I recently wrote an article about GM building a new Buick with a turbo 4 cylinder, 6 speed manual transmission car. [See original article here] One of the comments I received to the article was from reader Steve Clark who stated:

Well, I’m not an old man either,but…I remember when gas went from 59 centa gallon to a buck-plus and we waited in lines.
My grandfather sold Datsuns… called Nissans now,Mercurys and Buicks. I’ve owned several Buicks. I like comfort. Skinny girls don’t turn me on. GM has built some very comfortable cars.. So is Ford and I like to buy American. The LeSabre Buick made in the 90’s was a nice car. I put 240K on one- and I sold it to a guy 2 years ago and he’s still styling ’round in it.
I wouldn’t call the undertaker yet. GM & Ford aren’t gasping. And while we’re at it- I don’t like Chineese clothes,Arab oil and Korean cars. I’ll pay more if it keep YOU in an American job in America.

Well Steve I found your comments interesting since I also recall 59 cents a gallon gasoline and I also sat in the gas lines like you did. Like yourself I had always bought an American built car. But my last American car I owned, a Ford T-bird was nothing but a pain in the ass. It started with transmission trouble, followed by a cracked intake manifold, a heater core leaking and finally a blown head gasket. The unfortunate thing is that the car only had 63,500 miles on it!

On the day I received the $2,000 estimate to fix the head gasket, I had the car towed to the junk yard! I went to a Kia dealership and leased a new Sportage. When the lease ended I bought a new Nissan Rogue. But this is just me, and the decision I made to buy Korean and a Japanese vehicles. What I found interesting about your statement is that you believe that buying anything but an American car takes away American jobs.

The Korean car company Kia has built a 1 Billion dollar assembly plant in Georgia to build their cars here in the U.S. The factory was built by Americans, the cars are being built by Americans, are sold at American dealerships and also serviced by Americans. Hyundai, another Korean company,  has been building their cars in Alabama.

Here is a blurb from Honda:

Honda has steadily expanded its U.S. presence to encompass a broad range of products and operations. Today, Honda employs more than 27,000 U.S. associates engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, sale and servicing of Honda and Acura products including automobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, personal water craft, power equipment, and an advanced light jet.

Honda operates 10 U.S. manufacturing plants with two new plants under construction, along with 14 R&D facilities and more than 12 regional sales, parts and service, and finance offices around the country. The company’s network of U.S. parts suppliers comprises 545 companies in 34 states with annual purchases exceeding $17.5 billion in 2008.

Guess where Honda builds their cars at? Ohio. Built by Americans, sold by Americans, serviced by Americans, parts by Americans for Americans. Last year I watched the Discovery channel which was about Honda. They build Accords here in the U.S. and ship them back to Japan to sell.

Forbes had this article:

Volkswagen is erecting an assembly plant in Tennessee, Kia Motors has a plant going up in Georgia, and Toyota Motor is putting one up in Mississippi, although it has delayed opening there because of the slump in auto sales.

Foreign auto manufacturers and suppliers already have a massive presence in the U.S. Many of these new transplant factories are in the Sun Belt: South Carolina (BMW), Mississippi and, Tennessee (Nissan), Alabama (Mercedes, Honda , and Hyundai), Texas and Kentucky (Toyota). The foreigners do have a few plants in the North, too: Honda in Ohio and Indiana, and Toyota and Subaru-Toyota in Indiana.

I’m not going to enter into the debate between union and non union jobs. What I want to know is if buying a Korean or Japanese car is Un-American as some believe it is? I personally do not believe this. What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Honda news

Forbes article