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After watching The Cash for clunkers program make waves and increase sales for the likes of Hyundai and Ford.  I took a step back and looked at pricing available to the American consumer.

Fords August sales rose 17.2% from a year ago. Chrysler sales fell 15%, and GM sales were down 20%.Also aided by the government program were Hyundai, the South Korean carmaker, which said its sales jumped 47% last month to a record-high. Honda said sales rose 10%, while ToyotaÍs rose 6 percent.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

 The Price of an Auto needs to get a reality check.

Housing has slid 30 to 40 perscent in most cases across the United States, while car pricing has increased?
Does this make sense?

Car manufacturers have not had any increases in labor costs.... especially from ASIA! Why the big jump in price from on a sub compact imported from Korea to the USA? Up from $9990.00 Just 6 to 9 months ago, to an amazing $13990.00 today?

Car companys can not continue to ask such high dollars for thinner steel automobiles, especially from a country that pays their employees little to nothing.
 The fact that  Oil is cheap right now and that we as a nation are in one doosey of a recession does not allow those in S Korea, Japan or China the right to  take advantage of the fact. It's the same as Saudi Arabia raising oil prices...  Price jabbing, manipulation.. and a kick them when they are down attitude from countries that we as a nation have supported in the past with treasure and blood.

So what will happen as gasoline prices tick ever higher? Here's a smattering of Steiner's predictions:

At $6 a gallon, Americans will embrace diesel engines. At $8, many airlines will shut down, leaving Southwest Airlines Co. and JetBlue Airways Corp. as the dominant domestic carriers.

At $10, car ownership rates will plummet. At $12, exurbs will start becoming ghost towns. At $14, Wal-Mart will die; its business model is built on cheap oil.

At $18, Americans might get what Europeans have enjoyed for years: high-speed trains. And as the price creeps up to $20 a gallon, the U.S. may finally frame a comprehensive energy plan.

Far from hurling us into a new Dark Age, high oil prices will usher in a cleaner, safer future, Steiner argues. He imagines lost jobs returning to U.S. shores and pictures us breathing purer air and eating healthier, locally grown food. Though he gets a bit too utopian and speculative for my taste, he does offer evidence that technology already exists to effect such changes.

Steiner is good at explaining how things work and seeding the text with interesting facts: Did you know that garbage trucks get an average of 2.8 miles per gallon? And he's realistic about how hard it will be to end our love affair with cars and planes. "People will cling to their steering wheels and their airline seats until their fingers are pried off by sheer financial behest," he writes.  

http://www.newsday.com/...

  As a nation we need to stand up to this price gouging!
 
We the greatest market place on the face of the earth are now at the mercy of Asian nations that dictate the price of vehicles , Price gouge for extreme profit and use our own tax laws and incentives against us for more profit.

At least GM is looking at the opportunity to sell to the masses again.

Now, however, GM has announced it's unveiling its cheapest car ever. The inspiration, or competition, comes from India, where the Tata Nano -- an adorable slab of car with a base price of under $3000 -- is putting auto makers on the notice that the race to the bottom in car prices is on.  

If you are in the market for a car, I suggest you research what is coming out in a Hybrid in 2010.

If you are looking to buy a foeign auto, they are well made, but figuring the cost to build a S Korean made Sub compact is Approx $4500.00 and a mid sized is approx. $6500.00.. do you believe that you should spend $30K
on that vehicle...

Isn't your bottom line just as important as the car company's?

Originally posted to Tadly on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:43 PM PDT.

Poll

Why are we spending so much on these foreign made cars?

67%54 votes
15%12 votes
17%14 votes

| 80 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    Read to your kids..... "I am the slime oozin out From your tv set" F.Zappa

    by Tadly on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:43:46 PM PDT

    •  bla (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, Sherri in TX, sabot

      We the greatest market place on the face of the earth

      Who's 'we', Kemosabe?

      are now at the mercy of Asian nations that dictate the price of vehicles , Price gouge for extreme profit and use our own tax laws and incentives against us for more profit.

      God forbid, others actually play OUR OWN FUCKING GAME. That's what it's all about isn't it?

    •  No. Cars are already cheap. (8+ / 0-)

      The automotive industry runs exceptionally lean with relatively few opportunities to significantly reduce cost.

      The main factor affecting auto price swings are Exchange Rates, particularly Yen/Dollar cross-rates.

