There was actually a report in the news over the weekend discussing the "internationalization" of the auto industry. There's a lot of comments here and elsewhere that indicate a lack of understanding of global manufacturing. In this report it was pointed out that MOST cars sold in the US are not only made here, but made out of high concentrations of US-made parts. The reason is simple: The cost of shipping parts has become so expensive that it's cheaper to make and assemble the cars and trucks here. The Tundra, Camry, Accord, Avalon, and a few others to name a few - cars that are incidentally some of the best selling cars in the US - all contain a very high percentage of US-sourced parts.
There was a question about where the paychecks go. Well, they probably go to the following areas:
1: The parts suppliers and manufacturers and their workers.
2: The workers at that company's national headquarters (all Japanese automakers have them).
3: To the various engineers and designers who design the specific models for that particular market (like the Tundra for example, designed for the US market... by Americans).
4: The line workers, machinists, and the rest of the factory workers who take all those parts to make the cars.
5: To pay for various state and national taxes, fees, and other costs associated with the plants, buildings, and so on.
6: To the auto dealers and the mechanics, parts distributors, salesmen, drivers, and others tied to selling and maintaining the final product.
And yes - some of that money goes back to corporate headquarters in whatever country. If that's the case then big deal: That company then uses that money to do things like:
1: Build more factories in the US.
2: Hire more American workers.
3: Design new products.
4: Pay their domestic staff, who in turn get paid and in some cases buy things from us.
This is how basic economics works. A car's badge these days doesn't necessarily indicate it's an exclusively American, Japanese, or German made car anymore. The increasing chance is that if a car is sold here, it's probably made here, regardless of brand. That's a good thing.
After disappointing experiences with poorly built Japanese cars, we are now solidly in the Ford and GM camp. Absolutely zero problems with any of our Ford or GM vehicles in 100,000 or more miles.
Seeing as how Toyota is now rated the most reliable automaker, the majority would disagree that they are poorly built.
Toyota is by a huge margin the most recalled car in history. That hardly speaks well for quality or long term reliability.
What year are you referring to? Read the headings throughout Car Survey lately. Looks pretty bleak with a few older exceptions. We are not buying any more new ones. Guess that will show up in the 2013 figures.
My worse car ever was the Acura TL Type S. Surely you are aware of the repetitive trans failures. Our first at 28000 miles. Terrible resale after Carfax reported our trans replaced plural. I bought new GMs.
Hiring some Americans, a fraction of before, and shipping the bulk of a vehicle's profit back overseas is not a great thing. And a vehicle's badge does quickly denote where the corporate dollars go to.
I just said that. Every manufacturer has a 'dud' model, the TL was bad from 99-04. I didn't buy one because I did my homework ahead of time. If I'm spending thousands of my hard earned dollars on a vehicle, I will do my homework on it.
Sorry you bought an 02 TL, but if you did any research, even if buying it new in 02, the transmission problems were already WELL documented online. That's what made me decide to buy an RL, and now a TSX.
The quality ratings came from various publications who poll many thousands of owners. This INCLUDES the factors of recalls. It's all simple mathematics. Then again, saying this to some who obviously have an agenda to be anti-Toyota is pointless.
A great example of the major difference between domestic and Japanese car makers is exemplified by Ford's recall recently of a handful of new Escapes. Ford voluntarily recalled the cars due to a minute risk of engine fires. They are providing all their customers free rental cars. Toyota, on the other hand, requires a Federal Court order to issue recalls, and would never dream of giving their customers a free rental car. This is another reason my family drives only Ford and GM vehicles.
As far as certain ratings go, Car and Driver just released their 10 best survey for 2013; No Toyotas in the lineup besides the Scion FR-S (a Subaru under the skin).
Toyotas are virtually never in any lists of "best cars". They simply have nothing to offer. They are just bland and boring appliances that are recalled every week for yet another problem.
A line up of cheap cars with fuel costs so high will sell. They can be ugly, plastic filled,and shaped like a turtle in a poor economy! I look at my cars in the driveway, and think there's $100 in that one and only $45 in that one, fully fueled and actually in the tank. I think that's the big motivator. Overlooking daily recalls, ride and very plain looks, I get there as cheap as possible. If I get a ding in it in a parking lot, so what. I don't even have to wash or clean it either. It's cheap at the pump, and that's what I care about with a new car
Wrong. That car was a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru. In markets outside North America, it's badged as the Toyota FT-86 (remember the legendary Corolla AE86 that was RWD?).
Car and Driver pick cars that appeal to enthusiasts, and high performance, fun to drive vehicles. Most Hondas, Toyotas, GM, etc are not. Most people are looking to get from Point A to B, comfortably and reliably. It may not be your cup of tea nor mine, but you'll have to deal with it, as that's what the majority of the market wants.
Who has to deal with it if they don't like it? It was addressed very simply as a vehicle no longer under consideration. The massive frequent recalls are the final nail in the coffin. I would rather ride the train to work and at least have an interesting paper to read. Driving a vehicle that you turn the key and drive to point B and get out is boring. Very boring. I like going and shopping for new cars, and want one that is fun to own and drive.
Some people like cheap, and fuel is high. They are not in my opinion buying this as a dream car. With challenges at work and stress in the world, the joy of driving in every day is great with a nice car, top down, and taking the back roads into work. Driving a turtle shaped car is a real let down. I am the type that likes opening a garage door with pride, and looks forward to going into work!