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Old 1st March 2013, 23:14   #2101
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
I think they (and especially she) are extremely picky about getting a big vehicle. The thing with all these standard 3 row vehicles is that they are big and you never seem to be making good use of them. So I'm not entirely sure if they would even consider a Pilot or the Explorer or other models in that category like the Dodge Durango. I have a feeling they are considering the Highlander Hybrid. Big enough and very fuel efficient. In my opinion, it is priced a little on the higher side.
One of the most underrated vehicle - Ford Flex. You should ask them to check it out. A great alternative to minivans. Great on highway, huge space for all, good power, 3.5 ecoboost is good and the price is good.

Any 3 row SUV your friend buys, it will hurt on gas. So they need to calculate if financially it makes sense to pay for the loan as well as increased gas costs. Also, with a new or near new SUV, the insurance will also increase.

As for Highlander Hybrid, i would suggest to stick to normal gas version because the difference in the money will not be justifiable for the miles it will do.
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Old 1st March 2013, 23:33   #2102
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
I think they (and especially she) are extremely picky about getting a big vehicle. The thing with all these standard 3 row vehicles is that they are big and you never seem to be making good use of them. So I'm not entirely sure if they would even consider a Pilot or the Explorer or other models in that category like the Dodge Durango. I have a feeling they are considering the Highlander Hybrid. Big enough and very fuel efficient. In my opinion, it is priced a little on the higher side.
They can look at the new Santa Fe 7 seat too. Its smaller than the usual 7 seat options but I guess the gas mileage is the same as a regular Highlander (18 / 25 / 21).
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Old 1st March 2013, 23:59   #2103
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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As for Highlander Hybrid, i would suggest to stick to normal gas version because the difference in the money will not be justifiable for the miles it will do.
Yes, I recommended the same. The price of the Highlander Hybrid is pretty insane. And I have heard not so favorable reviews of the 4WD system on that either. Had it been just 3-4k more than the regular model, it would have been a very compelling choice.

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They can look at the new Santa Fe 7 seat too. Its smaller than the usual 7 seat options but I guess the gas mileage is the same as a regular Highlander (18 / 25 / 21).
Yes, the Santa Fe 7 seat is a very new option in the market. I think that might be a good choice for him as well.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 01:09   #2104
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I wouldn't be so sure. Maybe oil change, but anything else, could become an issue very quickly when making warranty claims. I would read the manual and the parts about warranty.If it says authorized dealers you can't use independents.

Jeroen
That I am sure is incorrect, AFIK there was a court ruling long time ago which mentioned as long as the car is maintained on manufacturer recommended schedule , You can take the car wherever you want.
I quite sure but you may want to look into it.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 02:00   #2105
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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That I am sure is incorrect, AFIK there was a court ruling long time ago which mentioned as long as the car is maintained on manufacturer recommended schedule , You can take the car wherever you want.
I quite sure but you may want to look into it.
thanks, you are indeed correct, see this very interesting link:

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles...ne-maintenance

So, in theory you should be good, but I can see lots of problems in practice.

Jeroen
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Old 2nd March 2013, 23:30   #2106
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Jomz - read this today online. I guess the trouble spot for Chrysler could even be production quality, with the high demand for their products! RAM quality in question
I believe you were talking about quality in design and development. But looks like there are other areas where things could be suspect.
Hmm, True. Exactly what I was thinking of. I'm hoping some of the Fiat products might turn Chrysler around.
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Old 3rd March 2013, 00:05   #2107
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Just learnt about the new G series, to be called Q series (Q50 and Q69). It looks great IMHO - nice new look without losing those already-good-looking infiniti lines.

I love the fact that Infiniti will continue offering the traditional hydraulic steering as an option, whereas you can choose the new electric-intelligent-active-whatever-steering if you want. Infiniti just became my favorite company just because of that . I hope they continue to offer the current six cylinder as well, in addition to that turbo four-banger they're getting from Mercedes.
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Old 3rd March 2013, 05:09   #2108
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Have quite a few friends who work for Chrysler. They fired quite a few people after the merger and subcontracted most of the work to Indian Bodyshops . Most of the workers are on contract, so their major motivation is to get a permanant job, rather than get the product done properly.

I would not buy any Chrysler product, which is designed in Detroit, in recent years. Think abut it, that company is cutting costs like crazy & first place to cut costs in any automotive company is quality.

I would trust my car designs to be done by competent/experienced/passionate engineers, rather than underpaid freshers.

Anyway the above is just my opinion.
I too won't put my money in a Chrysler product as yet. They've always made great looking crappy vehicles (with a few rare exceptions).

