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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?



  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Hey, I swear by GM "synchromesh" in my gearbox on my S2000. It shifts like "butta"...
  • Hey rockylee, why is a union so important? Most of the unions seem to have as much corruption as some levels of government. Honda has been building products in this country for 30 years, and I would say that they are doing something right if your glorified UAW can't get voted in. Have you toured a Honda plant? everyone wears the same uniform and the floor workers are involved in the quality process for the cars. I know they are not union, but the wages and benefits are competitive with the union plants. Another point is your parts content on the window stickers. Your Accord was closer to your 85% number than you think. Members of congress have said that the language in the bill to determine the parts content is so flawed. it wouldn,t pass the truth in advertising laws. Ever notice that the content doesn't add up to 100%? Take the missing percentage and add back in to domestic content most of the time. Is the GTO a true domestic? Built in Australia with minimal domestic content. How about the V6 engine in the Saturn VUE, where does it come from? Who makes it, or would you rather not say? Since it is made by Honda for GM, should it count as a foreign part? Even if it completely made in the US. Let's take good old Harley Davidson. I live near York Pa where one of there plants are. You should see all the boxes of parts that come from overseas. Yes even some Honda parts find their way into Harley's. Showa is Honda's suspension company, and Kehein carbs are also part of the Honda family.
  • hey, thanks for the offer. Spouse won't move. Tried to get her to go to Va Beach, Virginia area(jobs a plenty, 3.8 % unemployment vs 6-7% for my area). Her family is here.

    I am trying to finish(one class left, 16 weeks this Spring) Commercial Arts classes( work for news papers developing advertisements, or magazines, but they tend to want under 25 years old age group).

    me? I am over 4 decades old. Too old to rock and roll(supposedly) and too young to die(isn't that a line in a 70's rock tune?) ;)

    I was a cook in the USCG, and a Boatswains Mate in the Navy.
    Also took some accounting classes( 2 of them) in USCG(like a quick accounting for dummies, sort of ;) )

    I had a chance for one job, but the lady refused to hire me because I live about 40 minutes away( could have been the head cook for an assisted living nursing home in an expensive part of the area)... could have made 26K(10 years ago)... per year.... lady called back 2 years alter, and wanted me to work for her, and when she found out we only moved maybe 12 miles closer..... never returned my call about the interview :mad:

    my spouse drives 130 miles a day for work, and father in law is almost paid off, and they can't get anything for same price closer to where he works, these days, so he gets used vehicles, and runs em into the ground in 3 years, and buys more used.

    Sorry to prattle....
    yes, i should have done like my 55 year old neighbor down the road(still may do it after i finish my 2 year degree this Spring).... try to get in JVS(Junior Vocational School) for 6 weeks for basic welding. He is making 11 per hour, works m-f, off all holidays and weekends, and is doing ok. Not as much money as when he worked at Corningware plant, but he is better off than doing the Wal-Mart shuffle. ;)
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "How about the V6 engine in the Saturn VUE, where does it come from? Who makes it, or would you rather not say? Since it is made by Honda for GM, should it count as a foreign part?"

    Interesting you bring up the Saturn VUE. Apparently, the 2004 Saturn VUE with the HONDA engine had a HIGHER domestic parts content than the 2003 Saturn VUE with the GM engine.

    The Honda engine is built in Ohio. The GM engine was built by GM of Europe. I wonder which is 'better' for America.
  • tmp888tmp888 Posts: 20
    I don't believe the foreign automakers keep their profit in US. In 2004, Toyota made about US$5 billions in US alone (Honda and Nissan were not far behind) and last year (2005) I guess they would made about the same or probably more. I wish that kind of money stay in US. Don't you?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    I told ya'll I don't do manual labor in my union job. My education and skills are taught on the job, and I have a certificate. ;)

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Well in my line of work you can't go to a ordinary yuppie university to learn my job. I work for the government and that's as far as I can go with it.

