By on December 27, 2013
Fords are loaded for export at the Port of Baltimore. Photo: Bill McAllen / Port of Baltimore

Fords are loaded for export at the Port of Baltimore. Photo: Bill McAllen / Port of Baltimore

When most people think about countries that export cars one name that’s usually not on their list is the United States, but the U.S. is exporting more cars than ever. According to the Detroit News, the record total this year is likely to reach 2 million units and perhaps even more surprising than that number if the fact that half of the exports are cars made by GM, Ford and Chrysler. The remainder come from assembly plants located in the U.S. owned by German, Japanese and Korean automakers. Cars are the most valuable manufacturing export from the U.S., followed by aerospace. Spurring the growth in exports is the fact that the United States is currently one of the less expensive places to build a car, due to favorable currency exchange rates and reduced labor costs.

According to the United States Commerce Dept., last year’s automotive exports totaled $132.7 billion on approximately 1.8 million exported cars and trucks. The automotive trade deficit is still more than $100 billion with car imports grossly outweighing exports, but that deficit has been shrinking.

As would be expected, about half of U.S. automotive exports are to neighboring Canada and Mexico but the biggest growth is coming from outside of North America. Less than 10 years ago shipments to Mexico and Canada accounted for 80% of all U.S. vehicle exports. Now that figure is down to 49% and it continues to fall. Shipments to China have grown almost 600% since 2009 and one in nine vehicles exported from the U.S. now goes to China. Chrysler exports Jeeps there and next year Ford will being exporting Lincolns to China starting late next year.

Analysts say that U.S. car exports will likely not fall off as the Big 3 and their global competitors add more capacity inside China. That is because other markets in Latin American, Africa and the Mideast will continue to see increased demand for U.S. built cars and trucks. Still, the fastest growing markets, the so-called BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, are where car companies are building factories, following Isaac Singer and Henry Ford’s philosophy of “build where you sell”, so there may be a limit on export growth here in the U.S.

In addition to the domestics, Honda and Toyota both want to boost exports from the U.S. Honda wants all of its global regions to be export hubs, shipping 20-30% of their production out of their local markets. Honda says that its eventual goal is to export more cars from the U.S. than it’s importing here from Japan. Toyota recently added the Highlander to the its list of vehicles exported from its assembly operation in the U.S.

Most of the cars and trucks exported from the U.S. are models that are also sold here. Ford’s F-150, built in Dearborn, Michigan and Kansas City, Missouri, is exported to 49 countries. Joining Ford’s flagship pickup truck overseas will be the all-new 2015 Mustang. The new Mustang was designed specifically with export markets in mind, that is one reason why the car will over a turbocharged four cylinder engine. The Mustang is built in Flat Rock, Michigan and the assembly line there will also produce right hand drive versions for the UK, Australia and Japan.

Also built in the Detroit area specifically for export is the Opel Ampera, Opel’s version of the Chevy Volt, which is assembled at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

During the restructuring of the U.S. auto industry, in 2009 the United Auto Workers agreed to a two-tier wage system, with new hires making a little more than half of what veteran autoworkers make. Those agreements have secured the assignment of lots of production to the North American facilities operated by the domestic car companies. Those companies have also earmarked billions of dollars in upgrading existing U.S. plants to increase production.

While their assembly plants in the U.S. don’t use UAW labor, the strength of the Japanese currency, the yen, relative to the U.S. dollar, has made the U.S. a more attractive place for Japanese automakers to build their cars than back home.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

124 Comments on “U.S. Car Exports to Hit Record 2 Million, Half From Domestic Brands...”


  • avatar

    ” Spurring the growth in exports is the fact that the United States is currently one of the less expensive places to build a car, due to favorable currency exchange rates and reduced labor costs.”

    I’d heard a conspiracy theory that the US government didn’t mind inflating the dollar because decreasing our currency’s value made it cheaper for German’s and Japanese cars to be built here – which would create jobs here. Part of the reason China doesn’t allow the Yuan’s value to float: keeping it artificially low gives them an advantage in manufacturing and trade.

    I’ll never stop believing that Kia, Hyundai, Samsung and LG are slush funds to funnel large amounts of welfare to South Korea for the upcoming war with North Korea.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      “I’ll never stop believing that Kia, Hyundai, Samsung and LG are slush funds to funnel large amounts of welfare to South Korea for the upcoming war with North Korea.”

      Umm, you ready to remove that tin foil hat, yet? I’ve lived in both the US and South Korea, currently live in South Korea and you’re not only way off base, you likely have no basis to even come close to forming an informed opinion about war between North and South Korea.

      • 0 avatar

        I live WITH the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX…

        What’s your point?

        North Korea only exists because of China. It’s a buffer zone to keep American interventionism off its border. That’s no conspiracy theory.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @bigtrucksrevview
          I totally agree with your comment. To expand a little further.

          The Chinese will find it difficult to expand their influence. One way is to create instability, like they have been doing.

          Create a problem that didn’t exist then bargain for an outcome. Sort of like any left wing practice, ie, UAW and unions.

          The Chinese will be forced to change their political line, this is inevitable. As the Chinese populace becomes more affluent, issue like the rural/urban disparity has to be addressed like is currently happening.

          As affluence gains ground what is viewed progressive isn’t just economically based. Ideals will come to the forefront.

          Sooner or later the Chinese people will demand change, as the Chinese are inherently capitalists. Civil War?

        • 0 avatar
          Spartan

          You living with the military industrial complex provides you with zero perspective other than what you read on the internet and interpret from the news. It has nothing to do with us being on the border with China. We’re close enough to reach out and touch China as is by being in Japan and South Korea alone. Moving into NK doesn’t provide much strategic advantage other than time. China knows we have no real interests in being on their borders, but we have strategic interests in SK for military presence and economic purposes.

          NK exists because SK allows them to exist at this point. When the house of cards fall and eventually they will, SK will reclaim that land and this crap will finally come to an end.

