By on October 14, 2008

Whatever the qualifications and diplomas accumulated by auto executives, it’s a pretty safe bet that they failed mythology. Automobile names are a silly subject already, bring in some of the poorer choices, and you have the makings of high comedy.The assorted Zodiac names are harmless, if a bit silly. I’ll accept that no one at Chevy realized that Cobalt is a poisonous metal named for a demonic imp. But really, who green-lighted “Gremlin” back in the day? Odyssey is a cool-sounding name, but really, shouldn’t it be some sort of mid-life-crisis car? Well, maybe it’s a car for a “homer”. What would Oedipus drive? That’s easy: a black 300 with tinted windows cause he’s one baaad.. OK, I’ll stop. But mentioning the poster boy for tragic screw-ups reminds us of something that does have relevance for today’s auto market, the riddle of the Sphinx.

Just as man has three ages, you can easily divide a car’s age into three: New (just out of the factory), middle-aged (when it is “sold on” for the first time), and old age (when it enters beater-hood). Interestingly, the age of the customer tends to work in reverse. This is both helpful and worrisome for the domestics.

There’s no doubt that Detroit sees new car sales as the purpose of their business. While overall quality is still a bit… worrisome, “off the lot” quality has improved dramatically from the nadir (Nader?) of the 70s and 80s. The only remaining lagging part of the off-the-shelf equation: interior appointments, which are still bad enough to make poking your eyes out sound like a plan. Memo to Detroit, the owner sees a LOT more of the inside than the outside.

While interior quality and option packages are still a negative factor, on price “actually paid,” the domestics are in the ballpark. The real issue is too much “empty” volume, cars that won’t see a “real” owner until their next stage. Like many of their owners, cars can also have mid-life crisis. The dynamics of domestic “new” cars, quite often see their customers passing like ships in the night.

Even at their most arrogant, no domestic honcho will claim quality “parity” after three to five years. Truth be told, it’s usually not that bad. Aside from Toyota, Honda and perhaps Subaru, GM and Ford can claim at least parity with the competition (and parts are usually much cheaper). Given those facts, the re-sale value of the domestics (especially cars) comes as a shock.

The culprit is all those “extra” sales, especially the rentals. This lack of “trade-in” power could well be the single largest factor in the domestics’ failure to retain their customers. Horror stories make better copy, but they are comparatively rare. The bright flip side of this “problem:” the domestics can attract quite a few “value” shoppers, who are much more forgiving of “issues;” they didn’t (wouldn’t and can’t) pay full price.

Unfortunately, for these sorts of customers, upgrading them to a “new” version of their favorite grocery-getter is a BIG step. Buying “off the lot” can mean paying twice or even three times what their old vehicle cost.

By comparison, the Dai-sans’ high retained value keeps buyers in. To combat sticker shock on the old whips, they have emphasized “certified used” programs (Honda’s trailed only Jaguar’s in one satisfaction survey). While it may be harder to sell a 50k mile car with only 25 percent savings, it’s a much shorter step to get such a buyer into a brand-new one later.

If the early stage is full of promise that leads to the conflicts at mid-life, the end-life of the domestics raises a good deal of hope. When you enter the realms of “beaterdom,” one of the most important factors is the cost to keep it running. As our Steven Lang has said many times, the domestics’ relatively simple mechanicals, long model runs (can you say “pick and pull?”) and cheap parts make them compelling proposition.

The Dai-san depend on robustness to offset their more expensive parts. Most of the remaining competition may come cheap, but often becomes a “money pit.” Buying an old Merc/Volvo isn’t too hard, it’s the parts’ cost that kills. This is important because “beater” drivers often move on to something better, especially the teens.

Whether they get them hand-me down, direct from their folks, or purchased with the receipts of some job they’d rather forget, teens are the customers of tomorrow. The single biggest issue for “converting” teen drivers is the disconnect between your father’s old wheels and what is likely to be available when you have a real job.

The real answer to the riddle of ages is: The Big 2.8 will always be creating new customers. It’s keeping them past their first trade-in that’s the problem.

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35 Comments on “Domestic Car Sales and The Riddle of the Sphinx...”

  • avatar

    Resale is a big issue, depreciation is the biggest expense with new cars. But used domestics are cheaper to fix than imports, and imports are not perfect machines. The real problem is the interiors in my opinion. I buy cars based on the inside not the outside, after all that is what you spend thousands of miles looking at.