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Actually yeah it is......I don't resent a person going to school if it's going to be worthwhile. If you go to school for 4 years or more and come out making $20-25K a yr. How long is it going to take you to pay back those loans ?????
    Especially if you went to a big university, you could have $80K+ tied up into loans. If that's the case, then that person is the uneducated one with a collge degree. ;)

  • gogogodzillagogogodzilla VirginiaPosts: 707
    Well, if you work at Ft. Meade, I may run into you someday.

  • AG11AG11 Posts: 31
    It's stuff like what you just stated that convince me that Buying American does not necessarily equal buying GM/Ford.

    Those with vested interests at GM/Ford or their stocks, as well as fans of domestics, will forever try to convince everyone that Ameican = GM/Ford, but I think this is no longer the mainstream belief, at least where I'm from.

    Jobs are jobs. If Toyota, Hyundai, etc are building cars here with ever increasing domestic content, we win.

    If GM/Ford close factories here due to boneheaded business decisions, or move production to Mexico, or decrease domestic content, we lose.

    Some profits may go back to Toyota, Hyundai, etc's respective countries, but strong economy for our allies help us too. Dont forget, it's not like Japan, SKorea, and Germany are our enemies!

    Also, Toyota, Hyundai, etc need us, the US consumers, to be prosperous for them to sell us cars. It's in their interest to make sure US stays strong.
  • I don't expect people to defect to domestic brands only. What I'm asking is for everyone to give the domestics a chance. Too many people these days discredit the big3 without even bothering to look at the product, or do research on the product, I think if people did, they'd be suprised at what they'd find.
  • hey. I like the HHR: but something about lack of rear seat leg room, shoulder room and head room(when equipped with the sunroof)... GM fixes this say by 09-2010.... when my car is paid off... I'll reconsider.

    The G6 is a decent car. Just wish the 3.5 Liter V6 201(?) HP coupe were not 23-24K.
    Sedan is nice, but Coupe looks better.

    3 door coupe would be cool, with all of that 112+ inches of wheelbase.

    I like 'em, just do not know. If I live until 2010...and all things are about like now.... I might consider the G6 sedan.

    Or, if I could save 2 grand, maybe the Mitsubishi Eclipse I-4, for a sports tourer vehicle, for 17-19 K?

    Can't say.
    Drove a Fusion. Not bad. Do not know if I would buy one.

    PT Cruiser is nice, but as spouse said" 10,000 of them in a town of 13,000 people" here.
    Kinds of loses it "uniqueness" (it actually is a nice vehicle).

    If I were buying now, and had say tops 20K(after bargaining, etc)... I'd maybe get a G6 Sedan,(V6, 200HP) or the Eclipse I-4. Just depends on what i felt like. A 3 door hatch(which is cool to haul odd shaped items, large boxed items, ladders, 26" bike, etc) or a Sedan.

    Probably come down to who would give me the most cash for my trade in.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    I don't work at a Military base. But yeah it would be cool to run into some of ya'll someday. perhaps at a autoshow someday ;)

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    If you like the G6 sedan, My mother is in love with her GTP coupe. I'd however wait for the 07' GXP which is rumored to get 270 hp. ;)

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    What you said has alot of truth to it pal. I'm just afraid that the Asians will own us someday soon. They are smartly buying up land, our debt, and our buisness's. Good for Americans, I dunno ???? They are economically winning the war against the U.S.

    The fact is we invent it with our money, and they copy it and sometimes engineer it better. China has been on the war path with copying patented products and U.S. company's are very upset.

    Perhaps someday The Big 3 won't build cars here in the United States. If and when that day comes, I will feel sorry for American Manufactoring because that might spell the end to this once great country as we know it still today. :(

  • trispectrispec Posts: 305
    I worked with a guy who did NASCAR pit crew work when he could get it.

    NASCAR, by his estimation once controlled the heart of US car manufacturing industry because stock car racing's, massive marketing muscle in the conservative south, was the only thing holding off the imports from completely taking over the US markets back in the 70's, 80's and 90's.

