If lower pay and greatly reduced benefits are advancement, I see it as going backwards. I work for an American company setting up plants overseas to compete with cheaper labor. In time there will be layoffs here. Just because someone goes to work, doesn't mean the pay is decent. I know people working full time, but need 1 or 2 part time extra jobs where only 1 sufficed before. The loss of other major industry has been affected by cheap labor overseas
You cannot own a car that is made entirely in the US anymore. It is absolutely impossible, as they are all made up of many imported parts. The most "American" car is actually the Honda Accord, which is over 80% American parts and is designed and built in a US plant by US workers. Look up the stats on your "American" car and see if it compares to that. It won't. Sorry, but the illusion of buying all US goods is just that... an illusion.
My home was built here, and my car too was from Bowling Green. My Boston Whaler was made here. I own a Martin Guitar 7th generation American company. Shall we continue? All high quality.
I agree with you, just because one has had a fluke, it doesn't necessarily mean it happens to everybody else. Obviously you have good luck with Ford and GM, and that's why you continue to own them. Same goes for me and millions of others.
This thread is really starting to make me laugh; one week ago it started with the same person with the same Trailblazer comments that are scattered everywhere you look (we get the point, you had a bad experience).
Now the subject has changed, but not for the better, the good old argument of where a vehicle is built is now surfacing once again. To me it's the most pointless argument on this entire site. Put it this way, if somebody has been buying a Buick or even a Honda for many years, and that brand continues to satisfy and be reliable to them, that person will continue to buy that brand as long as the styling, reliability, etc., etc. pleases that person. Therefore I really don't see the point in arguing where the vehicle is made, it is still designed and engineered by the company somebody prefers.
Lower pay and reduced benefits are permeating every business in our country. Just to have a job at all is a blessing more than it should be. There is no argument in favor of outsourcing jobs that makes me feel better about it, even if that company pays its remaining employees a little better. We will all be learning to live with much less as this economic disaster continues, but still just having a job, instead of your job going to a foreign worker, is a good thing.
False. Chrysler has a higher percentage than both the Accord and Camry. Look it up.
I always check the window sticker on cars to see what percentage of the parts are made in the U.S. If it is less than 80%, then no way I am I sending my money to another country. We need to support American workers first and foremost, especially now that Ford and GM are building the world's best cars and trucks.
I agree, but buying a Toyota or Honda would likely get you that 80% parts content you are looking for, and also you would be supporting US workers in US plants. You can't guarantee that you'd get both of those statistics when purchasing anything Ford or GM has to offer. Most of the best offerings for each are built in Mexico and Canada. The trucks are built in the US, and yes, Ford builds a nice pickup.
The whole "keeping money in our country" idea is long gone. Every company that exists uses some form of outsourced labor or imported parts in their products. Global economies work that way. If we want to survive, we need to be a part of it, and not be fighting it all the time. What do you think would happen to GM and Ford if every foreigner suddenly stopped buying them around the world? Yep, they'd be on a plane back to Washington before you could blink! We support them, and they help support us.
This is the United States that every politician and business owner strived for for decades. We all wanted a lower overhead so products would remain cheaper. Well here we are, and now everyone is complaining about it because we went overboard and traded nearly all of our manufacturing jobs that provide a solid economic base for service jobs that are fluff. We can't survive without a strong base. Unfortunately, now it is too late to go back to the 1950's, so we have to adapt to the global economy and learn how to make it work. Not buying an import car isn't really going to help as much as it will hurt down the road though.
Just buy the car if you like it, and stop stressing about where it was made, and what parts are in it. Balance is balance, and if our companies earn their way by making highly competitive products, then that is the way it should be. Blind support, however, makes them less competitive and lower quality. Automatic customers that buy your products just because they feel they are "supporting America" tend to make them take their eyes off the prize and everything sinks. Competition is the key to higher quality. It always has been, and always will be. Had the big three been allowed to fail, the products they are producing now would be worlds better. They would have been restructured and bought up by hungry competitive entities by now. That is what needed to happen.
A lot of the repairs you describe are wear items. I'm sorry, but shocks, struts, brakes, rotors, drums, etc. don't last the life of the car, 100,000 miles, or even 60,000 miles. It depends on the road conditions and the way you drive. I know people that only get 20,000 miles out of a set of brake pads, because they like to wait and brake hard instead of slowing at an easier pace. Furthermore, if you are not performing routine maintenance, no vehicle is going to last 100k miles.
10:10 I simply quietly decided to buy domestics instead of imports. Better quality was a reason, and I feel our economy needs my business. Only 4 new cars, but I feel very good about it. Just quietly buy; as simple as that.
23:40 makes a very good point. The manner in which we drive and maintain our vehicles has a HUGE impact on how long all the components last.
I am a car enthusiast, who performs all his own repairs, and occasionally helps good friends with their car problems. One thing I find all too often is that so many car owners are being duped into totally unnecessary repairs by unscrupulous dealers or repair shops. Virtually any brake shop will tell you you need new brake pads, even if they have 70% of the pad left. I see this all the time. It behooves a car owner to learn a few basic lessons in car repair and maintenance, to avoid massive unnecessary repair bills.
A case in point: A good friend was experiencing some over-heating and a "check engine" light in his 2009 Toyota. He took the car to not one but two shops. Both shops told him it would cost over $800 to repair. I checked the car and discovered a loose hose clamp that had allowed most of the coolant to leak out. It took about minute to replace the clamp at a cost of $1.29 for the clamp. That solved the problem. I can't believe neither of the two repair shops noticed that the coolant was low, since all you have to do is simply look at the coolant reservoir (which is translucent, and clearly shows the coolant level).
I own a 2003 GMC Envoy (which is the same vehicle as a Trailblazer). At this point we are just over 105,000 miles on it. In the nearly 10 years we have owned it, I have done only the following:
Replaced the battery at about 40,000 miles.
Replaced the original Michelin tires at 80,000 miles.
Replaced the fuel filter at 50,000 and 100,000 miles.
I use only full synthetic oil, changed at 10,000 mile intervals.
I immediately switched the air filter to a 1,000,000 mile high-performance K&N unit that is cleaned about every 7000-10,000 miles.
This vehicle has never required an alignment, shocks, struts, brake pads or any other repairs.
I generally check my brake pads first at 50,000, then every 25,000 miles after that. At 100,000 miles the original front pads still had about 15,000-20,000 miles of wear left. The original rear pads have over 50% of the pad wear left. I may get 200,000 miles out of them. As 23:40 points out, good drivers don't wear out brake pads. We generally get 100,000 miles out of ours in all our cars.
I have steadfastly maintained that all car owners learn some basic maintenance and diagnosis of car problems. Checking the coolant level takes about 5 seconds (a glance at the reservoir). Checking brake pads takes a little more time and trouble, but is very easy. It can save you hundreds of dollars in totally unnecessary repair bills.
Sadly, many people seem to think that knowing anything about cars is "icky" and "low class". I beg to differ. I am a white-collar professional with an office in an exclusive office tower. My firm works with millionaire clients. I have never worked professionally as an auto mechanic, nor has any member of my family. We all, however, have always had a passion for things mechanical, and love to work on our own vehicles. It is a very satisfying hobby, and frees us from the risks of being duped into paying thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs.
I strongly urge anyone who drives a car, to buy a good repair manual and learn a few basic things about their cars. Even my wife can diagnose and fix many things on her vehicles. Although she is the daughter of a millionaire entrepreneur, I made her get under the hood of her car and learn some basics for her own safety in case of an emergency. Being smart about ANYTHING is never "low class".