QOTD: Is Your Driveway a Champion of Diversity?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

People and cultures, like the arts, traditions and cuisine born of those cultures, come in all flavors, and so do cars. The great thing about global trade is that we have choice in nearly everything we buy. Few, if any, people are forced to purchase a product because no alternatives built by rival companies exist.

And, because we’re not living under the thumb of an oppressive apparatus that demands us proles buy dismal crapboxes from a sole state-owned factory, our driveway diversity is off the charts. Maybe yours tops them all.

Sure, there’s some notable absences. All Chinese-brand cars, for instance. Brands like Seat and Skoda and Holden and Opel and Daihatsu and the PSA Group lineup (for now), Hindustan, and vehicles built at AvtoVAZ factories in Russia. There’s plenty of vehicular nationalities we can’t get our hands on.

Old rarities sometimes float across the oceans, and a person’s advanced age (or globe-trotting career) can mean a now-unattainable brand once passed into their ownership, either here or abroad.

Sadly, your author can’t claim a diverse ownership history of various auto nationalities. Nope, just two countries: America and Japan. No Germans, no Italians, no Swedes (almost, though), no Koreans, and no Brits. My father’s father only owned two nationalities in his life: American and British, though a Renault Dauphine almost fell into his lap in the 1960s. My mom’s father could claim to have owned British, American, and Canadian — specifically, the Chevy-ripoff Acadian brand.

My father was very much the same, owning American, Japanese, and a lone Vauxhall Firenza. There was almost a Russian model once, but that bargain-basement Lada romance was not to be. Same goes for the VW Beetle he left on the lot following a near rollover during a test drive. Indeed, no one in my immediate family has ever owned a German car.

Here’s where you come in. Can you claim more vehicular diversity than anyone in your family or circle of friends? We’re not talking individuals brands or bodystyles, just country of origin (in the headquarters sense, not the production side of things). What’s your tally, B&B?

[Images: General Motors, Citroen, Kia]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Synchromesh Synchromesh on Apr 26, 2019

    Let's see... 1. '87 Buick Skyhawk 2. '89 Subaru RX 3. '93 Honda Accord 4. '00 Acura Integra 5. '94 Mazda Miata 6. '95 Mazda Miata 7. '12 Subaru WRX 8. '72 VW Beetle 9. '75 Porsche 914 10. '68 Porsche 912 (project) 11. '69 Porsche 912 (project) 12. '84 Porsche 911 Pretty much everything was made either in Japan or Germany. 2 exceptions: Accord and Buick were both made in US. So not very diverse. But then again I refuse to touch modern German and American cars so only buyer newer Japanese. But for old cars for some reason I like German, flat-engined and aircooled. Go figure.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Apr 26, 2019

    I've owned 3 vehicles built in Japan, 2 built in Mexico, 1 built in Korea, 3 built in Canada (I believe) and the rest built in the USA. Currently, my driveway is home to two Mazdas, 1 built in Mexico and the other straight from the land of the rising sun.

    • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Apr 27, 2019

      Repeating what others have done, in roughly sequential order: 1993 Ford Aerostar 1993 Ford Escort 1991 Buick LeSabre 1995 Honda Accord *1994 Toyota Corolla (brother drove this one) 2003 Honda Accord 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix 2011 Kia Forte 2013 Ford Focus *1998 Chevy T10 Blazer (bought same day as Focus) *1998 Chevy Malibomb (mom drove) 2014 Ford Escape *2003 Buick Century (mom drove) 2014 Focus ST 2016 Mazda Mazda3 2017 Chrysler 300 2017 Mazda Mazda6 **2018 Mazda Mazda3 (bought jointly with mom) Mom has been mostly domestic (Fords and GMs) with an oddball Dodge Dynasty and a very used Volvo. Dad has been all domestic aside from his Festiva and Aspire.

  • Lou_BC I suspect that since the global pandemic, dealerships have preferred to stay with the "if you want it, we will order it" business model. They just need some demo models on hand and some shiny bits to catch the impulse buyer. Profits are higher and risks lower this way.
  • Probert When I hear the word "patriot", I think of entitled hateful whining ignorant traitors to democracy. But hey , meant to say "Pass the salt."
  • Lou_BC A brand or inanimate object isn't patriotic. A person can buy said object based upon patriotism. I'd prefer to buy local or domestic. Is supporting one's fellow countrymen patriotic or logical? I'd rather buy from an allie than a foe. Is that patriotic or logical?
  • Ajla I don't have any preference on vehicle assembly beyond that it not be built in a handful of certain nations that I don't like for nonautomotive reasons. However, I don't think the "patriotism" survey had as much to do with assembly as it did with iconography. Which might be a more interesting question.
  • Verbal "Automakers also appear to be continuing to push higher-priced vehicles with larger margins, rather than trying to meet demand for their more-affordable models."What more-affordable models would those be? In the case of the domestics, there aren't any. They cut almost all of their passenger car lines to focus on high-margin pickups and SUVs. On one level this makes sense. If I earn low margins on some of the vehicles I make and high margins on others, just stop making the low margin ones and the problem is solved, right? Except the average buyer can't afford, nor do they even want, to buy an $80,000 truck.