|HARD HITTING DETROIT LIONS FORUM
|IF you buy foreign vehicles, read this.....
|Page 1 of 2|
|Author:||m2karateman [ June 9th, 2005, 3:32 pm ]|
|Post subject:||IF you buy foreign vehicles, read this.....|
In Defense of General Motors
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
May 7, 2005
Defense, defense, defense. That's all that General Motors, and Detroit in general, can play these days. Many American car and truck buyers, and many of those in the media who write about their buying habits, should know better than to spew their venom at GM for their recent financial troubles. It might be different if the reasons that GM continues to lose market share weren't largely beyond their control, but they are. As an increasing number of Americans spend their money on and drive around in Toyotas and Hondas, the answer to the question "Why doesn't GM have the money to build a car more to my liking?" seems to evade them.
As if the impending health care crisis in America was no clue at all, some
even bring up the fact that GM spends over $1,500 per automobile just to
provide health care to their employees, retirees and their dependents. By comparison, Toyota and Honda spend only a few hundred dollars per automobile, mainly because GM has been operating in the United States since the invention of the automobile and Toyota, for instance, only built their first plant here in 1987. Yet they still accuse that GM is "living in the past" even though Cadillac now outsells Mercedes, The Chevy Impala beat the Toyota Camry in initial quality and Consumer Reports detailed how Buick now beats BMW in reliability.
But in these times where low-wage Wal-Mart has now replaced high-wage
General Motors as the number one employer in the U.S., most Americans get a
pass for not having the time to dig deeply enough to understand what is really going on since a large portion of America is working longer hours for lower wages and is just trying to put in enough time at work to make ends meet. It may seem that your car-buying decision would have no effect on your personal prosperity or that of your country, but it does. It really does matter if you buy an American-made Chevrolet instead of an American-made Toyota. When you buy an American-made Chevy, you not only support more American workers, but also American investors, owners and stockholders. When you buy an American-made Toyota, you may help your Uncle Bob if he's on Toyota's payroll, but you're hurting Uncle Sam since American companies pay about three times as many taxes to the U.S. Treasury compared to foreign-owned companies. That's something to think about the next time you hear we have to cut benefits or raise the retirement age simply because the U.S. Treasury doesn't have enough funds to meet its obligations to Social Security or other benefit programs.
General Motors doesn't have enough money to meet its obligations either.
And it's for the very honorable reason that they have promised adequate health
care and pensions to their workers who gave their lives to a company that has in turn supported so many American livelihoods for so long. If we stop buying GM products, we de-fund American retirees and prevent them from contributing to the American economy. Sure, you have a choice in buying a foreign car over an American one, but if you buy the foreign car, you will likely cause a retiree to make a choice between food and medicine. That very choice is a daily one for many senior citizens in this country right now.
Think it's not possible? Think again. The Pension Benefit Guaranty
Corporation (PBGC) has already taken over several pensions from failed
American companies in the steel and airline industries and beyond. When
these companies declare bankruptcy and a failure to meet their obligations,
this government-funded agency - which is also running in the red - takes
over and gives seniors roughly half of what they were promised by the now
bankrupt company. This results in a hidden cost to taxpayers since any shortfall in government revenue must be made up eventually in higher taxes or benefit cuts or both.
So there you have it. Failure to find a GM (or other American) automobile you can stand will negatively affect your standard of living in one way or another. And you thought that since you didn't work in the car industry it didn't affect you. Think again. The Detroit News recently published the facts, daring to go against the deceiving "foreign cars are built there and American cars are built there" rhetoric that implies it makes no difference if you buy an American-made Honda instead of an American-made Pontiac. The newspaper reported that American and foreign automakers alike were playing the "Made in USA Card" to attract buyers. And you thought consumers didn't care. Poll after poll has shown Americans are even willing to pay more to buy American, let alone when
quality and price are similar or equal. Most Americans advocate fair play
and equality but eventually they will find out - possibly the hard way - that neither of these attributes apply in the automobile marketplace unless those Americans that should know better start buying American cars again. I'm not asking or expecting the die-hard import buyer crowd to stop their silly griping and buy American. GM's future doesn't depend on them. It depends on those Americans that really should know better.
