By on July 14, 2012

Tim Cain, our not-quite-in-house sales whiz, has cooked up a ranking of the top 260 best sellers year-to-date for 2012. I won’t spoil any surprises, but the Suzuki Forenza lost. And Honda might be the big winner.

The Ford F-Series and Toyota Camry are holding on to their #1 spots in the truck and car categories respectively. A look at the car rankings show the Civic in the second spot, unlikely to catch the Camry, but the Accord is just behind everyone’s favorite comeback kid, the Nissan Altima. Roughly 2,000 units separate the two, and before any of the fanboys try to sling mud at the rival product, remember that both cars are due to be replaced, and there’s lot of incentives out there to help clear out the remaining inventory.

The CR-V, maligned in some parts for being “boring” or lacking MyHondaSyncTouchLink infotechtainment systems, is also doing well. It’s the top-selling crossover in the land, ahead of the Ford Escape by a decent margin. I told anyone willing to listen that an easy-to-load cargo floor and one-touch folding seats would win out over turbo engines and touch screens, but not many were willing to accept that it was actually a good car. 146,682 people listened to me so far.

On the minivan front, less than 7,000 units separate the Dodge Grand Caravan from the second-place Honda Odyssey, while the Nissan Versa is handily winning the subcompact segment, outselling the Hyundai Accent nearly 2:1.

My takeaway for the weekend is this: does boring sell, or is Honda just a victim of a segment of people who can’t wait to watch it fail?

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64 Comments on “Half-Time Sales Rankings 2012: Honda Looks Just Fine...”


  • avatar
    jimmyy

    The recent run of Toyota and Honda shows the importance of a good brand reliability rating in Consumer Reports and J.D. Powers. Secondly, it seems that Toyota and Honda vehicles are available at prices lower than Detroit’s offerings. While Detroit seems to have competitive sticker prices, for some reason, these competitive sticker prices land up being higher transaction prices than Toyota and Honda. There you have it … better reliability at a lower price. This is the value prop.

    Detroit is lucky a number of older buyers are still willing to buy anything with a GM, Ford, or Chrysler tag on it. Detroit is also lucky so many large fleet purchases are government vehicles. Better hope these two factors last.

    Of course, any failed moose tests could wreck Toyota or Honda. I hope the engineers at Toyota and Honda did not cut corners like Jeep.

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      Well, unless the world has tilted on its axis in the 3 years since I left the ‘biz, the transaction prices at our Toyota stores were nowhere near what we were selling Cobalts, Malibus and Optras for.
      The car ‘biz is one of the toughest for comparing apples to apples. The Civic, for example, had the beegeesus decontented out of it a few years back. Not sure if they’ve put stuff back yet.
      Toyota and Honda have proven time and time again: build vehicles that look good on paper, do well in tests that matter to the people who consider themselves authorities, and bury the skeletons a lot deeper than Detroit.
      It’s worked for them for 35 years. Heck, even when they get caught with their pants down (the SAE fiasco 5 years back), the mindless herds barely look up from their mulch.

    • 0 avatar
      chicagoland

      Ford is getting younger buyers who want infotainment and ‘fun’. But, I do agree GM is falling back on old habits.

      Mopar is doing OK, thanks to Jeep.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        The new Escape is a great vehicle, but what’s hurting it is the price. Why a person has to spend $28k on an SEL before they’re allowed heated mirrors, I don’t understand. My $15k 2010 Kia Forte EX had heated mirrors.

        The CR-V’s problem is it’s REALLY ugly. The CR-V has always been gross visually to look at, the D pillar/tail-lights being the main complaint, but what the hell did they do to this generation to make it SO ugly?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Both Honda and Toyota have increased incentive spending (altho Toyota’s incentive spending has dropped from its highs from last year) and their dealerships aren’t getting the margins that they used to.

      They both have to compete more on price these days, which is something that didn’t happen 4-5 years ago.

      Toyota also gorged on fleet sales for the 1st half of the year (around 15% of sales).

