Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Random Thoughts

When it comes to buying things, I'm all about sales, coupons, and rebates. I try to be frugal with money, but sometimes the amount I spend on things doesn't match my normal behavior. An example came up last night. I am putting Netflix on hold for a month because we recorded some movies over the weekend while DirecTV had all of the movie channels for free and I let out a Woo-Hoo. Stacie laughed at me because I was easily willing to spend the equivalent of a new car to have the house painted but saving $15 elicits more of a response. Of course it isn't just any paint job, it's a ceramic paint job that doesn't require a repaint every 5 or so years. For big purchases, I am willing to spend more money now if it will save me time or money in the long run. We ultimately decided not to do it because we agreed we would have to stay in the house at least 7-10 more years to make it worth the investment. We are not sure what we will be doing 5 years from now, so we will just go with the repair / touch up route, but I will do it for our next house which will hopefully be in the mountains or on a lake.

So, Bud may no longer be the last American owned "big" brewery. We started losing ownership of our breweries a few years ago. Miller merged with a South African company in 2002 and is now incorporated in London. In 2005, Coors joined with Molson out of Canada. Late last year, this American-Canadian company also developed a joint venture with Miller to handle their US operations. I realize in today's world we are more of a global economy, but it still sucks to see long time American icons going to ownership oversees.

This leads me to my next thought: What is considered an American car? Is it a car built in the US? Is it a car built by a US owned company? Things aren't so clear any more. Here are a few examples:

Nissan Titan - This pickup is 100% built in Mississippi by a Japanese company that is 60% owned by Renault, a French company.
Honda Accord - Built in Ohio specifically for the American market by a Japanes company. The European Accord is sold in the states as an Acura TSX.
BMW - Makes tons of vehicles in South Carolina not just for the American market.
Mazda Tribute - Sold by a Japanes company that is 1/3 owned by Ford. The is the same vehicle as the Ford Escape and built in Missouri.
Chevrolet Suburban - Some are assembled in Mexico, but I guess it is OK to call them American as long as it's part of North America. Unless we are talking about immigration and then people have a different definition.
Chrysler - Up until recently, this was owned for a few years by the German manufacture that makes Mercedes Benz. Daimler still owns 20% of the existing company with the remaining belonging to a private equity firm.

What is the underlying reason to buy an "American" car? Is it to support an American company or support American workers? Depending on your answer, you may be buying an "American" car after all.

Insert random sign off phrase here


Post a Comment

<< Home