As the Detroit News article boldly pointed out, GM has 82 major plants in the United States, while Toyota, Honda and Nissan combined have only 24. GM has more American salaried workers than Toyota has total American workers. With 194,000 employees in America, even after hard times, General Motors still employs six times as many Americans as Toyota, seven times as many as Honda, and 12 times as many as Nissan. As Business Week pointed out in
2002 (the last data I have seen on the subject), each auto-assembly job created by an American company also creates 6.9 other American jobs, where each
Auto assembly job created by a foreign company creates only 5.5 other American jobs. This is true simply because American automobile companies get more of their parts from America.
And what about those foreign transplant factories? A 1995 United Auto Workers study concluded that these foreign automobile companies operating in the United States caused at least 500,000 Americans to lose their jobs. I would hate to think of what that total is today.
The new May 9, 2005 issue of Business Week details how GM contributes to the pockets of their assembly workers to the tune of $8.7 billion a year and either directly or indirectly supports the employment of 900,000 Americans. Business Week also claims it is "undeniable" that what is bad for GM is bad for America, pointing to a 54-day strike in 1998 that cut that quarter's economic growth for the entire country a whole percentage point.
Many point to bad management decisions in the past to justify their reasoning for not supporting GM, claiming it is it "widely known" that they made horrible cars in the 1970's. Its amazing people who weren't even driving age in the 1970's (this author wasn't) want to penalize GM for mismanagement as they overlook any mismanagement by other car companies they anxiously spend their money with instead. I have never heard anyone vehemently refuse to buy a Nissan since they almost went bankrupt in the late 1990's. Nor do I hear people planning to penalize Japanese car makers for the (widely known) junk they imported in the
In 1999, the Wall Street Journal reported Nissan lost millions of dollars in five of the last six years. Nissan's debt stood between $22 billion and $30 billion, which dwarfed that of any other auto maker. The Wall Street Journal, which is no huge supporter of GM, claimed Nissan would be bankrupt if it happened to be an American company.
The claim that GM made inferior cars in the 1970's is suspect to me anyway, not because of my patriotic motivation, but because of my personal experience. The 1976 Riviera I owned was outstanding as far as quality and longevity was concerned, and 1976 is right in the middle of the supposed quality challenged decade for American cars. An Auto Week magazine article even call it a "boat with no tail" in a piece they did about the history of the Riviera. Shortly after the car passed 200,000 miles, I drove it from Florida to Illinois and back to demonstrate to some skeptical friends that the car would make it up, down and through the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee just fine, as I was getting my own share of comments about how terrible American cars supposedly were. The car had over 250,000 miles before I had it hauled off to the junkyard, but not before a co-worker bought the engine for his airboat. The engine was so quiet no one knew (by listening) that I warmed it up for 5-10 minutes before I drove home from work as my co-workers walked past it in the parking lot to get in their own cars to drive home. People would walk by my '76 Riviera, stop for a second, and ask me "Is that car running?" The body had rusted out by the late 1990s, but the car never had the advantage of a garage to protect it from the Florida sun and Atlantic Ocean's salty air.
General Motors spent $5.2 billion on health care for their workers and retirees in 2004. The 2005 figure will be higher. The figure for Toyota, for instance, is far less since they didn't build their first American factory until 1987. The Georgetown, KY factory, which assembles the Toyota Camry, was built with Japanese steel by a Japanese steel company. Toyota was given 1,500 acres of free land. To attract this Japanese company to America, we even established a "special trade zone" so they could import parts duty-free from Japan. Financing was handled by Mitsui Bank of Japan. Total federal, state and local tax incentives (read: giveaways) reached $100 million - courtesy of your tax dollars and mine.
These are some of the hidden costs few think about when selecting their next car. Before the first Toyota in American was ever assembled, the
American steel industry, parts industry and finance industry took it on the chin. American tax obligations were also raised to boot. Today's Camry has a 55% domestic parts content, which is down from 75% just a few years earlier. American alternatives like the Chevy Impala has a 98% domestic parts content and the aging Ford Taurus, which used to be the number one selling car in America before the Camry took the top spot, has a 95% domestic parts content.
In the end, it doesn't matter how you slice it. General Motors pays more taxes, employs more workers, has more domestic plants, supports more families, retirees and their dependents, and has a higher overall domestic parts content than the foreign competition - hands down. American quality is on the rise. Efficiency has increased. GM kept America rolling by donating millions of dollars in cash and vehicles in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Where was the foreign competition in America's time of need? They were busy reaping in record profits and sending them home to reward foreign owners at the expense of an American company that built the foundation of prosperity that America as a whole enjoys.
