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UAW meets demand

UAW meets demand


Union-made vehicle list revealed



Encouraged by surveys showing North Americans are increasingly interested in buying vehicles that are built here, the United Auto Workers on Wednesday released its list of 2010 vehicles that are union-made in the United Sates and Canada.

"When customers visit the showroom to look at vehicles made by our members, they’re going to find top-quality cars and trucks in every price range and in every product category," said UAW president Ron Gettelfinger.

A U.S. survey by Consumer Reports National Research Center released last week found 81 per cent of new car buyers said they were likely or very likely to consider an American brand.

An earlier report by U.S.-based auto marketing and consulting firm AutoPacific showed 72 per cent of consumers were likely to consider buying Detroit Three vehicles.

While far fewer U.S. consumers are looking to buy vehicles in the next year than in 2008, the survey results show there is an opportunity for the Detroit Three to capitalize on, said Tony Faria, co-director of the Office of Automotive Research at the University of Windsor.

"I think consumers are becoming more aware their vehicle purchases do have economic consequences," he said.

Currently, 56 per cent of the vehicles sold in the United States and Canada are foreign brands. With this year’s government rescues of General Motors and Chrysler, "people are beginning to realize this does have consequences for jobs at home," Faria said.

At the same time, the quality of Detroit Three vehicles has improved to almost on par with the Japanese automakers.

The Consumer Reports survey showed that of those considering the purchase of a new vehicle, 47 per cent would consider an Asian brand and 46 per cent a European brand.

The biggest beneficiary of increased interest in Detroit Three brands was Ford.

Those who want to support U.S. and Canadian auto jobs need to look beyond the brand, because it doesn’t always indicate where the vehicle is made, Faria noted. All of the Detroit Three assemble some vehicles sold in the United States and Canada elsewhere.

"I’d say No. 1 is simply look to vehicles that are assembled in North America," Faria said.

"If a vehicle is assembled in North America it is going to have a lot of its parts made in North America."

And not all U.S. and Canadian-made vehicles are produced by unionized workforces. Toyota and Honda, for example, both have non-union assembly plants in Ontario.

The guide lists vehicles assembled in the United States and Canada by its members and those in the Canadian Auto Workers union.

The CAW, which has a similar list of Canadian-made vehicles on its website that is being updated this week, continues to encourage its members to buy the vehicles they make, said Bob Chernecki, assistant to president Ken Lewenza. "The list is narrow, no question, but we still want our members to buy the vehicles made in the plants where they work."

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