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Price vs. Quality

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by danb86, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. Mar 5, 2010 at 6:44 AM
    #1
    danb86

    danb86 [OP] East Ender

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    These 2 are inextricably wound together: how can you have the lowest price and the highest quality?

    My Mom is in her early 70's and, like lots of people her age, remembers the depression and its aftereffects quite well. At this point in her life, she's got a very comfortable lifestyle (she's not rich - my Dad was a machinist for Pan American Airlines his whole life and she only went back to work in a local jewelry store after us kids were gone).

    I'm constantly amazed by a contradiction that she brings up almost weekly.

    On the one hand, she laments how expensive things have gotten and fears her children will never be able to have the same standard of living she attained as a mostly uneducated worker. We live on the East End of Long Island and you can't TOUCH a house for under $400,000. And that's a fixer upper.

    As we're self-employed, our health insurance is $900 a MONTH for the 2 of us with no kids.

    Then my Mom will come in and lay some kitschy stuff down on the table and say, "Look what I got for $5!!"

    Yeah, well, how can you pay people $30-$50 per hour and still be able to only charge $5? I remember reading a bit about the hourly wage at the Tennessee Toyota plant: $14 per hour. Now how in the world can anyone live on that? I mean even in Tennessee, you'd be wanting to save for your kids' college educations, wouldn't you?

    I've spent lots of time on this forum and the number of posts I've read about how little members paid for their trucks or how they bargained down the price of their trucks are too numerous to count.

    You can't have it both ways: you can't keep getting the best quality and be paying the lowest price. Something's got to give.

    As far as the domestic car makers closing the quality gap. Well, that's a no brainer as their quality has been so low for so long they had no where to go but up.

    In case you younger guys aren't aware, we're in a rapidly changing world where the shift in power is fast heading towards China and India. The power of numbers makes this a relentless reality.

    Tata motors of India is being praised for its $2,500 car. Nissan is going to try to compete at that level. What sort of quality do you think you're going to get for $2,500?

    At this point, I love my Tacoma and its quality. As long as Toyota will be man enough to step forward and work with me to correct any issues that might arise, I'll be very happy for a very long time.
     
  2. Mar 5, 2010 at 6:45 AM
    #2
    dog tired

    dog tired Well-Known Member

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    No advertising for one thing





     
  3. Mar 5, 2010 at 6:49 AM
    #3
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Secondly, the cost of living is very different on a place to place basis. $14 an hour isn't to shabby in some areas.
     
  4. Mar 5, 2010 at 6:53 AM
    #4
    godofspeed

    godofspeed Washington State.

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    These days 14 dollars is alot. I know people that are taking 10 dollar an hour jobs out here in San Diego, because there is no jobs, economy sucks.
     
  5. Mar 5, 2010 at 6:53 AM
    #5
    dog tired

    dog tired Well-Known Member

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    There are many many cars made by non American Companies that are fine cars - ever watch Top Gear ?

    The reason we can not get them here is the big three did not want to fight competition so they had congress come up with safety rules - import taxes - a slew of things to make it impractical to bring a foreign car here . I'd love a Fiat 500

    Back on topic .......... take government out of cars and some here in the states would buy a 2,500.00 car use it and throw it away and get a new one when it was time .

    But the big three will never let that happen, hell the government will not let them even go bankrupt ... where would the greasy politicians get their pay off monies then ?

    Well I forgot about the health care industry .
     
  6. Mar 5, 2010 at 6:57 AM
    #6
    danb86

    danb86 [OP] East Ender

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    It's not the $14/hour I'm addressing. It's how can we keep expecting the highest quality when our every motivation when shopping is to spend the very least?

    The $14/hour is a byproduct of offering a very low priced item; you can't pay more or you'd have to charge more for your product.

    This whole scenario got twisted out of kilter in the American auto companies as the unions (rightly or wrongly) protected their members' interests by getting the best pay packages while not also holding the members accountable for guaranteeing the best quality.

    Please don't turn this into a union/anti-union thread (my Dad was union for his whole life); I was just trying to highlight two conflicting forces.

    Price vs. Quality. This theory can also be described as, "You get what you pay for".
     
  7. Mar 5, 2010 at 7:01 AM
    #7
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Point taken and I second the "union v. non-union" statement.

    Are we reserving this discussion to strictly autos?
     
  8. Mar 5, 2010 at 7:08 AM
    #8
    Joseph

    Joseph Active Member

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    very thoughtful post and well executed. Interesting discussion...
     
  9. Mar 5, 2010 at 7:12 AM
    #9
    danb86

    danb86 [OP] East Ender

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    Not to be reserved strictly to autos...it was just an attempt to partially explain the conflict b/t price and quality.

    In a larger context, I remember watching one of those "town hall" meetings before Obama was elected and the question kept coming up, "What are you going to do to bring jobs back to the US?"

    Unfortunately, if we're going to compete head to head with China (and we are - just pick up a bunch of items and check where they're made. There's a good chance my GAP t-shirt was made in Malaysia.) the answer is simple: we can give you as many jobs as you want at $5/hour.

    I was pretty shocked to hear the $14/hour rate for Adults at a Car Company. Shit, out here on the East End, teenagers are getting $75 babysitting for a few hours in the evening and $15/hour for clerking in clothing stores.
     
  10. Mar 5, 2010 at 7:40 AM
    #10
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    I understand completely your comment on "get what you pay for". It does hold true with probably 90% of products on the market.

    Lets take Harbor Freight for example. It's the one place you can cheap tools, many of which are pretty cheap in cost and construction. On the other hand I have no problem buying an 11 piece set of wrenches for $10. I have actually found them to quite durable and well crafted (Pittsburgh brand to be exact). On the other hand, it's a wrench.

    My sister was given a Hi-Point C9 pistol for a $75. It had jamming issues and she asked me to look at it. No problem. I inspected and disassembled it. I literally broke out in tears laughing at the construction of this thing. The frame is a one piece molded polymer. The internals are 90% stamped steel and it's held together with drift and roll pins. It requires a hammer and punch to tear down. For some reason, the manufacturer painted the ramp. The paint had chipped which was the reason for the jamming. During my dissection I found several pieces that were also plastic that shouldn't have been. Then I did some more research and found that they have a lifetime warranty regardless of ownership with free repair. You just pay the shipping. I just wasn't impressed with it's construction. But, "you get what you pay for".
     
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