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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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Comments

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    So the UPS trucks are powered by non polluting unicorn farts??

    I'm sure one truck delivering to a neighborhood is better than every house driving to the local mall and back.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    It's too late at this point. We are a much weaker nation and we have let this happen to us.

    And the restrictive union work rules and exorbitant benefits have cause a large part of that to occur.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,116
    Amen, cannon3, amen!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    And an even larger part caused by execs and upper managers with no accountability and no long term visions. Time to redefine the idea of financial crimes, make them count as treason and eligible for capital punishment.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,116
    Once again you're the voice of wisdom, cannon!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    edited January 2013
    Is it really any different than say shopping for a car at a high overhead dealer and then buying the same car for less at a lower overhead location? That seems to happen a lot.

    Shopping online is probably "greener" than every single person taking a trip in a car to buy every single item. I don't save a fortune most of the time when I shop via the computer, but I don't have to deal with going to the store.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,734
    Is it really any different than say shopping for a car at a high overhead dealer and then buying the same car for less at a lower overhead location?

    IMHO it is. All car dealers have a similar overhead percentage wise. Not so with brick and mortar stores vis a vis online retailers.

    The way I look at it is one has the time to go showroom at a brick and mortar store and take up time from a salesperson, why not give them a shot at the sale.

    In my industry, there is a lot of design and product knowledge involved so it's not like buying a $100 printer. But so many consumers think it's ok to get the showroom person to spend half a day with them designing a kitchen or bath and then go and shop each item on the internet.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,846
    But so many consumers think it's ok to get the showroom person to spend half a day with them designing a kitchen or bath and then go and shop each item on the internet.

    Yeah that, I have a problem with. When I buy something online, it's something that I don't really need to test out first. For instance, I don't need a salesman to explain to me how to work "Smokey and the Bandit" on blu-ray. And I know what size I take in Under Armour, what waist/length Levis I wear, what size Adidas I wear, etc.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    edited January 2013
    Do all car dealers really have the same overhead? In my area, taxes and operating expenses (especially value of land) vary by county. It is generally known if you travel a county or two over, you can save money. People do it.

    I guess I can deal with the "give them a shot" if they are working under quotas or commissions. But if I am going to buy crap from a chain store in my backyard or a couple hours away, or from the internet, it doesn't matter so much, esp if the stuff is from China anyway. Most people don't shop around, so one sale doesn't matter.

    I also will buy car parts online, rather than from the dealer - huge overhead there that I don't deal with, and maybe shouldn't have to.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    And an even larger part caused by execs and upper managers with no accountability and no long term visions. Time to redefine the idea of financial crimes, make them count as treason and eligible for capital punishment.

    I see it as a partnership in crime. The unions were greedy and wanted more. The execs took the short term easy solution by granting the union wishes at the expense of the health of the long term business. The unions held a gun to the heads of GM in the 90's, for example. And of course the execs are responsible for the decisions leading to the lousy vehicles over all those years. So nobody's hands were clean.

    I don't disagree about criminal exec behavior, but I'd stop at capital punishment for that.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,734
    Do all car dealers really have the same overhead? In my area, taxes and operating expenses (especially value of land) vary by county. It is generally known if you travel a county or two over, you can save money. People do it.

    I guess it's based on one's perspective. Around here, taxes are state based and the state is pretty small so driving an hour west of Boston probably doesn't save you anything. You can go an hour north to NH but the cost of being in business there isn't any less than metro Boston. I would presume that all dealers have fixed overhead costs to run the buildings, pay the staff, et al. I wouldn't think the difference would be in the thousands on the price of the car - maybe a couple of hundred. IMHO, driving 2 hours to save $200 on a $35K purchase isn't a good use of my time.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    edited January 2013
    Certainly a partnership, but maybe not a 50/50 partnership. When it comes down to it, the execs/upper managers hold the keys, they have their fingers on the button, and they usually fail - while usually never answering for it. Then when things fail, it is the actual worker who gets the blame and pays the price. The supposed leaders get a pass during bad times when union demands look steep - the stuff rolls downhill, but they fail to try to reign things in during good times, as they are busy gloating and swimming in undeserved "earnings" when they are usually just succeeding via luck. Just as the societal ideal of "shared sacrifice" is a lie today, the ideal of it in the working world is also a hoax.

