The American Vs. The German - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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#1 (permalink) Old 09-28-2004, 07:27 PM
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When faced with a near decision on purchasing a new car so often and many of us come face to face with a dilemma and/or an irony which culminate into a near paradox. Granted many of us simply don’t give it that much of a thought and tend to follow the rule of “hey as long as I got my Bimmer the heck with the other guy in the Chevy”. After all it is a matter of one’s personal preference enveloped with style and sandwiched in Money. Case closed? I don’t think so! What is it with you now? Well If I have $60,000-$65,000 to spend on a Bimmer then it is the ultimate machine but if I have only $20,000 to spend on a Chevy then it is the Heart Beat of America! Isn’t it? Yes? No? May be? But wait a minute-- not so fast.

This brings us face to face with the heart of this topic and the rules are clear: respecting every opinion; that is the good the bad but NOT the ugly opinion. Here it is and I will hand it to you on the following silver plated scenarios to illicit your thoughts: Note I had to confront the following scenarios with many friends and relatives whenever CARS are the topic of the day:

1. Some will argue I’ll never buy an American car. So much for the heart beat above!
2. American cars ride terrible, cannot handle/will not handle like a bimmer. Ok and………..No Fords no Chevy’s for me. OK then……..
3. After 80,000-100,000 miles kiss an American car good buy. New alternator, new battery, new, new, new wow so much for so many parts. So much for automotive qualities at Chrysler, ford, and GM. Look at them MAN they’re loosing for the Japanese’s Toyotas and Nissans. OK and……..so………
4. Others would simply put the blame squarely on the worker’s union. So much for complains.

When I am confronted with these guys above; the first thing comes to my mind is this:

1. Hey guys but we do make the F14, F15, F16, F18, F22 and they are state of the art flying machines. Think F117 for one and B1 for a second. What about the Apache? To me these are the ultimate machines (well yes killing machines) but I trust you get the point. WE DO NOT LACK THE TECHNOLOGY NOR THE KNOW HOW TO COME UP WITH OUR OWN ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE. The million dollar question is this: why don’t we? alas the military hardware and NASA?
2. What happened to the good old cars of the sixties even the fifties???
3. What happened to the Automatic Transmission?
4. What about the kings of the slant 6 engines and queens of the V8 engines? I can go on and on.





Money Questions:
1. Is it true that there are three approaches/philosophies of automotive industry?

A. The German approach: Give me $60.000 upfront I’ll give a bimmer almost trouble Free for the 1st 5 years or so.
B. The Japanese approach: Give me $12,000-$60.000 upfront I’ll give you a Sentra all the way up to 430 Lexus. Almost trouble free for the 1st 5 years or so.
C The American Approach: Is neither a German nor Japanese. You will get more for your money. Luxury / comfort / low RPM / quite engine /55MPH type of a deal. BUT BEWARE you miss with me I may throw in a VIPER for you. Fair game?
D. Some how Swedish cars seldom come up as an issue in these discussions. Sorry for keeping you out Saab/Volvo and thanks for your safety though.

Some vitamins or some sparks if you wish for further discussions and reflections:

1. Hasn’t Lexus proven that luxury and reliability aren’t mutually exclusive? Yes? May be? Is Lexus a Japanesse Mercedes replica? Did Infinity find its roots in a British jaguar.
2. Please Read the following passages I have quoted from another forum and I quote:
“The quality of German engineering depends on which German car you buy. VW has had reliability issues for decades. Opel is crap (figures, what with it being GM). Audi, even though it's a VW company, is generally pretty solid. Mercedes and BMW are generally bulletproof. But, yeah, you have to keep up with maintenance. That's the case for pretty much any car. Maintenance costs can be an issue with German cars” End quote

3. Do I have to be a divorced orthodontic going through a mid-live crisis to buy a Porsche or if my money is very tide can I settle for a base Z28 with no options for an invoice price of $20.000 and when confronted with a mid life crisis order it with the SS package for about $3000 or more??

CAN SOMEONE HELP US TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON HERE???

