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I don’t expect the MSM to understand the car business. I am surprised that you would print the drivel supplied by Eric Peters on the domestic auto industry. Repeating the conventional wisdom happens elsewhere. Now, you’ve succumbed.
Perhaps Mr. Peters should do a report on the wide-open market access our manufacturers have to the Japanese market. Or, he could write of the Japanese government’s efforts on behalf of its industry in meeting environmental and safety goals and contrast that with the adversarial relationship our government and our press have with U.S. companies.
He might explain how GM obtained twice the market share of Toyota in China where both companies started even as foreign entrants.
Or, he could just report his blinkered views.p>Cheers, br> — Ed Arcuri /p>
I haven’t agreed with the last couple of Peters’s editorials but this one nails it. Two of his points made me think of something that has shaped my opinion of the U.S. car industry.
1) Toyota’s incremental improvements. Late last year there was an article in the paper lamenting the closure of a plant where they built a variety of Oldsmobile for over 10 years. And yet, the car never got above an “average” long-term quality rating in Consumer’s Reports. In essence, that was 10 years where very little if any “tweaking” was done to substantially improve the myriad rattles and squeaks that bedeviled this car.
2) What it would take to “get me back” as a buyer. My earliest auto-related memories include my Dad struggling to get the engine on the buzzy, rattle-prone Ford Maverick to turn over on a winter’s day, the day that the Chevy Cavalier’s battery died outside the dealership when we tired to trade it in, and my mom almost getting rear-ended on a weekly basis trying to get the wheezy Chevy Chevette to make it up a steep hill on the highway.
True, a lot of the problem was that they bought cheap, low-end cars that were the only things they could afford at the time. As far as I’m concerned, that’s irrelevant today. All I know is that I’ve owned imports (Toyota, Nissan, Honda) and would never, ever want a U.S. nameplate in my driveway unless a) domestic nameplates exceeded the Japanese “big three” in quality, and b) these same companies began treating me with the same disdain as the U.S. big three did my parents.
I mention these experiences and my current buying patterns as a 30-something not because I have a personal grudge. It’s because these experiences in my generation are common. Check out the people driving around you on the freeway and I guarantee that you’ll see a preponderance of 20 and 30-something Americans in their Honda Civics, Toyota Corollas and Camrys, and Nissan Altimas. Look at who’s driving the Cadillacs and the Buicks and you’ll find more folks who like covered suppers and play bingo.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?