Ford Vs. Chevy? Who Cares?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    [​IMG] by Peter M. DeLorenzo

    Detroit. The drumbeats are growing louder in the media about the fact that GM's Chevrolet division could pass Ford as this country's number one automotive brand this year - after 17 years of running second. Thirty or forty years ago, this might have been a huge story, when legendary auto industry careers were won and lost by the movement of a decimal point in sales. Back then, the battles were knockdown, drag-out, heavyweight fights for the hearts and minds of the American car-buying public, with Ford and Chevy spurring their dealers on to greater and greater heights. Being "No. 1!" was a huge deal - and no expense was spared to make sure every man, woman and child in the country knew who was ahead at the end of the year. And even ad agencies got in on the act - making tidy little profits producing "crosstown chatter" ads in the local and national newspapers solely for the benefit of giving auto sales executives verbal ammunition for the friendly little gin games with their crosstown rivals on Saturdays at the country club. For the Motor City, and the sales chieftains at Ford and Chevrolet, those were indeed the "good old days" - and some actually believed they would never end.

    But now, it's almost a quaint footnote to an era that has long since passed.

    Because while Ford was beating on Chevy and Chevy was beating on Ford - Toyota, Honda, and Nissan waltzed right in and pulled the rug right out from under what once was referred to as the "Big Two."

    While Ford and Chevy battled each other down to the last detail in segments that were created by each other in alternating bouts of brilliance - e.g. Ford's sensational, record-breaking Mustang, answered two years later by the Chevy Camaro - they were ignoring the emergence of the Asian automakers. Let me restate that: they were not only ignoring the Asians, they were dismissing them as an insignificant threat that would never amount to anything.

    The rest, as we well know now, is history.

    I would like to think that a smarter, humbler Chevrolet would quietly mark their ascendance to being the new #1-selling car brand in the U.S. (with an ever-decreasing slice of the overall pie, it should be noted) with a series of low-key internal celebrations and dealer events, followed by a reemphasis on the job at hand - which is to keep the pedal to the metal and spur the new product offensive into ever-increasing sales.

    Aw, who am I kidding? That's notgonnahappen.com.

    Something tells me the gold "#1" lapel pins are being cranked out (after four designs were rejected, "refined" and fussed over, of course) by the hundreds of thousands in some little shop in China right now. And I would bet that the "We're #1" double-truck newspaper ads, magazine ads, billboards and television spots are already approved and in production.

    It's just the classic "Detroit Way." The people at the car companies in this town just can't help themselves, it seems. Have a few good quarters (look at the "buzz" surrounding Chrysler right now), or in this case, pass your longtime rival in sales after 17 years, and spontaneous "high-fiving" breaks out - to the detriment of everything else.

    But the reality of the situation suggests that Chevrolet and GM have absolutely nothing to celebrate.

    First of all, Ford has willingly walked away from thousands of rental fleet sales (a common practice used to inflate sales numbers) and is determined to sell more cars at retail, rather than giving thousands of cars away for nothing - a decided shift in their philosophy and one that is literally transforming the way Ford approaches the auto business. It is also a decision that has left the sales leadership door wide open for Chevrolet.

    The bigger issue for Chevrolet is that for all of the alleged momentum generated by its new "An American Revolution" ad campaign, the fact of the matter is that Chevrolet has been usurped and replaced by Toyota as "America's car company," an unofficial title that Chevrolet has touted throughout its recent history in advertising campaigns like "See the U.S.A in your Chevrolet," "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet," "The Heartbeat of America" and now with "An American Revolution."

    While Chevy was worried about Ford, and vice versa, Toyota was slowly, but surely wending its way into the hearts and minds of American consumers. Toyota's relentless sales event ads were more "Chevrolet" than Chevrolet's sales ads were even in its heyday. The tone, tempo and cadence of Toyota's advertising, combined with the near-flawless quality, reliability and execution of its products - has made Toyota the preferred choice of hundreds of thousands of American consumers. Honda and Nissan added fuel to the fire with compelling product offerings of their own. And the result? A generation of car buyers has walked away from American cars - unlikely to return anytime soon.

    The Ford vs. Chevy sales battle was a colorful part of Detroit's past, a time when the American car companies' unquestioned dominance on their home turf led to intense rivalries and created legendary figures who ruled their fiefdoms with iron fists. It was wild and it was fun, but that era is long gone.

    Now, Ford vs. Chevy is only significant to the people clinging to the notion that this traditional battle means something in the "Big Picture" of the global auto industry, and that the steadily eroding market share that's plaguing what's left of the "Big Two" will somehow stabilize and turn upward soon.

    That's simply wishful thinking. Outside of Detroit - "out there" in the real consumer world, where 60 percent of the people aren't driving vehicles obtained through car companies' discounts - the Ford vs. Chevy "battle" doesn't even register a blip on the radar screen.

    Not only are people "out there" in the real world uninterested in the whole question - they simply couldn't care less.

    And that's the real problem facing Ford and Chevrolet - and the only "battle" they should be concerned with.

