Question of the Day: Will You Buy American?

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
question of the day will you buy american

When I was a kid, the family car was American. Not just American, but GM– thanks to a lemony Ford Falcon my mother owned in the 60s. My Dad, however, was a fan of foreign metal. So my sister and I got stuffed into the horrendous backseats of a Renault 8, a Honda Civic CVCC and a Datsun 280Z 2+2. Once we hit soccer practice age, those were dumped in favor of a never-ending string of Pontiacs, Buicks and Chevrolets. We never bought German cars (Nazi associations). Actually, more acurately, my mother would never let my father buy a German car. I didn't even know my old man liked German cars until one day, when I was 13 or so, I dragged him to a Porsche/BMW dealer. He sat in a BMW M5 for a good 30 minutes, just day dreaming. On the flip side, people often tell me they'll never buy an American car. Ever. What's your stance on buying American?

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  • Eggpainter Eggpainter on May 01, 2008

    seoultrain: Not to get off topic, but you're illustrating my case in point: I am not talking about building a PC "from scratch", just the same way we are not talking about building a car "from scratch". Off the shelf (read: off the dealership floor), a MacBook Pro and an IBM/Lenovo laptop with the exact same specs (except video card) pitted head-to head (they sit on my desk) and the MBP clobbers the Lenovo every time. Rest assured: it has zero to do with "if I know what I'm doing", along the same lines as a quality car has little to do with how good the driver is. I'm sorry, my analogy isn't any clearer, and so I'll drop it. Like computers, people's passion for vehicles is generally fueled by gut feeling, unsubstantiated evidence and FUD for what might be better/cheaper/faster than what we know. Maybe cars is like religion then... no... that can't be it... Or maybe like politics? Nah... I know a Volvo S80 owner that has had nearly every major component on his car replaced over the past five years. Does he care? Only if you ask him. What will his next car be, when the S80 implodes? Another Volvo.

  • Y2kdcar Y2kdcar on May 01, 2008

    Will I buy American? Absolutely yes. Thanks to poor resale, domestic brands are a used-car buyer's dream these days, and most of them are built well enough to run way past 100,000 miles with little more than routine maintenance and replacement of normal wear items. The Ford products have been the best of the lot for me, though I've also had good luck with several GM car lines. I even took a gamble on a used Dodge Caravan last year when I found that a comparable Sienna or Odyssey would have cost nearly twice as much to buy. The Dodge is pleasant to drive and has been reliable so far. If I were buying new, I'd consider Ford in preference to any of the Japanese brands. I tend to keep a car for at least 8 years or 100,000 miles, so resale value at the three-year point is not terribly important to me. I put more weight on the lower initial cost of a domestic car, the (often) lower cost of insurance, and the lower cost of maintenance and repairs.

  • BabyM BabyM on May 01, 2008

    GM did their best to drive me away with the '67 Grand Prix and '75 Vega and '78 Monza I used to drive--especially the Monza. Ford gave my Dad a biodegradable '72 Galaxie (it decomposed into iron oxide in a matter of months) and my sister a '86 EXP with an electrical system that would have made John Lucas look good. Chrysler . . . we won't go there. That said, I test-drove an '07 Cobalt SS Supercharge and liked it. I'm favorably impressed with the quality (if not the design) of recent Fords. I'd buy American next time I'm buying if they offered what I wanted and I could trust the thing not to fall apart on me.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on May 01, 2008

    As used car values, the depreciation makes many domestics a great buy. As for buying new, I consider all vehicles that appeal to me in the class that I am interested in. Sometimes the end result is American, sometimes it is not. But if the question is will you consider a domestic? Absolutely. There are plenty of imports that have worse reliability then the Americans. That dealer network really needs some help though. Being dismissed by service writers that don't know what the difference is between a map sensor and a sparkplug annoys the crap out of me.