Regards
Billb
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-28-2004, 07:40 PM
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im sorry are we talking about cars, planes or what.

i think i get waht ur saying, your labeling each country with a style of car

<span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:blue'> theres no replacement for displacement </span></span>
im so hardcore. i dont even have cup holders
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-28-2004, 07:43 PM
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Dear Hoppy's

I take the fifth on this one.
regards
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-28-2004, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by billB@Sep 28 2004, 06:27 PM
3.
1. Do I have to be a divorced orthodontic going through a mid-live crisis to buy a Porsche?

2. or if my money is very tide can I settle for a base Z28 with no options for an invoice price of $20.000 and when confronted with a mid life crisis order it with the SS package for about $3000 more??

CAN SOMEONE HELP US TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON HERE???

Regards
Billb
[snapback]200991[/snapback]
Answers:
1. No. I met an orthopedic dr. today when driving him to the airport...who is married with at least 1 kid. He just bought a Porsche 911....in addition to his e36 M3 that he already owns.

2. No actually...you have your numbers wrong. Let me help you out.
Quote:
Pricing for the Chevrolet base Camaro commences at $16,840, the z28 enters at $21,165, the SS model is by special order only, and costs approximately $4,000 to $7,000 more than the z28.
I also found that the price differs with the year of the Camaro.
Quote:
The "base" 1998 Camaro Z28: ...with the new LS1 engine checking in at $22,000.
They also give another price: base Z28 price...they say is $20,640.
This should help....Duke University's Comparison: The American F-Body vs. The German 911 Carrera S

Hope that helps with the Camaro part.
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#5 (permalink) Old 09-28-2004, 08:00 PM
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common im running off 4 hours of sleep in the past 2 days. bear with me here...

<span style='font-size:11pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:blue'> theres no replacement for displacement </span></span>
im so hardcore. i dont even have cup holders
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2004, 08:29 PM
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Pricing/ corrections are well taken. What about the main point/ big picture?

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#7 (permalink) Old 09-28-2004, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by billB@Sep 28 2004, 07:29 PM
What about the main point/ big picture?

regards
[snapback]201041[/snapback]
Well....I think you're going to find out that each person is different. Each person has different tastes, likes and dislikes. It is going to vary from person to person.

There isn't going to be ONE right answer. Unless you can convice me otherwise.
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-28-2004, 10:44 PM
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I think you're going to find out that each person is different

I agree and of course that is what makes us unique as humans. But the main point of the post is this: If the Germans are WILLING to produce a car like the Bimmer why ford or GM are not? We all know they have the Technology to do so; and the jetfighters example above is the proof. As such this post is not meant to be a ramble about airplanes or people's with different choices when it comes to cars. It is a much bigger and much wider pictures.

I don't think I have an answer; I couldn't come up with one convincing answer by myself and then decided to post it with the hope I'll get a smart answer from intelligent people like you on this forum.

Thanks for the reply
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#9 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 02:41 AM
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APACHE - is that the helicopter that cannot fly in dust, rain, snow, sleet, hail, cloud, sunshine etc???


You must have different VW's over there - they're known for their reliability over here.

Take your point on the OPEL but saying that, I had a vauxhall cavalier (english version of OPEL) which had 150,000 miles on her when I retired her and still the engine started first time and ran sweet as a nut - Despite me thrashing the arse off it for 5 years.

Personally I would never buy an American car or a British car - As most british cars are now owned by american companies and have therefore suffered in the quality stakes - The baby JAG (x type) is now nothing more than a FORD mondeo with a jaguar looking body shell. Aston Martin - once each car was individually hand made, now under FORD ownership they have implemented a PRODUCTION LINE for god sake!!!

OK Bentley and Rolls Royce have passed to German companies and what about rover??? DON'T EVEN GO THERE - I wouldn't piss on a rover/MG if it was on fire.

The only decent British car companies left are the likes of Caterham and such like, but even bloody TVR has just been bought by a 23 yr old Russian.

Nope, I'm afraid it's German or Jap all the way for me - People might slate jap (RICER) cars, but in the last 10 years they have become world leaders in car manufacturing technology and produce many of the best cars in Britiain (My dad will buy nothing but Mazda and my brother only runs highly tuned Nissans).