    Thanks for listening, see you next Wednesday.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Quote of the Week. Steve Lyons, the Ford Division president, had this to say to the Detroit News about the Chevy vs. Ford sales battle (and Ford's reluctance to prop up sales by dumping cars into rental car fleets, or playing the incentive game to the degree that GM is), "If that costs us leadership, I guess I will be willing to congratulate Chevrolet on becoming the largest seller of rental cars in the world...and they can have that title."

    [​IMG]
     
  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Cliffnotes - Ford and GM are too busy bragging about who's ahead in their ever dwindling share of the US car market, instead of focusing on competing head to head with Toyota and the real competition.
     
  3. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    They dug their own grave.
     
  4. KiddX

    KiddX Tigth as Piston In Ferrari Engine!

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    fixed
     
  5. Straight_Six

    Straight_Six Guest

  6. KiddX

    KiddX Tigth as Piston In Ferrari Engine!

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    :fawk:
     
  7. iZero

    iZero Guest

    For the first time in a while, I would consider owning a new American car. In fact, I just bought one, so I don't think DeLorenzo speaks for everyone. Not only that, I wouldn't consider a single modern Toyota for purchase.

    And before you get too concerned as to what this guy has to say, note that he is working for Diamler-Chrysler now helping make thier ads. Notice how his later articles say nothing bad about Chrysler? :jerkit:
     
  8. KiddX

    KiddX Tigth as Piston In Ferrari Engine!

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    imports are well known for being more reliable than domestics. thats why they sell
     
  9. iZero

    iZero Guest

    And what did Ford come out with? The utterly boring rental-car, the 500. How has this changed their product? It hasn't.
     
  10. iZero

    iZero Guest

    I'm not sure that's true any longer today.
     
  11. KiddX

    KiddX Tigth as Piston In Ferrari Engine!

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    chevy still makes shitty cars, anyone that buys a cavileer is an idiot. same with pontiac... only well built car they offer is the GTO, and its not even a pontiac. chrysler is coming it with some cool stuff, but we will have to wait a few years to see how it holds up to the test of time. toyota/honda/nissan/mazda have been around long enough to prove their stuff lasts.
     
  12. KiddX

    KiddX Tigth as Piston In Ferrari Engine!

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    that isnt saying much
     
  13. iZero

    iZero Guest

    How do you figure Ford is the most reliable domestic brand?
     
  14. KiddX

    KiddX Tigth as Piston In Ferrari Engine!

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    4am + what you just said X :eek3: + :HUH?: = ME
     
  15. hondaluva

    hondaluva likes free hugs...

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    What's so shitty of chevy's lineup? I believe the new Malibu/G6 are HUGE improvements.

    I just don't understand why people don't like the GM products short of the sportycars
     
  16. ngk

    ngk Guest

    shut up you you chevy driven stupid stupid chevy pants
    ford rocks all hale ford
     
  17. ks1983

    ks1983 Guest

    I have one of each (Ford & Chevy). They both suck equally.
     
  18. Chevy350

    Chevy350 OT Supporter

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    Stereotype...i have had/seen two similar vehicles one import and one domestic, both had regular maint done and the import crapped out more than the domestic.

    Furthermore...it depends on the car model and owner's driving habits. if you have a mustang cobra gt driver vs a civic driver it would be obvious to me that the cobra might be driven like it was stolen were as the civic cant be because well IT HAS 5lbs of torque and 50 HP.
     
  19. Quik LS

    Quik LS New Member

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    is not as different as you may think....

    here are the facts:

    [​IMG]


    ---- and ----

    Lincoln dealers win top rating
    J.D. Power ranks brand highest for satisfaction, service
    The Detroit News 07/21/04
    by Christine Tierney
    (Copyright 2003)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A Detroit automaker reclaimed top honors in J.D. Power and Associates' 2004 survey of customer satisfaction with dealer service as Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln brand drew the highest score for the first time ever.

    Lincoln achieved a record-setting 912 points out of a possible 1,000, reflecting improvements in vehicle quality that led to less repair work, according to the annual survey released Tuesday.

    Among owners of one- to three-year-old Lincoln models surveyed, 97 percent said they can get an appointment the day they want it, said Joe Ivers, executive director of quality and customer satisfaction at J.D. Power.

    Several other Ford brands, including Mercury, Land Rover and Ford, also scored big gains. Ford's troubled Jaguar luxury brand tied with Volkswagen AG's Audi marque to register the largest improvement in the study.

    Last year, Nissan Motor Co.'s Infiniti took first place, followed by General Motors Corp.'s Saturn brand.

    GM's brands all scored above the industry average of 862 points in the 2004 survey. Overall, the industry posted an 11-point gain in customer satisfaction.

    The automaker's Buick nameplate was ranked in second place, just behind Lincoln and ahead of past winners such as Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus.

    J.D. Power executives said customer satisfaction with dealer service generally tracks vehicle dependability scores, because owners of reliable vehicles tend to bring cars in primarily for routine maintenance work. But that is not always the case.

    The Toyota brand was rated below average, although its score rose to 845 points in 2004 from 807 a year ago. Customers complained about long waits for maintenance work and some confusion about service charges.
     
  20. rumpy

    rumpy I am of two minds...literally OT Supporter

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    Buick :bigthumb:
     
  21. Pioneer

    Pioneer Are you annoyed? You will be.

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    Anyone that can't spell Cavalier is an idiot

    Chrysler has been around since 1924
     

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