A Fine Day for a Drive

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Steve Chapman argues that we've entered a golden age of automobiles, thanks to global competition:

A few decades ago, American automakers were the titans of American industry, bestriding the economy like a colossus. But in recent years, they have been relentlessly out-competed by foreign automakers that have forced them to strive for ever-rising standards. This translates into misery for Detroit, but bliss for consumers.

The latest Initial Quality Survey from J. D. Power and Associates illustrates this unnoticed phenomenon. It says that in the first 90 days of ownership, 2006 model vehicles experienced the fewest problems of any year on record—a 59 percent reduction since 1992.

Consumer Reports, which does more-extensive, long-run surveys, found comparable results. Since 1980, the trouble rate for new cars has been cut by about 80 percent. Just about every automaker has gotten better—to the point that the worst makes are now more reliable than the best ones were back then.

For the full argument, read the whole thing.

NEXT: Kenneth, What Was the Frequency?

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  1. This is the sort of benefit that the anti-NAFTA, anti-outsourcing, anti-immigrant crowd would like to stop. After all, those poor UAW people and their families are hurting.

    And has anyone been to Detroit recently? It’s a hellhole of a city. Vacant lots and grass growing in the streets, even just a few blocks away from the General Motors headquarters building…

    Clearly, this sort of thing Must Be Stopped, by making all Americans pay more for their products and services, and accept lower quality.

  2. Back in my anti everything stage of development, which inspired most of my songwriting, and which I still exploit for autistic, I mean artistic purposes today, I wrote a song called “Useless Shit” with lines like “Useless shit/my life’s full of it/I wake up in the morning and already feel sick”, etc. Amidst this song is the tortured couplet: “The coffee isn’t hot/the car doesn’t start”. Anyway, it’s sinced occurred to me that this line, actually written way back in 1981, has become rather dated cause cars are just so much better now. The car not starting just seemed like a much more real concern back then, something that might generally hang over your head, especially if you weren’t middle class and didn’t have a brand new car. But now? Well, life’s hardly trouble free, but the car not starting seems more like a weird anomaly than something that could happen at any time with just a little goddamn motherfucking bad luck.

  3. I can now save all that repair money to pay for gas.

  4. Well, life’s hardly trouble free, but the car not starting seems more like a weird anomaly than something that could happen at any time with just a little goddamn motherfucking bad luck.

    fyodor! language! Go wash your mouth out with soap.

  5. I’m not sure it can be a Golden Age if GM is still in business. Just look at what it did to SAAB.

  6. I had some auto repair work done recently, and it occurred to me that with the two Accords I own, with approximately 375,000 miles driven between them, I’ve had about $1200 dollars of repair work done, beyond oil changes and new spark plugs. Remarkable.

  7. The reason is clear: Car onboard systems don’t run on Windows.

  8. Thread Mother,

    Do I have t–rrrrrrrassmmmmmmmmmgshhmmmmmmaaiikkk…

  9. I can now save all that repair money to pay for gas.

    I don’t think the article said anything about repair costs. Just that there are fewer problems.

  10. I don’t think the article said anything about repair costs. Just that there are fewer problems.

    yeah it didn’t say anything about having a sense of humor either.

  11. If the article says that modern cars are more trouble-free than before, I can only assume that Dodge Neons were not included in the survey.

    Never, ever buy one.

  12. Don’t be a tease, Jennifer.

    Tell us of your Neon woes.

  13. AC,

    You mean, make them decent?

  14. Jennifer speaks the truth. I just shelled out several hundred bucks to fix my wife’s relatively low-mileage Neon whose warranty had expired, of course. My mechanic told me the reason was shoddy workmanship, plain and simple. I think those cars are rigged to implode right after 5 years/50,000 miles.

  15. wellfellow,

    If by “make them decent,” you mean “make them into an uninteresting and unreliable GM platform car,” then yes. There’s a reason SAAB Auto stopped turning a profit after GM bought them.

  16. AC,

    That’s partly true, but the 9-3 Sportcombi is damn handsome for a little wagon.

