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American Car Myths: BUSTED! (Part 1)

American Car Myths Busted For decades, many in the car-buying public looked upon the vehicles built by “The Big Three” (also known as Chrysler, Ford and GM) as inferior pieces of engineering work and inferior when it came to quality. Sadly, there were a few years way back when that this preconceived notion about American automobiles was wholeheartedly true; they simply were not as good as the European or Japanese competition. However, it has now been years since quality surveys showed any difference in vehicle quality due to where the manufacturer is based. If you look around nowadays, carmakers like Honda, BMW and Kia are just as likely to announce a recall on one of their vehicles for a safety or quality problem. Cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers and even minivans are still mainly assembled by and are the creations of human beings and, sadly, humans are fallible and sometimes make mistakes. So perhaps it’s time you reconsider some of your pre-held notions about the Big Three U.S. automakers (much like we have forgotten all about that Plymouth Volare with the gold Landau top you used to drive...). Yes, everyone has bad moments in their past but that shouldn't have to govern the future. Here is the first part of the ten most popular negative preconceptions that many people still have about vehicles built by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. Myth 1: They are all on the Verge of Going Bankrupt Again, So Why Buy Their Vehicles?—Ford, General Motors and Chrysler now boast their most competitive and technologically advanced lineups ever in their history. Sales are booming and while General Motors and Chrysler did once have to file for bankruptcy protection, Ford never did as it saw the coming economic storm and started investing heavily in new technology and new products. That is why its sales are stronger than they have ever been all across the board in not just light trucks and SUVs but also car sales. Plus, GM paid off its debt in record time and is back on top. Myth 2: Sure, the Chevy Volt is Impressive but isn’t GM losing $90,000 for each one sold?—That figure was quoted in a Business Week article about the car and doesn't take into account GM’s long term business plan for that gas/electric powertrain technology, or the fact that they are absorbing the massive development costs of that car into the initial vehicles sold. Toyota’s Prius was largely underwritten by the Japanese government otherwise that technology would have spilled a lot of red ink itself when it was first released. Myth 3: The Big Three Still Can’t Manage to Build a Decent, High Quality and Fuel Efficient Car—Let us point your attention to the Chevy Cruze and Chevy Volt, all-new Chevy Cruze diesel which outperforms the TDI clean diesel in the miles per gallon war, the Ford Focus and Fiesta, the new Dodge Dart and the smaller Chevy Sonic all of which average above or around 35-40 miles per gallon and enjoy excellent build quality reputations. Myth 4: The Big Three Never Makes Any Money from Selling Compact Cars, only pickups—Thanks to a special agreement with the United Auto Workers Union the Chevy Sonic is one of the first subcompact cars ever built by the Big Three that was designed from the outset to make money. This is done by only building as many units as are needed to be sold by dealers thereby cutting down on how many models are sold to rental fleets. Myth 5: Big Three CEO’s are only do their jobs to ensure they retire with a huge pension—For over two years Alan Mulally who is the CEO of Ford didn’t take any pay for his job. Granted, once Ford started making a profit hand over fist he took a hefty pay raise but deservedly so. Stay tuned for Part 2 of American Car Myths: BUSTED!


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