iSixSigma

Woe is Me

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #43572

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Guess all those Toyota advocates and GM bashers will be eating their words today.
    http://articles.news.aol.com/business/article.adp?id=20060530093709990005&_mpc=business%2e10%2e1&cid=403

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    #138385

    Anonymous
    Guest

    Darth,
    The difference is:
    If this was Ford they’d deny it.
    If it was Audi – they’d add hangle bars (c/f Audi 5000)
    If it was Renault they’d ignore it .. c’est la vie …
    Andy

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    #138391

    EdG
    Participant

    Stirring the pot again, are we???
     
    When I toured the Georgetown, KY plant a number of us (we had a pretty good sized group) noticed all of these lights and midi-tunes playing over the PA system.  Finally we asked, what is it with all of the andons going off? We were smart enough to realize that those were andons but were surprised to hear/see it going off so much.  The explanation that we received from the Toyota tour-guide was, “We have problems just like you.  That’s why you see/hear the andons so much.  However the difference between us and you is that, you tend to address the symptom to the problem while we go after the root cause.  Therefore, you will continue be plagued by the same problems while we will be working on new problems.”  That answer hurt a little, but I couldn’t argue it.
     
    I assume that this problem is a new one, and someone will learn a lot from this.

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    #138398

    Anonymous
    Guest

    EdG,
    You’re bang on the money.
    Andy

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    #138403

    Charles H.
    Participant

    I see British Leyland hasn’t had a recall in decades!  The Triumph Spitfire and the MG / MGB have come a long way since the junk years of the 70s.

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    #138418

    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi Charles,
    All my comments were based on my own personal experience.
    I’m afraid I don’t know much about the European Automobile industry, but I think BMW owns British Leyland – at least until they sell it.
    My advice to my friends is to always buy Japanese – either Toyota or Honda. But don’t rely on a Toyota Service Centre as Toyota UK do not audit for conformance – which means you have to find an ‘honest’ service centre yourself.
    Andy

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    #138420

    Charles H.
    Participant

    Hey Andy,
    Hope all is well across the pond.  All sarcasm aside, I still won’t buy a Ford first year run vehicle, but I would buy a Toyota or Honda, if I were so moved to buy one.  I guess that speaks volumes, for all my “buy Ford” upbringing.  I guess brand loyalty goes beyond common sense, sometimes. Plus, I don’t need to get one of those “looks” from my father as I drive up in a Japanese car.
    Now, talking about service . . . what a ripe area of opportunity for improvement.  I tried my hand at automotive electrical and air-condtioning repair in a Cadilac dealership for about 9 months.  The way the technicians were paid was by book rate: regardlless how long it took you to effect a repair, you got paid by the time that the engineers at GM said it should take (determined in a nice clean garage, well lit, all the tools, and a brand new car off the line).  The shoddy repairs made by some technicians just to “make rate” was infuriating.  The dealership view when told, was: “The car functions regardless how shabby the repair work, the customer is clueless (and shall remain that way, we hope), and we made money . . . What’s the problem?”

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    #138423

    Anonymous
    Guest

    I think I know what you mean … some people over here still feel the same way – even after all these years!
    In my case I found documentary evidence that the independent Toyota Service Centre didn’t replace the oil and coolant after a major service. When I took it up with Toyota UK they said I would have to sort it out myself as each service centre is an ‘independent’ business. Fortunately, the cars seems to be able to take a certain amount of abuse – but even so I believe ‘preventative maintenance’ is still necessary …. even for a Toyota.
    Cheers,
    Andy
     

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    #138429

    Charles H.
    Participant

    The dealer / service interface with the auto manufacturers has always been one of the weakest links in the chain.  I used to do the warranty analysis for the charging system components sent back to Ford from the service departments.  We had about a 96% no trouble found rate, and we charged the cost of the “repair” back to the dealership.  Some remanufacturer made a mint buying the “bad” alternators from Ford for about $7.00 apiece, reselling them for about $50.00.  At the same time, the guys over in manual transmissions and electronic ignitions were having about the same NTF rate, but they refused to charge the cost back to the dealer – they didn’t want to get them “angry.”  Thus, it was not uncommon for dealers to take brand new cars, right off the delivery trucks, write up a bunch of bogus warranty claims, and submit them for payment.  Fleet Parts and Services comment when told, “Yeah we know, but we don’t want to get the dealers mad at us by doing something about it.”  The auto industry makes for strange business relationships, that’s for sure.

