Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

4 of 8
BACKNEXT
Raymond Chong: 2009 Honda Pilot SUV
Raymond Chong: 2009 Honda Pilot SUV
Raymond Chong with his 2009 Honda Pilot.
Location: Cupertino, Calif.

Why I bought my Honda: I wanted an American car. I wanted a hybrid.

Instead, I got neither.

After a decade of owning a Mercedes E-Class station wagon, I wanted a vehicle that would be good for the environment. But when I went to the dealerships, I was so disappointed.

I was planning to get a Ford Fusion hybrid, but they priced it at $29,000 for a stripped-down model. Plus, the dealer marked it up another $3,000. That's a lot of money for a little car - and a basic Ford at that.

Instead I bought a top-of-the-line 2009 Honda Pilot SUV for $34,000. It's fully loaded and can fit eight people, which is important for my wife and for four kids.

It came down to pricing. I had my checkbook in hand, but the dealer wasn't open to negotiation despite the $3,000 markup. It was extremely disappointing, especially because the car companies seem desperate.

My thoughts on the Big 3 bailout: I do think they have compelling products, but they're weighed down by internal issues. For example, I would have considered a GM car, but the resale value concerned me. Who knows what will happen in the future with the company?

A lot of people of my generation are coming from foreign brands. When we were growing up, we saw all these problems with domestic cars. It's unfortunate they lost an opportunity with me and, I'm sure, many others.

I really would like the auto industry to go on, because it's an important part of America's history.

NEXT: Jon Froderberg: 2001 Ford Focus ZX3

Last updated June 15 2009: 10:18 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
Find Your Next Car
More Galleries
The stock market's wild week in 6 pictures It was the wildest week in stocks in recent memory. Here's photos and CNNMoney's tweets of reactions to the panicked selling on Monday and Tuesday, which gave way to a mad buying scramble on Wednesday and Thursday. And then...a selloff on Friday again. More
How New Orleans is learning to live with water After Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans had to reinvent the way it manages water and protects itself from future storms. More
Your degree will earn you the most from these colleges Art majors can make big bucks, too. Find out which school has the highest paid grads in your major. More

Special Offer