Last week we explored the origin of “domestic” or so-called American cars, this week we will continue with an overview of “foreign” cars and why so many may be more American than their “domestic counterparts. Many foreign cars can qualify as “highly American.” Honda Ridgeline was the 4th most American vehicle according to the Cars.com list – It is built in Alabama with many American made parts. Honda has even exported things it’s built in the USA to Japan, like the K20C1 engine it uses in its Type-R Civics. BMW builds almost all of its American fleet in South Carolina.
This practice to build “foreign cars in the United States ironically was to circumvent trade quotas and tariffs by essentially manufacturing them in America, providing Americans with jobs and selling them to Americans. It can be argued that your Toyota or Honda is more American than your Chevrolet.
When it comes time to replace those foreign parts, the cost will most likely be transferred to the consumer.
Everyone – Dealer, the auto parts store, Mom-and-Pop-Shop and the DIY dad who works on his car every Saturday could pay more. Dealers, who install parts built directly by the manufacturers will take a large blow in price since their foreign parts are imported from their own factories, but local independent shops and your local auto parts stores will too, as many aftermarket parts manufacturers outsource. According to the journalism site Automotive News, the companies behind the North American branches of Michelin, Sumitomo, and Cooper, sent a joint letter to the Commerce Department warning that higher tire prices could cause consumers to wait too long and cause an uptick in tire-related accidents. Long story short – parts won’t be cheap for anyone.
Labor rates across the board should remain the same, but don’t be surprised to pay more for car repairs, even if you do it yourself.
If you have any questions about auto repairs, pricing, and general automotive issues, feel free to call Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill at 704-545-4597.