Saturday, November 11, 2006

2007 Pontiac G6: SWEET!

How does a “Buy American” goddess go about buying a new car? Particularly a goddess that likes hybrids and high gas mileage and worries about carbon dioxide emissions?

As a loyal Ford Taurus owner, I was mourning the recent closing of Ford’s Atlanta assembly plant where my Taurus was made and waiting patiently for the Ford Fusion Hybrid to hit the dealer lots. Then, last fall I attended the Washington, DC auto show and checked out the Fusion in person. I confess I was disappointed with the interior, and the car’s profile had a masculine feel. To top off my dismay, the Ford Fusion was assembled at the Hermosillo plant in Mexico and the hybrid powertrain also was going to be imported. I remember asking the Ford representative how my purchase of a Ford Fusion Hybrid would be helping the U.S. autoworker? His only response was that at least Ford was a U.S. company! After that, I figured I would just keep the ’91 Taurus healthy and await new developments.

Then, last week one of “Fairfax County’s Finest” moved up my timeline. I was very politely informed that my inspection sticker had expired FIVE MONTHS ago. Egad. Upon inspection, my friendly neighborhood garage suggested $900 in repairs. Needless to say, I was thrust into car search mode.


Free Price Quotes at Edmunds.com
Despite my best intentions, and many promises to StillMadeinUSA.com visitors, I had never put together my Buy American Auto page. Still, I had done some research and I decided to share my search criteria and data here. I wanted a 4-door sedan, UAW-made, good gas mileage and environmental rating, assembled in USA with maximum amount of USA parts.

I considered the following criteria and data sources:
  • Percent domestic content (defined as U.S. and Canadian-made parts), on a sales-weighted basis by automaker/brand (Level Field Institute, a site funded by retirees of Ford, GM, Chrysler, and their parts suppliers, reminds consumers that American jobs associated with auto manufacturing go far beyond assembly, and the source of the parts that go into the vehicles is an important indicator of the ripple effect of auto manufacturing in the U.S. economy).
  • Union-made: United Auto Workers (UAW) have long set the standard for wages and benefits for all automakers in the U.S., and I prefer to support companies that employ union labor (UAW Made Vehicles for 2007 )
  • Environmental performance, including carbon dioxide emissions (an important contributor to global climate change) and air pollutant emissions (smog and ground-level ozone precursors) (EPA's Green Vehicle Guide)

Based on my criteria, I had selected 2 cars for test drive: the Toyota Corolla, if made in USA, based on its superior environmental performance; and the Pontiac G6. Although some Toyota Corolla’s are made in US, it turned out that all the ones available in my region were Canadian-made (VIN starting with 2).

I went to see the Pontiac G6, did a test drive, and fell in love! What a sweet car! I got a great price, including a $1000 “conquest rebate” for switching from Ford to GM. The car is roomy, sporty, and drives beautifully. The instrument panel and interior styling is excellent, and the driver-side seat has adjustable lumbar support and feels GREAT. It also has driver, passenger, and roof-mounted side impact air bags. All this for approximately $17,000.

I feel like I got a bargain, and I am proud to be driving a vehicle assembled at the Orion Assembly plant in Lake Orion, Michigan by UAW Local 5960, with U.S.-made engine and transmission.

Stephanie, Webmaster
StillMadeinUSA.com

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stephanie,

you considered a Toyota? Toyota does not use Union workers. Not to rehash old news, but I would like to point out to you when you talk about global climate change (An interesting change from global warming) people talk about an addiction to middle eastern oil and that we fund terrorists. Well my answer to this is why are liberals and others that profess to know better addicted to Japanese cars? Did not the same Japanese and Koreans (Koreans were part of the Japanese Empire) butcher American POWS, use bio and chemical warefare, use slave laborers, comfort women, etc? No, it does matter that you buy an American car, one made by a US owned company. As for the G-6 good choice!

Stephanie said...

Responding to Anonymous,

Toyota Corolla's are made in the US and Canada. The US-made Corollas (VIN starting with a 1) are made by UAW workers. Check http://www.uaw.org for a complete list of cars that are made by UAW workers.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the G6 is a good automobile. Its sister, the Saturn Aura is also nice, however, GM wants to stick On-Star down your throat if you buy the Aura. I'm not sure about the G6, but I like it. Another car, if you like American made would be the Ford Mustang V6. Although it is largely a male car, the 6 cylinder is less noisy and intrusive. I like the Mustang, but its a little cramped on the instide.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. I WAS in the market for a slightly used Ford Fusion, as I to am an avid Ford buyer, but I was totally unaware that the Fusion was not made by union labor. I will be exploring other vehicles instead.
Thanks again!

David said...

Toyota is a four letter word in Michigan. Keep the profits here in America!

Marie said...

Don't just consider where a car is assembled...look at where the profits are going, back to Japan? People feel justified buying a Toyota made in a factory located in the USA but this is not buying American! So glad to hear you bought and love your Pontiac. GM makes lots of good cars if only people would check them out and not hold to old ideas that American made is lower quality. Also, OnStar is offered with a one-year- free offer and then the customer decides whether or not to continue with the service, I would not call this sticking it down your throat.

josiah said...

additionally,
"profits" are really not that high in the auto industry. profit margins on any new car sold are probably less than 6-7 percent. in fact many of gm's "cars" don't make any money at all. they make all their profit from trucks. so really, most of the benefit goes to the builder of the vehicle. a toyota built in the us is probably just as "american" as a cadillac. both are built in the u.s. using american workers who work in factories built by american companies buying energy from american utilities, buying many of their parts from the chinese. sure, someone in japan signs a check, but an american worker still cashes it and spends it here.

acer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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Anonymous said...

Even if a car is made in the USA, and itg's parent company is Japanese, German or whatever, the PROFITS return to that foreign corporation, and not to Chrysler, GM or Ford. The only way to reach that objective is to buy from one of the Big 3 above, a car/truck made in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Koreans butchered American POWs?

You've got to read some history books before writing such nonsense.

Sara Mitchell said...

Pontiac cars were known to be luxury cars. It would be great to own one while one is still young.

Anna Avalos said...

I will always be a Pontiac fan. But for now, I'll just settle for e-vehicles cause their fuels are way cheaper compared to fuel-operated cars.