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Old 05-07-2009, 10:10 PM   #29
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"I want an American made, American designed, American built, by an American owned, listed on an American stock exchange company, freakin' truck."

Name one. My F250 was built in Canada, my Tundra was built in USA according to the VINs.
Both our '94 Chevy Silverado (which we kept for general hauling) and the 2009 Silverado we just bought for towing were built in Fort Wayne, Indiana and designed in Detroit, Michigan, both well within the United States. Last I heard, General Motors was still listed on the New York Stock Exchange, although they probably won't be after the government is done nationalizing them.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:04 AM   #30
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Sticker on the door of my DuraMax say’s “Built in Flint Michigan”. I ordered it that way.

If Lexus is the flagship of Toyota, then CTS is the flagship of Chevy?

I love my Country and all of its beautiful citizens. Even those who do not quite understand how important the economy, our manufacturing base, and the middle class are to its longevity, security and prosperity. I work for an American company, selling products into an American industry, for use by Americans (and many others globally). I make an effort EVERY DAY to purchase other American products to help support other Americans. I am pretty happy about the standard of living we maintain here. It is slipping away. I do not want that to happen to my Family, your Family, or a UAW worker in Detroit. We have seen it happen in so many industries already. I previously worked for a very old, well known American company founded in 1856. That company and all of its jobs are in China now. 1400 or so of my Friends had to find new jobs. Many will not make the salaries they used to. I am not sure how far we have to go before some people start to realize how critical this is. Do you want you bank’s server made in China? How about our telecommunications system? Perhaps the guidance systems for our aircraft should be made in Pakistan? It is no joke that the automotive industry is struggling so. Where should this end? I would much rather sell “stuff” to the rest of the world than buy “stuff” from the rest of the world. This is how we built our wealth in America. If a UAW worker can make $120k/year bolting doors on trucks then God bless her. I would rather she makes that much than $40k/year screwing doors on Toyotas. Does a Toyota cost you any less than a comparable US car? The more money that UAW makes, the more of my “stuff” she can buy. More of your “stuff” too. This is not rocket science Folks.

I am not sure why anyone would feel “indebted” to their country unless they felt they were shortchanging them for something?

The Harley Davidson Company was founded in 1903 and is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The General Motors Company was founded in 1908 and is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.

Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903 and is based in Dearborn, Michigan.

Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in 1933 and is headquartered in Toyota City, Japan.

Am I missing something?

Bill
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:31 AM   #31
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It's not that simple

(CNN) -- With the top U.S. automakers in economic survival mode, "Buy American" is a frequent cry among those trying to save jobs at home.

But buying a car to benefit the U.S. economy has become an ambiguous, complicated challenge.

"How you define an American car is one of the great conundrums of this world," said Dutch Mandel, the editor and associate publisher of AutoWeek.

Fewer than half of the parts on some Big Three vehicles are made in the U.S.

Looking at a Ford Fusion? It is assembled in Mexico. The Chrysler 300C is assembled in Canada, but its transmission is from Indiana; the brand's V-8 engine is made in Mexico. Engines in the Chevrolet Equinox sport utility vehicle are from China.

On the other hand, Toyota's Camry is comprised 80 percent of parts made in the United States, and 56 percent of Toyota's vehicles sold in the U.S. also are made here, according to Toyota spokeswoman Sona Iliffe-Moon.

The Toyota Sienna and Tundra also have 80 percent of their parts manufactured in the U.S.(bold added)

"When you have manufacturers from around the world building cars in the U.S. with 85 percent domestic content -- engine, transmission, assembly -- is that an American car?" Mandel asked. Or, he asks, is it considered foreign because the profits go back to a foreign country?

"It's truly a global industry," said Thomas Klier, a Chicago, Illinois, economist who co-authored "Who Really Made Your Car?" an encyclopedic analysis of the auto industry melting pot.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:26 AM   #32
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And it's getting more complicated. Say I have $30k to spend on a big sedan. The Pontiac G8 is a great car. It's built in Australia. Or you could get a Toyota Avalon that's built in Kentucky and designed in Michigan.