    • 0 avatar
      ccode81

      Better move their capital from just 25 miles away of boarder if they are serious about potential war.
      One of Toyota’s aimed export from US market is S.Korea.
      Thanks to FTA, tariffs will be removed for American exports to Korea, Korea is where the source of profit for Hyundai to finance R&D.
      Without thick margin in monopoly market, they’ll fall off easily. Their margin with exports are peanuts.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      “I’d heard a conspiracy theory that the US government didn’t mind inflating the dollar because decreasing our currency’s value made it cheaper for German’s and Japanese cars to be built here”

      Meh, other countries have done it to us before (looking at you, Japan). I don’t mind a little payback now. It’s not a bad thing so long as we don’t go nuts with the idea. I believe that the dollar is still surprisingly strong all things considering and has some room to weaken.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “I’d heard a conspiracy theory that the US government didn’t mind inflating the dollar because decreasing our currency’s value made it cheaper for German’s and Japanese cars to be built here”

        It’s not a conspiracy theory. The Reagan administration in 1985 negotiated the Plaza Accord with Japan, West Germany, the UK and France to depreciate the US dollar in an effort to control the trade deficit.

        The depreciation effort obviously failed to do the job. As it turns out, there are plenty of low-wage countries to which labor can be offshored, and the dollar can’t be depreciated enough to prevent that from happening. There is no way that a western country can compete with third world wages merely based upon price.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Correct about buying US bonds to deflate the US dollar to make US exports cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      I don’t know if thats a conspiracy theory so much as a pretty well understood economic effect. The whole idea is to spur growth; devaluing the currency is pretty standard on that front. China’s been doing it for years. I wouldn’t say the dollar is really being devalued as much as it was overvalued before.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @bigtrucks: “I’d heard a conspiracy theory that the US government didn’t mind inflating the dollar because decreasing our currency’s value made it cheaper for German’s and Japanese cars to be built here – which would create jobs here.”

      That’s not a conspiracy theory. Its straight up 1st semester macroeconomic theory. It was covered when I took it as a wee undergrad in 1998, and also when I took it during my MBA in 2012.

      Countries with “weaker” currencies can sell the same exports for less on the world market, building a stronger export sector. That means jobs and growth, assuming that human labor is actually required to make the stuff we export. That’s why the Chinese manage the value of their currency so carefully.

      A “stronger” currency mostly just makes it easier/cheaper to import things.

      The terms are really unfortunate, since most people just hear the word “weak” next to America and flip out in patriotic fervor. But, if we value having a strong manufacturing/export sector, a strong dollar doesn’t really help (on balance).

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The Reagan administration tried to devaluate the dollar in order to reduce the trade deficit.

        But that effort failed. Since then, the US hasn’t taken that approach. The Chinese certainly do, but the US allows the currency to float freely. Fed policy is driven by balancing unemployment with inflation, not by trade.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          The US is using quantitative easing to help bring the US Dollar down, so far it has worked allowing the US debt to be reduced.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_easing#United_States_QE1.2C_QE2.2C_and_QE3

          Chinese Currency Manipulation there not the only one.
          http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/06/news/economy/thebuzz/

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Economic activity, at it’s root, is a function of money supply and the speed at which it circulates in the economy (volatility).

            Faced with low volatility, QE supports economic recovery by adding to the money supply.

            Nothing to do with exchange rate manipulation. When a country (like the US and most other developed economies) allows its currency to float, it lacks the capacity to control its value- the international financial market is simply too big. A lot of central banks have learned this lesson the hard way.

            US debt is not reducing. The deficit has come down, though not as much as would be the case if the Tea Party types weren’t so vehement in refusing to learn the lessons of the 1930s, et seq.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @ect
            Inflation and currency valuation is generally controlled by the use of interest rates.

            If inflation rises and the economy heats up interest rates rise. This makes buying and investing more expensive. So spending slows and sometimes a recession sets in.

            A rise in interest rates make a currency more attractive to invest in as you’ll receive a better return on your investment. This drives the supply and demand side of the USD.

            The US hit rock bottom economically in the GFC. The economy stalled very badly, rates dropped to near on 0%. This still wasn’t enough to kick start economic activity.

            So, the Fed came up with a (maybe) brilliant idea. Rather than make the necessary restructuring required they came up with quantitative easing (printing money). This had the same effect as reducing interest rates. Increase supply and demand will drop.

            The only area I see where the US could have a little better is in the restructuering of your economy, ie, create more competition by phasing out subsidies.

            Reliance on subsidies creates inefficiencies, false demand, and dependence on ‘corporate welfare’.

            Nationalist in the Tea Party people want to reduce social welfare, I would first reduce the corporate/industrial/agri welfare.

            The socialist like the UAW want more support and protection of inefficiencies by the taxpayers.

            Somewhere in the middle is best. Spending cuts are needed. The US now has a large interest bill to pay. That money could have been better spent.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    I hope this trend continues. It’ll be a great way for the US to shift from our current service based economy back to a manufacturing based economy.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Do you actually know which are the world’s largest manufacturing economies? You might be surprised by the answer.

      • 0 avatar

        2/3rd of America’s money is actually spent in Anerica.

        Even though people worry about China and Arab countries buying and holding the US dollar, they can only be spent here in America.

        On a side note: BITCOIN is bullsh!t until the FDIC insures them or until the IRS accepts them to pay tax dues.

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        I know what they are, but that’s not looking at it from a per capita perspective. That’s obvious by our unemployment rates across the board.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          While we’re no longer the world’s largest manufacturer, I find the “we are no longer a manufacturing country” argument to be hyperbolic as it just isn’t supported by the facts.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Spartan
      The US is a post industrial society that is service based.

      I think manufacturing represents less than 11% of the economy and services over 70%.

      Traditional manufacturing will only be successful in the US if your living standards become similar to a developing nation. That’s why since the GFC your standard of living has dropped, making manufacturing more attractive.

      Is that what you want?

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        South Korea isn’t a developing nation and they have a lot more manufacturing jobs per capita than we do. Their standard of living is just as high as ours and they have a booming middle class.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Spartan
          Have a look at the average income per capita in Sth Korea, it’s much lower than what you are getting in the US.

          Do you want to reduce your living standards further?

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            Income per capita cannot be directly correlated to standard of living. If you’ve ever lived outside of the US, you’d see that.

            Are you saying we will need to lower our standard of living to boost our manufacturing? I don’t think that’s the case.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            ……Income per capita cannot be directly correlated to standard of living. If you’ve ever lived outside of the US, you’d see that….

