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GM Closing Five Manufaturing Plants. Is It Partially Our Fault For Buying A Honda?

  #1  
Old 11-29-2018, 02:15 AM
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GM Closing Five Manufaturing Plants. Is It Partially Our Fault For Buying A Honda?

After hearing the news about GM's plant closing it kind of made me feel guilty for buying my Honda Fit.


Your thoughts and opinions.
 
  #2  
Old 11-29-2018, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Chitown Fit View Post
After hearing the news about GM's plant closing it kind of made me feel guilty for buying my Honda Fit.


Your thoughts and opinions.
Fit has low production numbers compared to the big sellers in America, mainly pickups. Typically the biggest sellers are Ford f150, dodge ram and Chevy Silverado.

I have no guilt that my purchase of a fit had anything to do with any of GM current troubles.
 
  #3  
Old 11-29-2018, 09:40 AM
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Welcome to a free market, especially a handcuffed free market (Unions)... Honda made a perceived better value and we the consumers chose it over a Chevy. Chevrolet did not make the better product in my opinion, and if they did make the better product, sold more than Honda, and made more income money off of it, then they failed to efficiently make a viable income due to their operating costs.

A sentimental consumer is not good for the economy and development of better products. Buy the best darn thing offered that you can afford. :)

I spent years working in a fabrication shop and a machine shop and neither EVER worked a single job for an American auto manufacturer, but we thrived on Honda, Toyota, Subaru.
 
  #4  
Old 11-29-2018, 01:14 PM
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Accords and Odysseys are built in Ohio, The Civic is built in Ontario.

If you didn't buy the Fit, what product at the GM dealer would be comparable? The Spark? (lol)
 
  #5  
Old 11-30-2018, 12:07 AM
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We buy Japanese cars and they buy American airplanes and movies. Or they buy Saudi oil and the Saudis then buy American wheat and weapons and pharmaceuticals.
That's how trade works. Each country specializes in what it does best. Buying a lower quality car doesn't help anyone.
 
  #6  
Old 11-30-2018, 12:10 PM
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i’ve driven many GM cars per rental cars for work travel. they did fine except people just don’t want sedans these days.

btw spark is made in korea, i believe. and civics are also made in indiana (uk too)
 
  #7  
Old 11-30-2018, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Chitown Fit View Post
After hearing the news about GM's plant closing it kind of made me feel guilty for buying my Honda Fit.


Your thoughts and opinions.
Why do you feel bad about not buying a bad car? If competition is supposed to be the big upside to capitalism, you did the right thing.
 
  #8  
Old 11-30-2018, 04:27 PM
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I Feel Bad Because;

Originally Posted by mike410b View Post
Why do you feel bad about not buying a bad car? If competition is supposed to be the big upside to capitalism, you did the right thing.

Alot of American GM Workers will be losing their jobs. I know Hondas are better cars than GM. It's just sad about the GM Plant closings.

 
  #9  
Old 11-30-2018, 04:54 PM
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That's not how things work- you buy a Honda, Japan buys something from the US. So while an American auto worker might lose his job, there may be extra hiring of American aircraft workers, or cartoonists, or whatever America exports.
 
  #10  
Old 11-30-2018, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Chitown Fit View Post
Alot of American GM Workers will be losing their jobs. I know Hondas are better cars than GM. It's just sad about the GM Plant closings.
Blame Americans for favoring trucks over cars.
Blame GM's accountants.
Blame GM for not allocating resources to design a better car.
Blame capitalism for being a flawed system.
 
  #11  
Old 12-01-2018, 12:02 PM
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It seems in North America both GM and Ford are downsizing and focusing their production on Trucks and SUV's.
Personally, I find this to be sad.
Sales of sedans, and hatchbacks might be down, but I think there will always be a place for them. Not everyone in North America wants to drive a truck or SUV. I would like to see American Automotive giants such as GM and Ford continue to support a full product line, rather than concede those segments to "everyone else". Sad in the case of Ford, that the American Company historically known for implementing the assembly line and mass producing the first real "car" for the people, The Model T, is now moving away from producing cars.

Is it our fault?
To an extent, I'm going to say yes.
While auto manufacturing as pointed out has become an international operation, with vehicles and parts being produced and assembled from a world wide supply net, and a world wide assembly infrastructure, what vehicles and from what companies we choose to purchase still does make a difference.
It helps GM and Chevrolet more if we choose to buy a Chevy Spark, as opposed to a Honda Fit. It helps investment and support of Sedans, if we buy a Ford Taurus as opposed to a Ford Explorer.

