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A Very Good Read, About American Cars


Z-06

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The Full Article

Some of his excerpts

So what is an "American" car?

If it is simply one built in America, as most foreign makers and U.S. media would have you believe, then vehicles built in Canada are Canadian, those assembled in Mexico are Mexican and Porsches built in Finland are Finnish.

Japan 's highly protective government, of course, would never allow any of this to happen. And even if it did, few highly nationalistic Japanese would buy American-brand vehicles at the expense of their own coveted makers regardless of where they were built

But say, just for a moment, that they would. Would those Japan-built cars and trucks - most designed and developed in North America -- qualify as "Japanese?" Would those parts built in American-owned Japanese plants be considered "Japanese?" Would the assembly and sales of those vehicles in Japan be perceived as good for Japanese jobs and the Japanese economy? Could their U.S. makers get away with advertising them as such? Would the Japanese media endorse and recommend them as such? What do you think?

The next Para is :pokeowned:

Job creation - or job death

What they did not see, or chose to ignore, is that "creation" of a few thousand plant jobs here and there would eventually destroy many more and better jobs elsewhere. So while some (mostly southern) states continue to battle each other with big incentives to attract new foreign-maker plants to gain two or three thousand jobs, other (mostly northern) states lose tens of thousands. While import companies will "create" about 3000 U.S. jobs in 2007, raising their total to 106,000, U.S. automakers will lose nearly 43,000 this year, falling to about 378,000, according to Jim Doyle, president of the Washington, DC-based Level Field Institute, which tracks and reports auto-company U.S. employment.

Doyle further predicts that U.S. industry-job losses will total some 95,000 (from 2005 employment) by 2010, and even then the three U.S.-based companies will employ 71 percent of all American auto workers - four times more per car sold than Hyundai, 2.5 times more than Toyota, and nearly twice as many as Honda. "Reporters tend to focus on plant jobs and miss the headquarters jobs," Doyle asserts.

"Foreign automakers spend millions around the country promoting their new plants and U.S. investment," he says. "We welcome their investment, but Americans should know that each Ford, GM, or Chrysler Group purchase supports nearly 2.5 times the number of U.S. jobs of foreign automakers, on average."

Edited by smallchevy
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DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group, by the way, still qualifies as "American" because it is an entire self-contained car company based in America and employing tens of thousands of Americans at all levels that happens to be owned by a German company, just as Opel is a self-contained German company owned by General Motors.

This is an excellent article, the guy should get a prize for it.

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"And should Americans buy "American" out of patriotism. No, but they should carefully consider U.S.-brand vehicles - now that most are competitive or better in design, engineering, quality, and fuel economy - out of their own economic self-interest. Because whatever business they are in, every time "Detroit" and its struggling U.S. auto suppliers shed another 10,000, or 20,000, or 30,000 American workers, that multiplies to hundreds of thousands who can no longer afford whatever goods or services their own employers sell."

Thank you! Maybe when people start realizing this, maufacturing jobs will start slowly coming back to America.

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The Japanese will always act in their own self-interest because they are a homogenous, somewhat xenophobic society and they can act, for the most part, in unison. Canada and the U.S. are in a different situation. As we often are told, we are nations of immigrants; therefore, it is far more difficult to get a general consensus from the population when different groups are pulling in different directions. I know of many "Canadians" who were genuinely cheered when the WTC came down; of course, none of them were actually born here, and I am ashamed to say that some of them were South American. This clearly puts the Canadian government in a quandary when courting votes, especially when the fat, complacent middle class can't be bothered to get off their pasty butts and vote! But I digress!

There will be no Muslims burning Japanese flags in Tokyo or disgruntled Indians protesting in the streets. They simply have no immigration, which is much the same way they view importation of anything. Raw materials are okay. Cars and electronics are bad. The vast majority of Japanese will agree on this and act accordingly.

We need to get our acts together on this shore and start to act in our own self-interest.

Oh, and BTW: all vehicles sold in Canada are "foreign," but GM sells nearly a half million vehicles here every year, so I think that earns Canadian-built "American" vehicles some slack when being counted as non-American. That is a huge destinction. How many Fords or Chevys are sold in Japan?

