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Foreign Cars in Berkeley

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
This morning, while on a three block walk from a friend's house up to the main shopping street, I counted 56 cars, of which only one was was an American brand. That was an old Ford Mustang sitting in a driveway.

Over the past few months I've been noticing the great number of foreign auto brands here in the East Bay, especially in Berkeley, and the great number of hybrid vehicles like the Prius. On the walk this morning I counted eight Prius cars, a Camry hybrid, and two Honda hybrids. Several weeks ago I saw a new Chevrolet Malibu and it took a while to recognize it - I had to see the name plate before I knew what kind of car it was. I'd never seen one before.

So, I'm curious - what's the imported car population in your area?
post #2 of 11
Not sure. I drive a Honda, so not sure it even matters to me. I will say this, however: Even "American" cars have so many imported parts I don't really think they can qualify as American made...only assembled here. :look:
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I didn't say "American made." I said American brands. Many Japanese brands are made in America, and may have as many, or more, American-made parts than some American brands
post #4 of 11
I lived for 18 years in Kenosha, Wisconsin, once home of American Motors Corporation. (Actually, they sprang from the Bain Wagon Works, but that's almost ancient history.) In the 1975 and 80s there was plenty of talk about foreign cars and "auto content rules". The idea was that U.S. auto unions and companies were concerned that Honda, etc. would come here and put the final touches on Japanese-made cars, then label them as "made in the U.S.A.". Congress took action. My own Congressman at that time was Les Aspin. I remember him talking about requiring a certain percentage of American-made parts (I should really say, North American-made parts, in recognition of the Canadians who worked in AMC plants.)

Fast forward. My newly-purchased Camry Hybrid was built in the U.S. (not sure where :blush: ) but American workers are employed and circulating their paychecks into our economy. That's the new global economy for you...
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post #5 of 11
Oddly enough, the Toyota Prius is one of the cars that requires the most energy consumption to produce, thanks to the Nickel Metal-Hydride batteries. As I recall, the nickel ore is mined in South Africa, shipped to Spain to be refined and turned into sheets, the sheets are then shipped to Canada where they are fashioned into plates for the batteries. The batteries are then shipped to japan where they are installed in the cars, then the cars are shipped back to North America. I may have the actual contries involved incorrectly listed, but the concept is still valid. Shuffling all that metal back and forth around the planet takes a lot of dinosaur juice.

That's one reason I like my old Triumph sports cars - their carbon footprint consists mailny of oil spots in the driveway!

mjb.
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post #6 of 11
Okay, now. Since American brand cars may be made overseas or in Mexico, and many foreign brand cars are being built here, how should we correctly define "imported"?
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post #7 of 11
AmazingGrace, that was my point. :bounce:
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post #8 of 11
You mean Amazing Race lol--that takes Mustang muscle :roll:

On a serious note, though, I'm in truck country. Hummers are commonplace, as are Ford and GM trucks and SUV's. I also see a few Porsche Cayennes (Porsche's SUV) every day.

My vehicle is a 1987 Nissan Stanza GXE (about half way between a Sentra and a Maxima). With chains on the front wheels, it's really good in snow.
post #9 of 11
There are a ton of Japanese made cars around my area. They're gas easy, fairly sturdy, goes through snow better then any European made and most American cars, plus great resale value. Mainstream hybrid cars of local make are only making an appearance over the past few years but the American auto image is "big engine, big gas" which is fitting since we are the world's biggest user of petroleum, when was the last time you saw a GM car that didn't need $60+ to fill up?
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
At $4.00/gallon it only takes 15 gallons to hit the magic $60.00 mark. There are some Japanese cars that will carry fifteen or more gallons. For a while gas was more than $4.70/gallon here, and it only took 12 gallons or so to fill the tank and eat up $60.00. It's not so much what it costs to fill up but how far you can go on those dollars.
post #11 of 11
By buying goods made from China? :D
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