It's a Jeep thing
“China is one thing, but Italy?”
“Ah, yes, you speak of the recent hullabaloo surrounding the Jeep brand.”
“You got that right. I don't want our prized American brands being made anywhere but America!”
“Relax. Mitt Romney was playing footsie with the truth when he said that Jeep plans to move all its plants from the U.S. to China. Jeep is a division of Chrysler and Chrysler has no such plans. Chrysler has added 7,000 jobs in the U.S. since its 2009 government bailout.”
“But there are plans to expand Jeep production in China.”
“Yes, but that's nothing new. Jeep began making cars in China since the mid-1980s!”
“In 1985, says the Los Angeles Times, Jeep set up a plant to produce the Jeep Cherokee in alliance with China's state-run automaker. China is now the world's largest auto market. Wouldn't you want to build and sell Jeeps there?”
“Well, what about plans to make Jeeps in Italy?”
“That part you have right. As part of its government-managed bankruptcy in 2009, Chrysler was sold to Italian automaker Fiat SpA. Fiat announced plans to manufacture a new Jeep SUV in its Italian plants — mostly because their plants are under-utilized due to the slow European economy.”
“But they plan to export that Jeep back to America! I'm all for a global economy, but there is something wrong about Italians making a Jeep and selling it back to us!”
“I understand your emotional attachment to the Jeep brand. It is an American icon with a unique heritage.”
“You got that right! The American Bantam car company invented the Jeep in 1940 in Butler. It was an innovative design that would contribute greatly to our success in World War II. After the war, it became a beloved American brand, and still is.”
“I couldn't agree more. I recently bought a new soft-top Jeep Wrangler and love it. It is capable off-road. It has the distinct Jeep look. And every time I drive past another Wrangler owner, I am greeted with the ‘Jeep wave.' You have to own a Jeep to understand.”
“Oh, I understand. That's why I want to keep Jeep a purely American brand.”
“Look, I understand your nostalgia, but the global economy has already changed many American icons. A Belgian company now owns Budweiser. A German company owns Alka-Seltzer. A Japanese company owns 7-Eleven. A Swiss company makes Gerber baby food.”
“Tell me it ain't so!”
“It gets worse. Levi's blue jeans are now made in Latin America and China. The Converse high-top basketball shoe is made in Asia. GI Joe and other Mattel toys are made in China!”
“Surely there are some traditional American brands that are still made here?”
“Yes, Harley Davidson still makes its iconic motorcycles here. Kitchen Aide makes most of its mixers here. Weber still makes the world's finest grills here. But it is getting harder for American manufacturers to maintain profitability.”
“Expanding EPA rules and regulations are increasing energy costs. An expanding money supply is inflating gasoline and transportation costs. Additional mandates, such as health care, are increasing employee costs. Employees at these companies are giving up wage concessions to keep their jobs. There is a LOT we can do to make the U.S. more friendly to manufacturing.”
“Look, I know the world is changing. I have no problem with Jeep expanding to new markets. That ultimately makes the company more profitable and, to that end, benefits American workers.”
“Then what's your problem?”
“I want tough-guy American assembly-line workers putting my Jeep together, not some Italian guys who sing opera music and eat Gorgonzola cheese!”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn State to announce new athletic director
- Steelers won’t negotiate Roethlisberger extension until after season
- Monroeville oxycodone dealer to spend 10 years in prison
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- ’80s, ’90s kids show ‘Cappelli and Company’ finds new life on TV, online
- Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
- Federal judge denies Spanier bid to halt criminal case
- Performers create Princess magic for balls and birthdays
- Ohio exhibit on real Johnny Appleseed will hit the road
- LaBar: John Cena leaving WWE for Hollywood?
- Fewer riders on Port Authority’s Access van program in 2013