Any tools still made in the USA?

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Saw something on the Discovery Channel recently - Ford is spending a gazzillion bucks to make their F-150 sound "tough". That's right, the "engineers" are spending their time tuning the sound of the engine, engine compartment and passenger compartment to make the sound of the engine "ideal" for the dickheads that think sound (rather than quiet) is important. No improvements in reliability, fuel economy, power-to-weight, life or any other tangible improvement. Just make it sound good.
The Economist (British news weekly) predicts that Ford will be the next American auto maker to go under, probably within a few years if things don't turn around. With management decisions like "make it sound tough" instead of "build a better vehicle", it's no wonder.
I bought a Japanese car made two hour's drive from where I live.

But not before the richest bean counters die of old age.
Mike
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Absolutely not the American Factory Worker but maybe the engineers who design stuff to planned obsolescence.
You don't spec it to last, it won't last no matter who or where it is built.

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They would if the bean counters would let them. I've gotten damn tired over the years of hearing "it's good enough. Just get it out of here".

built.
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On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 18:19:41 -0500, "RKON"

My last two "imports", a 2001 Subaru and 1996 Nissan were made in the USA. The fit and finish of the Subaru is excellent, the Nissan was crap. The reliability of each has followed the fit and finish.
The Nissan came from New Smyrna, TN, the Subaru from Indiana. I've always wondered if, of the two plants, both, neither, or either is UAW represented?
Barry
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More important in the price of the vehicle is the number of retirees who are paid from the same markup. Read recently that GM was paying one retiree for each two workers. The retirees benefits are renegotiated in the pattern contracts.
Both are UAW.
in message

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On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 18:19:41 -0500, "RKON"

No, it's upper management. Here, they're all making millions of dollars and so long as the company doesn't go out of business (and in some cases, they don't care if it does), they'll go as cheaply and simply as they can.
In Japan, they want a quality product and manufacturers often go above and beyond the call of duty to give it to them.
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In so many corporate cases, the customer is the stockholder, not the consumer. Ford had it right in the 90s and has since lost it. GM never did get the idea that quality sells in the long run.     j4
Brian Henderson wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM.verizon.net wrote:

You're throwing out the good along with the bad IMO.
Like you, I've had a few bad experiences with Fords. So I don't buy Fords anymore. I *do* buy other American cars.
Our last four cars have been General Motors products of one type or another (an Olds, two Buicks, and a GMC truck) and we have been quite happy with all of them. One of these was an '84 Le Sabre that we bought in '91 at 55K miles, and was still running fine when we sold it in '02 at 208K.
Every one of these has been much easier, and cheaper, to maintain than either of the foreign cars I've had (a Mazda and a Fiat -- now *there* was a true piece of crap: Fix It Again Today). So should I not buy foreign cars, because of "that kind of track record"?
Don't see why I should, considering my positive experiences with GM cars... but I won't rule it out, either (except in the case of Fiat).
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 23:50:25 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I've had other American cars. 100% crap so far. I've had GM, Ford, Chevy and Cadillac. Not one has compared to that Toyota. Granted, I have a friend who has a '67 Dodge Dart that is still running (sort of), but of any car built in the last 25-30 years, I won't touch another American car until things change radically in the US automotive industry.
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On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 20:00:50 GMT, Brian Henderson

I have a company-provided 2001 Chevy Cavalier LS that GM should have been ashamed to sell. What a complete piece of garbage. We have a fleet of them, in addition to some Malibus, and as each set of cars hits certain mileage numbers, say 10k, 20k, etc... It's really neat watching them all fail in identical ways. It's almost like watching a Consumer Reports reliability survey live! <G>
FWIW, the Cavalier rates "poor" in frontal-offset crashes, and we're in a downsizing mode, so maybe they choose them for a reason. <G>
Barry
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snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM.verizon.net wrote:

My first car was a '68 Dodge Dart, so I know whereof you speak. Just the same, my '84 Buick LeSabre was a *much* more reliable car than the Dart. The Dart went to the junkyard, dead, in 1984 at 163K miles. I sold the LeSabre, still running fine, in 2001 at about 210K miles. My primary transportation now is an '86 Suburban with 177K miles. It's in *far* better shape than the Dart was at that age. And it has 4WD, air conditioning, stereo, and full power accessories, too, all of which the Dart lacked. It's a much more complex piece of machinery, and has given me much less trouble. SWMBO drives a '96 Buick Roadmaster (112K so far), and we've had remarkably little trouble.
My experiences with foreign cars drove me back to buying American. The Fiat X-1/9 is a beautiful car, and it's a blast to drive, but it's just a pretty piece of junk: constant breakdowns, stupid engineering, flimsy construction, expensive parts. The next one was a Mazda RX7. Very reliable, hardly ever gave a problem -- but when it *did* need repair, that car was a cast iron bitch to maintain, even using a factory service manual. *Nothing* was easy to reach, and *everything* was expensive. I'll give them one thing, though: I've *never* seen a better-written repair manual, for any product, anywhere.
I like my Buicks. Not a lot of trouble. Yeah, they break occasionally, more often than the Mazda, less than the Dart, *way* less than the Fiat. But they cost a lot less to fix than the Mazda or the Fiat. I'm content. YMMV.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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On 11-Nov-2003, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Not exactly prime examples of what most of us would point to when talking about reliable imports. Italian cars make the old Lucas-equipped Brit cars look good. The RX7 was a novelty after the fiasco Mazda had with the rotary engines in the 70's.
Mike
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On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 22:48:42 GMT, Brian Henderson

Ahhh, but they speak with the language of CHEAP. No matter that the product falls apart in 6 months.
I DO, however, like to keep my neighbors employed and their homes off the courthouse steps.

