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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    So that GM of yours...is at least thirty years old by now?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Mexican workers are American but not UAW, too.

    OK, next time you're at a Mexican auto plant, why don't you ask the folks what nationality they are? Pretty sure you won't hear 'American'.

    Sheesh.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,742
    But didn't Ford fall behind GM in that very list, tlong?

    The folks who hate the bailout are hatin' that!


    Yes, it seems Ford has fallen a lot. Mostly due to the new electronics.
    I'd still buy them over bailed out GM, though.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,742
    edited December 2012
    OK, next time you're at a Mexican auto plant, why don't you ask the folks what nationality they are? Pretty sure you won't hear 'American'.

    Their nationality is Mexican, of course.
    My nationality is that I'm a United States citizen.
    Anybody living in the Americas is an American. I don't think that's hard to understand.

    The thread title is about buying American cars. It's not titled - buying U.S. cars - what does it mean? Perhaps it should be.

    Personally, if I were a citizen of Canada or Mexico or other American countries, I would find it pretty arrogant of US citizens who think that they're the only "Americans".
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    ...that an assembly person would notice that the brakes don't have a pad when they put the "assembly" on the car.

    In a perfect world I would agree.

    Remember, though, that the line is constantly moving, and the assembler's primary task in this particular case is to mount and attach the axle/strut sub-assembly to its mounting points and connect the brake fluid line, electrics, etc.

    The incident is absolutely a QC failure, but at the point of sub-assembly manufacture. That is where the process failed, and that is where attention is needed. While a missing brake pad may or may not be fairly evident, a severely over-torqued axle nut most likely would be overlooked, resulting in a possible bearing failure, or even wheel lock-up at some point.

    In reality, a sub-assembly that allows parts to drop out of place is a failed design from the start....

    At the end of the day, it matters little where/who/how/when the subassembly was made. It's the accepting manufacturer's liability (in this case, GM) and responsibility.

    I can't overstate the impact that requiring multiple stations to re-inspect work already performed at prior stations would have in slowing down production, not to mention the inefficiencies it would introduce.

    That process works on things like spacecraft and one-of-a-kind items, but fails miserably in mass production.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    edited December 2012
    None of them identify themselves as such, though. I've met people from Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Chile - none said they were "American". I've never heard of a citizen of the "Americas" calling themselves "American". Kind of a grasping-at-straws reference, IMNSHO.

    In virtually every context known to man, use of the term "American" is assumed to identify someone from the US. Other usage of the term will almost always have a prefix - like "north" "central" "south". Anything else sounds like some one worlder trickery to usher in cheap labor goods.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    It was an 87 and did that in 94. 7 year old car.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,742
    You're certainly entitled to your not-so-humble-opinion. Isn't this country great?!
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    edited December 2012
    But didn't Ford fall behind GM in that very list, tlong?

    The folks who hate the bailout are hatin' that!


    I hate the bailout but I don't hate that fact.

    For one, I never had any real faith in Ford. Two, I would expect that GM being subsidized by our 16 trillion dollar debt would perform better than the unsubsidized and un-bailed out Ford.

    That's a big part of the reason I'm against bailouts, they punish the lesser evil, while rewarding the greater evil.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    Here is the key to that battery plant being built in the USA:

    with help from a $1.4 billion U.S. Department of Energy loan.

    Let's see that is $4,666,666 per job created. At that rate the Feds will have to spend a few hundred Trillion to get everybody back to work.

    Of course there are the jobs for the snack wagon operators etc.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    Pretty sure you won't hear 'American'.

    Sheesh.


    Actually Mexicans can be very sensitive about that. I was corrected more than once when I lived in Rosarito Beach. I would say I was from America and they would mention they were also living in America. Canadians will also correct the misnomer that we are exclusively Americans.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,134
    edited December 2012
    If you think Mexicans are sensitive about it you should hear Alaskans.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    I've never heard of a citizen of the "Americas" calling themselves "American". Kind of a grasping-at-straws reference, IMNSHO.

    Just as we should refer to ourselves as US citizens. Fin, you do not have a humble bone in your body. :shades:

    I do agree the Feds lumping auto content into one bucket is a one world attempt. I am kind of surprised AALA has not been shot down by the WTO as they have done with our food labels. I really care less about where my car parts come from than I do my food parts.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    That is for sure. You don't want to tell an Alaskan you are from America or the USA. They will correct you.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    Likewise: 31 years, 10 GM cars, 0 fires.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I didn't know they built Skyhawks that long.

