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New Car Czar Deese Doesn't Drive American

Obama's new "car czar" Brian Deese. (Bloomberg News)

Anyone interested in knowing what Brian Deese, the wunderkind tapped with revamping the nation's dying automotive industry, drives to work?

We were very interested to learn what Deese doesn't drive.

His nicely worn car isn't a Chevy. Or a Ford. Or a Dodge. Or any Big Three auto for that matter.

Nope. Deese, the 31-year-old tour de force behind President Obama's Auto Task Force, has been seen tooling around town in a car that might make board members of General Motors shudder: He drives a Honda, whose manufacturer is based in Japan.

One source describes Deese's car as an "old, old, old silver Honda Civic two-door hatchback."

Another tells us Deese's two-toned Honda was never properly repainted after the new auto whiz got into an accident a few years ago. The car still has Connecticut plates, a relic of his recent days at Yale Law School.

So, how did a young man who drives a Japanese car and has "never set foot in an automotive assembly plant" became the president's so-called car czar?

The irony doesn't seem lost on Deese. (To be fair, Honda has manufacturing plants in the United States.)

Meg Reilly, a Treasury Department spokeswoman who speaks on behalf of Deese, joked to the Sleuth, "Considering the amount of time he spends in his office, Brian may start saving gas money by sleeping in the back of his 11-year-old Honda full time."

The New York Times, in a recent profile of the sometimes bearded car czar, described his exhausting drive to Washington (with his dog) from Obama's campaign headquarters in Chicago. The Times quoted Deese as saying, "I slept in the parking lot of the G. M. plant in Lordstown, Ohio." (The article noted that the Lordstown plant produces the Pontiac G5, a car that under Deese's plan will disappear.)

But there was no mention of what kind of car he drove from Chicago to Washington.

A source close to Deese initially said, when contacted for comment, that "it sort of confounds us that anyone is all that interested" in what he drives. But believe us, American autoworkers will care.

What do you think of America's new automotive empresario showing up to work in his Japanese car? Sound off in the comments section.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  July 3, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
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I drive a Ford F150, made in Windsor,Ontario. I live in Tennessee. What's the big deal? Pretty soon, nothing will be made in the USA.

Posted by: retiredinTennessee | July 3, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

You're kidding us, right? This is the way this government works and they are saying they are ADDING 600,000 new federal jobs at different agencies...I've read that every new federal job costs the taxpayer around $1 million dollars during their term of service-I guess that includes all the perks. What I'd like to know is how is this kid connected to Obama and his campaign or previous??? Everyone,almost, that he's hired has been involved with him at some time before. This guy, no experience at all in the car industry and his job is to help SALVAGE our American industry and he drives a Honda-give me a break. I am so sick of all the new "government" agencies which are costing the mess out of us and allowing the federal government to meddle in our lives all over the place.

Posted by: noseyten | July 3, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Please help me understand: What exactly is your point here? Should Deese have run out and bought an American car so as to be politically correct in his new job? Even if he had, should the fact of his having driven a Japanese car for (gasp!) 11 years make him less qualified for the job than if he'd been driving a Chevy or a Ford? (Forget Chrysler, it's part Italian now!) Should someone inspect his Honda to see if it was made in an American factory? I hope you can enlighten me, because the entire line of inquiry seems ridiculous.

Posted by: joseph95 | July 3, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

And sorry to pile on the guy, whose hourly wage must be pretty low, but isn't he required to re-register his car and change his license in a new jurisdiction after several months of living there (DC/VA/MD)? If nothing else, his insurance company should be concerned.

Posted by: gutmajo | July 3, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

First, I'm shocked this young man is driving. He doesn't look old enough.

Second, what he drives is really of no concern. He has no credentials to be the "car czar," and at his age, he could have really no idea what the heck he is doing. My guess is he spends most of his day trying to figure out what the bankruptcy court is up to, and reporting that to his bosses.

Finally, we should disabuse ourselves of the notion that the administration is involved in saving the "car industry." The GM and Chrylser bailouts have nothing to do with automobile manufacturing and assembly in the United States.

