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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    You make some good points. In today's globally connected world its hard to find products that are purely American, Japanese, German. They all borrow parts, manufacture in other countries, sometime borrow an entire car.

    I also believe people should buy whatever they find suits them best. What you drive has no reflection on your pride or love for your country. If an American car doesn't fit your needs then dont buy it.

    It's hard to tell which nation a car belongs to since a lot are either based on a foreign car or built in a foreign country. Example - Fusion is built in Mexico, Odysseys are built in Canada, BMWs are built in India.
  • fred222fred222 Posts: 200
    The biggest difference between the Domestic Big 2.5 and the Foreign Big 2 (Honda and Toyota) is the management philosophies and the UAW.
    I am sure that if you look at it statistically, the percentage of American labor man hours for vehicles that all these companies sell in the US is very similar and some of the "Imports" may be higher.
    If you feel patriotic you should care about employing American workers, more that where the company head office is located. These days , if you buy a Honda or a Toyota, or one of many other other "Imports" you may be helping American workers more than if you buy a "Domestic" vehicle.
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 240
    Buy Big 2.5 products made in Mexico/China: Supports American CEOs
    Buy asians brands made in USA: Supports American workers
  • tmp888tmp888 Posts: 20
    Buy Big 2.5 products made in Mexico/China: Supports American CEOs
    Buy asians brands made in USA: Supports American workers


    Few of the reasons for foreign automaker build vehicles here are:
    1) They don't want to exceed import quota.
    2) Avoid currency flutuation when they convert back to their currency.
    3) Make buyer not feel guilty when buying and etc.
    Bottom line is they care scrap about you and me.

    US automakers for the last few years have closed tens of factories in US and layoff tens of thousands US workers. Bottom line is the total number of auto workers in US pretty much stay about the same (it's just shifted from the 2.5 US big three to 3 Japanese big three). I point is regardless what you buy that you think help one or others. You don't.

    Would you prefer Bill Gate is American and lives in US or not American and lives in other country?
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 240
    Bottom line is they care scrap about you and me.
    What makes you think management of American corporations think any differently?

    US automakers for the last few years have closed tens of factories in US and layoff tens of thousands US workers
    Has any US CEOs taken pay cuts (stock and salary combined) lately?
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 187
    Your first point was a good one but after that you lost me... ;) Regarding your first point, if (no when) GM goes bellyup, I think the suppliers and their employees would switch to Toyota or whatever. Most already are looking to change their businesses and the employees are pretty marketable. If Michigan's Governor Granholm has already figured out that she needs to court Toyota, don't you think our nimble, free market capitalists will too?

    You are very far off on the emissions and disease issues. Cars are the biggest sources of the two of the biggest public health problems in the U.S. (and the world) - summertime and winter smog. Summer smog is caused by the mix of volatile organic compounds and hydrocarbons. Winter smog is caused by Particulate matter. These two pollutants cause billions in public health costs and create huge suffering from lung diseases like asthma, bronchitis and even lung cancer. By buying off Congress to ensure that SUVs are exempt from many emissions requirements, these vehicles pollute more PER MILE and thus cause more costs to the taxpayer and more lung problems per mile.

    In short, car manufacturers and SUV and high mileage car drivers do NOT pay for the external costs of their actions. No tax here; in fact those who make and drive trucks and SUVs are receiving huge subsidies do to the costs of their pollution.

    I did not mention CO2 but I will say that due to the SUV craze and our subsidies to the coal and oil businesses, the U.S. has 2.5% of the world population and produces 25% of the CO2 emissions. Thousands of scientists are in consensus on the contribution of CO2 to climate change and agree on the relation between CO2 and increased number and intensity of storm events. If you don't want to believe it, fine, but I will go with the meteoroligists.

    Ford was involved in the Firestone coverup.

    GM purchased the L.A. trolley system in the 30s and warehoused it. L.A. was not so suburban at that time. See the film Roger Rabbit for a funny take on a historical event.
  • 270HP. Sounds like fun!

    That was why I was going between the possibility of a Eclipse( also , it is made in Illinois, at UAW plan ;) )
    with 263HP, vs a 240HP G6 Coupe( which cost more than the Mitsu).

    Hmmm. 270HP is awfully interesting, indeed. :D

    If I am gonna get "low" mpg( think Mitsu is 23-25?), and i am gonna pay out the nose anyways( unless we save some cash for say 16-18 months beforehand, to lower monthly payments,etc) may as well get the most for the cash.