    IIRC, the 1.8 liter engine used in the early '80's versions were Brazilian-built.

    Can't trust that South American labor!

    Just kidding. Buick sold it so Buick is responsible.

    But the point of my post was, that was nearly twenty years ago, by your own account.

    I've used this example before (much to obyone's consternation, I'm sure), but when I was younger, if a guy who had a bad '49 Ford wouldn't have considered a '68 Mustang or Torino because of it, we'd have considered him an old crank.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,742
    I really care less about where my car parts come from than I do my food parts.

    I can tell you that in most cases, the food grown in the US is mass-farmed with all sorts of pesticides and fertilizers. The tomatoes are grown in sand in FL which is why so many of them are light orange rather than red and have no flavor.

    When we were in Spain a year ago it was quite noticeable how good the produce was. And the South American and Mexican produce that we sometimes find at Costco seems as good or better than US-grown equivalents.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Well, the 96 Corsica I owned was much more recent, and that's the one that had to be towed at least once a year. But that nearly 10 years ago.

    But of course there were issues with Cobalts, but that was nearly 5 years ago. And there's that whole Malibu rear legroom thing but that was almost 6 months ago. et cetra, ad infinitum.

    It doesn't matter how long ago it was if they're doing the same thing still.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    Likewise: 31 years, 10 GM cars, 0 fires.

    I've not had a GM car ever catch on fire, though I've had a few I wanted to torch;)
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Rear legroom is now being considered in the same vein as mechanical problems? I'm laughing out loud.

    I had an '89 Beretta GT and a '90 Corsica. The Corsica sat out all the time in NE OH weather, and never stranded me once. I mean, not once. I bought it new and traded it at 108K miles and 6 1/2 years on a new Cavalier...because I wanted one.

    Apparently, compared to you, I walk between the raindrops.

    And tlong, come on, good grief. So "Buying American" here, in your mind actually also includes "Buying Mexican"? Do you sincerely think that's what this thread is about--the Mexican auto industry? I'm not slamming Mexico; I'm thinking about your thought process.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,134
    edited December 2012
    Well, there hasn't been much difference between Canadian car factories and US ones in forever. They only make "Detroit" iron don't they? About the only difference is the unions got a bit mad at each other.

    Now with NAFTA, we are all one big happy family.

    (edit - looks like Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura have plants there now)

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    edited December 2012
    I have no problem referring to myself as that. You won't find a Canadian or Mexican or Peruvian calling themselves an "American".

    It's a ruse to further along the lack of content labeling that we have loathed. Pretty soon we will have things labelled "Made in America", that are made in Mexico or Paraguay. And some here seem to like that idea. Maybe we should start outsourcing the jobs we give to the overpaid middle aged set to "America" as well :shades:

    I want to know where both my car parts and food come from. Right now, I know both.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,742
    And tlong, come on, good grief. So "Buying American" here, in your mind actually also includes "Buying Mexican"? Do you sincerely think that's what this thread is about--the Mexican auto industry? I'm not slamming Mexico; I'm thinking about your thought process.

    So then why are Canadian made vehicles considered domestic content? That doesn't support any US workers or taxes. If somebody wanted this to be about US vehicles they should have named the thread as such. The question is "what does buying American mean", and we are having a discourse on that. Do you sincerely think that even though the title of the thread keeps the topic more broadly open, your own private interpretation of that is somehow the only correct one?

    I'm thinking about your thought process, too. ;)
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    Certainly there are parts from the US that end up in assembled vehicles in Canada. My BIL works for a tool & die supplier in Michigan. He sells dies and tooling to plants in the US and Canada, so he does benefit regardless.

    As much as I'd like a new pickup, the reality is I need a full-size SUV. So I'll try to hold out to see the new Suburban or I may just buy a used low mileage Expedition EL unless Ford updates the Expedition in the next year or so. But I haven't heard anything other than the Ecoboost v6 likely being offered in the Navigator. I'll try to keep my current Expedition for as long as I can depend on it. But it is a domestic made vehicle, so it could drop dead at anytime.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited December 2012
    So then why are Canadian made vehicles considered domestic content? That doesn't support any US workers or taxes. If somebody wanted this to be about US vehicles they should have named the thread as such. The question is "what does buying American mean", and we are having a discourse on that. Do you sincerely think that even though the title of the thread keeps the topic more broadly open, your own private interpretation of that is somehow the only correct one?