      While the domestics have their issues, they are doing some things right; the average transaction price for the Cruze and Focus are a good but higher than for the Corolla and Civic.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Average transaction prices do not include fleet sales, and approximately 20 percent of Cruzes and Focuses have been sold to fleet customers. The Civic’s comparable figure is about 2-3 percent, if I recall correctly.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      The moose test was a fraud that couldn’t be replicated. Chrysler almost outsells Toyota and Honda minivans combined. Chrysler has gained significant marketshare against the JapanInc manufacturers this year. All the American carmakers have significant new vehicles in the next 6 months with very few new Japanese cars coming in the same time frame. talk to you in 6 months.

      BTW, Honda is being forced to use the same ZF transmissions Chrysler is using just to keep up.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/moose-test-redux-the-cherokee-blows-its-tires/

        You may want to read this before you go parroting Chrysler’s attempt at spinning Moosegate.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        “Chrysler almost outsells Toyota and Honda minivans combined.”

        If you look at the price ranges, that’s like saying Toyota outsells BMW+MB combined.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        @wsn

        Except that the Chrysler T&C costs more than the Toyota Sienna or the Honda Odessey.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        During MY 2010, 48% of Town and Country sales and 60% of Caravan sales were fleet. Most of those went to rental. During that same year, the leader in retail sales for the class was the Odyssey, which retailed more minivans than Dodge and Chrysler combined.

        I doubt that MY 2012 looks much different. The majority of the Mopar minivans are fleet, their fleet percentages are above everyone else, and much of the rental market for minivans comes from these vehicles. Wake up, folks.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    “My takeaway for the weekend is this: does boring sell, or is Honda just a victim of a segment of people who can’t wait to watch it fail?”

    Ha ha, I see what you did there. It’s both. Ouch! The Truth hurts!

  • avatar
    niky

    The Forenza is still on sale? After the Cruze replaced it absolutely everywhere else? No wonder Suzuki’s US market share stinks.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    I don’t know if “boring sells” per se, it’s just that vehicles with good reliability record and is also practical and reasonably priced tend to be the boring type. So they sell despite being boring.

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      Self-fulfilling prophecy. I used to see it all the time. Shoppers would cross-shop the Cavalier with the Corolla, which would sell for anywhere from $1,500 to $3k more than the Cavalier, depending on whether cash or finance offers were being used. If they deliberately made the conscious decision to spend an extra couple grand, you can bet that car makes it to the dealer every 3 months and every silent recall and service bulletin gets attended to, while the poor Chevy gets 2 oil changes in 3 years, never gets washed and then the owner starts to whine when it falls apart in 5 years.
      This goes all the way back to the Malaise era: the good ‘ol boys like my father always did their own work on their cars. Brakes, tune ups, swapping alternators – you name it. Then along came Datsun and Toyota with their ‘coupon service’ and Three Months or Else warranties. As vehicles became too complicated for backyard mechanics, Detroit wanted to insist on dealer service to do what Japan Inc was doing: rebuild the car without the owner knowing.
      It’s much easier to grow a market up, then to grow it down.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Things have turned around in that dept. – the Cruze and Focus have a higher ATP than the Corolla and Civic (same goes for the Elantra).

      • 0 avatar
        MrWhopee

        I think you might be right. Something about the Cavalier does not inspire its owners to give it any kind of attention and loving care. I had a friend with a Cavalier once, a base model, and the thing looks like it’s never been washed. The wiper blades are all worn out too, which makes me wonder about stuff that’s harder to notice than wiper blades (which would make a very obvious statement about its condition every time you use it.)

      • 0 avatar
        stevelovescars

        About 10 years ago a Chinese classmate of mine from grad school asked me to help take her around to look for a new car. She had never owned a car before. We looked at a number of cars, including the Cavalier, Civic, etc. After driving the Cav, which was immediately offered with a ton of discounts, she turned to me and asked (again, she had barely driven before) if we could leave because the car was just so horrible she didn’t even want to have to talk I the salesperson. Even as a non auto enthusiast who had never read a copy of CR in her life she hated it.

        My reaction was “why would anyone who test drive a Cavalier against any competitor EVER buy the Cav at any price?”

        So, I suppose you’re right, those who willingly chose the Cav were unlikely to care enough to maintain one. Or, perhaps they were just so unpleasant to drive that the lack of maintenance was a subconscious cry for help and a hope the car would die leaving them an excuse to replace it with something better?

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        @carbiz

        If your theory is correct, then cars like Taurus or Intrepid would be more reliable than Corolla, since they costed more at the time.

