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Author Topic: Here Come the GM Hybrids!! Back to Topics
detfan

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Message Posted: Feb 21, 2008 6:17:11 AM

GM, has steadily been improving and increasing its hybrid technology, first being used in buses back in 2002. Early automotive hybrids, on the Saturn Aura and Chevy Malibu have been of the "mild" type -- not too much additional price, and not too much additional mileage. Playing catchup to the Prius and others, it now seems GM is getting in the game to dominate.

Enter the first two-stage hybrids, appropriately being introduced on GM's gas guzzling Tahoe and Yukon. The mileage ratings on these are 50% higher than their standard counterparts giving them the same city mileage as a 4 cyl. mid sized sedan. However, as the link below indicates, like my 2008 Malibu LTZ, the Tahoe tested is getting 25% better mileage than its EPA Ratings, getting 26.3 mpg!!

GM says they will be releasing new hybrids every three or four months, for the next few years. The 2009 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra will have this same technology. The Saturn Vue will, also, and then also be available as a plug-in hybrid. Its going to be interesting watching the progress and gauging the success of each model.
Chevy Tahoe Two-Stage Hybrid Road Test
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2014 4:38:11 PM

Weaslespit: "Absolutely - which GM had big problems with in the last decade. It is no surprise to me that cars such as the Cobalt (et al) are seeing these types of issues as the beancounters were firmly in control at the time."

I can expect to be hearing an excuse like that for decades to come, right?

The defining characteristic of GM was 'executive arrogance.' That was the problem and, very likely, remains so. No amount of bottom-up common sense, engineering or marketing input could override the arrogance of the entititled idiots at the top. And the chief "car guy," the complete antithesis of the beancounters, El Lutzbo, was one of the best examples of this. He was the driving force behind many of this century's biggest flops, all of GM's electro-motive efforts, all of which failed for entirely obvious reasons. But El Lutzbo would brook no argument to his vision.

Weaslespit: "Not from what I have seen... [does everyone have a pile of metal...]"

You should get out more, like GM's people, who also assume they represent how the world uses their cars.

Most of my kids' college classmates carried a pile of junk on a lanyard. Many women of my acquaintance keep many keys and fobs together in their pocketbooks. I shouldn't claim it's ubiquitous but it's common enough that a small survey of how people actually use their cars would reveal a significant fraction of the population puts a fair amount of weight on the ignition key.

In fact, while I keep car keys - and certain house keys - separate to minimize the junk in my pants pocket, I sometimes temporarily add pocket multi-tools to my keyring, if it's something I think I'm going to need that day, especially if keys and multi-tool will be in a backpack, rather than pants pocket.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2014 1:52:44 PM

"That's exactly the kind of process change I was talking about."

Absolutely - which GM had big problems with in the last decade. It is no surprise to me that cars such as the Cobalt (et al) are seeing these types of issues as the beancounters were firmly in control at the time.

"Toyota recalls are either ridiculously minor or based on a very small number of problem reports."

As is the case with most recalls for most OEM's.

"Yes, those unfortunate enough to own an affected GM vehicle have been cautioned to have nothing on the key ring beside the ignition key itself."

Which his an overreaction courtesy of the pending litigation.

"In fact, in our household, I'm the only person who does keep his car keys separate"

In our household, we have 2 or 3 keys on the keychain outside of the vehicle key and FOB. No Pepper spray, flashlight and God-knows-what-else attached.

"everybody else has a pile of metal that would rival Jacob Marley's burden."

Not from what I have seen...

"Toyota has a long history of proactive recalls..."

All OEM's do. You can also find the long list of ones that they hid or fought against.

"GM even knew about the ignition key problem and didn't do anything about it until about a dozen fatalities forced their hand."

Especially since most of those fatalities had nothing to do with the ignition switch...
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2014 1:16:09 PM

Weaslespit: "The tolerance for running a design on a deviation for 'years' is the decision that needs to be revisited, rather than implementing the modified design, which was an added cost."

That's exactly the kind of process change I was talking about.

Weaslespit: "Sometimes large corporations need to be reminded of this (see Toyota, et al)."

Except for the pedal business (which was, in point of fact, initially masked by the floor mat/user problem), Toyota recalls are either ridiculously minor or based on a very small number of problem reports. Toyota had a potentially dangerous steering problem some years ago and attacked the problem after the first two reports and reengineered their initial solution after three more reports, none of which involved a fatality or, to the best of my knowledge, a serious accident. GM has been dinking around with a problem involving Malibu steering for years (since 2008) and, so far as I know, not actually fixed it, although it might finally be addressed in the current crop of recalls.