    US manufacturers essentially gave up their leadership positions as world class engineering and design institutions, because they became hopelessly addicted to what the NASCAR race formula dictates as the engineering and design standard. Namely a car with a cheap to make, torque heavy engine, that can go fast as hell on flat straight runs or banked curves. US manufacturers were seemingly trying to change by introducing European stylings, but the intelligent modern manufacturing and design standards were being created in Europe and Asia.

    In today's US car market, it's much to late for the US companies to regain their position and credibility. In addition now, the US manufacturers are addicted to ease to build and engineer SUV platform. SUVs have become the boat anchor that's going to really sink the so called Big Three, as profit margins on SUVs are all but gone.

    Chrysler is already being managed from Germany. GM and Ford are on crash diets to loose as much fat as they can, as fast as they can, so when the final dance comes along, a big healthy Euro/Asia partner will extend a hand for that dance rather than turning them down as just another wall flower.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 875
    The American design mentality is slowly getting away from that Nascar ideal, hopefully. Nascar technology is simple, and outdated. Interesting racing is coming from Europe and Asia. Racing is very important to a manufacturer's street technology. You can see this in the design, and overall philosophy in European makes.
    However, Nascar seems to grow in popularity. {I have no idea why, to each they're own i guess} The funny thing is, I live in Houston and investors have tried to get a Nascar track here for years and people just don't want it. There is champ racing here every year, as well as F1 for a couple of years back.
    That's not to say that the muscle/heritage car thing is bad. But the whole lineup based on as many good ideas as teeth at a Nascar event isn't going to save anyone from bankruptcy.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Perhaps someday The Big 3 won't build cars here in the United States.

    Don't worry, they'll still build full-size trucks here since North America is the only market of any consequence for them. Big FWD cars (Impala and up) and specialty stuff like the Corvette and Solstice will remain here, but everything else will come off a boat.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "However, Nascar seems to grow in popularity. {I have no idea why, to each they're own i guess}"

    Off topic but.....Nascar is popular because the races are close with several drivers in contention throughout the race and the drivers/cars can 'lean' on each other a bit.

    F1 (and to an extent the champ cars) are more centered around pure speed rather than close racing. Rally is even 'worse' in this respect. Many folks don't give a damn about racing a clock; they're interested in watching drivers battle back and forth.

    Is the technology in Nascar outdated? Sure; however I'm not sure why this automatically means the manufacturer uses outdated technology in their production cars. Does anyone expect that Toyota will start to slide in their technology just because they compete in Nascar?
  • asafonovasafonov Posts: 403
    Harry, your profile does not list an email, so I am polluting this forum - you could look into classes/certifications that permit you to work as a plumber/electrician/HVAC specialist, if you are so inclined. Possibly better money than welding, and not outsourcable at today's level of technology.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Yes, Honda/Toyota/Hyundai/Nissan and others have plants here in the U.S. Now, ask yourself. How much of the tooling is U.S? How much of the engineering is U.S.? How much of the vendor support/technical support is U.S.? Tax breaks? I know, I have worked for a Japanese company and have visited other Japanese "transplants". You would be surprised.
    Fact is it has been bashed and bashed into our heads that Ford or GM just can't build quality/reliable vehicles. The auto reviewers/writers constantly bash Ford and GM. When there is a comparison shoot out, never will a Ford or GM product win. I have owned Ford products over the last 15 years and never, ever have I had any problems.
    Take a moment and think. We as Americans have sent Billions overseas over the last 10-15 years. Much of our wealth we have sent overseas will never come back. We are now a debtor nation to China, Japan, Korea and who else? Our government is also in debt.. We must start to think longterm about our economic stability and future. We are all tied together in this economy. It doesn't matter what profession you are in. Americans don't work, you don't get paid.
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 190
    I am not sure that I understand this thread, especially the posts by RockyLee and Lemko. There seems to be no recognition of the corporate structure of the auto manufacturing companies or any multinational company for that matter. Profits are made for shareholders, no matter what their nationality and millions of Americans hold shares in Japanese based companies and many Japanese hold shares in American companies. For instance, almost all of us in the U.S. hold shares in Toyota through mutual funds in our 401ks. Therefore, Americans DO profit when Toyota profits.

