Thursday, January 25, 2007

U.S. Automakers' Problems
Didn't Begin Just Yesterday

'Nice ride. Nobody buys American anymore, huh?'
--the actor John Cusack, congratulating Minnie Driver on her foreign car in the 1997 movie Grosse Point Blank. The problem? This Wharton Business School management prof thinks the issues are pretty straightforward: Honda and Toyota are learning organizations, while GM and Ford are not.


At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

two things:

1) if by lerning, he means US auto dolts never took the time to read The Reckoning, yeah, hes got a point. but hilberstam laid it all out, and his book is about 400 years old.

2) the energy issue also is about 400 years old, as anyone who rememmbers the 1970s' cat atest.

what were hearing now from the newly "enlightened" is such crap and 30 years to late..

At 10:02 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

All well said, and I'd agree entirely. The Halberstam book is especially to the point: I think it was published in about 1980, which is now basically an entire generation ago. And he said it all then.

Of course our political "leadership" has been almost criminal in their laxity about pushing the so-called CAFE standards, which obligate automakers to produce cars that reach certain fuel-efficiency targets (in part because they were protected for years by Detroit-area congressman John Dingell, lord of the Commerce Committee, when the Dems last ran the place).
But mostly, we as a society are not unlike we as individuals: energy efficiency tends to get our attention when supplies are tight or prices are high, and then we go back to our default setting of laxity when they're not. Shame on us all.

At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't read the article - members only.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Sorry. That's odd--for some reason it became members-only just shortly after I posted that link (I would never bother linking to something that no one can read).


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