traviblog

just some sort of lame blog

"Made in the USA" my ass

A recent Wired article talks briefly about outsourcing and "American" goods. During a 5 hour oil change I got last week I had time to read every magazine and newspaper in Van Bortel's customer service area. One of the articles talked about the new Chevy Aveo. It's basically a cheap little Korean-made econo-box sold under Chevy's name. What bugs me is that Chevy's new ad campaign is "An American Revolution", America [this], American [that]. The Ford Focus is considered "American" by most. I guess you could say that is true, Mexico is in North America. The entire car used to be assembled in Mexico, but now just the engines are. Calling VW's Jetta "German" would just be a lie IMHO since it is also made in Mexico. Saturns are "American", right? Well assuming that you count their Canadian parts as American, and you don't buy one with an automatic, since their automatic transmissions are made in Japan. (I got most of my facts from usstuff.com)

I think that as more and more communication barriers are broken, more and more trade barriers will be broken, we will see more and more companies using parts from all kinds of different countries. Financially it makes sense. If you can find a better price on a comparable product elsewhere, why not buy it? I just find it irritating when companies advertise themselves as being "American Made", "Made in the USA", or even "German" or "Japanese" when they aren't 100%. They could at least include a disclaimer that says that they're mostly [insert nationality here], and list the parts, processes, or ownerships that aren't. If businesses continue to mislead the public, it will only lead to their miserable failure.

Personally I don't shop for things that are "Made in the USA", I just try to find a reliable product that performs well for the price. My Subaru Outback is probably considered "Japanese" by most, even though it was put together by US workers in Indiana, and even though GM owns 20% of Subaru's parent company Fuji Heavy Industries. I consider myself American because I was born and raised here, even though my roots are Irish, German, Polish, French-Canadian, English, and more - of course before all of these I am first human.
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