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Old 12-17-2008, 09:58 AM   #1
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"Why I drive an American car"

This was a blog article linked on GM's own blog...and this guy just oozes emotion; so I wanted to share.


"I didn’t always drive American cars.

About five years ago I woke up one day with the realization that any purchase I make directly impacts people in my neighborhood, my town, my state. Plus, I expected and hoped my fellow Michiganders would choose to shop in my stores, support charities I believe in and otherwise contribute to the well-being of our community – but I didn’t behave the same way in return. My purchases weren’t governed by a local-business-first focus, looking for the quality, service or selection in products made close to home before turning to sources from afar, because I didn’t believe one person could make a difference.

I was wrong.

My epiphany came as I stood on slick-top pavement in a moon-lit night, waiting for my car after a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

I stood with General Motors Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz, watching foreign car after foreign car drive away into the rain-slicked night. He turned to me as those foreign luxury vehicles peeled out of the parking lot and said, “How many people realize that when they buy an American luxury vehicle, they’re providing work for a dozen people for at least a week?”

Before then, I hadn’t felt in my bones the direct connection between the car I drive and the people in my hometown being in, or out, of a job. Many of my friends had told me so, but I didn’t listen - friends from other countries, shaking their heads in disbelief at the thought of neglecting one’s homeland.

I see it now.

And I feel it in my heart.

It struck me that night that I expected all of these people to support my local causes – ALS of Michigan for one - with their presence and their pocketbooks . Why didn’t I expect the same from them with regard to the place that gave us life and ensured our freedom of consumer choice?

I don’t even remember what kind of car I was driving, but the next day I bought a Cadillac STS and loved it. All of my preconceived notions that foreign cars were better-made and were longer-lasting, well, they proved untrue.

As a son of the Motor City, I can honestly say that for years, I found it easy to look across the ocean and see nothing bad in a car born overseas– a rose-colored view of the exotic promise of a place I didn’t know the texture of or the smells. I can describe the air-clear scent of the Detroit River and the open-sky echo of children on a summer day on Belle Isle, but I couldn’t tell you about the rapid plod of workers’ footsteps in a Korean, German, Bavarian or Japanese town or the series of sunset hues in their dusk.

Intimacy doesn’t always breed loyalty. In my own backyard, I could hurl the easiest accusations, based on nothing factual at all, and believe them true.

It’s harder to see a beautiful thing from close up.

My Cadillac is a superior vehicle in every way. Yes, I feel duty-bound and even intellectually-motivated to buy American, but I have to say that I buy American cars first and foremost because I know I’m getting a great product crafted by hands I know and with whom I share a destiny.

Plus, as I drive down the road, I feel like I’m part of a secret society of people taking care of one another.

Of course, any car you buy locally and drive off a lot owned by a guy who lives on your block means you’re in some way supporting local commerce. Still, it’s infinitely compelling to know that 100% of the car I drive was created, assembled and finessed just a few miles from where I live.

Dozens of Michiganders took part in the creation of my vehicle, from concept to the moment I drove it off the lot.

American cars have a long illustrious history. It’s OUR history, for we come from a place of innovation and belief in the discovery, invention and possibility of great things." ~Jim Hiller
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:06 AM   #2
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Nice story! I would be ticked if i was waiting for the valet to bring my foreign car then Bob lutz said that.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:10 AM   #3
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Well said. :flag2:
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:14 AM   #4
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That is a great sory... now if we could only get the media to report this.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:14 AM   #5
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i drive one because they are better than imports lately. import quality has gone down. new honda civic quality is much less than last gens for example
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:17 AM   #6
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Yeah my sisters Camry (ugh, I don't even like saying that) Just blew up two of her four oil lines, while the car is still under warranty. They are refusing to warranty it. She is not very happy with it right now.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaro_corvette View Post
Yeah my sisters Camry (ugh, I don't even like saying that) Just blew up two of her four oil lines, while the car is still under warranty. They are refusing to warranty it. She is not very happy with it right now.
Isn't Toyota's warranty policy: "If we can blame the driver; do it?"
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:55 AM   #8
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that's both toyota and hona
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:58 AM   #9
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Nice!
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:10 AM   #10
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And least when something goes wrong with an American car, we don't crap them out their warranty
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:12 PM   #11
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Isn't Toyota's warranty policy: "If we can blame the driver; do it?"
Seems to be. I used to work at a Toyota dealership and I needed a new car at the time. The obvious route was to use my discount on a Toyota product, but then I saw the rapidly declining quality and reliability, and the problems with service work. Yes the Japanese cars up until the mid 2000s actually were very nice and probably better than their American competitors, but things changed. I saw where it was all going. I looked at Toyota and saw complacency. The people believed they were high quality, good cars, they had Consumer Reports firmly in their pocket, and the rest of the media was coming right along as a free marketing and PR team. With all this confidence and loyalty, Toyota simply stopped trying and quality plummeted. I bought a Cobalt instead and it has been wonderful. Easy maintenance, low costs, very fuel efficient, fun to drive, and as reliable as you could hope for. Immediately after I bought the Cobalt, the Scion tC, the other car I was considering, was recalled for side airbags that deployed if the door was shut too firmly. My grandma bought a Rav4 on my discount and it is repaired weekly. I buy American because buying Japanese means buying rapidly declining quality and reliability.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:24 PM   #12
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i say after 04-05 they started going down, domestic has been going up since 00
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:25 PM   #13
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What will it take for the American public to realize that everything they purchase reflects on the American Economy. Either supporting or dragging it down…. Obviously for the last 40 years it hasn’t dawned on most people because it has not affected their job or way of life. They think that, like this person did, they are only one person, and it is only one purchase, how can that hurt anyone? Maybe it will take a closing of your plant and losing your job to people that live thousands of miles away. It has happened to many people, but most of the time they blame the company they worked for, for mismanagement, instead of looking around their own house and their own garage to see what is inside.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:43 PM   #14
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Isn't Toyota's warranty policy: "If we can blame the driver; do it?"
Thing is this was a week ago and they are still waiting on parts. She lives in the same town the car was built, and she has to wait over a week to get parts??? WTF! On top of that, they gave her a corolla as a rental, they gave a lawyer a tiny little corolla. Better believe their gonna get it!
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stovt001 View Post
Seems to be. I used to work at a Toyota dealership and I needed a new car at the time. The obvious route was to use my discount on a Toyota product, but then I saw the rapidly declining quality and reliability, and the problems with service work. Yes the Japanese cars up until the mid 2000s actually were very nice and probably better than their American competitors, but things changed. I saw where it was all going. I looked at Toyota and saw complacency. The people believed they were high quality, good cars, they had Consumer Reports firmly in their pocket, and the rest of the media was coming right along as a free marketing and PR team. With all this confidence and loyalty, Toyota simply stopped trying and quality plummeted. I bought a Cobalt instead and it has been wonderful. Easy maintenance, low costs, very fuel efficient, fun to drive, and as reliable as you could hope for. Immediately after I bought the Cobalt, the Scion tC, the other car I was considering, was recalled for side airbags that deployed if the door was shut too firmly. My grandma bought a Rav4 on my discount and it is repaired weekly. I buy American because buying Japanese means buying rapidly declining quality and reliability.
let's only hope and pray that the American manufacturers don't develop that same kind of attitude when people finally realize that our cars are as good or better than foreign competitors. if that happens, we'll go right back to where we're at now.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:00 PM   #16
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but the next day I bought a Cadillac STS and loved it.
who has the monies to just "go buy a car (a cadillac) the next day"?!