Weaslespit: "I am sure a risk analysis was performed based on the amount of effort it took to move the ignition switch (in this case) from 'run' to 'accessory' (or 'off') vs. the design specification and it was determined most people don't put X lbs of weight on their keychain so the risk was low (there is always 'some' amount of risk in any decision)."

Yes, those unfortunate enough to own an affected GM vehicle have been cautioned to have nothing on the key ring beside the ignition key itself. How realistic was this "risk analysis?" GM execs often drive corporate-supplied cars, which they return. I'd be willing to bet they never bother to put their CTS key on a ring with the rest of their keys because the car will be going away in 6 months, anyway. It's certainly reasonable to expect that the rest of us, who typically keep their cars for 3+ years, would keep our car keys similarly isolated.

In fact, in our household, I'm the only person who does keep his car keys separate, everybody else has a pile of metal that would rival Jacob Marley's burden.

Weaslespit: "The record number of recalls seen by Toyota since the SUA incident don't seem to have affected their sales..."

Toyota has a long history of proactive recalls, rather than GM's long history of reluctant and reactive recalls. The end result is that Toyota cars are valued for a high probability of long years of safe and trouble-free service. GM... not so much.

GM never recalled their plastic intake manifolds nor did anything about Dexcool. Ancient history? No, the people that bought those cars are still in their prime car-buying years. GM even knew about the ignition key problem and didn't do anything about it until about a dozen fatalities forced their hand.
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Weaslespit
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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2014 12:41:31 PM

"Too many recalls effects the bottom line and negatively affects the consumers perception of the recalling companies product reliability..."

The record number of recalls seen by Toyota since the SUA incident don't seem to have affected their sales...

The bottom line is that recalls not forced by the NHSTA are good is a positive for auto manufacturers.

[Edited by: Weaslespit at 7/28/2014 1:41:53 PM EST]
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Shockjock1961
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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2014 11:43:16 AM

"Recalls are good thing - they take care of the end consumer."

Too many recalls effects the bottom line and negatively affects the consumers perception of the recalling companies product reliability...
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2014 11:05:07 AM

"Generally, yes. GM is probably doing the right thing, here, but going forward, they must redevelop their internal processes and improve product development and manufacturing so as to avoid reduce the number of future recalls."

I am sure a risk analysis was performed based on the amount of effort it took to move the ignition switch (in this case) from 'run' to 'accessory' (or 'off') vs. the design specification and it was determined most people don't put X lbs of weight on their keychain so the risk was low (there is always 'some' amount of risk in any decision).

The tolerance for running a design on a deviation for 'years' is the decision that needs to be revisited, rather than implementing the modified design, which was an added cost. Sometimes large corporations need to be reminded of this (see Toyota, et al).

The price of Capitalism.
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2014 10:55:22 AM

Weaslespit: "Recalls are good thing - they take care of the end consumer."

Generally, yes. GM is probably doing the right thing, here, but going forward, they must redevelop their internal processes and improve product development and manufacturing so as to avoid reduce the number of future recalls.

Recall expense has heavily affected profits for the 2nd quarter in a row and is hurting the stock price. In the short run, they're doing the right thing but they can't keep on doing business like this forever.

GM must become an organization where the grunts can say to management, "No, that won't work," "this needs more time," or "that's a bad idea."
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2014 10:03:31 AM

"There they go... recalls"

Recalls are good thing - they take care of the end consumer.
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MeTaBall
All-Star Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2014 4:07:43 PM

There they go... recalls
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2014 1:03:31 PM

"Your being to hard on yourself weas... Lighten up..."

Lol, I thought poking fun at his spelling of Cincy was an attempt at lightening up - I'll put a smiley-face on it next time :)
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reb4
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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2014 10:46:17 AM

"Haters gonna hate.."



Your being to hard on yourself weas... Lighten up...



[Edited by: reb4 at 7/18/2014 11:46:32 AM EST]
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2014 10:43:40 AM

"FYI, quibbling over typos isn't an improvement."

Haters gonna hate...
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 4:10:28 PM

FYI, quibbling over typos isn't an improvement.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 1:59:13 PM

"Outside Cincinatti that's not considered a cogent argument or even a clever rejoinder."