Personally, I'm not a big Truck or SUV guy. I like hatchbacks, smaller cars, and sedans. I would hope for a resurgence in their popularity. But it's families that use to buy the "Family" sedan, and that market has morphed much more into buying a SUV instead.

It's my opinion that this did not happen overnight. For a long time now, I thought automakers made the mid-size, full size sedan unwittingly into a boring product. The Accord, looked much like the Camry, looked much like the Taurus, looked much like Sonata...
For a lot of families the allure of the versatility and extra utilitarian aspects of a SUV made the decision of whether to purchase a family sedan or a family SUV fall onto the side of family SUV.

Some of this is also I think generational.
When I was a kid growing up, 1970's and going forward into the 80's and later, there was a HUGE difference in quality of product when it came to small vehicles between what was offered by American automakers and Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen. If you wanted to buy a smaller economical fuel efficient vehicle, your best choices in the 70's clearly were Corolla, Civic or Volkswagen Rabbit. American automakers at that time period had I believe often clearly inferior products. You were comparing against "K" cars, Gremlins, and Pintos, and the comparison was usually not very good.
In almost a full circle cycle, in that time frame, it was generally considered, much like today, that if you wanted a full size vehicle, van, or truck, American Manufacturers were the best, but if you wanted something smaller? You wanted to go with the foreign produced product.
For some of us of that generation? Maybe I admit to never really being able to get over that "1970's" deserved small vehicle prejudice.
When I was looking at a new hatchback, I never really seriously considered a Chevy Spark, even though it is a relatively well reviewed vehicle. Ford Fiesta I think is a great hatchback, and on some fronts actually beats the Honda Fit, but I never really gave it the consideration perhaps it deserves.

Blame ourselves?
Maybe if I'm being fully honest...Yes...to an extent.
But I think the bigger reality is simply the US, and North American consumer very severely moving away from small car and sedan purchases.
And a LOT of factors have led to this reality. Part being improvements and advancements in efficiency, you now can buy a small or mid-size SUV, that get's as good or similar gas mileage to a mid-size sedan or even a small hatchback.

I don't know what the future may hold.
Given that in a lot of foreign markets, smaller streets and congested driving environments nearly demand a small vehicle choice, I do not believe the hatchback, or even the sedan will ever totally disappear.
But it is sad, that in North America, manufacturers like GM and Ford evidently feel it is not in their best interest to continue to support these product lines.
And yes, part of that is based on the buying decision WE as consumers have decided to make.

PS.
I also blame the manufacturers themselves. When was the last time you saw a really strong advertising campaign or push to sell a Sedan or Hatchback? Almost all their advertising is focused on stump pulling trucks, or the family SUV.
This is NOT limited to American automakers. Even Honda, Toyota, rarely or barely advertise their smaller vehicle choices. I think the Fit is a great product, but Honda really keeps it behind the curtain in their advertising. It's pretty rare to see a Honda Fit commercial or a Toyota Yaris spot.
Many people I meet, if they ask what I drive and I tell them a Honda Fit....don't even know Honda makes a vehicle called "the Fit".
 

Last edited by fitchet; 12-01-2018 at 12:09 PM.
  #12  
Old 12-01-2018, 02:11 PM
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Americans secretly like hatchbacks as they buy lots of small crossovers which are just hatchbacks with greater ground clearance.

 
  #13  
Old 12-01-2018, 08:26 PM
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Of course it's your fault. The OEMs figured out that Americas WILL buy European hatchbacks, as long as they have AWD, two inches of plastic cladding around the bottom, a $2500 price bump, and "activity" somewhere in the description.

And I think this reaction from GM makes sense. I was surprised to learn that even after these changes, GM has several factories running at 50% or 30% capacity .. that's bad. Of course I feel terrible for the workers, and my feeling is not limited to this case, the increasing redundancy of human labor in the production process is a major societal problem.

Unlike back in the 90s, the fuel economy differential between a sedan and an efficient crossover is not big -- maybe 30mpg instead of 35. Americans quite logically think, I want the passenger and cargo room that hasn't been available in sedans since the 1960s, and I'm OK paying a little bit more for gas as long as it's not too much. The risk to Chevy is low that gas prices will spike and suddenly people will start trading in equinoxes to buy a huhYUNday accent.

