I saw a bumper sticker on a car on the way home from work today. It said, “Please don't put my flag on your foreign car.” Living in the Detroit area I see this one all the time, “Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign!” I am SO SICK of all those stupid, ignorant stickers, and therefore, viewpoints. Have these people thought of where all their other crap comes from? Where are your clothes made? Where is your new Playstation3 made? What about your FLAG STICKER? I suppose there are a few things still made in the States, but when it really boils down to it, no one cares until it affects their selfish asses. No one seemed to give a shit where their textiles were made, and the Carolinas had a tough time when all the textiles moved out of the US.
I grew up with a father working for GM for over 25 years. He made a moderate income and had the luxury of borrowing cars from GM on occasion. I was brainwashed as a child to think GM made the best cars in the world... and when it came time for me to buy my first new car, I didn't hesitate. I went on over to the Pontiac dealer and bought a Grand Am. I really wanted a stick-shift, but it wasn't offered. I needed a car, as I had recently totaled mine. I reluctantly bought the car, even though I KNEW I was just 'settling'. When it came time to purchase my next new vehicle, a van, I was already aware of the quality problems the big 3 had with their minivans, and drove right past. I bought a Honda. My dad was “disappointed” to say the least. It was then and there that I decided I am a “consumer”. I am not forced to buy a particular brand.
I'm nearly ready to buy my next new car. This one to replace my Grand Am. The big 3 don't make a car that I like. Why should I settle all over again? I refuse.
I am a person that likes to drive. I love the feeling of a stick shift in my hand. It's like the car & I are one. (It's a little cheesy, but that's ok) I guess this is where I differ from the average American. I guess you could call me an enthusiast; I have certain expectations that I guess many other people don't.
The lines of “American made” are becoming more blurry. Many “foreign” cars are either assembled here, or have a large American content. And conversely, many “American” cars are made of a large number of foreign parts. What about the foreign car companies that are owned by American car companies; are those foreign, or domestic? These are all things that people don't consider when making ignorant accusations.
I saw a lawn sign today that read “OUTSOURCING: Just say NO” on it. (It actually referred to a school district, but this is often a hot-button topic for manufacturers as well.) I laughed a little. Not all outsourcing is bad. If there were no outsourcing, I'd be out of a job. We don't design any of the parts we make. We build to our customers' designs. Our customers want to be able to take the part out of the package and place it in the assembly. Frankly, in many cases, we make a better-quality part than what they can make themselves. In addition, large companies don't have the time or resources to manage a considerable amount of small parts. It's sure easier (read: cheaper) to track/control a part number than it is to control the design and manufacture of that item.
I'm just tired of listening to all the whining about job losses due to a many-year history of falling quality, and design. The Big 3 have dug their own hole. Why should I jump in it? I expect to buy another new car in about 5-10 years. Perhaps by then the American car companies will earn the respect they desire, and I will buy one of their cars.
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