PS Unions kill every industry eventually - look at the state of British industry, dead as a dodo!
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#10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 07:24 AM
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BEEL Z
Thanks for your thought. Also Land Rover is owned by BMW. The Range rover looks sharp this year not sure of how much of a bimmer quality in it!!

Regards
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#11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 08:07 AM
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First off -- GREAT TOPIC!!!!

It's about time someone approaches this subject in a calm manner cheers to Bill B.

Okay. I am somewhat closer to the american auto industry than most of the 'kids' on this forum. I work for a large american truck manufacturer, that has some seriously close ties to Ford Motor Co. I have worked on joint venture vehicles closely with both Ford and Mazda engineers and management, so I hope I can offer some insight to your basic point.

I am going to make some generalizations here, so bear with me, I hope I can explain my self out...

Most americans, IMHO are uncultured rednecks and have ZERO appreciation for what it takes to produce an automobile. Nearly anyone who lives in fly-over country could care less about style or engineering. WHen the average per capita is less than $30K out her, it's all about the money. 35K for a 3 series? for that money I can get a mini van, suv, or buick lesabre. Its a perception of getting more metal for your money that drives the masses away from expensive imports.

Why can't Ford or Chevy build a car of the same quality/dynamics/etc..? Because we won't buy it. A $35K ford focus? $45K tarus? C'mon... Where do you think all the flack about a $60K VW is coming from? A $35K camaro is just absurd to most americans, they perceive that there isn't enough metal in the car to warrant the high cost.

If it costs an extra $50K in tooling to make some stylish creases in a sheet metal panel, Ford would find a way to not make those creases and settle on a cheaper style. If a bracket costs 10 cents and lasts 10 years, or 5 cents and 3 years, chances are, Ford will choose the 5 cent bracket. Offer more than black, tan and grey interior colors? TOo much money. If it takes an extra 2 men on the assembly line to install something, they will find a way to change the design of the part so that its simpler to install, even if it looks worse. Take a look at a lesabre's interor you'll see what I mean...


And we eat them up. Americans are sold on perception. Perceived convienence, perceived value. DOes a soccer mom care that her mini van is a turd in the performance dept? No. But she probably paid more money for the one with the sliding door on BOTH sides!

Most americans are lazy. To lazy to shift, to lazy to open their own trunk, to lazy close their own doors, etc... Look at the 'convienence' features on some high end american vehicles. Are they on the European vehicles? um...

So how am I different from my redneck, lazy generalizations? I'm not, but I do have and education, and can appreciate what it takes to bring a vehicle to market.

Edit -- As to most of the people enganged in this forum...

Need a new sig...

A BMW is for the soul, a Chevy is for groceries...

BAN KRAFTFAHRER!!!!
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#12 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 12:24 PM
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Schilke
Thanks for the reply. If the following statement is true:
Why can't Ford or Chevy build a car of the same quality/dynamics/etc..? Because we won't buy it. A $35K ford focus?
Don't we pay alot more for different cars?
To the quality shortcuts you mentioned ? At ford/Gm does competition play a major role at the end product? or it is what you described? If true where this path is going to lead to?

NOTE: There is no wrong no right no smart no whatever answers to this topic; as long as it respects other member's opinion.

Thank you again Schilke
regards
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#13 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 02:31 PM
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OK... my turn.

First of all, let me start by saying I currently have three cars, a 1988 Fiero Gt (auto,V6, my fun car), a 1992 Camaro RS (V6, 5speed, daily commuter) and a 1997 BMW 540ia...


Some of you may not know what a Fiero GT looks like. A fun little mid-transverse V6 engine, two seater (1988 was the last year of production). The thing the killed this car was quality and marketing... The car was meant for women believe or not. The first few years the car was plague by many engine problems including over-heating/fires and under-power. By the time the bugs were out of the car, it was too late. Toyota copied the design, the MR2....
note: the car has 82K miles never had any problems with it! quality: 7

The Camaro, As I see it, this car was meant to go from point a to point b... Just get there... There is no quality and as for reliable, it has been good to me. The car only has 60K miles. quality 2

The beamer, what can I say, the ultimate driving machine!

