Thursday, March 5, 2009

Night and day

Over the past week, I've driven two rental two cars - an '09 Toyota Corolla and an '09 Chevy Cobalt.

Both are mid-entry level compact cars, but it's amazing how different they are. The Corolla is a very decent car. I would be happy driving this car everyday.

The Cobalt is a complete disaster - hard plastics throughout the interior, weak brakes, underpowered engine (constantly wheezing as if it suffers from asthma), poor gas mileage, and a terrible turn radius (like maneuvering a van). It's a tiny step up from a Chevy Aveo (which is also one of the worst cars ever...right up there w/ the PT Cruiser).

It's pretty evident to me why the US automakers are failing. With the exception of a few vehicles, cars in the lower price levels by GM, Ford, and Chrysler are inferior in quality to those offered by European and Asian automakers. The rental car companies are a major purchaser of these (U.S. automaker) vehicles and I'm sure the three automakers would be doomed w/ out this segment. Note - Hertz is owned by Ford. (not any stratch that. Thanks for the reminder Tim!)

Just my opinion!

Is GM almost gone?
General Motors Crash Warning (from Forbes)


Yankee1969 said...

I think Ford sold of much or all of it's stake in Hertz to get much need cash to waste on more poorly designed cars. I think they did this in '07 or '08.

One of my favorite comparisons: 88 Fiero versus 87 MR2. My best friend's Dad had the MR2 (awesome car, we loved that in high school) and my friend got an 88 Fiero. Both mid-engined, 4-cylinder 2-seaters, but that's where it all likeness ended.

Andy said...

That's right! Ford sold Hertz in '05 to a private equity group (for $5.6B...not bad!). The group then took Hertz public in '06.

I am a loyal Hertz customer... ;-)
Tried Enterprise a few times and will never go back.