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The Five Most Inaccurate Automotive Stereotypes (in mmarshall’s opinion)

 
Old 03-15-19, 06:31 PM
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mmarshall
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Thumbs down The Five Most Inaccurate Automotive Stereotypes



5. The Used-Car Business is Corrupt.


The idea that the used-car industry is corrupt stems from an age when it WAS corrupt, with the image of the cigar-chomping hucksters, at Hole-in-the-Wall dealerships, rolling back odometers and/or trying to cover up accident/frame damage with slipshod band-aid methods that didn't fool anyone with half a brain. Much of that nonsense, however (if not most), went out with not only higher ethical standards at the dealerships themselves, but also with the introduction of the CPO (Certified Previously Owned) programs, which, while generally a little more expensive than non-CPOs, removes much of the former risks, and includes what is a virtual new-car warranty.

However, that's not to say that abuses or deceptions don't still occur...whenever there is money to be made, somebody, somewhere, well inevitably find (or try to find) a way to do it dishonestly. Some of the CPO's I've looked at, for example, while still better than non-CPOs on the average, look like they may not have included all of the (roughly) 160-items on the official CPO checklist. That may not be intentional or planned dishonesty....it could (?) be because smaller dealerships might not have enough personnel in their service departments to do all of the regular work needed for customers and do all of those 160 items for each CPO...it may just be too much. So, my advice is, even if looking at a CPO, check it as thoroughly as you would any other used vehicle.





4. An "American" vehicle is actually an American vehicle.

One of the rallying cries, particularly in the American Midwest where tradition is strong, is to buy a so-called "American" vehicle....particularly if you work in the UAW, where members who own vehicles outside of the traditional Ford/GM/Chrysler/Jeep makes might come out at the end of a working day and fine their tires slashed or glass broken. Well, surprise.......good luck looking for a truly "American" vehicle. In today's global business, engines may come from one country, transmissions from another, steering-gear from another, tires from another, electronics from another, seat-material/upholstery from another...well, you get the picture. And all of that arrives from overseas to be merely final-assembled at a plant inside the U.S. borders. In many cases, the Parts-Content list on the vehicle's price-sticker will tell you what percentage of the major parts are not American, and what country they come from.

I once got into a discussion with one of my late-uncles about a similar issue. He was from a small town in Southern Indiana, which, culturally, is like the Deep South in many ways, despite being north of the Ohio River. My brother was driving a Honda Civic, and me a Subaru Outback. He chided us both for being "Un-American"...until I pointed out to him that Hondas are not only built in Marysville, Ohio with American labor, but that Outbacks are built only a few miles away from his home town, in Lafayette, Indiana also with with American labor. That seemed to do the trick....there no more "Un-American"comments from him after that.





3. BMW drivers, as a whole, are arrogant and reckless.

Yes, a number of past-generation BMW 3-series drivers, particularly with M3s, did have a reputation for thinking that the road basically belonged to them (I've made reference to that in some past posts, while pointing out that V8 Mustang jocks are often even worse). But, even then, the vast majority of BMW drivers (even with the 3-series) and the majority of Mustang jocks that I see are just as careful as anyone else. One thing, of course, that has changed with recent BMWs, is the engineering and image of the vehicles themselves....from the "Ultimate Driving Machine" to essentially just another mainstream brand....that, to at least some extent, has also affected the character of some of those who drive them.





2. Toyota and Lexus products are the best-built vehicles on the road.

Yes, I know this one might (?) get me into hot water on a Lexus forum, but I think one has to look at this idea realistically. Toyota and Lexus products, on the average, ARE the most reliable in the long run...there is little if any argument on that one, as survey after survey, from many different sources, proves that. But that does not mean that they necessarily come out of the factory the most tightly-screwed together...that award, IMO, used to go to Honda/Acura, and now goes to the Koreans, particularly Kia and Genesis. Nor does it mean that Toyota and Lexus use the best materials in the interior and exterior of their vehicles....again, the Koreans seem to use the most solid materials. Where Toyota and Lexus vehicles truly excel (and I give them a lot of credit in these areas) is in the durability and engineering of their drivetrains. Some people complain that Toyota and Lexus drivetrains are too dated.... I disagree wth that view. The long production life of these components is one of the things that, in my view, has helped with their low level of problems and repairs. Unfortunately, since much of Toyota's money goes to engineering durability and reliability into the underpinnings and drivetrain, little seems to be left over for the interior, body sheet metal, and hardware....and, except for the excellent paint jobs, that neglect of the interior and exterior hardware shows.





1. Buick / Cadillac / Lincoln sedans are for old people.

The idea that large sedans from GM and Ford/Lincoln (with one possible exception) are for Geezers, and are being phased out because all the Geezers are dying off, is a commonly-held, but inaccurate stereotype...it is generally an image that has been fostered by the automotive press. It is true that these large sedans have a buyer-base that is generally older than that of most other types of vehicles...partly because of what is taught to older drivers in the Defensive-Driving courses that many of them take to keep their insurance premiums down. The Instructors in these classes stress the need to have a lot of metal around you for safety in a crash (which is only partly correct, depending on the vehicle crash-tests themselves), and a low-stance center of gravity that helps prevent rollovers. Plus, these cars (particularly the big Buicks) tend to have the ride/seating comfort and noise-isolation that is appealing to people of that age, with weak backs and legs.