If I want my $30k to go to my fellow Americans, I'm better off buying the Avalon. Sure, maybe $3000 of profit will go to Japan. But the other $27k goes to the engineers in Michigan, the assembly line workers in Indiana, all of the workers at the US suppliers, and the sales and service people at my neighborhood Toyota dealer. With that G8, some money goes to the engineers in Detroit who federalized the car, but the vast majority goes to overseas suppliers and assembly line folk. (Given the costs of importing the G8, there probably isn't any profit left to go to Detroit.)

Of course, you can pick and choose different examples in different segments to suit your side of the argument. Given that Chrysler is essentially dependent on a a foreign company for survival, this only gets more complicated.

Ironically, I agree with BillTex that the Prius isn't exactly the most comfortable or entertaining car to drive. But it sure is fuel efficient, holds its value well, is reliable, and packs a lot of room into a small footprint.

Tom
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:34 AM   #33
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What's better, NO jobs which pay $120,000.00 per year or 3 jobs which pay $40,000 per year! There is such a thing as pricing yourself completely out of a job. I'm a retired architect and was damned good at what I did, but I never ever even came close to making $120,000 a year and only a few good years did I even make $40,000. Every dollar had to be spent wisely. I tried, but found I couldn't afford to throw good money at vehicles with UAW attitude in every part! Now they can enjoy the same considerations.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:27 AM   #34
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I drive my Toyota 1987 Van daily, originally called the Van-Wagon here in the States, and the SpaceMobile in England.

It was green before it was cool to be green. It has a short wheel base, you're sitting on the engine, (no it doesn't get hot, there's an asbestos wrap) and you can do a u-turn in one lane.

It's not a tow vehicle.. only 4 cylinders, but I hope to keep it ANOTHER 23 years.
Would you be so kind as to post a few pictures of that vehicle? I've never seen one.

Thanks!
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:41 AM   #35
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It's not "rocket science." It's economics. As David Ricardo elegantly proved, free trade benefits all participants... despite the many myths. (Please read the second link, Bill. It would save me a good bit of writing).

To borrow from Robert Kennedy, in 1850 over half of the U.S. workforce was involved in agriculture. That has dropped to less than two percent today and we produce exponentially more food. Our standard of living is higher today than it ever has been. Like any free market, the American economy is constantly evolving and changing, what Joseph Schumpeter called creative destruction. How many typewriter repairmen do you know?

Jobs churn... and quickly. As I have told my three daughters, it is unlikely you will have the same job for your entire career. You will likely need to retrain, perhaps more than once. The best defense is a good offense... make a commitment to lifelong learning, skill development, etc. Embrace risk. Take chances. Treat a job as a privilege, not an entitlement.

Creating a relatively low-skill job paying $120k a year is a long-term losing bet. If the work is only actually "worth" $40,000, the business model will fail. Any attempt to protect the job through tariffs, taxes or subsidies will cost the economy more (by increasing taxes and distorting markets) than simply letting the job disappear. Chrysler failed and GM is teetering not because of a lack of patriotism... but because they have a flawed business model. America car companies could compete against the best in the world... but not with the weight of union contracts and retiree benefits adding thousands of dollars to the cost of every automobile.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:28 AM   #36
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" the 2009 Silverado we just bought for towing were built in Fort Wayne, Indiana and designed in Detroit, Michigan, "

Here's a VIN of a 2009 Silverado indicatiing it was made in Mexico VIN3GCEK23C19G105530
09 Silverados apperently can come from Canada, Mexico, and the US. As others have pointed out, it appears that nothing is 100% made in the USA even when the label states made in USA. Except for our kids.

Here's and interesting factoid. I work for an electronics manufacture that is required by the government to mark our products and cartons with "Made in USA". The same governments prevents us from marketing our products as made in the USA citing that our parts came from overseas.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:58 AM   #37
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It's not "rocket science." It's economics. As David Ricardo elegantly proved, free trade benefits all participants... despite the many myths. (Please read the second link, Bill. It would save me a good bit of writing).

To borrow from Robert Kennedy, in 1850 over half of the U.S. workforce was involved in agriculture. That has dropped to less than two percent today and we produce exponentially more food. Our standard of living is higher today than it ever has been. Like any free market, the American economy is constantly evolving and changing, what Joseph Schumpeter called creative destruction. How many typewriter repairmen do you know?

