Detroit auto sales plummeted an average of 36% between Ford and Dodge in the month of July 2010 alone. The foreign competition rapidly made up the difference with automakers such as Toyota improving sales with an 11. 7% increase in sales. This significant increase moves them into the number two position, surpassing Ford Motor Company for the first time ever (Businessweek). Foreign engineered vehicles are becoming superior to those with a domestic origin. Initially, these cars have an increase in cost compared to domestic vehicles, but are more cost effective in the long run.
Generally, foreign engineered vehicles contain better features than the domestic competition. In addition, imported vehicles are economically friendly to both the Canadian and American auto sectors; foreign makes and models attract buyers from foreign cultures in North America by boosting the economy. Furthermore, foreign vehicles are known to retain their value and reliability better than domestic vehicles. Inevitably, imported cars continue to dominate the North American auto sales economy, and it has become undeniable that foreign engineering is the best “bang for your buck”.
The years of “All American-Muscle” and gas-guzzling trucks are now just unconventional things from the past. In these modern times, the general public is less concerned about features pertaining to how much more horsepower people can gain with their new Kenne Bell “Mammoth” supercharger or how much mud they can crawl through with their 35 inch “Nitto Mud Grapplers. ” Instead, they are more concerned with fuel economy, comfort, and style, with some buyers even looking to purchase the fuel efficient hybrid models. As gas prices continue to increase, the world has started to change its methods of production with a higher focus on fuel economy.
These changes are mainly economically based, but also have to do with the recent focus on carbon emissions. In turn, people are more aware and conscientious about the decisions and they are making and how they will affect future generations. With car owners purchasing and driving fuel efficient vehicles, they are saving large amounts of money as well as reducing their carbon footprint. According to “Consumer Reports Canada 2010” the top nine out of ten cars with best overall fuel economy were foreign makes and models that all averaged 36.
4 mile/per gallon (mpg) which is equal to approximately 6. 5 litres/100 kilometres (11). The worst fuel economy list was dominated by domestic vehicles such as the Cadillac Escalade and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD LTZ (11). With green house gas emissions becoming a large concern for both of the government and many car owners, engineers have turned to electric motors to work in correspondence with the internal combustion engine. Hybrid electric vehicles also known as Hybrids, are considered the best of both worlds because they combine the benefits of a gasoline engine with an electric motor.
Three of the typical uses in hybrid vehicles include: “Regenerative Braking” which is where the electric motor applies resistance to the drivetrain causing the wheels to slow down. Another use is “Electric Motor Drive/Assist”, where the electrical motor provides additional power to assist the engine, allowing smaller, more efficient engines to be used. The third feature is “Automatic Start/Shut off” where the engine automatically shuts off when the vehicle comes to a stop and restarts when the gas pedal is pressed, preventing wasted energy (How Hybrids Work).
Over half of the cars in the best fuel economy class from Consumer Reports Canada 2010 were hybrid cars. A vehicle is not all about the special features it contains, but also style. Import hybrids attract a variety of types of buyers with their sleek design. In addition, perks from the dealership help reinforce individual dealerships customer service and satisfaction. With technology causing an evolution in vehicle design, things like style, comfort, and fuel economy, have become the top concern among consumers. It is all of this and more that foreign engineers are bringing to the table.
Owners of foreign vehicles will admit that the initial cost of an import vehicle is more than that of a domestic, but in the long term it proves to be worth it and eventually less expensive. For example, a 2010 Nissan Altima sedan starts at $23,798, and a comparable model, the 2010 Ford Fusion, starts at $19,999 (Nissan, Ford). From a purchaser’s point of view they must consider many things that could affect the cost down the road. One question many buyer’s ask themselves is: Is spending less initially going to save more money in the long term?
An example of future expenses that should be looked into is basic repairs, such as brake jobs, or the replacement of wheel bearings. It is usually the domestic car being cheaper to fix, but generally the import models require less attention. In today’s economic decline, money has become a tender subject in many households, as it can be quite difficult to manage the finances. Consequently, it is no surprise that families choose to spend a little more on a new vehicle in order to save thousands of dollars over ten or more years.
Foreign engineered vehicles are economically friendly to North American businesses. The number of import models that are manufactured and assembled in North America continues to increase. Assembly plants such as Toyota located in Cambridge ON, create and offer thousands of job opportunities in one single location. Now think of how many locations one automaker would have, and then how many different automakers there are. It all adds up, creating millions of jobs in North America alone. Each plant, no matter which brand of vehicle, creates jobs.