      With the exception of some limited supply luxury cars, autos are a fundamentally poor investments that depreciate as soon as they are sold so there is virtually no speculators market and I an totally confident if you track the price of benchmark autos adjusted for inflation against real estate, you would find overall prices stable if not slowly declining.

      Realestate prices tend to swing because it's a cyclic, speculators market with big profits for individual investors on the up-side and losses for the general public on the downside.

      No such thing exists with autos save the value or exotic and classic cars, which like real estate or fine are, are a speculators market.

      Where do you get the idea $30K cars cost $5K to manufacture?  Links to a credible site please.

      My company manufacures some products for the automotive market and I assure you it is the lowest value but generally stable (at least until last year) business.

      Margins are extremely thin.  

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 01:57:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  YES, I love Critics... Talkk to me.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore

    Read to your kids..... "I am the slime oozin out From your tv set" F.Zappa

    by Tadly on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:44:47 PM PDT

  •  I think Hyundai is finally getting the respect it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdreid, irate, NotGeorgeWill

    deserves and people are going out and buying a well made affordable car.  Still, TATA type vehicles should never work in the American market!  I would take the train, if Kansas City had one, rather than driving a golf cart on the interstate.  Furthermore, China still has a long way to go until it has a brand American consumers can trust. Tip & Rec'd though for Hyundai.

    "Sometimes you have to go all out when your the king and you can't help it". - Jack White as Elvis Hand Plucked King

    by Hand Plucked King on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:00:30 PM PDT

    •  Kia will be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NotGeorgeWill, Hand Plucked King

      either the next Hyundai or the next Toyota. Right now they seem to be getting massive financial backing to dump cars on the US market (illegal but hell the law doesnt apply to corporations.. ). Which wouldnt be suprising as Korean families actually have a cultural system of starting businesses  that way as well. They keep expanding their line and their cares dont Look too bad (one is decently classy looking).

      Neither company imho can compare with the quality of some american cars (ford, pontiac..) but theyre targetting the working class instead of hte upper middle so no doubt theyre going ot eat some peoples lunches. Probably toyotas imho.

      •  KIA pushes itself as the cheap car... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cdreid, NotGeorgeWill

        and hasn't been able to build a reputation of quality that Toyota and Hyundai built.  Although, both Toyota and Hyundai only had to compare themselves to Detroit while KIA is being held to higher standard.

        "Sometimes you have to go all out when your the king and you can't help it". - Jack White as Elvis Hand Plucked King

        by Hand Plucked King on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:26:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thats how toyota and Hyundai built themselves (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hand Plucked King

          Most people i know would never buy a Hyundai even now (even though some of their cars are as identical to toyotas as some toyotas are to chevys).

          When toyota first hit the US market they were dumping for years to get a foothold. Toyotas being expensive is a pretty recent development. Even then .toyota never managed to compete with american companies in the truck market. Right now the american companies own the truck and sports car markets while toyota etc hold the high gas mileage compact/subcompact market. Kia seems to me to be doing to toyota etc what they did to the american companies

          •  True, but they need to move on if... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cdreid

            Indian and Chinese automakers start to compete with them in the USA.  There is no way they can be the cheapest brand if that happens, and they don't have any other niche, as of now, for them to hold on in the North American market.

            "Sometimes you have to go all out when your the king and you can't help it". - Jack White as Elvis Hand Plucked King

            by Hand Plucked King on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 12:09:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think (0+ / 0-)

              they just do this to gain markets share. Look at toyota.. they had one or two decent cars, a bunch of crap trucks etc. Dumped it all on the market and kept what worked. Isuzu etc have tried coming in and competing head on (I think??) and failed.. despite imho isuzu makes the best trucks out there. Caveat im not a truck guy.

              What really annoys me is that despite this talk of free trade and despite the massive job losses and economic damage.. it isnt a two way street.

      •  Hyundai = kia (0+ / 0-)

        Hyundi and Kia are the same firm, using the engines and transmissions and everything else in their cars.

        Hyundai = working class?
        Check this

        How many working class folks drive a 35-45k cars?

        The key to victory in war is to know your opponent.

  •  Hyundai . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, sabot

    has a $1 bill. plant in Alabama.  Many of the "foreign" autos have domestic operations these days; while some of the domestics do manufacturing outside of the U.S. (e.g. I believe the Fusion is assembled in Mexico).

