Item, somewhat tongue in cheek, on radio here.
Executives of the big three auto companies are going to Washington
again this week to lobby the government for a bail (hand?) out.
In view of the bad publicity they engendered last time by flying in
individually in their private company jets they will drive.
Fortunately the Toyota company has enough fuel efficient vehicles on
hand to lend them for the trip.
There that seems to say it all. Eh?
If General Motors et-al want to survive they should make Toyotas.
Other companies around the world have done similar things. From China
there were numerous cheap versions of older model Toyota pickups, with
four cylinder engines, for example, running around Middle Eastern
Costing a few thousand dollars they are cheap and efficient in
countries where gasoline can cost as little as the equivalent of 50
cents per US gallon!
India is starting to produce cars that will cost between $2500 and
$5000 in various versions. The antics of the Big Three would seem to
have ignored the needs of those and also the needs of the European
truly exactly HOW will GM compete with a brand new vehicle under 3
grand? and make a profit?
foreign countries like china and india have nearly no environmental,
worker benefits, and safefy laws.
when the big 3 fail they will be bought cheap, not to produce
just for their dealer network, to support the influx of vehicles we
are about to see.
shouldnt imported products meet the same laws our country has?
if not we are just exporting the pollution, 11 years olds working in
factories, people expected to die on jobs. read awhile ago 40,000 died
last year mining coal in china.
that coal helped vproduce the dirt cheap products entering our country
to compete are standard of living is going to have drop a long way
But after the government-mandated additions*, the India car will cost, oh,
$28,000. Mind you, that's just a rough estimate.
* Catalytic converters, seat belts, anti-lock brakes, emission controls,
brake lights, turn indicators, air bags, vapor-controlled gas caps, safety
glass, non-streaking windshield wipers, remove ash tray, side view mirrors,
rear-view mirrors, tires with treads, emergency flashers, headlights, and so
Hopefully they can enter bankruptcy instead of getting a bailout.
Under bankruptcy they can right-size the company; re-write supplier,
dealer and union contracts and move on with higher profit margins to
compete better with the more efficient companies. But they need to do
it before cash reserves dwindle, so they can re-org properly. Now
that gas is cheap, the trucks and suvs should sell again as a start.
A MODERN PARABLE . . .
A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford) decided to
a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to
reach their peak performance before the race.
On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged
and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.
A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate
and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8
people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people
steering and 1 person rowing.
Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting
company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They
advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not
enough people were rowing.
Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another
loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally
reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents, and
1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new
performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater
incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First
Program,' with meetings, dinners, and free pens for the rower. There was
discussion of getting new paddles, canoes, and other equipment, extra
vacation days for practices and bonuses.
The next year the Japanese won by two miles.
Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor
performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and
canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was
distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing
team was out-sourced to India .
Here's something else to think about:
Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the
US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages.
TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants
inside the US .
The last quarter's results:
TOYOTA makes $4 billion in profits while Ford racked up $9 billion in
Ford folks are still scratching their heads.
Ford -- and GM and Chrysler -- are at the same disadvantage as the Brits
were at the end of WWII vis-a-vis Germany. The Brits still had their old
factories. The Brits had already done the Germans' demolition work for
them, and the latter could start over with new plants.
Do the Big 3's plants run as efficiently as Toyota's, for example? I've
toured Toyota's Georgetown KY plant, and it seemed remarkably efficient.
I don't doubt that some components were shipped in, but other than that
it seemed that huge coils of steel came in one end and finished cars
came out the other.
Been thru GM lordstown ohio plant, its primarily final assembly, the
majority of parts come from outside vendors, no doubt to save costs.
even dashboards come in assembled, and just installed.
india is about to start shipping seat assemblies to the US big bucks
US high costs, environmental, and worker safety costs means we can no
Average wage of $28/hr. is not competitive.........
As long as there are strong incentives to make every sniffle "workers
comp", US will not be
competitive. The videos on TV of "disabled" workers up on the roof
doing work aren't
fiction - fraud in the w.c. system is probably the rule, not the
exception. I've seen loads
and loads of folks with w.c. claims that don't reasonably justify the
claim that the problem
is work-related. It is hugely wasteful in corporate, personal, legal
and medical resources.
Look at the American problem like this: some folks work hard, every day,
don't abuse work issues
at all. Others who goof off or drink on the job, fake or make
unjustified w.c. claims, are just
taking money from deserving employees. The present system is open to
abuse, like claiming
old problems as w.c., faking disability, etc. Disability pay is only
60%, but tax free.
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