        But that’s clearly not the case. If you look at the all the models, it’s not the price point, it’s the brand (or maker) that matters.

      • 0 avatar
        infinitime

        In 2004 I was shopping for my first new car. I decided that I would try as many in my price range as possible. The range included such automotive gems as the Cavalier, Optra (aka the Suzuki Forenza shown in the lead picture), Focus, Corolla, Vibe/Matrix, Civic, Mazda3, Elantra, Ion, Sentra and other base model sub-compacts.

        While I ultimately bought the Vibe, I saw the attraction of buying a Cavalier (then on clearance in Canada for as little as $10,000, including freight!). This was a simple car with then well-proven platform and drivetrain. It was crap compared to any of the import offering, and even when compared against the Elantra.

        However, those cars were usually at least several thousands dollars more expense. Furthermore, access to parts and dealerships weighted overwhelming in favour of the GM. Basically, if I care about interior quality, and was looking strictly at a point A to B appliance, the Cavalier fitted the bill.

        Furthermore, the 2.2L Ecotec engine was decent, and considerably more torquey than the Honda or Toyota offerings. In fact, the only vehicle which came close in the pricing was the Optra (aka Forenza), but that is arguably an INFERIOR production. One of those rarities that looked great on paper, until you actually drove it (front and rear independent suspension, 4-wheel disc with standard ABS, great stereo). But when driven hard, the Optra made all sorts of weird squeaks and drivetrain noises.

        As a side note on my test drive of the Optra, the overly eager salesperson encouraged me to “take it up the steepest hill you can find…” Living in Vancouver at the time, the steepest hill was San Francisco like, and those Hankook tires had a heck of a time trying to gain traction in the wet from a stop sign halfway up to the hill, inducing wheelspin even from it modest torque output. In any event, there was certainly no reason to buy the Optra over a Cavalier. Subsequently, I learned that the Optra developed major automatic transmission problems… something that would have been unlikely with the proven 4-speed GM unit in the Cavalier.

        Anyhow, the Vibe ultimately got my money as it was a Toyota at close-to-GM prices. However, had I known that I was only going to keep the car for 4 years, I would have gone with the Cavalier. Interestingly, I noticed 4 years later when I was looking for another car that the then 4-year used Cavaliers sold for about $6,500, meaning it ACTUAL depreciation was only about 35%, nowhere close to the 65% depreciation when compared against its original MSRP.

        This is one thing most people fail to take into account in looking at GM cars like the Cavalier, they are mediocre, but they are cheap to buy and run, and fill a certain need in the marketplace that is distinguishable from the Hondas and Toyotas out there.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    For those who always accuse CR of helping bring down the Detroit 3, well this shows that you’re full of it, CR and most other venues has really given it to Civic for just about everything except its mileage, yet the sales keep going up at the expense of Corolla which honestly, just looks really ugly, dated and not competitive.

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      Occasionally, the CR writers surprise us. The scathing remarks in ’07 about the V6 Camry and the new Avalon were epic. Very telling, too.
      Doesn’t matter much when the other 150 issues are a Japanese love-fest.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    Mr. Volt Is it just me that finds it strange that CR is now slamming some Japanese products, but only after Toyota had 14,000,000 plus cars recalled, and that CR’s own data didn’t discover this? You would have thought CR’s data would have shown the trends in defects in some Toyota products, but somehow that never happened. I wonder why? The sales of the Civic show what attention to price and quality results in, people buying it without a second thought, no matter what.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      You mean how CR’s numbers didn’t predict a media driven hysteria over a non-existent problem leading to desperate recalls by Toyota?

      Come on dude.

      My family is largely Honda people, though Toyota is acceptable, and Nissan is on the border of the reservation… and they aren’t going to move until Honda screws up badly, and for a very long time.

      That’s why people claiming the american public suddenly turned on the domestics made me so mad; that’s now how automotive loyalty works. It doesn’t disappear because of one bad car, or one mistake. It’s a decades long process to lose your core customers. Even if you think Toyota and Honda are pissing off their core customers (pretty sure that’s only in our imaginations) you’re still looking at 2030 before they feel the effects.

