Monday, July 21, 2008

VW - the North American version

Here's a link to some news about VW putting a plant in Tennessee. They'll be creating 2000 jobs in the area and producing an entirely North American vehicle.

But why would anyone buy a foreign car?

Open your eyes people!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I've been catching the Tour de France at night before I go to bed. It's amazing to see the speed these guys are going. First, they're riding hundreds of km's per day and secondly they're sustaining speeds I can barely hit.

Lately I've been pushing to see how fast I can get home from work. I did 5km in 8:46 (avg of 34.22 km/hr) and the other day I hit a new PB top speed of 57.5 km/hr (yes, a downhill was involved). Today I set a new best for my time home, 5km in 8:02 (avg of 37.34 km/hr). There was a great tail wind and I was running late, so I just pushed it the whole way. The bike makes an incredible sound at that speed. The tire hiss, the road is almost smoother and the pedaling feels effortless. But I couldn't keep that up for more than half an hour.

The Tour riders sustain speeds over 45km/hr for hours at a time. It's insane. Yesterday, in the rain, they were pushing 55 km/hr on flat ground at the end of hours on the road. How is that even possible?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Cool Run

Thanks to my sister-in-law Lynn for sending me this info.

Who wants to run on the ocean floor? Lynn said that IF she were a runner, she'd have to try this one. Well Lynn, what's stopping you from becoming a runner to try this one? It would be amazing.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Linked up

My last post got linked to two different sites. Glenn posted a link of his site (thanks, eh!) and then Sue noticed that I was getting all kinds of hits from W.E Speak. I had never heard of this site before, but somehow someone linked my blog into it. Cool. It seems to be a collection of local blogs and highlights interesting stories around the area.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

What's Foreign?

Domestic cars vs. Foreign cars. Easy to define right? GM, Ford and Chrysler are domestic. Toyota, Honda, VW and company are foreign, right?

Here in Windsor there are a lot of "Out of a job yet, keep buying foreign" bumper stickers. Not surprising, right? We have (for now) the Big 3 automakers and related companies employing the majority of people in the area. But, to me anyway, the truth behind these stickers has absolutely nothing to do with buying foreign.

I drive a Honda Odyssey. Japanese right? Built in Alabama, the majority of it's parts are manufactured in North America. But maybe for our second car I should support our local economy and buy something domestic. Like a Chrysler Crossfire. Oh wait, that's built in Germany. How about the new award winning Saturn Astra? Oh, it's an entirely European car that's built in Belgium. And I will never buy another Saturn, but that's another very long post of its own. I'd love to own the new VW Routan minivan, but that's obviously a German car, right? Oh, it's assembled HERE right on the same assembly line as the Chrysler Caravan, 3 km from my house!

So somebody tell me what is domestic and what is foreign. recently put out an American made vehicles index, based on the percentage of parts and if assembly is done in the US. First place, Ford F-150 pickup. But in the top ten (5th, 6th & 7th) are the Toyota Tundra pickup, Toyota Sienna minivan and my very own Honda Odyssey. Ahead of iconic American vehicles like the Ford Mustang and GM Corvette!

Living in Windsor you see a lot of people driving the Chrysler minivan. No surprise. It's built here, everyone and their brother can get super cheap employee pricing (except this family...). But even that "locally" produced vehicle doesn't match it's domestic content to the Sienna or the Odyssey.

It seems pretty clear to me that this 'don't buy foreign' concept is really related to who builds the cars, not where they are built. The Big 3 are unionized (and practically putting themselves out of business because of that). The two biggest 'foreign' car makers (Toyota and Honda) are not unionized and are make an enormous impact on the market that used to be dominated by the Big 3. Why do you think the Big 3 are getting so defensive?

"Out of a job yet, keep buying foreign" should really read, "Keep buying non-union."