Our auto bailouts are simply jobs programs for union workers.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | July 3, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon10 wrote: "[A]uto bailouts are simply jobs programs for union workers."

If that's the case, why did Obama require the UAW to accept significant job losses and reduced pay and health benefits?

Posted by: Garak | July 3, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Great sleuth. First it is inspiring that the Yale graduate is so frugal that he's still puttering about in a ten year old hatchback. Second, maybe he'll be successful in inspiring American companies to model themselves upon the success of Japanese companies in copying and fine tuning American car production. Third, perhaps his youth will enable him to develop rapport with both titans and workers. Fourth, if he's going to be working with Detroit, he needs to shed the Honda and take up an American built car.

Posted by: maxim678504 | July 3, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Fifth, as with bank bailouts, auto bailouts are transfer payments to MBA bonus-fattened Ivy leaguers, not highly skilled union workers. No matter how fashionable it is for Americans to disdain skilled labor from their anonymous office park cubicles where they mundanely sort through the proceeds and wealth generated from past manual labor, that wealth was generated from past manual labor is indisputable.

That manual work is culturally scorned speaks more of the failings of American "education" than anything.

Posted by: maxim678504 | July 3, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Another know-it-all Ivy law grad with no operating experience, just like his boss -- who, BTW, showed some common sense by owning a Chrysler 300.

The public has no confidence in Mr. Deese, Esq., as they do with MESSIAH, Esq.

This is no surprise. After Geithner and his IRS non-filings.

Jimmy Carter was never this incompetent.

Buy gold. It is going to get worse, much worse.

Posted by: russpoter | July 3, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

The distinction between "American" and "Foreign" cars has become almost meaningless with the globalization of the industry. I have two cars: a Mercury made in Ontario, and a Toyota built in Princeton, Indiana.

Which one is the "foreign" car?

No one should be forced or shamed into buying a car of that he/she believes to be of lower quality because it carries an "American" nameplate.

And government meddling in the marketplace will do nothing more than decrease sales overall.

Posted by: omnibus | July 3, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

He bought a car that gave him the most value for the money. We should all hope American car manfacturers take notice.
What's next? Will you be telling us that (gasp!) some of the folks working on health care have had private insurance for years?

Posted by: tctexas | July 3, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Yet another Obama acolyte who tells us what to do while hypocritically doing the opposite himself.

If he breaks the law by not properly registered his car where he lives, I doubt that his income tax returns are in order. There's a whole bunch of tax cheats in the Obama administration, and I'll bet he's another.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | July 3, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I believe most Civics are made in the U.S. Mine was.

Posted by: buffysummers | July 3, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what makes me angrier...the fact that someone as unqualified as Deese has any role in the future of the American auto industry, or the fact that he is so hapless and clueless to not drive an American car if he is involved in a political job to help save Detroit. I am disappointed that the Obama Administration can't see how awful this looks to the average American who doesn't have political connections to get cushy Washington jobs. Deese, come to Kansas City where we have a Ford and a GM plant. There, you can buy a great Ford Escape or a great Chevy Malibu.

Posted by: wollefs | July 3, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I guess you don't learn much about motor vehicle law at Yale Law School. Deese should take the time to follow the law and get the correct license plates for his car, foreign or import. Until he does so, he's just another person who's not paying his taxes properly.

Posted by: dmcgrann | July 3, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

come on people,just how american is the snow job the auto industry has been giving us.You find a 10 year old Chevy, Ford, or Dodge on the road it will be parked at an american garage waiting n waiting for it's next repair job, just maybe the man's smarter then you assume,hope he is smarter then the american car industry tried to be at selling cars to last only 3 years.yes i do drive a Chevy trailblazer ,fact is I'm headed to a gas pump.give the guy a chance ok !

Posted by: kelo1953 | July 3, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Unlike the appointees of George W. Bush, the first MBA president, at least Mr. Deese is willing to admit that he isn't really all that qualified.