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        Nope, sorry. The internet has changed everything. 30 years ago, recalls were largely unnoticed. Most news media outlets didn’t bother, unless the recall involved some juicy crashes and deaths.
        Today, with very little trouble you can find out how many Dacias have been recalled this year.
        And the public is so much more fickle today. Nearly 25 years ago, Janet summed it up: what have you done for me lately?
        The market is fragmented to the point that people don’t even know what type of vehicle they’re driving (SUV, tall wagon, station wagon, CUV, cross-over…?), let alone the make.
        The public doesn’t know what to make of this overload of information. JD Power rankings: a rattling cupholder has the same weight as a blown transmission.
        Frankly, it was inevitable that GM would fall from 43% market share to sub 20%. In no other market (except Japan, coincidentally) did one manufacturer dominate to the extent and length that GM did. That is a wondrous thing, really.
        From 1955 to 1985, it was GM or nothing. Toyota and Honda will never enjoy that sort of grace. Cars are too complicated, consumers too disinterested and lobby groups too eager to label the automobile as the scourge of our planet.
        Still, as long as Japan Inc manages to keep most of their family squabbles and dirty laundry in Asia, nobody here seems to mind or care.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Fiat Group has dominated the Italian market for roughly as long as there have been cars. They still have more than 40% of Italian sales, and they’ve done it with the same sort of quality products that GM marketing wizards inflicted on Americans.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Honda has had its issues like prematurely failing automatic transmissions and cracking dashboards, but you’re right, it’s going to take a prolonged history of missteps to have some real affect.

        Now, where Honda has pissed off long-time Honda/Acura owners is in making their models more bloated (less sporty) and design-challenged, but here I’m talking about the rather small enthusiast crowd (many of whom have dropped Honda/Acura for something else, like Mazda).

        But that’s not to say that things for Honda (and Toyota) are exactly like what they used to be 4-5 years ago.

        More and more Honda and Toyota have to compete on price and can no longer expect prospective buyers to pay a premium.

        According to Truecar – Honda’s incentive spending has gone up significantly over the past couple of years.

        While some of it is due to incentive spending on the aging Accord, a big chunk of it is due to incentive spending on the relatively new “new” Civic.

        Unlike the “new” Civic, Honda got the new CR-V pretty much right, so that is selling well w/o incentives.

        On the Toyota side of things, while incentive spending has dropped from the high during the latter part of 2011, people have been able to buy the new Camry at pretty much around invoice price.

        When Edmunds purchased their long-term test Camry months ago (pretty much right when the Camry hit the dealer lots), they were able to buy it for a few hundred above invoice.

      • 0 avatar
        toxicroach

        carbiz, I think maybe we are talking past each other.

        But confusing and largely useless information really helps people stay with whatever they are happy with. People googling recalls on the net? I would suggest that if you do that pretty much disqualifies you as a average car buyer.

        My mother in law is a Honda nut. She doesn’t know a single thing about cars, but she will be damned if she is going to buy anything but a Honda. Nearly mystical reverence for the brand. So she buys Acuras now that she has a bit of money. If you try to convince her that her Acura is really just a tarted up Accord and is not really in the same league as the BMW, Audi, or Mercedes equivalent you will be talking to a brick wall. She just won’t believe it. Honda told her this is a $50000 luxury sedan and by god, it is. And as far as what she really wants in a car, the Acura is more than sufficient. She’s not going to change, and honestly, she probably shouldn’t.

        Most people don’t know a thing about cars, and as long as their car company, whoever that is, keeps them happy, they will no more consider switching than they would consider emigrating to Canada. And I’m fine with that; it’s a reasonable position to take.

        But this inertia is why is why GM took decades to fall apart, instead of just rolling over and dying in Malaise era. Most people car buy with what I call rational ignorance; they don’t want to put in the effort to know and as long as the costs of their ignorance are bearable they will not bother to learn more. That’s why brand loyalists almost always have some traumatic story to go with the switch. It’s a bit like changing religions. They have to lose faith before they will really switch.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      It’s a matter of trusting the brand, and let’s not forget that GM and the domestics made a lot of people really mad with some pretty crappy products that they sold in the past and some folks will never let that go, specially in the small car segment, CR itself would not recommend one single American small car for the 2012 model year, and gave the nod to Subaru, not exactly a sales leader and frankly the Impreza would be far down on the list of small car buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        It’s kind of misleading what CR “recommends.” Their criteria for “recommendation” are rather arbitrary: Finish okay in their test ranking, and have a rating of Average or better in their subscriber reliability survey. Most American models, including the Focus and Cruze, fall short of the latter and therefore don’t even qualify for recommendation even though the magazine’s testers rather like them.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        What is misleading or arbitrary about CR only recommending cars that they find both desirable and reliable? Should they recommend garbage that breaks, or should they recommend cars they don’t like?