            You don’t need to live outside the US to see that. A $100K salary in much of America would ensure a pretty good standard of living for a family of four, but try that in NYC, Boston or LA and see what your standard of living is like…

          • 0 avatar
            jz78817

            not to mention that someone called “Big Al from Oz” is quite likely already living outside of the US ;)

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Do you read financial headlines? The FED has been conducting experimental monetary policy with epic level money printing. The exchange environment is entirely artificial and massively in the favor of US manufacturing. The FED went so far that the Japanese needed to do some printing themselves to stay solvent. Worse, the FED printing is not enough for “47/47″ Mullay over at Ford, who still sheds tears about the Japanese needing to do some printing of their own, and even recently issued a profit warning. And, still, Detroit can not close the import export gap. If the FED continues to print at the same clip, the USDollar will be smoke. Imagine how far Detroit exports lag and imports surge when the FED stops printing. Detroit never got it’s house in order. It is still a high cost producer that requires massive FED money printing to turn positive profit margins. Imagine the destruction to Detroit automakers when the FED stops printing. Sell your Detroit real estate when the printing stops. All downhill from here for Detroit exports.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        It is close to stopping printing now. I cannot see (Outside of Canada and Mexico) how they can increase their Exports. Europe outside of Jeep(Not a big seller) is cut off from them, bulk of Asia, Latin America and Africa the same. “transferred operations” like Toyota, BMW, Audi, will contribute the Lions share of exports outside NA.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Jimmyy, don’t forget when the fat-cat induced financial crisis hit, the Japanese were outwardly saying that the plans by the US government were not nearly enough to reset the economy. Japan noted their own “Lost Decade” as an example and indicated that they did not do enough to stimulate their own economy.

        America cannot compete against low wage countries for production of mass market items unless we gut our income levels to get there. The heavy cut that new autoworkers had to take is a classic example. You can ramble on about what a autoworker should make or not, but these plants are here now because of economic factors, period. What is telling is that for items where cost is a low(er) factor of importance, American manufacturing is very strong and commands big bucks globally.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          Amen. The auto industry is a bit of an anomaly, because most of its production is for domestic consumption.

          The real resurgence in US manufacturing is driven by industries with very automated processes that rely on smaller, but very highly skilled workforces. As it should be.

          Having said that the auto industry is a bit of an anomaly, it is also true that vehicle and parts production has become more automated, and the percentage of “brawn” workers has declined significantly.

  • avatar
    phxmotor

    The writer admits car imports remain high: “Grossly outweighing imports…” . Would it not be nice to have such a number included in an otherwise well done piece?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Agreed.

      While the site is intended for s general audience, there are a lot engineers and people from other math-heavy professions here. Perhaps a hyperlink to a Google Docs spreadsheet containing the numbers would be awesome?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It’s good the US is exporting more vehicles.

    If you look at the global market GM and Ford have historically manufactured to the regional and local markets. GM even kept the local brand names, ie, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall, etc which might work against them.

    Chrysler has never been hugely successful as Ford and GM in overseas markets. But Chrysler has tried more than Ford and GM to develop and export market out of the US.

    In Australia the US made vehicles, primarily Chrysler challenge the Korean twins of Hyundai and Kia in pricing and bling. Korea has an advantage of better build quality. But Chrysler is gradually making inroads, particularly with vehicles like the Grand Cherokee which is viewed as more of a budget 4×4 SUV in comparison to it’s Japanese competitors.

    To offset a decline in vehicle exports as the USD value increases due to the easing of quantitative easing the US (Big 3) has to build more vehicles that the world wants. Many vehicles that are built by the Big 3 that are highly value added (full size pickups, Caddy’s, Mustangs, Corvettes, etc) are not very attractive outside of the US.

    US manufactured vehicle quality appears to be better with the ‘import’ manufacturers, but the Big 3 are gaining ground with the ‘import’ manufacturers and within a few years or so they can produce comparable product in quality. As I mentioned when comparing a Chrysler product to a Korean product the Koreans still have an edge.

    For the US (Big 3) to gain ground in countries like Australia they have to keep the low pricing and lots of bling.

    The import manufacturers have an advantage over the Big 3 globally as most Japanese and Euro manufacturers are considered a better quality product than the US, even though it might not be true in all cases.

    It will be interesting to watch the value of the USD rise in the next 18 months or so and see what impact it has on vehicle exports. The Euro will not rise in value and it will make Euro vehicles quite attractive as well. Also, Abeconomics in Japan is gradually making the Yen a competitive currency and vehicle quality out of Japan is as good as the Germans.

    Competition is great.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      No US “Big 3″ car or truck is going to set the world on fire. That’s not the point, especially in the beginning. The Corvette barely or hardly sells in North America.

      But 1st you have to look at what’s an American exclusive that no one else builds and does it already have a name for itself overseas. If grey market examples of these are commonly found all over the world, that likely means a it’ll have decent mainstream interest when it gets there as a regular, dealer backed import that includes OEM financing and parts/service readily available.

      It would be pointless to export what the world already has lots of. Yes great for competition. Awesome. But what’s in it for US OEMs to get into a big price war with low margin cars on foreign land?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DiM
        Again, re-read my post.

        The US can become a larger exporter of vehicles. The best bet is for the US ‘import’ manufacturers to export, not the Big 3.

        From your comment you appear to be against the US competing outside of it’s borders. UAW?

        It is inevitable that much more rationalisation will occur in the vehicle manufacturing industry and vehicles will harmonise across borders and continents.

        Those (only the US) who don’t come to the table will be left behind.

        You will find regional vehicle assembly plants all supplied by a global network of component manufacturers. As is occurring, but content will become more varied and the less local content will be.

        Vehicles have become just like TVs, fridges and laptops, just another consumer item. The emotive connection many have with motor vehicles like we had from our generation will become more removed.

        Not many will care where their car/truck comes from, so long as they don’t have to walk and it’s cheap to maintain and buy.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAF0 – It all depends on whether you just want an inexpensive car to not walk or ride the bus so damn much. Then you don’t care what it’s called or where it’s made.

          How many Silverado, Corvette, Camaro, Mustang, RAM buyers are really faced with a walk or drive dilemma? Some of these are imported for Canada and Mexico and that may turn off some buyers. But none of these would be accepted by Americans if they were made in China, Thialand etc. Get real.

          It’s simply not a big story if German, Japanese and Korean OEMs are exporting from the US. Well it is, but not as interesting as US Big 3 OEMs exporting into ‘new’ markets.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            Your last paragraph describes the majority of vehicle consumers, like me.

            I look at how much money I have, assess my lifestyle and conditions my vehicle operates in and then buy a suitable product.

            Just like a fridge, if my beer stays cold then the fridge is doing a great job.

        • 0 avatar
          billfrombuckhead

          More anti-union spew from the safe haven of academia in a welfare state. Some of these armchair CEO’s need to actually put their money where their post industrial mouths are.