    But this setup is complicated by two factors: one foreign governments and banks hold large amounts of both U.S. government and U.S. corporate debt. Our economy is one of the most indebted in the world and all the SUVs and boats in our 3 car garages are based on this system. That is, huge U.S. buying power is subsidized by healthy foreign economies. Second, boards often run these corporations to serve the corporate officers and not the shareholders. The Board members and officers make HUGE compensation through salaries, bonuses and options and the shareholder and profits suffer. This is especially true in American corporations (CEOs make around 100 times what workers do; in Germany it is about 5 times) and even more true in GM and Ford. Also, U.S. companies are MUCH more sensitive to quarterly profits demands of our own fund managers (due to their salaries and options depending on share price - see Enron) and therefore, are much more short sighted than foreign competitors. An example is GM and Ford's insane employee pricing which helped stave off lower bond ratings. Instead of improving cars, they keep trying to cut costs and increase gross revenue. STUPID business model - unless your options vest in a few months...

    These two companies are financial disasters (except as money conduits for the greedy corporate officers - again, see Enron) and their demise can only mean more efficiency, jobs, and profits for all, including American workers and shareholders. And I have not even mentioned the massive expenditures Ford and GM (and Chrysler) pay lobbying Congress to both ward off fuel efficiency -subjecting us to the Saudis - and and to stave off lower emissions - thereby causing lung disease to our children and grandparents. And I have also not even mentioned the safetey scams (Firestone/Ford) and the buying up of the L.A. trolley system.

    Let these corrupt, bloated, polluting elephants die. Skilled auto workers will be employed by better companies albeit at reasonable wages or may have to move. But so did the horse and buggy company employees.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    I don't get much into the politics of the Auto Industry, but it is intriguing to hear it from that point of view.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Now, ask yourself. How much of the tooling is U.S?"

    Probably as much of the tooling as in domestic plants. What makes you think that FMC/GM/et al automatically source their tooling from U.S. manufacturers? What makes you think the Toyota/Honda/et al automatically source their tooling from overseas?

    "How much of the engineering is U.S.?"

    A fair amount actually, since many of the imports maintain engineering and R&D studios in the U.S. Also, many of the cars sold under the domestic nameplates are designed overseas (Focus comes immediately to mind).

    "How much of the vendor support/technical support is U.S.?"

    Who knows. How much of the 'domestic content' on a GM or Ford vehicle is actually sourced out of Canada? Why shouldn't 'domestic content' actually MEAN DOMESTIC CONTENT.

    I'm still trying to figure out why supporting a Canadian UAW worker is somehow better for the U.S. than supporting a non-UAW worker in Tennessee or Alabama or Ohio.

    "When there is a comparison shoot out, never will a Ford or GM product win."

    False. The Mustang was picked ahead of the RX-8 and Nissan 350z in a 3-way comparison. And I've seen several reviews picking the new Pontiac Solstice over the Miata.

    "Much of our wealth we have sent overseas will never come back."

    First of all, there is not some mythical 'fixed' amount of wealth in the world. We (the U.S.) can AFFORD to have wealth sent overseas because we actually GENERATE wealth. How else do you suppose we can send so much 'wealth' overseas and, at the same time, be accused of having more than our 'fair share'. Despite all the wealth we have 'sent overseas' we remain one of the most (if not THE most) economically powerful nations on this planet. Why? Capitalism. And some of the tenents of capitalism include 'competition' and an 'open market'.

    Now, one can easily debate whether or not the competition that the domestics face is 'fair' or not or if the markets are really open (and in many ways, the auto trading is very much a one-way street). But you aren't going to help the American auto industry by turning a blind eye to their faults. And it would also be helpful to honestly assess how much the UAW effects the domestic manufacturers ability to be competitive.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    I got to admit that up until that third paragraph you had me nodding, but then...

    These two companies are financial disasters (except as money conduits for the greedy corporate officers - again, see Enron) and their demise can only mean more efficiency, jobs, and profits for all, including American workers and shareholders.

