What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.


Friday, November 09, 2007

The Rise and Fall of the American Automaker


Try something for me, will you? Ask a handful of friends what kind of car they drive. You don't have to quit your day job or go all Zogby on us to get a representative sample - that kind of work has already been done - just ask around. If your circle of friends is like the students who take economics with me (poor and too hungry to care) you will hear a lot of Toyota, Honda and, Nissan; a lot of Japanese-made cars.

In fact six of the top ten most commonly stolen cars are Acuras, made by a division of Honda. The most commonly stolen Acura is the Integra. While some feel this is a reflection on the relative ease with which a delinquent can steal these vehicles, others note that common cars are the "safe" cars to steal. The authorities will notice the Mustang GT they see on the freeway and may let a Honda Civic roll on by because of how easily it can be confused with the umpteen others just like it on the road.

As an aside, the most commonly stolen car in 2005 was the BMW Roadster. Now that's just cruel. No good, very bad, awful, pathetic, nasty and sordid. Somebody gets a souped up vehicular, a really nice whip and a neglected youth wearing pants that were designed for Rosie O'Donnell and a jacket from Jay-Z's line has to go snitch it. Seriously, if you're going to rip someone off, take the clunker. Do the owner a favor. At least with the lemon, the insurance has a chance of overvaluing the car.

In my class, seven of ten students drove a foreign car and over half of the students drove a Japanese car. I was in the minority - GO USA - with a Michigan manufactured Ford.

Apparently, my minority status extends beyond the walls of my classroom because Americans are buying foreign cars like they're shares of Google. Bloomberg, a business news organization that tried to make an optimistic sounding name but instead ended up confusing everyone, reports that Toyota is actually increasing market share in the United States.

I'm going to write that again so everyone who was browsing the other tab and waiting for me to stop presenting facts can catch up. Toyota, a car company whose first three letters spell "toy," is selling more cars to people in the US. Can you get your mind around this? While you and I, the American taxpayer, are pumping billions of dollars into these domestic companies to get support their ridiculously extravagant employee pension programs, we turn around and buy a car designed in Bunkyo Tokyo. Sure, lots of Japanese cars are made in North America, but the feds don't pump $51,000 per year per employee into bailing out Kiichiro Toyoda's brainchild.

Instead of letting you and I pick which cars we like, our elected reps choose for us. And, like most political decision makers, the suits in DC are terribly inconsistent with their vehicle selection policy. While they pump your piggy bank savings into the coffers of bankrupt domestic car companies, foreign-made hybrids like the Prius and Camry are given differential treatment on our highways. Ever seen a fuel efficient car glide down the carpool lane in rush hour traffic with only one occupant? Well I have. And they never get pulled over by the traffic pigs. That's because our beloved government grants hybrids an eco-pass.

Can you understand this? Watching this situation is a little bit like seeing Tom Brady get sacked (by a linebacker, not Gisele) - you can't comprehend it. OK, so that's two Patriots analogies in three weeks; I have nothing to say for myself.

Back to the topic, my point in addressing the vehicle market is simply to advise you, the faithful FCN few, to buy domestic. The federal government has made an important decision for us and we would be committing utter folly to not follow Uncle Sam's lead. A caring and considerate big brother is pointing us toward the appropriate vehicle choice - a choice that secures employee benefits and allows the worker ants of our economy to be confident in their retirement. Buying foreign wastes that $51,000 per employee.

In other words, when you buy foreign, you deprive America's hard working middle class of pensions, eliminate the gifts they would otherwise bless their grandchildren with, ruin the outlook and inherent happiness of the American way, destroy economic cohesiveness, anger the government and start wars. Yes, you start wars. Bleep you!

Think of it this way: If that Corolla costs you an additional $51,000 on top of the sticker price, would you still buy it? Is an economy car really worth $70,000? And do you really want you car stolen? I didn't think so.

See? DailyKos doesn't have a corner on the mindless anger market. Conservatives can be irrationally mad, too!

What the heck, just buy a Roadster.

10 comments:

adrialien said...

A brief survey of some of my friends found 2 Dodge, 4 Ford, 3 Chevy/GMC, and 1 Volvo. So there.

Anonymous said...

Adrialien - you have very obedient friends.

Grace said...

You probably just "forgot" to mention the reason why Americans buy foreign cars....

1. American cars are badly made.
2. They need repairs ALL the time. 3. They get horrible gas mileage.
4. They are UGLY!

Unless you can afford a spanking new American car, you will have to put up with all these things and more.....
I'm glad I could remind you of these significant reasons to buy foreign!

Will said...

In response to Grace above, most American cars are not badly made. I have only had experience with Fords but the fact that all the Fords my family or myself have ever owned were still running strong with 250,000+ miles on them and had never seen a day in the shop for repairs speaks for their reliability.

That being said,when I was 16, I got an old F-150 as my first car. I remember the first time filling that thing up and thinking to myself, how am I ever going to be able to afford to fill this truck up? Gas was under a dollar at the time and it cost me $20 bucks to fill it up. All my friends had Chevys and Fords as well, we were all American baby! My old truck died several years back and gas had risen enough so that I was becoming a little more conscientious of my MPG. To the horror of people I looked at some Nissans but I just did not feel like neglecting the auto union workers so I went and got a newer F-150.

Gas continued going up and after one week in which I spent over $100 in gas I decided I was getting a better vehicle MPG-wise and not letting any more of my cash fly out my dual exhaust. So I sold the Ford and got a Nissan car. Funny thing happen after I got mine, all my buddies started selling their Fords and Chevys and now they all have Hondas! We have done a complete reversal, all American to foreign.

I do want to add that while I love my Nissan if not for the MPG and cost of gas I would go back to my Ford without a second thought. Foreign cars are nice but they just are not built as solidly as American cars which is why they are better in the MPG field.

you can call me batman said...

My mechanic brother will only allow me to buy a toyota or honda when the time comes! Besides, I agree with Grace, american cars suck!

adrialien said...

anonymous - what am I supposed to think your comment is implying? should i challenge you to a duel in a deserted part of town, in the style of the three musketeers?

Christopher Yerziklewski said...

If the writer of this post is who I think it is, I have the exact same car you do. I love my little Ford.

Grace said...

Dearest William, *rolls eyes

The fact remains that in the end you DID buy a foreign car...
I rest my case......

Matthew said...

This post brings FCN writing to an all time low. Besides the incoherent rambling and tiresome repetition, whoever wrote it made some obvious blunders. For example: "Instead of letting you and I pick which cars we like, our elected reps choose for us." It should be "instead of letting you and me..." I think I'm going to remove my endorsement of FCN as a fit replacement for the striking scriptwriters.

Anonymous said...

"Matthew" that was the idea of the post to be mindless rambling ala Daily Kos