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    Default Japanese/European cars made in US?

    Today's headlines: Many Japanese cars are already "made" in US - according to what reporters tell Trump.
    Tell me, are these reporters stupid? In the same article they state: many Japanese cars are already "assembled" in the US.
    They don't even know the difference between assembling and actually building a car.
    Just how much of a "US made" Japanese car is "made" in the US? I believe that most if not all developing is done in Japan. So are most if not all the components - engines, drive train, electronics, brakes etc. etc.. How about all the tooling, robots etc.? Are they just providing some short quick training for assemblers in cheap labor states? How about all the tax advantages they get for locating on cheap land that would cost them a fortune to buy in Japan?
    Can anybody tell me what parts made in the US go into a "USmade" Japanese car?
    You can not blame the Japanese for taking advantage of what is being offered, but one thing is for sure - all the hi-tech details will stay in Japan.
    I don't think Germany or Sweden are doing anything different. OK - BMW has opened training facilities and is offering apprenticeships. But believe me - the core of all the knowhow stays in Germany or Sweden. Are we on a slippery slope sliding quickly down to being a country of cheap labor?
    One thing the reporters got right: We cant sell any cars in Japan (or Europe) because we don't make anything they would buy. Our cars are to big for use in Japanese or European cities. We don even offer a car with the steering wheel on the right side. The wrong perception of US made cars being of low quality and build to imperial standards still gives our product a bad name. Trump can scream all he wants - they will not transfer their knowhow to the US. Just assemble it!
    Would we transfer our knowhow for fighter jets? NO! Not even assembly!

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    Would we transfer our knowhow for fighter jets? NO! Not even assembly!
    More than 300,000 individual parts all come together to produce the F-35 Lightning II at Lockheed Martin's mile+-long factory in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition, final assembly and checkout is performed at facilities in Cameri, Italy and Nagoya, Japan.
    F-35 Production | F-35 Lightning II


    Can anybody tell me what parts made in the US go into a "USmade" Japanese car?
    You should try google, its pretty amazing.

    Japan's Toyota has the most made-in-the USA car: Camry

    Cars: See Which Car Companies Are the Most American | Time

    American-Made Cars List Topped by Ford, Toyota, Honda | Money

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    I disagree with the OP.
    Politely, but strongly.

    There are no, zero, high-tech details staying in japan - because every single automaker in the world already knows them.
    And every single one could easily deliver any of the features, benefits, or technology if they wanted to - ie it made commercial sense to the US companies.

    Honda, Toyota etc. can make more reliable cars, a bit better, due to the fact their hourly wage costs are about double the USA and the culture is detail, face, quality focused.
    Gm is perfectly capable, for example.

    If GM wanted to, their cars would be just as reliable as honda, within 24 months.
    But it would cost GM perhaps 500-900$ / unit, and they prefer to keep slightly higher profits, higher dividends, higher bonus payments for the managers.
    If the GM managers did not do this, they would get fired, and the next managers would then do so.

    There are endless ways US auto companies could make better cars- in theory.
    Better is always less profitable short-term, but usually more profitable longer term.
    E. A US law mandating more auto workers education, or longer warranties, would immediately boost quality.
    But for 3-4 years the profits would be 15-30% less, and the bondholders and stockholders would protest.
    And the GM dealers.
    And the workers.

    In 10 years GM would make perhaps 100% more profits, but no-one cares in GM management, the government, or the workers, or the unions, or the suppliers, or the consumers.
    Everyone is short-term focused and thinks erroneously it is a zero-sum game - which it is not.

    IF GM or anyone else wanted "better" they could very easily hire more skilled higher educated workers.
    Apply more automation. More internal training.
    Search for more "quality" whatever this is chosen to mean in this context.

    This would lead to a slight (mostly natural) attrition of workers - but bottom ones would tend to drop out.
    The productivity would soar after a period of time -- 2 years or so.

    The US workers would/could actually be extremely productive, and skilled, if they were incentivised to do so, with money.
    Proof / E.
    In germany, a mechanical arts worker costs about 54€/hr. == 65$.
    With 10 years experience.
    Many are engineers or have similar vocational degrees.
    At 54€, the salary == 30-36€. ==4500-5000€ gross, take-home 3000€ or so.