It does say something positive about him, though, that he did pick a car with known reliability -- AND that, unlike so many of the MBAs who have driven our economy (and retirements) into the toilet, he did not trade it in for a show-off car.

I hope that he does realize that labor, even union members, have not had a say in what types of cars American manufacturers try to sell or the levels of quality they think they can get away with, AND that he will realize that American-brand cars have been getting better over the years and will encourage manufacturers both to improve their quality and to promote that. Ideally, the manufacturers will spend far more effort in improving the quality than in promoting it. (Disclosure: Having a Ph.D. but not an MBA, I drive a '99 Ford Escort; my previous car was an '86 Escort.)

Posted by: edallan | July 3, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I drive a Honda Odyssey made in Lincoln, Alabama. My neighbor drives a Ford Fusion made in Hermosillo, Mexico. Another neighbor drives a Chevy Avalanche, also made in Mexico.

What is an "American" car?

Posted by: utah41 | July 3, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like this is a job for Captain America, the Czar Czar...

Posted by: Calistogan | July 3, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

As several posters have pointed out the real problem -- not the "image" problem -- for Mr. Deese is his inability to follow the law and register his car in the jurisdiction in which he lives. Does he think the rules do not apply to him?

Posted by: Charlie1 | July 3, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The real problem for Mr. Deese--not the "image" problem--is his inability to follow the law and register his car in the jurisdiction in which he lives. Does he think the rules do not apply to him?

Posted by: Charlie1 | July 3, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Isn't driving an 11 year old Honda a sign of intelligence and maturity? Let's say he was driving a 2009 Escalade. What would that say about his values?

Posted by: PJTramdack | July 3, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

What Mr.Deese drives is, in my opinion a non-issue. I insisted on buying American only for years, but went to Japanese cars as they were (my opinion) a superior product. The fact that he buys a high-reliability/longevity car like a Honda increases my confidence in his judgment.

The American manufacturers aren't in this situation because people started buying imports. They are in this situation because the decision makers at the American car manufacturers "managed by spreadsheet" instead of building quality cars that the public wanted. Instead of building efficient, high quality, high MPG cars, they spent their time trying to convince us we wanted the trucks and SUVs they were producing because they "made more profit per unit". They can still compete with the best in the world, they just need to decide to be a high quality car company instead of a bunch of spreadsheet manipulators.

Posted by: galliond | July 3, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

First, his choice of cars shows he has sound judgment about automobiles.

Second, that he has no U.S. auto manufacturing experience shows that the Administration has done the right thing.

No one from the Big Three or UAW could do any better. This guy has to dig us out from the deep pit Detroit and the union dumped the American auto industry into.

And unfortunately another poster was right, this is all about placating the thousands of auto union workers to keep their votes and campaign contributions. Detroit and especially the UAW have put the American auto industry in an unrecoverable position purely for their greed. They haven't cared about designing or building quality automobiles for decades while Germany, Japan and Korea showed them how it is done.

Posted by: llrllr | July 3, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Point being - we don't like American cars. Look out your window in the parking lot. What do you see?? Foriegn cars.

So, why is it that we're spending billions of tax payer dollars trying to save an industry that does not build items that we want to buy? This is the definition of insanity.

We are throwing good money after bad.

Posted by: Jaymand | July 3, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

....and before HE and POTUS Urkel are finished, THEY will be the proud new owners of the New and Improved "AmTruk" degigned, made, financed, and warrantied by The U.S. Govt., Inc. ???

Posted by: thgirbla | July 3, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

So? THis just means he's a smart man...

Posted by: demtse | July 3, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

What a stupid article and comments. Lafayette was 20 when commissioned a major general in Washington's army and Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. That he bought a Honda rather than a gas guzzling SUV shows better judgment about cars than his critics. If every member of Congress who drives a gas guzzler were thrown out we probably would get the kind of legislation needed to save our economy.

Posted by: Desertstraw | July 3, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

My Honda civic was made in Liverpool. So what? The Sleuth highlights her insignificance once again.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | July 3, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Exactly what is this guy's credentials? The Obama administration looks and acts more like high school student body officers than the leaders of the free world, and that includes the Student-Body-President-in-Chief himself. If he says "you guys" one more time, I think I'm going to choke.

