Thursday, March 22, 2007

Trying to Define American Car Will Drive You Crazy

From USA Today, an interesting article How do you tell which car is more American?:

"Many consumers are increasingly confused. The world is no longer as simple as us vs. them, Detroit against the Asians and Europeans. It's a global industry now, in which all manufacturers are touching their automaking toes on the shores of just about every industrialized nation.

Honda's Ohio-built Accord is 70% domestic parts. Toyota's Corolla is made in a California plant alongside General Motors models.

Ford's hit Fusion sedan is made in Mexico; only half its parts are from the USA or Canada. GM pitches its small HHR sport utility and giant Suburban straight at the American market, but they, too, are built in Mexico. HHR has only 41% American and Canadian parts.

More than three-quarters of the parts in Dodge's new Nitro SUV, which is assembled in Toledo, Ohio, are American or Canadian. But the profits go to Germany because Dodge is part of DaimlerChrysler. Chrysler Group, meanwhile, just became the first major automaker to announce it's going to make small cars for the U.S. market in China."

To see a chart that provides the domestic content of 2006, 2007 and 2008 model vehicles, go here. Notice however that "domestic content" actually includes parts from U.S. AND Canada, because the U.S. government requires that automakers disclose "what percentage of a new vehicles' components are U.S. or Canadian and where the vehicle was assembled." Isn't Canada a foreign country?

To read my article on this topic "Trying to Define a Foreign Car Will Drive You Crazy" go here.

To read another article I wrote on this topic "Vehicle Profiling Has No Place in a Global Economy," which appeared in the Detroit News, go here.


At 3/22/2007 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a UAW/GM worker, I hope people buy our products, and my job depends on it. However, we have a duty to make and sell what the customer wants. The consumer can’t be wrong--it's impossible

I take a lot of flak for my position, but I think we should spend our time focusing on making cars and trucks, and less time on patriotic rhetoric. When I hear or see that someone buys any car, I want to know why they picked that particular model. Why waste time worrying if it’s American made (whatever that is)? If we build what the customer wants, we will not have to concern ourselves with such non-logical matters. As long as we focus too much attention on symptoms instead of the root cause of the problems we will never get better.

Once we build what the customer wants, then, we have to make a profit. But, that’s another story.

At 3/28/2007 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 4/01/2007 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice trying to define american car will drive you crazy post! Thanks for intesting info!


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