  17. Isn’t the Sportcombi really a Subaru with some fancier interior styling?

  18. I think we’re overestimating the average consumer here. Sure, people are concerned about reliability, but in general they’re more concerned about how their new car makes them feel. You might protest that this may be true with teenagers who need to impress the girls with a bitchin’ Camaro, but not more mature car buyers. But take that idiotic “Low Ego Emissions” ad campaign by Volkswagon, for example. It’s just a creative way to say “our cars’ distinguishing characterstic is a complete lask of distinguishing characteristics,” or “the car for people who want everyone else to know that they have nothing to prove to everyone else.” Old people buy Lincolns , Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs. Soccer moms buy SUVs. Democrats buy Subarus and hybrids. Reliability is a marginal part of the equation so long as it’s somewhere above that of a Yugo. It’s mostly about how the car makes you feel and price.

    GM and Ford don’t make bad products, they just make frickin’ UGLY ones. They could both sell more cars if they’d just hire some designers who didn’t churn out one committee-designed bastard after another. I can’t think of a single American car that I’d rate higher than “OK” in the looks department. The fact that Dodge still exists is proof that people will buy any unreliable scrap heap so long as they like the way it looks.

  19. Kevin:

    That’s generally the rule with American cars. I’ve logged more Ford Taurus horror stories than I care to remember.

    I bought a Solara, and I’m never looking back. From now on, all my cars are coming from the land of the rising sun (or their plants in America).

  20. Jennifer is exactly right about the Neons, though my husband can now change a starter in 15 minutes flat…

  21. Vanya,

    Prolly, but I’m only talking about the fancy styling. Saab interiors have excellent fit and finish quality.

    Mad Scientist,

    You’d be surprised how little it has to do with the quality of the designers. A great many of them have been recruited from car companies famous for their great designs, in fact. Car companies are like revolving doors for designers. One year’s BMW designer is next year’s Saturn designer is next year’s Volvo designer. Besides which, the F-150 and the Solstace look fantastic. Most Opels and Volvos are handsome, too.

  22. I bought a Solara, and I’m never looking back. From now on, all my cars are coming from the land of the rising sun (or their plants in America).

    Well, since virtually all Japanese cars (except maybe the high-end Lexus and Acura) come from US plants and use US-made parts, I think you can safely call them American-built.

    OTOH, since there are so many Mexican- and Canadian-made parts in your average GM car (trust me on this one; I own three Chevys) you could also safely call them foreign imports.

  23. I’m curious how the more protectionist in bent feel about foreign companies who operate factories in the United States? Presumably they aren’t staffing most of the jobs with personnel from their home countries.

  24. The SAAB 9-2X is the Saaburu, and the SAAB 9-7X is just a rebadged Chevy Trailblazer. As far as I know, the 9-3 SportCombi is a new design.

  25. The good Captain expressed my thoughts before I did. 🙂

  26. AC,

    True, rebadging is nothing new, secret, or unique to ‘American’ cars. Many times, rebadging is an opportunity to put a little more cost into the product styling that got cut earlier in development.

    bzial,

    How do they feel? My guess, apoplectic.

    Capt. Holly, yeah, I don’t think there’s any such thing as (insert country) cars. They’re all hodge-podge as far as I know.

  27. bzail,

    When I was in grad school, I was in a union that was affiliated, for some strange reason, with the UAW. I used to get their newsletter.

    I never saw a single article, letter, or opinion piece – not one, in the two years I received the magazine – disparaging foreign-owned car companies, or fronting for the “Big Three.”

    As with the immigration debate, people’s assumptions about the unions’ position on the question doesn’t match up very well with what those unions actually support.

  28. Yeah, Joe, they never disparage foreign car companies. Just don’t park a Japanese/German car in one of their lots.

    You couldn’t be more wrong. The assumptions are dead on.

  29. joe,

    Unless you work at a domestic auto plant and want to park your Toyota there, of course.

  30. Short term reliability may have improved, but what about long term? What happens when the all-singing all-dancing steering wheel (radio controls, cruise control controls, climate control controls, cellphone, GPS, three-speed airbag, et c.) in your car is fifteen (or two) years old, and something goes wrong with it?

    I reject complexity for its own sake. But, what do I know? I still think that the Lotus Super Seven is the perfect car.