Profits are the lifeblood of any successful company or economy. General Motors makes only a few hundred dollars of profit per vehicle compared to over a thousand dollars for their foreign rivals because GM supports such a wide and diverse number of Americans. They've shown their loyalty to America by extending 0% financing for several years, and through their history they've done more good for America than any foreign car company ever dreamed of doing. It's time for America to show their loyalty to an American company whose own increased prosperity will result in greater American prosperity as well.
So if you want General Motors to get more aggressive and on the offensive in terms of marketing, bolder car designs, etc., stop spewing your venom at them, which makes them constantly play defense instead. It's unfair, unwarranted, and unproductive. GM wants to keep America rolling - as we all should - so let's make it happen.
|Author:||m2karateman [ June 9th, 2005, 3:35 pm ]|
In addition to all this, did you know that General Motors is responsible for 1% of this countries Gross National Product? Think of what would happen to this countries economy if GM went out of business.
|Author:||lionsfanak [ June 9th, 2005, 3:54 pm ]|
I grew up in a GM family, owned GM products most of my life, father, uncle and grandfather worked at the Gear and Axle plant on Holbrook. I will not purchase another GM product until they make something worth buying. If I am buying a truck, I want a truck that rides like a truck and sits as high as a truck. One that I can modify for offroad use without spending a minimum of $2,000 to do so. I don't want a 4-wheel drive system that has proven to be suspect in the area that I live in. If I am buying a car, I don't want a car that looks and feels like it was just pushed out of the plastic factory. GM has put out some pretty mediocre products and asked top dollar for them for some time. It is unfortunate, but GM may have marketed themselves out of business. They want to make sure their vehicles are all fit for the 5'2" mom and the 6'4" dad. Well, you can't do both. Unfortunately the foreign vehicle companies make trucks that sit like trucks, trucks that sit like cars, and cars that are high in quality.
Sorry for the rant. I'm done now.
|Author:||conversion02 [ June 9th, 2005, 4:15 pm ]|
That's something to think about the next time you hear we have to cut benefits or raise the retirement age simply because the U.S. Treasury doesn't have enough funds to meet its obligations to Social Security or other benefit programs.
I can't even begin to understand that one at all... It's because government officials use SS as a safe haven when they need cash. No IOUs, just straight up using money that isn't theirs.
I stopped and looked at a Honda Ridgeline the other day. More or less, a beefed up Ranger from the outside. The engine size and towing capacity is quite weak for the size of the truck, but the interior blows away any American made product. It's between an F150 (the captains chairs and center console are AWESOME) and the Ridgeline. Too bad I get an employee discount on American products because I work at a public utility...Honda may be out of the question at $36,000. Which leads me to my point...foreign cars are much more expensive (outside of a Hyundai or Kia...lol) but they hold their value WAY better than American products do.
BTW, who gives a half a crap about a HEMI? Oh my, you're getting worse gas mileage and you have a 300 HP family sedan! Stupidest move I've ever seen by a car company as of late. Where's the hybrids GM? No wonder people are buying more foreign cars...
|Author:||m2karateman [ June 9th, 2005, 8:53 pm ]|
Keep on buying foreign cars and trucks guys. Watch all your money go overseas. See if the Japanese, Korean, German or any other foreign car manufacturer is going to support American families like GM does. You just don't get it do you? You complain about American styling and American quality. Do you know that GM ranks with a few points of Toyota in overall quality? There is perceived quality, and then there is measured quality. Most people's opinion of American brands is perceived, based on heresay, conjecture and ancient history. People talk about the short comings of American companies in regards to styling. Do you want a car that runs well and is built from materials and by companies that support your country and is economy, or would you rather hand that money to companies based overseas? If you choose the foreign cars, don't complain when jobs are sent out overseas by American companies. Because the culprit is in the mirror every time you take a peek.
|Author:||Yorick [ June 9th, 2005, 10:51 pm ]|
I predict that free trade will die a quick and sudden death in our life time. Of course, that will accompany a depression that makes the 1930s look like a cakewalk. Having inherited Buicks for many years I can say that Toyotas are far more reliable and I was compelled to buy their stock.
|Author:||Pablo [ June 10th, 2005, 10:35 am ]|
I've never bought a foreign car, but then my Jeep is now part of a German company so I can throw that out the window despite my intentions to "buy" American.