          • 0 avatar
            AlternateReality

            And you need a lesson on possessives and hyphenation. Based on your prose, one could – perhaps rightfully – assume you’re nothing but an ill-educated Fiasler fanboi.

            Add Economics to the list, too. What do you mean by these ‘armchair CEOs’ putting their “money where their mouths are?” Seems to me they’re already doing that, by NOT wasting dollars on inferior domestic products.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        “But 1st you have to look at what’s an American exclusive that no one else builds and does it already have a name for itself overseas.”

        All I can think of is a CAT Excavator truck you see on mine sites. CAT has a good name in mining, outside of that, you would be scratching your head.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Big Al from Oz
      You can add ,built in RHD and much better build quality and reliability than what is available now.I find it surprising the Toyota Camry has been the best selling sedan in the US for the last 12yrs. Says a lot about the the build quality and dynamics of the opposition. The Camry has been the top ten here but never class leading.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Where are the numbers? Company by company unit increase in exports? Are the foreign nameplates responsible for the bulk of import increases or is it Detroit brands? This article seems more like feel good spin from a socialist regime that an actual business article. It is likely the numbers do not back up the thesis, or that the numbers don’t shine well for Detroit, so the numbers are glossed over. I love our new America. Back in the Bush years, when it was more of an economically free country, it is likely the article would have actual numbers without the political spin.

  • avatar

    So where is that blue Mustang in the photo heading off to? Are there official Ford Mustang sales outside of North America? Once upon a time Mustangs were sold in Germany as T-5s until 1979 since there was a trademark issue with the name but I can’t imagine there was much demand. Certainly the current model is not officially exported as the Ford websites for Germany, the UK, France, Netherlands, Australia, and China don’t have it. There are photos of the 2015 model and a link for “Future Vehicles” on each site. It seems you can buy a current Mustang from a Ford dealership in Japan, however.

    • 0 avatar
      ccode81

      Yes, starting from 4.3 million yen for base V6….
      My colleague planning to buy 2015 hope it won’t hurt his purse a lot

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      quick google shows the Talia owned by Wallenius Wilhelmsen ships to the Middle East

      the GT500 would be a popular choice in the oil rich states

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Sprocketboy
      Muscle or Pony cars, prestige cars and pickups out of the US aren’t very desired. I don’t think ‘millions’ can be sold.

      In Australia when the Ford Falcon is discontinued the US will import V8 Mustangs our way. But don’t expect sales to be anywhere near what V8 Falcon sales were.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAF0 – You may not personally desire one, but early to current Mustangs already have a substantial grey market existence in OZ.

        youtube.com/watch?v=UykDN6nSXM8

        Leave your mom’s basement much?

        F-150s are no slouch in the grey market either.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DiM
          Yes, a grey market, but how big will the market be once the Falcon is gone? Not very big.

          American muscle cars, prestige cars, pickups appeal to few outside of the US.

          You’ll find that Euro/Asian performance/prestige cars are held in a much higher esteem.

          The same can be said for US commercial vehicles.

          As you are aware the import of efficient Asian/Euro commercial vehicles are hampered by a regime of high tariffs and regulations from entering the US market.

          But that’s the way you UAW guys want it. You want an insular market. But global forces will gradually force your hand.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – Once the Falcon is gone, more reason to get a Mustang in OZ. And it’ll enjoy even more popularity once the Falcon is gone.

            Again, there’s no intent to set the world on fire with American muscle cars, prestige and pickups. It doesn’t have to be an ‘all or nothing’ proposition. BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche are tremendous profitable from California sales alone, while remaining niche vehicles.

            And we have millions of import commercial vehicles from all over.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            The Mustang will not sell like the Falcon. The Falcon was a 4 door family sedan.

            A few more Mustangs might sell, but they may not sell in volumes that warrant Ford to import and sell.

            Of all the nations outside of the US/Canada, Australia could have the largest full size pickup market. On several occasions Ford/GM tried to sell US pickups, they sold, but not in quantities enough to warrant them to continue and the grey market fills that void now, I can forsee Mustangs having a similar problem.

            The US will not make much money out of its niche vehicles. The Europeans are masters of this.

            Euro/Japanese mainstream vehicles are considered better outside of the US.

            The US Big 3 will have a larger challenge to export than the US manufactured ‘foreign’ vehicles.

            This is what happens when you create an insular market to protect an industry.

            I becomes less competitive. It can only be competitive if it is protected and subsidised.

            I’ve tried to explain this to you for ‘years’ now. But your UAW train of thought won’t allow you to comprehend anything other than socialism.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – How do you know how many Mustangs will sell and what warrants Ford to import them into a free trade zone like OZ with not much pony car competition and higher typical MSRP than the US? Ford sells Mustangs in Mexico and they don’t typically set that country on fire. And I realize the Falcon comes in 4-doors, but not everyone that has a 4-door needs a 4-doors. I think it’s V8 and RWD might have more to do with its existence.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike
            “How do you know how many Midsize Pickups will sell and what warrants GM to build them into a free trade zone like NAFTA with not much competition?”

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – I’ve said repeatedly, the Colorado/Canyon will be a huge success. Not necessarily in profits, but at least 100,000 units a year. GM’s mid-size trucks will be “Big 3″ exclusives. Lots of pent up demand by Government offices and their subcontractors that are basically required to only buy US, domestic brands. These GM twins will be the lowest common denominator of trucks (and of vehicles in general, except for subcompacts) by any Big 3 OEM. They’ll corner that specific segment of buyers, not counting the normal fleet, bottom feeders and rebate loving cheapskates. Especially consumers in the flyover states that may not want an offshore brand, no matter what. But it’s doubtful there’s room for more than one domestic, big 3 OEM in this segment. Even less if profits a big concern.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM’est
            You say
            “@RobertRyan – I’ve said repeatedly, the Colorado/Canyon will be a huge success.”

            What the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard DiM’est. You have continually stated that ‘no one wants or needs a midsizer in the US.” That’s been your UAW mantra.

            I suppose now that some UAW worker is getting paid to knock up some midsizers they now ‘rate’ for you socialists.

            I can and will if you push me, collect and disseminate as many of your ‘midsizers don’t sell in America’ comments as you would like.

            What a chameleon, talk about changing your spots and a teller of untruths.