  • avatar

    I had something pithy to say about this, but got distracted by the cartoon girls making out at the top of the page.

  • avatar

    I buy used cars “off the lot” and drive them well into “beaterdom.” From my experience there is little difference in total cost of ownership between the Ford/GM’s and the Toyota/Honda in this instance. (Providing neither is a lemon.)

    The domestic car can be had a low miles for a steal, where a similar Toyota/Honda would cost thousands more. After 200+ thousand miles the domestic will be worth a couple hundred and the Japanese will fetch a few thousand. The normal maintenance things are a wash – tires, brakes, tuneups, etc.

    In the end the beaterdom resale for the Japanese car makes up for its higer purchase price where on the domestic you take that savings up front. I’ve found Honda’s to be more reliable than Fords for example, but I generally take good enough care of my vehicles to not require “picking parts.”

    So, as a conclusion, a lot does fall down on the interior. Another problem with the 2.8 “off the lot” cars is that so many are old fleet/rental cars that had the snot beat out of them for 30k miles. No wonder they need major work before 100k. I imagine when all the Camrys and Sonata’s that I’ve been getting as rentals lately work their way into the consumer market they’ll be equally shitty “off the lot” buys.

  • avatar

    If TTAC starts using avatars, first dibs on the Bob Lutz avatar

  • avatar

    What the hell are you looking at and why can I not see it?

    The cost of parts on a used domestic is why I bought a 2-year old Explorer SUV in ’05. Since it was after all a utility vehicle for me, I didn’t really care for a high-cost for parts vehicle like the german imports I had at the time. Some patient internet-inventory hunting found me a nicely trimmed Eddie Bauer version, where the interior wasn’t bad at all.

    Something else to consider: The SUV suffered during a hurricane we got up in NY state. A tree fell on it during the night. Becuase of the cheap cost of parts for this vehicle, it was not totalled, and was repaired. I would likely guess that a more expensive import would have been totalled.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I haven’t found parts prices to be any better for the Ford’s and Oldsmobile’s I’ve owned in the past than I do for the Hondas we are running now. The big issue is whether or not good quality aftermarket parts are available or not. For any brand if you need a dealer-only part it is going to be pricey. Buying a high volume popular car helps the long term availability of aftermarket parts greatly.

  • avatar

    Ah, now I remember. I really think there’s merit in GM accepting a fate as primarily a fleet maker, and making the most of it. Your buyers won’t care if the cars have much curb appeal, you can better predict sales cycles, and the residual value post-fleet would be about the same as they are now. If it runs, somebody will buy it.

    Let the transplants deal with the consumers’ changing tastes, cos they’re good at it, and sit back and crank out solid, unglamorous cars for fleet buyers to take on every three years.

  • avatar

    John Horner:
    In my personal experience, here’s a price example:

    Windshield for 1998 VW Beetle – $250
    Windshield for 2003 Explorer – $50

    Battery for 1998 VW Beetle – $150
    Battery for 2003 Explorer – $75

    I currently own a Honda now and thankfully haven’t had to replace anything on it yet…

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    This is a very good article. I’ll just add a few small notes.

    What you’ve stated is mostly true for cars, but not for pickups and SUV’s. The F150 and Silverado (not so much the Ram), have exceptional reputations for durability in the market place that have been well-earned. They have a premium in the marketplace that none of the Japanese competition can surpass in the full-sized segment. Not even Toyota. In fact, I just got Frank Williams a Tahoe specifically because the Chevy/Ford full-sized models are STILL holding their value well compared to the full-sized SUV segment.

    The Explorer probably stands alone as the lone premium vehicle in the mid-sized domestic segment. On the flip side, GM still has a very good reputation with their Tahoe and Suburban (and their siblings) which are virtually indestructible. In my opinion, Toyota really only excels in the very high ends of the SUV segment. Primarily with their Land Cruiser and the Lexus offerings. The Pilot, MDX and CR-V have ironically been the ‘Mercury’ version of Japanese SUV’s with a stronger appeal to females who don’t want to buy a minivan. Nissan does well with the youth with the Xterra and Frontier, but the rest of their lineup is not particularly strong. In my opinion Nissan can no longer measure up to the leaders in any truck or SUV segment.