and let me ask the question again because last time i didn't get an answer (maybe because there is no "right" answer?). as a german born person currently living in the US. what am i supposed to buy? lol. should i be neutral and buy something completely different? ;p
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:01 PM   #17
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Thing is this was a week ago and they are still waiting on parts. She lives in the same town the car was built, and she has to wait over a week to get parts??? WTF! On top of that, they gave her a corolla as a rental, they gave a lawyer a tiny little corolla. Better believe their gonna get it!
Be glad you didn't buy one back in the 80's. My brother bought a new 87 Toyota pickup, about a year later he had an accident... it took 3 months to get a Hood and Front fender for the truck. it seems like at that time they did not have a parts warehous in the USA. and everything had to be shipped from Japan...

Oh, I bought an 87 S-10 at about the same time, had a guy back into it in the parking lot here at work, destroyed the tailgate and rear quarter panel, Had it back in two weeks.

p.s. his truck also rusted out in 3 years.....
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:03 PM   #18
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who has the monies to just "go buy a car the next day"?!
Lots of people if they decided to go out tomorrow and buy a new car could... that isn't unusual, I dropped my wife off at work one morning and told her I was going to go buy a new truck that morning, Guess what, I picked her up at lunch in a new Chevy truck...
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:06 PM   #19
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Lots of people if they decided to go out tomorrow and buy a new car could... that isn't unusual, I dropped my wife off at work one morning and told her I was going to go buy a new truck that morning, Guess what, I picked her up at lunch in a new Chevy truck...
i assume a chevy truck is "a little" cheaper than a cadillac.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:06 PM   #20
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"It's harder to see a beautiful thing up close"

I really liked that
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All of the stang guys in one thread..wow..lol
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:08 PM   #21
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who has the monies to just "go buy a car the next day"?!

and let me ask the question again because last time i didn't get an answer (maybe because there is no "right" answer?). as a german born person currently living in the US. what am i supposed to buy? lol. should i be neutral and buy something completely different? ;p
My dad buys cars with a check. Must be nice to have money...

If your planning on living in germany again then i say support your country, but if not then go out there and look, because they are not the only country making cars right now.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:14 PM   #22
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and let me ask the question again because last time i didn't get an answer (maybe because there is no "right" answer?). as a german born person currently living in the US. what am i supposed to buy? lol. should i be neutral and buy something completely different? ;p
Seem obvious to me. You live in the USA, Shouldn't you support the country where you live and pay taxes?
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:18 PM   #23
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i assume a chevy truck is "a little" cheaper than a cadillac.
You just asked who could go out and buy a new car the next day, you didn't stipulate how expensive a car you had to buy, but I would assume not above your means.
plus he was at an event with Bob Lutz, and everyone was driving expensive luxury cars, so I would assume he had one too and could afford a Cadillac. I bought a Chevy because that is what I could afford.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:37 PM   #24
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who has the monies to just "go buy a car (a cadillac) the next day"?!
I might have left out that this guy is the CEO of Hiller Markets, a chain of supermarkets in Michigan.
So he's got some money...

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and let me ask the question again because last time i didn't get an answer (maybe because there is no "right" answer?). as a german born person currently living in the US. what am i supposed to buy? lol. should i be neutral and buy something completely different? ;p
That depends. Where you're born doesn't matter for this question. Or else my family should all be buying Italian-made cars. What matters is where you plan to live, work, and flourish. Which country will allow you to do that for the majority of your lifetime? Germany, or the US? Answer that question, and you know which products, and policies to support.
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