With all the recent press about needing to bail out the US auto industry CNN featured an interesting article the other day. The story really should have many people wondering what the true value of helping the auto industry in the United States would be. If the auto industry in America goes bankrupt there is no denying this would greatly impact our economy. But I think we have to wonder by how much. For years supposed American cars have in fact been nothing but imports sold by the big American auto manufacturers. I know of at least two General Motor vehicles that are examples of that. The old Geo Metro which later was produced under the Chevy brand. This vehicle was produced in Canada and Mexico. The Chevy Aveo is a South Korean vehicle sold at GM dealerships.
The recent CNN article covers the subject in much greater detail. But I don’t think many Americans are aware that cars they see as being from foreign manufacturers might actually be more American than they think. Why? Because the value of the dollar over the years has made it cheaper for foreign owned manufacturers to produce their product here in the United States. Reading the CNN article would show that in some cases foreign manufacturers are using more American made parts in their vehicles than the traditional big three auto makers in the United States. In some cases the American auto manufacturers are using more foreign parts than the non US based companies.
Keep in mind that the foreign automobile makers have factories here in the United States. While some or even all of those jobs may not be union workers. Americans are still being employed to produce the vehicles. The overall economic benefits of this may be minimal in some cases. Do to tax breaks being given to companies to locate their factory in that area. But the workers themselves are paying taxes and purchase goods and services in the community with their paychecks. Although any corporate profits would of course be shipped overseas.
The point in writing this is to just get people to analyze things a bit better. I think it is important to realize that the big three automakers might be making more of a foreign car than you think. I’m all for buying American when possible. But I don’t like marketing ploys that use smoke and mirrors to pull one over on consumers.
For the record when Cheryl bought her car years ago. She bought it from Miles Chevrolet in Decatur, IL. This is a long time General Motors dealership. However the vehicle was not manufactured here in the United States. It was the South Korean import labeled the Chevy Aveo. At the time not many were on the road since it was the first year they were being sold here in the US. Now you see them all over the place. It’s a cost effective sub compact that gets good gas mileage and is fairly reliable. Sold by an American company but not produced by American workers. If we had the money at the time we would have purchased a Toyota Prius. So honestly an American automaker wasn’t in the running for our money do to not providing fuel efficient vehicles for sale.