Never heard of Cincinnatti...

If you are going to be sarcastic while attempting to sound witty, at least run spell-check first...

[Edited by: Weaslespit at 7/17/2014 3:00:12 PM EST]
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 1:18:35 PM

Weaslespit: "ROTFLOL!!!"

Outside Cincinatti that's not considered a cogent argument or even a clever rejoinder.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 11:51:25 AM

"Actually, the CMAX is a perfect example of a failure in promoting an over rated mpg rating."

True.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 11:50:53 AM

"If you're unhappy, go dig up some facts of your own. Whining is just a waste of time."

LOL, I simply find it interesting that when I post number from fuelly, you attempt to diminish them yet when their numbers serve your agenda... ;)

"I did enough lookups to justify my post."

ROTFLOL!!!
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 10:44:31 AM

Of course, since this is a thread about GM hybrids, we should take a moment to consider the fnes of the GM hybrids.

I read an amusing post on GM-Volt.com the other day... Someone has been tracking ELR ads and finds that ELR offers have declined by 2 since the beginning of the month. Since, he says, GM has quit producing ELRs, this suggests that ELR sales will be on the order of 4 for the month.

I guess the ELR is not destined to be real profitable for GM. Perhaps it exists to divert attention from the Volt?
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Charlie_H
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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 10:35:58 AM

Weaslespit,

Fuelly has the largest number of reporters. Only Voltstats.net has better participation but that's Volts only. Fuelly does have drawbacks, particularly the inability to filter out different drivetrains.

I did enough lookups to justify my post. The larger Prius V is about 240 pounds lighter than the C-Max. Best available information on fuel economy actually comes from FuelEconomy.gov because of drivetrain reporting problems on Fuelly. I recommend you pay particular attention to the median fuel economy of each vehicle.

If you're unhappy, go dig up some facts of your own. Whining is just a waste of time.

[Edited by: Charlie_H at 7/17/2014 11:39:22 AM EST]
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reb4
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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 10:03:42 AM

Actually, the CMAX is a perfect example of a failure in promoting an over rated mpg rating.When I worked for a large company, the joke was, whoever made that stupid decision should be taken out in the parking lot and shot! (most people said it in jest, though I imagine some did not)...Ford went out of their way to promote both of their hybrid models and touted mpg ratings that they were later made to lower. With the C-Max, they did it 2x's... I have a 2010 prius and because we use the vehicle for very (1 mile) trips our mileage has dropped below the 50.... but we are still above anything available ... (I would be great advertiser for ev... if any exec would be willing to give me a great deal on one... I will tout the advantages... .. Seriously....)..

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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 9:42:35 AM

"It depends on the hybrid. Most of the Prius line comes close to their EPA numbers (source: Fuelly.com) and some exceed their EPA numbers."

Back to quoting fuelly now that it suits your position (ie paints Toyota in a positive light)? ;)

"I'd guess that the effect of vehicle mass is underestimated by the EPA test. The C-Max line is fairly heavy, the Prius line is not."

I love how you shoot form the hip with no actual knowledge/data/facts. Too funny!

Whatever it takes to support your POV for the 'win'! Go Toyota!
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 9:23:53 AM

It depends on the hybrid. Most of the Prius line comes close to their EPA numbers (source: Fuelly.com) and some exceed their EPA numbers.

I'd guess that the effect of vehicle mass is underestimated by the EPA test. The C-Max line is fairly heavy, the Prius line is not.
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E-Squirrel
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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2014 2:18:09 AM

An article relevant to the ongoing discussion of the "merits" of hybrid powertrain vehicles appeared in the July 15th issue of the Wall Street Journal. Following the correction of inflated mileage estimates of certain hybrid models, including Fords, the mathmatical models used for estimating are shown to need revision. While they tend to show accurate results for normal powertrains, they overestimate the fuel economy of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles and UNDERESTIMATE the economy of diesel engine vehicles.

Improved estimates will probably affect future sales of hybrid vehicles. I provide a link to the article here, but the WSJ website is behind a paywall, and you may not be able to access the article.

WSJ Article

Sometimes the Google search link will work:

Via Google search

[Edited by: E-Squirrel at 7/16/2014 3:19:09 AM EST]
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 3, 2014 1:38:52 PM

"I'm glad we agree..."

Whatever you need to think to help you get ready for your day ;)

Haters gonna hate.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jul 3, 2014 1:06:40 PM

"That must be it.."