In my opinion, american car makers, targets masses rather than a few... for the masses you get an ok car with low pricing. For the few you get a more reliable car for more money.
One thing that I noticed, chevy models have the worse quality compare to other GM labels (like pontiac)


LOS
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#14 (permalink) Old 09-29-2004, 08:08 PM
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Dear LOS

I guess I knew what I was doing when I emailed you today from work. I will say this:

1. You’ve always added a rational and balanced approach to almost every topic we crossed so far. To that end I have to say Thank You for the great advice/opinion/help you produced so far.
Now to follow up on your reply I wish to add the following key points:

A. You stated: Toyota copied the design; the MR2....Isn’t it a fact that the whole notion behind Lexus is to follow the leads of Mercedes? Great car for sure in terms of quality, look, and pricing (at least for what you get compared with Mercedes’ price) but let us stop and think for a moment about this copying business. The emblem on: it is that funny looking “L” looks like 2/3 of the Mercedes star. 300 series, 400 series, the LS, SC. Body style, front, rear, sides you name it; so much resemblance to Mercedes. In fact many people get the same feeling about Nissan/Infinity another great car which also has so many roots in Jaguars’ classic interior/gauges/clocks/shifters/wood trims etc.
B. The above point leads us to believe your point that the Japanese automakers while excellent at quality vs. pricing still like to toy with the whole idea of “imitation”; and further they seldom fail at it. To be sure take a look at the sides and wheels of the 2004 new Mitsubishi Endeavor and see how much resemblance to the Jeep grand Cherokee is there. I bet you for your same BUCK (by the way you lost by half last time you bet) you will find the endeavor is another copy of a Jeep but with 50 or more “less bugs” and probably a saving of thousands of $$$ over the Jeep! The same holds true of the Lexus RX3 series resemblance to the ML3 series. We can go on and on.
C. AS I stated earlier we are not in the business of passing judgments good or bad on anyone. We are simply thinking a loud hoping to reach a common ground on these issues with due respect to every member's opinion.

And till next post I wish you the best
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#15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by billB@Sep 29 2004, 12:24 PM
Schilke
Thanks for the reply. If the following statement is true:
Why can't Ford or Chevy build a car of the same quality/dynamics/etc..? Because we won't buy it. A $35K ford focus?
Don't we pay alot more for different cars?
To the quality shortcuts you mentioned ? At ford/Gm does competition play a major role at the end product? or it is what you described? If true where this path is going to lead to?

NOTE: There is no wrong no right no smart no whatever answers to this topic; as long as it respects other member's opinion.

Thank you again Schilke
regards
[snapback]201397[/snapback]
As LOS said, those of us who have the wherewithall, appreciation, and desire, purchase the more expensive cars. BMW to the few, GM to the masses.

The latest edition of Crain's Automotive News has lists of North American vehicle production. Granted, it isn't a reflection on sales, but it gives a good idea:

Total NA GM from January to 9/11/2004: 3,476,502
Ford same dates: 2,488,673
Chrysler Same Dates: 1,868,415
Ready for this, BMW, same dates: 105,297

Even without knowing how many BMW imports, its not nearly enough to equal the big 3.

I fully believe, because truck manufacturing is very similar, that the equation:

(Cost)(Quality)(Delivery) = Constant is true.

We can't have low cost AND high quality AND 18-24 month vehicle development times.

As for competition, Ford has stopped competing with Japanese manufacturers, because they own one. Why compete when you can buy one? Ford builds American style cars for those masses who want them. THey also own the company (Mazda) that builds Japanese style cars for those who want them! There is no competition.

Product Development is not driven these days by the 'competition' but rather the quest for more profit.

Can I build a lower cost tarus? No. But I can build a ford 500, for the same cost as a tarus and charge more for it. Aha!!

Even my company does this. Why are we coming out with a new class 3, 4, 5 medium duty truck? Not because GM/Isuzu, Hino, and Mitsubishi have ones, but because we want more money. It has to be better than the competition by default for the business case to make sense. We want to become a much larger company.

It's a suttle difference, but it's there. THe idealists are the ones that tell you,"We are gonna make a car to compete with Japan!"

But in reality its more like, "We can make millions if we introduce a car in this market segment."

Need a new sig...

A BMW is for the soul, a Chevy is for groceries...

BAN KRAFTFAHRER!!!!
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