Your post seems to suggest the degradation in Detroit is due to talented engineers and designers getting chopped out due to cost cutting measures. May I ask what were these 'talented' veteran engineers doing in the past decades before the so called "underpaid" freshers got in? Chrysler has been churning out junk for decades !

As for underpaid: I live 5 miles from the Chrysler HQ. My town lately is brimming with contractors from the big IT houses at India who are working at Chrysler. These guys are anything but underpaid, believe me.

How can one equate "fresh" with bad quality? "Experienced" American workers were producing crap at Chrysler forever. How were they not 'repeating mistakes' in the past?

The bigger issues at Chrysler are: (1) Company culture. It will need a massive effort at Chrysler to make workers proud of their products and strive for perfection. Chrysler has to outgrow its fleet sales and lease vehicles mentality. Let's see how Mr. S.M. brings this about. (2) Morale. 4 ownership changes in less than 15 years can leave the workforce anxious, defensive and stagnate innovation. Daimler bought Chrysler in 1999, then kicked it out a few years later, after which it was taken over by Wall Street vultures, then Uncle Sam, before finally coming under the Fiat umbrella. Each ownership had/has its own philosophy and fundamentals. Quality may not have been the priority of some of these owners, over production. With Fiat, only time will tell if Fiat is in this for Fiat or for Chrysler.

Cost cutting is a natural resort when a company has to tighten its belt. There will always be casualties, but nobody is indispensable. The hordes of "fresh" and not so "underpaid" Indians working on complex mechano-IT projects at Chrysler is a sign that some major turnaround in systems and processes is in the making at Chrysler, for which pure American reliance is not sufficient. These Indian IT guys are here to fill specific skill gaps, and because there are gaps, they are here. Like in any massive organization, it will be years before the results of these initiatives will become tangible. We have to wait and see.

Fiat culture is unlikely to make any major breakthroughs in the US, at least from what we've seen until now. Fiat 500 is a miserable failure. In fact the program manager for Fiat 500 was fired last year itself. Introducing "Europe" in American production is not going to work. Lets see how Mr. S. M keeps the American vein alive in Chrysler. The beautiful Dodge Dart is the next big project in the pipe and lets hope it too does not go in the 'good looking but crappy' bucket.

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Old 3rd March 2013, 07:18   #2109
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I too won't put my money in a Chrysler product as yet. They've always made great looking crappy vehicles (with a few rare exceptions).

Your post seems to suggest the degradation in Detroit is due to talented engineers and designers getting chopped out due to cost cutting measures. May I ask what were these 'talented' veteran engineers doing in the past decades before the so called "underpaid" freshers got in? Chrysler has been churning out junk for decades !

As for underpaid: I live 5 miles from the Chrysler HQ. My town lately is brimming with contractors from the big IT houses at India who are working at Chrysler. These guys are anything but underpaid, believe me.
I don't have any idea of Indian IT guys working in Chrysler. I'm from a mech engineering background.

I see that quite a few mech engineers were replaced with freshers on OPT on contract. Only in a company like Chrysler would have somebody fresh from college entrusted to run tests without any training. That is quality degradation in the work by the fresh and underpaid workers.

As far as i know the fresh guys are only getting paid $40 an hour. That is real low by industry standards.

Well, as you said what is required in Chrysler is change in mindset and processes, rather than cutting workforce. But then changes in proceses are difficult , right??

"The hordes of "fresh" and not so "underpaid" Indians working on complex mechano-IT projects at Chrysler is a sign that some major turnaround in systems and processes is in the making at Chrysler, for which pure American reliance is not sufficient."

I kinda find it funny to borrow money from the American public and the send in to companies in India (for projects). Are you telling that there are no or very few qualified American engineers?? Or Indian engineers are better than American engineers?
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Old 3rd March 2013, 08:12   #2110
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I kinda find it funny to borrow money from the American public and the send in to companies in India (for projects). Are you telling that there are no or very few qualified American engineers?? Or Indian engineers are better than American engineers?
Maybe its the only way left to not have to deal with unions? Remember this case where Chrysler had to reinstate workers who were caught drinking and smoking pot during their breaks?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2272291.html
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Old 3rd March 2013, 19:06   #2111
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Maybe its the only way left to not have to deal with unions? Remember this case where Chrysler had to reinstate workers who were caught drinking and smoking pot during their breaks?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2272291.html
Engineers cannot have unions. It us the workers who are in unions.

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Old 3rd March 2013, 19:12   #2112
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Engineers cannot have unions. It us the workers who are in unions.
Yeah I had that lingering doubt.

Anyway, it seems Indian engineers cost a lot less than American engineers. Which is nothing new. Indian services industry has come a long way thanks to advances in delivery methodologies and quality controls.