I'm glad we agree...
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 3, 2014 9:55:52 AM

"Do you consider the statement of fact a flame because you can't refute it?"

LOL! That must be it...

Haters gonna hate.
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Shockjock1961
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Message Posted: Jul 3, 2014 8:45:10 AM

Facts are facts. How are facts considered a flame?

Do you consider the statement of fact a flame because you can't refute it?

[Edited by: Shockjock1961 at 7/3/2014 9:48:20 AM EST]
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 3, 2014 7:46:48 AM

"They'd certainly be better off giving up the ineffective and overpriced BAS vehicles"

And for the fourth time, I agree. They have failed here. But keep beating that dead horse for your own self gratification, fanboy :) Flame on!
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 3, 2014 7:45:43 AM

"Fact: GM has recalled 28 million cars so far this year.

Fact: GM announced a new round of recalls on Monday of 7.6 million cars.

Fact: GM stock trading was brought to a halt as investors dumped GM stock."

You see charlie? fanboys gonna flame...
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 3, 2014 7:44:57 AM

"And they got to the top of the pack 20 or more years ago. What was GM doing all that time?"

Abusing their customer, building crappy cars. How many times are you going to run around this circle?

"Is there some reason they can't actually match Toyota?"

Apparently you haven't been paying attention - they are certainly on their way. Again - you don't get away from decades of poor quality and change the entire culture overnight. Toyota didn't do it, and neither will GM. But they are making progress, as is the entire industry, as I already indicated.

Keep trying to flame GM though. Haters gonna hate... fanboys gonna flame.
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 3:30:55 PM

Weaslespit: "You tried to not beat that dead horse for almost a month, but succumbed yet again..."

GM should stop trying to enter dead horses into races, it's not a winning strategy. They'd certainly be better off giving up the ineffective and overpriced BAS vehicles and putting the resources into something that has a chance. Developing a better ICE for the Volt would be a good start.
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Shockjock1961
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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 3:27:34 PM

"Like I said, you are trying to put a negative spin on a recall of an OEM "

It's not a spin it's a fact.

Fact: GM has recalled 28 million cars so far this year.

Fact: GM announced a new round of recalls on Monday of 7.6 million cars.

Fact: GM stock trading was brought to a halt as investors dumped GM stock.

No spin, simple FACT...

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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 3:26:13 PM

"Toyota's quality didn't get to where it is at overnight either..."

And they got to the top of the pack 20 or more years ago. What was GM doing all that time?

Did Toyota have a 100 year head start on GM or something? Is there some reason GM has to settle for less reliable/less longevity today? Is there some reason they can't actually match Toyota? Is it somehow a good business plan to let a rival be significantly better? To let Toyota build cars with better resale value because buyers believe they are better built and the stats they see everywhere support that notion?
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 3:16:58 PM

"As I pointed out, it was the investors who seem to be taking a dim view of all the recalls. But we wouldn't want the facts to get in the way of your opinion, would we?"

Like I said, you are trying to put a negative spin on a recall of an OEM that you simply do not like. How very shallow...

Each side has theirs, so don't feel like you are alone - I am sure you could form a support group with those that post Toyota recall news and spin it negatively as well since it is equally foolish.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 3:14:59 PM

"GM's hybrid program really has reached "why bother?" status."

You tried to not beat that dead horse for almost a month, but succumbed yet again...

[Edited by: Weaslespit at 7/2/2014 4:15:16 PM EST]
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 3:10:25 PM

"And there it is, the fanboy flamewar favorite weapon of choice - recall comparisons."

What comparison was made?

"When it is ones favorite OEM, it is the company doing the right thing being responsible, but when it is a hated rival..."

As I pointed out, it was the investors who seem to be taking a dim view of all the recalls. But we wouldn't want the facts to get in the way of your opinion, would we?

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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 3:05:09 PM

"With 28 million recalls this year even this meager goal seems to be out of reach for GM. Investors seem to be thinking the same..."

And there it is, the fanboy flamewar favorite weapon of choice - recall comparisons. How small minded ;)

When it is ones favorite OEM, it is the company doing the right thing being responsible, but when it is a hated rival... LOL!

Try to rise above, bub.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 3:02:55 PM

"Right. That is such good news."

Correct - it is. Toyota's quality didn't get to where it is at overnight either...
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 2:17:24 PM

GM's top selling non-plugin "hybrid," the Lacrosse, has fallen to #16 in the rankings.

