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WASHINGTON -- A new call to buy "Buy American" rang out Thursday as a Ford Motor Co.-backed group launched an ad campaign designed to convince U.S. consumers to support the struggling domestic auto industry.

The campaign levels a direct shot at Asian automakers, which have been spending millions of dollars touting their positive impact on America's economy and its communities in recent ads.

The new television, print and Internet ads declare, "What you drive, drives America," and contend the Big Three play a far more important role in the U.S. economy than Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.

"Seems like every automaker these days claims their cars are 'Made in America.' But the truth is, U.S. automakers still employ 8 out of every 10 autoworkers. Four times more than all the automakers from Japan, Korea and Europe combined," says one ad delivered by an actor resembling an archetypical burly autoworker.

The television ads will run mostly in Washington, D.C., and Metro Detroit.

The $1 million campaign is being organized by the Level Field Institute, a group founded by retired Ford, GM and Chrysler workers. The group wouldn't identify which companies have funded the effort, but Ford spokesman Mike Moran confirmed the Dearborn automaker had provided financial support for the group. GM and Chrysler have not provided any financing, but support the effort.

"I'm a little offended with Toyota's 'We're American' campaign," said Jason Vines, head of communications for the Chrysler Group. "They're not. They are a Japanese car company. Baseball, hot dogs and Toyota? Sorry, it doesn't ring a bell."

Moving to reverse losses, Detroit automakers are undertaking major downsizing moves. At GM and Ford that includes 60,000 planned job cuts and more than 20 plant closings across North America.

The campaign argues that even with the cuts, Ford, GM and Chrysler still employ far more U.S. workers.

The Level Field group estimated that 400,000 U.S. autoworkers support about 4 million other jobs, compared with about 860,000 jobs from Asian automakers.

Ford, for example, will directly employ 110,000 people in the United States versus 103,000 for foreign automakers.

"Our increasingly global economy makes defining 'Made in America' more difficult. But we believe it still matters," said Jim Doyle, president of the Level Field Institute.

Gerald Meyers, a former chairman of Detroit-based American Motors Corp. and business professor at the University of Michigan, said the campaign likely won't convince people to buy American.

The problem, he said, is how do consumers buy a truly American car, when a GM vehicle might be assembled in Mexico and a Honda in Ohio.

"Where a car is built is a very fuzzy thing," Meyers said. "At one point, Joe Sixpack had to drive an American car. That's simply diminished today. People with a scintilla of sophistication will just buy what fits their lifestyle."

Chrysler's Vines said the heritage of a company still matters, even in a global economy.

"We have to earn the trust of the American people. We sure hope that Americans are looking at us when they look to buy a new car, but it's our job to sell them the car," he said. "Hey look at the home team a little bit. We are providing a lot of jobs."

Tim MacCarthy, president and CEO of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers -- the lobbying group that represents Toyota, Honda and Nissan Motor Co. among other companies -- called the group "the flat earth society."

President Bush "said it best when he said they should build relevant vehicles," he said. "Lee Iacocca was right when he said if we want to sell in America, we should build here and we took him at his word. Over 60 percent of the vehicles we build are made here and that number is increasing."

The combined U.S. market share of GM, Ford and Chrysler has fallen to a new low of 55 percent this year.

President Bush is to meet with the CEOs of Detroit's automakers Thursday at the White House, likely a day before the U.S. House is set to vote on a bill to eventually raise fuel economy standards for passenger cars.

MacCarthy said the international automakers are stepping up their lobbying and communication to let people know how much they provide to the U.S. economy. "We're out telling our own story, we're not out to badmouth GM, Ford and Chrysler."

Martha Voss, a Toyota spokeswoman, didn't offer much comment on the campaign but took exception to some of the group's figures.

"We admire the traditional American auto companies and what they stand for. They are the big guys. We would certainly never take away from that," Voss said. But she said the company is proud of the 30,000 people who work for the company in the United States and plans to add to that figure.

Detnews

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060512/AUTO01/605120414/1148/AUTO01
 

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blitzedcivic510 said:
What a STUPID reason to choose a US car company over imports ! :bash
I somewhat agree with you, but not so blatently.

I don't like than man 1 bit, but Bush said it right when the told them [loosley] to stop building crap.

The Japanese and European manufacuteres offer a better all around package than do the American car companys.

Hell, even the products the sell in Europe (The Focus RS for examples), are better products than the spitheap we they sell here. If our government were to take away tariff's on imported cars do you think The Big 2 and it's Half German cousin would stand a chance? I don't.
 

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it didnt work back then it wont work now, instead of wasting money on trying to convince people to buy their crap they need to focus on making a better product. its like theyre stagnant, instead of adapting to a wider demographic and ever changing consumer needs they seem to be only focusing on their baseline demographic. theyre forever playing the catch up game, its like they have nothing innovative to offer to automotive world.
 

