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Closing american plants.. i see why maybe?

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Old 04-25-2011, 01:29 AM   #1
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Closing american plants.. i see why maybe?

I haven't looked into it too much, but I hear they're closing american toyota plants. From a not too terribly interested bystander and owner of toyotas for the last 30 years, it seems like about time.

Had a bit of anecdotal experience with it today. A friend who doesn't know a dipstick from a lug nut took me out to lunch, in his FJ, I noticed his maintenance light and tire sensor light were on, so when we got back I went over his vehicle. Rotated the tires, plugged the one with the nail in it etc.

The truck looks almost identical to the tacoma underneath shape wise, but the finish is completely different. The wheels weren't rusted to the drums/disks, in fact, the drums and disks were painted. The under carriage had no rust, everything just looked more expensive, less like an 80s ford, and his is 2 years older than my truck. His engine didn't tap nearly as loudly as the tacoma's does either.

Eh, just rambling. I've never liked american built foreign cars, or the american branded versions... "Nummi" cars, maybe with the exception of the old mitsu built dodges. But even then, not great, just better than K cars.

Can mark every foreign car's decline in quality with moving plants to the US. See the prime case.. mercedes. Maybe toyota is actually the prime case. Wen't from super awesome (with rust) to low average, depending on model and survey. Hopefully this will mark the return of the old school toys.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:35 AM   #2
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What does this say about America though? That Toyota is giving US based plants lower quality components? Or that we just can't build a decent anything anymore?
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:50 AM   #3
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Oh yea, I mean it's totally Bitter sweet.

I'd love to wave a flag and have it mean something more than biggest army that's a different discussion.

I've come to grips with the fact that americans don't do cars well. More pioneering than refining. Great ideas, see america. Great execution? Eh... sometimes. But not cars. Of course, I say that having owned italian, british and french cars. So, you don't want a car from a white person unless he's german.. HA.. just kidding. Or.. well I'll have to think about that for a while.

Some cars from america are great, but not 100% great they have faults worthy of overlooking. japan has a hard time making a car that has a classic look. They can look cool, or decent, but there's no pininfarina in japan. Not much to put in an art museum or even in an industry museum. Just other peoples ideas well put together. Even their striking cars are, to my knowledge, all designed in the US or italy/germany.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:13 AM   #4
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If you want to know why plants are slated for closure, look no farther than the production costs. If you can build it cheaper elsewhere, guess what? Manufacturing will move there.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by island808 View Post
Oh yea, I mean it's totally Bitter sweet.

I'd love to wave a flag and have it mean something more than biggest army that's a different discussion.

I've come to grips with the fact that americans don't do cars well. More pioneering than refining. Great ideas, see america. Great execution? Eh... sometimes. But not cars. Of course, I say that having owned italian, british and french cars. So, you don't want a car from a white person unless he's german.. HA.. just kidding. Or.. well I'll have to think about that for a while.

Some cars from america are great, but not 100% great they have faults worthy of overlooking. japan has a hard time making a car that has a classic look. They can look cool, or decent, but there's no pininfarina in japan. Not much to put in an art museum or even in an industry museum. Just other peoples ideas well put together. Even their striking cars are, to my knowledge, all designed in the US or italy/germany.
Good analysis, especially the point about ideas vs refining. Definitely think there's truth to that. German, Japan and especially Switzerland are renowned for their precision. The US certainly not so much.

But I share that bittersweet sentiment, because there's no question that pride has slipped in this country in so many ways .. like taking pride in the things we produce. We really need to recapture that spirit in everything we do.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MountainEarth View Post
But I share that bittersweet sentiment, because there's no question that pride has slipped in this country in so many ways .. like taking pride in the things we produce. We really need to recapture that spirit in everything we do.
A better way to state it is that we do not value the ability to manufacture something anymore.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:31 AM   #7
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A better way to state it is that we do not value the ability to manufacture something anymore.
"because americans don't want those jobs" Nah.. that's inflammatory.