            You really take the cake.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – 1st you should pay attention. Reading is fundamental. There’s not much demand for another midsizer trucks in general, and too much of that is for base, stripper trucks. It’s already over saturated. But the only mid-size trucks on the market are offshore brands. There’s lots of pent up demand for a domestic, ‘Big 3′ mid-size truck offering.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            So a VW Amarok wouldn’t be competitive, only a UAW built truck?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – You don’t seem to get it. There’s something called tax payers and they/we don’t want to see governments, municipalities, utilities, even cable companies, buying up import/offshore branded cars and trucks with our monies. It’s not written in stone, but how would it look if the Feds rode around in Amaroks or other import cars? Some private sector fleets prefer domestic, big 3 OEMs, especially in flyover states.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            So, the only midsizers are owned by government departments in the US? How odd.

            I’ve only seen privately owned Taco’s, Rangers, Frontiers, etc.

            Come on DiM, really, your stories are getting worse. They aren’t even entertaining. You’ve lost your touch.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – I didn’t saying they’re the only ones that buy domestic, “Big 3″ mid-size trucks. But in that sense, the Colorado/Canyon will be the only game in town.

            Are you pretending to be that slow?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            Then why did you bring that argument into the debate.

            If it had nothing to do with what we are debating are you again trying to deflect the argument?

            You constantly do this.

            DiM, I really suggest you go try and educate yourselves on what is really going on in the world outside of the township you live in.

            You really do sound quite ‘illiterate’ in the ‘goings on’ outside of your front door.

            You tend to put forward an argument, then when you have no answers, you try and discuss other issues that are lateral to the argument and have no relative parallels.

            So what has the taxpayer got to do with the sale of midsizers? I would say most midsizers (actually a substantial proportion) are sold to private entities.

            So why did you bring this dimension into the discussion? You tend to make comments that are unverifiable. Please in the future make comments that can be supported.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            “@RobertRyan – I’ve said repeatedly, the Colorado/Canyon will be a huge success. Not necessarily in profits, but at least 100,000 units a year”

            Good to hear that you think a Midsize Pickup will sell well in the US. GM does too and I think made the right decision. Ford needs to bring in a “Lifestyle version” of the Global Ranger.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – Well one OEM had to step up and take advantage of pent up demand for a Big 3, domestic offering in the mid-size segment. Mostly for the sake of governments and municipalities that are practically forced to buy from Detroit based OEMs. That doesn’t mean the Colorado/Canyon will be profitable, necessarily. And it also doesn’t mean there’s room for 2 “Big 3″ OEMs in the mid-size class.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            In a given year, total local/state/federal government fleet sales of compact/midsize pickup trucks are well below 10,000 units. Just like everybody else, government pickup truck customers usually go for the fullsizers.

            There is no significant pentup demand for small pickups in the US, from anywhere. Their market share is plummeting, and there is no indication that the trend will change.

          • 0 avatar
            jz78817

            why are mommy and daddy fighting?

            And DenverMike automatically loses for use of the term “flyover states.”

        • 0 avatar
          TonyJZX

          i dont understand why anyone who doesnt live in Australia would want to argue with an AUSTRALIAN about how their local market works

          what is that? Al would know more about HIS market than anyone else?

          would you argue with Marco about Brazil? lol

          coupes are a very small market anywhere – even if they made a 4 door Mustang it wouldnt matter… the market has spoken and they want CUVs and c-segments.

          I would imagine the turbo Mustang might do good business but its about 1/3rd more expensive than the GT86 which has been a killer in their market but its a combination of good fuel economy and probably the cheapest pricing outside of the US and JP.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Al knows little about the car industry in the US or Australia, yet he comments (verbosely) about both. All that typing doesn’t leave much room for research, I guess.

            That being said, Denver is a bit out of his head if he thinks that the Mustang is going to take Australia or much of the world outside of the US by storm. The Monaro was cancelled years ago. The market for Falcons/Commodores has been on the slide for years, and much of what is left of it is fleet. And many of those fleet sales will disappear if the cars aren’t produced locally.

            It makes sense to go global with the Mustang, but it will largely remain a North American niche car. Most of the world won’t be able to afford to fill the tank, even when equipped with the turbo 4, and the rest of the world is following in the US’ footsteps by migrating to crossovers.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Tony/Pch – I’m not saying the Mustang would be anything more than a niche vehicle in OZ. Or in any market outside of the US. Coupes are not big sellers anywhere, but look at what’s offered. If you don’t like what you see, you’re not necessarily locked into a coupe purchase regardless. This is something fresh and new for this market.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            My guess is that it will be hot (relatively speaking) for the first year or two as pent-up demand is met, but then sales will taper off thereafter.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Pch101 – You could be right, but the new Camaro was hot out-of-the-box and many said the same thing about pent up demand. It’s still a fairly hot seller, relatively speaking.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            “I’m not saying the Mustang would be anything more than a niche vehicle in OZ.”
            Spot on. Japanese performance cars are loved by the Gen X/Y crowd here.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @TonyJZX
            Spot on. It will do poorly.Strangely Ford is not copping as much as Holden as regards a huge backlash regarding the shutdown in 2017 a poorly new Commercial campaign by GMNA has angered many people ,not just Holden buyers.
            http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/8F785CB631F36919CA257C4A00086BE2

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – That’s true. OZ is a great place offer the Mustang, especially the V8 and GT500 variety. Lots of V8 loving, muscle car loving enthusiasts. OZ domestics and grey market.

            They can totally afford higher end pony cars, more than US consumers anyway. According to BAF0, even McDonalds workers.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            You aren’t to far from the truth with the comment you made about vehicles in Australia.

            In the US how long will it take a MacDonalds worker to buy a new car? In Australia at $18-$20ph how long, even if we pay 30% more for a car.

            Australia has the highest per captia ownership of performance vehicles in the world. Actually New Zealand has the highest per capita ownership of AMG Mercedes.

            At Very DiMest, it seems you Northern Hemishpere guys don’t like performance, and performance isn’t a V8 in a pickup, as Australia has the fastest pickup in the world. Something that you guys can try to best;)

            Here’s some links to read and salivate over.

            http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/australians-like-knowing-they-can-speed–even-if-theyre-not-allowed-20130405-2hccy.html

            http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/australias-need-for-speed-20130405-2habf.html

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – V8 pickups have picked up where traditional muscle cars left off. But yeah, OZ/NZ seems like a muscle car paradise. Ford could be on to something.

