Response to a local dealer's propaganda

(Most of this I originally wrote a couple of years ago in response to a local dealership'sads in a local newspaper (in Amish Country, Ohio) attempting to sound patriotic and to fight the flow of customers away from GM. I thought this blog would be a good place to preserve this rant. I also updated some lost links and added a little. Nicholson picked heavily on Ford, Honda, Saab, and especially Toyota. Now I just need to find copies of the car dealer's original pieces.)

Concerning Chuck Nicholson’s recent propaganda promoting General Motors, there are several things he doesn’t tell you:

1. How American is GM? Depends on your definition of "American." The highest US/Canada content for a “US-made” car from 2005 is 92% (according to usstuff.com, which promotes products made in North America). Where’s the other 8% from? Your choices include (but are not limited to) Japan, Korea, Europe, Australia, and Mexico. (The 2005 Chevy Corvette may have a transmission built in Mexico, for example.)
  • The Toyota Camry uses 75% US parts according to Toyota (and is built in Kentucky). 98% of the steel used is of US origin. (MGS: Now they say 100% of the steel is US.)
  • Some American vehicles are fully assembled in Mexico (whether 92% US parts or not). Hey, it’s part of North America as much as Canada is!
2. GM used to have a brand called Geo. These cars, the Prizm, Metro, Tracker, and Storm, were largely Toyota, Isuzu, or Suzuki models that GM invested in and relabeled. Yes, I wrote “Toyota.” That economical and reliable Geo Prizm was pretty much a rebadged Toyota Corolla. Toyota is such an evil company.

3. Saab, which Mr. Nicholson bad-mouthed in an earlier ad, is wholly owned by GM as of 2000. GM actually purchased ½ of Saab stock in 1990. Which Saabs had engine trouble when?
  • Funny, huh? It’s funnier yet because they bought the remainder of Saab right when they were killing off Oldsmobile. (Ransom Olds, US citizen, was one of the first to build the horseless carriage in the late 19th century.)
  • Also, GM’s Saab tried to sell a car, the 9-2x, which was actually mostly a rebadged Subaru Impreza. Wait, isn’t Subaru Japanese?
  • When it was phased out, Oldsmobile was the oldest surviving American automobile marquee, and one of the oldest in the world after Daimler and Peugeot.
4. In an age of multinational corporations owning interesting and nameplates in various nations throughout the world – in a world in which a quite sizable portion of global economy courses through China – why is Mr. Nicholson complaining about cars and companies with strong US presences?
  • Honda America has plants in East Liberty, Anna, and Marysville, Ohio, employing over 16,000 in Ohio alone.
  • Various US companies have been accused of running “sweatshops” in various Asian countries, where $13 a day is good pay. And we wonder where the jobs have gone?
5. Has Mr. Nicholson mentioned that the Chevy Aveo is actually made by Daewoo, a Korean company that GM holds interest in? And it gets some of GM’s better reviews!

6. I find it ironic that Mr. Nicholson’s articles “lambasting” Honda were negative pieces about design. There was one about one mechanical issue.GM certainly has room to talk about design.

7. Mr. Nicholson also spent a good amount of space knocking at Ford, yet he sells Mazda at his Dover showroom. Ford has long had a controlling interest in Mazda. Oh, and isn’t Mazda a Japanese company?

8. Finally, if Mr. Nicholson has such a problem with the blather of the other automotive manufacturers, why can you enter his used … I mean "pre-owned" car lot and purchase Hondas, Toyotas, and Fords?

Go ahead and read Chuckie’s cheese, but get the facts, too. If you don’t, you might as well just believe that Target is owned by the French!

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