Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Buy a Canadian-built Toyota Corolla

Ian Dromey wrote in “Many 'foreign' cars are built here in Canada”, (St. Catharines Standard website, letter to the editor, Dec.31, 2008):

"Re: All MPs should drive fuel-efficient domestic cars, The Standard, Dec. 19.

I read with great amusement this letter to the editor recommending that we encourage our MPs to buy fuel efficient Chevrolet Aveo cars in order to help fellow Canadian workers. I was wondering exactly how helpful it will be to our fellow Canadian workers to buy the Aveo, which was designed in Italy and is built by Daewoo in Bupyung, Korea.
May I humbly suggest it would be more helpful for Canadian workers not to buy a foreign car like the Chevy Aveo, but to buy a real Canadian-built, fuel-efficient car like the Toyota Corolla, built locally in Cambridge, or a Honda Civic, built locally in Alliston.”

True enough and good points; unionistas do like to spin that only union-made is Canadian-made; and that supposed 'foreign-makes' have supposedly unfair advantages regarding the import of their product to North America, and the export of supposedly North American product overseas. (Hard to think of Koreans or Japanese actually wanting to buy it, though...)

But there is a drawback to focusing on 'Canadian-made' ONLY BECAUSE it's Canadian-made (union or not), rather than on product quality and value. If we are to favour protectionist tendencies, then quality can be overlooked as a secondary matter. If we are to follow a competitive model, then the marketplace can (and should) decide what it is willing to pay for.

Foreign-built Aveos masquerading as 'help-save-GM' products should be allowed to compete with Canadian-built Toyota Corollas or Honda Civics; and some consumers might even decide to buy an Aveo over a Toyota or a Honda. But the question is, why should the federal and provincial government give GM billions to enable this kind of obvious, typical Big Three bait-and-switch tactic, anyway?

If anything, the multi-billion-dollar-Big 3-bailout should mean the permanent restriction of all fully foreign-made imports; otherwise, what's really the point of this bailout - coddling the comfortable status-quo and postponing the inevitable???

Why should General Motors get billions of tax-dollars to sell freakin' Aveos to Canadians?!

Can Liberal Jim Bradley, Ontario's Transportation Minister, explain that?

(see also: Doing nothing on health care is the option preferred by Jim Bradley)

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