Should America be concerned that Toyota is now
cars in the U.S. than Chevy, or that they are about to
outsell Ford next
year? The short answer is "yes." Read on for the long
First, American companies like Chevrolet pay more
taxes to the
U.S. Treasury, employ more American workers, support the
more retirees' pensions and health care, and get more of
from domestic sources than Toyota.
Toyota has only been making cars here since 1987.
first U.S. plant, Toyota was given 1,000 acres of free land.
trade zone was established so they could import parts
Japan, and another special deal was made to allow Toyota to
over $100 million in taxes. The plant was built with
Japanese steel by a
Japanese steel company. Financing was handled by Mitsui Bank
The first car hadn't even been built yet and
companies, steel companies, banks, and their workers were
it on the chin.
Rarely do American companies get such generous
to them. Since they are based here, they are expected to
And produce here they do!
American companies GM and Ford (Chrysler is now a
company) have twice as many plants in the United States than
foreign competitors combined - including Chrysler, Jeep, and
As Toyota surges past Chevy, soon to pass Ford, and then
Honda does the
same as they are not far behind, American car companies will
forced to lay off more Americans and shutter more plants. As
hits the papers, Americans will likely spew their venom at
companies for failing to "compete" and build better cars.
But few Americans realize that it costs American car
$1,300 more to build a car than it does their foreign rivals
only do they support more retirees and pay higher union
wages, but they
also get fewer tax concessions from their own government.
I can almost guarantee you that if you and I both went into
build widgets, and I had $1,300 more per unit to spend on
development and design, etc., odds are that I will probably
Most Americans also don't realize that favoring Toyota will
put them on the hook for higher taxes. Why? GM's pension
seriously under-funded because of the stock market downturn.
government has already taken over the pension funds for
steelmakers. Could U.S. carmakers be next? And we all know
who ends up
paying if that happens - the American taxpayer.
It was once said that what was good for America was good for
Motors, and vice versa. But it is unlikely that we'll ever
see a day
when whatever is good for Toyota is good for America. That's
Japanese-owned Toyota will always do what's best for their
and not their foreign subsidiaries. America would be wise to