The holiday season means you’re likely to see two things on your TV: Lots of jewelry commercials, and even more car commercials than usual. Carmakers really want you to consider buying a new vehicle for Christmas. It can be a gift for yourself or a gift for others. Lexus in particular has developed a reputation for those holiday ads featuring cars “wrapped” in giant red bows. Regardless of if there are many people buying luxury cars as Christmas gifts, there are apparently enough people buying cars at the end of the year for the holiday ads to continue unabated.
In truth, there are good reasons to buy a vehicle at the end of the year. Dealerships are trying to clear out the last of the “old” inventory before the new year, so you may find some good deals on 2017 cars. They’ve got to make room for those 2018 models, after all. The end of the year also offers one last chance for sales teams to make their year-end sales incentives, so you may find a better deal in November or December than you could in April or May.
One big question is whether or not to stick with an American-based company.
There’s been a big push in recent years for consumers to considering “buying American,” or buying a car that’s made by a US-based car company. Chrysler got a lot of attention in 2011 for its Super Bowl ad declaring that its cars are “Imported from Detroit.” The commercial, which featured an appearance by rapper Eminem, made the case that, while Detroit didn’t have the glitz and glamor of some other locales, it was a hardscrabble city that knew how to make quality automobiles.
Plenty of today’s automotive industry solutions originated in Michigan. If you’re looking for American cars, you can buy a Ford F-150 produced at a plant outside Kansas City or a Chevrolet Tahoe made at a General Motors plant in the Dallas area. There’s an important caveat, however: In recent years, plenty of car companies based outside of the United States have opened up assembly plants right here. Toyota may be a Japanese company, but that doesn’t stop them from manufacturing pickup trucks in San Antonio. While the company is headquartered in Germany, Volkswagen makes cars at a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Honda comes from Tokyo, but they manufacture cars at plants in Ohio, Alabama, and Indiana. The global economy means the line between “American” cars and “foreign” cars is a lot blurrier than it once was.
So what’s a patriotic car buyer to do? Well, first of all, buying a car shouldn’t really be an act of patriotism. If you want to buy a vehicle that helps support American jobs, that’s a fine and noble gesture, but it doesn’t make you a better American or anything. If you currently have a Chevrolet and like it, then feel free to stick with the company and buy a Chevy next time around. If you’re looking for an SUV that can accommodate your growing family, find a list of the most reliable SUVS and pick out a few models you like. Where you live makes a big difference as well. If you’re in Ann Arbor, Michigan, you may end up seeing a lot more cars for sale from Ford and General Motors. Car buying is a uniquely personal experience, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.