It would have been silly to take the bailout money and put it back into a system that brought them so close to bankruptcy in the first place.
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Old 4th March 2013, 02:26   #2113
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Yeah I had that lingering doubt.

Anyway, it seems Indian engineers cost a lot less than American engineers. Which is nothing new. Indian services industry has come a long way thanks to advances in delivery methodologies and quality controls.

It would have been silly to take the bailout money and put it back into a system that brought them so close to bankruptcy in the first place.
Hmm, so the solution for all the problems in the US is, outsource jobs to India?? I don't know.

When they employ an american worker, the american worker invests almost 100% of that back in the American economy. Instead of a temporary worker, whose plan is to save money and invests in his home country.


I believe that safeguards are in place to make sure that the temporary worker does not get paid any lesser than a comparable american worker, but those are not effective.

Given the above 2 conditions, I don't know where is the advantage of hiring Indian engineers in this economy.
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Old 4th March 2013, 03:06   #2114
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Hmm, so the solution for all the problems in the US is, outsource jobs to India?? I don't know.

When they employ an american worker, the american worker invests almost 100% of that back in the American economy. Instead of a temporary worker, whose plan is to save money and invests in his home country.


I believe that safeguards are in place to make sure that the temporary worker does not get paid any lesser than a comparable american worker, but those are not effective.

Given the above 2 conditions, I don't know where is the advantage of hiring Indian engineers in this economy.
LOL. Please dont draw sweeping conclusions. Outsourcing is one way to cut costs. And very effective too. And while India may be largest destination, there are other countries too that get a significant share of this pie. Indonesia being one such country.

And while the temporary worker may get paid comparable amount of money, the company is able to save the matching 401k investment because the temporary employee is sent back before the vesting period gets over. So, thats one saving right there for outsourcing.

What is the other alternative? Keep paying the local employee the same amount of salary that he will go and use for paying the minimum fee on his credit card? Or go buy another car just because his current car is 3 years old?

Outsourcing is not the reason US economy is in such a bad shape. Its the spending habits of Mr Joe and Mr Black Tie in Whitehouse. When your room gets filled with sewage, what do you do? Try to remove the sewage or raise your ceiling?

If it were not for cheap, effective labour provided by outsourcing, I can assure you this country's economy would have been in a much worse position.
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Old 4th March 2013, 03:14   #2115
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LOL. Please dont draw sweeping conclusions. Outsourcing is one way to cut costs. And very effective too. And while India may be largest destination, there are other countries too that get a significant share of this pie. Indonesia being one such country.

And while the temporary worker may get paid comparable amount of money, the company is able to save the matching 401k investment because the temporary employee is sent back before the vesting period gets over. So, thats one saving right there for outsourcing.

What is the other alternative? Keep paying the local employee the same amount of salary that he will go and use for paying the minimum fee on his credit card? Or go buy another car just because his current car is 3 years old?

.
Really?? I don't think 401k is the major reason for cost cutting on outsourcing.
I see that the contractors make quite a bit , and they don't want to let go of the pie. 20% of the salary billed straight goes to the contractor?? What for??

Why doesn't the employee deserve that 20%??

Anyway, I don't know much about the economy and sewage and stuff. I believe american money should stay with America to revitalize the economy , rather than used for investments outside US.

Even if an average Joe is buying a new car/ Making payments on his credit card/ making mortgage payments- it goes back to American economy. What should be removed is ganging up on the average Joe by corporations.

I still don't see how outsourcing is beneficial to Chrysler, which was where we started the topic. If Ford & GM can get out of their mess without Outsourcing much ( they do take people on H1's but very limited), why can't Chrysler do it by leveraging local American talent??

And trust me automobile companies are not like IT industries where the major expense is people. The cost of running my test cell (consumables, fuel, instrumentation, capital costs (interest)) In my company for a month is equal to my annual salary. My point is, it is easier to cut costs by firing people in an automotive company- but it takes effort & brains to find out where the actual " bloat & deadwood" is in an automotive company. Short term benefits can be expected by outsourcing - but once that employee has gone back, gone are the lessons learned in the project.

Now- I'm also a temporary worker on H1, Don't think that I'm a redneck republican :-)

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If it were not for cheap, effective labour provided by outsourcing, I can assure you this country's economy would have been in a much worse position.
No way. I don't know how the cheap effective labor would help American economy, they might show larger profits for corporations. That is it. Any the money given to the cheap labor just leaves the country- it is not used to build houses, put in an investment fund in the US, or so..


I might be wrong here. I'm open to all views.

Last edited by Jomz : 4th March 2013 at 03:30.
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