Jay Leno on How to Fix the Automotive Industry: "It Ain't That Hard, Folks. Make Better Cars."

Jay Leno (who has a collection of over 100 automobiles - must be one really large garage) has a simple yet brilliant advice for Detroit carmakers on how to get things back on track: make better cars!

When you get into a high-priced, well-made American car today and
the key is in the ignition, you hear a melodic bong, bong. But when you get in a cheap American car, like a rental, and the key is left in, it goes plink, plink, plink. It’s just horrible. Every time you use the turn signal, it’s like breaking a chicken leg. In order to make the more expensive car more appealing, U.S. companies feel as though they have to dumb down the cheaper car.

I believe that, all things being equal, Americans will buy American. It just has to be as good as the competition; it doesn’t have to be better. The classic example is Harley-Davidson. Throughout the ’70s, the motorcycle maker had huge quality-control problems. Then Harley-Davidson said, “Look, let’s take our time. Let’s build fewer bikes. Let’s build them properly, so they don’t leak oil and they’ll run forever.” Harley-Davidson won back the market share it had lost, and it continues to dominate today. Even though the bikes might not be technically superior, they’re bulletproof and they’re American. People will buy American if given the chance.

Link - via reddit


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And read up on the situation Greg Palast's book armed mad house catalogues the tricks and double dealing, the govt collusion involved in stealing the pensions of generations of MOTOWNs car workers.
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Ed Hands

If you despise the unions so much here's an idea...

PROVE IT.

Go to work 7 days a week 364 days of the year, 12 hours a day until you die.

Like your forebears did and theirs and theirs before them, until people unionised and fought for their human rights.

I was not actually saying Unions walk on water.

American Unions are idiots.

But Detroit management are theives.

I just object to people who pour scorn on unions when they on a DAILY BASIS enjoy the fruits of the last couple of centuries of unionisation.

So either revert to a 17th century workign style or admit that Unions are not the rreason why no one, not even Americans, want your incredibly crappy cars.
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Plox wrote: "Fair pay, the 8 hour day,an end to child labour, industrial tribunals, equal pay, payment for overtime, safety at work, complaints procedures, pensions, hell even THE WEEKEND let alone any holiday entitlement.

NONE of this was a bountiful gift from the management."

Detroit has a 17.7% unemployment rate (http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11920743)

You can put all the blame on management if you would like, but in a world where they are forced to compete against companies that don't have to use unionized labor, (and where their unions continue to make foolish demands while ignoring the realities of the economic climate) the reality is that the unions have done their fair share to destroy the U.S. Auto industry just as much as management has.

So while you are patting the unions on the back, those former union employees are busy losing their jobs and collecting $335/week unemployment.
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If Harley's are "bulletproof" then why is that the only bikes I see broken down along the road are HARLEY'S???

(I live an hour south of Daytona and during BikeFest most of the bikes are TRAILERED into town...)
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