Posted by: CR44 | July 3, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the premise of the article is pretty silly. He bought and kept a well-built car? BFD—to his credit, I'd say. As a gotcha, it's fairly sophomoric. And it's nonsensical to call a person a "tour de force" and suggests the author doesn't know what the phrase actually means. Other than that, outstanding piece.

Posted by: mfreeman1 | July 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I bought a chevy that died with only 175,000 miles. It was the first American that I bought in 30 yrs and it died 150,000 miles before any of my foreign cars. When American automakers produce a vehicle that gets 10 yrs and 300,000 miles before major repair work is required, then they will be back in the game. Until then let them go out of business. They are producing expensive crap and demanding that we buy it.

Posted by: rra578 | July 3, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"What do you think of America's new automotive empresario showing up to work in his Japanese car?"

What a stupid question. This is not controversial. Unless you're working for free, you're getting paid way too much.

Posted by: wkristol | July 3, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

He's being stupid.

Buy a small American car already and stop acting like a wet-nosed kid.

Posted by: onestring | July 3, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

My first new car was a Pontiac. It was made in Korea. I only owned the car for ten months because every gauge, hose, belt and handle broke on the car - 11 breakdowns in 10 months. Pontiac didn't care about making it right so I switched to Honda and never looked back. All my Hondas (5 to date) were built in Ohio by Americans. I would rather buy a reliable Japanese designed car built by Americans than a POS American designed car built in Asia. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: trgmom | July 3, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

REAL Americans drive what they want.

Posted by: Xeno1 | July 3, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

If you want irony, I saw Terry McAuliffe driving a Chevy Tahoe past the CIA today. What irony! This guy says that he stands with the environmentalists? He's driving a ride that gets 18mpg on a good day.

So he will tell you that he's driving. So what? Cars like the Tahoe Hybrid and the Lexus 600h weren't made to protect the environment. They were created to allow the Democrat's Politburo to have their own "Zil lanes" in Washington like those that they have in Moscow.

Posted by: reston75 | July 3, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Rahter than covering insignificant crap like this, why don't you do a story on how all but one of the Chrysler dealers these slugs ordered closed were contributors to Republicans...or do you think that is acceptable?

Posted by: LarryG62 | July 3, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

If everyone drove an 11-year-old Civic we wouldn't be in this mess. We'd use less imported oil, have less debt, and still be able to get another 5-7 years out of it before replacement -- probably with a small electric or diesel hybrid.

Posted by: bobskis | July 3, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Really? This is the best you can do? My Honda was made in Ohio and employeed people I knew. Shows you how boneheaded people can be just to be heard.

Posted by: chris_heyde | July 3, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

A poster named "Garak" questioned my characterization of the auto bailouts as jobs programs for union workers.

"If that's the case, why did Obama require the UAW to accept significant job losses and reduced pay and health benefits?"

You raise a good point. Shrinking of capacity was going to happen, Obama or not. But he saved many UAW jobs that were headed for extinction.

With regard to reduced pay and health benefits, I've read mountains and mountains of quotes from Gettlefinger et al. and the press that this actually happened. But I have never seen a source that documents EXACTLY what existing UAW members gave up. I would like to see something that tells me existing UAW workers that were making x dollars per hour are now making y dollars per hour, or were having x amount of $$ withdrawn from paychecks for this benefit or that, and are now having y withheld, etc.

I can only assume because I cannot find a source for this data, that it doesn't exist.

I do agree that NEW workers received reduced pay and benefits vs. old workers. But it is going to be a LONG time, and a cold day in you know where before Chrysler or GM has a need for "new workers."

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | July 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

NO DEMOCRAT WILL USE the money saved by not paying taxes to invest in GM stock either.

- "What doorknob put the Union that wiped out GM in charge of GM - I worked hard at getting these kickbacks." - MURTHA

Posted by: ayrescayo | July 3, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but does he cheat on his wife? Or maybe he's gay? The world awaits the news with bated breath.

