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Is "Made in Mexico" necessarily a bad thing?

After reading many posts and reviews that say something to the effect of:

"...and this year's automotive brand X is (Japanese/German/...fill in the blanks) built instead of Mexican built, so that should address any reliability issues..."

It leaves me wondering - is that truly the case nowadays? Or is that due to people's perceptions, biases, or worse?....

I'm beginning to think that "Made in Mexico" is not as bad as people want to believe.

Do you think that Mexican workers are inferior (and please be honest)? Before you harshly criticize me or accuse me of bringing up a discussion that (apparently) no one wants to touch, think about this:

If you had a new home built within the past 5 years or so, there is a 99% chance that it was built with Mexican labor. I haven't heard any reports of a mass selloff of new homes (especially McMansions) lately. Food for thought...


  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    A VW plant in Mexico made a lot of sense back in the 60's. They built bugs that were sold locally and exported both North and South. Foreign makers are now building plants in the U.S. for local and export sales. I have a problem with closing local jobs for a plant in Mexico only to have those cars shipped back to us for purchase.

    As for quality, normally a primary concern for me, it trails significantly as a purchase consideration due to the U.S. jobs lost. I'm sure they have great and poor workers just as we do. However, I personally won't consider a Mexico or China built vehicle.
  • It's strictly a management issue, not a geographic one. If the workers are trained and motivated properly, you could build a Lexus just about anywhere. One could argue that some countries have better "work ethics" than others, but here again, good management picks the cream of the crop and trains them.

    In the USA in World War II, Cadillac hired workers (mostly women) from the absolutely poorest sections of Detroit and they built precision bomb sights with great success. It was one of the first uses of film strips to train workers in step by step assembly.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,391
    I agree with Mr S. but it is fair to say that some companies have a spotty record in producing quality cars South of the Border, namely Ford and Volkswagen.

    I advise potential VW buyers to stick with those models with VINs beginning with a W (for Germany)i.e.Passats and Diesel Jettas.

    I have been accused on these pages of racism for that but I would give the same advice to someone considering a Toureg (made by white Europeans in Bratislava, Slovakia). It's worth
    noting that BMW and Mercedes have both had problems with quality control on models made in the good ol' USA, compared to their couterparts from Germany.

    FOR stats are just statistics but my experience is that they have some basis in reality. I don't believe made in Mexico is neccessarily bad but it does raise a caution flag IMO.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I have many hispanic friends, but even they have agreed with me that "corporate america" exploits their short comings to make a larger than neccessary profit on the product they want to produce. I know it sounds sometimes like I'm a racist, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I hate it when a certain populus exploited for gain. It would be one thing if "made in mexico" meant good jobs for those people, but in reality it's a term to sell out america's middle class, for the gain of the elites, in our country. It makes me personally sick, and one would think us being a society of morales, this wouldn't be tolerated. Quite the opposite is reality and as long as a dollar is going to be made it will continue until the current political system is overhualed as Mr. Lou Dobbs says. :sick:

    I unfortunately gotta agree with Lou :cry:

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    If those jobs going to Mexico paid well, there would be no reason for illegal immigrants to pour over our southern border. I guess all those new Mexican plants pay so poorly, even a menial minimum wage job in the U.S. is preferable to a factory job in Mexico. I understand that plants owned by U.S. companies actually pay worse than those run by domestic Mexican companies. Rather than booming towns springing up around the maquildoras (sp?), there are instead shanties. The pollution is unbelievable. The Rio Grande is practically an open sewer. I've heard of horror stories of rape and murder of female workers by supervisors in these plants.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    We've heard very similar story's and I know people from Mexico, here legally and they've told me story's.

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,391
    As one who noted reports of dubious quality in some models assembled in Mexico, I note that recently Consumer Reports says quality of the new Ford Fusion, assembled in Hermosillo, Mexico matches that of well-known Japanese brand vehicles.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Well that plant has alot of automation, thus a huge reduction in human error. That is one of my major reason why I probably could never own a MKZ, Fusion, Milan, even though my wife has begged me for one of the above.

  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,496
    My 1996 Dodge Ram 3500 was built in Mexico (Lago Alberto, outside of Mexico City). It lasted longer than all of my previous vehicles combined. Definitely the best thing I had ever driven/owned. So it's with no surprise that my 2005 Ram 3500, also Mexican-built (Saltillo), has surpassed everything I liked about my 96.

    In contrast, the two trucks I had before that (1990 and 1993 Ford F-150s, built in Kansas City) spent too much of their time in various service bays. The 93 had more brake jobs than oil changes in the 4 years I had it, and required a thorough front suspension repair after hitting a rough railroad crossing.

