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11-24-2012, 08:13 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by lammie200 Quote
If you look at a window sticker on a brand new american market car it lists the locations for engine manufacture, transmission manufacture, and final assembly. It might say the % of recycled content and surely will list emissions rankings, and something kind of loosely related to carbon footprint, as well as mileage and annual fuel cost "estimates." Like you, I seriously doubt that the claim for 100% USA sourced materials is accurate, but maybe they can claim that for the engine and transmission production.

Here is one for a Chevy Volt. Note 46% USA & Canadian content. Edit: Added ones for the 2012 Cruze.
I see the transmission for the Cruze ECO comes from Austria. So much for all that "100% made in America" hoopla.

11-24-2012, 08:59 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by ve2vfd Quote
There is a LOT more to a car than just the final assembly... putting an import together here doesn't give jobs to local designers, engineers, scientists and the thousands of other people instrumental in the design and pre-production work on the car.

Plus almost all of those imports assembled here are done so with mostly imported parts and the assembly plants they build use imported machinery, so the thousands of local engineers and workers who designs and built plants and machinery are also left out of the picture.

It's true that many American cars use a large percentage of imported parts in their assembly but as we all know thats the nature of globalization... for good or bad.

Pat
QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Allow me to straighten out a few misconceptions in your post. There are indeed many foreign nameplates assembled in the US by US workers. However it is done so to avoid shipping costs as well as import taxes, not because the foreign companies have any compassion for American jobs. If they could build them at home and sell them here and make the same profit, they would do it in a heartbeat. In addition to that, the cars may be assembled here, but most of the component parts, especially engines and drive trains come are imported. And in the end, the profits go to the home countries, not here.

The Chevy claim on the Cruze is no different than the foreign claims that their cars are built here. The Cruze is built here. That doesn't mean all the component are. Unlike the imports though, the profits stay here.

As for the bailouts, while Ford did not take money from the bailout loan fund, they did take $5.9 billion in a Federal loan for re-tooling it's plants. Still, Ford was in favor of the bailout because they knew many of their suppliers would fold without GM and Chrysler, which could have shut Ford down with devastating effects. Foreign manufacturers have also fed out of the taxpayer trough when they received huge tax incentives, not only from the federal government, but from the various state governments in which their plants were built. There is a difference between giving a company taxpayer dollars in a loan, and giving them to them as a grant or abatement. One has to be repaid, while the other is a gift, free and clear. So while the domestics were given loans, the foreign companies were given out right gifts.
You both make very good points with respect to the domestic manufacturers.

But all three design, build and sell their product worldwide, and have design staff in foreign locations. They all reinvest their profits worldwide. Ford announced recently that they are opening manufacturing facilities in China and India.

Additionally, not all of the machinery in the North American plants comes from here. As a flatbed truck driver I have hauled some of that machinery. I have picked up components at seaports in Seattle, Tacoma, New York and Houston, and delivered them to plants in Ohio and Michigan, and also in Windsor, Ontario. I've also moved container loads of parts from New York (they originated overseas) to Georgia, where Textron (a division of worldwide conglomerate Kautex) makes fuel tanks for foreign and domestic vehicles.

All of the manufacturers that assemble vehicles in the US have product test and design facilities, some here, some overseas. I have seen them near Kingman, AZ (used to be Ford, but one of the imports took it over a few years ago), and Mohave, CA (Hyundai/Kia). Mercedes has one in Southern Texas near Laredo, Nissan near Casa Grande, AZ, Volvo near Wittman, AZ (used to be Chrysler), and Honda in Marysville Ohio.

And not all of the revenue generated from sales goes back to the home country, the workers in those plants get paid decent, competitive wages, and the management staff handsome salaries. And with any business, those workers spend those wages and salaries in the communities where they work.

And don't overlook the fact that vehicle manufacturers don't make very much on the sales of new cars and trucks. The real money is made on service and repairs, a large part of which is labor.

