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If one of the Big Three automakers went bankrupt, would that affect your car-buying decision?

Asked at Speedway Shell, 1733 Mass. on December 7, 2008

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Photo of Chuck Krambeck

“No, it wouldn’t, because I think it would be a temporary-type situation.”

Photo of Mike Crandall

“No, it wouldn’t. … I buy European only.”

Photo of Susan Bost

“No, because it’s the quality of the vehicle, that’s what I look for.”

Photo of John Debrick

“Yes. I think it shows instability in their business.”

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Flap Doodle 9 years ago

I'm still bitter about Hupmobile going under.

Deja Coffin 9 years ago

Mike buys European cars and is a videographer......hummmm.

SMe 9 years ago

Hey Mike how many Europeans are buying your products as the US continues its downward slide?

Richard Heckler 9 years ago

No. The value and quality would still be missing. The old thinkers are still running the USA auto industry and they would likely come back begging for more tax dollars. All of the CEO's and BOD's need to be relieved of their positions without severance packages

cutny 9 years ago

Who's buying a new car these days?

jonas_opines 9 years ago

Nope, Japanese or German, for the most part.

janeyb 9 years ago

Maybe Mike just buys very used European cars?

TheStig 9 years ago

The Congress can force every American taxpayer to buy the companies but I would never buy a car made by Detroit, with two exceptions: the Ford Focus ST 4-door hatch (not made or sold in the US) and the $115,000.00 ZR1 which I'll have to win the lottery or pick one up used.

Deja Coffin 9 years ago

It takes all types to make up these comment sections. I always wonder who is on the other end of those comments. That's why I wish so badly we could post pics!! Put a face with the comment.

compmd 9 years ago

Multi,Volvo is part of Ford, but the people in the Volvo group are stubborn and and have resisted Ford's attempts to push non-Volvo- stuff into the Volvo lineup. In fact, Ford has been taking Volvo technology and putting it in Ford badged cars. The Five Hundred/Taurus is a cousin of the S80, the Fusion/Mondeo is a cousin of the S60, and in Europe, the high performance Mondeo actually uses a Volvo T5 engine. And most Volvo owners are aware of the connection to Ford, and they are vocal about their desire to keep the cars from becoming too "Fordized." Only within the last few years did Ford push technology into Volvo. The V50 (which had bad sales), new S80 (which got a Ford/Yamaha V8), XC90 V8 (same V8 as the S80), and this year's XC70 (which has a stupid engine). The S60 was supposed to be discontinued two years ago, but due to demand it continues production as the last Volvo P2 platform car, a full 10 years after the platform was released. Interestingly, Ford wants to get rid of Volvo now, and Sweden wants to buy the company back. Sorry, just needed to clear that up. :)I would buy an American car still, but I would want one of their European models. I loved my Vauxhall Zafira SRi CDTi 1.9. My friends have a Ford Mondeo Ghia TDCi and a Fiesta, and they are great cars. Note that I'm talking about the modern Fiesta, not what was sold here 20 years ago.

TheStig 9 years ago

Volvo is owned by Ford and has a reputation for safety, but how safe is that old Volvo really? Newer cars are lighted and more fuel efficient but with their modern design, materials, and engineering they are supposed to be safer. Let's crash the two together head on at 40 mph, a combined 80 mph, and see which you would want. Don't tell Wilman I watch FG or I'm done for.

TheStig 9 years ago

"Vauxhall Motors is a British automobile company. It is a subsidiary of General Motors Corporation (GM), and is part of GM Europe. Most current Vauxhall models are right-hand drive derivatives of GM's Opel brand. There are also several performance vehicles coming from Opel Performance Center (OPC), Holden/Holden Special Vehicles in Australia and Lotus Cars of Norfolk, England."Compmd, where did you pick one up in Lawrence?It is odd that all the really innovative Ford and GM cars are being made in Europe and not in Detroit, or is it?

compmd 9 years ago

Multi,Sorry for perpetuating the headache, I get on a soapbox sometimes when it comes to Volvo. :)TheStig,Clarkson is going to be upset with you. FG? Really? They are not good when it comes to scientific testing. There are a couple problems with that video, the first being that the 940 series had driver airbags, whereas in the video it is clearly shown no airbag deploys. Also, the A-pillar deformation seems excessive given the loads that it is rated to. To counter your video, on Volvo safety, I provide this one: never said I had the Vauxhall in Lawrence, or the US for that matter. Unfortunately, the CDTi is not legal to import thanks to our fearless leader's idiotic position on emissions and economy.

