Chevrolet's 'Revolution' is Revolting

By Joel D. Joseph

Chevrolet has begun a multimillion dollar ad campaign called "An American Revolution." As a part of this new campaign Chevy has introduced a new vehicle, the Chevy Equinox, a vehicle that is neither American nor revolutionary. Chevy's claims that it is "An American Revolution" are false, misleading and revolting.

The Chevy Equinox vehicle has a Chinese-made engine and a Japanese-made transmission, and it is assembled in Canada.

The Chevy Equinox is not revolutionary in any sense of the word. It is an old-tech sports utility vehicle that gets poor mileage. Consumer Reports concludes in its review of the Equinox engine that "the 3.4-liter, 185-hp V6 powerplant is an old-tech engine that lacks refinement and returns poor fuel economy."

General Motors often bases several vehicles on the same frame, with the vehicles sharing many common components. The Chevy Equinox is the fraternal twin of the Saturn Vue, but there are many differences. The Equinox is slightly longer, wider and heavier.

The Saturn is made in the USA and includes a higher-tech, American-made engine. The Vue will be the only GM product to use the ultra-low-emissions-vehicle-certified 3.5-liter double-overhead camshaft V-6. These engines are built by Honda at its Anna, Ohio, facility. These are the same engines that are used in Honda and Acura vehicles.

General Motors should be ashamed of itself. First of all, GM should be able to make a state-of-the-art engine at one of its own plants. But I, and many other Americans, would rather have an American-made Honda engine than a Chinese-made old-tech power plant. Secondly, General Motors wants consumers to believe that it and its Chevrolet division are "American," but they are not. GM has closed many auto plants in the US, in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and other states, while building new plants in Mexico and China.

GM has a long history of deceptive advertising, ads that clearly implied its vehicles were made in the US when they were not. For example, in the early 1990s GM had TV ads boasting that the Chevy Camaro was "from the country that brought you rock and roll." Unless rock and roll was created in Canada, this was a big fat General Motors lie.

GM and other automobile manufacturers want to hide from consumers where they are making their vehicles. At auto shows around the country, GM, Ford, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen and Audi are removing country-of-origin labels from their cars and trucks. All of these auto companies are being sued for violating the American Automobile Labeling Act. (Mercedes and Honda keep these stickers on the windows of their vehicles at auto shows.)

Charles E. Wilson, at one time president of General Motors and later secretary of defense under President Eisenhower, said, "What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice versa." What is good for General Motors is no longer good for America, if GM is shutting down plants in Maryland, Michigan and Ohio and opening them up outside Beijing. And it is certainly not good for the country if Chinese engines are being installed in Chevys that are made in Canada and promoted with millions of dollars' worth of TV ads proclaiming that Chevrolet is an "American Revolution."

Joel Joseph is chairman of the Made in the USA Foundation. Email

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