As we look back at the 20th century and recognize many of the truths which we as Americans view as the real icons of our continuing society, one item surely stands out in most of our minds: the great American Automobile. It has helped us travel, win wars and most of all defined us from our friends overseas. And in increasingly greater percentages, the marketshare has begun to tilt towards the offerings from our foreign competitors and shown a lack of pride in our large purchases. Especially in this time of great national and economic awareness, American cars express pride and represent one of the greatest financial tools available to us as citizens.
American automobiles show themselves as important symbolic tools in our culture including financial, morale, and support for the future. Not only do domestic vehicles show a sense of pride but they also unite. They unite the thousands of workers who build them, the millions who buy them and the world that sees them as not just a purchase item but as a symbol by which Americans define themselves. Starting with the introduction of the first mass produced vehicle off of Henry Ford’s assembly line, the Model T, the American automobile has been a military workhorse. In every type of war and construction, the American automobile has been there. And throughout the years it has united all by becoming an integral part of daily life. And it has defined us, which may be the most distinguishing characteristic of all. Americans and their cars have been intertwined so tightly that nobody can separate them.
There has always been a relationship between those that make the cars, those who sell them, and those who buy them. Because many Americans spend a majority of their income buying their car, their second largest investment, they don’t regard them lightly.
Owners have much pride and that includes all the time throughout the...