  31. I prefer a nice morning drive myself.

  32. P. Brooks,

    There’s no shame in thinking any Lotus is the perfect car…

  33. i hate to defend joe, but… My father works for Ford, and when he started at that plant several years ago no one ever said a thing to him about driving a Subaru every day (other than some general ribbing). He would also, on rare occasions, arrive in his ’63 Corvette, which was met with approval rather than, “Why don’t you buy a Mustang?” He’s since switched to the Ford Probe, which is right on par with a Neon for craptacular reliability. The UAW workers at American auto companies tend to drive the vehicle their employer makes for loyalty, sure, but also because they get a whopping employee discount. It doesn’t make financial sense to buy a competitor’s car when you can get one from your employer for less money than the dealerships can get them.

  34. Mad,

    I wish I believed that your story was more common. Plus, to the UAW worker, there’s a HUGE difference between an American competitor and a foreign one.

  35. Don’t be a tease, Jennifer. Tell us of your Neon woes.

    WHY NEONS SUCK

    First, I’m going to ignore things like the multiple problems with the CD player, since those problems don’t interfere with the actual workings of the car itself. No, this focuses on problems that result in an actual inability to get where you need to go.

    PROBLEM ONE: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM?

    About 18 months ago I had a problem with the dome light in my car–sometimes it would come on when I opened the door, sometimes it wouldn’t. But Jeff and I were in the process of moving to a new apartment, so I didn’t have time to deal with a minor annoyance like a dark dome light.

    By the time we finished moving our 18,486 tons of personal possessions out of Domicile A and into Domicile B I’d grown accustomed to having no dome light, and while I meant to get it fixed sooner or later other things kept coming up.

    Bad mistake. A month or so after that, when I started my car one day, I noticed that all the needles on the dashboard were moving all over the place before settling into their proper positions. Hmm, I thought. Jeff made an appointment for a dealer to look at my car the following week, which might have solved the problem except the next day the car wouldn’t start at all.

    So I was carless for a couple of days, and when I got the car back the dealer said the wiring in the domelight had fused, so it was drawing power from the battery 24 hours a day. But since he fixed it I figured that was that.

    PROBLEM TWO: SERIOUSLY: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS ELECTRICAL SYSTEM?

    A year passed, during which time I NEVER went more than 36 hours without driving my car someplace. Then came a three-month period last year where I was telecommuting, rather than driving to work. So I literally went weeks at a time without driving my car anywhere. Then, when I tried to go somewhere one night, the battery was stone dead.

    So I call AAA, the car gets towed to the dealer, and I got a new battery. The car worked beautifully for two days. Then I again went a couple days without driving, and again found a stone-dead battery. Again: call AAA, tow to dealer, new battery.

    Two days later: dead battery. After about two or three more trips to the dealer, it was obvious that the battery was dying whenever I went more than 2 days without driving the car. Of course, I had a hell of a time getting the dealer to believe this, until I gave him the car one Friday night and said “It works fine now, but see what happens Monday.” Turned out to be yet another electrical problem sucking that battery dry. But I guess they fixed it and I haven’t had any electrical problems lately, except that my trip odomoeter doesn’t work. Of course, I’ve also stopped telecommuting and once again drive every day.

    PROBLEM THREE: WHERE IS ALL THIS GODDAMNED WATER COMING FROM?

    A Web search reveals that this is apparently a common problem among Neon owners–if you park the car anyplace where the relative humidity is more than .00000001 percent, you will get HUGE amounts of condensation inside your car.

    In winter, I have to scrape ice off the INSIDE of my windshield. No exaggeration. On humid summer days, if I go more than three days without driving anywhere, I end up with enormous drops of condensation slobbering off my back window. Remember when I mentioned going a few weeks without driving? Well, my cloth back seats got so damp, you’d seriously think someone had dumped about three buckets of water on them. When I pressed the seats with my hand, it was like pressing a sopping sponge, with so much water coming out that my hand was almost completely submerged in that puddle. I actually had MOLD COLONIES growing on my seatbelts in the backseat. After three hours of work, two rolls of paper towels, and a LOT of driving with the windows rolled down, I managed to eat least get the seats dried out, but my interior windows are still steamed up every morning.

    And if you are trying to drive up a hill with a slope of more than ten degrees off the plane you can’t go more than 5 miles an hour. And if you are driving faster than 65 mph the whole car starts shaking like an epileptic belly dancer.

    DAMN, I hate that car. And I had no idea this rant would last so long.