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the only real difference is where the profit goes. And that does make some difference. The profit of honda and toyota go to Japan, whereas "American" cars the profits stays here.

In theory might I add.
 

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accordjtstyle said:
the only real difference is where the profit goes. And that does make some difference. The profit of honda and toyota go to Japan, whereas "American" cars the profits stays here.

In theory might I add.
That is what happens, but what people fail to realize is that Toyota, Honda, etc. take the profit and investment billions into the US economy by building manufacturing plants in the US and employing US workers that make close to what domestic workers make, and have good benefits to boot.
 

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this sounds as stupid as it sounds...lolz...IMO, it seems like they're just begging the consumers to look at them when shopping for cars...to be honest, i'd never had a thought about buying an american car before, but the vette changed my point of view. Why? b/c it offered what the consumers WANT and need.

Here's the what they should do. When there's a debate b/w imports and domestics, most import guys will argue that their cars can outhandle the domestics around the curves. Now if the big 3 can come up with something that can outhandle honda/yota/nissan w/ some decent power (which they already had), consumers will jump on the boat w/o a second thought.
 

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Hprelude92 said:
this sounds as stupid as it sounds...lolz...IMO, it seems like they're just begging the consumers to look at them when shopping for cars...to be honest, i'd never had a thought about buying an american car before, but the vette changed my point of view. Why? b/c it offered what the consumers WANT and need.

Here's the what they should do. When there's a debate b/w imports and domestics, most import guys will argue that their cars can outhandle the domestics around the curves. Now if the big 3 can come up with something that can outhandle honda/yota/nissan w/ some decent power (which they already had), consumers will jump on the boat w/o a second thought.
ehhh, somewhat true...theres more to a car then just handling the curves...theres styling issues, refinement issue, reliablity issues, ofcourse theres handling and power issues too but if it was just power and handling, then european cars would dominate all over...

going back to the topic, i do hear what you guys are saying, they are giving americans the guilt trip and kinda "begging" them to buy american because if they don't then gm and ford will loose out...awwww poor baby, poor, poor baby has to go this route...thats just sad
 

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yeah, they aren't investing the profit back into the economy. Profit is profit. The income goes back into company, the profit goes to pay for the rich owners/executives prostitutes and bar tabs :)
 

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accordjtstyle said:
...rich owners/executives prostitutes and bar tabs :)
LOL... I remember that story! :p

I dont like that whole "to save American jobs" crap and to be perfectly honest, I think it helps them lose credibility. Who really wants to buy cars from companies who have to beg?

As for building good cars, I cant say anything about the quality of the 06-07 line of cars(havent been around long enough) but the Solstice/Sky has recently caught my eye. The Fusion is supposed to have a good motor from what I hear. I see a million 300s, chargers and magnums. US manufacturers have decent cars out there. Just not enough decent cars in enough categories.... like Mitsubishi (Lancer Evo = only good car)
 

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The thing is, the Domestics are continually improving in quality, but the Asians are constantly improving in innovation too, so the bar is set higher and higher for the domestics. For example, during the development of the Chevy Cobalt, engineering was given the go ahead from Bob Lutz to use the same liquid filled rear suspension bushings as their benchmark car, the VW Jetta. Only thing is, the design was from the 98-05 MKIV, and since then the new Jetta has only improved with suspension engineering.
 

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So wait, how does profit going to a small selected group of shareholders, wether foreign or domestic, effect me? I'm going to buy whatever car is the best value for my needs, regardless of who makes it. I never understood the "buy american" attitude.

Is stock in Honda of America, and Toyota of America, who are treated as seperate entities from within thier own corporation, with their own budgets and profit margins, traded on the U.S. stock market? Right next to Ford, GM and Chrysler? Isn't stock from the big three traded on the world market as well? Where is all their money going? to the share holders, thats who, the same share holders that reside in almost every other country in the world.
 

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LevelSevenCivic said:
LOL... I remember that story! :p

I dont like that whole "to save American jobs" crap and to be perfectly honest, I think it helps them lose credibility. Who really wants to buy cars from companies who have to beg?

As for building good cars, I cant say anything about the quality of the 06-07 line of cars(havent been around long enough) but the Solstice/Sky has recently caught my eye. The Fusion is supposed to have a good motor from what I hear. I see a million 300s, chargers and magnums. US manufacturers have decent cars out there. Just not enough decent cars in enough categories.... like Mitsubishi (Lancer Evo = only good car)
LOLz, true that...

anyways, the Fusion is based on the mazda 6, thats why its got a good motor...and thats why its a nice car overall...
 

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This is kinda silly, All the big 3 are worldwide companies with stockholders and plants ....worldwide. When you send the camaro to be made in mexico the fing bets are off. :bash

I consider my civic to be just as american as any american car. And it is.
 
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