# Percentage foreign input in a car?

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• posted on November 14, 2003, 4:54 pm
Seeing a related thread reminds me of a question:
I've read so many announcements about GMC farming out engineering to India, and now manufacturing to China, that I just wouldn't buy a GM
car... But how does one choose a vehicle with the maximum possible domestic content? It seems Ford is the leader there right now, which is why we have two Fords.. but I base this mostly on negative information (no outsourcing announcements in the engineering journals I read).
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• posted on November 14, 2003, 7:11 pm
You have a rude awakening coming your way if you believe Ford is any different. Why do you thing you need both standard and metric tools to effectively work on today's Ford??? On working on 90 -2001 Taurus, I have found part made in Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Germany, England, Italy, China, Taiwan, and Canada.. just to name a few.. ( Let me make it clear though, not all countries were found in one car..)

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• posted on November 14, 2003, 10:05 pm

Well, yes - of course, there are parts from all over in a Ford, just like everyone else. What I meant to ask is (I guess) when I choose my next new car, who do I choose given that I want the largest possible fraction of my dollars to go to American auto workers? For instance, the Focus hatchback is made in Mexico, so the sedan is probably a "better buy" given the above criterion.
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• posted on November 14, 2003, 11:29 pm
That is a question that is tough to answer.. You have to do your research on the content of the car. I decide what class of car I would like and how much I plan to spend, and start from that point.

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• posted on November 15, 2003, 12:22 am
Lewin A.R.W. Edwards wrote:

Right. Those plants take a lot of peope to keep running and then there's the workers on top of that. That's the largest single cash outlay for them, so your best bet to support the U.S. economy (and it is a REAL way to support those thousands of families, which in turn spend money and so on) is to buy something made at a U.S. plant.
Mexico is a joke. Half of those workers don't have electricity 24 hours a day and their local government doesn't really care anymore than our corporations do. Go down there sometime. Really. It's so apalling how their workers live(as if it is a "fair wage" - my ass it is) that you'll never buy a Mexican-plant made car.
We could pay them \$10 or \$20 an hour and still save money - give them enough money to live properly - but no - \$3 an hour because we can.
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• posted on November 15, 2003, 2:00 am

have
So let's not give the workers any money. Good idea. We don't pay them enough, so let's not let them work at all!
Jeff
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• posted on November 15, 2003, 2:12 am

have
If Mexico can build a car cheaper than the US, why no go to Mexico? Where do you think most of the components in your computer are made? If you think the US, think again. Try Asia. Even white collar jobs are moving overseas. And I say, good. If I can do a job cheaper than the people in China, I should get the job. And it should go both ways.
Jeff
Jeff
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• posted on November 15, 2003, 12:12 pm
The fallacy of that argument is, if all we do is go for the cheapest source, at some point in time, soon or later, nothing will be made in the USA. At that point where will the ex-workers get money to buy those cheap goods manufactured oversea..? And if for some "bizarre" reason those countries decide not send the goods, what do we, thousands away, do about..? On the second point about computers, with so much being made overseas, even for the military and their weapons systems, where is the great security that our politicians talk about daily. Once you give away the family secret, you have nothing left..!

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• posted on November 15, 2003, 8:08 pm
For a good laugh on our Trade Pact with other Nations: go to http://www.danzigercartoons.com / select Nov. 11, 2003 - Steel Tariffs. see also Nov. 7, 2000 Walmart Jobs.. There are many more..take your pick..

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• posted on November 15, 2003, 8:27 pm

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• posted on November 16, 2003, 3:44 am

By that time, the USA will have no infrastructure, and nobody trained to create one. We'll have books that tell us what to do, but nobody with practical experience to actually do it.
How long do you think it would take to outfit a desert island with an industrial revolution? You have to make the tools to make the tools to make the tools that make the tools you need to get started.

There's a limit to this, though. Our capital is only useful as long as other people value it.
Imagine this scenario: The USA has no local infrastructure for hitech left; we only have primary industry (farming and mineral extraction), with *all* processing taking place overseas. [Australia is somewhat in this situation]. Further imagine that we do something unpopular. For instance, imagine that we invade some random country against the express wishes of the UN. The UN votes to put Iraq-style sanctions on the USA. All our money overseas is forfeited to foreign governments. All our money in the USA is unspendable beyond our borders. It becomes illegal for anyone overseas to work on US programming projects.
What happens then? Do we petulantly nuke every second city in Europe to force them to sell stuff to us? Invade China or India and take over some real engineers and workers? Very 1984.
That's the worst-case end result of an uncontrolled globalized economy WHEN COUPLED with a lack of worldwide mandated quality-of-life minima. If you want to globalize, you need to level the playing field - which means you have to ban ten-year-old coal miners EVERYWHERE, not just here in the USA.

Intel is outsourcing more and more of its engineering every year. Microsoft, too. It's in the foreseeable future that all of our software and other IP companies will consist of *nothing* but marketing personnel and investors. Already, semiconductor manufacturers really don't have a credible support infrastructure in the US. They are geared up to handle projects that are *financed* by US companies, but *carried out* in China.
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• posted on November 17, 2003, 2:07 pm

countries
Bullshit. People still buy houses, need hosptials, schools, etc. There are more and more people in the US every year. Our ability to build infrastructure has increased in recent years, not decreased.