Last edited by Racer X 69; 11-25-2012 at 10:48 AM.
11-25-2012, 06:51 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
And not all of the revenue generated form sales goes back to the home country, the workers in those plants get paid decent, competitive wages, and the management staff handsome salaries. And with any business, those workers spend those wages and salaries in the communities where they work.

And don't overlook the fact that vehicle manufacturers don't make very much on the sales of new cars and trucks. The real money is made on service and repairs, a large part of which is labor.
Please note I said profit, not revenue. Profit is the money left after expenses, which include wages. The profits from the foreign transplants goes back to the home country.

Your statement on manufacturers making money on service and repair is totally wrong. Vehicle manufactures don't make a dime off of the labor costs for repairs. Warranty work cost the manufacturers, and once a vehicle is out of warranty, any cost of repairs is paid to the dealers, not the manufacturers. At best, they may make money from parts sales, but even that is iffy since most people don't buy their parts from dealers unless they can't get them elsewhere. You should also remember that with the exception of the engine and transmission proper, along with the sheet metal, the auto manufactures make almost no parts for their cars, instead buying them from suppliers. In most cases, these suppliers sell parts used in repairs, not the auto manufacturers. That is why you see far more car parts places around than car dealers. And none of the parts they sell come from the auto manufacturers.
11-25-2012, 12:07 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Please note I said profit, not revenue. Profit is the money left after expenses, which include wages. The profits from the foreign transplants goes back to the home country.
You are correct.

And the profit (money left over after expenses) of the Big 3 does not stay entirely in North America. As I pointed out, all of them are operating on the world stage, and currently are investing heavily in overseas operations.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Your statement on manufacturers making money on service and repair is totally wrong. Vehicle manufactures don't make a dime off of the labor costs for repairs.
Sure they do. Every dealership operates as a franchise of the brand it sells and services. A portion of every dollar that is paid to the dealership goes straight back to the manufacturer.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
Warranty work cost the manufacturers, and once a vehicle is out of warranty, any cost of repairs is paid to the dealers, not the manufacturers.
True.

The manufacturer bears the cost of warranty work, and pays that to the dealer franchisee, following a strict labor cost guide. Dealers dislike doing the majority of warranty work because the techs cannot always perform the work in the time allowed by the manufacturer.

The dealers will do everything they can to get out of doing warranty work.

Even lie and say it is "normal wear and tear".

But not all work performed by a dealer is warranty work. And as I pointed out, dealerships operate under license from the manufacturer, and the manufacturer gets a percentage of all business performed by those franchises.

Plenty of car owners are convinced that the only proper service is that done at the dealer where they purchased the car. I have known many people over the years who have taken their cars to the dealer religiously for the periodic service.

Some of them have come to me to ask about charges and services that were performed. Having been an ASE certified auto and truck master mechanic for 30 years they felt that my background and professional expertise might be of some help. I have always been shocked to see how much the dealers charge for things that can not even be done, like greasing the u-joints and steering components on "lubed for life" parts.

These dealerships charge upwards of $800 for a 60,000 mile service.

For what amounts to an oil and filter change.

Then they find all kinds of things "wrong" with the car and charge the customer for repairs and parts.

It's a freakin' racket, and they rip off the customer, who doesn't have a clue.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
At best, they may make money from parts sales, but even that is iffy since most people don't buy their parts from dealers unless they can't get them elsewhere.
There are plenty of dealer only parts on cars. And many car owners are convinced that the only good parts available come from the dealer. In some cases that is correct, but not all.

For instance, I will only buy oil filters from the dealer for my Subaru and Toyota. The aftermarket filters are inferior, cut them open and you will see the difference.

