Will I be able to get parts if the Big Three go down?

#1

Hi. I have been looking to buy an older American truck (to convert to run on SVO, but that is besides the point) for some time now. However, with all the uncertainty surrounding the future of GM, etc., I am worried that if worse comes to worse and these companies fail I will have a hard time finding/ affording parts when my rig needs the repairs an older vehicle inevitably requires. Is this a legitimate concern? Thanks, Annie

#2

At this point it seems the likelihood of failure is Chrysler, GM, then Ford (most likely to be around). You might also look at Isuzu, which manufactures the small diesel in GM trucks.

And I don’t think it is legitimate, since the junk yards are full of them and there are just oodles of them on the road. Someone will buy all the unused parts and make a living reselling them. My FIL has a childhood friend who did that in Germany. Except he bought up the parts inventory of a few farm machinery companies in Eastern Europe after they closed about 15 years ago. He is a very, very rich man.

#3

Hi, Annie.

I think you should buy a Ford. Of the big three, Ford seems to be in the best shape.

Also, the big three’s parts suppliers will probably have parts on the market for a long time after Chrysler and possibly GM fail. How long do you plan to keep the vehicle?

#4

I don’t think you need to worry about this for many years into the future. The big three are not likely to disappear all together (well, at least not Ford and GM). They may look different in the future, but I think at least two of them will still be around in some form or another.

I’m assuming SVO is some sort of vegetable oil conversion on a diesel engine, and not the high-performance division of Ford, as in Mustang SVO, or Taurus SVO.

Good luck with your plans.

#5

You won’t have a problem finding parts. The aftermarket will provide mechanical parts for decades to come and body parts can be found through salvage yards or aftermarket body panel companies.

Besides, when it comes to the factory they often obsolete parts after the 10 year mark when production of a particular part ceases. Buy a 20 year old truck and it’s unlikely you could get a part for it from the dealer unless the part was currently offered on a later model or they had one floating around in the back room.

#6

You will never see a shortage of parts for any older vehicle from GM. Ever. That goes for Ford and Chrysler too.

#7

Don’t sweat it. Even if they fail (unlikely as they still have bankruptcy as an option to restructure), most spare parts are being built or rebuilt by aftermarket manufacturers anyways. There should be no shortage of spare parts for older cars and trucks for years to come.

#8

The #'s of american trucks is so large even if they all fell off the planet expect parts to be available as long as you likely own your truck.

The truth is I don’t think any of the big three are going down. They simply shrink and downsize themselves and sell what they do best: large trucks at the top

The import brands (Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra) just are not doing well at all with large trucks. Nissan plans on rebadging the Dodge Ram (now an excellent product for 2009) for their next go around after investing likely 100’s of millions in the failed Titan.

#9

I’m sorry…but I don’t see the sky falling yet. YES the big three are in trouble…but that doesn’t mean they’ll be shutting down. Take a look at every other industry that was in the same boat as the big three…Long before they completely shut down they reorganize and down-size drastically. In some cases 80-90%. Even without the Government Wellfare…they’ll survive. They may be smaller…and close many plants and lay off workers…but they’ll survive. History has proven that.

#10
 Think about it . . . can you still buy parts for a 1944 Army Jeep?  You betcha.  How about an air-cooled VW?  Yes.  I think you'll wera it out long before the parts issue becomes a problem.  Rocketman
#11

First, It’s Not Likely They Are Going Down.

Second, if they go down, many other companies could follow. Third, without the Big Three, there would be major parts supply problems with all the companies producing cars sold here. This is why the other companies like Honda and Toyota are not thrilled whenever anybody even talks about the Big Three faultering. Many parts suppliers for all these companies are going through very tough times right now, cutting workers and production and trying to “hang on”.

Should the Big Three go down, we’re all going down, to some extent. I can’t see it.

#12

You’ll have no problem, regardless. For example, I went to Rockauto.com, and they stock replacement brake shoes for a 1958 Studebaker Champion! If I can find parts for a 50 year old car from a manufacturer then went out of business over 40 years ago, there will be parts for any Ford for years to come!

#13

i dont think there is any way they could
i mean come on think about it
but in the rare case they do
that would not hurt the parts com.
cuz the part you get form auto zone and napaa exsaidra
are part form the big three

#14

Your post is incomprehensible.

#15

I am good at reading gibberish. Perhaps I can translate:

I don’t think they could stop supplying the market with parts just because they stop making the cars. If the auto makers go out of business, that would not hurt the parts companies. Many people buy aftermarket replacement parts from local auto parts stores, not the auto manufacturer, which is a separate entity.

Even translated into English, it is totally wrong. If one of the big three goes out of business, it will have a profound effect on the parts manufacturers. They currently supply replacement parts AND parts for new cars. Take away the new cars, and you lose economy of scale. When they end up only selling replacement parts, they will either have to downsize and raise their prices, or go they will out of business.

#16

I would not worry too much about mechanical and electrical parts; thoise are common among many models of each manufacturer.

I would avoid a low volume model of a brand that will be discontinued. I friend of my wife wanted to buy an Oldsmobile Alero; I dissuaded her, sncie body parts will be hard to get in the future and the wrecking yards will not have any.

In other words, buy the best selling model (manein the US or Canada) of one of the companies that will survive, i.e. Ford or GM. Don’t buy an import such as the Saturn Astra, designed in Germany and built in Belgium. Part for this will be hard to get especially since the Saturn group will likely bite the dust with the upcoming downsizing of GM. Pontiac is not expected to suvive either, so a Pontiac Solstice sports car would be a poor choice.

Pickup truck parts from Ford or GM will be available for a very long time.

#17

OTOH, Opel will remain in business, so parts for the Astra should be available. I’d say the same for the Aura (Malibu and G6 sister) and the Outlook (Traverse, Acadia, and Enclave brother). I agree with your synopsis concerning the Sky, though.