But isolation from the road surface is not something that is nice for just older people...that's where the stereotype is dead wrong. Both me and my high school best friend liked the big GM sedans...his Dad had a big 1968 Olds 88 that we ran around in and had a lot of enjoyment in. In college, I had a huge Buick Electra 225, built on the Cadillac frame, and I absolutely loved it, despite the fact that it was old and not in the best condition (I couldn't afford a new one at that age, of course).The only reason I moved away from GM, in the years after that, was because of noticeably declining GM (and Chrysler) quality in the 1970s....and, even then, it took me a while.

Fast-forward to today, I see a number of younger people (apparently Millenials) driving older Buicks, like the Century and past-generation Regals, and more recent Cadillac sedans like the CTS and ATS. You will rarely see old people in an ATS...it just rides too firmly....and the V-models are simply too sport-oriented for them. The Lincoln sedans, particularly the MKZ, at least from what I've seen seem to be most popular with middle-age couples, not Geezers, though the (few) new Continentals I've seen were generally retired people. Can't really make a Geezer-stereotype with the Conti, though, simply because the data-sample is too small....I haven't seen many of them, even in the new-car-rich D.C. area. .

OK, the one exception to the above?.......Cadillac DTS/Deville. No matter how one spins it, yes, this is a car for old people. My late Dad, in his 40s, for a couple of years, had a hand-me-down 1962 Sedan De Ville, in the 1960s, that was bought new by my late Mom's Great-Cousin, and I enjoyed driving it, yes, even as a teen-ager. After my Great-Cousin got his new 1967 Deville (and after I got my license), he knew I was a careful driver (especially by teen standards) so he also let me drive it a couple of times....once with the girl I was dating, to go and get our high-school senior pictures taken for the yearbook....they did it that year in a studio. My ex-Flight Instructor, in his 30s, also had a 1989 Fleetwood Brougham he inherited from his own uncle, who passed away. But, to be honest, it is quite rare for young people to be driving traditional big Cadillac sedans....except for myself, my Instructor, and my late father, I can't remember the last time I saw someone under about 60 or so behind the wheel. For once, the stereotype is justified.

Last edited by mmarshall; 03-16-19 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 03-15-19, 06:37 PM
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Idk man I’ve got an old M3 and sometimes drive like an A hole and my 4GS runs like a Swiss watch....


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Old 03-15-19, 06:52 PM
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Such bias in every point in this thread.
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Old 03-15-19, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by sivikvtec View Post
Idk man I’ve got an old M3 and sometimes drive like an A hole and my 4GS runs like a Swiss watch....

Actually, some of the people in M3s would take it easy on the road compared to other 3-series models....and save the hardest driving for the track or autocross. M3's are often painted bright colors and have body-fairings, bold stripes, larger wheels, and other flashy hardware that is more likely to attract the eyes of cops.

But, as I mentioned above, a lot of that is in the past. The old image of arrogant and reckless BMW drivers is rapidly fading...and many of the older ones weren't really so bad to start with. I'd say the most reckless group, in general, are the Mustang V8 jocks. I've seen, over the years (and I wasn't born yesterday) more people, particularly young people, hurt or killed in high-powered Mustangs than any other single make or model of vehicle. Something about that car just invites dangerous things.....but, even then, the majority of Mustang drivers are careful.
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Old 03-15-19, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sivikvtec View Post
Idk man I’ve got an old M3 and sometimes drive like an A hole and my 4GS runs like a Swiss watch....
bahaha Great post
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Old 03-15-19, 07:28 PM
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Actually, I could probably add a sixth inaccurate stereotype....the idea that the cheapest way to own a vehicle is to keep it until it is junked. But that is only partly true, and there are many, many different factors (which often vary from state to state, such as with vehicle/property taxes and inspection fees) which can affect how much it costs in the long run. A whole book could be written on just that one subject alone......too much for one thread.
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Old 03-15-19, 10:58 PM
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Infiniti drivers have easily passed BMW drivers as the worst. Used G35/G37's are what raging hormonal teenage boys are getting as their first cars and racing on public streets. BMW is still close behind. Nearly all are painted black.

My personal experiences, from looking into the cockpit of cars I pass on the road, definitely verifies Buicks are still driven by old people.

