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Thursday, May 26, 2005 06:01 am

common sense 5-26-05


For years, Chevrolet has advertised its cars and trucks as the very essence of the American way of life, and its latest multimillion-dollar blitz of TV ads tells us that the newest Chevrolets are nothing less than “an American revolution.”

Well you can stick a feather in my cap and call it macaroni, but wrapping your corporation in the red, white, and blue doesn’t make it a true blue Yankee-doodle dandy. Check out Chevy’s Equinox, for example, a new SUV that’s a central feature of the company’s current star-spangled ad campaign. Chevrolet doesn’t want you to know it, but there’s not much that’s American in the Equinox: it’s assembled in Canada, its transmission is made in Japan, and — well, here’s something revolutionary — its engine is made in China!

While General Motors has been shutting down its auto plants in Michigan, Maryland, and Ohio, it has been quietly investing more than a billion dollars in joint ventures with China’s ruling elite to make cars and car parts there for export back here to the United States. The Equinox engine, made in China through GM’s 50-50 joint venture with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., is produced by the lowest-paid autoworkers in the world. To fatten its profits, GM has entered into this diabolical partnership with a brutal regime that dictatorially represses workers’ wages, outlaws independent labor unions, and routinely imprisons those who complain, protest, or organize.

GM seems shy about this Chinese connection, however, for it doesn’t bother to mention Equinox’s Chinese engine in any of its extensive promotional material. Also, if you check under the hood, you won’t find a made-in-China sticker on the engine itself.

GM’s Equinox isn’t revolutionary. It’s revolting.

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