    If GM offered similar over 10 years conditional on training they pay for, AND productivity, endless applicants exist in the US.
    The base problem is the short-sighted wrong pov of traditional US Big Companies.

    They had everything their way for 60+ years, and are totally incapable of rational analysis, or correct decisions as relating to the world we now live in, vs 30-40 years ago.

    The US workers are NOT the problem.
    They would *love* to get a 3500€ / 4000$ salary in 10 years, while doing any nr of work/train/study programs and working hard and learning automation/robotics/efficiencies etc. while gradually paid more as skills grow and productivity rise.
    GM and Big Auto would make *massive* increases in profits if they did so- after 2-3 years.

    The only problems are;
    - the mostly-US narrow focus on next Q. P&L,
    - legislation allowing cheap firing of employees,
    - legislation with no required federal pre-paid cash pension funds,
    - US managers,
    - stock market derivative problems.
    - No cheap and or universal higher education leading to better workers.

    The *more* your worker costs the better for the company.
    Typically, gross marginal profit is 200-300% employee total costs/month.

    A typical german employee, auto, might cost 7000€/month at 35 years age, 10 years experience.
    Gross margin produced == 14.000 € - 21.000 € / month.
    Deduct employee costs, marginal benefit == 8000€ / month.

    A typical US auto worker, maybe 2500$-3500$ == 2900€.
    Gross margin produced == 4.000 € / month.
    Deduct employee costs, marginal benefit == 1100€ / month.

    The example fictional german worker makes 700% more money for the company, and THAT is why the company can fund 3% / month in the retirement fund (so it is not a cash issue ever), 3% in education (leading to more lifetime profits), and 1-2% in benefits why everyone has the best possible tools, IT, automation etc.

    I have myself proven the above in many areas, in many countries, over 200+ people I have trained in many fields.
    I used to do a lot of training - mostly with the cheap starter workers.
    (In this I was wrong. I should have used more higher end people, generally. Very complex issue.)


    Latest, with the best-possible, most expert, engineers in the machine tool field..
    Very highly paid, like 5x++ typical normal national salary,
    We more than doubled the best historical record for the best year from 16 of our most successful person.
    Avg. output rose 500% or more.

    My opinion is that most-any typical US workers could double-triple *net* benefits to the company, in less than one year.
    The US workers are literate, worldly, empowered - but mostly hampered by their management and systems.
    (In any industry that is competitive and scalable. Offshore fishermen, for example, are not in that group - and are already paid well.)
    Almost all my comments apply to OECD countries in general and to latam economies obliquely.

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    Em.. Your data and link is wrong. Quite a lot.

    The most Us made, by far, is the Tesla electric cars, around 67% iirc.
    The link is not wrong as such .. it just does not account for tsla, and uses funny metrics.

    Endless critical corner cases distort the issue.
    E.
    Tsla spent 900M$ R&D on 7.8B$ revenue ==12 % in the USA.
    How much of this is accounted for the year 2016 and cars made then ?
    3%, 8%, 15%, 100% are all somewhat right answers, depending.

    Obviously all the R&D money was spent in the USA - the Q. is how much per car in the real world.
    Some of the IP/sw developed will be used for n years, 1-10-50 take your pick.
    But most sw/IP is re-written multiple times.
    Thus - it is not obvious.

    Also, tsla spent 1.8B$ so far by 2017 developing the gigafactory to make lion batteries in the USA.
    Currently cells are imported from japan.
    Not yet in use, 6-10-15% of car value marginal is the battery, around 112$/kWh marginal cost == 6-8000$/car Real Soon Now.

    Most-all of the US production values are based on stock-market and accounting gimmicks value-added counting.
    Things like stamping one small part of a 1000$ assy, for 1$, and then declaring it made in the USA.
    It is legal, but not true.

    Tsla makes almost everything valuable themselves.
    They are criticized a lot for it by stock market pickers and (often) paid online shills.
    In this part, my opinion is that Tsla is right - and everyone else is wrong.