Posted by: mcphersn | July 3, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I had the "pleasure" of living in a town with a Big-3 auto plant. For a half-mile around the plant, every parking lot had signs posted: "Imported Cars Not Welcome Here." Foreign cars parked on the street were quite likely to be vandalized.

That pretty much killed off any sympathy I may have ever had for the US auto worker.

Mr. Deese shows good judgment and character by driving an affordable and reliable car, even if that loses him the chauvinist and style-above-all votes.

Posted by: DupontJay | July 3, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

When the US builds cars as good as the Honda, as fuel efficient and reliable as the Toyotoa, as reliable as the Hyundai, then maybe someone will have something to complain about. When the US automakers make cars, instead of lifetime factory jobs known more for the excellent benefits than the excellence of the job done in building the cars, then we can perhaps criticize the car czar. When the US can compete with a warranty as good as that of a Hyundai, then we might grumble. When we can produce affordable cars that are innovative even as the French or German cars, then maybe we can say something. For now? Right on,Mr. Deese. Hold their feet to the fire and fire the deadwood, too. If the US built competitive automobiles our auto companies would not be where they are today.

Posted by: dwooddell1 | July 3, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

neither do most of the world..

Posted by: rushbot | July 3, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

psst... this guy isn't going to save the automobile industry or anything else. He's going to get some experience and then he's going to parlay that experience into a high-income, low-output job undermining the better efforts of the U.S. government in whatever is left of our private sector. Or perhaps in the Japanese private sector, but he'll still be undermining the better efforts of U.S. government. Somewhere along the way he'll shave, buy a closetful of Brooks Bros. suits, a Rolex and ditch the Honda for a new Acura.

Posted by: srb2 | July 3, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

OK, I get it, foreign owned companies make cars in America. American owned manufacturers make POS's. EVERYONE knows this. And, the engineers who work for the American Big 3 DESIGN the car parts to fail at given mileage. What really irks me is that this kid has no experience. Why does Washington believe that unless you are a lawyer, "You guys just don't understand!" We do understand. You picked a kid to rescue a trillion dollar industry. He can't even follow the simple laws of the district or state in which he resides by registering his car properly. Washington is SO FULL OF hypocrites.

Posted by: provocative1 | July 3, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

A smart consumer buys a car that serves well, costs within his budget, with little maintenance. My 11 year old Civic fits that profile. I suspect Mr. Deese is as smart as me. That's the kind of common sense I want in my government.

Posted by: Rivery | July 3, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Why the press looks at politically appointed people in a point of view that has nothing to do with their capacity to perform at their job? What car he drives? Who cares? This is a bright young man with a good education and no experience in the auto industry or business in general trying to save the American automotive manufacturing from collapse! Unless "they" know that it's going to fail and they need an innocent escape goat, this appointment makes no sense. But the press is worried about his car...

Posted by: kinglouie99 | July 4, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what he does or doesn't drive; what he says or doesn't say; what he does or doesn't do: as long as he is allowed to walk everything backwards (as all members of this Administration are given the opportunity to do), he will be able to re-speak until he finds some way to explain away whatever he is rightly held accountable for.

Posted by: Beeper812 | July 5, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

He sounds like a real "carguy" to me. Just like Obama seems like a real "Kenyan" to me as well. I was born in 1961 and still have my original birth certificate. My wife, also born in 1961 has hers as well.
Back on topic, it is interesting he drives a Honda. It is a FACT that more conservatives drive Big Three autos. I live in Dallas county, a blue county, which has a much higher registration percentage of non Big three autos. Rural Texas counties, big time Red counties think twice about buying Japanese crap like Toyatas and the Lexus brand. Big three trucks suit most of these people fine. I own three chevy trucks and they will never be sold until they die a natural death. It is also interesting that Kansas, "a big time red state" has Toyota dealers in 8 counties (mostly urban) so the rural folk are driving big three vehicles like a whole bunch of trucks, tractors, (John Deere) and SUV's. These people are big -time conervatives. These car Czar knucklehead doesnt care about American made vehicles. He probably couldn't even change a flat tire or change his own oil. Most Obama voters don't really care about the American car industry and really cannot comprehend the negatives of buying non big three autos or problems like cap and trade. Most
Obama voters are ignorant and know little about real issues other than they really like getting handouts.

