Thursday, November 19, 2009

Korea - "We will not buy American Cars"

It was interesting today to hear a report on NPR about the people of South Korea and their reaction to buying American cars.

President Obama like past Presidents, has tried to bolster the domestic car market overseas - especially in his Asian visit. NPR did an unscientific poll by asking the locals in Korea what they thought about buying US cars. Korea today only buys a meager 6000 vehicles a year! That's it! I see more Hyundai's in one day I think then what Korea buys the entire year.

So what does this mean for us? A common reaction by a patriotic American is to say screw Korea - I will never buy their cars again. Or write to your congressman to put tough tariffs on Korean cars.

I believe a better way to proceed is to bolster our local car manufacturers. Subsidize some of their activities and encourage them to significantly improve their quality and technology. The US has the chance to truly leapfrog the foreign car makers by harnessing the green initiative and truly focusing on building the next generation vehicles.

With the new re-organized companies and the fact that we have helped the locals shed their legacy burdens, I believe the domestic car makers are poised to become a leading force once again. I am glad that President Obama through the department of energy awarded billions of dollars in grants for the Big 3 and others like Tesla Motors to invest in the future Eco friendly vehicles

Its time for us to step up and beat the Koreans, Japanese and the Germans to introduce the next generation power trains in our cars which will serve the future market needs. Once we do this then watch how Koreans and Japanese flock to buy our cars.

Ford, is in my opinion best poised to take advantage of this change. I believe in the next 5 years Ford will become a premier mass car maker with exports far exceeding domestic consumption. From the ashes of this financial meltdown, we will see the giants wake up again.

If you see the quality of products that are coming out of Detroit today - it is excellent products. Quality has improved, design has dramatically changed and progressive thought now dominates this industry. Let's hope the momentum remains. Then NPR can go to Korea after 5 years and let's see what they have to say then.

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