    I will offer one parting shot…. The Malibu. As much as GM screws up nearly everything else in the Camcord D-Segment, the Malibu really is a great product. I would take one over a Camry in a heartbeat… if Toyota wasn’t busy making hybrid versions that gave you Corolla level fuel economy with a Cadillac sized interior. This is where GM and nearly everyone else is going to lose big-time to Toyota. You can’t argue the ‘economic proposition’ anymore if the competition offers a far more fuel efficient powertrain.

    Chrysler is already knuckling under this reality. But none of the manufacturers save Honda in the NA market can compete with Toyota’s perception in the marketplace. The ‘quality’ reputation has always been there. But I would argue that Toyota’s ability to price them low over the past decade, and keep them cheap to run for the driver, in virtually all respects, is what’s enabling them to succeed where GM & Co. are failing.

    Coincidentally, this is where the Koreans are beginning to fail at as well. But that’s a subject for another rant.

  • avatar

    Depreciation is a steep slope for the domestic automakers. Just browsing through Craigslist can give one an idea of how well imports hold their value and how terrible the resale values of domestics have become. Civics and Corollas hold their value much better than Cobalts and Focuses.

    The game gets uglier when looking at luxury cars. A 2005 Cadillac STS commands a much lower resale than comparative 2005 BMWs and Lexuses do. Lincoln Town Car values drop like a stone. For a sufficiently cheap/savvy buyer, slightly used domestics are a great value, but at the overall cost of the domestic automakers’ perception. Low resale equates to inferior product for the general American public, and it would be tough to sell a domestic car to an informed buyer, knowing that he/she would have much better resale in a Honda or Toyota.

    This just continues the downward spiral Detroit faces. Now, some of their products are competitive with their imported counterparts, but years of steep depreciation continue to be a factor for the public to keep away.

    To show how desperate they have become, there was an ad playing a while back, toting the merits of the new Chevy Malibu. The ad was hot-to-trot about the Malibu having OnStar standard, and closed off something like, “Our competitors don’t come with OnStar standard. Accord. Camry.” I found that blatantly distressed closing shot in bad taste, and proved to me that the redesigned Malibu is facing an uphill battle, even if it was every bit as competitive as the Accord and Camry. Though it’s too early to truly evaluate depreciation, I’d bet money that the Honda and Toyota hold their value much better.

  • avatar

    When you look at reliability, it’s not just the cost of parts and repair (which seem to me to be reasonable on my imports), it’s the cost of time and the inconvenience.

    One of my friends had a troublesome Detroiter some years ago and, while I didn’t at all mind giving her a lift back and forth to the incompetent dealer, she really hated to impose. Yet another reason why people don’t like owning unreliable cars. She drives a Honda, now. Reliability was her #1 reaason for the switch. Sort of too bad from my perspective because she paid for the rides with home-made bread.

  • avatar

    For carguys, the difference in ownership costs between import and domestic may not actually vary much for cars bought mid life. However, for the auto ignorant, the cheaper parts can’t possibly overcome the skinning they get at the repair shop. Either they go to a name brand place and overpay everytime, or they get taken by a private guy who detects their lack of savvy.

    I had a great private garage for years, but the owner must have decided its getting time to retire because the prices doubled, and the amount of BS being fed by the writers tripled. I caught them trying to take my mom for an extra $500 on a $1,000 repair.

    So my conclusion is that the domestics go to the shop more often, and each trip is a chance for graft. They can be bargains for folks who fix their own, or at least know enough not to get taken, but the rest of the country is learning a different lesson.

  • avatar

    Landcrusher :

    So my conclusion is that the domestics go to the shop more often, and each trip is a chance for graft.

    Oh yes indeed! If I were to buy a used car today, I’d STILL avoid GM, for precisely this reason.

    To Cwallace: No cartoon girls making out on my page. Instead, there’s a vampire/zombie girl. Not really my type!

  • avatar

    The math on GM’s “next generation buyer” is actually much, much simpler.

    Simply look at all the 20-30yr olds that are buying Cobalt’s and Aveo’s because they want a fuel saving vehicle. These buyers will get the full frontal assault from the GM dealers, GM build “quality”, and horrible resale. They will NOT be moving up to the next refresh of the Malibu or other sedan GM will have.

    By putting crap vehicles into the hands of the next generation, GM is cementing their place in history.

