Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Buy an American Car and Save an American Job?

We traditionalists wish only the best for Ford and GM. Competition is good, providing consumers with more choices and lower prices, other things equal.

These American car brands have fallen upon hard times recently, though. With high-cost labor and older, less productive factories, compared to their Japanese counterparts, the American companies have struggled to earn a profit. There's even talk that they could go under, like venerable old Studebaker did in 1966.

It's gratifying to see that American cars do pretty well in the J. D. Power quality ratings. There's Lincoln, Buick, and Cadillac ahead of Infiniti, and not too far behind Lexus. And, it looks like Nissan, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, and Isuzu, Japanese brands all, have a bit of catching up to do with the iron that Detroit pumps out.

Since a lot of the Japanese companies now build their vehicles in the USA, I don't know how many, if any, jobs a person might save by buying an American brand. What a person would save by buying a Ford or Chevy is tradition. If that has any value to you, then act accordingly.



At 2:23 PM, Blogger Benji said...

Also, I believe that the American automobile industry is falling because a lot of American brand are only made for the America continent. I mean you hardly ever see American brand car in Europe because they are too inconvenient and use too much gas since gas is expensive. Also if you go to African country and Asian, the same phenomenon. Asian automobile constructors are smart in the fact that they develop cars and trucks that will fit in every country on the globe and so there market is a lot bigger than the American automobile constructors. I guess that group such as Ford understood that and they owned Brand such as Land Rover, Aston Martin or Jaguar that are european car and so they enlarge their client base. Anyway, I believe that if the American car industry will try to have some car for the european market, they could increase their sale and in consequences increase the production, and therefore increase job ooportunity in America and increase exportation.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

"Since a lot of the Japanese companies now build their vehicles in the USA, I don't know how many, if any, jobs a person might save by buying an American brand."

That's an odd way for an economist to put the matter. If American cars were built in the US and Japanese cars built in Japan, would you conclude that buying American cars saved American jobs?

Wouldn't it make more sense to say that buying an American car instead of a Japanese car saves the jobs of American auto workers at the cost of the jobs of American farmers--or whatever other American workes produce the goods we send Japan in exchange for cars?

The Japanese are, no doubt, fine and generous people, but I wouldn't expect them to send us their cars for free--and if they did, surely it would be foolish to refuse to accept them.


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