American Cars vs Foreign Cars

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  #1  
Old 04-03-2011, 06:55 PM
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brostholder brostholder is offline
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Default American Cars vs Foreign Cars

My wife and I are still part-timers until (we hope) August. Our home for the last 11 years has been Toledo, Ohio. This is a very strong union town because we are so closely connected to Detroit, which is just 60 miles up the road. There is a bit of controversy raging here in Toledo as to whether or not one should buy an American car. A reporter for the local newspaper, The Toledo Blade, went as far as to go to a meeting of teachers and count the foreign cars in the parking lot, which was more than half of the total cars. His point was that if other unions like the teachers want people to support them, then they should buy American cars to support the auto workers. My personal opinion is that I would love to support Ford, GM and Chrysler, but I am not a rich man. When I make a major purchase like an automobile, I have to make sure that I am getting a car that will a) last a long, long time ; b) get superior gas mileage; c) have low maintenance and repair costs and d) will hopefully have some residual value left when it is time to get rid of it. When I do my research on the above criteria, I wind up looking at a Toyota, Honda, Nissan, or Hyundai. I also have the bad memories of poor quality from the American cars I purchased in the 60's, 70's and 80's. For example, my brand new Pontiac Firebird that had the paint flake off in huge chips and the dealer and GM refused to do anything about it. I am sure that many people have had similar quality nightmares. Now I own 2 Toyota Camrys. Both have over 240,000 miles and look as if they are good for another 100,000 miles. I wonder if anyone else has any thoughts on the subject.
  #2  
Old 04-03-2011, 07:14 PM
hdh1470 hdh1470 is offline
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I have both and have for last 10 years and find american to be just as good and service being much better,thou I haven't needed much for either.My american have been gm and I think I would like to try a ford next only because of the people I meet who just love them.My gm's have had alot more miles put on them about 200k and never a problem on any of them.
  #3  
Old 04-03-2011, 07:15 PM
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The waters start getting real muddy (for some) regarding what constitutes an "American" car. Is it a car built right here in the States? Is it a car built by a company headquartered in the U.S. even though it was manufactured outside of the U.S.? What about cars built in the States where the company's corporate HQ is located elsewhere? Throw something else into the mix: What's the American-built content of the cars manufactured in the U.S.?

Here's an interesting article that addresses that last point - from the April issue of Car and Driver:

http://www.caranddriver.com/features...erica_-feature

Bill
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:37 PM
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I also have bad memories of American quality and went through the same process with Hondas, Toyotas, etc. In the 70s I worked at Bethlehem Steel (non-union salaried). The union tagged my car and said I wasn't allow to park a foreign car in the company lot. I continued to park there and someone smashed my windows. "Fond" memories of Beth Steel. I still have difficulty considering American cars but I honestly believe the quality has improved, through competition.

He's my thought. Companies need to compete, and that's their responsibility. We are consumers, Our job is to get the best product for the best price. If we do our job the rest will take care of itself. Just remember your responsibility and ignore all the Buy-American and anti-Walmart rhetoric.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:42 PM
ilovetv ilovetv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brostholder View Post
.......A reporter for the local newspaper, The Toledo Blade, went as far as to go to a meeting of teachers and count the foreign cars in the parking lot, which was more than half of the total cars. His point was that if other unions like the teachers want people to support them, then they should buy American cars to support the auto workers....... Now I own 2 Toyota Camrys. Both have over 240,000 miles and look as if they are good for another 100,000 miles.....
Teachers and other consumers don't buy a car to "support" auto workers. They buy a car to get them where they need to go affordably, without the thing having to be in the shop all the time.

"Supporting auto workers" is the problem. It's the attitude of "you OWE me" that makes the unions seem like another type of welfare system.
  #6  
Old 04-04-2011, 04:29 AM
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I buy for best value and if the decision is close, will buy American if possible. I have owned vehicles from every major company and do believe American car quality is getting close to Japanese and German. I currently own two from Japan and two from Germany. My last US car was a 2005 Ford Explorer. MPG was 12 on its best days. I look and test drive American every time I buy. My next purchase I will probably try American again. Competition has forced them to build a better car. Without it they would still build junk. However the Unions will struggle to continue to compete with cost and quality unless they revise how they bargain for wages and benefits. I do not believe the problem is all because of the unions, but do believe they have contributed and will need to help solve the issues going forward.
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2011, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IowaParkersburg View Post
Buy American. We have a ford edge and I would compare it to any 30K dollar car from anywhere in the world. Maintenance is less expensive and if you do your maintenance they last for a long long time.
according to a recent post your ford was made in canada same as my gmc terrain
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:23 AM
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Ford didn't take any bailout money............I'm just sayin
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IowaParkersburg View Post
.... I will pay more for Made in the USA just because it gives an American a job.
It's bigger than the price tag. Corporations want/need to compete globally. GE, the world's largest, cut 21,000 American Jobs and shut 20 factories, and now has half its workforce outside the U.S.
http://morallowground.com/2011/03/25/