    (SHAMELESS PLUG: After all the nice comments I got from my guest-blogging gig last week, I decided to start one of my own, which I just put up last night. If for some reason you enjoy reading the rantings of moody misanthropes, then by all means click on my name. Although there’s no car stuff there–I decided to start with some relatively nice and non-controversial posts.)

  36. Wellfellow, I won’t try to make the case that my father’s situation is typical. However, I don’t think the view that “all foreign cars are bad” is as widespread with American auto workers as it once was. I work for a company that makes an instant messaging product, and I don’t know of anyone in the company who gets upset with friends who use AIM or Yahoo! Instant Messenger instead. I doubt the Pepsi delivery man really has it out for the Coke delivery man. A lot of that foreign car resentment was a result of employees who equated buying foreign cars with supporting the enemy during WWII. Those guys are all retired now.

  37. Cheer up, Jennifer. Why, in a couple more years, that car might be worth 75 or 80 per cent of the outstanding balance on the loan.

  38. since virtually all Japanese cars … come from US plants and use US-made parts, I think you can safely call them American-built.

    Here’s an article y’all might find enlightening. Sure it’s self-serving, but it contains, among other things, some interesting figures on the relative “US-ness” of various cars.

  39. Cheer up, Jennifer. Why, in a couple more years, that car might be worth 75 or 80 per cent of the outstanding balance on the loan.

    It is at least paid for. Debt is baaaaaad shit.

  40. Mad Scientist,
    As a side note, the Ford Probe is craptacular because it is just a rebranded Mazda 626/MX6. Mazda wasn’t known for reliability in the early 90s.

  41. Cars would be much cheaper without all the govt. regulations imposed since the 1970s. See: Craig S. Marxsen on relative prices.

    fyodor:

    If you need to bring the room up after Useless Shit, may I recommend Guy Clark & Rodney Crowell’s Stuff That Works? (? Crowell & Clark)

    Stuff that works, stuff that holds up
    The kind of stuff you don’t hang on the wall
    Stuff that’s real, stuff you feel
    The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall

    Would you believe that’s how my family felt about our AMC Hornet? A tremendously simple car, mechanically, it ran and ran and ran. My Mom passed it on to my brother when he started commuting to college. Some numbskull sideswiped him on the Douglaston parkway in Queens, and the insurance company had to write it off as “totaled”. Amazingly, even though its body was crumpled on one side like the bellows end of an accordion, it still ran!

    Kevin

  42. joe: I never saw a single article, letter, or opinion piece – not one, in the two years I received the magazine – disparaging foreign-owned car companies, or fronting for the “Big Three.”

    As with the immigration debate, people’s assumptions about the unions’ position on the question doesn’t match up very well with what those unions actually support.

    The library in my hometown received Solidarity for several years, which was odd, as there wasn’t a UAW-affiliated plant within 200 miles.

    There were plenty of articles demanding protectionist legislation (this was in the 1980s and early 1990s), along with articles ridiculing the Harbour reports comparing plant efficiency of the various manufacturers (the domestics regularly lagged behind Toyota, Honda and Nissan in those days; now some GM plants have closed the gap).

    The bottom line is that if the UAW had its way in those days, customer choice would have been sharply curtailed due to protectionist measures supported by the UAW. To say that the UAW didn’t support legislation or measures that would have restricted imports of Japanese cars is to deny reality.

  43. Jennifer:

    Thanks for the warning about Neons. Yuck.

    The dead battery scenario you describe is often the result of an alternator going bad (on any car). The alternator of course generates electricity when the motor is running to run accessories and keep the battery charged. It’s got a little thing called a reversing diode inside it– when the motor is turned off this acts as a switch, breaking the circuit. Yup, these do go bad. When it does, every time you turn off the engine the alternator becomes a dead ground. People erroniously replace batteries frequently because of this.

    As to your condensation problem, have you checked the well in the trunk? If you’ve got a water leak around the trunk lid seal rain will accumulate in the lowest point inside. All that condensation in the interior of the vehicle has got to come from water somewhere, if it’s not leaking from a heater hose or something. You might have a lake down by the spare tire. The trunk well should have rubber plugs to remove for draining.

    And oh, I’ve overall been very happy with Toyota Corollas.

