The Merits and Demerits of Foreign Cars

The debate as to which is the more viable choice between the American and foreign car has raged on ever since the Japanese entered the domestic market. There are those who argue with much conviction in favor of the home toys, while others and they are many, vouch for the foreigners. Even though some of the points in favor of foreign cars are justified, some of them are not more than just stereotypes and long held beliefs with no tangible evidence. On the other side of the coin, some of the views in favor of the domestic machines are nothing more than just sentimental feelings and downright patriotism. The various merits and demerits of foreign cars are sampled below.

Merits of Foreign Cars

The Price

The cost of acquiring a foreign car is considerably cheaper than an American one. There are a number of factors that contribute to this. One of them is the labor cost. Due to the pension laws in America, the Domestic car makers are required by the law to pay pension and health care benefits to retired employees. This cost eventually finds its way to the final consumer in the form of a princely price tag. Their European and Asian counterparts are not as unlucky as they are not compelled to fulfill this obligation. Also the cost of labor in the United States is a tad higher than in other places, especially when compared with Asia.


For the same reasons outlined above the American car maker is unlikely to have a huge research and development as compared to the competitors. The labor, pension and health benefits take precious funds that could have been channeled to development. The competitors, especially the Asian ones have bigger research and development budget due to lesser labor costs, plus some of them get government grants. The result of this is that the foreign cars end up being more current and innovative than the American ones.

Fuel Economy and Durability

It is a widely held belief that foreign cars are more economical and offer more gas mileage than the American ones. There is truth in these beliefs. Some of the explanation can be found in the fact that fuel is more expensive overseas than in the United States of America. Due to this the foreign car makers have to factor this in their products. The other argument in favor of foreign cars is that they give more mileage than their American competitors. While this argument may be based more on the long held Japanese perfectionist values and the revered German efficiency, there is some truth in those assertions. The American product is viewed, and with some merit, as being aimed more at beauty and grace than on function ability.

Most Foreign Cars are Made in America

In the recent past the discrepancy between foreign and domestic cars has become blurred. It is not uncommon to find a foreign car made in Florida and a so called domestic car made in Mexico or Canada. The foreign cars bring in jobs while the American brands ship them away to neighboring countries. Most of the so called foreign cars are American products, only that their origins are oceans away. In fact to some people the difference between a foreign and a domestic car maker is only in relation to where there head office is located. Most of these foreign companies utilize domestic raw materials, labor and place a considerably crucial role in the domestic economy just like the American ones. They do provide jobs (both direct and indirect) and pay tax, while the final profits that are repatriated to their native countries are quite minimal compared to what is left in the country. Also see: Demerits of Foreign Cars:

Demerits of Foreign Cars

There is a lot of controversy when it comes to foreign cars. Many people do not want to drive cars that are made in a foreign country. They want cars made in America on their own soil. The debate rages on. While there are advantages of owning a foreign car, there are also disadvantages. Listed below are a few of the disadvantages of buying and owning a foreign car.


The cost of maintaining a foreign car, especially one that is not based locally, is exuberant. This is because the spare parts may not be available locally, and hence they will need to be shipped from abroad just like the car. It is one thing to import a car and quite another to import spare parts.


For a long time the foreign brand has been considered to be cheaper than the American brand. The cost of foreign cars is cheaper when looked in isolation, but when you factor in other things like the cost of insurance and taxation, the whole picture changes. Foreign cars pay a higher tax than the domestic brands. Domestic brands do enjoy certain incentives that are not forthcoming for the foreign ones. There may also be differences in some statutory regulations, especially for imported cars, between the laws of the origin country and the domestic ones.

Economy and Pride

It is worth noting that you contribute to the domestic economy when you buy a domestic brand. The profits that are made by foreign car makers are repatriated back to their parent countries, while those of the domestic ones remain in the economy. The domestic car makers also use local raw materials in their products, which boosts the local businessmen. The American companies are also known to employ considerably more workers than their foreign companies; even though it has to do more with the pressure from the various power groups it shows its worth on the economy. The foreign companies are also in only for the profits and nothing more. The likelihood of them closing shop when business goes south is high, but the domestic ones have a bigger stake in the country over and above the profits. There is also pride in driving your national brand than a foreign one. Driving your country’s car is a sure sign of allegiance, while owning foreign ones is presumed to be an acceptance of another country’s superiority over your own.


The long held belief about the lower quality of American cars against the foreign ones is a myth on many accounts. After all, the car maker that was forced to recall their vehicles due to brake problems is a cultured brand from the land of the rising sun, and not a Motown (Detroit) icon. The previously reputable and highly respected European and Asian brands have lost much of their aura and mystique.

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