Hmmm, I have 3 Fords. But I stay away from mechanics and do the work myself. And yes, their 4R70W transmission had a number of problems. I bought a T-Bird cheap because 3 previous techs failed to properly repair this car. That is 3 trannys in 80,000 miles! I overhauled it myself, upgraded the problem points - so far, no problems. It even chirps second when I get on it... ;-)

I have a '79 Toyota Supra with 360,000 miles and a Peugeot with 510,000 miles. But try finding parts... ;-)

Depends on whether you want to circulate your money back into this economy or build yet another foreign world empire.
Oops... too late...
Greg
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Dr. Know writes:

Way too late in a lot of cases.
The U.S. has never produced a viable professional camera outside the big boxes (4x5, 5x7, 8x10). Thus, I've always had to use foreign gear, usually Japanese because when I started, German cameras were (and remain) outrageously expensive, as were Swiss (is the Alpa still made?). Digital cameras are about the same: just checked the base of my Minolta 7i. It was made in Malaysia.
Off-road motorcycles are another arena the U.S. never entered.
I don't know, but I'd guess these 4 wheel ATVs are all foreign made.
It often isn't a matter of choosing between circulating money back into the economy at all. With the first example, I would have been unable to make a living if I'd refused to buy foreign. With the second, I could have chosen a different recreation, I guess. Dunno what hunters and others do about ATVs. I don't have one, don't want one, but note that all the brand names I see were once Japanese companies. Probably most of them made in Georgia or Manila.
Charlie Self
"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." Sir Winston Churchill
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) writes:

Polaris makes ATVs in the USA. They now sell more ATVs than Snowmobiles.
Brian Elfert
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wrote:

Since most 'foreign' cars are built in the US by US workers, I don't have to worry about it. It's the design and management that makes the difference. US auto makers want to crank out cheap crap at inflated prices. Foreign auto makers produce quality cars at reasonable prices. Which one should I choose? Planned obsolescence in 3 years? A company that wastes millions to make their car SOUND powerful? Or a reliable, well-built, well-designed car that will go as far as I need it to without breaking the bank?
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On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 20:03:21 GMT, Brian Henderson wrote:

I've got a theory that the more a car manufacturer spends on advertising the more useless their cars are. In the UK Ford is at the top of the heap in terms of advertising! (....and producing useless cars IMHO)
BTW, Ford did a study on the effects of customer disatisfaction some years ago and they found that on average a pissed off customer would tell 8 potential customers that they were pissed off with Ford. That ratio must have increased vastly since the dawn of the Internet.
Ford are going to go bust, it's just a matter of time. They've been palming off over-priced sh*te on customers for too many years.
It's unbelievable that a company that pioneered in a variety of areas of manufacturing (including quality control!) should go down the toilet.
BTW, I own a Nissan (built in the UK - the Japs send their engineers abroad to sort things out though) & I couldn't be happier with it.
--

Frank


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Frank Shute wrote:

Henry's been dead & gone too long.
<Really OT> I wonder what Walt Disney would think of what the empire using his name is doing. </Really OT>
-- Mark
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And yet the largest selling single model vehicle, (at least in the US) is the Ford F-150 pickup. I have a '97 Ford, with a Triton V-8 and 125,000 miles. There isn't a rust spot on the vehicle. The interior, after a clean up, shows NO visible signs of wear. Everything still works, including the air conditioner.
It still has the ORIGINAL spark plugs installed. (I was going to have them changed about 15K miles ago, but the mechanic, after pulling a couple of them, said there was simply no legitimate reason to change them.)
It has NOT been maintnenace free. I had to have a cracked head gasket replaced at 110K, so I had them both replaced. It has had a new battery, and is now on it's (new) third set of tires. The air conditioner has to be recharged every other year, now, so there is some leakage.
If and when I do have to replace the truck, which will probably (hopefully) not be in the near future, I'll be right back to that Ford dealership.
James.....
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On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 01:10:11 +0000, J&KCopeland wrote:

...and so will I. My '83 F150 had 175,000 on it when it was stolen out of my driveway. I did all the maintenance on it and never had to add oil between changes every 5000 miles. It was a 4.9L straight six with an overdrive manual transmission. Got about 23MPG. The worst expense was a new clutch at 150,000 miles.
Picked up an '87 F150 with the insurance money plus a few hundred. It wasn't in the pristine shape of my '83, but it's just getting broken in with 125,000 miles on it. This one is a 5.0L V8 with an automatic and only gets about 16MPG
Neither had/has a speck of rust and both were/are tight and rattle free.
-Doug
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