GM's hybrid program really has reached "why bother?" status.

Of more interest, though, is the winner in the PHEV segment: the Fusion Energi suddenly hit nearly 2K in sales. Combined with the C-Max Energi, that put Ford solidly in the lead in the PHEV segment.

Considering that the Fusion Energi's unadjusted net price (MSRP minus the tax credit) is higher than the Volt's in spite of considerably shorter range, this is a surprising accomplishment.

The Ford Fusion hybrid is also selling relatively well, with take rates comparing favorably to the Camry hybrid. Only the C-Max hybrid seems disappointing in comparison but it's interesting to note that about a third of C-Maxes sold are the Energi variety, which is a pretty solid take rate for an option like that.
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Shockjock1961
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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 1:55:47 PM

"Average reliability is not something to steer clear of"

With 28 million recalls this year even this meager goal seems to be out of reach for GM. Investors seem to be thinking the same...

Trading of General Motors (GM_) shares was halted at 3 p.m. Monday afternoon after the automaker announced a new round of recalls affecting 7.6 million vehicles made from 1997-2014.
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 1:53:31 PM

Weaslespit: "I don't have to, they have already done that, hence they are no longer 'below average' as a company and trending positive - as is the entire industry."

Right. That is such good news. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out GM is handing out king-size bonuses for achieving "average." When he achieves mediocrity, the dull child gets praised.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 1:24:47 PM

"You should be looking at GM, etc, and asking why Toyota isn't just "average.""

I don't have to, they have already done that, hence they are no longer 'below average' as a company and trending positive - as is the entire industry.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 1:23:50 PM

"Yep, and mine is just as valid as yours"

Sure it is, but it isn't 'truth'...

"As you amply and continually demonstrate..."

Based on what? Please, do-tell.
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 1:00:37 PM

Weaslespit: "Why? I don't think many would dispute that as a whole, Toyota has a higher level of overall quality than GM - and most other OEM's... Average reliability is not something to steer clear of, whereas below average is."

Why not?

And the only reason that Toyota is better than average is that the others leave Toyota room to be better than average. You should be looking at GM, etc, and asking why Toyota isn't just "average."

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Shockjock1961
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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 12:44:38 PM

"It is called opinion"

Yep, and mine is just as valid as yours, perhaps more so since my opinion is based on simple fact...

"Haters gonna hate..."

As you amply and continually demonstrate...



[Edited by: Shockjock1961 at 7/2/2014 1:46:58 PM EST]
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 12:01:41 PM

"First, the Volt has now been in production for several years and GM noised off endlessly about what a careful job they were doing, so, now that we're past the "first year" problems, we'd sort of expect to see the Volt achieving superlative reliability, not "average.""

Why? I don't think many would dispute that as a whole, Toyota has a higher level of overall quality than GM - and most other OEM's... Average reliability is not something to steer clear of, whereas below average is.

But whatever, Prius owners can compare whatever stats they like for the 'win' ;)
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 11:59:01 AM

"There's nothing hateful in my statememt, just simple truth...."

It is called opinion. Haters gonna hate...
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 11:52:43 AM

"Haters gonna hate..."

There's nothing hateful in my statememt, just simple truth....
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Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 10:58:20 AM

Weaslespit: "Just so I understand, we are comparing the reliability of a brand new platform/technology for GM to that of a very well-established one for Toyota? Which shows, btw, that the Volt has average reliability?"

First, the Volt has now been in production for several years and GM noised off endlessly about what a careful job they were doing, so, now that we're past the "first year" problems, we'd sort of expect to see the Volt achieving superlative reliability, not "average."

Second, I was comparing a brand-new Volt to a ten-plus-year-old Prius. Against a ten-year-old Prius, the Volt is only marginally worse. Extrapolating from what we have, if you go out and buy a new Volt and a 17-year-old Prius today, you can expect the Volt to visit the shop a little less often this year than that nearly antique Prius. So, I don't see what you're complaining about, I found you a "win."

If it makes you feel any better, there don't seem to be any complaints at all about the electric drive unit/eCVT assembly, which is at the heart of the Volt. Of course, we expected that, as it's made by Aisin, who also builds the HSD eCVTs for Toyota.
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Weaslespit
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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2014 9:56:49 AM

"Average reliability for a car claimed to be "extraordinary". How underwhelming...."

Haters gonna hate...
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