  • avatar

    Repair prices are a non issue between Japanese and American cars, in my experience. If anything the Japanese dealers are more honest one’s car is much less likely to have a suspicious “new” problem after being worked on at a Japanese dealership.

    Parts for both American and Japanese cars are dirt cheap, and the Japanese design their mainstream American cars to be worked on by “bubba” at the independent service station.

    European parts are slightly more, but in this age of efficient logistics and eBay they can be had very cheaply. The bigger problem is having the repairs done. Repairs on old European cars are not intuitive to “bubba” and require special knowledge. This means expensive, specialized service on everything from alignments on up.

    If one is willing to put a two post lift in their garage and spend time hunting for special tools on eBay then an old European car can work.

  • avatar

    I just worked on a Saturn that was shifting hard. It was a higher mileage vehicle. The fix is to replace the auto trans valve body, a $240 part. It took less than 2 hours to replace, since a lot of repairs are easy to perform on these cars. Anyway, dealers charge $900-1800 for this repair. For me, sucking up a $240 repair once every 150,000 miles is okay. Sucking up an $1800 repair on an old beater is not okay.

  • avatar

    In about a year or two, the new Cadillac CTS should be coming off lease and will provide an interesting opportunity for a used car. However, as far as used cars go, a slightly used Buick is the best value…they tend to be driven by old folks who maintain them well so are low mileage and in great shape not to mention dirt cheap.

  • avatar

    netrun: By putting crap vehicles into the hands of the next generation, GM is cementing their place in history.

    Exactly. GM et al have historically failed their new buyers by concentrating their development efforts on high-margin vehicles at the expense of their low-margin stuff.

    Nothing, but nothing, will chase away a buyer more than owning a product that feels like it’s maker put it together out of spite, which is exactly how an Aveo feels next to a Fit, Versa or even Yaris. They’re not bad cars, but compared to the CTS, Corvette or GMT900 trucks, let alone the Malibu, you can tell GM just doesn’t want to make them.

    Interestingly, this is why GM turned to Daewoo in the first place: GM wasn’t culturally capable of making a decent small car, where Daewoo was entirely geared for bang-for-the-buck. If you cast back your mind to 2003, the Aveo really wasn’t that bad next to the Echo, Accent and Rio and was certainly better, in holistic terms, than the Cavalier of the time. But GM, being GM, didn’t improve the Aveo at all, and it’s getting creamed by the Fit, Yaris and Versa.

    I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the Cruze. Despite the press-release puff photos of the interior, it’s yet another car made to a low-margin price point by a company that hates low-margin products. Cultural shifts are not something this company does well.

  • avatar


    If you are going to the dealer, then you are, as I said, over paying everytime. Besides that, most of the dealers own both a foriegn and domestic. I don’t expect that they are any different, but I could be wrong. I only go to a dealer to get parts.

    OTOH, the fix it yourself european car thing really can work. I had a coworker who was a Jag fan. He drove old jags for next to nothing, and enjoyed tinkering with them on weekends. It’s one way to make a fancy car affordable.

  • avatar

    I don’t want to knock the cultural aspect of it, but in low margin cars GM’s extra labor cost really bites them in the ass.

    Say the margin on a small car is $500. I think that is generous.

    Say Honda just gave GM the right to build the Fit as the Chevy Flab. Honda sells the base Fit for 16000. $500 margin, the Fit costs 15500 to make.

    GM builds the Flab at its Oshawa plant. With its added labor costs (around $2500 per car), the Flab costs $18000 to make. Tack on that $500 profit, and the Flab is running @ 18500 (for that kind of cash you could move up a segment over at Honda).

    GM can’t compete by building good cars in the small market. It has to build crappy penalty boxes because that is the only way they can compete on price. Which feeds into their cultural hatred of small cars; if you knew you had to build a crappy car for that segment, you’d hate building them too.

  • avatar

    My first car was a used 1994 Chevy Cavalier. It was an ex-rental. I was 16 at the time and very excited to have a car. It was very cheap to buy, and I foolishly assumed that it would be reliable, since I saw so many of them on the road. That POS nearly killed me many times. The most basic elements of the car simply refused to function when you needed them. My favorite was the windshield wipers that refused to work anytime it rained. Or the blower motor for the heat that would just quit anytime the temperature dropped below zero degrees Celsius, promptly causing all the windows to fog/freeze up. I often wondered who at GM had decided to not even bother putting in a cassette deck for the stereo, but yet equip a 2-door car with power locks.

