And it is nice to "compete" using non-union labor who don't pay income tax,
social security and medial care (they take that from value added tax which
is added to American products too but not on exports). If the U.S. applies
such a tax they claim it is unfair competition.
But the real source of that computer module - it may be U.S.
or Mexico *assembled* and count towards the total when the
module supplier sells it to GM, but the parts it's usually
made of come from China. Same diff in the end.
Essentially it's marketing and a shell game to keep the
U.S. customers feeling good. Everything is now really
made overseas and assembled here, other than maybe the
engines and tires.
You can be certain they are not doing it out of the goodess of their heart.
Where ever the price is the best is where they go. For the same reason that
Canada is now making most American cars instead of Michigan.
Cheap medical care in Canada is attracting them. "Loved by most Canadians
( Like many of our HMOs it's great as long as you don't get sick - If they
get sick and can afford it they can come across the border and get treated
by former Canadian doctors).
Japanese companies have this efficient part deliveries. They don't store
anything. The idea is to deliver on time. "Mama san" has a horn making
machine in her living room. She makes and stores those parts until a
middleman comes and buys them from her.
That 50% are only assembled in the US, not made in the US, of
less than 40% American parts if you will notice the '5' that
appears as the first number of the VIN on nearly every Camry and
Tundra etc.. The profit on those 50% leaves the country tax
free, as well.
Joseph Oberlander wrote:
You are missing the point. They only track to the component
level and not to every last resistor and piece of plastic
as it's not in their interests.
Note how I can bring in the pieces from half a dozen countries
and assemble a pair of hiking boots here and legally claim it
to be "U.S. Made". GM does a bit better, though, but Ford and
Chrysler just look the other way. When I look at the car and
see "U.S. Made" on a component, yet see clear signs that the
sub-components in the item have parts from all over the place,
AND they can be from Canada or Mexico in addition, "Domestic
Content" is pretty much worthless.
Everything should get a 4 or 5. We don't even have the ability
to make half of what goes into most cars these days - it's
all in Taiwan, Indonesia, China, and Mexico.
Then in that case it sounds like a US government problem. If the the
government is putting a noose around the US manufacturers neck because of
political red tape, then perhaps this whole issue should be battled in the
halls of congress. The question is can congress handle so much hard work?
Sure they can stick there nose in easy issues like should we pull the plug
on a lady who has been a vegetable for 10 years, or whether or not to find
out who is or who isnt taking steroids this week, but can thet really handle
something as complicated as this? Sounds like a losing situation any way you
look at it.
And perhaps more important, if they get mad who will buy our treasury bonds?
60% of U.S. debt is owed to foreigners. They should be buying our U.S.
products with those extra dollars they get instead of the debt. But U.S.
products are too expensive for them. The latest complaint is that U.S.
bonds don't pay enough interest.
With the fall of the dollar things may change drastically. I expect the
Euro may become the currency for world trade. If foreigners dump treasury
bonds the U.S. is going to be in deep trouble.
The Chinese and Japanese have been adjusting their currency to the dollar.
If they cease this their products will suddenly become much more expensive
to Americans and American products will become cheaper for them.
Toyota and Honda are not responsible for GM's problems. Customer service at
most GM dealers is pathetic. GM produces products that have many known
quality problems. The dealers always say "that's normal" or "NDF" (no
defect found) until you are out of warranty, then GM makes the customer
eat the cost of repairs, and the dealers are more than happy to take your
money to fix something GM should have fixed for free to begin with. I have
driven GM vehicles for over 20 years and I won't be buying another one due
to poor quality and poor customer service after the sale. GM can blame
nobody but themselves and their arrogance toward customers. I wish them
luck for old times sake, but I don't feel sorry for GM because they caused
their own problems. I just paid $12 for a tiny bit of special lubricant to
fix the creaking caliper pistons on my pontiac due to GM's bad design.
Even the guy at the GM parts counter said that GM should have made the
lubricant available free of charge, since it is not a normal maintenance
item and was released to correct a defect in the caliper design. GM just
doesn't get it and they wonder why the huge incentives aren't working
while Toyota and Honda are kicking GM's behind in market share. I'm going
to fix my pontiac one last time and then it's gone.
Read: Franchise operations instead of factory outlets.
It's not GM's fault, though, as they are locked into the contracts
with the franchises. They make 20 or so decent cars out of their
various makes(the other 50-60 are crap, to be honest), but they all
suffer from hit and miss dealer followup.
Case in point:
Pasadena, CA. Great.
Glendale, CA(10 miles away) - pathetic. Almost criminally negligent.
Alhambra, CA(10 miles south of Pasadena)- horrible.
GM also has a problem in that most of their workers and retirees think that
because they have to pay income tax and social security, they need more pay
than those of other countries. They also think they need the company to pay
their medical bills after they retire. Seems to me I read something
recently that about $6000 of the cost of a car goes to cover medical
expenses of employees and retirees. Pretty hard to compete with imports
that don't include those expenses in their exports.
But that is not just automobiles. Clothing is a good example. Are there
any clothing manufacturers left in the U.S.?
The way Americans keep buying more and more imports, soon there
will be no good jobs left in the US. Will their children and
grand children need to go to China to make Toyotas to be shipped
to American before American consumers wise up? We should become
as smart as the Japanese, they buy the products made by their own
Yes, they do. However, it seems more and more Americans will not "Buy
American" just for the sake of doing so if an available foreign
alternative is (quite often) HEADS AND SHOULDERS SUPERIOR to the
In the case of the Japanese product in question (cars) the product is
Frank - on the internet, where even you can be important
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