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    Why is this different than made in Canada? Out on the net there are pictures of the Ford Hermi plant. Very, very clean and modern plant. Fusion/Milan are knows for great fit/finish quality. It is already known that even the VW plant there is now producing great quality Jetta/Bug vehicles. Made in Mexico is no different than made in Canada.
    For the person who won't by made in Mexico, but will buy from a Japanese transplant here in the U.S. How does this make any sense?? The profit from the vehicle still goes back to Japan ;)
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "The profit from the vehicle still goes back to Japan."

    The profit goes to the company and their shareholders, wherever they may be. And the company INVESTS those profits in things like R&D and new plant construction/expansion.

    So, when a company like Ford INVESTS money to build a plant in Mexico, this would be an example of profits earned by Ford being spent in.....Mexico. And, when a company like Toyota INVESTS money to build a plant in Texas, this would be an example of profits earned by Toyota being spent in.....America.

    The profits go WHEREVER a company invests them; they don't necessarly go into a vault at the address of the home company.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,677
    Until Mexico has a robust economy that equals ours, we will have guest workers coming across the border looking for the better life. My 1999 Suburban built in Mexico was a better vehicle overall fit and finish than my current 2005 GMC PU built in Indiana. My previous 1993 Chevy PU built in Canada was also a better built vehicle. I do not blame that on the US workers as much as the politics pushing the automotive technology.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    GM is outsourcing most of its parts to Delphi Mexico which is currently Mexico's largest employer. Six more plants in Saltillo area and northern Mexico will replace a lot of their Ohio operations.

    (Hint to Delphi Execs: Don't review your confidential Powerpoint presentations on a commercial flight. Also, don't go to maquiladora seminars and brag how quickly you can relocate jobs to Mexico.)

    Personally, if given the choice, I would prefer vehicles produced by CAW workers over UAW workers (or the Mexican plants) in terms of quality control.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    And the payroll, payroll taxes, etc. of the transplants go to where? The blue collar USA worker (and some white collars too.) The big question is: Which is the lessor evil - a Japanese plant producing vehicles in the USA and employing US citizens, or Ford/GM producing vehicles in Mexico but sending some money back to the shareholders?
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    I'd rather have a Japanese car built in the USA rather than a USA brand built in Mexico because of the pay going to th e workers and the taxes going to our government.

    That said, I own two USA built Japanese cars now (an Accord built in Ohio and an Odyssey built in Alabama) and they are great. However I also once owned a Mexico built Chrysler Sebring convertible and it was very well screwed together.

    I think the argument that it's all in the selection and training of personnel is correct. VWs built in Mexico tend to be horror stories while Fusions, PT Cruisers, KC's truck all seem to be doing OK.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Years ago when my boss worked at a Mercedes Dealership and he wanted to lease a C-class as a run around car he asked the service people which factory made the best C-classes.

    They all said the brazilan C-classes were better then the German built ones by far. There reasoning was that the guy in Brazil had more incentive to do a good job then the guy in Germany because if they guy in Brazil lost his job he would be living on the street. If the guy in German lost his job it wasn't that big of a deal because the union and the German gov't would take care of him.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    britishrover has come up with some interesting ideas about vehicle production quality. I believe the above is correct and a worker with incentive to do a good job will do a better job. Unions don't necessarily produce good workers.

    A company that will compensate an employee and give them some hope is a gem of a company in my mind.

    VW/Germany is a blank slate of a company and I would not tread on their soil for a rig. Plainly and simply I don't trust their quality. I lump Mercedes-Benz in with VW in this regard. Kia is light-years ahead of VW in this regard, friends.

    Japanese and South Korean brands are the best ones to buy, bar none. The domestics are working hard but don't offer enough soon enough. GM will probably be all right but I don't know about the rest of them. Chrysler may become orphaned soon.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    VW/Germany is a blank slate of a company and I would not tread on their soil for a rig. Plainly and simply I don't trust their quality. I lump Mercedes-Benz in with VW in this regard. Kia is light-years ahead of VW in this regard, friends.

    I simply can't agree with that sorry.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    to put this.
    Today I visited a Japanese transplant company that is expanding with tax breaks given to them by the state. As I toured the plant I noticed most of the tooling was made in Japan, parts from Japan, event the metal fabrication was done in Japan, tubing from Japan, piping from Japan, sealants and chemicals from Japan should I go on?. As I met people I also noticed all the installation was being done by Japanese vendors. I wish I could divulge a company name, site and even show pictures but if someone came across this information they could easily track it to me. So, for all those who think because their Honda is made in Ohio.. I sure wish you could see what I saw you would for sure change your tune.. :cry:
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Good post Pal !!!! ;)

This discussion has been closed.