            I can’t speak for Mcdonalds workers in the US. 130 years?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            If the Mustang was desired considering our love for performance vehicles wouldn’t we be buying them already?

            We are buying more and more Euro M Series, AMGs, etc. Did you not read the links I posted about the types of performance vehicles we are buying?

            Detroit style muscles cars we had have died in the a$$, look what happened to GMH and Ford Australia.

            Ford will sell Mustangs, but will there be enough to warrant them to be constantly imported?

            Anyway, I’ve read an interesting article 3 days ago, GM Detroit might be going to make the next generation of Commodore in the US. Holden have already designed it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – Ford hasn’t traditionally thought globally, but no doubt had to wait for the redesign. The outgoing Mustangs weren’t designed for right hand drive. Nor UNECE regs. So no you wouldn’t already be buying them, except for grey market.

            Euro performance cars aren’t grey market. Yeah of course you’ll buy more of those.

            I couldn’t tell you why Detroit style muscle cars have died in the A$$. First I don’t know what that means. And just because they make them, doesn’t mean they’re exactly what consumers want, as far as muscles cars go. Or do they prefer pony cars or Mustang and Camaros specifically. It’s hard to get into the minds of consumers.

            I can’t answer for Ford. But like I said, it doesn’t take too many sales when you can get 30% more for them. And in a free trade zone. And with little to no competition. And when they already have some kind of following. And in a land with so many V8/RWD enthusiasts. I don’t see how it could fail, but yeah.

            A US based Commode is also an idea the must be tried. Too many reasons to not go ahead with it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM
            Actually Ford used to sell RHD Mustangs in Australia. Remember the original Mustang is based on a Falcon platform.

            Ford has been global since prior to WWII.

            I don’t know where you’ve gotten your information from.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – I know Ford is a global OEM, but I meant thinking globally as in the same cars for all its markets. You’ve heard of Ford’s One Plan (or vision)?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            “They can totally afford higher end pony cars, more than US consumers anyway. According to BAF0, even McDonalds workers.”

            Yes I saw a Fast Food worker jump into a Nissan Skyline GTR. So nothing is impossible.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Denvermike
          “substantial” Hmm I have seen two current model Mustangs in the last two years.
          F150′s??? It should be Japanese exotica we cannot easily get here.Huge demand for those.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – You might not get out much. In certain parts of the US, you rarely see BMWs. And you’re talking grey market cars that cost how much (almost) new in OZ/NZ? Up to $150,000?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            The next gen Mustang was built with global markets in mind. That is why it will be available with a 2.3 litre Ecoboost.
            The problem is that it will have to compete with existing European sports cars. The Boss 302 was designed to yield track times comparable to the BMW M3.It unfortunately became a rather focused track tool. The M3 is still a superior all around vehicle.
            USA vehicles get panned by the Euro-journalists in the area of quality, interior comfort, fit/finish, and handling. The Mustang needs to be on par with the Europeans in all of these categories just to get a toe hold in the market.
            A fully independent suspension will allow it to be more competitive and for the USA types who only want “go fast” in a straight line, a solid axle 9″ rear will be available in kit form.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – The M3 is just a pony car with a superiority complex. There’s nothing magical about it. It’s mass produced like the Mustang and if you didn’t know any better, you’d say the quality of materials are the same as the Mustang. Nothing special about either of them. Except one is reliable.

            The M3′s ride is choppy, as it should be for what it is. It’s not a heavy luxury car with air ride. The handling is equal to Mustang GT. Never mind the Boss 302.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike
            “@RobertRyan – You might not get out much. In certain parts of the US, you rarely see BMWs.”

            Yes the Midwest, really hard to find any. California? Do they sell anything other than European/Japanese Automobiles?.28% penetration in that market, of traditional US vehicles(GM, Ford and Chrysler).Seeing California is the “engine” and other states are the “train” it does not augur well for the “Big 3″. I believe they have a 45% market share. Far cry from 90% in the 1960′s.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – 55% import/offshore brand penetration and you still call the market “protected”???

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Denvermike,
            “@RobertRyan – 55% import/offshore brand penetration and you still call the market “protected”???”
            Of Course it is, that is obvious.”Off shore Brand penetration” Foreign manufacturers who build vehicles in the US primarily and other NAFTA countries.

          • 0 avatar
            jz78817

            “USA vehicles get panned by the Euro-journalists in the area of quality, interior comfort, fit/finish, and handling.”

            what prevented me from ever giving Clarkson’s opinions any regard was when he bad mouthed USDM cars for poor fit-and-finish, then in a different article praised the quality of some Renault MPV.

            ‘cept in the article photos, the panel gaps and misalignments on the Renault’s instrument panel were horrific. If that was what he thinks is “high quality,” he can keep it.

            and since I’ve had opportunity to drive vehicles from the EUDM and other markets, I have to say their reputation for excellent fit/finish is… undeserved.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Then Clarkson pans the dash board of the Lightning F-150, knowing full well it was hacked up by an aftermarket RHD conversion.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Denvermike,
        When they move F150 production to Thailand or China, better still to get one as they will be a lot cheaper. The US I believe is in the process of signing a FTA with both countries.
        A Tiny Mustang is not a 4 door 4000lb Falcon

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          There’s no real reason to build the F-150 in Thailand or China. In fact, it would be totally preposterous. F-150 profits are frick’n obscene as it is.

          The US can sign whatever it wants, but cars and trucks aren’t the only things built in Thailand and China. Far from it. Ask Walmart.

          The Mustang is nearing 4,000 lbs with just 2 doors. It’s not so tiny.

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          “When they move F150 production to Thailand or China,”

          that will never happen. GM and Chrysler would shred them in the court of public opinion, and I can all but guarantee you F-150 sales would go in the bin.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      Assuming it is being shipped overseas it’s not a place that follows the European regulations. It doesn’t have the export taillights or the sidemarkers.

  • avatar
    NN

    My guess would be that the cars being loaded onto the boat in Baltimore are headed to the Middle East. If you follow Mid-East sales figures, you’ll see the US style vehicles do sell relatively well there, compared to Europe where they are practically non-existent. The Mustang is actually not the giveaway, the Taurus is. I don’t think there are very many markets worldwide that sell the Taurus, however, they do sell it in the Mid East.