      • 0 avatar
        toxicroach

        I would guess Tony means that as new cars there is no established reliability information and therefore cannot be recommended by CR at this time.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        “I would guess Tony means that as new cars there is no established reliability information and therefore cannot be recommended by CR at this time.”

        Then the question would be “why there is no established reliability information” for Cruze? It’s not like it’s day one that GM is in car business.

        By common sense, new model name from an old car maker = previous model sucked = new model has a greater chance of being equally suck.

        As I said before, I really have nothing against GM. I “only” need a solid 10~20 year reliablity history to consider a car.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Price and reliability account for a lot, even at the expense of excitement and some decontenting. Consider my 12 Accord SE, to lease it I wrote a check for $223, and have been writing another monthly for the same amount since then. In return I will get NO problems (based on 4 other Hondas since 2002) 30 mpg all the time, and comfort for 5. Also, no driving excitement, and road noise that has been a problem for years with Hondas. I’m happy to make the tradeoff, as I spent way too much time in dealer service departments with my Z34, Impala SS, Jimmy, Montana, Cougar, etc.

    No similar deals on Fusions, Malibus, or other comparable American cars.

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      As my Chevy reached its 5th anniversary, I have the original brakes, 2 new tires (both from nails) and new wipers. Everything else is original. I paid for a to year top up on my 3 year bumper to bumper warranty and have never used it.
      Electrics are flawless. A/C never a problem. Automatic tranny is awful, but then it is Japanese anyway, so that figures.
      It’s a shame I need a truck. This car has seen 5 Canadian winters and is the first car I have never hand waxed, yet the paint gleams (regular cloth mechanical car washes) and every seam is still tight.
      I’d say pretty much the same for the 1,000 or so GMs I sold before I finally bought my first car in years.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Not so fast, aztec — the current Accord is having brake and other problems that didn’t plague the previous generation. From the stats I’ve seen, the Fusion is a more dependable car than this Accord. Notwithstanding that the Accord went from being a presentably conservative design to looking like Chris Bangle’s fever dream with Warshawsky taillight decals added as the final insult.

      • 0 avatar
        whynotaztec

        I can only go by experience. I gave GM and Ford enough retries until our Montana’s engine blew and left the family stranded. The next Honda failure I experience will be my first.

        Back to my original point, I gave GM and Ford a try this time, because I think they have gotten better, but they could not touch the Accord lease deal I got.

        And Carbiz, are you serious about dealers silently fixing secret recalls? I never have my Hondas dealer serviced, just have the indepentents in my area change the oil. Did they take care of my silent issues too? My Chevy got washed every week, yet the paint still fell off the passenger door in YEAR 2, and the electronics completely failed at 30k. And the front end was always an issue despite repeated dealer attempts to correct. Yet I bought 3 more GMs and Fords………..I guess that makes me insane.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The brake problems with the current-generation Accord – which involved rear pads that weren’t strong enough – were largely solved by 2010, if I recall correctly.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    My 2012 Civis HF is fine to me, no shuddering, stumbling ‘modern’ transmission. And I don’t expect a ‘luxury’ interior.

    Fan boys have axe to grind since they dropped S2000, Integra, and CRX to ‘dream about’, but not buy new.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      Good point Chicagoland, I wonder how many buyers have walked away from both the Fiesta and Focus because of their auto stick transmissions shuddering at low speeds which is how most test drives are done and having the sales man having to say “Oh this is normal” “Really?, I’ll call you if I’m interested, thanks”

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      The Civic has a better transmission, and a roomier rear seat, but the Focus rides and handles better, with little road noise. It’s a trade-off; though, personally, since I’d get the manual and barely ever use the back seat, I know which one I’d prefer…

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Here’s the real question – Why does Mitsubishi even bother to show up anymore?