We have them. We are using them in Iraq.

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True. And our capital is valued very highly.

Then those jobs come back to the US.

Perhaps we could start by training more sciencetists and engineers. And use workers from Mexico.

I agree. And the quality of life tends to do up as the workforce gets more money. For example, countries like Korea and India are outsourcing some of their jobs to poorer countries.

major
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No, they're not. They are doing the jobs in house. It is just the inhouse is global today. Like the economy.

Actually, I believe memory chips and CPUs are still made in the US. IBM, Motorola and Intel all make the chips in the US.
Jeff
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• posted on November 17, 2003, 7:32 pm
Jeff wrote:

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• posted on November 15, 2003, 2:46 pm

do
Because my children are going to grow up in America, and I want them to have other career choices than foodservice and marketing.

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Yes, I know, since I'm a white-collar worker in the USA, probably about to be laid off, and I'm going to be competing with Indian and Chinese workers who are paid \$10,000/year. Why is this a good thing? Fortunately, I have a few rare skills, and a secondary career as an author (which I'm obviously trying to grow!).

get
The problem with that philosophy is that it is based on either ignorance, or the following assumptions (among others):
1. People are interchangeable factors of production, like blocks of steel or pounds of coal. Their quality of life - or their ability to live - is not important. 2. Trade agreements will always exist, on terms at least as favorable to us as they are now. 3. There will always be new fields to make profits.
The reason overseas labor is cheaper is ultimately because there are fewer social services overseas. Police, fire, safety services, the requirement for children to attend school, the right to breathe reasonably clean air and drink reasonably clean water, the right not to have random nuclear and chemical waste dumped in your back yard, etc etc - all of these quality of life issues ultimately make labor more expensive due to direct administrative costs and indirect taxation costs.
Notice that jobs are not leaving the USA and going to affluent places like Denmark, Switzerland, etc. They are going to places with an extremely low average standard of living, and practically nonexistent (or unenforced) occupational health and safety regulations.
In short, the "buy it where it's cheap" system is really only fully sustainable if you are committed to eventually reducing the entire human race - except for a few exceedingly wealthy plutocrats - to a uniformly miserable quality of existence.
Billions of pages have been written on this topic, perhaps you would find it enlightening to study some of them.
-- -- Lewin A.R.W. Edwards (http://www.zws.com /) Learn how to develop high-end embedded systems on a tight budget! (Amazon.com product link shortened)
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• posted on November 17, 2003, 2:02 pm

Where
have
DOn't forget about education, science, engineering and medical care. There will be a lot of old people here.

And
Try \$3,000 to \$4,000.

Because the company that hires them pays less for whatever you do. Good for the company.

or
or
Who has a better quality of life? A dishwasher in India with a college degree and the same ability to program computers as a someone in Washington or the same person working for Microsoft for about \$250/month (and the cost of living in India is a lot less than in the US, so this is really a lot of money).

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And that \$250/month that the India computer programmer gets ends up in the community. She pays taxes, buys clothes, housing, etc.

And as those areas get more affluent, the occupational health and safety regulations tend to get better enforced.

Or, alternatively, bringing up the entire human race to a higher standard.

it
I have.
Jeff

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• posted on November 17, 2003, 11:44 pm
Jeff wrote:

Correct up to here, then you fail to see that all it really does is bring us down to their level.
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• posted on November 20, 2003, 3:19 am
wrote in message

standard.
Really? Then why is the standard of living rise in Korea, India and Poland as well as many other countries?
Less money going into a country doesn't help.
Jeff
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• posted on November 15, 2003, 1:19 am
If you will look at the content label on the window, you will find that there is no Ford that has a '1' as the first number of the VIN, that has less than 75% American made parts. Most are 80% to 98% American parts. Even those with a '2' made in Canada, have 80% American parts. Those with a '3' made in Mexico have 70% American parts. Those vehicles assemble in the US by foreign manufactures that have a '4' have at least 70% American parts. Most have a '5' which means they are assembled in the US of less than 45% American parts.
mike hunt
"V.B. Mercon" wrote:

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• posted on November 16, 2003, 2:32 am
Lewin A.R.W. Edwards opined in

That's fine for individuals to do.. and I WISH there were SOME way to keep more jobs in the USA.. BUT efforts to block export of most jobs really ARE counterproductive..
Some of it, you can regard as foreign aid.
The real key is for the US to keep developing technology that reduces the need for labor.. this is ALSO expoted and increases the global standard of living.. thus it SOMEWHAT cycles back.
There is NO easy answer to this.
In the case of IT, local support for systems integration and training cannot be farmed out.
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• posted on November 16, 2003, 4:58 am
Backyard Mechanic wrote:

With our stagnating economy and rising unemployment rates, what about *domestic* aid? It's a lot harder and costlier to pick people out of the gutter like we did after the Great Depression than to keep them afloat until the hard times are over.