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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,774

    @guido65 said: I am constantly finding people in other forums who honestly think Toyota/Honda are American. The first thing I ask them is where are they headquartered? Where is their stock traded? This usually gets them thinking. Then I get the response "Well they make cars here in the U.S.". No, they assemble cars here in the U.S. Big difference. People don't look deep enough. Even the parts companies that supply these foreign plants are not American. Then there is the tooling and support that assembles the vehicles. Foreign made and supported. I feel there should be a class in High school and even college showing, educating Americans on what happens when you send your money overseas. How it affects you in the long term. Less money in our economy means less money for schools, jobs, investment.. THINK ABOUT IT.

    Well, that's pretty simplistic. Fact is that none of these companies are totally aligned to any country. The measure of "domestic content" (which of course also includes Canada which is ridiculous) does include the total value of the assembly and manufacturing. Many of the Japanese company engines, for example, are made in the USA, not just assembled. But of course many of the US nameplate transmissions or engines are made outside the USA, too. As far as I know, GM is the only seller of cars in the US to have sold a car with a Chinese-made engine, as well.

    You also have to look at the entire value chain. If the profit margin is say, 10% on a car, then that means at most 10% of the purchase price goes back to the parent HQ. The rest goes to the local manufacturer, employees, marketing, distribution, services, dealers, etc. - all located in the country of sale. You also need to look at where the taxes go - if Toyota actually MAKES money in the US, then they pay US taxes. If GM LOSES money in the US, then they don't pay those same taxes. And of course GM also has been given a big tax break for many years due to the sweet deal they got with the US government during BK.

    So IMHO your statements are a bit simplistic. Look at the big picture. Also, look at what you would be driving if there was not the wonderful diversity of competition in this industry. Think about your internet ISP or TV providers and how little choice you have there, and therefore the high prices and low quality of service are the result.

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    edited April 28

    Think about your internet ISP or TV providers and how little choice you have there, and therefore the high prices and low quality of service are the result.

    Ta carry this pup a little further I would like to walk out on a limb and just state how happy I am with CenturyLink service, which supplies my high-speed internet connection service and my DirecTV. Even comparing DirecTV with Dish network makes me glad I have DirecTV service and their fantastic remote. I look at the way we can use the Genie to record shows, reverse them backwards if you recorded the show out ahead and wanted to see something at the beginning you missed, the wonderful "info" button that allows one to see who the actors and actresses are, what year the flick was made, and on and on and on.

    Also, through DirecTV I don't miss any of my Seahawk games with NFL Sunday Ticket. Ya gotta love those apples. All of this costs me about $4 a day. That is for my DirecTV and high-speed internet. To me that's easily worth it, I have a deal where I get Showtime and Encore Movie-packaged (25 of 'em) channels. Now, I could see a lot of people not wanting to play this game, but I just find it worth every penny about 1/2-way through the month.

    A bit of a sequeway, I agree, just wanted ta jump on this like a hungry lion. B)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • berriberri Posts: 4,254

    But is it one of those 1 or 2 year promotional things where afterwards the rate skyrockets and you have to switch providers again? Cable and satellite price increases continue to move way faster than inflation or the general economy. Now with all these mergers and consolidations it will only get worse. Same thing is happening with the programming content providers. Lack of competition and getting even more that way.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited April 28

    I remember learning that the parts content percentage did not include location of assembly of engine and trans. This was spelled out on the GM Monroney label, at least as of a couple years ago. I must assume the rest of the industry is the same.

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,182

    @guido65 said: I am constantly finding people in other forums who honestly think Toyota/Honda are American. The first thing I ask them is where are they headquartered? Where is their stock traded? This usually gets them thinking. Then I get the response "Well they make cars here in the U.S.". No, they assemble cars here in the U.S. Big difference. People don't look deep enough. Even the parts companies that supply these foreign plants are not American. Then there is the tooling and support that assembles the vehicles. Foreign made and supported. I feel there should be a class in High school and even college showing, educating Americans on what happens when you send your money overseas. How it affects you in the long term. Less money in our economy means less money for schools, jobs, investment.. THINK ABOUT IT.

    So, um...

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/toyota-may-move-its-us-headquarters-to-texas.html

    I challenge you or anyone to walk into this new facility and tell them they are not American...

    Good luck with that one.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,576

    lol, I have visions of Texas (finally) succeeding from the union. (texassecede.com/)

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,763

    @anythngbutgm said:

    So, um...

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/toyota-may-move-its-us-headquarters-to-texas.html

    I challenge you or anyone to walk into this new facility and tell them they are not American...