I applaud your efforts Mike, but this article is full of flaws. We are now in an ever-growing global economy. While the article correctly states that American cars are built (or parts are built) overseas, and foreign automakers build cars here, the whole point about investors to counter that point is weak. As an investor, I diversify, meaning a portion of my portfolio is international - so I'm an owner of both GM and Toyota. Foreign investment in the US is huge. To imply that American investors hold stock in American companies and foreign investors hold stocks of companies in their country is way off.
When I lived an worked in Detroit, I obviously got to work with a lot of car or auto-related companies. Truth is, the unions take out the free market aspect of labor. The wages and benefits for "not highly" skilled auto workers is out of whack and inefficient. The supply/demand free market labor environment doesn't exist, this flies in the face of "American" ideals.
There is a global shift going on economically, and it has been for years. The US is becomming a service driven economy, not a manufacturing one. The Asian economies are much better equiped for manufacturing. GM and Ford need to adjust to this fact, as do many manufacturing companies in the US.
As for styles of cars, that comes down to preference. The US is a consumer driven market, the companies that meet these demands will grow market share, while those that don't will lose it. People aren't going to buy a car just because the company is based in the US or Japan, they are buying products. To try to tell people to buy a car because it is "American" won't cut it. It comes down to making cars that people want to buy at a decent value. I think the American companies have made progress in this area of the last 10 years.
Capitalism and a free market economy will drive the auto market, just like every industry. Because of that, manufacturing jobs will continue to shift overseas - its inevitable and the part of the natural progression of the US economy. Workers need to adapt and adjust, moving into professions that are growing in our economy, unfortunately for workers in the auto industry in the US.
BTW - China is comming! Might be a good place to park some of your hard working investment dollars.
|Author:||conversion02 [ June 10th, 2005, 2:30 pm ]|
What about Saab and Mazda. Both are owned by American companies; GM and Ford, respectively. Are you supporting GM if you buy a Saab? Saab's are still made in Sweden, but the money, in part, goes to GM's stock. Mazda - you support Japanese automaking (95% made in Japan), but you support Ford financially. What about those scenarios?
|Author:||m2karateman [ June 11th, 2005, 3:00 pm ]|
I understand what you are asking. In truth, buying from Saab wouldn't bother me because they don't pose much of a threat to U.S. jobs or our economy. Japanese, Korean and German car manufacturers do. Even though, I personally refuse to purchase a foreign badged automobile. I have NEVER purchased one, even used.
I know many speak of how much better foreign cars are. Although my opinion may be biased, I have an opportunity to do one to one comparisons of vehicles every year as part of my job. In those comparisons, I have found American cars to have equal or better performance to foreign cars, including premium vehicles made by Lexus, BMW, Mercedes and Lincoln. A few days ago I was driving around in a GM owned Mazda RX-8. Truthfully, I thought it was less than stellar. The ride was bumpier than it needed to be, the on-center feel on the steering was poor, the shift (manual) had a longer throw than I would like in a sports car and the pedal practically had to be put into the floor board before the clutch engaged. The interior seemed cheaply done, with the leather being extremely grainy and just not very attractive.
What this all means is that American consumers have become conditioned to accept foreign car manufacturers' products as 'better' when in fact, most times they simply aren't. It is the 'perceived quality' that I spoke of in an earlier post. Typically Japanese cars have less options available, and the components making up the car aren't as robust.
However, that being said the biggest problem I have found with American car companies is two-fold. One, too much bureaucracy to wade through to get new ideas and designs into the showroom keeps companies like GM lagging behind. Two, the UAW is about membership numbers and not membership quality. Many UAW workers do their job, and do it well. However, many of them place the importance of the UAW ahead of the company, and that's just plain stupid. If the UAW disbanded, the car companies could continue to prosper. However, if the car companies go out of business, what happens to those union jobs? Japanese workers put the company first above all else. They have pride in the performance of themselves, their co-workers and the product that they make. Our American workers, from the union workers, through the engineers, all the way to the top executives need to put the company first.
One more thing, American executives suck. They are in it for themselves, and are the worst leaders this country has in the corporate world outside of Enron.
|Author:||conversion02 [ June 11th, 2005, 3:36 pm ]|
In those comparisons, I have found American cars to have equal or better performance to foreign cars, including premium vehicles made by Lexus, BMW, Mercedes and Lincoln.
Mike, I agree with most of what you say. First off, Lincoln is a Ford product (as is Mercury, Mazda, Jag, Ashton Martin, Land Rover, Volvo). Of those, I think Volvo's suck. They handle like crap and they're not great driving machines (they're heavy too). Same thing with BMWs. I've driven quite a few, and thought those were less than stellar as well...definately not the "ultimate driving machine" IMO whatsoever.