    Act like a traitor (doing business with hostile "partners" with no thought to consequences, running offshore to dodge taxes etc), get treated like a traitor. If these corporations are people too, time to hold them to the same accountability.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    I wouldn't think the difference would be in the thousands on the price of the car

    I think it has more to do with the brand. Not all dealers will exchange vehicles. So if you want the best deal on a vehicle equipped as you would like you may have to travel. When I bought the Sequoia I sent emails to every dealer in San Diego County. I told them what I wanted and to give me they best price at the start. Two dealers responded with vehicles I would accept. One was a limited with just about every option for $10k under MSRP. The other was $5k under MSRP for the SR5. I would have been happy with the SR5 for less than they were asking. I ended up with the loaded Limited for less than the other dealer closer to home wanted for the SR5.

    Another factor in CA is property tax. Two dealers with comparable valued dealerships could pay a huge amount of difference in property tax with our Prop 13. The older dealership has the advantage on taxes.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    Pat Buchanan wrote a good piece on bailing out when you feel your government is becoming repressive. I like this statement best:

    Californians flee to Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and Colorado to escape Golden State taxes. Are they disloyal to their home state, or are they doing what is right by their families, their first responsibility?

    This could apply to buying cars because they have a domestic label on them. The needs of my family come before the needs of the D3 workers families.

    No when to hold em, and know when to get the heck out
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    edited January 2013
    But so many consumers think it's ok to get the showroom person to spend half a day with them designing a kitchen or bath and then go and shop each item on the internet.

    Yeah that, I have a problem with. When I buy something online, it's something that I don't really need to test out first. For instance, I don't need a salesman to explain to me how to work "Smokey and the Bandit" on blu-ray. And I know what size I take in Under Armour, what waist/length Levis I wear, what size Adidas I wear, etc.


    I agree.

    I ordered a 65" Panasonic plasma last week (no one around here had the model I wanted in stock). I ended up going through my local Best Buy. Amazon was the same price including delivery (Best Buy is far more aggressive in matching online prices now). Sure I have to pay sales tax up front. But for whatever reason, I feel some comfort ordering big items locally.

    Considering I was ordering a TV which BB didn't have in the showroom, the sales person was impressively knowledgeable about the particular model I wanted to order. Crazy that this TV cost less than a 32" Sony Bravia XBR LCD I bought in '05 or '06.

    BTW, I have a 35" Sony Trinitron in my basement free to whoever wants to come and get it. Be sure to bring some friends to help;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    edited January 2013
    Sadly for many, paying any taxes at all is "repressive", no matter that the taxes paid by those in the past both helped them get started and aided their past and present success. Modern societies don't come around for free, and these people simply wouldn't have been able to obtain (I hesitate to say "earn"...) their gold elsewhere. I don't quite see the fleeing traitors the same as buying the best vehicle for your needs.

    Those who run away like cowards should become in effect, marked men.

    I'd like to see what Buchanan would say to this economic solution - simply roll both taxes and spending back to pre-Dubya levels.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    Sadly for many, paying any taxes at all is "repressive", no matter that the taxes paid by those in the past both helped them get started and aided their past and present success. Modern societies don't come around for free, and these people simply wouldn't have been able to obtain (I hesitate to say "earn"...) their gold elsewhere. I don't quite see the fleeing traitors the same as buying the best vehicle for your needs.

    Those who run away like cowards should become in effect, marked men.


    That's all good and nice, but then the real issues are mostly beyond the execs. The structure is set up that the job requires fiduciary responsibility to the corporation. An exec isn't doing their job if they leave large amounts of money on the table. The current legal structures do not bind a corporation to a country, so they are free to move about the world. In fact, the same "unfriendly" countries are found to be "most favored" by our wonderful government. And that trading avenue opened up before corporations even had financial interests there. So being "a traitor" in your vernacular is actually doing the logical, legal, and responsible thing per the current laws and job descriptions.

