• May 12, 2006

The Level Field Institute, a group comprised of retired domestic auto workers, is telling consumers "What you drive, drives America" in an attempt to convince car buyers to purchase vehicles from the-group-of-nominally-domestic-automakers-previously-referred-to-as-the-Big-3. The ad campaign uses a variety of statistics to drive home its point, including the fact that direct employment by the US automakers is roughly 3.5 times that of the "transplants" (foreign automakers that produce vehicles in the US). Jason Vines, Chrysler's VP of Communications and always someone that's good for a quote, states "Baseball, hot dogs and Toyota? Sorry, it doesn't ring a bell."

While we fully support the concept of buying domestically-produced consumer products, we also feel that this campaign has an aura of desperation about it - as is often the case when an advertising campaign deviates from focus on the product itself. There is also the simple difficulty in determining the origin of a vehicle; as we posted earlier this week, the domestic content "gap" is closing between "domestic" and "foreign" vehicles, and the information displayed to consumers on the origin of a vehicle's content is often difficult to understand (or perhaps even misleading).

[Source: Detroit News]



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  • 72 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Buying a "Big 3" product is not good for ANY American. It is naive to consider either of these companies as "American." What they are is huge multinational corporations pimping out as many jobs as possible to China, South America, Mexico, and any other low wage labor market that can be exploited. Screw GM Ford AND Daimler-Chrysler; they do not support the American people, so why should any American support them. They are merely reaping as they have sown.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #9 hit it right on the nose:
      "REAL Americans compete. Whining is not competing. We still have some businesses and industries that are the leaders in the world. Those businesses are run and staffed by people who simply care about being the best."

      Since when did we become a country full of lazyasses that would rather complain and run ridiculous ads rather than trying to churn out a better product? I love America, but I'm not an idiot. I'm spending my dollar where I can get the most for it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "37. It's funny when people don't care about American jobs until loss of the jobs comes back to affect them or until decreasing stock market indexes hurt them individually. I know of a doctor who lives in the Detroit area, doesn't drive a Big 3 product and is now thinking of moving away because her patients are losing their jobs and she's getting fewer appointments. If you're in business and you want to help yourself, help your customers and your local community. I can understand that if you live in Columbus, Ohio that you might want to buy a Honda. But also think of this. Say you work for a financial investment company in Boston perhaps, one that has a large nubmer of clients who are employees of GM. Wouldn't it be wise to buy a GM product? If you don't and your customers lose jobs and don't invest, then you shouldn't complain. Job losses trickle down to all parts of the economy. It's especially true of well-paying jobs like those in the auto industry, (both white and blue collar). I would guarantee that the Big 3 have many more white collar employees in the U.S. than do the overseas based companies.

      Let's not forget that unfair trade practices don't make the global automotive industry a fair playing field. Since our government does nothing to help the Big 3, perhaps we should think about helping on our own. I'm not saying buy from the Big 3 blindly because they have to learn to compete. But at least fairly consider their products and don't succumb to the Ant-American mentality. Whatever happened to patriotism (in pursuits besides war), anyway?"

      Why should anyone else care about Union jobs if they themselves don't.
      ALMOST ALL union workers I have read abotu have a VISCERAL hatred for the companies in which they work. They're always suspicious and combative--always accusing the company of "hiding money" (an ALARMMING number of union workers think that not only is GM solvent, but THRIVING and "BETTER than ever"!).

      It's YOUR fault dude.

      Remember the 1980s? When you were so inflexible, Gm couldn't restructure?

      Why are you complaining now?

      If the union hadn't been there at all, GM would have turned around a long time ago. But noooo. You guys have to dictate:

      --Where Bob Lutz sleeps at night
      --What suppliers can supply parts to GM
      --The suppliers' wages
      --Where GM can make a car
      --How many of a certain car GM can make
      --What GM makes at a certain plant
      --Whether or not GM can use robots to boost efficiency
      --That GM cannot have you guys do to many things at once; making three men do the job one man can do (thus making everybody get rotator cuff from the repetitive motions they must make every day and then socking the company with the healthcare bill)
      --The jobs bank (a most egregious and silly idea, the likes of which I have never seen).