However...I have driven a Jag...and WOW. Talk about a sweet ride. Same thing with Mercedes. My girlfriend's mom has a C230 Kompressor and that ride is sweet.
A few days ago I was driving around in a GM owned Mazda RX-8. Truthfully, I thought it was less than stellar. The ride was bumpier than it needed to be, the on-center feel on the steering was poor, the shift (manual) had a longer throw than I would like in a sports car and the pedal practically had to be put into the floor board before the clutch engaged. The interior seemed cheaply done, with the leather being extremely grainy and just not very attractive.
On the RX-8. I tend to agree. I like them mainly for the look and the 3rd door. However, they aren't what they're cracked up to be. I noticed similar things you did when test driving one. Remember that great leather that Ford used to use in the early and mid 90s? Your rectum just sank in those seats, they were great! My girlfriend has a Saab 9-5 (pre GM), and I hate that leather. I slide when she turns a corner, it's not very plush. The leather in my 94 Tbird is awesome. Bring back the plush leather!!!
What this all means is that American consumers have become conditioned to accept foreign car manufacturers' products as 'better' when in fact, most times they simply aren't. It is the 'perceived quality' that I spoke of in an earlier post.
I tend to agree. Many people think that if they buy a Honda, it will seriously run forever without any problems. As any person with common sense knows, if you take care of a car...any car, it could run forever without problems. I had a 92 Ford Aerostar with 245K on it. I tried to kill that thing (just so I could get a new car) and it just wouldn't die. No major repairs whatsoever (break job, oil cooler gasket, etc). Nothing big though. Seals break on all cars, break wear out on all cars.
Typically Japanese cars have less options available, and the components making up the car aren't as robust.
I'm not so sure about that. Nowadays, there are so many aftermarket CRAP for the Civic, Accord, Camry, etc that it's just sad. I hate seeing those stupid ricers going down the road with the coffee can exhausts (which should be illegal because they sound like damn lawnmowers) and those wing styled front ends. Fast and the furious my rectum, good ol' American muscle will kick ricer NOS rectum anyday. See post below. However, factory options, yes. I love the fact that GM adds an engine block heater for only $35.00. Nobody else, that I know of, has that option.
|Author:||conversion02 [ June 11th, 2005, 3:43 pm ]|
Check this ride out...'67 Shelby GT500. Sweeeeet.
|Author:||Yorick [ June 11th, 2005, 11:55 pm ]|
How could Americans be "conditioned" to believe foreign cars are better than those made in the homegrown USA? That amazing betrayal could only have happened because of a long record of superiority. True, the quality of American cars has improved dramatically, and, of course, there are a few stellar lines. Yet the eyeball test in Quebec reveals loads of old Toyotas. If you see a Ford or GM it is at most 5-6 years old and rusted out. This is anything but scientific, but don't objective bodies like consumer reports generally show the Asian manufacturers ahead in terms of reliability and gas efficiency? I think it is true that the quality gap is less than the atrocious quality of most American vehicles in the 1970s and early 1980s. My parents once drove a Gremlin! Over the last ten years the quality of American cars has increased and the quality of European cars has diminished. Still, one would have hoped that such powerful companies as the Big Three would have taken the time to invest for their future where as it seems that they squandered it by pawning off SUVs and trucks when cheap oil was certain to be a thing of the past. They have also been very eager it seems to me to outsource to Mexico all the while spinning the buy American line. For some reason Americans revere capitalists. But the record of American capitalism (not just the automobile industry) since the 1970s is a tired record of entrepeneurial self-enrichment at the expense of the worker, the consumer, and the public that finances a good deal of their profit.
|Author:||theAlphaMale [ June 12th, 2005, 12:34 pm ]|
I agree with the part about executives. Everybody is in the game jockying for position for the next promotion. I think in addition to the union mentality spilling into other parts of the big three it has brought down their ability to compete.
I took some courses years ago on Japenese history and culture. It was during the Asian Economic crisis. You know what they do when the economy sputters? They INVEST in R&D more heavily. And that is partly why they come out of bad economic times roaring. That and their leadership is more interested in car making than silly new ideas like requiring people to come up with a specified number of cost improvement ideas every year or unecessary training hour requirments.
I agree with the quality statement that perception is very different from reality. But I also think the people purchasing a toyota or honda are also buying it for the long haul where many other consumers do 1-2 year leases or get board with their car after 3 years.
