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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    Well, I guess I could defect to Ford or Chrysler if this happens, but if they follow suit, I guess I'll have to give up cars as an interest. Automobiles will just become anonymous poorly-made appliances with generic styling devoid of passion.

    "Just become"? Haven't we in US been treated(?) to this over last 3+ decades by most of the offerings from American auto brands?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "GM global sales were up by 2% last year, thanks in a large part to the Asia Pacific regions where GM is performing remarkably well."

    Just out of curiousity, if GM makes a profit on their Chinese operations, where do you think the profits should go? Should they go towards expanding their Chinese operations, R&D on future/better Chinese market products (to compete with offerings from Toyota, BMW, VW, Ford, DCX).

    Orrrr......do you think that GM's profits from Chinese operations should come back to the U.S. to help with their domestic operations?
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    Question for you: would you buy a Pontiac G8 designed by Holden, built in Korea, whose only US content was the LS2 v8?

    That's actually a great question.

    I was on the Ford lot the other day, and saw that a Fusion has a meager 30% US/Canada content. The engine is American, but the transmission is Japanese (I believe they use Toyota's supplier). The FA of the car is in Mexico. IMO, that is completely pathetic. However, at least they don't use a French transmission like they do in the Explorers! ;)

    Considering how well the GTO aged, I'd buy a Holden-designed car in a heartbeat. LS2, no problem. FA in Korea though, no way. I want a car built in Germany, U.S., Canada, or Japan; countries with a history of quality auto manufacture. I specifically excluded the U.K. and Sweden; while they've been in the auto business for awhile, nobody will ever accuse them of cranking out quality rides. :P
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,198
    ...building cars here and selling them in China. I'm kind of bothered when GM builds cars in China for China. The wrath of God will pale in comparison to my extreme fury if GM builds its cars in China and exports them to NA as it closes down production here.

    My ancestors left Eastern Europe 100 years ago for a better life in America. I wonder if my descendants 50 to 100 years from now will be leaving America for a better life in Asia?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I don't mind GM...building cars here and selling them in China. I'm kind of bothered when GM builds cars in China for China."

    ???

    How can GM afford the labor costs of building in the U.S. and then shipping the cars to China when their competition uses Chinese labor with no transcontinental shipping? If they followed your suggestion, they would soon lose whatever gains they may have had in the Chinese market.

    Or do you intend that Americans work for Chinese wages? I think not.....
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    But maybe not when GM is successful at it....now the walls would really be coming down !

    You must be reading a different thread.

    I don't have a problem with GM being profitable. I also don't blame GM for outsourcing (although I think it is a flawed strategy for other reasons, such as achieving high product quality) or for developing other markets. If GM management can turn a profit, then so be it.

    What I have a problem with is the faux patriotism (sorry for using a French word on an American car thread) associated with the Big 2.5, when these companies are simply multinationals fighting for market share, as is everyone else.

    This apple pie/God/country/Chevrolet talk is just the byproduct of an ad campaign of old, it is not rooted in reality. And the portion of the discussion here that verges on racist makes me queasy to read, as I thought that these dinosaur attitudes died out some time ago.

    GM is a maker of products, and it needs to produce products that customers want at a price that will motivate customers to buy them and will generate a profit for the business. That's all it is, and it will deserve to succeed if it can do these things, and deserve to die if it can't.

    Unless I am a stockholder in it, I care about GM only from the standpoint of its ability to hire people in the US, invest in the US economy and pay US taxes. If Toyota can do a better job of that than GM, I really don't care. No reason that you should care, either. A multinational is a multinational is a multinational, and anyone of them can build an "American" car, but only if they build it in America.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    The wrath of God will pale in comparison to my extreme fury if GM builds its cars in China and exports them to NA as it closes down production here.

    If that happens, and Ford eliminates or reduces US production, consider a Honda/Acura or Toyota which are designed for US market and assembled in the US by US workers with US content. You will be very happy. There are probably tens of thousands of former GM buyers that have seen the light already. Your fury will be eliminated after test driving and examining an Acura, Accord, Avalon, etc.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,198
    You bet I will! I'd sooner buy a Japanese car built in the USA than an American car made in China! Such a situation would make me a fan of Toyota.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    You bet I will! I'd sooner buy a Japanese car built in the USA than an American car made in China! Such a situation would make me a fan of Toyota.

    You can expect more and more Big 2.5 products to come from Mexico, South Korea and possibly China (although I'm going to guess that GM's PRC operation will first focus on serving China and other developing nations in Asia.) The trend is already underway -- for example, the next Opel Corsa (small GM compact sold in Europe) will be coming from South Korea.

    If you were wondering why GM bought Daewoo, now you know. Unlike Toyota and Honda that have elected to build their own nameplates from within, GM and Ford have a history of acquiring other carmakers to gain market share, distribution and R&D.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,469
    > '07 Tahoe vs an '06.

