The tenuous fate of America's Big Three auto corporations has everybody on edge, and people are fightin' mad: Dems feel like the Republicans failed them on the now-dead auto bailout, the Unions feel like they are being unfairly attacked, the hundreds of thousands of workers employed in the auto industry are nauseous thinking about the holidays, and nobody has figured out how to make the situation better.
So what's a person to do? Buy American? That"s a complicated task, especially when it comes to cars, which are now such a product of globalization that even Fords and GMs and Chevys are always partly constructed from foreign parts. Stop buying altogether? Not recommended by Warren Buffett. What about... we just kick the dog? That's always the easiest thing to do, and seems to be, more times than not, the good ol' American way.
Car dealer O.C. Welsh seems to take some comfort in taking a toe to the pup--he released five radio ads last week attacking patriots for buying Japanese cars.
He's pretty durned specific that it's the Japs' faults (not the Germans... nor the Swedes) for ruining the American auto industry. How they happen to be so faulty, it's hard for me to decide--perhaps it's in designing cars that are fuel-efficient, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing BEFORE going nearly bankrupt and asking for federal aid ("Oh totally, Congress, it's 2008! We in Detroit are totally gonna look into this, like, eco thing now, swear!"). Perhaps it's for manufacturing cars in America and employing hundreds of thousands of American workers!
Welsh maybe says it best: ""All those cars are rice ready. They're not road ready." Uh, what? First of all, did somebody say "rice?" Where? Let's drive and get some in a fuel-efficient imported car! Second of all, are we really going to try and lie to ourselves by saying that American cars are better equipped for the road, and that Japanese cars are not? That's just sad. We can't go there; we'll feel so stupid.
If there's one thing Welsh should be blaming his lackluster car sales on--if not inevitable economic cycles, poor corporate management, and his own bad choice of career--it's the fact that he's peddling shitty cars. And he can hate on the slant-eyes all he wants, but for the time being, that fact isn't going to change.