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    #138455

    Taylor
    Member

    Darth,
    Wrong as usual – read this
    Most Reliable of 2006
    By DAN LIENERT

    See the list here

    Wondering why the Japanese automakers are eating up market share that formerly belonged to Americans? Here’s all the explanation you need.
    There is nothing, a Wall-Street adage says, that a bit of good product won’t cure. The Japanese know this, and they have let good vehicles drive them to financial security and sales volumes that never seem to stop increasing. This month’s New York International Auto Show saw the unveilings of two new and improved Japanese cars — the next-generation Mitsubishi Outlander and Lexus LS models — but the old, outgoing models they are replacing were already among a dozen or so of the market’s most reliable cars.
    When we look at the slide show that follows this piece — a list of the nine most reliable cars on the market — one question comes to mind: Where are the American cars? While certain U.S. companies, such as General Motors’ General Motors Buick subsidiary, are building increasingly dependable cars, only three brands — Honda, Toyota Motor and Toyota’s Lexus subsidiary — meet the most stringent standards for reliability.
    Click here for the slideshow.
    In particular, those three Japanese companies are the only companies on the market to have individual models receiving top reliability marks from both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Associates. Each of the nine cars in the slide show received a “predicted reliability” rating of “much better than average,” the highest possible, from Consumer Reports, and five out five stars in J.D. Power’s “overall quality” and/or “overall dependability” assessments. Each car in the slide show is Japanese.
    While American cars are built better than ever these days, they still are not as reliable as Japanese autos. With such new cars as the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans, DaimlerChrysler has shown recently that American cars can have world-beating style. Cadillac is showing that American luxury cars can keep pace with European competition. Now, an American automaker needs to challenge Toyota and Honda in terms of reliability, and the process begins by studying what has worked for the Japanese.
    Lexus’ old slogan was “The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection,” and it wasn’t just lip service.

    More Autos Stories

    Other auto articles from Forbes.com:

    Best Sedans 2006
    Ten Smart Cars For Teens
    The Least-Safe Cars ’06

    While the company has world-renowned manufacturing methods, “the pursuit of perfection” is inculcated so vigorously into Toyota’s corporate culture that Lexus’ trademark reliability is engineered into cars before they ever hit the factories. Quality is monitored every step of the way. Failure is not accepted.
    All major automakers build preproduction prototype models to iron out design, engineering and manufacturing wrinkles before mass production. In recent years, Toyota became known for building around one-tenth the number of prototypes per production model that automakers such as General Motors would. The only way Toyota and Lexus could do this was by learning to engineer parts that don’t fail.
    For the Japanese vehicles in the slide show, the superior reliability ratings in question concern ratings for new models. In preparing our list, we excluded from consideration all nameplates that are headed for discontinuation or replacement. This kept such reliable, outgoing cars as the aforementioned Mitsubishi Outlander and Lexus LS from the list.
    Not every car has reliability ratings. Such new cars as Audi’s A3 hatchback need to be on the market longer in order for customers to generate information on problems the vehicles may have. And such blue-blooded cars as Maybach and Bentley models tend not to have reliability ratings because their volumes are too low to make for effective studies.
    The difference between J.D. Power’s “overall quality” and “overall dependability” scores is that “quality” concerns owner-reported problems in the first 90 days of ownership, and “dependability” concerns owner-reported problems after three years of ownership.
    Please follow the link below to see the results of our research, and to see why Japanese cars are still setting the standards for which American cars should be aiming.
    Click here for the slideshow.
    Editor’s note: Consumer Reports’ reliability ratings came from the organization’s Web site. At press time, Consumer Reports had not confirmed the data despite multiple e-mail messages from Forbes.com requesting it to do so.
    2006-05-02 10:31:01

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    #138456

    EdG
    Participant

    Todd,
    I think that was a little sarcasm from Darth.  None the less, your article doesn’t change the fact that 28 days after that article was published Toyota announced that they were doing a recall on a number of their vehicles. 
    Still, I am certain that there will be a number of folks within Toyota that will be learning a great deal from this error.

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    #138460

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Can’t remember the last time I owned an American car.

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    #138493

    Haugen
    Participant

    What about the Darthmobile? 
     

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    #138494

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Good point Jim but that car was made back in the 60’s when American cars were built a whole lot better.  The car has lasted 40 years so I guess it has earned it’s stripes.

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    #138498

    Elbrin
    Participant

     I am no authority on automobile quality measures, but I have always been suspect of these reports.  If I understand correctly the ratings are based on counts only, with no calibration for the severity of the defect.  So the compliant can be anything from a squeak to the engine dropped out the bottom, and they are counted the same.  If the quality measures were corrected for severity I suspect they would favor the Japanese even more so than they currently do.
    I could be wrong, I know there are some auto guys here that know more about it than I.

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