26th Mar 2014, 12:30

Ownership of a manufacturer is where corporate is and where the bulk of the profits go to reinvest. If I am a landlord and hire a few caretakers overseas, who gets the money? I know it's an analogy, but it applies. In turn a manufacturer gets tax breaks and can pull out at any moment. It's happened in my state with a foreign car brand no less.

28th Mar 2014, 13:28

At the end of the day, all that matters is who builds the cars and who gets a paycheck. Who cares if money goes back to corporate headquarters? Does that mean that if GM, Ford, or Chrysler made cars here, then none of the money can ever be spent on other facilities in other countries? What do you think happens to corporate profits? They're mostly used to re-invest in the business, meaning new plants, new cars, and new hires, including the American workers in US plants.

The foreign versus domestic argument is so old and antiquated it's not even funny. Manufacturing is a global enterprise. Get used to it.

29th Mar 2014, 06:28

The current sluggish weak economy is something to get used to vs the prosperous past. Everything is just a key stroke away to buy cheaper and cheaper. With all the quality issues and recalls, I got used to buying Ford lately.

29th Mar 2014, 17:12

Since you mentioned reinvesting corporate profits, it only stands to reason it's better to have corporate based here vs overseas. The big profit goes to corporate. Who turns a nut or bolt and draws a few paychecks doesn't look at where the big money goes. A better than nothing attitude is poor if you ask me.

1st Apr 2014, 13:31

Clearly the points I made before were missed. As I previously mentioned, most of the profits that go to any corporation's headquarters are used to reinvest in the company. That is true for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, BMW, and all of the other car companies whom own and operate plants, design facilities, engineering, and other vital corporate assets on a global basis.

The takeaway from the statement mentioned before is that every single auto manufacturer basically operates to distribute their money on a global basis for global operations.

In addition to this, it's not like if a GM or Ford car put together in the US necessarily is an American car through and through anyway. Many come from imported platforms. Most use a wide assortment of internationally sourced parts. As such the profits that those suppliers get goes back to wherever their corporate headquarters are.

It's simply an outdated and impractical argument to assert that it's better to buy either an American-made car from a company with headquarters here versus an American-made car with headquarters elsewhere.

Final point? So let's say that we were to actually consider the argument that it's really important for profits to go to corporate headquarters. OK, so what does that mean? It means that the profits would then go the various boards, investors, CEOs, upper level management and staff members, and so on. Just as with the actual manufacture and design of the cars these companies make, the aforementioned people are just as international as the cars they make: Many a foreign/American car company is staffed with people who live in and are from other countries. Likewise, so too is the board as well as the myriads of investors - who live all over the world.

So you see? This is far, far from being a black and white, cut and dry sort of assumption. We live in a global economy, and that means whether the company's headquarters is here or elsewhere, headquarters itself is also a diverse and internationally staffed affair.

1st Apr 2014, 19:02

It's hard to say it's funny when you have to take pay cuts and do the work of 2 others added that weren't replaced. It's a paycheck right?

2nd Apr 2014, 08:29

Where do the largest profits go to Nissan, Honda, Toyota, and BMW? Doesn't matter. We have all domestic cars in our family now vs the excessive 80s when we didn't care. I owned 2 Mercedes in that decade.

3rd Apr 2014, 10:51

The way I look at when I hear people say "It's important for the profits to go to corporate" is well... as I mentioned before a lot of those corporate headquarters are staffed with people who actually live all over the world. So it's not like all that money goes into the hands of nothing but Americans - if that really was the most vital thing anyway.

But even then, if you strip away all of the layers of corporate headquarters, what are you left with? The CEO? The CFO? President? Yes - all people who probably make millions of dollars a year, have a garage full of exotic cars, and own a number of mansions in choice locations. Is it really an all-important desire to make sure that CEOs get their hard-earned money to buy yachts? To me the more important issue is about everyday workers.

At this point the US now manufacturers, designs, engineers, and markets cars for BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Kia, Hyundai. We also make parts and drivetrain components for all of those mentioned above, along with other car brands beyond what was mentioned. We're talking about 100's of thousands of jobs here, with workers making decent wages. This is important. Why? Because all the most important demographic in the country is the middle class, whom do most of the spending and paying of taxes. These jobs are squarely middle class, and as such, who cares about the badge the cars that these workers make has on the hood? It's all about money, that's all.

4th Apr 2014, 10:09

So why not buy a domestic model made in America? Why send millions to the CEOs in Japan etc. We did with new 4 cars in the past 2 years.

6th Apr 2014, 10:09

Ford and GM on average hire and employ more workers here vs their Asian counterparts, with more USA made components. Why take away from this, especially in a weak sluggish economy?

In addition, in the past decade we have seen dramatic quality improvements vs Toyota that seems to have so many recalls. What happened to the quality? We have owned new Hondas and Toyotas and we saw it first hand. Customer retention is based on repairs and issues in our mine. Made in USA doesn't mean it's a domestic brand.

7th Apr 2014, 11:29

We've had these sort of interesting debates here and there over the same kinds of issues. At the end of the day, there are simply too many factors and analytics when it comes to modern cars to make any assured black and white conclusion.

For example, I recently bought a used Chevy Volt. Now - the car is assembled at the Hamtramck Assembly plant in Detroit. You can't get much more American than that. But here's the thing. The total domestic content of the car is about 40%. The engine came from Austria. The transmission from Japan. About 20% of the content is Korean. I also found parts from Italy, Germany, and a few other countries to name a few.

So there you have it: An American car assembled in the US from a majority of imported parts from various companies. So if the car were to be disassembled and the sum of the companies who made the parts were tallied, you still have a situation where a lot of the money is going overseas to profit whatever company made them in the first place. Granted the engine is a GM engine made in Austria for the Opel brand. But still - we are talking about money and its flow into the US.

On the other hand, you have something like a Toyota Tundra, with something like 85% of the vehicle put together with domestically produced content. That means if you were to similarly take one apart and come up with an analysis of the money flow, more money would be going back to the American suppliers whom provide the parts and components for that truck. In that case less of the money used to make that truck would be going to overseas suppliers.

So in both of these cases we have drastic differences, with one vehicle more reliant on foreign/imported components with likely more money going overseas to pay for them, versus another where the majority of the money used to buy components stays state-side.

I didn't buy the Volt because it was American. I bought it because I think it's a good car. In the end that is really all that matters. Nobody should feel compelled to buy a product just because its location of manufacture. Cars and other goods are sold via our open market, capitalist system. Back in the 90's-2000's there was no way I would have bought a single GM product. Most of what they made was in my book awful and poorly finished. The Volt I bought has one of the best fit and finishes and overall quality I've experienced. It took a level of international competition for GM to improve their product. It's all about producing the best product, and for the company that can do so, regardless of their national headquarters, the consumer is the chooser and they as a whole tend to choose the better product. And as such, we all win when all companies are competing for our business.