    • 0 avatar
      romismak

      Actually Middle east is only region where US styled vehicles are popular. Thanks to cheap oil and seing American brand of vehicle as something special. Than you have Jeep succes in China, but in other markets US big SUV´s, muslce cars like Mustang are not so popular

  • avatar
    romismak

    I think it´s good sign for US automotive industry that exports are good part of total industry now. Before crisis US market was bigger 16-17m for decade but so many japanese imports, now those same companies have more facilities in NAFTA so they don´t need to import from Japan so much, that means once you have factory in US you export at least to CAnada, Mexico + they realized it´s good that 1 good selling model can be exported globally – also today with globalization is easier to export to all corners of the world. Agree that US exports have limits, with markets like China – i mean market will grow, but also automakers will have more plants there. US companies being 1/2 of export is good number, i would like to see exactly how big share has Chrysler, because basically they are most export oriented with no factories outside of NA, Jeeps are now global brand all US made. Ford is exporting mostly SUV´s, Mustang and so on. GM has Cadillac – which is not exactly popular outside of NA, GMC´s Chevrolets for Middle east and that´s it. now EV – but still in small numbers. 1/2 of exports are Big 3 and from that 1/2 is CAnada/MExico so rest of the world is 1/4 of total from big 3 that´s half million vehicles and i am sure Chrysler thanks to Jeep is by far biggest exporter to Rest of the world

  • avatar
    Joss

    The USA has the biggest manufacturing capacity in the world and the best utilization of factory robots. Exchange rates fluctuate but things are never as clear cut as they seem. North Korea needs a Gorbachev but with a family dynasty it’s hard to sprout. A Ceaucescu exit followed by a post-Franco amnesty for the military would clear the way.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    It will be interesting to see if exports out of Canada improve in 2 years time once the Canada/EU FTA kicks in. The FTA has “Canadian content” rules in place to block USA based car companies (read Detroit big 3)from exporting USA vehicles through Canada. IIRC 40% Canadian content for exports under 100K and 20% content for over 100K.

    These vehicles are currently built in Canada:
    Chevrolet Equinox,GMC Terrain
    Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger,Dodge Charger, Lancia Thema
    Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Volkswagen Routan, Lancia Voyager
    Ford Edge, Flex, Lincoln MKT, MKX
    Chevrolet Equinox, Impala,Buick Regal,Chevrolet Camaro
    Honda Civic, Acura CSX, Acura MDX, ZDX, Honda Civic; CR-V
    Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Lexus RX350,Toyota RAV4

    Looks like Fiat is already building for export under the Lancia name.

    Ford doe plan on increasing its global presence in the SUV market. IIRC, they used to make the Mustang in Canada so restarting assembly would help their EU export plans.

    The Japanese already have global products under the same badges.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      ” now those same companies have more facilities in NAFTA so they don´t need to import from Japan so much, that means once you have factory in US you export at least to CAnada, Mexico + they realized it´s good that 1 good selling model can be exported globally – also today with globalization is easier to export to all corners of the world.”

      Pretty WELL summed up what is happening. It is expensive and difficult to actually export Automotive products to the US. Using the US as an export base they(transplanted manufacturers) can export globally.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Lou_BC
      From that list Honda Civic, Acura, Toyota RAV4, Corolla and Lexus RX350 would have a ready market in Europe. The Lancia is not a big seller.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @RobertRyan
        It would be good for the Canadian auto sector in Ontario to be able to increase jobs through exports. Ontario has been hit hard by the “great recession”. As you have shown, the Japanese corporations based in Canada have a better shot at benefitting because they already have global products here.
        The West (B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan) has boomed because of oil, gas, and mining.
        The resource sector has also shifted markets. Lumber was exported primarily to the USA but USA countervailing duties levied on the false premise that our governments subsidize the lumber industry have forced companies to open up markets in the orient. The USA shot themselves in the foot by reducing access to our less costly and arguably superior SPF (spruce/pine/fir) softwood. Being forced to look elsewhere for markets have increased market stability. We did not get hit hard by the USA housing collapse.
        The USA is even threatening tariffs on products shipped to the USA via the port of Prince Rupert. The USA alleges subsidization. The truth of the matter is that it is several days less shipping time by boat. Rail is also faster due to being able to avoid congested USA rail corridors. The USA is only hurting themselves by petty politics aimed at protecting vote rich sectors.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Lou
          I think the Canadians can benefit most from an FTA with the Eurozone.

          Canada could hopefully end up with a vehicle mix far better than we have in Australia.

          As RobertRyan pointed out the Canadian already make products that are suitable for a European market. The only thing missing is diesel variants of these vehicles.

          One can only hope that the Canadians harmonise their vehicle regs in line with the UNECE.

          One day instead of your F-150 you can buy a BT50 like mine and get over 30mpg on the highway ;) or the AWD, 8spd Amarok, with the 250hp, 450ftlb, V6 diesel and still get over 30mpg.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @DiM – interesting new spin, now you expect to see the Colorado sell like hotcakes because government agencies are only allowed to buy from “domestic” brands. The Tacoma is built in the USA and therefore meets the definition of a domestic product but only 5% of them go to fleets. You are really reaching there – 100,000 Colorado’s all with a municipal, state, or federal logo on the door. Can I quote you in a years time once fleet and retail numbers get posted?

    You need to research more before you speak – the Boss 302 was built specifically to beat the M3 on a track. The GT Mustang will not run with an M3. The Boss 302 barely does and only if you use the track key.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Lou_BC – Are you saying the Mustang GT was designed to be a split second behind the M3 at the track?

      youtube.com/watch?v=uOwSPccbzl4

      The M3 was killed at the track with the minor enhancements of the Boss 302. Sure the M3 was the inspiration for the Boss, but it obviously didn’t take much to do it.

      youtube.com/watch?v=BxEhnugwzCc

      Track Key my A$$!!!

      fordtrackkey.com/trackey/

      The Track Key only became available November 1st, 2011. The above MotorTrend video was shot early March, 2011

      The M3 is just way overrated. And not just its handling. Nothing magical at all. Just a hot rod’d version of cheap, everyday car. Not unlike the Mustang GT/Boss 302/GT500.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Lou_BC – It’s not a legal requirement but a political one. Tax dollars had better be spent on USA based/owned companies. Especially on big ticket purchases with high visibility. The private sector commonly follows the same guidelines, especially when they’re high profile and or attract government contracts. Road building, construction, etc.

      Personally I prefer to support the home team at all costs. With my personal cars and trucks too. I’ll obsessively support locally owned and mom/pop businesses, specifically avoiding national chain stores, restaurants, gas stations and hardware when ever possible.

