Any Opinions on foreign automakers being required to have some plant in the US?

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by bitzman, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. bitzman

    bitzman F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2008
    I wrote this as a possible editorial without trying to sound too jingoistic. Any agreement or disagreement?

    BUSINESS: Why foreign automakers should build more plants in the US

    A quick look at Wikipedia shows these foreign automakers having plants in the US

    • Toyota Motor Corporation

    • Honda Motor Company

    • Nissan Motor Company

    • Mazda Motor Corporation

    • Subaru Corporation

    • Hyundai Motor Company

    • Kia Motors

    • Volkswagen Group

    • Volvo Cars

    • BMW Group

    • Daimler AG

    • Hino Motors
      I know that a lot of the plants are more assembly plants than from-the-ground-up plants. My ideal of an automaker was how Ford did it in the 1920s--having raw ore brought in from the Great Lakes at one end of the River Rouge factory and finished cars coming out the other.
      Ideally I would like all the components to be, if not made in the US , then for each automaker in the US to have US back up plans so if anything happened to the component supplier in some far off land, they can still get cars completed. America learned the hard way during the pandemic that "cheaper offshore" spells trouble if there' a break in the supply chain.
      Now I notice a few companies from foreign automakers selling America missing from that list. No Audi. No Roll Royce. No Bentley. No Ferrari. No Jaguar. No Lamborghini. No McLaren.I know, I know, you're going to say "But Rolls Royce--how could they match the quality?" but they did build Rolls Royces in Brewster Mass. once upon a time. A good many are still rolling. Nothing wrong with teaching us Americans how to aim higher on quality.
      I think each of these foreign automakers should also have a design studio here, to cater to US consumer wants.
      I know some of you are going to ay "But isn't this all just for the optics--so some politician an stand in front of the factory and crow how many Americans are working there?" I say no, as proven the fact that many of them are ex-porting the cars built here. So it wasn't just for optics. And all the foreign automakers together, before the pandemic, were producing almost 5,000,000 cars a year, rivaling domestic automakers.
      As an old car buff, I appreciate the craftsmanship in many a foreign car but I also think automakers the world over should think about the good public relations of having a plant stateside. True a few of their premium models might still be made abroad but as long as they are employing Americans as well as selling cars to Americans, it makes it all the more more simpatico..
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  3. JL350

    JL350 Karting

    Jan 20, 2013
    While I appreciate the nationalistic pride if that is the right term, there is some balance required if you plan to export then some level of import is required so that is an element of fairness to with trade partners. I wish we had more manufacturing in Australia because we have an abundance of raw materials but a small internal market that makes being competitive a real challenge. Unfortunately we gave up a lot because people wanted cheap, so importing from China became the norm.

    I guess the question is how do you get the consumer to see the value of locally produced so that the have a preference for that over an imported item, which may allow economic success for the local production?
  4. PureEuroM3

    PureEuroM3 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 31, 2006
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Full Name:
    Long answer short I do not feel they should be required to do so.

    However when you look at the companies that do it is clear they have viable financial benefits for the company and the country. Thus why would you not do it?

    The reason I don't feel it should be mandatory is because it can pose major implications on smaller brands. Pagani for example may not be able to scale into the USA as KIA did. If they did it would probably be a loop hole anyway and not financially beneficial.

    With the right tools, training, and people I do not see how we vehicles produced in North America could be assembled in lesser quality than overseas. Yes I know it is a vague statement but it is true. You can see the difference here first hand with the quality of a product coming out of Texas (Toyota trucks for example) and Dearborn @ Ford.
  5. bitzman

    bitzman F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2008
    OK I will grant a special dispensation (or are those only given by the Pope?) to allow cars made in numbers less than 1000 to import to the US, without having to build a plant stateside. There used to be a law similar back when the Mangusta was imported as long as they didn't make more than 500 they could bring it in. Under the hood was a sticker listing all the laws it was being given a waiver for, I think an accomplishment in finessing Congress.

    As to how do you get the people to prefer the locally produced "foreign" car? There could be little incentives like cars built in America get indoor parking, or in an outdoor lot the first five rows closest to the building, their kids qualify for scholarships, discounts in store, the whole nine yards. I am thinking of advocating the same for owners o electric cars, here the whole world is getting set to make pure electrics but market penetration is woefully low at 4%.

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