29th Dec 2005, 18:01

The writer of the previous comment needs no one else to show how obvious are the fallacies of his argument.

He does a perfectly good job of that himself.

30th Dec 2005, 22:58

The only fallacy presented, is by the previous commenter from Russia, who simply can`t comprehend that all countries of the world (including the U.S.A.), employ protective economic measures (such as: import quotas, duties and tariffs) in order to regulate and limit the flow of foreign imports and consequently safeguard their own local auto industries. Try importing a new Russian car into the U.S.A. to-day, and you might learn something. This sort of protection is normal, and is certainly not to be confused with the 'protection' that existed in the U.S.S.R.- which was full ownership and total control of the auto industry. Most people understand the difference.

14th Jan 2006, 19:00

I wrote the comment from December 20th, which appears to have started an argument between two fellas who insist on using this review as a forum to sort out the issues of tariffs and protectionism. Apparently one of them thought I was the other.

Why don't you guys exchange e-mail addresses and fight it out there? Better yet if you both have Yahoo Instant Messenger, so you can exchange instantaneous blows.

I stand by my original statement, which is simply that it is interesting to read about the experiences of foreign owners of American cars. I want to read about the Muscovite's experience with this Dodge Intrepid, without wading through this stuff. It is oh so tempting to comment on it, but I'll refrain because that's not what this site is about.

14th Jan 2006, 23:48

Still unable to comprehend how things are done in Western democracies? That`s O.K. We`ll go through it slowly.

1. All democratically elected governments have a role to play. Basically, it is to safeguard its peoples- their welfare; their safety; their freedom; their JOBS.

2. All governments employ strategies to prevent their economies from being "over-run" and exploited by foreign interests. This is essential. Why? Well maybe to preserve the jobs and livelihood of tens of thousands of its own people- the people who voted them into office in the first place. Pretty good reason.

3 How do they do that? Well, they impose protective measures-such as import quotas, duties, tariffs etc. Try flooding the U.S. market with, for example, beef from Sth. America, or with oranges from Australia. You CAN`T. There are import restrictions in place, that prevent you. Why? It is done to PROTECT the local, homegrown industries- to protect the jobs and livelihood of American farmers, workers and their families. So people are not unemployed and poor. Yep, good reason. It is also to keep profits IN America- not let foreign countries profit at America`s expense. You know what a nation`s 'CURRENT ACCOUNT' is, don`t you? Sensible and mature governments, ensure various protective economic measures are always in place, in order to ensure that the current account is not in deficit. That means, 'try to LIMIT foreign IMPORTS, whilst INCREASING local EXPORTS.' That is how you get a healthy and strong economy- such as enjoyed in countries like the U.S.A.

4.Your point about Russian cars 'not being able to be imported into the U.S.A., because of non-compliance with U.S. safety and emission regulations', is quite correct. This is the point I have been making. You must understand that this is just another protective strategy by the U.S.- no different to tariffs, duties etc. The same strategy is employed with regard to other foreign makes of cars. It is to limit their ability to penetrate and exploit the lucrative U.S. market. Wait till you see the PROTECTIVE strategies that will come into place when the Chinese attempt to flood the U.S. market with THEIR cars! Protection? You ain`t seen nothing yet! Some countries, are negotiating what is called "free trade agreements" with the U.S. government, in an attempt to penetrate the U.S. market. Negotiations are very difficult and complex, and usually end up with an agreement that tends to 'favour' the U.S. somewhat- considering it`s huge bargaining position. Its only THEN, that the U.S. considers lifting, reducing and/or abolishing its stringent protective import quotas, tariffs and other duties and taxes.

I thought and assumed, you knew all this. I really did. I was wrong.

I hope you appreciate this detailed comment- and hopefully you might care to re-read it several times. Please. I`m sure you WILL understand it this time- because I`m too exhausted to reply to you again. Really. (I`m being a little sarcastic now- but in a tired and friendly sort of way).

Oh, and there really wasn`t any need to tell me "not to be so obtuse"- because, in reality, the advice may be far more relevant for you to heed. Life is interesting, isn`t it!

16th Jan 2006, 02:54

For Pete`s sake, confine your journalistic endeavours 'behind the wheel.' I agree, some commenters sound like jerks, when they don`t know, or understand what they are talking about. Stick to what you know. In the U.S., we have a good saying: " If you can`t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

23rd Jan 2006, 16:15

Ni huya sebe...

I really didn't think that my review would spark such an argument. I don't have the time (or desire, for that matter) to read every comment, but I can argue that my choice is the more rational choice compared to driving the cars made in Russia. Apparently you just don't know what a Russian car is, or what our "proud country" is like these days. It's a country now controlled by thieves and who seem to have a lot of fun treating there own people with contempt. Letting our automotive industry produce the pieces of... that some have the nerve to call cars is just a way for the Big Bosses of these car-companies to make money for themselves. They are not interested in producing cars that people would want to buy. They beg the government to tax import cars, and they continue making the same... year after year, increasing prices while not upgrading the car itself, knowing that the people will still buy this trash - there is nothing else they can buy, it's all to expensive. That's why driving the Spirit for me isn't an irrational decision - it's kind of like a statement. And most American car fans in Russian are of the same opinion. I hope I clarified my choosing an American car rather than trading it in for a Russian POS.

24th Jan 2006, 07:26

I think your comments relating to your own auto industry, are far too emotive and harsh. In the U.S., ordinary folk do not criticise their own, in such extreme terms. Call it "pride", if you like - or call it "patriotism" - but it serves us well. "United we stand, divided we fall"- is a saying, we believe in. We don`t demean our own like that - even if there is some justification, to do so.

Your car industry does need shaking up. I understand what you`re saying. The question is: "how to improve it, without inadvertently destroying it?"

I suppose we`ve been debating two extreme solutions to this question:

1. Protect the industry (to ensure it`s viability), whilst allowing a limited degree of competition to encourage local manufacturers to improve their quality. The problem however, is that they may not do so - as you state.

2.Remove all restrictions and quotas, and let all foreign imports flood in - in whatever numbers. Your solution. Free competition. Market rules, unconditionally. The obvious problem however, is that your local industry will not survive the onslaught. It will collapse immediately. People, like yourself, will buy the better quality foreign imports. Your nation will lose huge amounts of capital that will go to other countries, (to make them richer), and you will have tens of thousands of unemployed auto workers. Your economy will suffer.

So what`s the solution? On reflection, I think one solution is to encourage foreign car makers to INVEST in Russia`s auto industry. In joint operations. To some very limited degree, this is starting to happen. The idea would be for foreign car giants, such as G.M. or Ford, to build factories in Russia - using the most up to date technology - and to employ Russian auto workers to manufacture quality Russian cars according to strict guidelines. Russian shareholding can be on a 51/49% basis- giving the Russians majority control. This may be a "Win/Win" solution. The giant Russian and foreign corporations still make their big profits; the hapless consumer finally gets a quality product, from his local industry; the auto workers retain their jobs; and profits are not 'bled' out of the nation.

This concept has been operating here in the States, for a number of years. Hyundai, for example, has set up a huge manufacturing and assembly plant and is employing thousands of American auto workers - not to speak of all the affiliated industries, it supports. What do you think of this idea, in order to try and solve the dilemma, that you describe, in your country?

P.S. "ni huya sebe"? So what does that mean?