    Umm, more like their demise would be several U.S.-based suppliers going under (with subsequent job losses in the U.S.), and many of the rest forced to move their factories overseas (with subsequent job losses in the U.S.). Kind of hard to own stocks when you can't buy groceries - guess a lot of those 401K's would get cashed in.

    And I have not even mentioned the massive expenditures Ford and GM (and Chrysler) pay lobbying Congress to both ward off fuel efficiency -subjecting us to the Saudis - and and to stave off lower emissions - thereby causing lung disease to our children and grandparents.

    Given how few emissions the average car gives off these days, I wouldn't worry to much about lung disease (at least not from cars). And carbon dioxide doesn't cause lung disease - just (supposedly) global warming. Fuel efficiency laws come down to one thing - a tax on companies that are successful selling trucks. Sorry so many people buy them (900K F-150's alone last year), but too bad. Toyota is even trying to get more into that game by building a new truck plant in Texas, and they were among the companies that took California to court over their new emissions laws.

    And I have also not even mentioned the safetey scams (Firestone/Ford)

    Fireston makes a bad tire, and that's Ford's fault. Okay.

    and the buying up of the L.A. trolley system

    Haven't got a clue what this is, but I'm sure if whoever hadn't bought it it would have solved all of L.A.'s traffic problems.

    All IMHO, of course.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,046
    went the Trolley, as it passed on into oblivion. However, it wasn't GM that killed the Trolley, it was PROGRESS killed the Trolley!

    Trolleys, streetcars, etc work great in congested, tight city areas, but with the advent of suburbs, urban sprawl, the increasing popularity of private automobiles, etc, the trolley just became obsolete. Buses are cheaper than trolleys or streetcars, the routes are easier to change as demand sees fit, and with buses there are no tracks to have to maintain.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    But I try to buy American cars made in the US. My F-150 was built in the US as was my VUE. The last 4 cars I bought before these (2 Chrysler minivans and 2 Saturn sedans) were as well. I understand both sides of the argument. I just feel better buying American made American cars. Doesn't mean American made Hondas are bad and Mexican made Fords are good--or anything else. To each his own and this is mine. Thanks.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,673
    hmmmm... is that the VUE with the Honda engine? or the one with the Italian transmission? Or maybe the Hungarian transmission? OR the british engine/japanese tranny combo?

    its funny that the VUE actually raised their US parts content by switching to the Honda engine.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • True story. We had a '02 Subaru Forester, and it was a great car. On the other hand, we way overpaid and the dealership service department was crappy. We switched to an '06 Escape recently and it's better. It's more powerful, better in the snow, the dealership's great,we got an awesome deal, and we didn't even take a huge hit in fuel-economy. I think a lot of justification for imports are bragging rights. And really I don't think there are there's that much to brag about anymore when the cars (SUV's anyway) are compared.
  • brown3brown3 Posts: 26
    Regardless of origin, people buy what they want. The very first posting in this thread compared an Impala and a Camry - having recently driven both for more than a week at a time as rentals, I know I'd choose the latter, for a variety of reasons . . . my own first hand experience trumps any number of "test reports" and "surveys." (Among other things, The Impala seats were very rough on my back.)

    Toyota's Avalon was designed in California, engineered in Michigan, and is built in Kentucky of mostly US-sourced components. Is it really a foreign car?

    GM's Pontiac GTO, carrying the traditonal U.S. muscle car badge, was designed in and is built and imported from Australia. It it really an American car?

    According to the sticker, the figurative heart and lungs of Ford's "best Explorer ever" - the engine and transmission - are imported from Germany and France(!) respectively. How "domestic" is that vehicle? (And Ford Crown Vics have been made in Canada for decades.)

    If US companies want consumers to show loyalty to domestic brands, why do those brands outsource internationally?

    Thanks to outsourcing, there's no such thing as a US car any more. When flacks for the "US" car companies imply we should buy their products for some implied patriotic reasons, it's a case of "Do as we say, not as we do." Which leads me to conclude that "US" makers don't really have an objection to folks buying foreign . . . they just object to car buyers not using them as the middleman when they do buy foreign.

    Who needs a middleman? :confuse:
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