Hecho En Los Estados Unidos

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

I’ve long argued that if Detroit were to be nationalized (and it was, not that I’m arguing it was a good idea) the US government should make Detroit make it worth the taxpayers’ while and return production from low wage countries, such as Mexico, to the United States. This would have two effects: more US citizens would be hired and the government’s trade deficit would be reduced. Hey, if you’re going to make a private enterprise a government arm, then make that government arm contribute something positive to the country. Much of Detroit’s portfolio is made in Mexico: the Ford Fusion, the (yet to be released) Ford Fiesta, The Ford F-Series, the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, the Chevrolet Aveo/Pontiac G3 and the Chevrolet HHR to name but a few. This has long been a practice of Detroit and some transplants (e.g., VW with the Jetta and Beetle; Toyota with the Tacoma). Exploit low wage countries for maximum profits in higher wage countries. Well, Honda didn’t get the message.

Columbus Business First reports that Honda’s Greensburg, Indiana, plant is gearing up production of Honda Civic saloons for export to Mexico and 22 other Caribbean and Latin countries. “Manufacturing products for export broadens the experiences of our associates, contributes positively to America’s and Indiana’s international trade, and shows our commitment to the continued growth and evolution of our business in Indiana,” Rick Schostek, vice president for Honda Manufacturing of Indiana.

Now, considering Honda are one of the few car companies in this downturn to still make a profit, I’m guessing they’ve calculated this move very carefully to make sure they’ll turn a profit. Which goes to show you that you CAN make a car (and this is a small car, one of the least profitable segments there is, according to Detroit) in a high wage country and still turn a profit in a low wage country. Kind of reminds me of when Detroit said they couldn’t meet 1970’s emission laws in the United States without the use of a catalytic convertor; until Honda proved them wrong about that, too.

Cammy Corrigan
Cammy Corrigan

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  • Windswords Windswords on Sep 23, 2009

    Morea, You can read about Chrysler's own independent lean-burn system here: http://www.allpar.com/mopar/lean-burn.html "Lanny Knutson wrote in the Plymouth Bulletin (reprinted by permission): A new electronic spark advance module called Lean Burn was introduced by Chrysler [in 1976] on all its 400 and 440 engines. Six sensors monitored the engine RPM, manifold vacuum, water temperature, ambient temperature, intake air temperature and throttle position, sending the data to a small computer unit mounted on the air filter housing. A pioneering version of what is now under the hood of nearly every contemporary car, Lean Burn was designed to avoid the driveability problems usually arising from manually leaned carburetors. Although it gained approximately one mile per gallon, the primary purpose of the system was controlling emissions inside the engine. For a time, it permitted Chrysler to avoid use of expensive power-robbing catalytic converters. In 1977 Lean Burn was extended to the 360 engine. [It was later put onto the 318 and Slant Six before.]"

  • Morea Morea on Sep 23, 2009

    Thanks windswords!

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.