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The Japanese will always act in their own self-interest because they are a homogenous, somewhat xenophobic society and they can act, for the most part, in unison. Canada and the U.S. are in a different situation. As we often are told, we are nations of immigrants; therefore, it is far more difficult to get a general consensus from the population when different groups are pulling in different directions. I know of many "Canadians" who were genuinely cheered when the WTC came down; of course, none of them were actually born here, and I am ashamed to say that some of them were South American. This clearly puts the Canadian government in a quandary when courting votes, especially when the fat, complacent middle class can't be bothered to get off their pasty butts and vote! But I digress!

There will be no Muslims burning Japanese flags in Tokyo or disgruntled Indians protesting in the streets. They simply have no immigration, which is much the same way they view importation of anything. Raw materials are okay. Cars and electronics are bad. The vast majority of Japanese will agree on this and act accordingly.

We need to get our acts together on this shore and start to act in our own self-interest.

Oh, and BTW: all vehicles sold in Canada are "foreign," but GM sells nearly a half million vehicles here every year, so I think that earns Canadian-built "American" vehicles some slack when being counted as non-American. That is a huge destinction. How many Fords or Chevys are sold in Japan?

biz, many buyers already do act in their own self interest. i know many self important females who buy Lexus and such that best match their handbag.

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So is this author biased on incompetent?

The author states:

+3,000 jobs from the imports in 2007

-43,000 jobs from the domestics in 2006

I guess that is a net loss of 40,000 "headquarters jobs". Seems like a lot of "headquarters jobs" to support 3,000 front line workers.

The Level Field Institute, which the author quotes, claims that the domestics use ~2.7 times the number of employees/car as compared to the imports:

http://www.levelfieldinstitute.org/docs/lf...FINAL090706.pdf

That should put the loss of domestic jobs at ~8,000 to offset the 3,000 new import jobs. So where are the other 35,000 jobs going? The writer would have you believe that the delta between job losses with the domestics and job gains with the imports comes down to lost white collar jobs. However they are actually being lost to selective statistical manipulation by the author.

2006 was hardly the average year of job losses for the domestics. Nor should it be expected that in 2007 the imports will magically hire in such a way as to be equivalent to the 2006 domestic job loss. According to the International Trade Administration of the US Department of Commerce, the domestic portion of the US motor vehicle assembly industry employment dropped by ~65,000 from the peak in 1995 to 2005. That is an average of 6,500/year. 43,000/year is 7 times the 10 year average. Also, the imports will have added about 23,000 jobs during that same time. This roughly represents the 2.7 times number of the LFI, and directly contradicts the sensationalized 14 times number from the false manipulations of Gary Witzenburg.

http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/auto/domestic/st...rts/Jobloss.pdf

And of course the 2.7 number cannot be entirely attributed to corporate jobs. Perhaps the imports will become sufficiently inefficient to get to the disastrous levels of employment that the domestics managed to achieve in their successful bid to lose money while being uncompetitive in terms of design, quality, materials and R&D.

Thanks Gary Witzenburg, for your very thoughtful critique.

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Yeah, to bring up anything bad about GM and the rest of the American Auto industry.

Those of us here know very well what GM has done wrong in the past. We also know that many of those issues are getting fixed. Its going to take time but at least they are moving in the right direction.

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I've seen people on this board (import humpers) jump on the jobs numbers as proof that Detroit is fat and lazy. However, I take the numbers as proof that Japan Inc does not source its parts here, but only builds here.

If Toyota hires 900 and GM lays off 2,400, does that mean Toyota is more efficient? Japan Inc. will spin it that way. The truth is far more complext. Although the number of lay offs for the Big 3 are stark, the reality is that Japan INc gets a clean sheet with their newer factories and more flexible labor. Kudos for them, but at the same time it clearly isn't fair that GM and Ford are hampered by their UAW contracts. Couple that with the fact that most of Japan Inc's parts come from Japan (and they still import more than half of their vehicles), it doesn't paint a rosy picture for the future of the auto industry in either of our countries.

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