    Good luck with that one.

    Exactly. When I was thinking about buying a Fiesta ST or a 500 Abarth I noted that both cars are built in Mexico but that the Abarth has more US content because the engine in built at Chrysler’s engine plant in Dundee, Michigan.

    So, which car would be the most "patriotic" purchase?

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    edited April 28

    But is it one of those 1 or 2 year promotional things where afterwards the rate skyrockets and you have to switch providers again?

    berri - kind of. I have to call a bit before 6 months (every 6 months) is up or it goes up about $50 a month. That's why I say I could understand it if anyone didn't want to play in this kind of sandbox. But I'll be there next Seahawk season with my $224 signing up for another glorious Seahawk season!

    Kind of pricey. It's $120 a month for my high-speed internet and DirecTV package combined. To me it's worth every penny. I must call every 6 months, though, to renew the promotion, seems really goofy ta me but they don't mind doing it. My wife watches TV a lot and I do somewhat...I surf for literally hours per day. When I'm off work, that is. :p

    Suppose I should heed stever's call from afar ta get this ship righted and back on track and miss that large iceberg straight up ahead.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,576
    edited April 29

    Friend of mine went from Abilene area to Dallas yesterday on the Interstate and got stuck behind an accident. Took him 3 hours to go 50 feet. He winters there to be near his elderly parents and hates it.

    But at least he was stuck in an American made Ford Expedition. B)

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  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,599
    edited April 30

    @MrShift@Edmunds said: Great. Where do I send my check to make this happen? Can we do it tomorrow?

    Stever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,161 April 28 lol, I have visions of Texas (finally) succeeding from the union. (texassecede.com/)

    Why this hating Texas thing?

  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343

    Well, after 38 days in the body shop, my 2014 S4 is essentially built and assembled in the United States (In Escondido, CA), 20.3K in repairs, granted, a good chunk is in parts, but you get what I mean.

    First 4.5 months 4,100 miles were flawless and impeccable.

    After the repairs, it took me all of 15-25 minutes to find nearly 20 things wrong with the repair work, and here we are 6 days after I took it back and it has already needed a tow truck for what appears to be a bad coolant leak. SIX DAYS. Buying American hasn't changed :( Americans suck at cars!

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,410

    "Now GM, Ford, Chrysler, need to build cars with passion that distinguish themselves from the Asians."

    Rocky said this quite some time ago but it's exactly correct. They are close to bridging the quality gap, GM has good leadership for once, Ford's made their turn around and Chrysler is still Chrysler even with Fiat running it.

    At least my 04 Mazda 6 wagon was built in the USA with largely American parts (I'm almost sure it's a Ford engine labeled Mazda) and even has a UAW sticker on it. Built in Michigan.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494

    I've said this on another forum, but I will never forget the deer-in-the-headlights look on Toyota's president of N.A. operations, during their recall crisis, on Capitol Hill. He deferred almost everything to Mr. Toyoda. A very minor thing, but on my local dealer's anniversary, he was provided a Samurai sword by two Japanese management members. Nothing wrong with that, but not exactly 'American'.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,410

    You've got your point there. Not all the Japanese respond to issues in the same way. I think Toyota got too big for its own good and is now trying to find their way back.

    If you want to find a company that owns up to mistakes and rights them look at Honda. It also looks like GM is coming around to that view. They really look like they've turned a serious corner.

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,576

    Curious what example(s) you have for Honda - they kept the Insight around too long and it sure took a few years for the CR-V AC compressor complaints to fade away.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494

    Their fire-hazard recall for Odysseys took awhile apparently as well...goes back as far as the Cobalt recall does. There are fire pics on youtube.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,164

    Honda did seem to properly handle the swarm of V6 transmission failures back around 01-04 or so.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,410

    That's mostly wheee I'm coming from. That one required no contact with corporate Honda at all. It was completely handled by the dealer inclusion a loaner and den in two days. Cost me not a cent.

    I've called Honda corporate a couple of times (can't remember what for) but their attitude was always what's wrong and how can we resolve this for you.

    A far cry from my Ford and VW experiences. At least after pulling teeth VW came through. The car still sucked but that's another story.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,164

    A friend of mine suffered the problem on an 03 Accord at ~60K miles, and had no resistance either. I think it was more like a 2 week job for him though. It also failed on him a few hundred miles from home, so that was fun.