    I simply do not care how much GM improves its quality/products! They did not care about the consumers that bought their death traps in the past, so why should I care that they are now on the verge of bankruptcy? GM could start churning out the best vehicles on the planet, but I would never, ever give them a penny of mine. Automakers really should put an effort into their entry level vehicles, because young buyers really are impressionable and they have years of car buying ahead of them.

  • avatar

    Chrysler reportedly made over $1,000 a car on the Neon, even after accounting for higher warranty costs resulting from Eaton’s ill-advised cost cutting. I’m leaning toward the “GM is culturally incapable of making small cars” theory.

  • avatar

    toxicroach, I’d like to revisit that calculation of labor cost.

    I am quite sure I have read that GM puts the least labor into its vehicles… something like 20 hours per car. Their hourly costs are higher but surely not twice the competition. I’d expect the labor cost comparison is more along the lines of:

    GM – 20 hrs * $100/hr = $2000
    Toyonda – 22 hrs * $66/hr = $1452

    Or, GM is disadvantaged by a mere $550 or so. Considering that, per a TTAC article from last year or so, 40% of Americans still won’t consider an Asian car, this isn’t a crippling cost difference. With a solid 40% of the market unwilling to consider an Asian car, Detroit should be able to charge slightly more per car. Of course, 25% of buyers now won’t consider an American car but that’s a more recent development (I expect 15 years ago, this tilt was 80/10 in favor of Detroit).

    I don’t see labor cost as the big problem.

  • avatar

    Question that splits the hair on the subject: Non-Toyota/Honda/Subaru Japanese processed cars. Meaning Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, perhaps real-Suzuki’s. At top-level, they seem to avoid the fleet effect, but do not seem to be as stubborn as the top-three in terms of depreciation. The trouble is, insufficient data count makes several marques of these not reported in CR, also Suzuki seems to burn through nameplates quickly. Are these more like the top three or more like Detroit ? Is there gradation within the group ? How besides CR is anyone to get real data on reliability ?

  • avatar

    The great unfairness is that if you can pony up the bucks for a BMW-MB, most of the time the car is worth something a few years down the road.

    I once figured that an E class was a better deal over ten years than two Fords, adding depreciation to the mix.

    Every time (not too many) my BMW needs a part, I justify the cost with the idea that it is designed for a 200 k + service life. So far, that has been the truth.

    I went through a few detroit cars….they last 75k.

  • avatar

    You’re operating under a different set of assumptions than me, but even $550 matters. And it’s not just wages. From what I read, compliance with union rules costs about $650 a car. $350 to pay other workers NOT to work. Etc.

    That seems to back my numbers fairly well.

    Also, if they were making such a good profit on the neon… why’d they kill it and replace it with the Caliber? You don’t see Honda killing the Civic. Just classic Big 3 stupidity?

  • avatar

    Hence why we wound up with a 2006 Fusion SE, 5 spd/ 4cyl for well under $12k back over the summer. Was it “the” car I wanted? Not even close. But I wanted a car for the wife and kid that was less than three years old that wasn’t a shoebox on wheels. For the money, I’d never have found a used Honda or Toyota for that. Are there compromises with the Ford? Um, yeah. I grant that the interior isn’t nearly as quality-oriented as the Toyonda variants, but with the steering mounted radio controls and the sunroof, I’ll get over it for the next few years. Deprication CAN work in one’s favor if one is willing to bypass being bit by the newcar-itis bug and look at three to five year old used vehicles.

    BTW, how many “quotes” can one use in one article? :)

  • avatar

    How about reintroducing the Neon – same exact car and call it the Neon City or something.

    Very little cost to get back into the game.

    VW sells older designs around the world. Int he South Africa you can buy the VW Rabbit from the 80s. In South America you can buy the VW from the 70s. Both vehicles have had some updates but nothing too expensive.

    Of course the magazine writers would blast them for releasing an old product but if Chrysler was up front about what they were doing – selling a car whose design was long ago paid for, with better quality (improve the materials a little – better hardware so the doors last longer, the tranny lasts longer, the engine lasts longer), and maybe even a cost reduction.

    AOn another note – an advantage to buying a used car is that they have a track record which allows you to see where it’s weaknesses are. Visit the enthusiast forums where you can see what people talk about breaking on their cars most often.