  44. Just another lurker–

    From what I understand, the alternator was one of the first things the dealer checked. During that period when I went through five or six batteries in the course of a few weeks, I think the dealer thought I was pulling some sort of scam against either him or AAA. They did check the really obvious things first, but in both cases the problem was something in my car that would not turn off, but sucked tiny bits of electricity from the battery all the time–not a problem when I was starting the car and driving it many miles each day, but it became noticeable when I was telecommuting, or earlier when I took some time off work to move.

    And you’re right about the trunk being non-watertight, but it’s not a broken seal or anything; it’s just how it was made. When you close the trunk it doesn’t fully close, if you know what I mean. This model was one of the first to have a “kidnap-proof” trunk that can be opened from the inside; I suspect that has something to do with it.

  45. Jennifer, two words: Hon-Da.

    I’ve owned exactly two cars in my almost forty years of clean living. A Honda Accord and a Honda Accord. The current one is a nicer model, but they both have been great, service-wise. The only annoyance I’ve had is with the A/C, and that’s not been a serious problem. The current Accord is at 140,000 miles without a major problem to date.

    I might branch out to an Acura or maybe a Honda SUV next time around (or not, depending on gas prices, I suppose), but I just like reliability too much to change to another automaker. Of course, I’m probably un-American in the fact that I keep cars for years after I’ve paid them off. And I think car leasing is Satan’s work.

  46. I would like to commiserate with Jennifer.

    ’99 Saturn:

    Electrical problem. What is it? A short? Or something worse? I really don’t know, but I did have to pop the hood every time I wanted to start the damn thing.

    Leaky sunroof. Definitely the manufacturer’s fault.

    Tires. I’m sorry, but there really is no reason I can see that in 3 years I replaced 6 tires.

    I do not recommend buying Saturns, no matter how hot the new Sky may look.

    Two weeks ago, I GAVE THIS CAR AWAY. Yup, didn’t even try to sell it. I gave it away. That’s how much I hated it.

  47. Jennifer,

    My brother’s fiancee (now wife) had a 1998 Neon when they first married. They feel your pain…and they now drive a Toyota Echo and a Honda Accord. Surprised?

    As for your comment, “First, I’m going to ignore things like the multiple problems with the CD player, since those problems don’t interfere with the actual workings of the car itself. No, this focuses on problems that result in an actual inability to get where you need to go”:

    I understand where you are coming from – you had plenty of other things to worry about with this clunker. But here’s a contrasting experience:

    Recently the radio display on my 2003 Accord went blank. The radio worked fine, but I couldn’t see the station number (or the clock). The car was well out of the 3 years/36,000 mile warranty (I have 57,000 miles on the car).

    When I took it to the Honda dealer, I was told that Honda would replace the unit for free, as “the company believes this shouldn’t have happened, and stands behind the product.”

    I took the car in yesterday, and it was repaired at no cost to me. The service manager even called me today to make sure that I’m satisfied with the repair!

    The sad part is that I can’t imagine that willingness to stand behind the product from GM, Ford or Chrysler.

  48. Jennifer:

    Ah, well, it does sound like a funky electrical system. And to sympathize with the repair shop, very hard to troubleshoot. Old Fiats used to also have this problem.

    A “kidnap-proof” trunk latch? Ha ha ha! You’ll have to disable this before you throw Ann Coulter in there, won’t you?

  49. geeber,

    . . .And somewhere in Japan, a designer committed seppuku, while bowing over and over again to your picture and begging forgiveness. I freakin’ love the Japanese dedication to quality. And their obsession with robots, but that’s another story.

    The Germans have a similar dedication to quality, only they kill someone else when a defect pops up.

  50. Okay, not to be a contrarian or anything, but… I drive a 2000 Neon, and am relatively happy with the car. The A/C’s dead, and it has a few quirks, but nothing as horrid as what y’all are describing.

    OTOH, my worst-ever experience with a car was a POS Honda whose name I still curse every time I think of it. (My wife loves Hondas, and insistes that our experience with that one was abberant, but it’s going to take a lot to get me into another Honda.)

    I tend to consider domestic cars these days mainly because I buy older, used vehicles, and the domestics sell for much less than the imports.

    Of course, this is the market reflecting the lower reliability of many domestic makes, but since I’m half-way competent to work on my own vehicle, I can take advantage of this market condition.

  51. A “kidnap-proof” trunk latch? Ha ha ha! You’ll have to disable this before you throw Ann Coulter in there, won’t you?