RedwoodCoast 9 years ago

Why is it that out of three vehicles I've owned in my life, the only one that has successfully surpassed the 120,000 mile mark is a Mazda? The bottom line is that American auto manufacturers are building crap, especially Ford. This reflects only upon the people running the companies and not the people on the assembly lines. In my opinion, the Big Three have failed to adapt to the demands of the market. Now the idiots are begging for a lifeline. I wouldn't have any qualms about owning one of their vehicles if I was sure that it wouldn't start coming apart at the seams before I rack up 100,000 miles.

TheStig 9 years ago

True the Volvo 940 GLE had airbags but that wouldn't have helped the collapsed foot well. It really was a unfair test, the old heavy Volvo never had chance. The Ford I listed above (Focus ST) has a Volvo engine so it isn't just CAFE and emission standards. Anyway Clarkson is a tool, we all know who the real star of the show is.

compmd 9 years ago

Redwood,My dad's Lincoln Town Car has 295,000 miles on it. Original engine. I kid you not. It amazes me. If you look at the odometers on many American cars, you'll notice that they are useful only up to 100,000 miles. There was a reason for that, you can probably guess what it was. Modern Fords are actually pretty good cars, but its because of their subsidiary companies that they have purchased, and it may be too little too late. Oh, and until a few weeks ago, Mazda had been a Ford company for the past 12 years. Ford still has 13 percent ownership and a seat on the board of directors at Mazda though.

Sigmund 9 years ago

Odd that Stiggie is hanging out on the ljworld site, who knew?Compmd "My friends have a Ford Mondeo Ghia TDCi and a Fiesta, and they are great cars"Tonight on BBC2 Clarkson reviewed the Ford Fiesta, even though he had completely lost his voice during taping, and from what I can gather Ford should pay them millions for the favorable advert.

RedwoodCoast 9 years ago

Well, I'm sure that the higher-priced Ford Corp. vehicles might be more reliable. I have a friend whose family is a bunch of rabid Chevy fans. I guess her dad once worked as a mechanic for a Ford dealership. That sealed the deal for him; he went Chevy and never went back. My dad has a little 1989 Mazda pickup that is still going strong, though I'm not sure what it's odometer says.And as for the Ford/Mazda relationship, I was aware of that. Mazda was making an SUV that I think looks remarkably like a Ford Explorer. But to be honest, it seems like I see more old Mazda cars on the road than I see old Ford cars. Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't touch a Ford with a 10-foot pole.

Tom McCune 9 years ago

The Mazda Tribute is exactly the same vehicle as the Ford Escape. (My Mazda Tribute was built at the Ford ClayCoMo plant.) The older Tributes had a fair amount of plastic body trim added to make them look a little sportier than the Escapes, but the new ones don't even have that cosmetic difference. That's how similar some of the models are. 90K miles with no significant repairs. That's my track record to date with the Mazda, which is better than my previous vehicle which was a (pre-Ford) 98 Volvo.

deskboy04 9 years ago

I always was partial to the Jeep Wrangler. It's a classic American product.

compmd 9 years ago

Multi,I wish I had something to do with that website.Stig,You're only the star if you're not "American Stig." :) Also, I said the A-pillar deformation didn't look right for that crash. I really don't feel like firing up nastran tonight though.Newell,If memory serves me right, the early Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute AWD systems were derived from the second generation of the Volvo V70XC AWD system. Also, the first Ford influence in the Volvo car lineup didn't happen until the V50, (2005) and the Y2 platform cars. Otherwise they kept their nose out of things.

Maddy Griffin 9 years ago

Now that nobody can afford to drive the big gas guzzlers the big 3 need a baillout. I say let them fall! All of them have had about 40 years to get with the program and build more fuel-efficient cars and only the foreign companies actually did that. I don't see Honda or Toyota asking for a handout. I read somewhere recently that the new President of Ford was given 39 million dollars for his first 90 days in his new job. Isn't that the typical probationary period on a new job? I want to know what he did that earned him that kind of money.I'll bet he wasn't designing or building anything. And didn't Bush give a tax break for people who bought SUV's? I just don't get it.