I think there will be a rebound to vocational work which will eventually find its way into production again.

There just aren't jobs for all the people that are, frankly, bullied into meaningless college degrees already.

Girl I know was trying to get back into secretarial work.. JUST A secretary. All the jobs she was looking at wanted a college degree, to start her at 15 dollars an hour.. and mind you that's 15 dollars an hour in a metropolis with a ridiculous cost of living. Same as offering minimum wage, say, outside omaha.

Currently, I have to do everything myself, because I'm better at it that the people that claim to be in that career. So rare to find a machinist or plumber that's worth a damn. I am currently working as a facilities manager, I'm always diagnosing things for the "so-called' experts. And these guys are usually union tested workers!

I see guys like OZ-T doing what looks like (I don't know him really) extremely skilled work, why should that be SO rare. Nope, everyone needs a social services degree....
We'll come around or fail.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:57 AM   #8
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I started to write about education but stopped short. So here's what I think.

Not everyone is going to be a rocket scientist or a doctor nor is everyone suited for college. But in the US, that is the goal--to get every HS student into college and face it, most people have no clue what they want to do for the rest of their lives when they enter college.

The bottom line is that we need skilled trades and training is left largely to OJT or some crappy trade school. Unions used to have decent apprenticeship schools but that's gone by the wayside as more and more shops become non-union.

Imagine if we had the college equivalent educational track for those who wanted to be tradesman?

A college degree isn't so much because you need it but to prove you completed something. It's the HS diploma of 20 years ago.

It would be great knowing this country valued people for the skill they possessed and that a guy building cars was the best at his job he could be.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:58 AM   #9
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Yup..

Never mind the degree mills most institutions have turned into, making the whole thing even more ridiculous.

Anyway.

Lets wait and see if they move production to china or vietnam or the philippines or japan and compare. I think specialized went down hill when taiwan bought them, and kawasaki has had some trouble with vietnam and china. But damned if the proverbial "I" am going to pay what something is worth!
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:24 AM   #10
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To me, it matters just as much where the vehicle was engineered. I've always been of the understanding that it's the engineer who decides a product's quality, not the manufacturer. The manufacturers are producing based on the engineer's design. So when I see a rusty underbody on a Taco, I'm more apt to blame those who designed it.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:40 AM   #11
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op i couldn't agree with you more. It is sad because we have taxed and regulated industry out of our country. And really with the dollar being the world reserve currency we haven't had to produce anything. other countries have to work and produce so that can buy dollars to trade with and buy oil. all we have to do is print some up, but from the looks of it that will soon be coming to a close. College is a joke too. People are paying more and more for a degree that is worth less and less. I mean don't get me wrong rock history and womens studies classes are very important and all, but how does that make you more valuable to an employer. I am an air force trained helicopter mechanic, and I can tell you our training standards are going down in the military too. No longer are we really trained to be mechanics and use critical thinking to solve problems. We are taught to read books and change parts. I think as a people we will come around. prices will continue to rise, even on crappy chinese goods. as we have to spend more for the things we need to live, we will start choosing quality over quantity. you might have to pay more up front, but it is alot cheaper only having to buy a good once, instead of buying a new one everytime it breaks.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:49 AM   #12
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It's interesting to watch but here's what I've noticed.

It took a long time before manufacturing moved from the US to Japan. Maybe 15-20 years. After the initial move, more and more manufacturing moved from Japan to Taiwan/Korea. The time span between Taiwan and Korea, Vietnam or China was much less--like 10 years. China is already online and cranking shit out.

There's a subtle difference between Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam and China. In each case, product quality has sucked ass while production ramped up. As an example; many US bicycle companies built steel frames at one plant in Taiwan but kept their aluminum stuff here in the states. As production quality improved, more ALU frames are built in those plants. Carbon Fiber and other composite frame materials are still produced mostly in the US because they require a skill that's not easily transferred.