    Since I am 3-4 years away anyways froma purchase.... that sounds cool. GPX(?) will be out about 2 years or 3 by then, and eclipse may be near end of 5 year cycle run..... may end up being which one is th eleast expensive, or if price is thisclose, which one has the most of everything in it.

    C-Ya.
    DAV
    83-94
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,464
    IIRC the auto contribution to total pollution is easier to control than some of the others--like stopping manufacturing plants from operating. I'd like for someone to come up with total pollution data about the sources. But the ease of control with autos is the factor.

    I agree about having consumed much more fuel and contributed much more CO2 than necessary during past decades because of the popularity of trucks. I'm not talking about those who use trucks in their work or need one to get to their work site; I'm talking the truck to be 'cool.' I include my niece in that. She feels her Explorer is real safe for her and her little one. I haven't asked if she saw the report about the SUVs not being as safe because of rollover likelihood. I'd figured out long ago they roll over easier... grin.

    I heard today that a model on global warming found that having green forests over North America increases the absorption of heat from sunlight due to the dark green color; they hurt more than they help.
  • gteegtee Posts: 179
    The Buy American is nothing but a Marketing Campaign introduced in the late 70's by Ford GM and Chrysler. Ford and GM are forcing their suppliers to lower costs by shifting manufacturing to China. Chrysler, Ford and GM have for years build cars in Canada and Mexico and managed to call them "Domestics." It seems that Free Trade agreement makes it ok to call imported cars 'Domestic.'

    Recently I saw a Dodge Ram Pickup with a "Buy American" sticker on the truck. What a joke. A Mexican built truck with a Mexican built 'Hemi' motor, from a German car company. And this man puts a "Buy American" sticker on it. IF THIS IS NOT A JOKE, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.

    As far as I know, Chevy is the only car company in US that sells a car with a Chinese built motor (Chevy Equinox). At least my Honda Odyssey is built in America by American workers and comes with an American Built Engine.
  • AG11AG11 Posts: 31
    How much of the tooling is U.S? How much of the engineering is U.S.? How much of the vendor support/technical support is U.S.?

    A lot of cars that Japanese build here are designed, manufactured, and sold solely for the NAmerican market. Offhand I recall the following are only available here: Toyota Sequoia, Sienna, Tundra, Avalon, Honda Odyssey, Acura TL.

    Take a moment and think. We as Americans have sent Billions overseas over the last 10-15 years. Much of our wealth we have sent overseas will never come back. We are now a debtor nation to China, Japan, Korea and who else?

    But on the flip side, does this not simply make them more dependant on us too? Since they hold so much of our debt, they would not want us to go belly up and default. They'd rather have us prosper and make sure all the bonds are still worth something.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Currently a Silverado, Sierra are 87-90% North American content.

    The Buick Lucerne I looked at a couple days ago was 87% North American Content.

    General Motors still has the most North American content. ;) Your Honda, or Toyota might be assemebled in the U.S. which is yes good for americans, but what percentage are those parts made in North America. I know the Acura TL, Accord are 65% North American content which I believe is the highest for a foreign brand.

    I'd rather buy a Canadian Made,(CAW) automobile over a asian. #1 The money goes to our sister Canada instead of Japan. #2 The Canadian automobile worker isn't going to get fired for being too old. He will get a good retirement, instead of bread crumbs that the American Asian autoworker will recieve over his/hers lifetime of being manipulated.

    I know I will hear it from some of ya'll. But if you put some thought into what I just said, perhaps you might understand my personal view. ;)

    Rocky
  • irnmdnirnmdn Posts: 240
    I'd rather buy a Canadian Made,(CAW) automobile over a asian. #1 The money goes to our sister Canada instead of Japan. #2 The Canadian automobile worker isn't going to get fired for being too old.

    #1 Canada is as much sister to US and Japan is. In fact, as far as matters of foreign policy are concerned, Japan supports US way more than Canada does. So if you are patriotic American, support Japan before Canada.
    #2 Japanese auto workers probably workers enjoys same if not better health-care and pensions that Canadian workers do.

    Substitute Korea with Japan in #1,#2 - you won't still be far off.
    Is suspect your flawed argument is based on brotherly love towards CAW comrades rather than on facts. BTW, have you checked if JAW doesn't exist?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Fireston makes a bad tire, and that's Ford's fault. Okay.