    Lastly I’ve done the European compact car thing now for several years. It has been cheap with the aid of the internet. The dealer prices are stratospheric but I can get aftermarket parts and OEM parts in some cases cheap. Even with it’s “issues” (relative to my Honda) it’s only costing me a few hundred a year in repairs with my labor. I can usually wait until several things pile up and then do them all at once. This time will be a clutch cable, power steering pump, a/c clutch bearing, power steering hose, and some little plastic things that have worn like seat slider bushings. I should be done until middle of next year.

    One problem I see with some domestic cars is that they are mostly sold here – not like a world product Civic that sells well everywhere. The parts seem to be available for many more years than say a blower motor for a North America market only vehicle. There isn’t likely anyone outside of the USA making parts for NA Cavaliers but the whole world is making parts for the VW Golf family of vehicles.

  • avatar

    Long post – I apologize.

    I’m 26, come from a GM family. My old man used to build hydra-matics, my uncle and grandfather both were GM workers from age 18 until retirement. I grew up driving GM hand-me downs from family. Despite my lineage as a GM kid, the company is effectively dead to me.

    In my short driving life (8 years), I have been stranded no fewer than 6 times along the side of the road due to mechanical failures in my vehicles. Every time this has happened, I have been behind the wheel of a GM vehicle. Just yesterday, my girlfriend calls me when I’m out of town on business, saying that her Saturn won’t start and that she has to walk 40 minutes to work.

    I will be buying my first “real” new car in the next couple months. I will not even consider buying a GM vehicle due to strong memories about blowing fuel pumps on I-196 (twice), transmission failure on I-69 in a February snowstorm, complete engine failure on the Ohio Turnpike. These were all well-maintained vehicles with under 100k on the odometer. Totally serious – I keep the local towing company on my cell phone’s speed dial. I’ve been conditioned to expect my vehicles to fail at any time for any reason.

    The last of the GM loyalists are those of my parents’ generation. Myself and my friends have been stranded far too many times to risk spending our hard earned dollars for inferior products. Despite the fact that GM is responsible for a portion of my extended family’s employment, I simply cannot afford to throw money in the toilet on another GM vehicle.


  • avatar


  • avatar

    Ken_DFA – You are not alone. Many, many before you have sworn off domestics altogether after being burned by their domestic products. This has been going on since the 70s, and is one of the reasons many jumped to Honda/Toyota.

    I’m a GM man, myself. I’m no loyality though; my runaround is a Mazda3. Cadillac is my favorite car brand (for what reason, I really don’t know – I’ve liked them since I was a kid!) and I’m young enough to not remember the horrible 70s (though my dad has told horror stories – a Ford man, ironically) AND am lucky enough to have not been burned by a GM product. That probably puts me in a minority!

    The recipe for failure goes something like this: start with some truly horrible products, add in indifferent/nasty service experiences, and the owner will become disgruntled with your company. He may forgive your faults once, or even twice, but eventually he WILL head for greener pastures!

  • avatar

    My friend has a 97 beat to hell dodge intrepid which I used to own with 200k miles and the engine and transmission are still sound. They are original as well. My other friend has a 94 Astro van with over 260k miles that still runs ok, there is a lifter tap and I think it uses a tiny amount of oil, but its still going. I don’t know if the Astro mechanicals are original though. The paint and interior has held up pretty well on both vehicles. Its surprising to me too!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I really despise these generalizations of, “that car GOOD, this car BAD” which are based on nothing more than a personal account of a product that was sold in the hundreds of thousands.

    It’s not an intelligent way to decipher whether a given vehicle is truly good or not.

    If a person really wants to figure out if a given vehicle has what it takes, they should read the feedback from hundreds of people who have actually owned and driven it. There are countless sites on the web which provide this service, and visiting everything from ‘review sites’ to ‘enthusiast sites’ should give you a far better understanding of a given vehicle.

    The real results may surprise you far more than the fan boy cheerleading or the hate spawning drivel that passes for an intelligent opinion.

  • avatar

    Cant argue with that!

  • avatar

    “It’s not an intelligent way to decipher whether a given vehicle is truly good or not”

    Unfortunately, most people are stupid and close-minded. If someone gets burned by a particular make or model, it is very possible for them to take the ensuing resentment to their grave. And that will include telling anyone who will listen to their tale of woe in an effort to sway them to their opinion.

    Most people are also self-absorbed.

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