    I’d rather have the mold colonies come back. At least with them there’s a chance they might evolve into something I don’t mind sharing the planet with.

    The main problem I have with the CD player is that sometimes, for some reason (I can’t detect any sort of pattern), the motor inside will start whirring so fast that it won’t be able to “catch” the CD and I start playing it. Even when I turn off the car the motor will keep making that “whirr, whirr, whirr” sound. When this happens I know not to even TRY putting in a disc until after the whirring stops.

    Probably the start of a new electrical problem for me.

    When I’m ready to replace this car, I will NEVER buy anything from Dodge again.

  52. When I’m ready to replace this car, I will NEVER buy anything from Dodge again.

    My first new car was a Dodge. I have the same rule.

  53. Heh. I used to have a Nissan with a multi-disc CD changer in it. Damned thing got jammed so badly one time that I had to disassemble the whole unit. Of course, to get at it, I had to first take apart the console.

    Good times, good times.

    Did I mention that this particular Nissan was built, of all places, at a Ford factory…? That’s what the plate said.

    The point of the article, of course, is that all automakers’ quality has gone up.

    Some more than others, of course.

    And some still aren’t anywhere close to being where we spoiled consumers want them to be — again, if the anti-trade folks had their way, we’d be stuck with the vehicles that so well reflected the malaise of the 70s.

  54. Actually, one doesn’t have to go too far on the UAW Web site to find protectionist hand-wringing.

    Is it simply that Detroit doesn’t realize it’s putting out cars in 2006 that still look like pieces of shite driven by villains on old cop shows from the early 80s? Can the entire city be unaware that colors like burgundy and charcoal gray hold about as much cachet these days as Michael Jackson?

  55. I will be a little contrarian here.

    I have an ’04 Dodge Durango with 47k miles on it.

    It’s a sweet ride and I have not had one problem with it.

  56. Jennifer-

    No/ minimal debt? Good for you! I cannot believe the baboons who buy a car they can’t afford, on a FIVE YEAR loan, which guarantees that the car will never be worth more than the loan balance.

    —–

    Mark Fields, of the Ford Motor Company just gave a speech in the past week which called for more help from the feds to “level the playing field.” And then, a day or two later, they announced that they were investing more in Mexican production facilities.

  57. If only so many manufacturing jobs had gone to Mexico instead of China then this whole immigration thing wouldn’t be an issue, right? Right?

  58. P Brooks – I bought a Ford GT with a five year loan, and it certainly worth more than the loan balance. In fact, it’s worth more than what I paid for it…

    I also own an F-150 with 147K miles and have never had any repairs done. None. Not $1 beyond regularly scheduled maintenance.

    You get what you pay for…

  59. Lemur:

    I think you would agree that the GT is a special case. I am jealous, but despite the fact that I might like to HAVE one, I don’t want one so badly that I would actually BUY one. I’d rather have a Super Seven with a Cosworth BDA.

    —-

    “You get what you pay for…”

    Are you trying to imply that I should try paying more than fifteen hundred bucks for my next car? I have never paid more than fifteen hundred bucks for a car, and I have never made a car payment. I work on million dollar cars, I don’t buy them.

  60. Have a Nissan Altima, am very happy with it. Got it at 47K miles, have just about hit 108K so far.

    What pisses me off about all of this is dammit, there is NO REASON why the US automobile manufacturers should be continually churning out such mediocre-quality stuff! We have the best engineering schools in the world! Back in the 1960s we went to the Moon! What has happened to us?! There is NO REASON why GM or Ford or Chrysler shouldn’t be putting out world-beating technology, cars with great efficiency and reliability, cars that get over 40 mpg, run forever, and drive like a dream!

    Deep breath. All right, calm down.

    The only hope I have is that all the existing US car companies lose so much market share that someone, somewhere, finally gets a clue.

  61. Here is the list of UAW cars. There are some foreign barands on there. Some Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mazda’s and Isuzu’s. So the domestic foreign brand distinction does not apply to many cars these days as far as UAW approval.
    http://www.uaw.org/uawmade/cartruck2006.cfm

  62. My fiance and I have recently been looking at used vehicles. Would anyone here recommend (or not recommend) a 2003 Dodge SX 2.0 R/T in good condition with 77000kms on it?

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