    For nearly a century folks have considered a "domestic" auto one made either in the US or Canada (or partially by both).

    NAFTA changed a large part of that, and assuming the current process is maintained, over the next century a "domestic" vehicle will be one made within parts of Canada, the US and Mexico... Probably even other NA countries.

    Of course, the idea of a "domestically made" vehicle is becoming somewhat obsolete. I suspect by the mid-21st Century, vehicles won't even be seen in that light. Corporations are literally becoming multi-national, and our whole concept/world view as to how we see things is probably going to change significantly in the next few decades to come.

    I look back on my 58 years and note how "nationalism" has changed, and I can only guess how much more change i will see, assuming I live a normal lifespan.

    Example: Few folks in the US would have bought a Japanese made car in 1965, but by the mid 1980's, Japan was making cars in Ohio and selling them here. VW's were purchased by those many in the US considered oddballs in the mid 1960's... Look at VW now. Today, many "foreign" owned US plants export more models made in the US than they sell in the US. BMW makes 3 X-models for worldwide sales in SC, and exports 70% of production.

    While that may or may not stick in someone's craw, it IS the way it will be. In fact, it's been that way for some time now. The real argument shouldn't be about what is going to change, but how rapidly that change (including automotive corporate consolidation as well) is going to happen...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    I still recall in the late 1970s one state mandated they only buy pu trucks 100% made in USA. The only PU trucks that qualified were the VW Rabbit PUs made in PA, if memory serves.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited December 2012
    No offense, but it's very, very, very hard for me to believe that in the late '70's:

    1) A VW pickup was "100% made in the USA" (and I lived in western PA at the time).

    2) Chevy, Ford, Dodge, and International "regular" pickups for sale in the U.S. were not all assembled entirely at U.S. plants. At least the Chevy ones I looked at as new were, even though I'd fairly often see Monte Carlos, and later, Monzas, that were made in Canada and sold at U.S. dealers.

    Perhaps they were looking for compact pickups, and in that case the "Chevy" LUV (actually, an Isuzu marketed as a Chevrolet) and the Ford Courier were Japanese designed and built.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,890
    Perhaps they were looking for compact pickups, and in that case the "Chevy" LUV (actually, an Isuzu marketed as a Chevrolet) and the Ford Courier were Japanese designed and built.

    Perhaps that was the case. That was a while ago. I just remember the jokes at the time that a VW PU was the most American made of the choices. You must remember then that the VW factory was a UAW facility for the time it was in business?
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,758
    edited December 2012
    Personally, I don't blame the final assembly worker for the missing pads. Frankly, he/she doesn't have the time to re-examine the sub assemblies during final assembly, nor should anyone be expected to do so.

    Modern manufacturing techniques are actually designed to remove the need for quality checks. The goal is to improve the manufacturing process so much that it becomes 100% perfect. The onus should be on the sub-assembly manufacturer to ensure their process eliminates errors. Quality is not supposed to be checked, it's supposed to be built into the product and process.

    Now if loose brake pads were found in the bottom of the crate (and AFAIK there's no proof of that), the person finding them should have notified someone so the supplier's process could be reviewed to eliminate future mistakes.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited December 2012
    Modern manufacturing techniques are actually designed to remove the need for quality checks. The goal is to improve the manufacturing process so much that it becomes 100% perfect. The onus should be on the sub-assembly manufacturer to ensure their process eliminates errors.


    I agree. Modern manufacturing techniques should be designed in a way that eliminates, or at least minimizes incorrectly assembled assemblies.

    I also agree that the sub-assembly contractor is in need of updating its QC controls.

    Quality is not supposed to be checked, it's supposed to be built into the product and process.

    Here we disagree. Yes, quality is indeed supposed to be built into the process, but I don't know of a single successful manufacturer or company that doesn't perform some type of QC. QC isn't simply part of the design process, it's also part of the manufacturing process (or, should I say is SHOULD be part of the manufacturing process).

    How else could a manufacturer REALLY know how accurate the manufacturing techniques are? Pulling the occasional unit off the line for enhanced inspection is quite the norm.

    The nearest auto manufacturer to me is BMW, and they are constantly pulling units off the line for additional QC. There's a separate group at the end of the line that performs that task, and even though BMW is about as high-tech as they come, they still have individuals quite literally go over chosen units with "white gloves".
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