The oil and fuel filters for the Cummins engine in my Dodge pickup are very expensive at the Dodge dealer, and I know that I can buy Fleetguard brand filters at the local heavy truck shop that are made by the same company that makes the filters that Dodge sells. Take them out of the box and set them next to each other, and besides the Mopar logo on the ones from Dodge, you cannot tell the difference. Cut them open and they are identical.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
You should also remember that with the exception of the engine and transmission proper, along with the sheet metal, the auto manufactures make almost no parts for their cars, instead buying them from suppliers. In most cases, these suppliers sell parts used in repairs, not the auto manufacturers. That is why you see far more car parts places around than car dealers.
The manufacturer branded parts are produced and sold under license by the manufacturer, and the manufacturer gets a percentage of the money earned from those parts sales.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
And none of the parts they sell come from the auto manufacturers.
"None" is pretty absolute.

I wouldn't go so far as to say "none" of the parts come from the manufacturers.

Say for instance the gas tank on your Ford Focus gets damaged in an accident and needs replaced. Sure, it was produced by a vendor, most likely Kautex Textron in Lavonia, GA. But you won't be able to run down to your local Auto Zone and order one up. And you won't be able to buy it directly from Kautex Textron. No, you will need to go to the local Ford dealer and place an order, and when you get it, it will be packaged in a box that bears the Ford logo.

And just for illustration, let's say that in that same accident the oil pan is damaged, and can't be repaired by simply welding a hole that was punctured in it, or it can't be hammered back into shape and reused. You will be hard pressed to get a wrecking yard to sell you just an oil pan off of an engine that they have pulled from a wrecked Focus. So you will need to got to the dealer and order that too. And again, it is likely that a subcontractor has manufactured the oil pans for the engines that Ford builds for the Focus, but you won't be able to buy that part from the subcontractor through the local Auto Zone. It will be a dealer only item, and come with the Ford logo on the box.

You won't be able to buy the headlight or taillight housings at the local Auto Zone either. The dealer will be the only option.

If you need to replace the passenger door interior panel on your Focus the dealer is the only option.

Try and buy a wiring harness from Auto Zone.

Got an F250 4 wheel drive? How about this? You go out 4 wheeling, run over a stump and bend the driveshaft, front axle trailing arm and front axle housing. Now if you have a good driveshaft shop nearby you can get another shaft made up. But the trailing arm and axle housing? Good luck. So it is off to the Ford dealer, give them the pertinent information, and order up a new trailing arm and housing. The parts show up, most likely fabricated by a 3rd party vendor, but bearing the Ford logo, and only available through the Ford dealer.

There are thousands of parts on cars. And plenty of them are dealer only items. And the dealer pays a percentage of every parts sale to the manufacturer as part of the franchise agreement.

11-25-2012, 01:00 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
You are correct.

For instance, I will only buy oil filters from the dealer for my Subaru and Toyota. The aftermarket filters are inferior, cut them open and you will see the difference.

I'll put my dual Amsoil filtration system up against your filters any time, but I realize that I'm not a standard user. So let's talk about some filters you can buy from Autozone or other parts places that do compare to yours. Delco, a former GM subsidiary and now completely independent supplier has been ranked by Consumer's' Reports are top in the field. Other 3rd party test facilities have also given top nods to Wix and Fleet (who make many OEM filters), and the pricey but very well made Mobil 1 filter. If you are comparing yours to the likes of Fram on the other hand, I will agree wholeheartedly. But my point is, I have never bought an oil filter from a dealer, yet I use filters that meet or exceed what they provide. The same thing applies to the fuel filters on my Diesel truck. I purchase them in bulk (6 to 12 at a time) online and it's not from any auto dealers.

The oil and fuel filters for the Cummins engine in my Dodge pickup are very expensive at the Dodge dealer, and I know that I can buy Fleetguard brand filters at the local heavy truck shop that are made by the same company that makes the filters that Dodge sells. Take them out of the box and set them next to each other, and besides the Mopar logo on the ones from Dodge, you cannot tell the difference. Cut them open and they are identical.

The manufacturer branded parts are produced and sold under license by the manufacturer, and the manufacturer gets a percentage of the money earned from those parts sales.

This is true of parts sold at the dealer. But go to a auto parts store and see how many Auto brand parts you find. The last fuel pump I bought from (then) Murray's here in Michigan, came in a plain cardboard box. Inside was a paper with Chinese characters on it, while on the fuel pump itself, was a sticker that said "Delco". If you think GM got .0001 of a cent from the sale of that pump, you're mistaken. I'm not even sure Delco did.

