorance is only a red herring.

I'm not aware of any culture on earth that's got living half right. One thing that binds all humanity is that our politicians lie, cheat and steal while we fawnishly bow before them. And just a little under half the human population, all over the world, gets really stupid about sports.

Mr. Clarkson needs to review a little Brit car history and see who actually bailed out, for instance, Jaguar and Aston Martin fairly recently, and the Rootes Group and others even back in the '60s.

He's a knucklehead. A wealthy and articulate knucklehead who possibly knows the capital of Kyrgyzstan; but a knucklehead nonetheless.

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#36
In reply to #27

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

08/06/2007 3:52 AM

Boy have I got a couple web-sites you folks may be interested in.

One is about the work truck of the future and it's not just another motorized horse and buggy. Synchro-link.com

Then there is the one about how the unfortunate history that has taken place, which has kept the work truck of the future suppressed. (as well as its inventor) MyStupidRules.com

Then if you want to learn about the crimes committed by the US government as well as an Australian patent lawyer who high-jacked an application. (Which should have been granted about five years ago, but is being penalized at $100 per month. That lawyer is mention towards the bottom of the Political Asylum page.) MyStupidRules.com/Doc_6.html

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#37

Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

04/01/2008 3:43 PM

What has killed the car makers in North America is nothing buy their desire to control their employees back in the 50s.

In the 50's the UAW asked for a centralized pension fund to cover all the autoworkers in the industry, the companies were horrified at the idea; 'how ever will they hold on to employees if the pension can move with them'. As they always do they looked short term, hire an employee, train them, only to have them move to another company, no way were they going to have any part of that.

Three times the union voted down company based pension plans, eventually accepting them.

Where are we today? the major percentage of each dollar the vehicle is sold for goes to pension financing, and they want to reduce staff, thereby reducing the number of people paying into the fund? Short term vision is killing the auto industry and all those directors still get a bonus every year, sham on them.

It will indeed be interesting to watch to see if the auto assemblers can avoid the path that Bethlehem Steel followed, but then again, they will not learn form history.

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#38
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Re: American Cars - Do we really get it??

03/16/2009 10:14 AM

Do you work for Lexus? Sounds like an advert...

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