    As sabot points out in the comment above, the per unit sales price isn't really that instructive.  You want to look at total sales.

    As a side note, the Ford Fusion hybrid looks great.  Also its good to see some of the domestic autos raise the bar on reliability and quality.  There's a pretty good chance that I'll get a new car or at least new-used car within the next three months.  The Fusion, unfortunately, is probably going to be too much of a reach for me at $27K base.  (I'm looking to spend $18-$22K).

    As a side note, last week I was talking to my grandma in Rhode Island about a car that her cleaning lady purchased from GM in early August via the cash for clunkers program (think it was a Cobalt).  In less than a month of ownership she's had to take the car back to the dealer three times because the engine keeps cutting off on her while she's driving.  The dealer hasn't been able to fix the problem -- even though they were able to replicate the engine cut off issue.  They've also provided poor customer service creating headaches for her.  Word of mouth stories like that are not good.  

    On the flip side, one of my neighbors owns a relatively new Chevy Malibu and seems to like the car.

    •  Refuting your anecdotal evidence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      with my own...I bought a Cobalt in 2007 and it has been a quality, reliable little car. It has about 25K miles on it now and the only problem was an electrical glitch with the windshield wipers, which was easily fixed with one trip to the dealership.

      "We will restore science to its rightful place." Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, 1/20/2009

      by Poycer on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 05:15:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not really a refutation . . . (0+ / 0-)

        because anecdotal evidence isn't really hard evidence.  It can be persuasive, but a lot of bogus pitches can be persuasive without necessarily being true.

        Point taken though.  Your Cobalt has been a good purchase; my grandma's cleaning lady's experience  for the 2009 hasn't been that satisfying.  We'd need a lot more data points to resolve the question about which set of experiences is the most representative.  It could even turnout that 2007 was a good year, but that they cut corners in 2009.  Or it could be that 2009 is a great year, and my grandma's story is unrepresentative; while 2007 was a year of lemons, yet you somehow escaped the odds.  I don't know.

        What I do know is that GM has raised the bar in quality based on things like JD Power and even Consumers Reports, but for years they were too slow to improve overall reliability and they developed a well-earned reputation for an unreliable product.  Maybe that's changing now.

        •  I guess the snark was to too subtle (0+ / 0-)

          My point was that your anecdote was no more representative than my own.

          "We will restore science to its rightful place." Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, 1/20/2009

          by Poycer on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 06:26:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Most of the Hyundais sold in the US are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pointsoflight, begone, NotGeorgeWill

    manufactured in the US (i believe in Alabama). Same thing for BMW.

    So, these cars are not really manufactured in

    countries that pays their employees little to nothing.

    as you claim

    Don't give a damn a/t each & every politician currently alive in the US. Last time i voted for the top part of the ballot was 1972. Never missed SB election

    by Mutual Assured Destruction on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:16:36 PM PDT

  •  Plenty of sense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, Mr K

    Housing has slid 30 to 40 perscent in most cases across the United States, while car pricing has increased?
    Does this make sense?

    1. House pricing rose ridiculously over the last decade.  Car prices didn't.  Therefore, housing is bouncing back down to where it should have been all along.
    1. We just gave a $4500 bonus to anyone trading in an old car.  Amazingly enough, that gave an incentive to dealers and companies to raise prices, since people could buy cars for less money than before but still give the dealers more.  (Incidentally, the same thing happens with colleges and financial aid there- the solution isn't to keep raising the amount of aid given, it's to find ways to keep the tuition flatter, since the incentive is for the school to raise tuition in order to claim more money).
    •  And you will see ONLINE ed for all soon (0+ / 0-)

      at a computer near you. ...
      That is going to be nice... Free education for all in the U.S. through a Bachelors of Science program.
      We will sell off all the state Univerity's and everyone can have the free education they deserve here in America.

      Read to your kids..... "I am the slime oozin out From your tv set" F.Zappa

      by Tadly on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 12:22:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We spend too much on everything. (5+ / 0-)

    A pair of sneakers made in Honduras or China for 1.00 -- we buy them for 90.00.

    Milk, where the farmer gets 1/4 of the price we pay at the store.  Company Z spends 0.20 to fill a cardboard box with cereal that we pay 4.00 for.

    Electronics made by teenagers in China and cost 50.00 to manufacture, we pay 1000.00 for.