Jobs churn... and quickly. As I have told my three daughters, it is unlikely you will have the same job for your entire career. You will likely need to retrain, perhaps more than once. The best defense is a good offense... make a commitment to lifelong learning, skill development, etc. Embrace risk. Take chances. Treat a job as a privilege, not an entitlement.

Creating a relatively low-skill job paying $120k a year is a long-term losing bet. If the work is only actually "worth" $40,000, the business model will fail. Any attempt to protect the job through tariffs, taxes or subsidies will cost the economy more (by increasing taxes and distorting markets) than simply letting the job disappear. Chrysler failed and GM is teetering not because of a lack of patriotism... but because they have a flawed business model. America car companies could compete against the best in the world... but not with the weight of union contracts and retiree benefits adding thousands of dollars to the cost of every automobile.
Interesting, but dated opinion (5 yrs old). Wonder if the Author would feel the same now?
It is foreign governments who have placed high tarrifs on US products...not the other way around. Our products are taxed at much higher rates than foreign goods coming into this country.
Why do you think Toyota, et al, are assembling vehicles here? Not because they want to employ Americans! They are minimizing the value of the product they ship here to pay even less tariffs.(parts are worth less than the "whole"). And when they do setup a plant here, they bring all of their foreign suppliers with them to establish "campus" style assembly plants. The Japanes DO NOT source parts here. They are using our labor...cheaply!
They do not manufacture vehicles here; they ASSEMBLE them here. Just as US vehicles are not MANUFACTURED in Mexico, etc...they are ASSEMBLED there.
And those electronics? Same thing; they can say "USA" on them....but they cannot say "Made in the USA" on them. Many Folks don't realize there is a difference. If you assemble x% of the parts here, you can claim "USA".
You can kick this horse all you want; sending our manufacturing base overseas, and supporting those efforts with your purchases, is not good for this Country.
I don't know what world some of you Folks live in, you have been very fortunate to not have your livelihood effected by outsourcing/offshoring. There is a very strong likelihood that something you build/market/sell is used by the automotive industry in this Country. When it happens to you/your Family, I suspect you will voice a different opinion. I hope it doesn't happen, but it is likely it will...


Bill
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:18 PM   #38
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Treat a job as a privilege, not an entitlement.
That is precisely where unions have failed us. Because today's unions are nothing more than commissioned salespeople, they still try to convince their membership that they can get them more (and fooling them into thinking they are worth more), and THEY WILL SAY ANYTHING in order to keep their own cushy jobs. Anything. ANYTHING at all. Just listen to the news, labour unionists say again and again that costs aren't ANYthing to do with the problems.

Well, there was a time when we needed unions, but I don't see anything but shockingly destructive behaviour on their part today.

My dad stood out "on the line" in the dead of winter in 1937 when Mitch Hepburn, then Premier of Ontario, ordered off-duty Ontario Provincial Police (aptly named "Sons-of-Mitches") to attack strikers outside of GM's Oshawa plant to prevent GM from having to recognize the union and give them basic rights (like an 8 hour day and a seniority policy). Yes, attack them. This is documented history, look it up if you think it sounds bizarre.

It's obvious that we NEEDED unions then; even the government preyed on workers!

Well, the tide has now certainly turned: The Big Three were blackmailed into paying absurd increases when business was good, and rather than fighting it by resisting the strikes, they gave in, to keep production numbers up. And so now, they find themselves paying huge salaries with incredible overhead such as unbelievable retirement benefits to people who would have no apparent skills or training. Don't get me wrong: they are great people, but they have been manipulated into an untenable position. You can't get water from a dry well.

And these self-same unions now squeal that we must bail them out. We must pay for their retirement standard of living that 99% of us will never see ourselves. How is that "just" or "right"?

Don't think that the Big Three car-makers aren't to blame, either. I bought Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler and Buicks for over thirty years, and it wasn't until I bought a little Toyota in 2005 that I realized that it IS possible to have a car that just runs and runs and doesn't constantly need things done. Also, a car can have a decent residual value, I'm finding. We bought a Dodge Grand Caravan within 8 months of buying the Toyota. The Toyota was a third cheaper than the Dodge to buy new but today is worth 50% more. Go figure!

