Before you guys kick me over to the Ford section, what do you all think of the new American entry into the Hybrid family?
I was looking over the specs and they seemed impressive. 41city/36 highway, ev mode up to 47 mph, super gadget instrument panel, Atkinson tuned engine and impressive power all for $27K. Also liking that it is made in USA
This article from the LA Times reports that the Fusion Hybrid will be made in Mexico . . . so which is better for the U.S. economy? A hybrid built for a US company by foreign workers (Ford Fusion) or a hybrid built for a foreign company by US workers (Altima or Camry)?
Any vehicle made by Ford or GM will have a bigger effect on the U.S. economy than a foreign brand assembled in the U.S. because Ford and GM pay taxes of all kinds in the U.S. and foreign brands jack up the prices of the imported parts assembled here to create a break-even U.S. tax situation. The profits are made in their parent country where they are already subsidized.
Direct labor accounts for about 15% of the price of a new vehicle so no big help there. Design, development, tooling, etc. takes place where the company is based. A vehicle from a U.S. based company will have a total 20% (approx.) tax component. Much less for the transplants.
I've never bought a new American car as I always have purchased four cylinder vehicles and that's not a strong suite for US car makers. I've always felt guilty about this but in a capitalist economy we all vote with our dollars for the products we feel are superior for our given needs.
The new Ford Fusion Hybrid looks good and will be on a short list of new cars I will consider when the time comes to replace my Altima Hybrid but by then who knows what else will be available.
When my wife and I purchased our NAH, the car in second place was the Mercury Milan. It was the milage/hybrid feature that sealed the deal for the NAH. In comfort they were very close. If I was in the market today the Fusion Hybrid would be very tempting, but we have been completely satisfied with the NAH.
In times of distress most countries and cultures band together and rise above to overcome the situation. In this country it seems everyone is just fine with the morning coffee, the paper and the 1 hour commute to work. We temporarily came together as a people after the 9/11 attacks in the form of monetary, spiritual, emotional and physical contributions, but that ended there. It was a good feeling to see and have American Flags on almost every vehicle. It was a good feeling to give the thumbs up to the military convoys as they were driving down the roads. On occasion I still see a dump truck with an elaborate design on the tailgate stating "this vehicle served at ground zero 9/11/01" I feel that getting excited about American branded products and getting together as a Nation is one of the few ways we can get back on top. We are desperately fighting to maintain our way of life, our values and our Country, buying a vehicle form Ford wont hurt anyone.
I can understand the desire to buy American, but the American automakers are only American when it suits their needs. They really consider themselves global companies now. That's why there are so many American owned auto factories just a few miles over the border in Mexico, where they can ship their products back to the states. Those factories used to be in the US with US workers. I find the American auto industry now trying to wrap itself in the American flag as hypocritical, when they've spent the past 30 years complaining about their American workers.
I prefer to reward any company that has local factories and builds it's products in the US. I certainly don't want to dissuade any company who has made an investment here and hired US labor. I'm a little more concerned for the workers and their income in this economy than I am for where the GDP ultimately lands. If there is continued demand for products like the NAH built in Tennessee, there's less reason to lay off those American factory workers in Tennessee. It's just as "American" to buy a foreign vehicle if you research the particular model.
That said, I'm very pleased at how far Ford has come with their hybrid technology. Their build quality has also improved, but I'm still not a fan of their styling.
Last edited by stephen431; 02-03-2009 at 02:26 PM.