    I'll stop by the dealer and take a look. I assume you are saying the 07 is poorer in look or feel than the 06? Or are you saying the 07 is improved the way the 06 (and earlier) should have been done?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,469
    >afloat from slave labor Chinese vehicles produced by the Big 3

    Are you saying we should allow Chinese immigration (legal or illegal) like the Mexicans have been allowed in and they can work in the US (japanese) plants so make cars cheaper here?
    Maybe that's the way to keep GM producing in US.:)Heh he.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    I'll stop by the dealer and take a look. I assume you are saying the 07 is poorer in look or feel than the 06? Or are you saying the 07 is improved the way the 06 (and earlier) should have been done?

    The new Tahoe's interior better in every way regarding the feel and look of dash materials and switch gear. The window switches have a more precise feel to them, where as, in my Suburban it's about impossible to lower the drivers window an inch, because you can't tell how much pressure is needed to avoid the auto down feature.

    Now, I haven't looked at GMs latest vehicles up close lately other than the Impala and Tahoe. The Impala is also improved, but not nearly as much as the Tahoe (IMO). Quite frankly, GMs truck/Suv's interior design has been horrid for a long time, but maybe the Tahoe/Yukon will be a sign things to come.

    Ohh, and I guess I should correct myself. I should have said '05 Tahoe vs the '07 since I don't think their is an '06, but you would get the same results comparing an '07 Tahoe to an '05 or '06 Suburban.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    :surprise: Don't go there ! Anything could happen. :sick:

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Do you like any of the Honda/Acura's cars ?????

    Rocky
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,108
    My only complaint about the '07 Tahoe is that there's still too much hard plastic. However, they've gotten really good at giving it a nice texture and color, so it's not readily apparent that a lot of it is hard to the touch, until you actually rap on it (or bang your knee on it). It's a world of improvement over the '06 model.

    I think there is an '06 Tahoe, but its production was limited. That way, GM at least had some brand-new models to sell, instead of relying on left-over '05's to hold them over until the '07's came out. Chrysler did a similar thing with the Intrepid/Concorde/300M. They had an extra short run of 2004's, the last of which was built in September 2003, and that filled the gap until the 300/C came out around March of '04, and the Magnum a few months later.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,198
    Not really. About the only car they make that I find remotely attractive is the Acura 3.5 RL and it is hamstrung by a ridiculous price and a puny V-6. For techno-toys, I could buy a Civic Hybrid or an Insight. I prefer either of them to the mega-dorky Prius.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    I know that they've brought "next year's" models out early for years. But it seems to me that bringing an '07 out in February is almost fradulent. Why not just sell an '09 now? Isn't there some law about this?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well maybe the Rumor V-8 will make things more interesting in the RL. Especially if they add a stick. ;)

    Rocky
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,108
    I'm not positive, but I think that legally, the earliest you can bring out a new model year is January 1 of the calendar year before. So legally, an '07 could come out as early as January 1, 2006.

    I agree though, it's really silly. I thought it was a bit much when I saw 2005 Chrysler 300's starting to show up in March of '04. Before that though, it seemed like April was usually the earliest a new car would come out. The 2000 Neon was rushed out in April of 1999, because Chrysler wanted to claim that they were building the first new car of the new millenium. Big whoop.

    In the past the 1980 Citation and 1965 Mustang were also April deliveries. I believe the 1970 Maverick was, as well.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "In the past the 1980 Citation and 1965 Mustang were also April deliveries."

    Actually, the earliest Mustangs released (in April of '64) were (are) referred to as the "64-1/2" Mustangs.

    So maybe these should be the 06-1/2 Tahoes??? :P
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,653
    I just received my march issue Trailer Boats magazine. In it is a tow test of midsize SUVS. The 06 GMC Envoy 5.3L DOD, Jeep Commander 5.7, Ford Explorer 4.6L, Toyota 4runner 4.7L, and Nissan Pathfinder 4.0L v6. The test load was a 23' 5,920lb boat.

    The 5.3L Envoy was the slowest in every category when compared to the other v8 models towing and nontowing. It was quicker than the Pathfinder towing, but nontowing is was slower in 0-60 and 40-60 times.

    The Explorer actually could beat the hemi powered Commander 0-60 towing, but was slower than the Commander in every other category and the Commander pretty much ran away as number 1 in this comparison. On the 6% grade portion, the hemi walked away from everyone and the Envoy and Pathfinder struggled to pull the grade more than the others.

    What was somewhat, but at the same time not that surprising was the 5.3 powered Envoy was the worst performing v8 at towing even when compared to the 4.7 in the Toyota 4runner . This is probably due more to the only vehicle in the test with a 4speed auto. Even with DOD, it couldn't match the nontowing fuel economy of the Toyota, but was better than the Ford & Commander.
  • bmk32bmk32 Posts: 74
    Just out of curiousity, if GM makes a profit on their Chinese operations, where do you think the profits should go? Should they go towards expanding their Chinese operations, R&D on future/better Chinese market products (to compete with offerings from Toyota, BMW, VW, Ford, DCX).

    Orrrr......do you think that GM's profits from Chinese operations should come back to the U.S. to help with their domestic operations?

    Does it matter what I think GM should do with their profits ? No, it doesn't. I'm a consumer, not a CEO.