    This is why:
    Tsla has the cheapest peak 600 kW / 1600 amp/400V VFD in the world, by far. Most efficient. Smallest. Lightest.
    Cheapest/best DC charger, AC/charger, AC drive motor, final drive train, battery pack. Best VFD sw.
    Best auto sw.
    Best auto sw update program (OTA).
    Best battery cells and packs.
    There are 7-10 moats that are very difficult to cross by traditional auto companies or parts suppliers.

    Apart from batteries, all others are or could be easily equaled by any silicon-valley or china-copy type company --
    if they have 1B$ cash in R&D, and 2+ years to do so.
    But..
    almost no-one has 1B$ cash and the will AND ability to spend it on competing in a seeming commodity business.
    This is why GM buys LG parts to make the Bolt - made weak/badly, and too expensive, and non-usa.

    All above illustrates my pov - the US auto company execs are totally incompetent.
    Em - they all went BK - after decades of major profits - this is a highly supportive argument for me.
    (Y-ford did not, just used a loan. Better than some, yes.)

    The US is the world leader in financing, financial innovation, IT, dysney/hollywood etc. and does such things superbly.
    Aerospace (--military costs/human costs) as well.


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    Bobw - thank you. That is what this post is all about. They tell us 75%, 60% of the car is made in America. Just what parts do these
    numbers contain? Do they contain any of the technically advanced parts? Are they made up of "run of the mill simple easy to manufacture" parts? Where does the design come from? Where is the tooling made? R&D? Production equipment? Manufacturing methods?
    Are these numbers just blown up show numbers? Could a US factory making 80% of a vehicle supply the other 20% and stand on it's own?
    These kind of claims are easily made. Does R&D even figure into those 80%? How about automated manufacturing?
    Just simple questions.
    I know things are much more complicated and some good replies are posted as to the reasons for the sinking US manufacturing sector.
    Thank you.


    "

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    Any US company could supply 100% of the parts.
    Perhaps 80% of the pro members on this forum could do so, and perhaps 10% profitably.

    I know for a fact I could, and I have never made auto parts.
    (It would take me much longer, and the ramp would be wobbly. )
    But I 100% could, and would.
    And am/would be happy to do so on any 10M+ firm parts order. (So would the others here, with more experience. They would be 10x more reliable as suppliers - although I would maybe end up better and cheaper at some point.))


    Many people here can make anything - if you have the money. Tonytn, Rivett, any nr of others..
    Many people here can scale it up - profitably. Motion guru is one imho.
    Maybe me.


    Quote Originally Posted by juergenwt View Post
    Bobw - thank you. That is what this post is all about. They tell us 75%, 60% of the car is made in America.
    Just what parts do these
    numbers contain? Do they contain any of the technically advanced parts? Are they made up of "run of the mill simple easy to manufacture" parts? Where does the design come from? Where is the tooling made? R&D? Production equipment? Manufacturing methods?
    Are these numbers just blown up show numbers? Could a US factory making 80% of a vehicle supply the other 20% and stand on it's own?
    These kind of claims are easily made. Does R&D even figure into those 80%? How about automated manufacturing?
    Just simple questions.
    I know things are much more complicated and some good replies are posted as to the reasons for the sinking US manufacturing sector.
    Thank you.
    "

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    Quote Originally Posted by juergenwt View Post
    Today's headlines: Many Japanese cars are already "made" in US - according to what reporters tell Trump.
    Tell me, are these reporters stupid? In the same article they state: many Japanese cars are already "assembled" in the US.
    They don't even know the difference between assembling and actually building a car.
    Just how much of a "US made" Japanese car is "made" in the US? I believe that most if not all developing is done in Japan. So are most if not all the components - engines, drive train, electronics, brakes etc. etc.. How about all the tooling, robots etc.? Are they just providing some short quick training for assemblers in cheap labor states? How about all the tax advantages they get for locating on cheap land that would cost them a fortune to buy in Japan?
    Can anybody tell me what parts made in the US go into a "USmade" Japanese car?
    You can not blame the Japanese for taking advantage of what is being offered, but one thing is for sure - all the hi-tech details will stay in Japan.
    I don't think Germany or Sweden are doing anything different. OK - BMW has opened training facilities and is offering apprenticeships. But believe me - the core of all the knowhow stays in Germany or Sweden. Are we on a slippery slope sliding quickly down to being a country of cheap labor?
    One thing the reporters got right: We cant sell any cars in Japan (or Europe) because we don't make anything they would buy. Our cars are to big for use in Japanese or European cities. We don even offer a car with the steering wheel on the right side. The wrong perception of US made cars being of low quality and build to imperial standards still gives our product a bad name. Trump can scream all he wants - they will not transfer their knowhow to the US. Just assemble it!
    Would we transfer our knowhow for fighter jets? NO! Not even assembly!
    You do not know what you are talking about.