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    If you kick somebody hard and often enough, they’re going to notice. I’m pretty sure there were some intense sales meetings after the early batch of tepid reviews for the Civic… review or no review, sales people are expected to sell. I’m sure the pressure must have went up a few notches.

    If you were a competitor who thought that the going was going to get easier just because of bad reviews, you were probably being complacent.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “does boring sell, or is Honda just a victim of a segment of people who can’t wait to watch it fail?”

    GM spent the 1970s destroying its brands while building market share simultaneously. The real pain came later, as it became clearer that the increase in volume was offset by a loss in pricing power, which laid the foundation for the subsequent loss of that market share.

    Branding is a marathon. You’re treating it like a 100-yard dash. Fortunately for them, Honda seems to know better, as it responded to criticism by speeding up the mid-cycle refresh of the Civic. I doubt that Honda will be making the same mistakes that GM did (although the failure to cultivate Acura into a credible luxury brand is a mistake that may very well cost them in the long run.)

    • 0 avatar

      Yes there is a difference: Germans and Japanese did not study in American business schools and companies are run by engineers not by bean counters and “out of industry” types. These are engineering companies, Germany and Japan are nations of engineers not of fast talking salesmen.

      • 0 avatar
        rentonben

        American salesmen built the Saturn-5, Nimitz, B-2, and the transistor?

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Bean counters need to step in sometimes if a vehicle is gonna be priced so high that it will kill sales, its where they count the beans that is crucial, e.g. putting cheap crap anywhere that the driver has to come in touch with all the time.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Saturn-V was designed at NASA by Wernher von Braun and Arthur Rudolph, who were … German. The concept of the Saturn-V was based on von Braun’s early work in Germany during WW2.

      • 0 avatar
        dejal1

        “American salesmen built the Saturn-5, Nimitz, B-2, and the transistor?”

        The Saturn-5, Nimitz, B-2 are not consumer products. They are also products where cost controls were non existent. I suppose you are cool with ordering a car off the lot and the dealer says, “it’s going to be another $30,000″ and you say ok, over and over again. I also didn’t know that a end user like me could go to a major auto maker and have them build a car to my specs where nothing is off is the shelf.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “These are engineering companies, Germany and Japan are nations of engineers not of fast talking salesmen.”

        Being an engineering company is exactly what keeps pushing Mazda to the brink of failure. It would be better off if it became less of an engineering company, and more focused on making cars that people want to buy.

        The early GM was an engineering company on the brink of failure until Sloan put it on a consumer-oriented track. Many years later, about half of the senior officers at GM when it filed bankruptcy were engineers.

        It isn’t a matter of engineering vs. finance, but one of whether one is willing to learn from one’s mistakes. The GM fans are convinced that they are right and the consumer is wrong, so they respond to criticism by getting nasty and circling the wagons. In the case of the Civic, Honda decided to use the criticisms as a teachable moment and to learn from them.

      • 0 avatar

        90% engineers in American companies in US are immigrants or children of immigrants. Most of companies in Silicon Valley are founded by immigrants and children of immigrants. The reason is immigrants get better high school education and career orientation outside of US and force their children to be self-reliant and resist brainwashing of typical American public school or TV. In contrary American children are brainwashed at school to choose liberal arts or areas like law, finances, journalism or acting as path to successful career. They are discouraged to become engineers, scientists or go to vocational schools (I am not sure that they even exist in US). They are also taught to rely on parents and later on government for well being, that world revolves around them and they entitled to success. Consider great American company like Kodak. Well they are bankrupt. How about Xerox – where are Xerox products are designed and manufactured? In Japan by Fuji-Xerox. Yes same Fuji that still prospers while Kodak is finished and makes Subarus you desire to buy and super-computers.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    God, I hate fanboys!!