      Orkin had no choice but to go with Tacomas when they became the only mid-size truck on the market (that’s a regular cab).

      I don’t know what percentage of private consumers share my views, but think about the last time you were arrested… Wouldn’t you be PI$$’d if you were cuff’d & stuff’d into a Toyota Avalon???

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        As I pointed out above, annual government fleet sales of smaller pickups number in the four figures. That segment is not large enough to make a difference, while the government fleet buyers tend to purchase the full size alternatives.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          That’s correct, but then there’s private sector fleet. And not all business type, multi truck purchases get recorded as “fleet sales”. Enter “Fleetail”.

          tundraheadquarters.com/blog/fleet-sales-versus-retail-sales-trucks/

          And this doesn’t account for pent up demand from normal cheapskates, bottom feeders and other rebate demanding, stripper truck buying, MPG obsessed, bargain hunters that also prefer domestic, Big 3 offerings.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The entire compact pickup market is on the slide in the US, and it seems unlikely that it will make a comeback.

            GM would be wiser to focus on selling more Silverados, while VW is displaying a rare show of brilliance by staying the hell away from it.

            Only in the comments sections of certain car blogs does a push into small trucks sound like a good idea. But those who post on internet blogs don’t have to pay for the hundreds of millions of dollars that would be lost from implementing their bad ideas. There’s enough business to make it worthwhile for Nissan and Toyota, but not much more than that.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I agree, but I still stand behind the 100,000 sales estimate, mainly because it’ll be the only domestic, “Big 3″ in the segment. But it’ll severely cut into Tacoma and Frontier sales too. The regular cab Tacoma is going away after this year, so it’ll even the playing field (among base strippers, all extended cabs).

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @DiM – don’t know what you mean by “think about the last time you were arrested” comment. My line of work requires a criminal record search every 3 years. Any criminal or drug related charges would mean my professional licence would be pulled.
        It must of traumatized you being stuffed into an Avalon. Do tell?

        As far as what the police are driving, I don’t really care. The only major PIA for them no longer having the Crown Vic is the fact that it makes them harder to spot on the highway if you are speeding.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Lou_BC – You might not care if your government offices/agencies use Toyotas, Hyundais and other import OEMs as official vehicles, but you know a few things that most citizens don’t. Like where cars are assembled and domestic parts content. Most Canuckians might be darn well PI$$’d though. And have you ever seen a Toyota (or other import OEM) police cruiser? Would it be legal? Of course it would.

          There’s nothing preventing them from buying them, for any official use. Although, my town has a newer Toyota Tacoma 4X4 crew, fully loaded with a camper shell, as an official city vehicle with the city seal on the doors. But it was confiscated in a drug bust.

          I’m sure there’s a few government agencies that do buy import OEMs as official vehicles, but they’re the exception that makes the rule.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I have seen a Nissan Altima as a police car. No Camry’s yet. Police tend to be conservative and that is reflected in their purchasing. It looks like the RCMP (at least in the Northern part of BC where I live) is going to the Tahoe. It makes sense as a truck based SUV is much more versatile than even the Crown Vic. It has more clearance and is generally tougher for back country roads and winter conditions.

            Government fleets in my area tend to be industry watchdogs so they all buy full sized pickups. It all depends on who offers lowest bid. For a while I saw mostly Chevy’s and now I’m seeing more Fords.
            My town has every vehicle brand including Toyota. Their heavy machinery inventory is a who’s who of every global brand.

            There is one big company in my town that has Tacoma Crew Cab 4×4′s, a mix of Tundra and F150 1/2 tons and all of their HD’s are F350.

            I do see the odd phenomenon of “Jap” bashing here. It makes no sense when every vehicle in the Canadian market is “foreign”. Harley guys are the worst bunch for this. They get pissed off when I point out that Harley is made in the USA and the last time I checked, the USA was a foreign country. I got more respect from the Harley guys with my Austrian KTM’s than with Japanese bikes. I have seen the same attitudes with cars and trucks but no where near as much as with bikers.
            Sled guys tend to be extremely brand loyal but I’ve never heard a guy say that you should only buy Skidoo because it is Canadian.

            Currently the Ridgeline is the only truck assembled in Canada. It doesn’t meet my wants or needs so I’m not about to screw myself just to get a home built truck. Same goes for mini-vans. The Grand Caravan is made in Canada but the last one we owned was a POS.
            The Detroit auto industry relied on patriotism to carry sales for many years as they produced crap almost across the entire product line. That is one of the big reasons why the Japanese were able to dominate the passenger car market.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou
            Here in Australia they use anything. We even have had some Porche’s used. Highway patrol generally have specialised vehicles from HSV or even FPV.

            It would be interesting for TTAC to do a series on Police Vehicles form around the world.

            Up where I live they use quite a few Toyota 76 Series and Hilux’s for the easier stuff.

            In Australia, government vehicles, even military must be the lowest price to do the job, irrespective of country of origin.

            This is quite good as it saves the taxpayer dollars. Not so many whine either. Many view a motor vehicle in Australia as a tool to do a job.

            The same could be stated in most countries.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou_BC – Alright I can see your government offices may not be so loyal to Big 3 OEMs since they are foreign owned and the most useful vehicles to government offices in Canada are imported. Except for the now extinct Crown Vic.

            But I’m sure you can see why US government offices are so loyal to the home team. The same goes for the private sector and normal consumers.

            And I’m sure mine and other’s blind loyalty to Big 3 OEMs did them a disservice, but I’ve always lusted after the (muscle) cars and trucks that import brands could never duplicate, and weren’t even trying. And still aren’t. Yes you maybe took a hit in quality and reliability (for the team), but for me it was all worth it. And wasn’t so bad.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @DenverMike – I can see why people are loyal to domestic brands but as I have said earlier, the Big 3 have abused that privilege. I will buy what I feel will give me reliable service for the price I am willing to pay. I own a F150 and my wife has a Sienna. Both were built in the USA. I’d consider a home built product only if it meets my criteria.

    Machines aren’t loyal. They just perform the tasks they are designed to do. Those machines are often associated with fond memories which adds sentimentality to the mix. We attach personality to those machines which increases those emotions. Car companies are not loyal to us and they exploit that sentimentality.

    I have friends in various trades and business. I will use their services or products because of that friendship. I don’t mind paying a bit more to support those friends. The caveat is if they are shitty at what they do, I will not support that. A friend will wake up at 3 AM to help you out but the machine I own will just respond to the turn of a key.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India