Setting the stage;
I am an American. Born in the USA - Served my country during Vietnam - Live within 2 miles of a Ford Assembly plant and have a dozen close friends in the UAW - Will go well out of my way to try and purchase domestic products - Have long been a supporter of American Manufacturers.
The times - they are a changing..
If any of you are like me and share the same essential values, you are probably troubled by what some of your friends or families are saying in response to your "foreign" purchase.
This article sheds a whole new light on the subject in terms that most will be able to not only comprehend but appreciate.
There was a story recently that listed the "most American built" cars. The 2006 Camry was 80% "American Built."
My take on the "foreign car/American car" has changed over the years.
Nowadays, as mentioned by Marc, a huge percentage of car components are built or assembled in America, regardless of the BRAND of the car.
And even "Japanese" cars built in America with "Japanese" parts are usually assembled by an American, who gets paid American money and puts that money in the American economy.
But even Japanese cars built by Japanese citizens puts money into the American economy because of Toyota's huge holdings in America. Toyota making money is good for THOUSANDS of individual Americans who work for that company.
So basing a car purchase on American Patriotism alone is kinda silly in 2006. I know that's hard for you Michiganites to accept, but times they are a changin'.
Last edited by lars-ss; 10-13-2006 at 09:17 AM.
I'm also a "red-blooded" American and served in the USAF for 21 years--I was even born on July 4th!!
I know most foreign cars are more "American" than "foreign," that it is a global economy, and that the inefficiencies, lack of quality, and unresponsiveness to market conditions are killing most American auto manufacturers but my TCH is the first foreign car I have ever owned--not just foreign made, but one that has a foreign nameplate. It was quite a step for me to buy it in spite of these facts.
I would have preferred to wait until they started coming out of the US plant but the diminishing tax credit pushed me to buying now.
Do I have regrets?...I must admit that I occasionally do (I put my American flag window stickers on the car windows to make me feel better).
I have to admit that I don't share any sympathy for domestic car manufacturers. They put themselves in this situation. I say, buy the best product that meets your need. If it's domestic, great... if not, great.
Why would I buy a crappy American car made by Ford or GM when I can have a more reliable brand from Japanese or European manufacturers? If these 2 companies made better cars I will buy them but till then no slogans will work. Also Chrysler is not an American company any more Ė it is owned by Mercedes Benz and anyone who canít see that is kidding themselves.
The American companies want to have the cake and eat it too. They want us to buy only their cars (but probably not made in US but in Mexico or Canada). But Ford owns Volvo and GM owns Saab. How would they react when a Swedish group asks them to boycott Volvo and Saab because they are owned by American car companies (even though they provide jobs to Swedish people) and ask them to buy EU vehicles?
I second that emotion Livvie....they were catering to the SUV craze and did not expect it to eventually (inevitably?) PEAK I suppose.
Now they are scrambling to get Hybrids out of the engineering phase and to make better small cars that capture the attention of buyers..
What really surprises me is DC though, because they had the diesel/hybrid Dodge ESX3 5-passenger sedan back in 2000 which achieved 72 MPG. They were either LYING out their teeth about the viability of that car, which they said could sell for $28,500 in production numbers, or they made a TERRIBLE AWFUL decision to shelve it prematurely.
I think about it this way: Who are the people killing or wanting to kill Americans today? Many of them are countries whose primary incomes are from oil (Iran, Iraq, Venzuela). Japan isn't killing any American troops, and remains a good ally of the U.S. Part of the reason I purchased my HCH II was to lower the amount of money I send to countries that fund people that are killing our troops. Also, our hybrids are reducing the amount of pollution in the air which directly benefits all Americans. I believe that buying and driving your high mpg hybrid is about the most patriotic thing the average American can do.
Hybrids: 2006 HCH II w/ Navi, 2010 Insight II EX w/Navi
Re: Made in the USA - Foreign vs. Domestic
Buld a vehicle people want, at a price they want it at, and they will buy it. 5 years ago I would have never owned an import, now I have 2 and will never go back. At work, I have an almost-new Ford which has been towed out of the garage 5 times in the last 3 weeks. Not a big deal other than the fact that it's an emergency medical response vehicle. While the plight of low-skilled, blue-collar labor is saddening I won't buy, let alone even look at, a domestic vehicle when I'm made to feel like a traitor by the UAW for abandoning Ford and contributing to the loss of Well (over)-paid union jobs with benefits and (for now) pensions far beyond anything almost any other worker will see, white or blue-collar. I do buy the "American" way, I buy the best product for the best price and reward the most efficient company with my hard-earned dollars.