    If you want that to be different, then the rules need to change, and that's a governmental issue. Fundamentally the Congress is spineless and beholden to getting their own jobs renewed every few years. And then you have the parties, which are pretty much like the unions for politicians. Don't think independently, or you are out. Toe the line. And then we have the Supreme Court, reaffirming that campaign finance reform shouldn't happen because corporations really are still people. And that causes a cascade of effects.

    So it's highly simplistic to blame it all on company management. They are functioning, mostly logically, within the system that they have been provided in which to do their jobs. And yes, they are going to compare their own salaries against their peers and then you have compensation inflation that's wildly out of control.

    So GM in China isn't traitorous for an exec whose job it is to try and maximize GMs markets and profits. Perhaps that's a poor example, though, since GM's management is still struggling with their understanding of "maximizing profits". ;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    edited January 2013
    If the issues are beyond the execs/upper managers, why do they continue to command endless bloated salaries and perks? That entire sector of the workforce is a one trick pony - cut costs, nothing else, yet society still fails to give any blame. They have nothing else of value, little substance. There's a difference between profitable and sustainable - but the buck stops at the first. A big reason for so many issues we have today. One can act within existing laws and still be treacherous, when those laws are illogical and broken. Simply being legal does not make something defendable or right. Only legal, so an untouchable few can continue to reap undeserved rewards. Responsible? To the Romneys and Buffets perhaps - they and their peers are doing better since before the depression, but on the backs of who?

    Rules change? That's all good and nice, but fantasy. Corporations control government, not vice versa. Until the house of cards collapses, no rules will change.

    Corporate leadership buys the regulations they want, but they don't pay for the externalities. Who else is to blame? The politicos? Sure, the average upper manager/exec is no different than a congressdolt or lobbyist. Both sides deserve a purge of sorts, solve the debt by making it public and putting it on TV. Share some of that sacrifice. At the least, let some potheads out of prison and replace the spots with suits.

    Running to slimy tax havens and dealing with "partners" who are really just playing along to steal tech are indeed treacherous activities. Even if legal. When laws are created by a few for a few, they do not make anything right.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    edited January 2013
    Running to slimy tax havens and dealing with "partners" who are really just playing along to steal tech are indeed treacherous activities.

    Yeah, ok, so? One can easily argue that the average standard of living in the US, and the consumption of resources and degradation of the world is on the backs of the third world. Therefore, what we all do is also treacherous, just like corporate execs. And impacts the earth in far more significant ways. Those execs are making products and services that feed OUR appetites. So perhaps we should all go live in a hunter/gatherer commune if we are really so concerned?

    To keep this on topic, is Toyota also treacherous for building cars in the US? How about for taking those tax breaks for a new plant? Or is the government treacherous for offering the breaks in the first place? Where does it end?

    And by the way, why do so many people feel Chrysler still deserves to be considered a "US" brand if it is owned by Fiat? Because of some legacy that no longer applies? It makes no sense...
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    I'd say the US as a whole has actually done more to earn its (declining, thanks worst generation) standard of living than the typical managerial/exec "leadership" (ha) type has done to earn their standard of living. Therefore what we do is treacherous? Some fun logic there.

    Funny though, and what I might expect from experienced management who has climbed a ladder that doesn't exist anymore and now can't accept any critique or questioning of what they and their peers have wrought.

    To some Japanese, Toyota might be treacherous, but not nearly to the extent of some other firms who do business with "partners" who then steal the tech, and use reprehensible labor and environmental standards to advance themselves. When does it end? Deflection, when the original question is to be evaded like a slimy smarmy zillionaire running off to Monaco or Singapore.

    There isn't really a "US" brand out there anymore. But some employ more Americans than others, for those concerned with such things. Those who do so aren't always traditional American names. A car with a "1" or "2" VIN could easily be more "American" than one with a "3".
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