Posted by: brockford | July 5, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

This seems to be "Much ado about Nothing". I realize that the autoworkers feel everybody should be driving their product, but that is part of the root problem with U.S. Auto Makers. If they were ever to get out of their 'own back yard' they might see what the rest of the world is doing and be able to adapt more readily to changing market conditions.

Posted by: mattgrogger | July 6, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

At least he's got some common sense. Honda, Nissan, Toyota. The new big three.
Reason; They're reliable, fuel efficient, stylish, comfortable and safe.
AND, they're made in America.

I drive a Dodge truck, made by a German company and assembled in Mexico. There's NOTHING American about it, other than my repair bills, which have been many and expensive.

Detroit has been making junk since the late 60's.

My next truck will be a Toyota.

Posted by: JOBBOSS46 | July 6, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Get a hobby. Take a pill. Read a book. Shut up.

Posted by: thepricewrites | July 6, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse








Posted by: sm98yth | July 6, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Why don't we just move the
White House to Chicago? Would save all
BO's cronies the need to relocate. Imagine all the jobs he could create for his HOME state while the rest of us sit idly by.
31 years old? Not even dry behind the ears yet.

Posted by: njtou | July 6, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

It never fails to amaze me that those who think Obama is our only chance to succeed in this country can't seem to digest what
is happening under this administration. To
bypass Congress and control all areas of the economy, including banking, manufacturing, healthcare, corporate wage structure, credit cards, etc., etc., etc.
Obama is creating szarships to create new
agencies that report directly to him. His
socialist goal is to have government (under him) run the entire gamut. He further ensures greater personal control of
all of these szarships by appointing people with absolutely no experience or background in the areas they are supposedly responsible for. Obama's own
lack of meaningful experience in any area
other than Community Organizing (like the
discredited Acorn organization) has been
obvious with all of the wild expenditures and missteps they have taken with the stimulus package. Instead of pulling the country out of a hole, unemployment and underemployment continues to be a major
problem that shows no sign of improvement.
The only gains in new jobs are those in the
expanded federal government with Obama's
szarship organizations and the power grab of other cabinet positions.

Posted by: depoulins | July 6, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Until the American auto industry starts making vehicles with the quality of Honda instead of reaming the consumer for decades on service will I rush out and buy an American car again.

Posted by: JRM2 | July 6, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Ok all of you import lovers that say as soon as one of the big three make a car that is as good as a Honda or Toyota you'll buy one, here you go:

In the first quarter of 2009, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles saw things gone wrong fall by 5 percent to 1,228 per 1,000 vehicles, significantly better than Honda’s 1,422 things gone wrong per 1,000 vehicles and statistically equal to Toyota’s 1,150.

Go buy one. Ford has been equal or surpassing them for over a year now. The imports' quality is on the decline. And yes it lasts. I have a 1995 Ford Explorer with well over 300k and ready for 300k more.

Economics 101- if a foreign company builds a car in the US, the workers get paid here- sure, but all of the profits go overseas. It's called transfer of wealth, idiots. Wake up and think, will ya?

Posted by: JoethePlumberinGR | July 6, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I really don't understand what Deese can bring to the table to help GM or the other two Detroit auto makers. Its clear he has a preferance in brands as he hangs on to his Honda Civic. The main turning point that will make GM more likely to survive is for people to start buying vehicles at a rate near 13 million. The additional help will come if americans put their faith back into GM vehicles at a rate in the 28% range. Right now I hear Fritz at GM talk about 10 million vehicles to break even which I believe is a joke. If vehicle sales remain in the 10 million range then Toyota and Honda will soon start to feel the pain. GM retooling at 10 million to break even seems like just another poor attempt at thinking only in the short term. There has to be people working and making at least $28,000 to $40,000 for sales to pick up. JOBS are continuing to disappear so how in the world will this ever happen. I say bring back the vehicles made in Mexico and China that can be built in the plants GM plans to close. Hire workers at $15.00 per hour with the same benefits that Japan's transplant car factories are paying their employees. REMEMBER, the folks from the south came to Michigan, Ohio, etc for these high pay UAW hourly jobs back in the 50's. Now, these jobs have nearly disappeared and the middle class along with them so who is going to buy new vehicles???????????