    As bad as Firestone was in making the tires Ford was likely right behind them in the design of the vehile and the restriction put on Firestone... ergo the 'apologies' Ford made in TX, et al.
  • Some might call me unpatriotic, but I see no reason for buying a car from the Big 3 just to help out America. We have already established that many so-called Japanese cars are made in America, and many so-called American cars are made in Canada or Mexico. Never the less, I think we would still consider cars made by American companies to be the producers of American cars. For instance, I would still refer to a Jaguar as a British car, even though Jag is owned by Ford.
    So back to my initial statement. When purchasing or leasing a car, I would tend to go for what I actually want rather than what I think would be good for the economy. Why? Well, If I buy a car, I will have to live with it everyday. Why compromise with my money? Why not get the best? If I want the best roadster money can buy, that's easy: MX-5. The best sports sedan? The 3-series. The fact is, most American cars just don't stack up to the best in their segments. For example, the Grand Prix GXP is laughable when compared to the 3-series, A4, and IS350. It's the same story with the G6, which was soundly beaten by all other contenders in Car and Driver's recent comparison. Fusion or Accord? Well that one is a bit tough, but I think I would still go for the Honda. If the Big 3 actually stepped up their quality (I'm talking fit and finish, refinement, etc.) and became a real contender, then I would consider buying. Until then, however, I doubt I'll be visiting any domestic showrooms anytime soon.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I know the Acura TL, Accord are 65% North American content which I believe is the highest for a foreign brand

    Camry 80% N American content
    Corolla/Matrix/Vibe (!) 75%
    Avalon 75%
    Solara 75%
    Tacoma 70%
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    When I visited the Toyota display of 20 vehicles at the WI State Fair, all the Toyota vehicles - cars, trucks, SUVs were 70%+ Domestic content.

    And the Equinox is what - 52% ???
  • cracoviancracovian Posts: 337
    A nice 2004 GTO... Holden built it and GM picked up the tab (it costs me $120/month for 24 months). A ten-year Civic would cost me more. I just love domestic cars ;-)
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    on is the CEO pay structure of U.S. corporations. When I worked for the Japanese company the president drove a Toyota Camry. It was a fully loaded Camry, but still a president of a U.S. corporation would not be caught driving a Camry. I believe it is all in the philosphy of management. A leader should not portray total and upmost god like status. This breeds the wrong work ethic and environment for a company to succeed. Granted, a CEO deserves good pay, but not 10x more than the average worker in the company. This is where Ford/GM need to make huge changes. Stock holders should be forcing these changes. The monies used in these huge pay packages to CEO's can and should be spent on new products, company infrustracture, quality improvements.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    You quote Euro brands.. Do you know where some of these rate for reliability and quality when compared to even U.S. brands?
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    "A lot of cars that Japanese build here are designed, manufactured, and sold solely for the NAmerican market. Offhand I recall the following are only available here: Toyota Sequoia, Sienna, Tundra, Avalon, Honda Odyssey, Acura TL."

    Have you ever been into one of these Japanese manufacturing plants?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    The Japanese workers do enjoy those benefits that you described. I guess our horrible capatalism is rubbing off on the Japanese. They are exporting their citizens jobs to America. I was even :surprise: they were doing buisness in China too. (past history). Your arguement is a good one but Canada, has a similar culture to ours.
    I guess if all the plants U.S. asain plants were unionized, "I personally would offer a bit more support" for them. I have always said the asians design very fine cars. I would in fact buy one over a Bimmer, Mercedes, since they do build the majority of their cars over here and are of much higher quality. ;) I will always be biased since I grew up in a GM family as most of you know. I will however ridicule GM for investing in China, instead of building the cars here for export. I guess this is why I'm so anti-globalization, and feel the U.S. government is gambling our future away and big U.S. buisness is selling us out. At this point, I don't see any patriotism from corporate america and it's very sad. :sick: -This is how I see it. ;)

    Rocky
  • I cited two european cars: the BMW 3-series and the Audi A4. Both of these cars, over the past couple years have been among Consumer Reports recommended models. I simply used Jaguar as an example, but yes, I realize that reliability has been spotty among this particular brand.

    It's hard to make general statements about the reliability of cars from a certain country because all manufacturers/models are different. You cannot say, "Euros always break down" because they don't. I also cannot say that domestics always break down, because that is also not true. I will say, however, that my experience has been that many (not all!) domestic cars seem to lack refinement of their European (and Japanese, in some cases) counterparts. Interiors, for example, still seem to be a huge problem for the Big 3. Pontiacs, Chevys, and Saturns seem to be particularly atrocious.

