Rip off or Progress
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  1. #1
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Rip off or Progress

    Is it just me or does anyone else think modern cars are a rip off. I was pricing automatic transmissions today and came up with this.
    A 405 auto, if your lucky you might get 200,000 km out of it and a change over unit will cost about $2500 plus fitting.
    To service the auto which may or may not extend it life will cost about $70 in parts.
    A 504 auto will usually last the life of the car and if it does pack up a change over unit will cost about $600.
    To service the auto and they usually don't need to because they rarely play up will cost about $10 in parts.
    To us petrol heads we know they are totally different auto's but to Mr Average, an auto's an auto, you just stick it in "D" and off you go.
    So I ask, is this a rip off or is it progress.

    David.


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  2. #2
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi David,

    well if I was a car manufacturer and nothing ever went wrong with the cars I'd be pretty pissed. The markup they have on spare parts means you would want a substantial amount of them sold.

    Cars are supposed to be sold for scrap at 100,000km and a new one bought in replacement, where's your patriatism, you should be buying a new car every 100,000km and supporting the local car industry (obvioulsy that mean you'll be buying fowcan, crummydores etc)

    Dunno about you but as soon as the heat of summer is passed I'm happy to use my 20year old CX everyday regardless of how far I drive. The newest car I own is a BX, and like it the least... Sure reliable, I get back aches in it, the seats are infinatly more adjustable than my other 20+ year old cars, but can't be ajustable to a point where your comfortable?? I'm not a fat 70year old with a bad back either... Letus know if you ever find some front seats from a 16valver.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  3. #3
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    Dave,

    A while ago I was looking for a family car and considered the 405. My local frog car mechanic had one in and I asked his opinion - same as yours. He pointed at a rubber hose behind the head, could have been A/C or heater, I didn't look too close, but it was $200 worth...

    Stuey


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

  4. #4
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Easy answer - Rip off !!

    But don't limit it to frogmobiles. Let's go back in history. The GMH motto "Holden - Australia's own car" was backed up by the legendary story that you could buy parts in a chemist for one & they were cheap. GM mopped the floor with the main opposition, Ford mainly based on parts prices.
    Along comes "der Folksvagen" the peoples car which had been given a good run publicity wise (ie) Dr Porsche; engineering genius, only good idea Adolph ever had; Germanny always built the best in machinery etc etc etc. Sales of VW surge and "the General" in an effort to combat this, in conjunction with Ford advertise that their cars are cheap on parts unlike European imports. It was a common sight to pass either a Ford or Holden showroom & see a range of parts from both a Falcon & a Holden sitting side by side with the retail prices of both shown as comparison & of course by carefully selecting parts it appeared that the brand at whose showroom they were displayed was the cheapest. VW could see that this was going to be an impediment to sales so - it joined in. I can still remember things like "front mudguard #7/10") that's $15 in todays dough and headlight 35 shillings ($3.50) and so on & doing comparisons to the other brands. Where VW was different to Ford and Holden was that the local makes were in fact cheap with their parts, in fact English cars weren't all that much dearer due in part to the currency exchange rate being reverse to the current situation. A US $ was only worth = 50 cents out here whilst it cost the poms 25/- to buy one of our pounds. (as opposed to us now having to spend $3 to buy one of theirs) The crafty krauts though had a rabbit up their sleeve; behind the cheap headlights and attached to the cheap mudguard was a "headlight mount" which was vulnerable to rust, was damaged in even the slighest accident, could be damaged by stones even flying off the tyres and was --- wait for it ---- One hundred & ten Pounds each. Today you say "that's not too bad" but as they say "but wait - there's more !!" there were two of these so that = 220 pounds and the cost of the entire car was less than 800 pounds on the road; a quarter of the value of the car was in these two headlight mounts. Front-enders were a very expensive experience. VW kept the price of their cars down due to reaping such big profits from the spare parts which were strategically priced to optimize profits. This little scam which was in the days before Ralph Nader & consumer protection groups was not lost on the Japanese when they came to the party of car manufacturers in the '60's and has and is being followed to this day. How do you think the new car prices have stayed fairly stable in the past few years whilst the currency rates have been all over the place? Manufacturers these days are primarily interested in sales - at any cost. The profits don't come off the showroom floor but off the sales of what are these days almost "consumeables" - planned obscelesence as it used to be called.
    Why do I say it's a rip off?
    (a) Well prices David quoted as he says are not justifiable. A 405 would not be subject to any R & D levy due to its age and chances are the parts were manufactured back when costs were about 75% of what they are now.
    (b) If these prices were set in stone due to cost (as the manufacturers would have us believe) then why recently did PSA notify all its parts outlets in UK & Europe that BX prices were to be reduced by 35% to clear stock. It seems that this time it's backfired. Parts prices through the roof - people not repairing hence cars finding their way into the wreckers yards - glut of cheap second hand BX parts so owners using second hand instead of new parts = big stocks of over priced new parts cluttering up wharehouses = panic to sell off before BX becomes a collectors item. Pity it didn't happen to more of them.