I also think this industry is a cyclical one where every dog has its day. Not long ago Chrysler was laying of 22,000 workers and now they are doing pretty well. I think GM and Ford will pull out of this and the Japanese markets will take their turn hurting economically.
If China and India ever gets its stuff going everyone may be in trouble. They have a huge potential consumer base. Right now companies like GM are sending a lot of dollars there as well that will not be returning to the US either. Jobs like mine are being sent by GM and so I am a bit torn in my support. I believe that even if GM were doing well they would still ship work there to be "more profitable" at my expense. It is a vicisous cycle and they are not blameless.
But if GM and Ford continue to falter things will be bad for everyone in the US. There is not a business that wouldn't some how be directly or indirectly impacted. But I feel these companies have contributed to this problem as well.
|Author:||spiderman [ June 13th, 2005, 10:18 am ]|
buying a car is a huge expense for most people, they want quality and value. even though american cars have improved in quality, the value often isn't. this is especially true of the resale value, which does have something to do with perception. as yorick pointed out, this is a well deserved perception based upon years of experience by the american consumer.
think of the lions, while from a talent standpoint they may be equal - they have to consistently prove it on the field now.
|Author:||m2karateman [ June 13th, 2005, 11:19 am ]|
Still, one would have hoped that such powerful companies as the Big Three would have taken the time to invest for their future where as it seems that they squandered it by pawning off SUVs and trucks when cheap oil was certain to be a thing of the past. They have also been very eager it seems to me to outsource to Mexico all the while spinning the buy American line. For some reason Americans revere capitalists. But the record of American capitalism (not just the automobile industry) since the 1970s is a tired record of entrepeneurial self-enrichment at the expense of the worker, the consumer, and the public that finances a good deal of their profit.
First of all, it is true that the American car companies enjoyed a monopoly in North America for a long time and made extremely POOR decisions, often driven by ego's and greed. I for one feel that Roger Smith was the worst executive to lead a car company in history. GM could have made much better strides in quality and innovation during his tenure, but instead they acted fat and happy and let the Japanese learn from the U.S. companies, in both what and what not to do. That being said, we are talking about over 20 years ago that American car companies acted in such a manner. Since that time the companies have struggled to meet ever increasing federal guidelines in gas mileage, emmisions and safety. Frivolous law suits and questionable judicial decisions don't make things any easier. Also, our government continues to allow Japan to export their cars into the United States with little financial penalty while American companies have their products sitting on Japanese docks awaiting 'inspections' and then are heavily tariffed. More so, the Japanese government continues to manipulate the value of the yen so that their domestic exporters enjoy greater profit margins overseas. You mention the U.S. companies outsourcing to Mexico. How many vehicles do you think are being assembled in Mexico and shipped here? Not many, most of that work is being done on vehicles exclusive to the Latin American market. And word to the wise, the Japanese and Korean car companies have plants there as well.
You speak of American companies and their level of capitalism. What of the American consumer? Buying a vehicle because of it's potential high re-sale value is nothing but capitalism. Buying a vehicle because you feel it gives you the best value is capitalism. Working for a company because it pays you more and gives you better benefits is capitalism. Don't knock ANY American company for doing the same thing American consumers do, or what Japanese companies do. I'm not saying that Americans should buy American cars that are junk. I'm saying that American cars are much better than what most people realize, and that buying an American product (not just cars) helps our economy and may just help you keep your job. Or it may ensure that your children or grand children have jobs here.
Remember also that the Japanese got into the car manufacturing industry 'late in the game', and were able to start from scratch. Retooling assembly plants and component manufacturing facilities comes at a heavy price. By having more plants to deal with, the costs are more staggering for U.S. companies. And since all that work is done by Union people, the labor costs are much higher than for Japanese or European car makers with plants here that don't have Unions to deal with.
As for the comments about 'pawning off SUV's and trucks', that was driven by the American market, not by the companies pushing those vehicles on the consumers. There were people waiting months to get the trucks and SUV's they ordered because of the high demand. People were paying sticker price because of the high demand. It had nothing to do with pushing the product on the public. It's what they demanded.
And as I recall, it was the Japanese who then started building trucks and SUV's. It was BMW and Mercedes who suddenly developed SUV's for the American market. Were they then guilty of pawning off trucks as well? Or could it be they were simply responding to market demands?
|Page 1 of 2||All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]|
|Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group