    Anyway, I don't really wish to start an imports vs domestics debate. I just simply wanted to say that I will buy the car that I like the best, not the car that will do the best for America.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,464
    >Anyway, I don't really wish to start an imports vs domestics debate.

    I think the cat's out of the bag already :shades:
  • AG11AG11 Posts: 31
    Have you ever been into one of these Japanese manufacturing plants?

    No, I do not work in the automotive industry.

    All I know is that their car has decent domestic content (i.e. it's not like they assemble parts they import from their home country), the domestic content seems to increase each time models gets upgraded, and that they, along with other foreign companies, are only ones creating new jobs here.

    Is there anything alarming about their facilities?
  • AG11AG11 Posts: 31
    I just simply wanted to say that I will buy the car that I like the best, not the car that will do the best for America.

    Same here.

    And as discussed by many ppl thruout this topic, even the concept, "what's best for America" is vague, considering outsourcing by the domestics and ever expanding foreign presence here.
  • Same here.

    Maybe the thing that would be best for America would be for everyone to have the car they want. It could bring down road rage! Who knows! :shades:
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Granted, a CEO deserves good pay, but not 10x more than the average worker in the company.

    Like it or not, but any company -- not just automotive makers but any firm -- will have to pay market compensation if it expects to attract top talent.

    You can't expect Ford, GM or any other blue chip firm to find a top-flight CEO for a few hundred thousand per year, anymore than you could expect to find a decent mechanic charging $5/hour labor for his services. That might be accepted in Japan, but that simply won't work in the US.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    That's a nice theory, but when you pay through the nose for "top talent", you better damn well get it. I can't argue that GM has had much of it over the past 30 years, yet they've added some nice funds to the accounts of millionaires.

    There should be a compensation scheme for these oh so responsible and intelligent suits...after a period of time, if the company is not improving in some way, you get to (are forced to, at gunpoint if need be) return your pay. Compensation for these people should be entirely based on performance. Fail to perform, fail to make millions that you simply do not deserve.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    That's a nice theory, but when you pay through the nose for "top talent", you better damn well get it...

    I agree with that, of course...

    ...There should be a compensation scheme for these oh so responsible and intelligent suits...after a period of time, if the company is not improving in some way, you get to (are forced to, at gunpoint if need be) return your pay.

    ...But now you've taken things a bit far, and your outlook is precisely one reason why there has been a problem.

    There need to be incentives to encourage reasonable risk taking. Innovation carries risk, and if you are going to pummel people who take reasonable risks whenever they fail, which is more likely in the short run when one take chances, then you will never get innovators to work for you.

    Which has been a core problem for GM. The company has been so large and bureaucratic that it spent more effort on consolidating platforms, achieving cost reductions and developing its finance business than it has creating innovative, semi-interesting cars that the masses of people will want to buy and for which the masses will develop brand loyalty.

    Perhaps one problem in the US is the same problem that effectively killed off much of the UK's domestic car industry -- the rental car industry. When the large automakers can depend on large fleet sales to maintain high sales volumes, the end result is that there is little incentive to make interesting bread-and-butter cars that Joe Sixpack will want to buy trade-in after trade-in.

    The SUV boom made it so easy to produce profit that it was easier to follow the straight-and-narrow and to avoid innovating, because there was no need to subject oneself to the scrutiny of the headchoppers who will immediately seek revenge for a down quarter of earnings. But now that Toyota has led the way of a new wave of quirky small cars and hybrid technology, GM will need years to even attempt to play catch up.

    So my concern isn't with the compensation of executives -- pay the best whatever you need to pay them -- but with a changing in attitudes. But my suspicion is that the most innovative moves you can expect from GM in the future will be to move more manufacturing to the lower-cost PRC. After all, the sudden rush of attention that GM is drawing to its pension costs is a warning shot that the next move will be to weaken the UAW and start operating non-union plants outside of the US.

    GM isn't ultimately an American company, it's a global multinational that flies the flag of the stockholder first and foremost. Its loyalty isn't to you, so there should be no reason why anyone should be loyal to it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    I agree with big payouts for big bouts of success. Risk should be rewarded. GM is paying very good money, where are these "innovators"? But I think if you bravely lead a company to failure, you have no right to a golden parachute/big pension/other perks, not to mention the 7 and 8 figure compensation. It simply cannot be justified. Rewards for people who screw up...no logic. If you don't think your risks have a good chance of paying off, or you are too lazy to innovate, or are just there to cash in after a few years, maybe one should work elsewhere. GM can find better blood than people like Wagoner. I simply would like performance based pay.
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