Posted by: Dahni | May 31, 2009

I Drive an American Car?

By Dahni

© Copyright 5/30/09

all rights reserved

Part 1 of 2

I drive an American car?

Every word in the sentence above is pretty clear or so I thought. Let us examine the word “American.” This is important, especially in light of another ‘American’ ‘car’ company expected to file for bankruptcy on Monday 6/1/09. By the way, why are they referred to as American Car Companies, since they make more than just cars?

But, I drive an American car. Well, actually it’s called an SUV (sport utility vehicle). But, it’s an ‘American Car’ and I drive it.

Other related words and phrases to this post are: America, an American, and Made in America. In this country we have laws involving ‘truth in advertising,’ so let’s just investigate what the word America means and where the car I drive in America is made.

To begin, where does the word America come from? What’s it origin and meaning?

In 1507, German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere “America” after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci. The former British colonies first used the country’s modern name in the Declaration of Independence, which was the “unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America” adopted by the “Representatives of the united States of America” on July 4, 1776. The current name was finalized on November 15, 1777, when the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first of which states, “The Stile of this Confederacy shall be ‘The United States of America.” In the last line of our U.S. Constitution we read:

“…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Last line of the Preamble to The United States Constitution

Clearly, America can include South America and areas above Antarctica; Central America and North America which also includes, Canada and other areas below the Arctic Circle. This is a pretty good size land mass to say that I am an American, to market “an American Revolution,” to claim ‘Made in America’ or that I drive an American car.

Now to be accurate, the American car I drive never stated that it was ‘Made in America,’ but somewhere along the lines of truth in advertising stuff, for something to have actually been ‘made’ in a specific country or place, it became a matter of percentages. I would venture a guess that it must be around 50% based on the information to follow. So where is the car (SUV), which is part of ‘An American Revolution’ that I drive, actually made?

When you go to a car dealer (those that sell cars, trucks, SUV’s etc), and you look at new vehicles, stuck to one of the side rear windows is found what is called a ‘sticker’ which provides information and pricing about the vehicle. Here’s what it looks like –

DealerSticker

In the image above, the Company and the model have been marked out in red and the ‘Parts Content Information’ has been circled in red.

In the ‘Parts Content Information’ section we find information about where the vehicle was made. The next image sums up this information.

ChalkLessons1

If you noticed above, 50 + 39 = 89 so, 11% of the parts and where they are made are not accounted for, given, added in or part of the total. As a matter of fact, the sticker didn’t even display a total. I suppose, the vehicle company can technically claim, it is ‘Made in America’ (though they never actually use the words), and that it is part of ‘An American Revolution,’ since 50% of the parts were made in the United States which is part of America. And the assembly of this vehicle in Mexico is part of Central America which is part of America, so by golly, I do drive a car (SUV), made or mostly made in America. I’m still not sure where  the missing 11% or the 39% of ‘unknown origin’ comes from or was made. But what’s a ‘made’ anyway? If I make a widget in Detroit, MI U.S.A I am making something right? If you live in Canada and put several widgets together, aren’t you making something too? If someone else takes all these combined and made widgets and assembles them somewhere in America (Mexico), aren’t they making something as well? And wouldn’t it then be made or mostly made, in America?

Please find the common denominators in the following:

Lie          Little White Lie

Truth in Advertising          At least 50% Truth

Made          Mostly or Nearly Made

America          The United States of America

Car Companies          Vehicle Companies

True          Mostly True

What if words had meaning? What if words spoken or written meant what they said and said what they meant?

Just I-Magine,

Dahni


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