Sigmund 9 years ago

For Clarkson's read of the Ford Fiesta released in the UK look you can look to the November 30th, 2008 Times Online article, "Demonstrably better than anything else for the same sort of money" and this from a man who loves to loathe anything American, especially our cars. And yet you won't see it at Laird-Noller till at least 2010, if Ford and they are still around. It is just mind blowing that Ford can't build this car in Detroit or sell it in the US. tonight's Top Gear, Clarkson does a 11 minute review of the Ford Fiesta concluding it is "solid in the corners as a VW and with a Lotus feel of sportiness" not to mention it handles better than a Corvette in a shopping mall (ala Blues Brothers) and the Royal Marines could use it as a landing craft (smoke grenades fit in the cup holders). This has to be seen to be believed, which I have been told you can do via something called a "bit torrent," whatever that is. perhaps the best TG segment tonight was who made the worse cars, workers in the former communist bloc or the communist workers at British Leyland? They spent more than half the working week in strike in the 70's thanks to the efforts of the very left-wing unions and the quality of the cars made by BL during this time (as well as before and after) was similar to Ladas, Wartburgs, Zastava Yugos and Polski Fiats. BL was in the same shape as the Big Three are today and getting British taxpayer subsidies and bailouts, which didn't work as if you didn't know. The parallels are striking and my advice on buying a car, just look for the Union Label and then buy anything else.

Sigmund 9 years ago

grammaddy (Anonymous) says… "Now that nobody can afford to drive the big gas guzzlers the big 3 need a baillout. I say let them fall! All of them have had about 40 years to get with the program and build more fuel-efficient cars and only the foreign companies actually did that."That UK Ford Fiesta, it gets 47.9 mpg city and highway combined! That is at least as good a Prius without all the toxic metal batteries and the expensive price tag.grammaddy (Anonymous) says… "And didn't Bush give a tax break for people who bought SUV's? I just don't get it."Any changes to the tax code had to be approved all three branches of Government, as President Elect Obama is about to find out. Perhaps if Americans and the Auto Workers weren't so ignorant of basic economics, we wouldn't be here, praying to God this Sunday to save the SUV! If this weren't a Rueters news story I would swear it was from The Onion."With sport-utility vehicles at the altar (literally) and auto workers in the pews (literally), one of Detroit's largest churches on Sunday offered up prayers for Congress to bail out the struggling auto industry."

compmd 9 years ago

grammaddy says:"I say let them fall!"Will you provide work for the tens of thousands of workers who will lose their jobs then? You have that figured out, right?"All of them have had about 40 years to get with the program and build more fuel-efficient cars and only the foreign companies actually did that."My Vauxhall Zafira, a GM SUV (7 passenger MPV), got 45mpg highway, about 40mpg combined using a simple 1.9L turbodiesel engine. And it had a 6-speed manual gearbox, sport mode, and was surprisingly quick. My friend's Ford Mondeo regularly gives him 50mpg, and it can actually carry stuff, comfortably seating 5 and not having a stupid distracting instrument cluster. See Sigmund's post for more."I don't see Honda or Toyota asking for a handout."Worldwide, they don't make cheap cars. Service costs for Japanese cars tend to be the most expensive of all regular passenger cars. Feature sets are very limited and derived from more successful and innovative companies. Profit margins are huge. Also, all of the Japanese automakers make more than just cars, they are heavy industrial manufacturers. They don't have to make their cars that well, just good enough to beat their competition. Don't believe me? Then look at how badly Hondas and Toyotas sell in Europe. With cars like the Peugeot 308 (75mpg!) Honda or Toyota cannot come anywhere close to competing. Just wait until the 308 hybrid comes out, which should be capable of over 100mpg. "I want to know what he did that earned him that kind of money."Uh, he whipped a failing company into better shape, reorganized the product lineup, and changed the way Ford does business, saving them millions, if not billions of dollars. In other words, he did his job."I'll bet he wasn't designing or building anything."Actually, he is a highly experienced engineer who ultimately is in charge of all engineering decisions. The CEO's job isnt to design cars.I highly suggest you educate yourself more on this topic to alleviate yourself of your ill-informed notions.