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! billtran's Avatar
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    I usually take the unsentimental view that the best car is the newest one - in most cases. A current model Jaguar XJR (their equivalent of a BMW M5) with all the luxury mod cons goes around the Le-Mans track quicker than the legendary D-type.

    I agree with David though. The costs of spare parts and servicing (in dealers) is absolutely scandalous. This seems to be where manufacturers get most of their profit.

    On an interesting note, a servicing and spare parts on the Porsche Boxter/996 is actually cheaper than a Honda Legend or a Mercedes SLK. Go figure! (Moral: Buy a Porsche )
    You're not paranoid if everyone hates you.

  6. #6
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Buy a Porsche?

    And for the servicing costs?

    Ask Dave Mawer and Rob Rowe about that...

    I was always staggered, back around 1970, when the 911 was around in a variety of forms... 911T, 911S etc... that you might see one on the road once a week... but I was going to the various service centres that repaired them all the time and found them to be full of the things!

  7. #7
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Speaking of old Porsches, my father has one stuck in his garage, it's a 1969 911E and its been there for as long as I can remember, in fact he's only done about 12,000km in it, a future restoration project acording to him. I remember when it was going how cheap most parts were, all service items were cheaper than Renault, I remember we broke a headlight only to learn it was the same as a Kombi so we got a second hand one. The problem was people, the attitude people took because it was a Porsche, I remember having a blown headlight globe in a small town about 4 hours from home, my father took out the globe walked into a store and said do you have a globe like this, the saleman said yes and produced an identical globe and I mean identical, he then asked what make of car was it for, Dad told him and he reached over the counter took it out of Dads hand and said no, this one hear is the one you want, it was about 3 times the price. Obviosly Dad took the cheaper one but that was the problem owning it and one of the reasons he stoped driving it.
    Otherwise it was a good car and very well built and after frog cars, not hard to work on at all.

    David.

    David Cavanagh

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  8. #8
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    Interesting about the headlight, as I recently read that the old frogeye DS ALSO uses the same light as a Porsche...

    I used to own a couple of BMW's, and I experienced that exact problem, and got rid of them for that exact reason. (That is, along with having to replace the aerial every couple of months because $#@^%&$ would bend them) Anyway, you soon learned that if you were buying anything that was remotely generic, you asked for the one from the cheaper (perceived) car- say, plugs for a Holden Gemini. You even got a different level of service - no one wanted to help a BMW owner. Little did they realise that the things cost me the same as a bloody Holden.

    Stuey


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

  9. #9
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Rob Rowe was bullocking on to his bench one day and explained to me about the stupidity of having a magnesium crankcase with everything hanging off them in a road car when aluminium would do a better job for a miniscule weight penalty.

    Then he asked what happened when a plug lead fell off, explaining about camshafts having to learn to turn in an S shaped tunnel... think about it.

  10. #10
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    Don't they eventually become brittle after many heat cyclings ? Not that that would worry me if I were lucky enough to have an early 911.

    Stuey


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

  11. #11
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    It would when the smoke started trailling behind you...

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