      Spare us, please!
      We will buy American when they can be AMERICAN companies.
      AMERICAN companies, being in the land of capitalism, can:

      --Set their own wages
      --make product decisions
      --determine where to build them
      --adjust production for demand (and hiring accordingly)

      But noooo. GM and Ford may as well be in Europe.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #35

      Lots of stuff. Appliances comes to mind. Power tools. Military vehicles. I'm sure there's a lot more but that was just 30 seconds worth of thinking.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'll repeat:

      How many of you actually READ the article?

      Direct and INDIRECT" employees, and did you look at the chart of "Direct" employee numbers included?

      So for those of you that didn't, do, then, recalculate your too many employee bullshit.

      Instead of HEADLINE reading read the whole article.
      Paul
      • 8 Years Ago
      #46
      I cant agree. anyone who buys any american product or supports an american company is a total ass. the world laughs at american products. Dated technology and poor assembly. the japanese rate american products just a step above russian made goods. american workers are lazy and overpaid and the management looks no further than the next quarter. the engineers that are home grown are incompetant. That is why america needs imported engineering talent. outsourcing will save america at least until the economy collapses.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh, Christ. Here we go again. Another dumbass smoke screen. So much of "domestic" brand cars are built beyond our borders... making this arguement totally irrelevant.

      I'm sorry. I don't feel compelled at all to buy cars that will not save any American jobs... but only to put money in the pockets of fat cat executives who continue to be rewarded by lavish compensation packages despite their piss-poor performance.
      • 8 Years Ago
      After finally buying two North American cars (both Fords), I fully agree on those numbers. The only problem is, from my experience, a large number of those jobs are for mechanics who were constantly repairing the autos. I have the repair bills to prove it.

      I have given Ford two chances and they've blown it both times.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They might as well tie-in the purchase of a non-Big 3 vehicle to terrorism. I can see it now: The Bush administration finds 'intelligence' toward plans that Japan is planning a second Pearl Harbor (with ninjas and hybrid airplanes, of course).

      That'd make about as much sense as this campaign. Even considering the plight of American labor and factories, that won't be what makes buyers sign on the dotted line for a Mercury versus a Mazda.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Please stop the U.S. bashing, BTW. It's dumb. The US is not going to "fail" (as long as they keep electing pro-business leaders).

      Let me give you a hint:

      --"Right to work" is pro-business (hint, hint)
      --Low taxes are pro-business
      --The flat tax is pro-business
      --Low regulations is pro-business
      --OIL from WHEREVER WE CAN GET IT (ANWR, cough, cough, Gulf of Mexico, cough)
      --A smaller, less intrusive Federal government is pro-business

      Union workers only need to look at France to see that the only way to protect jobs is to vote pro-business (the opposite of how they vote now).
      All the people who "support" you intellectually (on the coasts, won't even touch the cars you make!!! THAT is hilarious!).
      Some "progressives" they are.

      The government should IMMEDIATELY promote science at the college level, by DE-FUNDING Women's Studies majors!!! Same for Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Studies Majors.
      What a collosal WASTE of federal money!
      There is no way they should get as much financial aid as engineers and Math/Science majors etc!!
      They produce NOTHING to boost our economy! (Not to mention how they LOVE to tear down the country itself).
      The latter's loans should be forgiven and their grants increased.
      The former should have to pay their own way .
      The same goes for FILM STUDIES.
      Spare us...please!

      The US has weathered Japan before. I hope we take cues about capitalism from Singapore.

      Free GM!!!
      Support Right to Work!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      How could they NOT respond with ads of their own considering how the Asian companies are overplaying their impact on the U.S. economy? Toyota 10 plants? great, but I'd rather have GM's 70 or 80.

      I like foreign investment too, but unfortunately for every asian job made here in the U.S, its several big three or spinoff jobs lost.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Most of the pro-Asian car people morons who post here have screwed up priorities based on ignorant beliefs about American car quality and their origins."

      Actually "Bob" I've owned both American (Pontiac) and Asian (Nissan) vehicles, and the reality that you won't accept is, the American one was a brittle POS that tried to steal all my money with repairs.

      Now, if I bought another Pontiac, THEN I'd be a moron.
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