    Honda and Toyota contain more US sourced parts than any other automobile manufacturer. Nissan is also very close in their total sourcing. That means camshafts, crankshafts, pistons, blocks, heads- complete engines. Same thing for the transmissions and many other components.

    Most of the manufacturers do have right hand steering wheel options but lack of demand is what limits their sales. Significant percentage of countries do drive on the right side of the road so that means steering on the left.

    Almost all of the components in any of the cars manufactured and or assembled here in the US are already made with metric parts.

    Your infatuation with the US being behind because we have not "embraced" the metric system is inaccurate at best. Their are many standard systems and or subsets besides just Imperial or Metric. Manufacturers use what is the best tool for what needs to be done.

    Bearings have been metric for years and nobody pays attention. We refer to their size in Imperial units when appropriate and in Metric units when appropriate.

    I prefer to do engineering, especially calculations in Metric units but would hate to build a house in Metric units.

    The biggest weakness of the Imperial system is that we commonly use a force unit, the lb, in reference to what should technically be a mass unit.

    Volts, Amps, Ohms, and Watts have been Metric from the beginning by their very definition.

    The distance measurements really do not matter either way and conversion back and forth is easy. CNC technology has really removed the need to specifically operate in one system only. The control doesn't care and the operator never sees the internal math in the control.

    The Chinese in particular like the USA manufactured Buick, even over their own China manufactured identical model Buick.

    Caterpillar has no problem manufacturing their various machines in various countries and selling worldwide.

    The fact is, the Japanese do like to protect their interests in Japan. We probably could sell cars in Japan if we really wanted to but why bother. North America and South America already are a fertile territory.

    They do need smaller models than our core business but so does Mexico and we actually manufacture automobiles in Mexico that are not models made for the US market. They are smaller, cheaper, and built to meet the regulations of the country that they are going to.

    Bottom line, we do have some trade agreements that are not in the US's best interest. The only thing preventing us, the US from doing things differently is our complacency in not trying to do better. There are many manufactured goods that are held in high-esteem in the world market place.

    Fixing some of our tax structure could level the playing field. Allowing products imported from sources that allow dirty manufacturing processes while we enforce our own EPA regulations does not make for a clean environment or a level playing field.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    Em.. Your data and link is wrong. Quite a lot.

    The most Us made, by far, is the Tesla electric cars, around 67% iirc.
    The link is not wrong as such .. it just does not account for tsla, and uses funny metrics.

    Endless critical corner cases distort the issue.
    E.
    Tsla spent 900M$ R&D on 7.8B$ revenue ==12 % in the USA.
    How much of this is accounted for the year 2016 and cars made then ?
    3%, 8%, 15%, 100% are all somewhat right answers, depending.

    Obviously all the R&D money was spent in the USA - the Q. is how much per car in the real world.
    Some of the IP/sw developed will be used for n years, 1-10-50 take your pick.
    But most sw/IP is re-written multiple times.
    Thus - it is not obvious.

    Also, tsla spent 1.8B$ so far by 2017 developing the gigafactory to make lion batteries in the USA.
    Currently cells are imported from japan.
    Not yet in use, 6-10-15% of car value marginal is the battery, around 112$/kWh marginal cost == 6-8000$/car Real Soon Now.

    Most-all of the US production values are based on stock-market and accounting gimmicks value-added counting.
    Things like stamping one small part of a 1000$ assy, for 1$, and then declaring it made in the USA.
    It is legal, but not true.

    Tsla makes almost everything valuable themselves.
    They are criticized a lot for it by stock market pickers and (often) paid online shills.
    In this part, my opinion is that Tsla is right - and everyone else is wrong.

