Last post on Nov 27, 2013 at 4:01 PM
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With parts coming from everywhere, does "Buying American" have much meaning anymore? Is quality and price the bottom line?
#18509 of 18912 Re: buying American..... [tkfitz1]
Sep 02, 2013 (11:35 am)
"Buying a car, and driving it well past the last payment provides the most cost effective ownership experience. I maintain my vehicles, and I try to be proactive with repairs."
I agree totally. From a pure $$$ standpoint, unless there are unusual circumstances, the average modern production car could probably be kept and driven indefinitely (and maintained properly) cheaper than buying multiple cars over the same time period. That's the reason manufacturers spend so much money on marketing, so the public will feel the need to trade cars often. And, its difficult to factor in enhanced safety features into the costs equation.
"...parts for "American Cars" are cheap and readily available."
That's certainly been true in the past, but as car production continues its progression into parts from worldwide suppliers, I'm not so sure that trend will continue. That's why I think the primary limiting factor in the longevity of cars purchased today will be much more electrical/electronic related .vs. mechanical/body panel related.
#18510 of 18912 Re: buying American..... [busiris]
Sep 02, 2013 (11:53 am)
That's the reason manufacturers spend so much money on marketing, so the public will feel the need to trade cars often. And, its difficult to factor in enhanced safety features into the costs equation.
I wonder how often, on average, people trade nowadays versus back in the old days? Once upon a time, the styles changed so fast that people were encouraged to trade every few years, whether the old ride was still running strong or not. In 1957, nobody wanted a car if it didn't have fins, but by 1960 or so, nobody really wanted a car with those towering monstrosities.
And once upon a time, a new style could come out that made the previous look downright ancient...for instance, every time GM downsized something in the late 1970's. Or the 1986 Taurus versus the LTD. Heck, even when Ford redid the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis for 1992, they seemed to make the old models seem ancient.
I'd guess people don't trade nearly as often as they used to, so sometimes I wonder how the auto makers stay profitable? They also don't restyle as often as they used to, or offer as many choices, so that might be part of it.
#18511 of 18912 Re: buying American..... [andre1969]
Sep 02, 2013 (12:12 pm)
"I wonder how often, on average, people trade nowadays versus back in the old days?"
The main difference between then and now is that no one leased cars in the 50-60's, but leasing is incredibly common today.
Leasing effectively changed the way cars were, and are, marketed.
#18512 of 18912 Re: buying American..... [busiris]
Sep 02, 2013 (12:42 pm)
I was astounded to find that my VW dealer leases 70% of the vehicles they move. And sell the rest with 0% financing? Hard to imagine. I think some automakers are just floating in cash.
#18513 of 18912 Re: buying American..... [andre1969]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Sep 02, 2013 (1:17 pm)
Some of it was style and planned obsolescence, but cars really didn't last all that long either. Once you hit 50,000 miles you were living on borrowed time. Three year trade-ins were the norm in the 50s and 60s if you could afford it.
#18514 of 18912 Re: buying American..... [gagrice]
Sep 02, 2013 (2:19 pm)
I suspect the premium Germans are the same way. The profit margins on these vehicles are huge, they aren't losing money at it.
#18515 of 18912 Expensive electricals
Sep 02, 2013 (3:04 pm)
and increasingly integrated systems might determine the end of life for vehicles today. At some point, the repair cost exceeds the comfort level of the owner. It is not just the cost of a replacement engine or tranny any more.
As an example the charging issue with my car could have been the alternator, a wiring harness or even the engine ECM. The ECM would have cost me 300-400.
There are countless parts whose failure would result in an check engine or ABS light-even though the car could still drive it would no longer pass the state inspection without repair.....
And bad advice/repairs by unskilled, uninformed "pros" can cost 1000s.
Those old cars that went miles and lasted decades had something modern cars lack-metal parts.
But I am not complaining about modern comfort/safety/reliability or fuel economy either.
#18516 of 18912 Re: buying American..... [andre1969]
Sep 02, 2013 (3:17 pm)
another $50 or so for cleaner, oil and R134
I borrowed a friends a/c machine. Bought parts on e-bay.
I went in from the top-pulled the top radiator support, removed the cooling fan and then removal was easy.
This one was my fault as well. Note to self-if you have to add freon there is a leak. And if the gas gets out the oil does as well. It all made perfect sense after the compressor seized on me. It was last winter too-I was running the defroster. The leak is the evaporator-I hope the a/c sealer works. I do not want to deal with removing that.
#18517 of 18912 Re: Expensive electricals [tkfitz1]
Sep 02, 2013 (4:03 pm)
I was watching a "How Its Made" program last nite on the Bentley currently in production (they're doing a series on exotic performance, high $$$ cars).
According to the show, the Bentley has 8 MILES of wiring inside a single car.
That's a lot of conductive material to keep in conductive shape. Maine tracking down a wiring problem in that vehicle...
At least, I understand one reason the car cost so much...
#18518 of 18912 Re: Expensive electricals [busiris]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Sep 02, 2013 (4:49 pm)
Most modern cars have about 5 miles of wiring says Todd H. Hubing,
Michelin Professor of Vehicular Electronics, Clemson University.
And most new cars contain about 100 microprocessors and that is expected to double by 2018.
The big bugaboo, I'm told, is worrying about electromagnetic compatibility.