I think most people would regard "the best built vehicles" term as something that refers to reliability over all other things. When something is built well, it lasts longer. For that, Toyota/Lexus is still the choice. Honda/Acura are also very reliable. As much as I applaud Hyundai/Kia for their rise, I still can't take them as serious. The amount of burned out tail and brakelights on old and newer models has been widespread for a good ten years, with no improvement. If a brand can't make get the most basic of basics down, they are untrustworthy in my book. Their recent engine fire recall is also alarming.
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Old 03-16-19, 12:13 AM
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We had a wonderful study, published in the Spiegel (germany/2016). Showing that it is, in fact, scientifically proven, that BMW and Audi have the most terrible customers in term of road discipline and behavior.
There is also an old expression used by the police and that they learn you at school : "if you are searching for work, just look out for the black BMW after midnight". ... it works very well.
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Old 03-16-19, 05:20 AM
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haha I was gonna say BMW drivers are d-b**** is a misconception. I liken it to the big dog/little dog conundrum. When you're a big dog, you don't feel the need to yap and bite the postman.

Also, it's interesting to say the 6th stereotype is driving a vehicle until the wheels fall off is expensive. My 1998 Maxima has had a couple major repairs in 21 years. The exhaust, and valve cover gaskets (about $500 and $400 respectively). Sure, at dealer prices those could easily go over 2 grand. But I fail to see how it would have been cheaper to replace the vehicle 7X instead. What really is costly is the loss of prestige, driving a 21 yo. vehicle. And being a Japanese car, it actually has rust. How embarrassing.
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Old 03-16-19, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Benoit View Post
We had a wonderful study, published in the Spiegel (germany/2016). Showing that it is, in fact, scientifically proven, that BMW and Audi have the most terrible customers in term of road discipline and behavior.
There is also an old expression used by the police and that they learn you at school : "if you are searching for work, just look out for the black BMW after midnight". ... it works very well.
Now that there is funny.
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Old 03-16-19, 06:20 AM
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Here is something I found on Jalopnik.

Look at BMW 5 series
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Old 03-16-19, 06:58 AM
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The used car salesman thing is highly varied. Most of what you talk about is new car dealers that also sell used cars, including certified models of their own brand. I'll agree with you there that most of those are about as honest as you can reasonably expect a salesman to be.

But dedicated used car dealers are just as bad, if not worse than they were when this stereotype was born. Lots of these take advantage of lower-income folks or those with bad credit. The standard process at these places is to sell someone a car they can't afford, with an in-house loan at 16-30%, then repo the car once the buyer falls behind on payments and sell it again. Some of these cars are sold by the same dealer 5-8 times in just a few years. And those that don't fall behind wind up paying 3x the purchase price because of the usurious financing. So it's win-win for these slimebags.

Jill, love the infographic.
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Old 03-16-19, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
5. The Used-Car Business is Corrupt.
4. An "American" vehicle is actually an American vehicle.
3. BMW drivers, as a whole, are arrogant and reckless.
2. Toyota and Lexus products are the best-built vehicles on the road.
1. Buick / Cadillac / Lincoln sedans are for old people.
5. you don't buy used cars.
4. you like american cars even if not completely american.
3. you'd never buy a bmw.
2. you owned a lexus and thought it was excellently 'screwed together'.
1. you now drive a buick and are a senior.

QED
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Old 03-16-19, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by geko29 View Post
The used car salesman thing is highly varied. Most of what you talk about is new car dealers that also sell used cars, including certified models of their own brand. I'll agree with you there that most of those are about as honest as you can reasonably expect a salesman to be.

But dedicated used car dealers are just as bad, if not worse than they were when this stereotype was born. Lots of these take advantage of lower-income folks or those with bad credit. The standard process at these places is to sell someone a car they can't afford, with an in-house loan at 16-30%, then repo the car once the buyer falls behind on payments and sell it again. Some of these cars are sold by the same dealer 5-8 times in just a few years. And those that don't fall behind wind up paying 3x the purchase price because of the usurious financing. So it's win-win for these slimebags.

Jill, love the infographic.
Again I'll bring this up...I bought my LS430 used from a GMC dealership. In the cars.com and other postings, the closeup of the rear left tire was a mint rim, with a brand new Dunlop SP, armor all'd, and you can even see the red dots on the sidewall.

What did I think? Sweet, new dunlops and the rims are in great shape.

That actually came from the trunk and was taken out for the pics, then put back in the trunk. There is still grease pencil markings from Tahara on it. The actual tires were new, but "engineered in Europe, made in China." Rydanz Roadster 02's.

Now maybe people in the business know that this is the way to do things, and it's done every day. But I thought dang, SON, that was a pretty clever trick, I wouldn't have thought of it.

edit: That was a new car dealership /GMC. If you don't think Lexus dealers are the same? I went to look at a used '05 LS430 in Oct. 2016, and they emailed me a pdf of what they did to recondition the vehicle for sale. On the internal invoice, there were 4 Dunlop Sport SP 5000 M's at some astronomical price, just under $300 each. When I saw the car in person, it too had some knock-off made in China tires. There's nothing wrong with made in China tires as I've been on them for 2 1/2 yrs, just that there was misrepresentation.

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Old 03-16-19, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by LexsCTJill View Post
Such bias in every point in this thread.
I agree. The OP is "debunking" stereotypes without any facts or data. You don't debunk stereotypes with your own personal views of the situation.

If we want to publish statistics of American cars being built over seas, or demographic data of Buick and Lincoln customers, fine. Other than that, I don't understand the point here?
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