    A 'new' house, made out of 2x4 wood and crummy sheathing board used 30 years ago, with flake board roofing, and fake brick on the front -- we take a mortgage out, and over the life of the mortgage we pay three times the price of the house--so we buy three houses to own one.  The builder's 30% margin is in the price by the way. We 'own' a mortgage, not the house.

    And it's all done on credit.  And, we pay the markup, the high margin, AND the interest on the credit card which according to credit experts means we pay a 70% markup just for putting stuff on the card if we don't pay it off each month.

    I'd say something is wrong or at least a little screwy with this picture.  Middlemen are making a fortune, and we're paying for it.  

    I read that the Cash for Clunkers program meant that the new car price went up 17%, and that 4500.00 was taxable as income too.

    I think Americans love to waste money.  

    •  Very good points, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryru, kurt, A Man Called Gloom, Tadly

      there are some "buts" though.

      You do own a mortgage but you control the asset. If the mortgage is fixed your payment is constant over time, and you have to live somewhere anywhere.

      Everything you say about credit cards is true but if you pay it off every month and negotiate a zero fee card, you can actually come out ahead due to borrowing on the bank's time.

      I was actually looking to replace my 10 year old clunker with the cash for clunkers program, but when I calculated what I would pay for gas to fill up my hated guzzler (an ugly minivan) over the next five years,  I was way, way ahead by just keeping it. (I am contemplating a new paint job instead, so I won't hate it as much.)

  •  You are absolutely correct (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, odenthal, Tadly

    Car prices have been increasing because of gimmicks such as leasing and unsustainably low interest rates to people who are already up to their neck in debt. The party is over and the American people can not afford 10 million new cars a year at anywhere near the current prices. So, less volume or lower prices is what we will soon be seeing.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 12:28:25 AM PDT

  •  Where did you get the numbers for car prices? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr K

    How can you use the sales numbers to evaluate the prices? It makes no sense at all.

  •  What has been overlooked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper

    is that car prices falling as such would be a bad thing.

    Overlooked is the pit of a deflation cycle. Corp can't sell item X in the stores, so they cut prices to 'dead even' with manufacturing costs and lay off a few people to cover the interest of their commercial paper debt. The layoff of those people hurts the economy, reducing the number of people spending paychecks - because they no longer have a paycheck to spend. So Corp now can't sell item X at break-even prices, so cuts prices even further, wanting to recover as much of the already-paid cost of manufacturing as possible and then make up the loss later. But cutting prices to below-cost also means tightening the employee belt even further, which is the classic vicious cycle.

    This is why cash for clunkers is a winning tactic in the struggle against a new Republican Free Market Depression - it shifted some of the cost away from the car business and onto the business world in general, because every business to some extent lives or dies based on the health of the whole economy. This is why the early recover act money should have gone specifically toward the people who would have spread it throughout the entire economy instead of the spot-target tax credits.

    People worry about inflation, but according to the CPI we have actually been seeing deflation for five solid months now, and that cycle seems to be picking up steam. If it doesn't turn around by the end of the year, I will seriously be considering relocating to somewhere in the US that can self-sustain locally rather than remain in a large pocket of likely-unemployed people.

  •  New Cars are Less Expensive then ever when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper

    compared to median income.  Comerica tracts this data and they can go back to the 1930's.  You can find the latest update through the 2nd quarter 2009 which shows that on average, it costs 22 weeks of income for a new car now compared to 30 in 1995.

    http://www.comerica.com/...

    Also, interesting article about why cars cost so much.  It is because of the government safety and environmental requirements.  It is here.

    http://spectator.org/...

    •  Well, that's a most interesting juxtaposition of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bronx59, Tadly

      links - one telling us how cars are the cheapest ever and the second telling us how the industry is dying because no one can afford them anymore.

      The second POV, of course, brought to us by the geniuses who got us into the current financial straights in the first place . ..

  •  The dollar shd float legitimately (0+ / 0-)

    The reason foreign car imports are cheaper is because of the exchange rate.

    Dont let the LIARS win. Stand up for TRUTH! Stand up for Health Care Reform!

    by timber on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 05:42:38 AM PDT

  •  I AM GLAD THAT I GOT SOME OF YOU 2 THINK! (0+ / 0-)

    THANK You all for making my points in this.

    The discussions are all valid and bring up more questions than answers.

    Read to your kids..... "I am the slime oozin out From your tv set" F.Zappa

    by Tadly on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 12:28:22 PM PDT

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