Sunday, September 20, 2009

Would You Buy American Iron?


As difficult as it might be to believe,at one time, American made cars used to account for over 90% of the cars on the road in the US of A. Actually at times, GM's share alone was close to 60%. Fast forward to last year when GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy under chapter 11 and were able to avoid liquidation only with massive help from the federal government. Ford fared better but could not avoid receiving some major body blows that left it gasping for air.

Most analysts seem to think that Ford has learned its expensive lesson and is on the road to recovery but the jury is still out regarding the prospects for GM and Chrysler. Many think that GM will survive and possibly prosper but as a much smaller company than it used to be. GM had to shed Saab, Hummer, Pontiac, Saturn and they had to sell their stake in Suzuki and most of Opel. Chrysler on the other hand is eliminating marginal models such as the Pacifica and the Viper. The real question is whether GM and Chrysler will survive or whether all the tens of billions of dollars spent by the feds were for naught.
The next two years will be instrumental to the industry. Ford is planning to become profitable late next year or by early 2011 by the latest as a result of its new line of cars. GM hopes to break even when the market for new cars climbs back to 11.5 million units a year. They are hoping to ride the buz from from the plug in Volt next year while Chrysler is counting on the Fiat cars that could start appearing in the show rooms in a year from now.

A quick review of some of car magazines and car reviewers for the new model year seems to show that the American car companies have a fighting chance. Four of the most important new cars are :

Buick Lacrosse

Ford Taurus especially the SHO

Ford Fusion Hybrid

Chevrolet Equinox

Have you looked at any of these models and if so would you buy any of them? It is going to be your purchasing habit that will decide the fate of Detroit over the next 3-5 years. What do you think, would any or all of the 3 American car manufacturers survive and prosper?

11 comments:

Jim said...

I have not looked at any of these models and I don't plan on doing so either. American car producers have become known for producing cars that cannot compete with the quality of European cars. Now the with chapter 11 of GM, I think more people will turn to European auto makers.

Richard De Nardo said...

I would buy an American car but one on this list. I am into sport cars so I would buy cars like the charger, challenger, camaro, and so on. However, in a rational sense, American cars are not worth the price and are far below in standings compared to Japanese cars. It is no secret that Japanese cars are the most reliable, fuel efficient cars on the road, and you get much more for your dollar in terms of performance and luxury. The trend of can be seen by looking how many Hondas are on the road, and i don't think this trend will change anytime soon.

Steven DeNully said...

I dont really know anything about these models but I would like to learn more about them. Also American cars may not be as affordable and efficient as Japanese automobiles but if the American car companies keep on producing new, and better models, I think that more Americans would buy them. Personally I think you should support your own countries automobile industry instead of supporting foreign ones.

Khari Linton said...

I have looked at what the Ford Fusion Hybrid offers, and the eletric engine and expanded miles per gallon is a very important factor in the sale of this car and for other American made cars. The only way for Detroit to survive is by producing eco-friendly cars because society is realizing that cars are a big factor in why the earth is becoming intoxicated. The only way for consumers to be interested in American made cars is to stop worrying about the looks or size, but by mileage per gallon and price.

Brian Keegan said...

I think that to choose a car based solely on where it was made is ridiculous. If I buy an American car it is because the dealer or the company have convinced me that it is a better choice than the competition. I may take into account the benefits for my country if I choose to buy American but on the other hand I feel that to prop up a failing industry is to ask for later economic problems. I would definitely look into and consider these models but I wouldn't buy them unless I was seriously convinced of their benefits relative to other cars. As for whether or not GM, Chrysler, and even Ford will survive, though I would like to see the boon to the United States of the companies' revivals I feel that if they fail it is because they don't belong on the market. If a car company fails to compete it is either because they are refusing to try or unable to keep up. Either way, is that a company we really want our economy to continue to rely on?

Anonymous said...

I would not buy an American made car. The reason for this is because my family has had foreign cars my whole life, and we always keep these cars for about 10 years. American made cars are just not made with the same quality as a foreign car.

Justyna Sokol said...

Well first off, I do own a Ford, a For focus to be specific. I convince my father to buy a ford as well. When i found out early last year that ford wasn't doing well I was stunned. Their cars are very efficient, for example I refill my tank once every 2 weeks. I dont think that it is the companies which are doing bad, but the people living in the US of A! They have to trust in our cars because they really are efficient. Anyone I know who owns a BMW constantly has problems with it and is always at the dealership paying for expenses. My ford has not once broken down or had a technical problem. I think its up to the people to start buying american made products and help push the economy along. The economy cannot do it without the help of the people!!!

TK said...

I test-drove the Chevy Equinox and my passengers told me that I swung them around a pole. I don't know if it was just my driving or the way the car was built. Therefore, I believe that GM must produce a whole new line of cars and not rely on this American clunker to be society's center of attention. If I had to buy an American icon, I would buy the new Chevy Camaro. The Camaro is fuel-efficent and is built with a heavier frame to ensure the driver's safety. The only problem with this car is that its rear-wheel drive, which means that the driver will definitely experience difficulty during snowstorms. On the other hand, Ford is making progress with its new line of vehicles. If I had to recommend an American icon, I would choose the Dodge Challenger.

jenweixeldorfer said...

My first car was a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. After leasing the car for 4 years my family decided they never wanted to lease a chevy again. When we brought the car back to the dealership, the salesman tried to convince us to lease the chevy equinox. We test drove the car and didn't like it at all. I don't think the American car manufacturers will survive and prosper for that much longer. People who can afford luxery cars such as BMW etc, most likely prefer a BMW over a chevy. However, some of the cheaper cars are more beneficial to people who travel alot, due to good gas milage.

Nicole Rossetti said...

When I was younger my dad owned a Ford Taurus. I personally have never owned an American Car but would not be opposed to buying one in the future. Most people including myself want a dependable, economical car. Foreign cars have the best reputation, they are known for being more reliable. Although they are more expensive I would buy a foreign car over and American car because of the quality. Another main factor as to why I would purchase a foreign car as of now over an American car is because American cars are lagging behind foreign cars in fuel efficiency. Because of the bad reputation that follows American Cars I would be a little hesitant to purchase one. I haven’t look at any of the models listed above so I would have to look a little more into them before I could make a decision as to whether or not I would ever buy one. I think that all three American car manufacturers will survive and prosper because people who would have bought a foreign luxury car a few years ago do not have the economical means to purchase one now, so they will buy a less expensive American car. People also take into consideration that foreign brands parts cost more and the maintenance is also more costly.

Pavel said...

I think the american car companies have a chance, but they defiantly won't be as big as they were before. My taste is not for american cars, so most likely i wouldn't purchase any of them.