So don't tell me it's the Japanese car companies' fault that we are only now learning how to build a car that is still only a distant second in reliability to the Hondas and Toyotas. The Big Three aren't stupid, they could build the same or better quality than the Japanese, but they thought they could just go one as they had for a hundred years, that people will just close their eyes to quality and keep buying American/Canadian just "because we should".

And so their market share tumbles from 90+% in the '70s to about 40% today.

Well, for all our sakes, I hope it's not too late for all of us to learn from the debacle we're now in.

Let me add:

I normally don't speak out on issues this far off-topic (even for an off-topic forum), but the tone of some of the posts here got my dander up. I sensed efforts to make us feel that foreign car makers, or the government, or me, a foreign car buyer now, are to blame for the nation's current ills.
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:24 PM   #39
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And for those electronics, no, One government agency requires my company (the company I work for) to label our products and cartons "Made in USA" while another agency prevents us from marketing the product as made in USA.

Back to the point of someone wanting to buy a 100% American made vehicle, there isn't one. You can buy one that is perhaps 80% American made with a VIN that begins with 1, 4 or 5, (indicating made in America) but it is not 100% made in America. This fact is not intended as a commentary on patriotism or what is good or not good for the country.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:15 PM   #40
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Aage; Enthusiasm is a good thing…personal attacks are not.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:24 PM   #41
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It's not "rocket science." It's economics. As David Ricardo elegantly proved, free trade benefits all participants... despite the many myths. (Please read the second link, Bill. It would save me a good bit of writing).

To borrow from Robert Kennedy, in 1850 over half of the U.S. workforce was involved in agriculture. That has dropped to less than two percent today and we produce exponentially more food. Our standard of living is higher today than it ever has been. Like any free market, the American economy is constantly evolving and changing, what Joseph Schumpeter called creative destruction. How many typewriter repairmen do you know?

Jobs churn... and quickly. As I have told my three daughters, it is unlikely you will have the same job for your entire career. You will likely need to retrain, perhaps more than once. The best defense is a good offense... make a commitment to lifelong learning, skill development, etc. Embrace risk. Take chances. Treat a job as a privilege, not an entitlement.

Creating a relatively low-skill job paying $120k a year is a long-term losing bet. If the work is only actually "worth" $40,000, the business model will fail. Any attempt to protect the job through tariffs, taxes or subsidies will cost the economy more (by increasing taxes and distorting markets) than simply letting the job disappear. Chrysler failed and GM is teetering not because of a lack of patriotism... but because they have a flawed business model. America car companies could compete against the best in the world... but not with the weight of union contracts and retiree benefits adding thousands of dollars to the cost of every automobile.
A great help would be if companies would treat the employees as an assets and not a liability or commodity to be sloughed off in the name of profits. Take a look at some employee owned companies and how they treat their people versus the publicly held answer to the stockholders ones. Publix is one that comes to mind vs say Food Lion?

Aaron
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:47 PM   #42
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David Ricardo did his work as an economist in the early 1800s. It is as valid today as it was then. Outsourcing destroys some jobs; it creates others. The rise of Wal-Mart led to the decline of the local "five-and-dime" store. You can decry this, but millions of American consumers--acting as free individuals--made the choice. The same is true for U.S. car companies. The bottom line is that the Big 3 lost market share because Americans--exercising the fundamental American right to spend their hard-earned money as they see fit--decided a "foreign" car better met their needs.

This is how free markets work. The businesses that satisfy customers succeed. Those that don't, fail... unless they are a monopoly or otherwise protected from competition by the U.S. government. What protectionists do not seem to understand is that propping up uncompetitive industries (like U.S. steel) hurts the overall economy. We don't make televisions in the U.S. anymore... but televisions are more widely available and affordable than any time in history.

Here's the thing, Bill. I would rather live in a country where millions of people get to make their own decisions about their lives... and live with that, than live in a country where one government makes all of the decisions... including what businesses are "too important to fail" and taxes me to prop them up. The America we have is the America we have chosen. So it goes.
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