Where am I going with this? Simple. Labor is a huge component of mfg. In developing countries, it's cheap and how long any country can stay in the lead depends on how long wages stay low (which is dependent on having a large workforce willing to work for cheap). This is especially true when the products require skill to produce--which is why it's still cheap to manufacture clothing in some countries and has been for a long time.

I think when wages for skilled workers (not that producing clothes is not a skill) rise and workers desire a higher standard of living, manufacturers start looking elsewhere to develop new and cheaper places to make stuff. India and China have huge populations and will likely be manufacturing giants for a while...at least China will be--I'm not so sure about the Indians as they seem to have gone straight to the service oriented jobs and highly skilled technical work--bypassing a large amount of manufacturing work.

The US could become a leader in manufacturing by innovating in the areas of automation, supply chain management and so on. Developing nations are catching up though and will soon possess the skills necessary to do this by themselves. Regardless, I believe we must continue to be innovators or even the skilled work will go elsewhere.

P.S. We also need to stop giving our ideas away for free too.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turdburglar View Post
To me, it matters just as much where the vehicle was engineered. I've always been of the understanding that it's the engineer who decides a product's quality, not the manufacturer. The manufacturers are producing based on the engineer's design. So when I see a rusty underbody on a Taco, I'm more apt to blame those who designed it.
I can't say as I agree. I mean, its all part and parcel of the same thing, but I'd like my components to be made well and maybe a bit cruddy. I mean, so they'll always do what they're intended to do. Difference between a land rover and a BMW. One will go forever and suck, the other will burn out quickly.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:12 PM   #15
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op i couldn't agree with you more. It is sad because we have taxed and regulated industry out of our country.
I think that may be a bit of an ignorant statement. We barely, if at all, tax industry in the united states. Supposedly boeing doesn't pay dime one, just soaks it up. Same goes for almost all major businesses. Tax law has been worked over something fierce by "special interest groups" for decades.
It is a common rallying cry for the right wing type folk, it doesn't stand to scrutiny. Especially when held against foreign competition.

Regulation? Well, yea, you want the US to be like south eastern china? So toxic it will never be livable again? If you want the factories/business in the US it has to be regulated. If you've traveled to the stink pits of the world you've seen what I mean.

What does do a good chunk of the moving companies out of the US is the stock market and share holders. Greed. Why make 200 million dollars a year, when you can clear nearly a billion and pay yourself and all your share holders. Plain math, hiring US workers costs more because we do not accept people in this country working 90 hour weeks for 30 cents an hour, and rightly so. Why pay to properly dispose of waste, if some developing country will just let you dump it in their rivers/coast waters.
I don't know if other countries use "labor" unions the way they are currently doing it in the US.

Not too many CEOs COOs that are looking to build a long term empire, like Korean and japanese companies do (or maybe "did" now a days). The board is crying for their dividends. No loyalty, and it feeds the attitudes of the rest of the workers on down the line. I just wonder if they take their cues from congress or the other way round.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
They should move them to Canada .
I've not driven a canadian made GM yet. I hear ALL the camaros are made there.
I had an australian made GM car, not something to boast about.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:19 PM   #17
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I've not driven a canadian made GM yet. I hear ALL the camaros are made there.
I had an australian made GM car, not something to boast about.
We make Toyotas and Hondas here as well .
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:21 PM   #18
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Off topic , but speaking of taxes , you guys are always shitting on us Canadians for being over taxed .

Do you realize the US corporate tax rate is 30% while Canada's is 16.5% ?
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:24 PM   #19
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but its a seldom, if ever, paid tax.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:25 PM   #20
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We make Toyotas and Hondas here as well .
Yea, so are canadian toyota plants closing? DIfference between them and the american plants... whiskey doesn't have an E in canada or japan right?

Oh, am I reading too fast... is this a stupid temporary shut down? I mean there is one. I was hoping for more. And yes, canadian ones are currently stopped.
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