The AIADA is quick to point out that many American-brand cars are built outside the U.S.Enlarge Photo
Toyota, Nissan and Honda all build cars in the U.S. General Motors, Chrysler and Ford all build cars in Mexico and Canada in addition to within the U.S. It's hard to know which car is built where as a consumer, and the American International Automobile Dealer's Association (AIADA) is upset over President Barack Obama's 'buy American' message in during the Chrysler bankruptcy announcement yesterday.
The organization, which represents the 11,000 foreign nameplate car dealerships in the U.S., thinks the 'American' distinction is irrelevant. "In today’s globalized economy ’buying American’ can mean anything from buying a Chevy Avalanche built by Mexican workers in Silao, Mexico to buying a Toyota Camry built by Americans in Georgetown, Kentucky," said AIADA President Cody Lusk.
"The real issue is that every car purchased in America today is a shot in the arm for our economy, a boost for car dealers, who are the cornerstones of communities all across this country, and a win for American consumers who have the opportunity to choose the vehicles that best meet their driving needs. President Obama must recognize that protectionist policies and statements like 'buy American' have no place in America’s economic recovery," said Lusk.
The AIADA and Lusk have a valid point - many Americans work for foreign car manufacturers, their dealerships and suppliers that rely on their business. Regardless of where the corporate profit - or loss - is ultimately going, every car sold in the U.S. does some good for the economy and America.
On the other hand, whether a car is assembled in Mexico or Kentucky, if the sale is chalked up for an American carmaker, it could help to boost the bottom lines of the most troubled - and thus most likely to fail catastrohpically - carmakers in America. And that could avert a situation where tens of thousands of Americans would lose their jobs.