The jobs allow people to support families, and the profit from these companies is very unlikely to return to the area in which it came from. Whether it is a foreign plant or a domestic plant, the probability is high that the profits will just allow the rich to become richer. Large assembly plants located in small cities close to rural areas, such as the Toyota plant in Cambridge, provide an opportunity for members of rural communities to live where they please with a shorter commute to work. As a result citizens are able to help support their local community and area in which they live.
The reason the brands such as Mazda, Toyota, or BMW are classified foreign rather than domestic is that they “contain less than 75% domestic parts and labour” (Money Allocator). However, these parts and products are not only being produced in other countries, but as well as in North America. As the expansion of assembly plants continues, it is becoming a positive factor on not only the small local communities but also North America. As the number of available jobs increases, employment goes up and citizens can equally contribute to their communities and support the local businesses.
Many people have the opinion that foreign vehicles affect the North American economy in a negative way. Without the various amounts of foreign production plants and dealerships, the available number of jobs would be greatly decreased. The North American economy would experience high unemployment rates and many families that would no longer be able to sustain their living standards without the support of the government. Having foreign assembly plants and dealerships in North America does not only create jobs but it brings foreign cultures to North America along with their money.
Why worry about changing the mind of a domestic engineered car supporter? Instead encourage the supporter of foreign models to support their native country’s make and purchase it in Canada so that certain Canadian autoworkers will still have a job when they wake up. Even though only some parts for foreign models are made in Canada, it does not mean that it is a bad thing. All it states is the car is not domestic, and even domestic parts are produced in various countries other than the United States and Canada. All in all foreign engineered vehicles have been an active participant in the prosperity of the North American auto sector.
When comparing value between Domestic cars and Import cars, the testing from Consumer Reports Canada 2010, indicates that foreign automakers dominate the domestic vehicles (15). According to Consumer Reports Canada 2010, the study of best and worst values of each model showed that the top six out of nine cars in every class were import models. The classes consisted of: small cars, family cars, upscale sedans, luxury sedans, sporty cars, wagons/minivans, small SUVs’, and midsize SUVs’. Each of the models were scored on the costs to own for a five year term, the road test that was conducted and the model’s predicted reliability rating.
Two of the winners being Mini Cooper for the sporty cars class and the Hyundai Sante Fe for the mid-sized SUV class (20). Whether you own a brand new car or it is ten years old, at some point in the life of the car it will require repairs. According to Consumer Reports Canada 2010, over a ten year stretch; Toyota and Honda models average approximately 70 problems per 100 vehicles, where GM and Chrysler averaged approximately 130 problems per 100 vehicles (22). When it comes to being reliable 45% of cars that earned the most reliable rating came from Toyota or Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand.
Honda and its luxury brand made up 23% of the list, leaving only 32% for the other vehicles (USA Today). If two brands of imports are able to gain over half the list of the most reliable vehicles, it is no wonder people continue to buy foreign. Overall, it may of taking many years to occur but foreign engineered vehicles have reached the point where they are currently equal to those with a domestic origin and are on the fast track to becoming superior. Primarily, these cars have an increase in value when purchased new in contrast to domestic vehicles, but become more cost effective in the long run.
Frequently, foreign engineered vehicles are designed with better features than the domestic competition. In addition, imported vehicles are economically friendly to both the Canadian and American economies and benefit the auto sectors; by attracting buyers from foreign cultures in North America, boosting the economy. Moreover foreign vehicles are able to retain their value and reliability compared to domestic vehicles. As the diversity in the Canadian and American auto sector continues to grow, so does the dominance of foreign engineered vehicles in the North American Sales economy.
With each year that passes by these foreign vehicles introduce features that surpass those of domestic products such as: exterior/interior, storage and space, audio features, the comfort of the ride (seats, vibration, and shock absorbency), and fuel economy. Producing and selling imports gave North America the advantage of offering and stabilizing a high percentage of employment rates. As well as bring foreign car buyers to North American dealerships to invest in our products with which they are familiar. When engineers design, re-design, and then re-design again a single model just to accomplish near perfection.
As well as being able to make you absolutely desire that car at reasonable cost. While also considering both future value and reliability this has oneself in a state of puzzlement as to why each household has yet to obtain at least one foreign model. Works Cited Foreign Auto Sales Hit Peak in July. Bloomberg Business Group. 8 August 2010. Web. 13 November 2010. Carty, Sharon Silke. Domestic Cars make gains in reliability. USA Today. 11 October 2006. Web. 22 October 2010. Consumer Reports Canada. “Best and Worst”. Consumer Reports Top 2010 Cars April 2010: 10-13. Print.
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