"Again, We've all heard the rather vague and unsupported claim that somehow, 91% of we who live in the US work for automotive related industries."
EVERY major newspaper, as well as MSNBC, CNN and most other TV news network, and the internet have published or reported these numbers repeatedly. They are HARDLY "vague and unsupported". One source often cited is USA Today, which published these numbers in May of 2009. I am sure that with the destruction of thousands more U.S. jobs since then the percentage now stands at about 88% versus 12%. So rest easy import buyers. Now instead of hurting 91% of your neighbors, you're only hurting 88% of them.
"I find it nearly impossible that absolutely nothing is affecting the import commenters on here"
I totally agree, and I find this very frightening indeed. Once a person has been brainwashed by years of ad hype and mental manipulation, even starving children and neighbors being thrown into the streets don't seem to have any effect.
Any injustice done to our fellow man seems justifiable as long as we can have our Toyotas and Hondas. No one seems to be even remotely capable of understanding that we are sawing off the limb we are sitting on.
I still (and am a domestic owner) feel they can buy whatever they want. But also be attuned to the fact that is a very dismal economy that their high ticket purchases can affect them and others about them.
I could go to the casino 1 mile away and spend every dime I earned as it's a right. I would like my children to be afforded a good future, not just live for today. But many have to fall down to get up.
You would think that with so many jobs lost that it would matter and people would be absolutely sick of losses in their community. My main street in town is loaded with empty stores that I like. 700,000 jobs lost monthly this year, a lot attributed to people refinancing cash outs and paying off credit cards, putting pools and high ticket improvements on their homes and now losing them. Now many are pulling the card out again to pay the higher mortgages and many are in foreclosure. Whatever you do and buy high end usually has some result on yourself and others right now.
I am not buying imports now, and if I do not have cash to buy I do not buy. My family was wise and downsized homes, and have now paid their primary homes off and use debit cards and credit cards only for backup. I am also saving on one of our former import repairs that was costly. And it's gone. We are out of that headache.
I love fun with numbers, but you seem to be miss representing those that you are using. I went in search of your magical 91% and found that you may be a little confused. The 91% is not the number of people that the US companies employ versus those of other brands. The 91% is the percentage of manufacturing jobs in the US are tied to the US Auto Industry. The US Auto Industry is made up of all brands sold in the US, not just the big three.
Your representation of the numbers are impossible, so let's see if we can find a more realist number of employed percentage. First let's look at the dealerships; when we look at the number of the big three versus all other brands combined (after all those are all imports). Just using my city in the south as a sample, I find the big three only make up 35% of the dealerships, but for your benefit we will say that throughout the US it is probably closer to a 50/50 split.
So how about factories, this get a little complicated due to the schedule opening and closing a certain plants. Plus the fact that some plants are joint ventures between US and Foreign companies and the fact that Hummer, Saturn and some others are no longer US brands. To help meet your numbers, I decided to not count any of those to help push the US brand percentage higher and the final number comes out to 62% for the US plants.
Well this leaves only parts suppliers, and I left it for last because this one is impossible to get realistic numbers on. The largest parts supplier is Denso, a company from Japan that makes parts for most auto makers, but many of their factories are in the US. Then there is the fact that most parts suppliers make parts for more than one brand, like SL who makes about 20% of the Malibu, but also is a Korean company that make parts for Hyundai. This leaves only companies that make parts for one brand, like Mopar, TRD, Nismo, AMG, and so forth. Of course this gives the Foreign companies a 63% lead and gives us nowhere near the 91% that you keep talking about. I guess since you have posted those numbers all over this site that, you were hoping it would just become fact as more people read it.
Also, for those of you who love to bring news of the 400K Ford Ranger, you may wish to read the interviews the guy did with his home town news. You will find out that the engine has been rebuilt twice, the transmission has been rebuilt and replaced, and the guy has replaced numerous parts through out the lifetime. The guy even says the secret to long life is replacing parts. But the real knowledge from the interview comes at the end when asked if his next vehicle would be another Ford and he says NO.
By the way, there are 9 different recalls on the 2005 Tacomas. If you have one of these pickups, you should check into these. There are many websites that will list them. Things included are bad air bags, ball joints, exhaust system, brakes.
"9 different recalls on the 2005 Tacomas."
Oops. The list I looked at mixed Tacomas and Tundras on the same list and I got confused. It is 4 recalls for 2005 Tacomas and 5 recalls on 2005 Tundras. Sorry if anyone got too concerned about that.
It would be nice to see the "hometown newspaper's" name and the date of this "alleged" article. Consumer Reports made no mention of ANY major repairs. Methinks this is just more import propaganda. PLEASE CITE SOURCES if you expect to be taken seriously.
In that case, I find it nearly impossible that you aren't concerned about the shirt you are wearing that's probably made in Pakistan, or your TV set that's made in China, or your laptop made in Taiwan and Korea, or the rest of the stuff in your house that in all likelihood is made in China. Yes - there are still American knitting mills and a few furniture and even American household electronics producers out there. So I feel shocked that you and any of you other flag-waving "American" car owners are out there destroying the lives of all those hard-working American sock makers, whom have children to feed and house payments to make. Shame on you!
Let me make the point a little bit more clear. I work as a graphic designer. More often than not, people don't think of designers the same way as someone working in a factory. But it is. I have to design and produce pieces for clients using tools (software) and do so competitively. In recent years there has been pressure from India where designers there can do the job at a fraction of the cost. But over time I've had to pinpoint specific industries to design for that require US workers. I imagine that this status won't remain static and I will have to change my working skills over time.
My example fits any industry or business in the country. I personally do not hold Americans accountable for supplying me with work or profits. That's my responsibility. It is my duty to give the best service and furnish the highest quality at a good value. Otherwise competitors -either foreign or domestic - could take the upper hand. It's called competition, and without it there lies little reason to improve.
Yes - it's sad to see US factory workers lose their jobs. But on the other hand we have low cost community colleges that can train them for modern tech based jobs or other skills that improve their lives. Everyone has the chance to fulfill their educations and better their lives. Everyone has the right to succeed or fail. Consumers have the right to choose as they please. Thus if a car company makes a faulty product and another one builds a superior product - the consumer has the right to choose and do so regardless of the brand, nationality, or physical location where that vehicle was produced.
That's really all there is to it. We live in a changing, competitive world. It's not a matter of Black and White either. Buying a US-branded car built in Mexico does not guarantee that workers in US factories won't lose their houses. Buying a Japanese car does not mean all the money goes to Japan. International trade functions best when money flows both ways. Buying either brand puts money in the pockets on both sides. The best producer sells the most product.