Posted by: laes196768 | July 6, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I am looking to buy a new car. Trying to choose between a Honda Accord (made in Ohio) and a Ford Fusion (made in Mexico). Remind me, which is the "American" car?

Posted by: BobbQ3 | July 6, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to take the notion that a thiry-one year old kid, who has never been out of academia, is the one playing point in the restructuring of the nation's auto industry seriously.

Posted by: sombreropoint38 | July 6, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Like many of Obama's initiatives, I am not sure we need a car czar. So, I guess it does not matter what he drives.

Posted by: lclark937 | July 6, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I am 75 years old; I was there when the American car manufacturers had their chance when quality guru Dr. Deming approached them in the 50's. They poo pooded him, so he went to Japan where he taught them how to build QUALITY cars. Dr. Deming is now venerated as one of the great heros of Japan for his teachings. The Americans are only now beginning to learn some of Deming's techniques.
Then came the 80's: the Japanese yen plummeted from about 350 to the dollar to about 150. That meant a $10,000 Japanese car had to sell for about $20,000 for them to make a profit. Since the dollar was not affected, the American industry could have sold their cars for about $12,000 and still made a handsome profit. About that time foreign cars only accounted for about 10%of US sales. If the Americans weren't greedy (everybody knew the Japanese cars were of better quality; even the Detroit auto workers, my home town; and it's NOT the workers fault, they would have loved to make better cars. It was management who made the rules. Because it is AMERICAN workers who are making those Japanese label superior cars right here in America. So put the blame where it belongs; on the GREED of US auto makers management and stock holders), but hey, I'da bought an American car for half the price of a Japanese even tho I knew the American was inferior. But buying a better quality car for the SAME price became a no-brainer for about 40% of the American car buying public and me. Given that scenario the Japanese would never have gained the foothold they have on the US car market without the GREED of the US manufacturers!
Bill Berecki

Posted by: bbgealum | July 6, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

His parents probably bought it for him used when he was in high school.

For me I'll only by foreign cars made in America.

Posted by: jaimo | July 6, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon - the concessions were minimal compared to the percentage of the company they received for those concessions, illegally by the way.

Posted by: jaimo | July 6, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Apart from his other "unqualifications" to be "car czar", his choice of personal auto shouldn't be counted as one of them. All you have to do is read the Consumer Reports auto reviews and look at the reliability, durability, and cost of ownership stats for the likes of Honda, Toyota, and now KIA and Hyundai, to see why more than a lot of us have given up on the American nameplates.

Posted by: DuffyD | July 7, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Surprise, surprise...BO the junior varsity player picked another JV qualified person. I can hear the old joke now, "Two weeks ago I couldn't spell Czar. Now I are one." BO should have picked Jack Welsh. But, then again, Welsh might have tried to fire BO for his lack of experience for his job. Vehicles, like any other significant product purchase, are bought based upon the quality of workmanship and materials AND, therefore, the value received for the money spent. Americans have been sending that message to "Detroit" for over 30 years and no one--non-union or union--paid any attention. Now, ALL Americans (that pay taxes) are buying GM vehicles whether or not they want to.

Posted by: 65tarheel | July 7, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

i drove a honda for 6 years; it was made in Ohio. The current Ford Fusion, a competitor to the Toyota Camry, is made in Tomatillo, Mexico whereas the Camry is made in Exotic Kentucky and the Honda Accord is still made in Ohio.

Posted by: malachhamovess | July 8, 2009 6:22 AM | Report abuse

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