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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    lots of parttime workers. How does that fit with the stated policy of keeping trained workers

    My guess is that if they are laid off, lots will move out here to Boise where we're still building houses like crazy. :shades:

    I like the way you picked up on knowledgeable management so fast. ;)

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  • I've been new car shopping for several weeks now and lately came to realize that my previous "American" vehicle was actually assembled in Canada. Now I hear that one of my American brand new car choices is assembled in Mexico and has an ENTIRE POWERTRAIN that is from other countries! I want my money to go to our economy. Who knows a website or database that tracks where all new cars are assembled AND where the major parts come from??
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    the only vehicles produced in America anymore are built by them darn foreign companies.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,666
    While I appreciate your comment, I never implied that current management deserves tens of millions for simply stemming losses or running a company into the ground, a la the prior mgmt of Delta Airlines...they do NOT deserve golden parachutes, but rather lead anchors attached to their ankles...

    As far as the jobs bank, the problem is the union contract which the Big 3 foolishly signed onto...basically, if you were hired to install wheels on the left side, they cannot make you install wheels on the right side...VERY strict definition of job description, came back to bite automakers hard...

    Japanese saw stupid handwriting on the wall, and they hire you to work for Toyota, Honda, doing whatever they need you to do...today, install wheels, tomorrow, install windshields...simple matter of cross training so they can place you where they need you...plus, one would expect that the worker is better utilized from a mental state simply because monotony is reduced, if not eliminated...

    The unions are so crooked, when they finally breathe their last gasp, they won't just be buried, they will have to be screwed into the ground...
  • Not entirely true... I know for a fact that my first new car choice (chevy malibu maxx) is assembled in Kansas City, MO, by GM. I visited a site a few weeks back that actually gave a percentage value of how American a car really was. I remember the Ford Fusion being fairly low percentage American and my first choice (malibu maxx) being almost 90% American, which was very reassuring. However, I haven't been able to relocate the website, nor have I been able to find comparable information on the "information super-highway"... someone must know where to get this information!!!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    Here's one chart. (USA Today)

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  • THAT'S the chart that I originally saw! Thanks for leading me to it again. Any others that describe in more detail which exact parts are from different countries?
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 711
    Interesting, but note the bias built into the table - Why is Canada no differentiated from USA products? How is Canada more "domestic" than Mexico? Could there be some UAW influence here?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    note the bias built into the table

    That's your tax dollars at work (1992 American Automobile Labeling Act).

    Most people either don't care or aren't aware of the labels. There's more here. (NHTSA)

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  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    I was being facetious.
  • LOL, sorry. I once was speaking with a gentleman who considered his Mazda an American vehicle because it was assembled in the US... After a brief discussion on the cost of engineering, R&D, part production, and other factors- as compared to the cost of assembly- his mind was changed. Also keep seeing these Toyota commercials for their "American" trucks which are, again, only assembled here.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I once was speaking with a gentleman who considered his Mazda an American vehicle because it was assembled in the US... After a brief discussion on the cost of engineering, R&D, part production, and other factors- as compared to the cost of assembly- his mind was changed.

    Funny, I was under the impression that company profits go to shareholders, and the biggest individual shareholder is that blue oval place in Dearborn, MI. :confuse: They even offer the Ford discount.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,666
    wrong, but assembly of the vehicle is still a major step in production, and having the assembly plant here employs American workers, plus the added jobs of the suppliers who locate around the main assembly plant...

    It may not ALL be American, but having an import assembly plant does add economic value to a region that only has farming as its primary industry...
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    If I bought a Chinese-made bicycle at Wal-Mart and went home and assembled it, could I then claim the bicycle was "Made in the USA?"
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    If you employed YOU to assemble the bike and paid tax, yup, you can.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,048
    >If I bought a Chinese-made bicycle at Wal-Mart and went home and assembled it, could I then claim the bicycle was "Made in the USA?"

    Heard a guy comment that the head of (defunct) Huffy bicycle company said they started manufacturing in China because people wouldn't pay $2 more for a Huffy bike made in the US at Walmart.
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 711
    I suspect that "people wouldn't pay" is code for WALMART wouldn't pay.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    "people wouldn't pay" is similar code to "jobs americans won't do." It's a lie.

    As for foreign vs. domestic % of cars, read carefully. Automobile sales stickers generally list the percentage of foreign and domestic parts, plus where the "final assembly point" is located.

    But the Detroit three LOVE to say things such as '90% of our cars are built in North America,' because they know that 90% of people have forgotten their high school geography -- Mexico is part of North America!

    BTW, isn't it ironic that US automakers spent the 80s and 90s moving their factories to foreign countries, while Honda and Toyota spent the same time building factories in the US? Now Ford and GM teeter on the verge of bankruptcy, and Daimler is dropping Chrysler like a bad habit, while Toyota and Honda continue to produce superior products and sell them in superior numbers, even at higher prices than "domestic" cars!
  • I'm not trying to completely discount the fact that, yes, Americans are making the money from assembly plants here. However, assembly isn't what it used to be. The days of a factory full of American laborers producing all aspects of a car are long gone. Now it's mostly machines and robotic welders that piece the cars together, with actual working humans only where absolutely necessary. While these workers do earn money and pay taxes, this division of vehicle production has to be the least beneficial for our economy. I'd be willing to bet that every engineer and researcher that had a hand in the same car (or company) makes 5x more money than the laborer at the assembly plant. Also, the main components of the vehicle are a large part of the cost. You can't get an engine and transmission for pennies. My concern with my new car purchase is that a good portion of my thousands of dollars go directly to the American economy; whether it be the laborer in KC, MO who builds it, the company that built my engine and transmission, or the guy who makes $200,000 a year that helped design and develop it.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    >If I bought a Chinese-made bicycle at Wal-Mart and went home and assembled it, could I then claim the bicycle was "Made in the USA?"

    Heard a guy comment that the head of (defunct) Huffy bicycle company said they started manufacturing in China because people wouldn't pay $2 more for a Huffy bike made in the US at Walmart.

    Anyone that buys a bicycle at Wal-Mart deserves exactly what they get. ;)
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