Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Toyota, Oh My!

Oops. I wrote this way back at the end of January, and although I put it on Facebook (I hate their new style), I forgot to put it here. It's a bit stale now, but perhaps still interesting. //addendum

True story.

Many moons back I got in an argument with a friend over vehicle manufacturing and ownership. He is or was a long-term GM employee, although not just a basic wrench man. (This was several years before the real crunch hit the Big Three.) In a rough outline, the argument went like this:

Me: Well, you talk about GM workers losing jobs to foreign competition [because people buy foreign], but it balances out in the end. GM loses a thousand jobs, Toyota and Honda expand and employ more people. In the end, the same number of people are employed.

Him: That doesn't take into account where the money goes. When Toyota employs people, the money doesn't stay here.

The argument was getting pretty heated, and he was clearly steeped in union-speak, so I dropped the matter. Later - isn't that just the way - I thought of a few minor problems with the union line.

Number one.
GM and the rest of the Big Three own many, many companies overseas. So, when Ford owns Volvo, that's okay, because....? Well, obviously Ford must funnel all their profits from Volvo directly back into Sweden, otherwise my buddy and the hard-working unions would be hypocrites, and that just can't be the case.

Number two.
Ummm...profits staying in the country. Which country was that? Oh, that's right. GM is a Canadian company. How silly of me to forget. Of course all of GM Canada's profits stay in Canada.

Which brings us to today's thought: Toyota.

I heard an analyst on the radio pronouncing some real struggles for Toyota over their recall debacle. He said that Toyota has always depended on their reputation for quality, and with this, well, it won't be pretty. I particularly remember his commentary because of the manner of his statements. Allow me to clarify through paraphrase.

The only reason Toyota has succeeded is because they've maintained their quality, or given that appearance. As soon as that is taken away from them, which it has been now, they will immediately collapse into a pile of rubble because the North American consumer, who is the only reason behind Toyota's success, will stop buying Toyota.

Absolutely true. And the reason I know that it's true is because the Big Three have never had to put a recall on anything they've done or distributed. There have never been exploding gas tanks, popping tires, defective electronics, or anything of that nature. All these years, the guiding mantra for our Exemplary Corporate Citizens has been one simple idea: Keep quality high. Unlike those thieving overseas bastards, they've stayed the course and are now perfectly positioned to retake what God gave to them in the first place: absolute market dominance achieved through top-notch quality and honesty.


  1. I read your entire story!! Intereeeesting!!

  2. Well whoever you are, comment leaving stranger, I love that you left a link to a marketing program at Centennial. Brilliant stroke, that!


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