Save American jobs – buy foreign autos, tooWritten by Tom Morrissey | | email@example.com
Should I feel guilty? My “sin” doesn’t bother me in the least. Nor is my conscience acting up over my transgression. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night with a cold sweat, scared about the potential consequences. The preaching and the altar calls from the “Buy American” pulpit are making no difference in my life.
Maybe I’m stubborn. Maybe I have a hard heart. Or maybe I just like my Honda. Should I trade it in, repent and buy a car from the Big Three?
Big Three auto dealers certainly wish I would. Recently, local car dealers were running commercials urging customers to support the American economy and buy American. The tone of the commercial seemed desperate, as if the fate of the American economy and the middle class rested on whether I would buy a car from the Big Three … now. I won’t dispute that GM, Ford and Chrysler make quality automobiles. Certainly now seems like a good time to buy from the Big Three as the auto industry is offering myriad deals.
I am going to run my ‘04 Honda into the ground, and then I will shop as an informed buyer and buy what is best for me. I really do not have a preference. I am not a “Ford guy,” a “GM guy” or even a “Honda guy,” and whether I buy from a foreign or American manufacturer really does not matter anymore.
These terms don’t matter for one main reason. In many instances, “foreign” cars are made in the United States, and all “domestic” vehicles are not all produced domestically.
The foreign and domestic labels are lies, making them irrelevant and unnecessary. When someone claims a car is American-made, I assume the car is physically made in America. I was told to never assume, but isn’t this a safe assumption?
Apparently not. The Buick Lacrosse, Chevy Impala, Dodge Charger, Lincoln Town Car, Pontiac Grand Prix, Ford Edge, Lincoln MKZ and other vehicles are made in Canada. These cars are foreign, not domestic. By buying a Dodge Charger, I support Canadian not American jobs.
Conversely, the Honda Odyssey is built in Alabama, and the “foreign” Toyota Corolla is built in California by the UAW. Other foreign cars built by American UAW workers are the Mazda 6, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mitsubishi Galant, Isuzu I-Series Truck, Mazda B-series Truck, Mitsubishi Raider, and the Toyota Tacoma. Buying these “imports” supports American workers.
Why would American manufacturers and UAW workers preach about buying American when the Chevy Aveo is manufactured by Daewoo, a Korean car company? Does Chrysler have any standing beneath the “Buy American” mantra while having the PT Cruiser made in Mexico? Why are the Big Three selling foreign cars while telling us to buy their “American-made” product? I guess you can trust them just about as far as you can throw a Hummer.
When I think of typical all-American cars produced by the Big Three today, the Dodge Ram and Ford Mustang certainly make the list. However, the Ram and Mustang are disappointingly produced with less American content than Honda’s Civic and Pilot.
The Big Three should be ashamed for misleading Americans into thinking that any car produced by the Big Three is made in the United States. The anti-import attitude hurts American workers that manufacture and sell these cars, and many of them are UAW members.
I’ve held jobs associated with the auto industry and even worked at Toledo’s Chrysler Supplier Park, parking my Honda behind the mammoth Ford truck with the threatening bumper sticker, “Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign.” If only the terms were not so convoluted.
But Chrysler and GM’s shame shouldn’t stop at their misleading “Buy American” campaigns. The pride and integrity of these two auto giants took a huge hit when they accepted government bailout money. As with any money borrowed whether from a bank or relative, the loan didn’t come without strings. I pray to God the strings and regulations are pulled so tight that the decision makers at GM and Chrysler and other big companies see their folly and never take taxpayer dollars again.
For me, the reasons to not buy a GM or Chrysler product are twofold. I’m not necessarily supporting American workers, and they’ve already taken my money in the form of bailouts. But the new GM or Chrysler is missing from my driveway.
Tom Morrissey is a Lucas County resident and lifelong Toledoan. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.