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Old 04-22-2008, 10:14 PM   #15
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1957 22' Custom
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Can we afford not to?

Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
I will make this "one and only" post regarding the China question.

To have parts made in the good ole USA or even many other products, at a price that USA citizens can afford, is getting more and more difficult by the day.

Sears started the issue many years ago, by having products made, and having the Sears name placed on them. The same holds true today for many parts, in many different industries.

Therefore, it is not unusual, for thousands of US companies to have parts made in a foreign country, and having their name placed on that part.

That holds true, as an example, for automotive and truck parts, RV parts, electronic parts and thousands more.

Word has it from more than one reliable source, that most USA manufacturers of bearings, indeed have them made in China, and have their USA name placed or stamped into that part.

That type of activity was more than likely caused by ourselves, because of our labor rates, and literally in thousands of industries.

We read about those things everyday.

Do I have an influence with GKN Henschen? Sure do. But how much is the question.

Back then, when Airstream bought all of their axles from Henschen, even during the heydays, that business was about 3 to 4 percent of Henschens total business.

At this point in time, we are, obviously a fraction of that business.

Hopefully, that answers the question as to how much pull I have with Henschen, some yes, but the kind to force them to change some venders, no.

The question then became, "how about if we specified American made parts, ONLY."

First thing that would happen, is a huge time delay, of several months to get parts from a USA manufacturer. Second, would be a price increase.

Why price increases from a USA manufacturer?

Steel prices, fuel surcharges, shipping charges, labor costs, warehousing costs, liability insurance costs, and the list goes on and on.

It's always been interesting, of why we can export raw materials to foreign countries, they in turn make a product, ship it back to the USA, and sell it for a fraction of our selling prices for the same thing. Labor differences, sure. But other things too.

At best, most of these problems we created ourselves.

What is the answer to these problems?

Who knows? I don't know, does anyone know?

We could all say that we won't buy anything unless it was made in the USA.

WOW !!!

If we did that, how many people could afford the new prices we would all have to pay?

Of course, that would help our employment problems, and I am sure reduced the foreclosures that surround us today.

We can't even control fuel prices, let alone foreign made parts.

Freight charges today, is a JOKE and a half."

Freight line fuel surcharges are now at 32 percent. Residental deliver charges are now $75.00. Calling you to see if someone is home to accept the freight, is $30.00.

In some instances, the freight lines "extra charges," exceed the actual freight charges.

Local business deliverys now are adding fuel surcharges, etc. We just paid a $65.00 fuel surcharge for a delivery of less than 20 miles.

Where will it end??????

I was taught that to end something, you have to go back to the beginning, and start fixing it from there.

Any volunteers??

This subject can go on forever, with thousands of fixes, remedies, and opinions.

Historians say, "world wars," while a huge disaster, brings our country and it's people, closer together, as well as solving many other problems. I don't want to go there again.

The idiotic behavior of all to many foreigners as well as USA citizens, on the Arizona Memorial, is more than disgusting. What a way to say thank you, to those that gave their lives, for you and me. It's a Memorial, not a playground.

This is my one and only post on this subject, since my time is already commited to working on many things, that I can change, or have an influence on.

And then too, I must remember, especially in my senior years, "I ain't what I used to be," and I want and need to spend much more time with my loved ones.

Now I put my soap box away.

Furthermore, because of some health issues, Hawaii keeps on calling, louder and louder.

Respectfully, to all.

Andy asks, can we afford to buy American made parts even if we wanted to?

I would ask if Airstream owners that are already prepared to pay extra for the perceived quality that comes with Airstream knew that lower cost and quality Chinese parts were built into their vehicles, they would pay extra for the added saftey and quality?

We are talking about a few extra dollars per part that may add up to a several hundred dollars spent on a new trailer.

Compare that to the lower quality, safety, and longevity of that part and add in lost jobs, communities, families, and what was the American standard of living that is disappearing before our eyes.

Andy says high labor cost have made it unaffordable for us to buy American made products. Somehow the CEO's that sent the jobs away and are still receiving their 30 million dollar bonus are not responsible.

We DO all have to make a choice. When I go the Sears to buy a tool, it is marked on the package if it is made in the USA or in China. That's where I make a choice.

When I discovered my Henshen/InlandRV axle had Made in China parts, they were removed and replaced with USA parts.

What is the real cost to have scrap metal shipped from here, turned into lower quality, unsafe and inferior part made with almost slave labor and then shipped BACK here and sold to us with a much higher profit margin to the middlemen?

Why is fuel and shipping so much more expensive here? One reason is the increased fuel demand from China, making inferior and low cost products to sell to Americans that think they are saving a few bucks.

Factor in the lost jobs, unsafe and inferior running gear, lost tax base from thousands of businesses and workers.

Save now, spend later.

Demand American parts for your American Icon Airstream!

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Old 06-01-2008, 06:41 PM   #16
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Chelsea , Michigan
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Everybody loves pictures

Finally getting around to posting the photos of the install of the new Henschen. Also since then I found black solid steel wheels and added new Maxxis trailer tires. The most amazing thing was (this is a '64 Globetrotter)... got the old axle off and looked at its data plate - 1970. Now there's a mystery. Why replace a 6 year old axle? Hit something maybe?
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:50 PM   #17
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Nice shop,and I was wondering how I was gonna get the axles in place, I never thought of an ATV or Motorcycle jack PERFECT. Thanks for the pic's.My axles are in the process as we speak I hope. My axles are scheduled for delivery July 1st. Any chance we might see you at the Detroit-Metro Rally in August. The area where U live in is my old stompin grounds. We might have a lot to discuss. Hope to see U there.
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:13 PM   #18
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As correct as Andy is, I work for an American electronics manufacturer that makes products in an American factory. The parts are sourced both in the US and in Asia simply because a domestic supply is not available on all items. We charge more for our products than our made in China competitors do but our products tend to perform better, have a longer service life, and can be serviced (not disposable).

Consumers are part of the problem. Most people ask "what's the price?" before they ask "what's the quality?" many sellers hear that and say I had better sell based on price not quality.
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:21 PM   #19
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1964 19' Globetrotter
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I wish I could claim that shop as mine. It belongs to a buddy who does a lot of car and motorcycle work on weekends for fun. We had a blast doing the axle on the Airstream.
Regarding the Detroit rally, the timing is a little off for me. I'll be returning from a week out of town on business Saturday afternoon. It's possible I'll make an appearance there Saturday night.

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1964, 1964 globetrotter

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