Lets Start some Trouble

Not So Fast

A Modern Parable.

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motors)
decided to have 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 7 people steering and 2 people 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

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, 2 area steering
superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2
people 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 rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes
and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The
pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the
resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and
teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted
development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all
capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed
to the Senior Executives as bonuses.
* The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable
to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for
unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next
year's racing team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, the End.

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 losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses...
and now wants the Government to 'bail them out' .

So now what'd ya think?


Well-Known Member
So now what'd ya think?

While part of me says to let Detroit die, I suspect that the result will send our economy into even deeper shit.

I honestly think nothing will change. The gov't will give them just enough for them to keep doing what they are doing. It is kinda sad how things become so big and out of control that they simply can't be changed.

Detroit should have paid attention to our needs, instead of trying to convince us what we should have. The unions need to realize that you are not protecting the welfare of your workers if you force the company into bankruptcy.


The Moped
After 10 seasons of canoe racing, Toyota was forced to retire.
Their 1st canoe had evolved into a river barge,
the canoe they built to replace it evolved into a yacht,
and the canoe they built to replace that one had just become a pontoon boat.
Toyota retired from racing and decided to build more paddle boats for retirement communities.


Well-Known Member
As Bush offers a package to the Auto companies, the following statements were said:

"In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action," Bush added.
Obama added that "the auto companies must not squander this chance to reform bad management practices and begin the long-term restructuring that is absolutely required to save this critical industry and the millions of American jobs that depend on it."

I agree with both of these statements. I will be thoroughly disappointed if they come back asking for more money without showing any signs of significant change.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what I think will happen. :eek:


Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I think we're throwing away taxpayer money for votes. Failure makes people stronger and wiser. Birthright money does neither.


Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
Detroit should have paid attention to our needs, instead of trying to convince us what we should have. The unions need to realize that you are not protecting the welfare of your workers if you force the company into bankruptcy.


Well-Known Member
I think we're throwing away taxpayer money for votes. Failure makes people stronger and wiser. Birthright money does neither.

I don't know what that means. Stop Trolling. ;)

If gov't did nothing, they would be blamed for "failure to act". I interpret this as just a lifeline being thrown out to the auto industry. They still have to swim to it in order to be saved.

Originally, I was all for letting them go into bankruptcy. It is just hard to ignore how big an impact that would be. The financial industry is already tanking. I doubt we could withstand the auto industry doing the same thing at the same time.


i excerpted this directly from the new yorker talk of the town section from a couple weeks back, i think its ok because it largely quotes something else but it made me feel all icky and i don't think it can be better put together...

The Secretary of Transportation’s report to Congress begins on a dark note. “Over the past year, the domestic auto industry has experienced sharply reduced sales and profitability, large indefinite layoffs, and increased market penetration by imports,” it states. “The shift in consumer preferences towards smaller, more fuel-efficient passenger cars and light trucks . . . appears to be permanent, and the industry will spend massive amounts of money to retool to produce the motor vehicles that the public now wants.” The revenue to pay for this retooling, though, will have to come from sales of just the sort of cars that the public is no longer buying—a situation, the report observes, bound to produce “financial strain.”

“To improve the overall future prospects for the domestic motor vehicle manufacturers, a quality and price competitive motor vehicle must be produced,” the report warns. “If this is not accomplished, the long term outlook for the industry is bleak.”

The Secretary’s report was delivered to Congress in 1980, a year after what may soon become known as the first Chrysler bailout. Depending on how you look at things, the report was either wrong—three years later, Chrysler returned to profitability—or prescient.


Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Detroit deserves to go under at this point. They don't care about the buying public or market trends at all. Has anyone seen the crap coming out these days? They should design a car someone would actually drive. If one of your best sellers is the Aveo, maybe offer it a few more platforms to get more market share, like Toyota did making a 5-door Yaris or Mini making the Clubman. People don't drive Camaros anymore. And Ford in Europe makes some really cool little cars like the Fiesta or Ka that would help them out a whole bunch if they offered them here:hmmm:



Well-Known Member
I thought Detroit should sink, they design concept cars that will never see the road, my 2008 Chevy's interior looks like it came straight out of 1980, and it gets 20mpg. Looking at the bigger picture $14B is nothing compared to the $800B going to the banks that instead of usng the money like they said, they go out and buy more banks and now give retention incentives instead of a bonus. Detriot and the UAW have to get their shat straight or else they will sink. There is an estimated 4 million people that would be effected by them closing, the banks would need way more than they already got. Lots of people thought Obama was the Socialist for wanting Joe the plumber to spread his money around, Bush bought the banks, insurance and the car industry. This didn't happen over night, money has been to cheap and easy to get for a long time.