I thought it was odd when Honda moved the Accord over to the Civic platform. Now I get it. If they need to, they can make the Civic, CRV, and Accord all on the same line. Chevy apparently doesn't have a capability like that.

Chevrolets aren't bad cars. I like the Impala a lot. But it's not good enough to be "good". You gotta be better than the competition to move tons of metal. I don't think sedans are going away. But they're becoming a smaller slice of the market, which means fewer companies will be able to achieve whatever minimum economies of scale they need to justify keeping the line running.
 

Last edited by fujisawa; 12-01-2018 at 08:29 PM.
  #14  
Old 12-01-2018, 08:32 PM
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But you know what, I'll add, there's nothing wrong with being patriotic and buying an American car. You might do this on a small scale if you visited a small farm this week to buy a christmas tree, or you patronize the local eyeglass store instead of Lenscrafters ... there's a valid element of supporting your neighbor going on here. But where the company is HQd is only part of the issue. The other half is the workers -- if you buy one of Honda's volume models, they're probably screwed together by Americans. And, uh, some robots from Fanuc Corp who makes em in Tokyo .. actually I wasn't able to find out where Fanuc's ROBOT factory is, but amusingly their ROBOT factory mostly employs robots to put together more robots.
 
  #15  
Old 12-01-2018, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mike410b View Post
Blame Americans for favoring trucks over cars.
Blame GM's accountants.
Blame GM for not allocating resources to design a better car.
Blame capitalism for being a flawed system.
I also feel bad for the factory workers. Ironically the problems with GM lay in the corporate decisions that are going to continue to be made poorly.
 
  #16  
Old 12-01-2018, 11:07 PM
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Are GM and Ford shifting focus because small cars are not selling or because they are not selling small cars. Honda, Toyota, Kia and Hyundai don't seem to be having a problem? Maybe they are.

I work with a guy who worked for Chrysler and always gives me a hard time about buying a foreign car (jokingly) and sending my money oversees. I tell him I will spend my hard earned money on what I feel is worth it and a lot of the domestic market doesn't do it for me. Especially not Chrysler, they are last on my list.
 

Last edited by GolNat; 12-01-2018 at 11:10 PM.
  #17  
Old 12-02-2018, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by knope View Post
I also feel bad for the factory workers. Ironically the problems with GM lay in the corporate decisions that are going to continue to be made poorly.
Agreed. The new (post bankruptcy) GM looks much like the old GM.
 
  #18  
Old 12-02-2018, 10:59 AM
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No, foreign automakers are also experiencing this trend.. Here is an article on the accord a quick google turned up.
https://www.auto123.com/en/news/Hond...g-sales/64646/
Things are just worse for the domestic makers because their plants aren't as flexible, their work force is more expensive, and they haven't had the product to excel in developing markets where things operate differently.

The uberization effect might be a thing - car sales supported initially by uber drivers buying new metal, currently stagnating as normal people take more rideshare rides, with some recovery later as those uber cars rack up miles fast and need replacement. Not sure what that would have to do with sedans specifically though.

Also, interest rates going up always crimps sales of cars and houses. Again, not sure what that could have to do with sedans and not crossovers.
 
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Alco RS-1 View Post
Agreed. The new (post bankruptcy) GM looks much like the old GM.
Corporations will always be corporations.

This should surprise no one.

They will always do the laziest, least human thing possible.
 
  #20  
Old 12-02-2018, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by GolNat View Post
Are GM and Ford shifting focus because small cars are not selling or because they are not selling small cars. Honda, Toyota, Kia and Hyundai don't seem to be having a problem? Maybe they are.

I work with a guy who worked for Chrysler and always gives me a hard time about buying a foreign car (jokingly) and sending my money oversees. I tell him I will spend my hard earned money on what I feel is worth it and a lot of the domestic market doesn't do it for me. Especially not Chrysler, they are last on my list.
Yes, most in the United States prefer larger cars or crossover SUV. Ford, and FCA (Chrysler) not focusing on small cars has more than anything it has to do with profit margin. Engineering, labor and tooling cost the same whether you make a large car/expensive car or a cheap/small car. There is more profit on the larger more expensive cars. Coupled with lower sales it's an easy decision for most auto makers to focus on higher profit units. Even Mazda stopped importing the Mazda 2 for this reason.
 

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