Thursday, December 08, 2005

Where Will it End?

A few years ago the Big 3 built the majority of cars sold in America. Today they still - barely - build the majority of cars sold in America. China wants to enter our automotive market and will enter early in the next decade or at the end of this one.

Now Big 3 does not always mean American made and Foreign cars are often American made. Where it is built is my primary concern.

However, most cars built in my neck of the woods are Big 3. Our local economy is tied to this industry and we need to turn it around.

An article in today's Detroit Free Press deals with the decline in Michigan's automotive industry and asks how low it will go. I do understand that closing plants will be necessary to save the companies but the article is written as if the decline is inevitable. GM and Ford do not only need to save the company but they need to ask "What must we do to regain some of our lost market share?" They need to do a better job of determining just what kind of car will be selling and make those cars. They need to be more competitive in pricing which means they need to control labor and management costs better. They also need to actively combat the bad reputation that they earned in the '60s and '70s by showing how much they have improved. They need to cut to survive but they need to also plan for future growth and fight for every percentage point of every market. Mere survival does not lead to prosperity.

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