    Maybe related to American cars, that Accord started having constant little issues at around 140-150K, so it might not have aged better than a modern American car.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,410

    That's interesting. My daughter'sAccord has 310K on it. I will grant you it's to where it looks like bell and has been through a couple "well it's cheaper than replacing it" repairs.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,164

    His was an 03 V6 coupe. Around 140K it started having a lot of little electrical issues, including random losses of power and ICE problems. The engine and transmission were fine and cosmetically the car was OK, but age was rearing its head. I think he got rid of it around 160-170K, and now has a Prius he wishes would be hit by a falling tree.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653

    Test drove a used '12 Sonic LT sedan with my daughter over weekend. Not a bad small car. The ride was better than I expected and I thought it drove well enough. The 1.8 4cyl is a bit of a downer though. Power is ok, but it lets itself be known. Overall I think it's a nice small car. Only concern I had with the sample we drove was the HVAC fan sounded like it was out of a '75 Buick. It sounded like it was on its last leg. That's a bit disappointing on a 2 year old car with 30k miles on it.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653

    @plekto said: What's your budget and age limit for used?

    Sorry Plekto, I haven't been on in a while. But I'd like to find something 2-4 years old, under 60k miles, and I'd like to be under $12k. Those are just guidelines I'm shooting for.

    Fortunately, my daughter isn't picky about a car (surprising since she is about everything else). We went looking on Saturday and I couldn't get a good response out of her on anything. All were just fine. Anyway, she does prefer to have a 4 door vs 2 door.

    I've got plenty of time. She won't get her license until August.

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 7,253

    @dieselone said: Test drove a used '12 Sonic LT sedan with my daughter over weekend. Not a bad small car. The ride was better than I expected and I thought it drove well enough. The 1.8 4cyl is a bit of a downer though. Power is ok, but it lets itself be known. Overall I think it's a nice small car. Only concern I had with the sample we drove was the HVAC fan sounded like it was out of a '75 Buick. It sounded like it was on its last leg. That's a bit disappointing on a 2 year old car with 30k miles on it.

    You might want to test drive one with the 1.4T engine. Better responsiveness all around, IMO.

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  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653

    I think Chrysler is turning around. I don't know where their reliability is overall, but they are making more appealing models.

    All I can say is my '14 Ram has been perfect so far at 16k miles. Only small issue is with Uconnect. It does hang up occasion when using XM radio, right after a start up. Sometimes will take a few minutes to change the channel and for presets to appear (I can exit Xm and us terrestrial radio or media) . All other functions are not effected and it only has happened a few times. Maybe the next software update will address it.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653

    Yeah, I've not sampled a 1.4T. I'd imagine it's more refined. I'll get around to driving one in the coming weeks.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited May 7

    Honestly, I thought all Sonics had the 1.4, as opposed to the Cruze which offers both. I see otherwise.

    If I were buying a Sonic, I'd buy the sedan. I hate the sawed-off look of the hatch, but I know that's the better-seller.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653

    We'll I didn't open the hood, but the spec sheet said it had the 1.8 and it was an LT. Probably a rental at one time. On the used lots around here, Sonic sedans are far easier to find. Probably due to fleet sales.

    Overall I think the sonic is a nice car. I'll keep my eyes out for a 1.4 powered sample. The 1.8 definitely sounds rental grade.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,105

    On the subject of rental grade, my housemate had to get a rental, when his '06 Xterra went in the body shop after it got rear-ended. The car he got was an Altima. Not sure of the year, but it was the current generation.

    Not a bad looking car at first glance, although it was the cheapest model, I'm sure. It just had plastic hubcaps. I asked him what he thought of it, and he said he thought it seemed kind of cheap, and wasn't all that impressed.

    One little detail I liked about it, was that it had fabric on the door panels, which matched the seats. It did have a certain cheapness overall to it, and it had those big luggage-crunching gooseneck hinges that GM used to get henpecked about. But, when you consider it's a car that probably MSRP's for around $23K, and I'm seeing at no-haggle dealers for around $19K, I guess you have to cut corners somewhere.

    I sat in it. Not a bad car...felt roomy enough up front. Seats were fairly well-padded, but I thought the base cushion was a bit flat. The backrest was bolstered a bit better, though. Unfortunately though, the seatbacks had hard plastic on them, right at knee level.

    I think the gap really has narrowed, between domestic and Japanese.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494

    A friend of mine, Toyota truck owner, rented an Altima about a year ago. He hated the automatic trans (sheesh, I'm drawing a blank on what it's called) so badly he took it back and got a '13 Malibu which he liked much better. He's a short guy though. ;)

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