    This is why:
    Tsla has the cheapest peak 600 kW / 1600 amp/400V VFD in the world, by far. Most efficient. Smallest. Lightest.
    Cheapest/best DC charger, AC/charger, AC drive motor, final drive train, battery pack. Best VFD sw.
    Best auto sw.
    Best auto sw update program (OTA).
    Best battery cells and packs.
    There are 7-10 moats that are very difficult to cross by traditional auto companies or parts suppliers.

    Apart from batteries, all others are or could be easily equaled by any silicon-valley or china-copy type company --
    if they have 1B$ cash in R&D, and 2+ years to do so.
    But..
    almost no-one has 1B$ cash and the will AND ability to spend it on competing in a seeming commodity business.
    This is why GM buys LG parts to make the Bolt - made weak/badly, and too expensive, and non-usa.

    All above illustrates my pov - the US auto company execs are totally incompetent.
    Em - they all went BK - after decades of major profits - this is a highly supportive argument for me.
    (Y-ford did not, just used a loan. Better than some, yes.)

    The US is the world leader in financing, financial innovation, IT, dysney/hollywood etc. and does such things superbly.
    Aerospace (--military costs/human costs) as well.
    Honda and Toyota are both over 75% and depending on specific model might hit 80%.

    Tesla is not even close at 68%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juergenwt View Post
    Bobw - thank you. That is what this post is all about. They tell us 75%, 60% of the car is made in America. Just what parts do these
    numbers contain? Do they contain any of the technically advanced parts? Are they made up of "run of the mill simple easy to manufacture" parts? Where does the design come from? Where is the tooling made? R&D? Production equipment? Manufacturing methods?
    Are these numbers just blown up show numbers? Could a US factory making 80% of a vehicle supply the other 20% and stand on it's own?
    These kind of claims are easily made. Does R&D even figure into those 80%? How about automated manufacturing?
    Just simple questions.
    I know things are much more complicated and some good replies are posted as to the reasons for the sinking US manufacturing sector.
    Thank you.


    "
    List of Toyota manufacturing facilities - Wikipedia

    Quick counting gives 3 different US engine manufacturing plants for toyota alone.

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    Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky - Wikipedia

    "Originally known as Toyota Motor Manufacturing USA, TMMK was established in 1986 (the first wholly owned Toyota manufacturing plant in the U.S.) and is Toyota's largest manufacturing facility in the world"

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiJ View Post
    List of Toyota manufacturing facilities - Wikipedia

    Quick counting gives 3 different US engine manufacturing plants for toyota alone.
    Honda and Nissan are similar. The Japanese in particular are sensitive to logistics and prefer to keep manufacturing of the critical parts close to the assembly points. Germans do the same things also.

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    Another point to consider- virtually every major auto maker globally has a design center in southern california. This is not engineering, but body, interior, and aesthetic design, but, of course, that is what sells cars, not how sophisticated the alternator is.
    People buy cars for image, and the images are almost all designed in america, usually by graduates of a very few US auto design programs.

    Why California Is A Mecca For Design Studios

    at least 15 of the biggest automakers design many of their cars in California- and most are done by graduates of Art Center, in Pasadena.
    I used to know some of the profs, when I lived down there, and the alums are pretty spectacular- this article says--
    The split-window Corvette, the Boss 302 Mustang, the original Ford Taurus, the Audi TT, the BMW Z8, the modern Mini, the Lamborghini Murciélago, the Ferrari F430—all of these iconic cars were styled by ArtCenter talent.

    http://www.lamag.com/driver/artscenters-auto-design-program-one-influential-planet/

    I think you could make a strong argument that where the body and interior is styled has more do to with the car's popularity, and sales numbers, and, therefore, importance to the company, than where the engineer lives who designs the brake calipers.
    And all of the main designers for BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, and, of course, the "big 3" are in Cali.
    Many of the foreign car makers ALSO have R&D and design centers in the USA for mere mechanical parts- Honda, for example, has 14 different design centers in the USA. These include the engineering centers that are designing the Jet engines for their new passenger jet, and their small power tools like weedwackers and generators. But also a bunch of engineering centers for basic auto parts.

