Chapter 28: Cars
Translated by me, edited by Kai.
The journey from Jiang Hai’s estate to Boston is roughly the same direction as heading to Winthrop. Going to Boston takes them roughly an hour or so and Winthrop is on route roughly half an hour in.
Most Americans have a problem, which is somewhat different from the situation in China. In China, some urban folks look down upon those rural folks in the periphery. Even if these folks have more money than the urban folks. This is mainly caused by the difference in the district they live in. In America, people in urban areas also look down upon the rural folks, they are portrayed as country bumpkins who are rejected by society. But this feeling is mutual since the rural folks also despise urban people since their riches all come from the blood, sweat and tears of the rural people.
Because of this relation, most people who live near Winthrop will only buy things there instead of going to Boston. Of course there is another reason. Due to that extra half hour trip, almost everything in Winthrop is cheaper than it’s counterpart in Boston. This is also one of the few things people who live nearby Winthrop are proud of. Especially by being a member of the Boston metropolitan area, the stuff you can buy here is pretty complete.
With Robins, Jiang Hai arrived at one of the biggest car dealers in Winthrop. Car dealers are generally the same everywhere. They tend to based on the outskirts of city and towns due their sheer size. The one here in Winthrop is also the same.
This car dealer is called Fred’s dealership, a private dealership either owned or created by a man named Fred. According to Robins, this dealership is well known in the local area for their friendly service and fair prices. If something breaks, needs changing or other kind of repairs, they offer a friendly price for their services. Almost all of the well known brands around the world are sold here. Those from America, Japan, Britain, German, Italian, and so on are all here. You can say that they sell all but those super expensive, high end supercars.
“Hi there. How may I help you?” As the two entered the dealership, a youthful looking woman came over and asked.
“Hi. Can you go ask if Durufle is in? (1) If he is tell him Robins is here to see him.” Robins replied. No matter where you go, you will always tend to buy using people you’re familiar with. As long as you can save money or can get more freebies, who wouldn’t use their connections?
“Alright, wait a moment please.” The woman said disheartenedly.
She won’t earn sales commissions this time around, but good service manners meant that she still had to accept the rejection with a smile. Not long after, someone with the same build as Robins was called out. However, he is much fatter than Robins and has a look that is unique to the Mediterranean.
“So old chap, are you finally ready to say goodbye to that old broken pick-up? For a sec there, I thought you were gonna grow old with it.” This guy started to crack jokes as soon as he saw Robins.
“Of course I’m going to keep using him, but I’m here today to accompany my boss.” Replied Robins and also introduced Jiang Hai.
“Your boss? Ohhh, you mean Green Forest, then you really need some assistance to cover that large of an area. Alright sir, Fred’s dealer Durufle, at your service.” Durufle said as he led Jiang Hai further into the dealership.
Because Robins is also here, he didn’t bring them to see some random cars, rather, he went straight to the pick-up section. At first glance, all you can see are rows upon rows of steel monsters lying in wait.
“Here we are, pick-ups galore. Although I can’t say that we have the most complete collection of pick-ups in America, but I can at least can guarantee that if it is available in New York or Boston then we have it here. We also have some pick-ups from China; if you want to take a look.” Durufle proudly boasted.
“Hehe, forget about it.” Although Jiang Hai is feeling proud for his fellow country men for exporting their pick-ups to be sold in America, remembering their crappy properties, he lost all interest in them. He has obviously heard of the saying the stuff sold within China is completely different from those being exported, but he still does not want to tempt fate. Since he is to buy, then he may as well get the best.
“Well that’s too bad.” Said Durufle without any signs of pity.
In America, there are mainly 4 brands that dominate the mid to high end pick-up market. First, the most used, Ford’s F series. These cars are cheap, domestic, easy to maintain, and hard to break. Price range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousand, it is based on what model you fancy and additional options. Next is the Dodge series. Compared to Ford, it is somewhat cheaper and everything else is pretty much the same. The only down side is the lack of choices, since their main focus is on the MPV market.
Then there is Japan’s Toyota. When compared to Ford and Dodge, they have many advantages. One, cheap. Two, high mileage. Although the gas in America is pretty cheap, but due fees such as taxes, tolls and such, a litre of gas cost roughly $1. There is almost no difference when you compare this to the prices in China, but they don’t have random fees like road maintenance tax, bridge tolls, and so on. There is the buying power of the American dollar which is more than 6 times stronger than the Chinese yuan. Basically, Toyota’s pickup sales have never been bad, but Jiang Hai will not support anything Japan (2).
Apart from the above 3, there is the high end truck maker GMC. GMC dominates the commercial truck market, but has expanded their sights on to the pickup market. According to Durufle, any of these 4 brands will do.
After thinking a bit, Jiang Hai decided to follow the masses by sticking with Ford. Although he wants to buy some weird cars, but since none of the ones here have good performance thus it can only wait. Now is to choose which model of the F series. In total there are 7, from smallest to biggest, 150, 250, 350, 450, 550, 650 and 750.
The most common is of course the F150, commonly referred to as the Raptor. In China, a Ford F150 cost roughly 500,000 yuan. If you take away the ~40% customs tax, then exchange the remaining into USD then you get a price of around $60,000. Adding on license plate fees, insurance, and sales tax, it would come to a total of around $80,000. Since Jiang Hai is buying these for agricultural purposes, then he get some subsidies from the government. After all the subsidies are counted in then a 6.2L F150, which can do basically everything on the farm, will only cost $58,000.
As soon as Jiang Hai hear this price he was moved, but was firmly rejected by Robins. Generally for a family farm a F150 is more than enough. However, the farm Jiang Hai owns is just too big. Without even mentioning the need to pull boats and fish later, just pulling cows around is next to impossible for the F150.
“You can buy one and use it for general purpose stuff. However if you want to work done, then you need to use other types.” Hearing Robins words, Jiang Hai felt disappointed. The car that he thinks is good, is actually this bad.
“Indeed, your farm is just too big. If you want to transport cows then this model of pick-ups can move at most 50 heads, anymore then it won’t be able to move. What you need are the super duty series. I don’t recommend you buying the 450s and beyond since they’re just too expensive, but it’s all up to you.” Durufle said as he agreed with Robins. After all, Jiang Hai can be said to be his neighbour from now on. If he was to rip him off now, then there is no telling what this young millionaire will do to him. Thus it is best to warn him first before he makes a decision.
In Durufle’s opinion, Ford’s 450 and 550 can only be considered to be medium grade within the series, but there is too much of a price difference between models. A F450 cost $140,000 after all the government subsidies. If this is China, then it would easily pass the million yuan mark. A 550 cost a wooping $210,000. It is really expensive, but this car’s horsepower puts the 150 to shame. According to Robins, if a 550 is used for transporting cows, then it can pull a trailer plus 300 heads at once.
This is already the standards for most large scale farms. In the west, the majority of farms all use either 450s or 550. However from the very beginning Jiang Hai didn’t pay them much attention. Rather, his attention had been completely absorbed by the biggest truck (3).