  • avatar
    supersleuth

    Honda really does need to do something about road and wind noise. I expect plenty of that in a B-class car like my Fit, but when I drive or ride in my soon to be mother-in-law’s leased Accord I’m shocked at how noisy it is for a midsize car. I’d rule it right off my shopping list for that reason alone- if I wanted a midsize car I’d be looking for QUIET.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    90% engineers in American companies in US are immigrants or children of immigrants. Got stats to back that up?
    They are discouraged to become engineers, scientists or go to vocational schools (I am not sure that they even exist in US). Yes they are called Community and Technical colleges.
    They are also taught to rely on parents and later on government for well being, that world revolves around them and they entitled to success. You’ve just insulted millions of Americans.
    Consider great American company like Kodak. Well they are bankrupt. No kidding, film media has been replaced by digital media.
    In contrary American children are brainwashed at school to choose liberal arts or areas like law, finances, journalism or acting as path to successful career. Again, do you have any proof of that.
    Just glad to see you don’t have bias for engineering :p.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      In the 1980s, a common “meme” floating around was:

      ratio of engineers to lawyers in the U.S, 1:10
      ratio of engineers to lawyers in Japan, 10:1

      I don’t think science and engineering are actively discouraged per se. Rather, given the higher salaries paid to lawyers and financial types over engineers, law and finance will just attract more students… sadly to the U.S.’ detriment. I think that’s what “@Inside Looking Out” was trying to say.

      But “@Inside Looking Out” also knocked liberal arts and journalism. They are valid fields of study and it’s important to be well-rounded. They promote discovery and the skill of learning.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        But those majors flood what little market there is for them, there is a far greater need for engineering and hard sciences than any sort of liberal arts in society. Look at the economy today, who can get work and who cannot? Everyone I personally know with a Information Science/Systems, Engineering, or other hard science degree is working. I know only one who was unemployed for more than three months since 2008, and only one more (my brother-Biology major) not working in his/her field (he’s now a cop, go figure). My girlfriend on the other hand (English major) hasn’t been employed full time since 2009. Liberal arts is a surefire way to the unemployment line in a society with low demand for them.

      • 0 avatar

        How about 300 candidates with PhD in History competing for the ONE available position? They live at expense of tax payers like me. We immigrate to America and commute to work every day, come home late evening just to feed insatiable Government and those who chose to study liberal arts and to not contribute to society by doing something useful. Instead they live on unemployment insurance for several years draining our resources. How about scams like “studies”. Who really need all those these “studies” and why tax payers have to pay for it? I would rather spend these money in Free Market economy and increase general welfare and wealth of nation than throw it into black hall known as Government. At some point it is gonna to end ugly. No nation in the world can exist when majority of its people strive to be a parasites and rely on outsiders to come and feed them. Just look at Greece for example. For now there is something that attracts immigrant to America (but not Greece) who do all the work in this country but eventually free lunch may end.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “How about 300 candidates with PhD in History competing for the ONE available position?”

        If those 300 people had engineering degrees, then they’d be competing directly against you, and you’d be whining about that. You’ll have something to complain about, no matter what.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        @28-cars-later – absolutely agree, going for the English major is a difficult path, financially speaking. But I am reminded of joke, also popular in the 1980s:

        “If engineers served sushi in a restaurant, they would name it cold dead fish”

        Certainly an honest description, but not very appetizing. There’s a need for English majors, even if they earn much of their living waiting on tables or driving cabs.

        A liberal arts major can lead to work as a secretary, and administrative assistant, ad copy writer, author, PR person, lawyer, small business entrepreneur.

        Become a fluent second language, and one could be a translator. Add comm arts and work in media. Study for a Masters degree, and become a librarian (I know two who took this route).

        Without auto-journalists, we wouldn’t have TTAC. Without news-journalists and independent news organizations, and we can’t have a working democracy.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    A liberal arts degree makes you use logic, correct spelling, and teaches you to write well. You have to play well with others in the corporate world; the I’m an engineer I don’t have to write, spell, or communicate my ideas meme, won’t fly in the real world.
    I’m my 40’s, most of my friends with engineering degrees also have management degrees. Not masters of electrical/mechanical/civil engineering degrees but masters of management degrees and (gasp) masters of business administration. Yeah, they got the promotions and the nice offices.
    My major complaint on here is that things are spouted without any facts or even anecdotal data to support them.
    “90% engineers in American companies in US are immigrants or children of immigrants.” Again, where’s the data?

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      @el scotto – I agree. The “90% engineers in American companies in US are immigrants or children of immigrants” claim, among others, sounds like hyperbole to me.

      Um… is there an English major in the house?


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