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Would You Buy American for a $1,000 Bonus?

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2009 Chevrolet Avalanche

2009 Chevrolet Avalanche

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It's safe to say that American automakers didn't get into their current predicament because of one Titanic-sized iceberg. Instead, there were a lot of little, tiny icebergs chipping away at the hull of that ship for many, many years. (In fact, the snowball may be a more accurate, wintry metaphor.) Accordingly, there won't be one big answer to the Big Three's problems, but rather a lot of little answers.

Over the weekend, we heard about one Detroit-area businessman who's trying to be one of those wee solutions by providing $1,000 to each of his employees, on the condition that they use the money to purchase a new car from Ford, Chrysler, or GM. Turret Steel Industries in Leetsdale, Penn., has a similar program in effect for its workers, and both employers are optimistic about the results.

We give serious props to these enterprising employers for taking matters into their own hands. However, the incentive programs beg a larger question: is it merely price that's keeping U.S. buyers away from Big Three cars? Show of hands: if you knew you could get $1,000 off the price of an American-brand car, would that tip the scales? -- Richard Read

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Comments (5)
  1. Yes it would help some make that choice. Why doesn't the UAW take some of its strike fund money and give it back to their employees if they buy a vehicle in the next 60 days? And the big companies who also are part of the auto industry -- Magna, Lear, Johnson Controls, American Axle, etc. -- and their unions -- should do the same.
    Let's get America rolling again otherwise the economy is going to stagnate and more people are going to lose their homes. Jobs, jobs, jobs -- that's the way to help the housing industry too!!!
     
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  2. No. Even a $1,000 bonus does not make up for the traditionally poor resale value of used American cars and trucks. If anything, the $1,000 bonus will only make American cars and trucks depreciate faster and be worth even less.
     
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  3. IF there was a model that I would want, AND that model came with large additional rebates from the manufacturer. Unfortunately, the models I might want aren't coming for a couple of years.
     
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  4. I just don't see the kinds of rebates like they used to have. The used round up the dollars from the GM card right before Christmas ($2K-$5K) and they don't do that either. My employer has been giving $3K to buy a hybrid. You can't buy any from the big three (all vaporware) unless you're willing to drop $50K on the Tahoe which I wouldn't... There's a ton of American cars I'd get (or would have gotten) if they were cheaper. The current price of the T&C would have worked for me in April but Limiteds were close to $38K! Toyota didn't price us out of the market, so they got our business. I wonder what's going to happen to all the unsold G8s on the lots... Great value but still no takers...
     
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  5. "Buy American!"

    The incentivization of buying American is exactly what we need to really boost this economy. The new smaller fuel efficient cars made by Ford and GM (The new Focus and Fusion models, and GM's Chevy Aveo, Chevy HHR, Saturn Astra and almost a dozen more) have a good price line for the first time "Young Buyer" and it has looks that could easily compare to the VW Jettas and Honda Accords I see that score just as well in the looks market as well. Ford has even come up with a new, half-ton mind you, F-150 that gets 21mpg hwy, so that even the working trucker can save some money on gas and still get one of the best trucks ever to be made in the WORLD, and get a great deal on it. And just to clear up your misconceptions about resale value of american cars, American cars are the MOST purchased pre-owned vehicles in the country. There's a ton of information on this and some other pro american purchases at my favorite blog www.AmericanBoom.com/blog. Give it a look!
     
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