I'm afraid we're witnessing the end of the Great America Era. The problem is systemic. Fundamentally, we now have a Plutocracy. The Lobbyist on K Street run the show. My solution is to streamline Government. It should be of, for, and by the people exclusively. Cut out Corporations entirely. No corporate taxes, no subsides, no benefits. Lobbyist go away instantly since there would be nothing to lobby for. However, no taxes would be incentive to locate operations here.
  #10  
Old 04-04-2011, 09:47 AM
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Default The old story of the foreign cars have better quality is

just that....an old story. When it comes right down to the facts the cars of the American owned manufacturers for the last 10 years are as good as and in many cases better than the foreign makes. Yes there are e3xceptions...there ALWAYS are right?
I like many others have never owned a non American made automobile in my entire life. And some how have managed to make it without incident or having to make any major repairs other than normal maintenance and tires and batteries and plugs and so on....yes there are exceptions that can cite disastors...so can the foreign made cars.

American owned and made first. Made in America and foreign owned second. And cars from off shore never.
I prefer and will always buy American owned and manufactured in America. Yes, I know about the foreign component content in the American cars....don't we all?

I always tell my kids, grand kids and great grand kids when they can't find a job and can't afford food, they can always try to eat their imports.

Buy American....it is what made America great!!!!!!!!!

btk
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2011, 10:24 AM
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Default America was made great by

Inventiveness, quality products, competitive pricng, integrity in marketing-------- we lost it. To answer the question why? may become way too political or politically incorect and I don't want to go there yet. Buying American if the product does not measure up , perpetuates the problem.

I don't think that many people would dispute the low quality of american built cars in the 70's ,80's and 90's . Foreign competition was the reason quality improved so that today our manufacturers are once agan becomming the class products in the field. Hopefully the trend will continue and we can all choose American built first.
  #12  
Old 04-04-2011, 10:24 AM
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GM, Ford and even Chrysler are doing well right now. They have competitive models, quality has improved. The competition between all of the brands, domestics and imports is good. The consumer benefits in the end.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:34 AM
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The auto worker unions have themselves to blame for people buying foreign, they became greedy, lazy and shoddy work was prevalent. Until they clean up their act, I buy foreign made, just bought a Nissan pathfinder for the 2nd time, great vehicle and I dont have to worry about where I am going.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:40 AM
nitehawk nitehawk is offline
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Default I do not forget

I remember my first foreign car it was and Isuzu Impulse, 1988. When I bought it, it had all the extras that I wanted in a car, at half the price of a similar American car. Yes it had sun roof, cruse control, power everything, it also had a great turn signal that could be activated with the index finger without removing you hand from the steering wheel. All these extras were not extras - but standard. Those additional feature on any American car would have probably doubled the price. I will never forget how Detroit lied or withheld the whole truth. I guess according to Detroit I really never needed seat belts and would probably still not have them, until Ralph Nader started asking questions. Maybe it is because I was not flying a fighter plane, or driving a race car. - I had a battery that would last Maybe three years if you are lucky while the mars rover was sending picture back to earth for five years with a battery probably the size of my fingernail. Oh I really believe you could not make a better battery that the only time Ii used it was to start my car, then the generator took over - yea right. I watched on television fighter planes landing on a runway in a typhoon, in the Philippines at maybe 150 MPH on two wheels and not skid off the runway. While I would slid through a stop sign if someone spit on the street. So these pulsating brakes were available - but i probably did not need them as I was not in a fighter plane - Don't even think about MPG, best keep secret in the world. Funny how when mandated to increase gas mileage, how fast it can be done, in the time limit allowed. Just think if there was a new discovery to replace oil dependency how the world economy would totally collapse, unless it is phased in gradually. Sorry to carry on but this is my therapy. If anyone wants to buy only American made then be ready for double the prices. I would love to but I can't really afford it.
  #15  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:06 PM
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Default Quality not there yet.

Detroit has come a long way, I hope they continue. But they're chasing a moving target. Consumer Reports continually rates the imports higher. I'm sure some will jump on Consumer Reports. But I believe they're "fair and balanced", the ratings are merely statistic results of reader surveys (I've sent them in myself) and it's the only retail publication I know of without ads.

This Public Radio episode is a year old now, but still interesting.
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radi...sode/403/nummi
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