    Also- when Mercedes and BMW built their big plants in the South, they wanted "german" steel- so Thyssen Krupps invested close to $5 billion dollars on a new mill in Alabama. In 2013, when Krupp's joint venture deal with Brazil fell apart, they ended up selling the mill to a japanese/belgian(really indian) joint venture, but the mill, using brand new german tech, is located in Alabama still, and makes steel for made in america german cars.
    I think building a steel mill is pretty "core value" in terms of making the important parts in the USA.

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    If all these statements are true, than what is Trump pissing and moaning about? looks like he is making a fool of him selves and those who advise him - if anybody can.
    I guess: We have found the enemy and it is us.
    Ziggy - I did not say anything in favor or against the metric/imperial system. Read before you write. Here is what I said:"The wrong perception of US made cars being of low quality and build to imperial standards still gives our product a bad name".

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    After world war one Rolls Royce built/assembled cars in Springfield Massachusetts USA until the depression crushed sales of all luxury goods worldwide.
    Bill

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    I used to work in the US engineering center of a Japanese auto manufacturer. We had the ability to do 100% of the engineering required to design and build a car in the US with no support from Japan.

    It's a bit counter intuitive, but many car models are produced across the globe in duplicate manufacturing facilities. Something like a Toyota Corolla might be built in US, Brazil, England, Korea, Japan, China, etc simultaneously. Duplicate parts suppliers and tooling suppliers would be sourced locally. Somehow it more economical than making them all in one huge facility and shipping them around the globe.

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    And, on the other claw, my 2003 Ford F150 was made in Canada. Damn imports. Used to own a Ford Escort- and THAT was made in Hermosillo Mexico. I think Trump needs to be attacking Ford and Chevy, and those damn Italians who build those Dodge Rams in Mexico, and leave the japanese alone- My Honda Element is from Marysville Ohio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I used to work in the US engineering center of a Japanese auto manufacturer. We had the ability to do 100% of the engineering required to design and build a car in the US with no support from Japan.

    It's a bit counter intuitive, but many car models are produced across the globe in duplicate manufacturing facilities. Something like a Toyota Corolla might be built in US, Brazil, England, Korea, Japan, China, etc simultaneously. Duplicate parts suppliers and tooling suppliers would be sourced locally. Somehow it more economical than making them all in one huge facility and shipping them around the globe.
    I think a lot of the diversified manufacturing is to spread the risk of politics, labor, currency, and local disasters.

    GM, Ford and some others learned that bitter lesson a couple of years ago when Japan had an earthquake. The resulting tsunami wiped out the sole source facilities of some wiring harnesses on particular models, causing some engine lines to be idled almost a month. They literally had to wait until they could get a new facility with all of the needed tooling on line.

    One value in having mirrored facilities in multiple countries is that you can build the initial plant first and sort out many of the details that need to be addressed before final production. The other facilities construction can follow the first by just a few months. Only need to pay for engineering once and amortize it over several different plants.

    I also see that the philosophy of doing global business is changing. The standard attitude was that the path to larger market share was to export product to foreign markets. This seems to be going the way of the DoDo bird and multiple facilities in various markets seems to be the preferred path.

    This makes for good local politics and eliminates a lot of issues the giant mega-sized facilities have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    And, on the other claw, my 2003 Ford F150 was made in Canada. Damn imports. Used to own a Ford Escort- and THAT was made in Hermosillo Mexico. I think Trump needs to be attacking Ford and Chevy, and those damn Italians who build those Dodge Rams in Mexico, and leave the japanese alone- My Honda Element is from Marysville Ohio.
    As for the Japanese manufacturers, I think the issue is that what models are made here in the US, those models are actually made here. The problem is that only about half of the total Japanese name branded models are manufactured here, the rest are imported.

    You do have a good point about the big 3 and their importing from Mexico manufacturing facilities.

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    Many good points discussed in this thread. In any case... Automobiles are a global product. FWIW... I think there are many different parts or options which define where those come from. Like an option of a 6 speed transmission may be a German product whereas that same vehicle's base standard tranny would be a 4 or 5 speed US manufactured product. And the list of options such as the above example extends beyond just transmissions.


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