Saturday, January 12, 2008

Toyota Has 3 of the Top 10 American-Made Cars



What Are the Top American-Made Cars?

Cars.com's 2007 American-Made Index rates vehicles built and bought in the U.S. (see the top 10 in the chart above, click to enlarge). Factors include sales, where the car's parts are made and whether the car is assembled in the U.S. Models with a domestic-parts content rating below 75% are disqualified.

Note that Toyota has 3 out of the top 10 vehicle models, and the Camry ranks higher than the Chevy Silverado, which is one of the vehicles assembled at the Flint Truck Plant. The sign above is right across the street from the Flint Truck plant, in the parking lot of the UAW Local #659.

Just wondering, would it be OK to park a Toyota Camry with a higher domestic content than even the Silverado, in the parking lot, or would that still be considered a foreign-made auto?

14 Comments:

At 1/12/2008 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, are you purposefully provoking Walt? You know that "foreign made" actually means "made by foreign companies, even if those foreign companies made the automobiles on US soil, using American labor and components." At least, that's what it means when union thugs place signs such as the one above. Never mind that, with a greater preponderance of American-made parts, Toyotas provide more jobs for Americans than a unit made by the Big Three.

skh.pcola

 
At 1/12/2008 12:07 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

Back in the early eighties one of these big, strong union guys confronted a female co worker in a public place and demanded, "Is that your car?" Yes, it weas her Honda. His response: "I hope you burn in hell."

Well, big strong, hulking, thuggish, all American union guy, I owned an American car then but, not one since. When you get hungry you can eat your union card.

 
At 1/12/2008 2:31 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Yes, that's my union hall. Personally, I think the sign is silly (especially when the UAW is attempting to organize the transplants). However, the sign was democratically voted on and approved by the owners—the union membership.

Keep in mind that this is private property, so, just like your driveway, the property owner can decide who or what they want there. What would you do if I pulled my fifth-wheel trailer into your driveway and set up camp? I have a feeling you would ask me to leave and call the police if I didn’t. Is this sign really any different? The sign might be misguided, but the membership is well within their property rights that this country was founded on.

Obviously, car/suv sales will dictate the future, and not some silly sign. A lot of the poor quality of the past had been eliminated by the Big 3; however, the perception of poor quality still exists. Buy what you want—just make sure that you shop ALL the models before you buy. You might be pleasantly surprised how the intense competition of the last few years has elevated the quality of all of the companies’ products. Remember—the consumer is the king. Use your power wisely.

 
At 1/12/2008 3:42 PM, Blogger Fancy said...

so, walt, how do the union guys decide which cars to tow? do they have a list? it's a serious question.

i may be misreading the graphic posted here, but the cars are not ranked according to domestic content. so the Silverado may in fact be be more "american" than the Camry. if that information is on the cars.com site, i couldn't find it.

 
At 1/12/2008 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walt,

Unions as defenders of property rights? Thanks, I needed a laugh.

I do agree with you that the Big 3 have improved their quality substantially. Toyota may well not be able to maintain quality as it tries to become the world's largest car producer.

Union 659 might wish to consider a positive sign like "Union 659: Working to create the jobs of the future in America" rather than the seemingly hostile, confrontational sign that has been chosen. Obviously, someone isn't going to park fifth wheel trailer on Union 659 property, the target is owners of vehicles manufactured by Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, etc. whether made in the US or not.

The union movement in the U.S. suffers from negative perceptions of thuggery, intimidation, corruption, protectionism, political manipulation, favoritism, and an inability to move with the times.

Much as you will not wish to hear it, the sign helps to reinforce such perceptions.

 
At 1/12/2008 6:17 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

Does the ban on foreign made cars include those made in Canada? You know which ones I'm talking about.

 
At 1/13/2008 11:35 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

I agree that the sign does not reflect current economic realities, but is actually targeted at the union membership and not the general public. This is a privately owned union parking lot, so most of the vehicles there would naturally be members’ cars. The intimidation is directed against UAW members, but it is visible for the public if they are in the bar or union parking lot. I can’t read the writing on the sign while driving down the road, but maybe younger eyes can. Regardless, if it ever did serve a purpose, those days are gone.

The International UAW’s official stance is to buy vehicles made by union represented members. So, that includes vehicles made in Canada, and vehicles made by some Japanese companies operating in the U.S. Accordingly, UAW Local 659’s sign stance does not align with the International Union’s buy recommendations. UAW Local 659 is autonomous and has the power in some areas to deviate from the International Union’s policies. The UAW is a democratic union.

If anyone is interested, a full listing of approved vehicles is on the UAWs Website. Some of the nameplates are rather surprising. Take a look here: http://www.uaw.org/uawmade/auto/2008/index.cfm

As I said before, buy what you want, but don’t eliminate choices over misconceptions from the past. Don’t let someone else tell you what to buy—see what’s out there for yourself. It’s your money: Make your own choice.

 
At 1/13/2008 2:37 PM, Blogger Leo said...

thanks, walt! ok, so the sign should read "union made." that makes sense, and it's understandable. what union bro/sis would drive anything else?

also it turns out that Silverado is more american (85%) than the Camry (68%). "American-Made Index" isn't real clear either. http://tinyurl.com/3atzep

 
At 1/13/2008 3:34 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Out of about 50 cars/trucks in the UAW Local 659 parking lot today, there were 0 "foreign" cars. One Jeep was there and one Dodge Durango. All the rest were easily recognizable as GM products.

An argument could be made that some GM products (e.g., the GM Suburban) are made in Mexico with non-union employees. As Professor Perry said, it is getting increasingly difficult to tell where a vehicle is made without looking at the VIN number in the windshield (U.S. starts with a "1").

Although I may not be a typical UAW member, I think the customer should make the buying choice that is in his or her best interest. I hope we earn that sale at GM, and after comparing all the brands like an informed buyer should, that’s the best choice. Choose well: It’s an important decision.

 
At 1/13/2008 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for an auto supplier. Major customers are the Big 3. The company used to be US-based. Then it's sold to a Chinese company. Our tier-1 supplier is Japanese and our plants are in Mexico. Are our parts American, Chinese, Japanese, or Mexican??

 
At 1/18/2008 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What really matters here is the fact that it does not matter where the product is made. If you want to help your fellow comrades, then you should buy the best made and cheapest product out there. By doing that you will be reinforcing the most efficient method of making cars and using resources in the most efficient manner. You will be rewarding ingenuity.

This is how the world and more importantly our country will grow and prosper.

The big 3 has a failed management model and most likely their failed negotiations with the unions was the major contributory factor. Unions in general are bad business-rewarding people based on years served vs. productivity, etc.

I used to Love American cars, and hopefully some day I will buy another one--but only based on value.

 
At 6/13/2008 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're facts are a year old.
Check out the 2008 ratings.
http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&story=amMade1207&subject=ami
Camry is off the list. The Tundra and the Sienna are the only foreign cars on the top ten. Civics % grew from 55% to 70%.
Of course that is from Civics assembled in the OH plant. Still some Civics come from Japan and China.

 
At 8/25/2009 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Genralizing union members, shows the lack of knowledge about unions, why they were formed, the blood that was spilled for workers rights and stupidity!!

 
At 1/01/2010 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unions absolutely are horrific. There time has come and gone. They are destroying everything good about the US. Government union workers are sinking us along with the liberal agenda. It does not work! The only ones who make out are the union bosses and the politicians (democrat) that they get elected.

 

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