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US automakers bailout

by thom8466 / December 9, 2008 5:27 AM PST

I can't find information on how many DIFFERENT firewalls any of the big three make. Some time ago I read that Nissan (or Toyota) made three for all their models; if they needed a the firewall to be smaller it was designed to be cut to fit a smaller model; if it needed to go into a right-hand drive model it was flipped around. All the wiring and other parts (gas pedal, brake and/if clutch) went through the same holes no matter where the firewall was installed. Take the person off the Sentra (or Tercel) assembly line and (s)he could work on any other model with little or no retraining. Not so with Ford (57-??? different firewalls), or GM's (32-??? different firewalls) or Chrysler (??? different firewalls). Assemblers on any one of the big three wouldn't know how to work on any other model other than the one they were trained to work on. So they probably have a design team for each model and apparently don't work together to streamline the assembly process to be compatible (cost efficient) between models.
No one is asking the relevant or hard question to the CEO's of the big three begging for money to continue their unsustainable business practices.
Can anybody confirm my facts and figures? I don't want to spout misinformation to my congressperson or any one else.

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Add to that.................
by Mac McMullen / December 9, 2008 6:50 AM PST
In reply to: US automakers bailout
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Of course the UAW won't allow it!
by Paul C / December 9, 2008 8:44 AM PST

After all, it's efficient, clean, modern and above all, cooperative in nature - IOW, it's a Japanese plant moved to Brazil and badged with the Ford blue oval. It's the future of American auto making, if only the Little Three could break the chains of their enslavement to the UAW...

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They might be able to do this in the USA
by Steven Haninger / December 9, 2008 9:41 AM PST

but not in Detroit....or any non "Right to Work" state. Strangely though, it seems cars with a foreign heritage aren't suffering as much as those with USA labels even though their price tags are generally higher. We can argue that those from the likes of Honda, Toyota, etc., are better made, more durable and fetch a higher resale price but is that verifiable or just perception? So what do American citizens expect of Detroit that would get them back in their dealer's showrooms? Would a higher quality car at about the same price as one from a foreign manufacturer work or would it be better just to produce what they do now but at a considerably lower cost? Personally, when I shell out that much for a new car I do expect it to last longer than the payment book.

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