Gay & Stuffy
They have 6 cy diesel full size ford pick ups in the caribean islands, twice as economical as our 400hp, 500lb monster v8's. WTF, kick me in the nutz, I run 10 of them up and down the pky and spend 6-9K a month on diesel. I hope ford joins the ranks and sucks the big one as well.


The Moped
We can't have those cool Euro cars because of crash standards and more importantly emissions standards. The Euro countries monitor different aspects of the exhaust and are more concerned with MPG, and what happens to a pedestrian if you hit them.
Here in america the EPA couldnt' care less what your MPG is, they care what percentage of your exhaust is harmful. It doesn't matter that you pump 3 times the exhaust, just that what you pump is "clean" Euro cars will NOT pass our emmisions standards (See the smart car, they can't sell it in America with the Euro engine because they couldn't get it to pass emissions no matter what they tried, so they had to use a different engine)
Most of the larger cars ARE sold here. The focus ST hatchback is the Volvo C30
the focus 4 door is the mazda 3
Ford was brilliant about marketing their youth cars under mazda because of remarkably ignorant people whoe think that Ford's suck. Well, they buy Mazda's without thinking twice. The only true mazda's left are the rx8 (abomination recall machine) and the miata.
The rest are Fords in design or production.

The problem is that the government keeps coming in and forcing car companies to make cars that they aren't good at making. CAFE standard are the worst thing in the world.
Go drive a Ford that they are known for. Go drive a Mustang GT, a F350 diesel, E-series vans, a Crown Vic or Lincoln Towncar. NOBODY can beat ford in any of these market segments. They are ALLOWED to only make those vehicles though. They are FORCED by the government to make crapbox focii (plural of focus?) so that they can avoid the CAFE fines. WHY? Let honda make the small cars, they are good at it, who care? the same amount of small cars are going to get sold, its not like we are saving the world by making 6 companies make the same car. It's STUPID.

Honda is incapable of making a heavy duty car/truck, Toyota is incapable of making a car with personality or fun factor. When you all get your wish we'll all be stuck driving around on Huffy's because they sell more units than Gary Fisher


Shop: Bicycle Pro
Shop Keep
simple solution is to deunionize the big 3. I was reading how toyota pays its us workers right around $30 an hour, whereas the average uaw union worker makes just under that. The difference is productivity and absurd demands from the unions on the automakers, which lead to loss of profit.


Fourth Party
The hourly wage is hardly the problem, it's the fact that these companies pay pensions and benefits for the employee and their families for decades after they retire. One solution, which most large companies do is create a tier system which pretty much states that any person hired after X will fall into this pay scale and benefit package, all employees currently employed will fall under current contract language.

Even if this happens, they are doomed because you have all these employees still entitled to their pensions and retirement benefits for years to come.

Don't be so quick to blame the unions. Sure it seems like they are greedy and strong arming the companies, but keep in mind that union/company contracts go through negotiations before they are approved. When it comes down to it and both sides are sitting at the table, its the COMPANY that puts out their final offer for the union to vote on.

Just for the record, I am a Teamster and the son of an autoworker.


Well-Known Member
I have to agree with Walt. Catapillar was on strike for 2 years before they settled and they're still around. I assume that the car companys figure it is easier to settle that way they can still collect their bonus and big pay.
I'm a union sheet metal worker and even though we make 30% more than non-union we base our pay on a 9 month work year. Our contractors decide what they can pay, and if they can't pay it the job gets done with less guys so we have to monitor what we ask for. Our insurance costs every member that works a 50 week year around $20,000- thats $10 per hour and we also put $5/hr into our pension and $5 into an annuity. Right off the bat thats another $40,000 we could put in our pockets, get a basic insurance plan and depend on Social Security and Medicare for later on. Remember, the reason we have time to paly on our bikes and have more than one is thanks to unions. Before they came along it was from can see to can't see 7 days a week until you died. We might have our faults, but the last time something was perfect he was nailed to a cross.
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