"None" is pretty absolute.

I wouldn't go so far as to say "none" of the parts come from the manufacturers.

Say for instance the gas tank on your Ford Focus gets damaged in an accident and needs replaced. Sure, it was produced by a vendor, most likely Kautex Textron in Lavonia, GA. But you won't be able to run down to your local Auto Zone and order one up. And you won't be able to buy it directly from Kautex Textron. No, you will need to go to the local Ford dealer and place an order, and when you get it, it will be packaged in a box that bears the Ford logo.

I stand by my statement of none. You can't go to Autozone and buy a gas tank that I'm aware of. And while they do carry some parts with the names of auto companies parts suppliers on them, such as Delco, I'll bet you dollars to donuts the auto company gets nothing from their sale. I spent 3 years working with GM Purchasing, and the only parts they received money from were those GM produced, or were sold through their dealers.

And just for illustration, let's say that in that same accident the oil pan is damaged, and can't be repaired by simply welding a hole that was punctured in it, or it can't be hammered back into shape and reused. You will be hard pressed to get a wrecking yard to sell you just an oil pan off of an engine that they have pulled from a wrecked Focus. So you will need to got to the dealer and order that too. And again, it is likely that a subcontractor has manufactured the oil pans for the engines that Ford builds for the Focus, but you won't be able to buy that part from the subcontractor through the local Auto Zone. It will be a dealer only item, and come with the Ford logo on the box.

You won't be able to buy the headlight or taillight housings at the local Auto Zone either. The dealer will be the only option.

If you need to replace the passenger door interior panel on your Focus the dealer is the only option.

Try and buy a wiring harness from Auto Zone.

Got an F250 4 wheel drive? How about this? You go out 4 wheeling, run over a stump and bend the driveshaft, front axle trailing arm and front axle housing. Now if you have a good driveshaft shop nearby you can get another shaft made up. But the trailing arm and axle housing? Good luck. So it is off to the Ford dealer, give them the pertinent information, and order up a new trailing arm and housing. The parts show up, most likely fabricated by a 3rd party vendor, but bearing the Ford logo, and only available through the Ford dealer.

There are thousands of parts on cars. And plenty of them are dealer only items. And the dealer pays a percentage of every parts sale to the manufacturer as part of the franchise agreement.
While I agree there are parts you can't normally get from sources other than the dealer, there are more than you think. For example, we have a wrecking yard here that deals only in GM parts. You can get almost any part from them you need. There are also many places producing sheet metal parts using kirksite dies. If GM looked at parts sales as Cash Cows, why have they closed down so many of their parts warehouses? It's because GM (as well as Ford & Chrysler) do not want to be in the parts business. The warehouses they haven't closed are only around because of government requirements that force auto manufacturers to provide parts for certain number of years after the product is discontinued, and even those parts are being sold to third party vendors.
11-25-2012, 01:13 PM   #36
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Living in Africa and driving to a lot of places off road, there is only one vehicle range worth buying... Toyota Land Cruiser... American and European cars are not built to be as reliable nor as tough and im including the likes of Land Rover.... If you want to drive on good quality road surfaces and your favourite brand still has service plans buy whatever you like... With American and European makes you are going to become very intimate with your service centres shuttle bus...
11-26-2012, 06:20 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
The dealers will do everything they can to get out of doing warranty work.
Even lie and say it is "normal wear and tear".
Indeed, and that is why "a reliable dealership" was one of my top 3 most important criteria to choose a new car.

Pat

12-02-2012, 05:36 AM   #38
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May I join in this discussion,even tho' I am not form North America?

1. I am from the UK

2. I drive around 30,000 miles per year and have done so for the past 31 years, before that only 2,000 miles per year. I put around 60 to 70,000 miles on a car before I change it.