    GM is a global company with global R&D, they operate in four different regions around the world, North America, Europe, Latin America and the Asia Pacific. I'm quite sure their goal is to be successful and profitable in all four regions. They are competing with all of the global automakers who make the very same investment decisions every day.

    I do hope they are successful.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    As BMW, the 'Japanese Big 3', the Koreans and others continue to move large percentages of their actual production facilities into this country (because it is cheaper)and the traditional 'US' manufacturers move into Mexico, Canada, and the Orient (again, because it is cheaper) - the fact is there is no longer any such thing as an American car, a German Car, a Japanese car etc. etc.
    The new Toyota Avalon, designed in Calif, built in Ohio by good ole American workers. The Chrysler 300 probably designed in Michigan but built in Canada. The same type of situations exist with the Sonata (US) vs. the Focus (Mexico), the Accord (US) vs. the Lacrosse (Canada).
    Ignoring any issues I might have with the actual build quality of any of these cars - which one SHOULD I buy, if I also have some sort of overriding concern for the economic welfare of this country??? If your answer sounds a little 'foreign' - you'd be right!
  • bmk32bmk32 Posts: 74
    "What I have a problem with is the faux patriotism (sorry for using a French word on an American car thread) associated with the Big 2.5, when these companies are simply multinationals fighting for market share, as is everyone else."

    "This apple pie/God/country/Chevrolet talk is just the byproduct of an ad campaign of old, it is not rooted in reality. And the portion of the discussion here that verges on racist makes me queasy to read, as I thought that these dinosaur attitudes died out some time ago."

    I don't really see that "faux patriotism" thing, but you're entiled to your opinion. Ford is actively advertising their American roots, and the last time I checked, they were a multi-national company too ! I bet they don't advertise that way in Eurpoe though.

    Toyota is celebrating their 15 millionth vehicle produced in North America in the last 20 years (check Toyota.com), but I bet they don't play that up in Japan.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Does it matter what I think GM should do with their profits ? No, it doesn't. I'm a consumer, not a CEO."

    Nice sidestep. Personally, I think it would be wise to reinvest your profit where you MADE your profit so that you stay ahead of your competition in that market. Particularly when the amount of profit you make in that market would be of little REAL value propping up your company in another market. Otherwise, you risk losing ground in a brand new market and end up bleeding red ink there as well.

    "GM is a global company with global R&D, they operate in four different regions around the world, North America, Europe, Latin America and the Asia Pacific."

    Yes, just as Honda/Toyota/et al are all global companies with global R&D and operate (essentially) in the same markets.

    And like GM keeping profit from their China market reinvested in China (R&D, design studios, new/expanded plants), wouldn't it make sense for Honda/Toyota/et al to reinvest THEIR profit they make from their N.A. operations back into the N.A. market? We can see this by the R&D centers which are in operation in the U.S., the design studios operated by the various 'foreign' nameplates in the U.S., the new/expanded plants the 'foreign' nameplates build in the U.S., and the growing list of American suppliers of parts for these 'foreign' nameplates. This ALL takes investment and this investment comes from profits the 'foreign' nameplates make in the U.S.
  • bmk32bmk32 Posts: 74
    Trying to understand your point as there is no new information or knowledge gained from your reply ? It's all the reality of the global automotive business....
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    Case in Point, the Dodge Neon from 1995 to 2005. How in the world do you build 10 consecutive years of miserably unreliable, poor build quality, and short term durability cars? My 1995 Dodge Neon is the reason I will never buy another American made/designed vehicle. Not only was it a complete lemon, it showed that they purposefully designed the vehicle to only last 3 years, or 36K miles.

    My other problem is that I've found through research that 95% of Neon buyers ended up with lemons, and 5% ended up with cars of only slightly subpar reliability.

    In 65K miles I had to tow the vehicle 4 times, and I mean had to. I had no choice, as going to the mechanic's shop the car would break down, or it simply wouldn't start.
    Problems list:
    1) head gaskets
    2) Air Conditioning Compressor (and that burnt my timing belt)
    3) Windshield cracking for no reason while parked with nothing hitting it.
    4) gas tank/o ring leaks
    5) alternator belt snapping
    6) serpentine belt snapping
    7) Auto tranny dying out at 60K miles.
    8) windnoise, seals, moldings, glue problems.
    9) rattles, squeaks, and generally low power to performance ratio along with poor gas mileage.
    10) Yes, I maintained the car well, treated it like a baby, and got oil changes every 3K miles.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    Oh, I forgot to mention:

    11) Battery terminals and starter cable wires corroding, and dying out. This was still during warranty (car was relatively new), and I got several oil changes at Dodge because it was having warranty work done so often at Dodge Dealerships. Why was the battery and terminals replaced, only to have the starter cables and wires completely corrode out 2 years later.
  • bmk32bmk32 Posts: 74
    "My other problem is that I've found through research that 95% of Neon buyers ended up with lemons, and 5% ended up with cars of only slightly subpar reliability."

    Where can we fnd your "research" ?
  • bmk32bmk32 Posts: 74
    You do realize that the company that makes the Neon is German owned ?
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