Maddy Griffin 9 years ago

compmd, why should we bail out companies mresponsible for their own bad decisions. Let's talk about what the combustion engine is doing to the environment!! We need to get off our addiction to fossil fuels. I realize that lots of people will be out of jobs. I'm just tired of the averqage taxpayer being called on to bail out companies incluiding Wall street for making bad decisions. I stopped doing that with my kids long ago and I refuse to do it for people who get billion dollar severance packages. This country needs some work on getting priorities straight.And why would anyone NEED to go 100 miles an hour? You can kiss my ill informed notions.

yankeevet 9 years ago

I don't buy american cars...............they do not last long; and have many problems once u get a little mileage on i could care less if they sink these auto folks.............overpaid for junk they must off in my toyota now....

gccs14r 9 years ago

Someone needs to look up Louis Chevrolet.

beawolf 9 years ago

Folks, let's at least get one fact straight. IT"S NOT A BAILOUT. IT"S A LOAN! The ignorance on these discussion boards is incredible."I don't buy american cars……………they do not last long;"My cars:1972 GMC PU...235,000 (still running)1984 OLDS Delta 88...135,0001992 Bonneville....150,000 (just sold for $500)1996 Jeep (still have)...129,000

TheStig 9 years ago

beawolf (Anonymous) says… "Folks, let's at least get one fact straight. IT”s not a bailout. it”s a loan! The ignorance on these discussion boards is incredible."A loan that nobody else but the government will give (not banks, not shareholders, not pension funds, nobody else) and that is needed to keep you out of bankruptcy is a bailout.And yes your ignorance is showing.

compmd 9 years ago

gramaddy says:"why should we bail out companies mresponsible for their own bad decisions."As stated, we should give them loans so they can continue to function and keep the economy from imploding."Let's talk about what the combustion engine is doing to the environment!! We need to get off our addiction to fossil fuels. "No doubt about it, the traditional piston intermal combustion engine is inefficient and dirty, but its the best thing we have right now, so it needs to be optimized while we pursue new technologies. In North America, it is FAR from optimized."I realize that lots of people will be out of jobs. I'm just tired of the averqage taxpayer being called on to bail out companies incluiding Wall street for making bad decisions.""The juxtaposition of these two is interesting. "Lots of people ...out of jobs..." Who do you think the average taxpayers are? The people who would be out of jobs. And if they have no jobs, they have no income, which means they aren't paying taxes, which means the economy implodes."I stopped doing that with my kids long ago and I refuse to do it for people who get billion dollar severance packages. "Do not anthropomorphize corporations. They hate that."And why would anyone NEED to go 100 miles an hour?"Reread my post. I said mpg, not mph. "You can kiss my ill informed notions."Ignorance is a choice.

Mark Currie 9 years ago

To the poster who talked about Ford getting dropped in the 1930s. That Was Billy Durant & Louis Cheverolet, and it was in the 19-teens. They all build their cars out of many imported parts that they buy offshore from the cheapest bidder. That being said, I have a Mazda (read Ranger) truck with well over 100K on the speedometer with no major problems. Have a Nissan Maxima with 128K and no major problems. Would I buy an American car? Would that be an American made Toyota, Honda, or Nissan compared to a Canadian or Mexican made GM or Ford? Not sure. Look up your VIN codes, you might be surprised where your car was made. Thanks, just my .02 worth.

Sigmund 9 years ago

There is no perfect energy source or any perfect environment. It has always been a balancing act. Any form of energy has economic cost. For transportation there is no better balance of efficiency, environment and ecology than petrol. The more efficient and ecological sources are far more costly when it comes to transportation.No matter what happens auto workers are going to lose jobs, get less pay, and have less benefits. The government can can always pay one group to dig holes and another to fill them, but that doesn't benefit the economy beyond a paycheck. The big three either have to become the less big three or the big two. You can see the results of the current Bush/Obama plan in the history of British Leland and it isn't pretty. Bankruptcy is far better. Any jobs that a government bailout would save aren't needed and all the needed jobs would be preserved in bankruptcy.

thebigspoon 9 years ago

Your reading the opinions of people who are buying gasoline at the most expensive priced convenience store in town! I wouldn't know how they would stay in business if it weren't for these spend thrifty consumers! Price for regular unleaded at this station is $1.65 a gallon and every one else in town is down to $1.40 a gallon. Just goes to show...............

Mark Currie 9 years ago

Donnuts,Guess who made the post about Henry Ford and Louis Chevrolet? Are you sure you were paying attention? You may have had one of the other 2 teachers. At any rate, you did pick up something from the class. Take care.

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