20th Jul 2009, 12:56
Not all drive imports... I know having 2 teens myself in high school and 2 grown, plus a very big family of nieces and nephews, many driving, and everyone congregates at our home. Likely because of the swimming pool as well. I see everything they are driving... some they bought themselves and many with parental help. It is not all imports or all domestics. The new ones (with parental help) include Jeeps (which my daughter now wants) small imports and small domestics, hand me downs including moms and grandmoms that no longer drive, company cars that my co workers bought with high mileage for their kids are domestics, newer models with different color fenders etc. from accidents picked up cheap, some driving one of their parents after work. I do not see a clear pattern on what they own.
And I have a teen daughter and teen son. My one son drives a 2003 Civic, while his older brother drove used Mustang GT's and bought a Viper at age 30. It's likely due to the fact my wife and I have had mixed import and domestic ownership. Since that theory over 50 does not apply, as with many we know have the same mixed ownership at the same moment. I have been married once before, and have followed this trend for many years with similar daughter and son from each marriage. I do not think teens follow the published reports and spend hours in the armchair calculating resale and pouring over their parents maintenance records. My daughters concern is more about color and if their friends fit in the car... my sons, especially the older one dreamed of a Mustang GT as a very first car with the 5.0. I never owned one and no other relative ever did before. He wanted one and it was the cleanest car on the block.
My first car I bought without even telling my parents, and heard about driving it home without insurance. Teens somehow do not listen usually anyway. I had money saved and just bought it from a classmate. If we ever get back on topic about full size trucks... no one but adults that are in our family have them, and they are typically as second or third vehicle. They are handy to own and perform a variety of tasks. I really like our new Silverado as we bring things home, tow as our primary application, and quite frankly I would not live without one.
I do know if there is any trend on what younger people may buy (without their parents credit card). It's the car insurance rates, high gas prices that are more a factor today than before. If a teen or young driver works hard on jobs, finished college and can afford a great car it is truly possible if you work very hard. I did it and my older son did it. He loves domestics and can literally afford either way.
The import theory in my mind is equally a domestic one, depending on who you know. It took me a long time to even care what anyone thought as I bought what I liked. Anymore in 2009 at least I see that as a positive. Is it such a bad start to be pro American in this dismal economy? The best thing is that our new domestics are saving us money, still the same my younger son liked Hondas. So at least we examined everything, late models, not with blinders on our face.
20th Jul 2009, 22:54
To those who continue to ask why they should buy from AMERICAN companies, this says it pretty darn clearly!!
Please, no more of this "It doesn't matter what car you buy" stuff. It DOES MATTER. Ask an unemployed auto worker who is losing his home and having trouble feeding his kids.
21st Jul 2009, 09:53
My father was a highly decorated veteran of WWII, he was involved in 5 major battles in Europe.
He always owned an American car, but he also owned a little Datsun (Nissan) pick-up truck to run errands for his business in.
I am offended that according to the person or persons who keeps throwing patriotism around in this debate, my dad would be considered "unpatriotic".
This just goes to show me how wrong they are.
Thankfully because of my dad and millions like him, we here in America still have rights, including the right to buy what we choose to buy.
I happen to own an American car, but I have the right to drive whatever I want, and nobody has the right to dictate otherwise.
21st Jul 2009, 10:55
I think the problem with the "Buy USA!" argument is that it's an antiquated argument. Companies are truly global entities. Back in the good ole' days Ford would import raw iron ore, wood, and paint and produce the entire car in one spot. Back then "Made in USA" actually meant it was really made entirely in the USA.
Today every car out there is composed of parts from all around the world. Cars are even designed and engineered in countries far from corporate headquarters. The new Camaro was designed and engineered in Australia. It is being built in Canada. But a lot of the components are imported from China, Mexico, Brazil, and the US.
The same is true with most Toyota and Honda products. They are designed and engineered in studios and engineering facilities around the world. Their components - like those in GM and Ford products - are also imported from various countries.
Additionally, car companies have management teams that are just as international as their cars. The former chief of product design at Lexus is an American and now works for Ford. GM has major facilities in China with Chinese executives. Thus from the worker all the way up to the top of the company you have money flowing in from an international buyer with that money benefiting countless communities around the globe: American, Mexican, Chinese, and so on.
Thus it's sort of a simplistic argument to boast that just because a product you bought has a US branded sticker on it means that you are supporting US workers. The exact same is true with someone buying a Toyota or Honda. They too are helping to benefit US workers, as well as workers in other countries. What most people making the "Buy USA!" argument fail to recognize is that if you put money into the pockets of people in other countries, then they will in turn have the funds to buy goods and services from us in return. If products were really and truly entirely built in the USA with US laborers, (which they haven't in years) and all US citizens did was buy American goods, then we would not have a functioning economy.
A good analogy to make is the early 20th century textile industry. For 100 years prior it had been primarily located up in Northern states where the biggest textile companies in the world existed. They owned entire towns and had huge factories with 10's of thousands of workers. But over time these factories became too cumbersome and inefficient. Additionally wages were too high. At that time newer, leaner factories opened down South where labor was cheaper. Factories up north closed down. 100 years later most of those Southern factories are now shut down and the work has gone to China for the same reasons it left the North and now the South. That's how capitalism works. In many ways you could compare GM and Ford - once the world's largest automakers with the world's largest factories to Toyota and Honda whom came out with better models and better manufacturing processes that were leaner and more efficient and who later setup factories in cheaper Southern states.
Soon we will have new players in the field: Indian and Chinese cars, who in turn will undercut the Korean and Japanese automakers in price and start the cycle all over again.
So the way to look at it is that we live in a global economy. People learn to adapt just as all those textile workers later did. We will have to do the same.