quote of the day

Consumers are far less concerned about where things are made. A Nissan car made in Thailand is still a Nissan car.


Robert Feldman, head of Japan economic research at Morgan Stanley in Tokyo and a former economist at the International Monetary Fund. Nissan’s decision to import foreign-made vehicles in 2010 paved the way for other Japanese companies to ship products made overseas back to the Japanese market. (Bloomberg)

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Not true. I used to sell Chevy's and plenty of people would check the VIN to see which country manufactured it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I both agree and disagree with Mr. Feldman. I acknowledge that components for cars, electronics, etc are produced world-wide and at the end of the day the car/tv/computer/etc is only really assembled in a particular location, and so, in terms of what is under the hood/in the case, a product assembled in Japan has much the same components as a product assembled in Thailand or Vietnam.

However (and this is a BIG however), the quality and precision of assembly can make a huge difference in terms of the quality and reliability of the final product. Here's a good example. Mercedes Benz has a great reputation for high quality and reliable products. In terms of quality control they grade their products A through C on final inspection, an A being perfect, a B being minor issues, and a C being the lowest they permit out of the factory (anything below a C is sent back to be re-done). Mercedes Benz's factory in Germany produces almost all A-class products, whereas the factory in South Africa produces about 50% C-class products. Why? The workers are cheaper, but also sloppier, and it shows in the final product.

At the end of the day you SHOULD care about where your product is assembled. Even though your average Chinese TV contains components manufactured by Japanese companies the quality is much lower than if the TV was assembled in Japan, because of factory conditions, the workforce, etc.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"At the end of the day you SHOULD care about where your product is assembled."

Which is maybe why Japan-made Fender musical instruments (80s and 90s) are still in high demand, as opposed to those made in other countries.

Once I recall looking at brand new Suzuki automobiles that were assembled in Hamamatsu, and they seemed to look like very sturdy cars, more so than some Ohio-assembled Hondas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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