3. I have a vacation in the USA twice a year if I can afford it and I always rent a car, always an American brand.

The guys ar Alamo or Dollar always try and get me to upgrade to an SUV, which I point out is not usually an upgade to us brits or a BMW.

I come to the USA to drive a US car.

In britain I have owned Fords (never again) GM ( had 7 and all were solid reliable cars) Audi ( shocking) BMW ( expensive and clutch problems on the 2.0l D variants, Toyota ( solid workhorse lacking refinment and average build) andf lastly Citroen ( nice to drive but very poor quality control and start to rattle within 10,000 miles)

For the last 10 years I have drived diesels exclusively for the torque, grunt and fuel economy. I average around 50mpg but the BMW did almost 60 mpg

I tend to look out for my following favourites at the rental booth and go for the leather and big engine options. I generally get a renatl with less than 6,000 miles on the odometer but sometines have had them with just 3,000 miles on at pickup.

Buick Lacrosse
Chrysler 300c
Lincoln MKS

The best one to drive has been the Lacrosse with 6 or 7 speed sequential gearbox and 4 wheel powertrain but I have enjoyed them all.

Build quality has been improving over the last 14 years but I would say it is about the level of Toyota, but not BMW

I am luckiy to get 25 mpg in the USA, but I do like to make swift progress.

Edit to add, the Dodge Charger is the one car that I would like to rent , but they are never on the lot or within my budget of 'Luxury' car

Also edited to add that in the UK, the premium brands for car enthusiasts are BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Audi. Lexus although a premium brand is not driven by car enthusiasts and usually drivers tend to be older, ethnic and have a lower level of road awareness.

Honda are driven by coffin dodgers, and Korean brands are considered to be driven by people not interested in cars, the exception being the Subaru Imprezza.

The fatest growing marques form lesser stables are the VAG brands Skoda and Seat and Hyundai and personally I would consider both Skoda and Saet for my next car.

Last edited by Aardvark; 12-02-2012 at 05:55 AM.
12-02-2012, 09:21 AM   #39
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Jeep.

Everything else.
12-02-2012, 11:31 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
And don't overlook the fact that vehicle manufacturers don't make very much on the sales of new cars and trucks. The real money is made on service and repairs, a large part of which is labor
Well that depends.

If it's government motors; then they used to be the same basic company as GMAC - even thogh both received many seperate versions of bailouts. Now GMAC is known as Ally. -And yes, most of the automotive car companies throughout the world do manage to make quite the dime on when vehicles are manufactured and sold.

Case in point... Ones local Ford dealership. Take a wild guess at how much Ford corporate makes on every dealership? Btw part of it's based on whether the dealership makes any sales at all, and the other portion is based exclusively on sales numbers. But Ford has also been nown to really stick it to franchise dealership owners.

In the late 90's and early 2000's Ford made it quite difficult on it's franchise owners - forcing many hundreds out throughout even america. One only has to stop by the remaining dealerships to hear some of the horror stories from back then.
12-02-2012, 11:33 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by GordonZA Quote
Living in Africa and driving to a lot of places off road, there is only one vehicle range worth buying... Toyota Land Cruiser... American and European cars are not built to be as reliable nor as tough and im including the likes of Land Rover.... If you want to drive on good quality road surfaces and your favourite brand still has service plans buy whatever you like... With American and European makes you are going to become very intimate with your service centres shuttle bus...
BMW X-5 diesel owner here. The engine will very much outlast the frame of the vehicle
12-07-2012, 01:13 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
BMW X-5 diesel owner here. The engine will very much outlast the frame of the vehicle
I rented an X-5 diesel in Spain a while back. I put about 1,600km on it driving around Andalucia. It was a great car.

We don't really get a lot of American cars in Europe (or Asia for that matter, other than Buick being popular in China and Ford Expeditions being status symbols in Manila), so I'm always in BMWs or Mercedes. Diesels if I can. Here in HK I have a Mercedes, but I use my bicycle more!

Last American car I was in was a Chevrolet HHR. Pretty crap. Looks like Noddy's car too.
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