Monday, March 30, 2009

Out of a job yet? Keep grinding my gears.

Though I for one am not a huge fan of bitter rants, unless it involves ranting and raving over some bitter, I must take pause and share my rage:

Ok. Now there is a lot to this sticker that must be unpacked. The history of it: this sticker came from American Auto Worker Unions, who were trying to fight the increasing amounts of import vehicles being sold in the US, creating a risk to their very own jobs. Can I blame them? The answer is... somewhat. Well, maybe they have a point, but I'll talk more on that later. But you know who I can blame for adopting this sticker? Canadians. Yes, that's right. Somehow, many of my fellow Canadians have also adopted this sticker on their "domestic" vehicles (read: American brands, GM, Chrysler, Ford), as I'm sure many of you have seen.

The irony seems to have escaped these folks. Let me for one second, suggest to my country bumpkin Ontario hillbillies, that perhaps the US, is... (gasp) a foreign country!??! OMG-ROFL-BBQ-DVDROM-WTF!!!!!! Earth-shattering, I know. A short geography lesson:

That's right ladies and gentlemen. When you live in Canada and buy a car, whether you like it or not, you are buying foreign!! Now, I know I will hear the argument, "Well, some of these cars are made in Canada, you know".

Let me also propose a few more points of contention:

1. For every $1 someone has given to GM in the form of a purchase, GM has managed to lose $1.10. Supporting a flawed business model is bound to create more jobs, right!!?!

2. I will not argue that any car made in Canada provides jobs for Canada. But there are also manufacturing plants for Toyota and Honda here. What's the difference then there?

3. Since there is no Canadian-owned car company, the car companies have no vested interest in Canada, aside from workers, when they need them. The profits always go to the corporate headquarters after wages are paid, and even if the government provides assistantce, they decide where the money goes (read: US coffers).

Alas, cars I have observed recently with said sticker (all of these cars had Ontario plates):

1. Pontiac Vibe

Assembled in California, USA

I own this car, it's a good vehicle. But I do not own the sticker. However, I saw one with it. The funny thing about this vehicle, is that the design was a joint venture between GM and Toyota through this group called NUMMI. If you pop the hood, you will see Toyota parts in the Pontiac Vibe. Anywho, even more ironic, the Matrix (Toyota version of the Vibe) is made in Cambridge, ON. I wonder what that person would think to know that buying a Matrix would have actually been less foreign.

2. Chevrolet Cavalier

Assembled in Ohio or Michigan, USA or Mexico.

A very popular car with the student-types. Not much to say here, but if the car I saw with this aforementioned sticker was built in Mexico...well... then it shouldn't be any different to your Canadian self than one that was built in the US of A.

3. Buick LeSabre

Assembled in Michigan, USA

It certainly looks American. 3.8L of raw V6 power. But maybe you knew that anyways? The reasoning behind your sticker is still fundamentally flawed.

4. Ford Ranger

Assembled in Kentucky, USA

Who knew? You know, you could have bought a Toyota truck from the Woodstock plant. Then you could be supporting a local Canadian economy rather than a racist one. Yes, I went there.

The funny part about this exercise is that before I wrote this post, I wanted to write about all four of the vehicles I have recently seen, and if one was Canadian-made, I would mention it, but still make my point that it really isn't Canadian anyways. It's funny how I didn't need to do so.


  1. This is a good blog, because this really grinds my gears too. I am torn on whether or not it counts if the car was actually assembled in Canada. I know the car maker is an American or Japanese company, but they still provide us with a TONNE of jobs.

    What the government SHOULD be doing with all of this bail out money is supporting ACTUAL Canadian companies with ACTUAL good ideas. Check out
    Canadian company. But does our government support them? No. These cars aren't legal in Ontario. Mostly they are only sold in California. Oh the irony.

  2. I wonder where the computers used to make the stickers and run the printers/presses used to make them are from?

  3. Point number 4:

    OHHHH! You sooo went there. Neil Young would be very proud. And he's Canadian, too!

  4. luke!!!
    i also saw that bumper sticker on a buick lesabre.


  6. I hate those sticker too!!!!!!!!

    Good 'rant' Allen, good rant ;)