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Both Honda and Acura vehicles exported to the United States last year accounted for less than 6 percent of its 3.1 million sales worldwide

Honda was recently the first Japanese automaker to admit that it is losing money on exports from Japan to the United States.

According to Honda, both Honda and Acura vehicles exported to the United States last year accounted for less than 6 percent of its 3.1 million sales worldwide.

"Under the current exchange rate of 80 yen per dollar, our export business doesn't make any profit," said Fumihiko Ike, Honda CFO. "Definitely, the absolute number of exports to the United States will be decreasing.

Honda plans to cut shipments of some of its vehicles to the U.S. in an effort to offset these losses. However, the Japanese automaker's long-term goal is to move more production to North America, where it will also buy the parts and components needed for its vehicles.


Honda Fit

Currently, Honda builds 85 percent of the vehicles it sells here in North America, but the need to increase this number is significant. Honda keeps selling the exports -- such as the Fit, Insight and CR-Z hybrids -- despite losing money because it wants to retain customers in the U.S. However, producing vehicles in the U.S. and then selling them in the U.S. will be cheaper for Honda and will allow the automaker to avoid what happened last year -- a shortage.

In 2011, Honda didn't have enough cars over in the U.S. to sell, so continued shipping money-losing exports for the sake of keeping customers.

Honda's solution is to shift production of its Fit car to a plant that the automaker plans to open in Mexico in 2014.

According to Ike, Honda currently doesn't make any profit on Fits sent to the United States, and because it's not profitable for Honda, it's also not profitable for car dealers. But the company keeps selling it here because it's a great car for younger generations and it wants to hold on to these customers. Once the plant in Mexico is complete, the Fit should be profitable. But for now, this particular vehicle is much more profitable in Japan where there are government incentive programs for fuel-efficient vehicles.


Honda CR-Z Hybrid

Honda is also looking to shift hybrid vehicle production to North America within a few years. The automaker is already looking for local hybrid component suppliers that carry lithium ion batteries.

The need to shift hybrid production is also significant, considering combined sales of the Civic Hybrid, CR-Z hybrid and the Insight hybrid totaled 31,582 units last year.

Honda will also build the Acura NSX sports car with a hybrid drivetrain in Ohio within a three-year period.

"We are not just simply shifting assembly from Japan to the United States," said Ike. "Of course, we have to expand local procurement, otherwise it's not cost-effective."

Source: Automotive News



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Here's an idea...
By One43637 on 6/12/2012 11:50:47 AM , Rating: 3
stop making crappy cars! All the fun cars Honda made are gone.

The civic is bloated and unappealing. They axed the popular Integra, killed the short-lived replacement RSX. So long S2000, I barely knew you. NSX you took my breath away, but now I can't find a well kept used one for under 50k.

The TSX looked great 5 years ago, until I saw that it was FWD. Current gen looks like a porker. The incoming ILX is a joke.

The Accord coupe MT V6 is the only one that has any appeal to me, and they are making that bloated with each generation.

Get with the program Honda! I'll buy your car, just stop making these unappealing people movers and remember you had a great run of cars 20 years ago. The time to get back into that segment is now! Look at Toyota's GT-86 / Subaru BRZ.




RE: Here's an idea...
By darkweasel on 6/12/2012 12:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
You kinda missed the point. They are selling *out* of the cars they have, i.e. they need to increase supply (or price), but the only way they have of doing that right now is to build them in Japan and ship them here. And they loose money doing that.

Hence, they are building a factory in Mexico.

Though, I wonder if quality will change. Compare VW built in Germany to VW built in Mexico and quality was quite different.


RE: Here's an idea...
By darkweasel on 6/12/2012 12:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
lose, not loose. oh for an edit....


RE: Here's an idea...
By Apone on 6/12/2012 12:17:16 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, but honestly I think it adds a level of value (and comfort) knowing that your car was manufactured in Japan (or Germany) because traditionally, the build quality of Japan-exported vehicles like the early 90's Acura Legend, Honda Accord/Civic have proved to be impeccable.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Zclyh3 on 6/12/2012 4:20:20 PM , Rating: 3
I drive one of those "impeccable" vehicles.

1994 Acura Integra MT - 313,000 miles and counting. Original engine. lol

I personally would pay slightly more if it was made in Japan. At least give us that option.


RE: Here's an idea...
By TSS on 6/12/2012 9:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a issue of "paying more".

They already have enough people paying enough money. They had a shortage in 2011. If anything they could use less people buying there cars if they promise to come back later.

The only thing right now that would make it profitable for Honda again to sell exported vehicles in the US is if the Bank of Japan finally decides to turn on the printing presses. Because the BOJ has been far more reluctant to print money then the Federal Reserve has been (QE1, QE2, Twist and soon QE3) the yen went from ~112 for a dollar to ~80 per dollar. It didn't become more valueble, it's becoming less valueble at a much slower rate then the US dollar, and hints of the true inflation the US has had since 2007 (they are so reluctant because of the already huge load of debt they have).


RE: Here's an idea...
By RU482 on 6/13/2012 1:08:04 AM , Rating: 4
the "original engine" statement is so 1990/80's.

call me when you have a 313k 18year old car with original working wiper motors, power window motors, radio, master cylinder, radiator, no rust, ect


RE: Here's an idea...
By One43637 on 6/12/2012 12:59:21 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, I would rather buy a car put together in Japan then Mexico.

Had a buddy that had a MK3 GTI VR6 (wow i'm old) brand new. 3 months into it, his side fender fell off. Looked at the sticker (Engine & Transmission Germany) made in Mexico.

/facepalm


RE: Here's an idea...
By foolsgambit11 on 6/12/2012 4:08:00 PM , Rating: 3
"Made in the USA" isn't exactly a mark of quality either, at least not compared to, "Made in Japan/Germany".


RE: Here's an idea...
By corduroygt on 6/12/2012 11:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
True, but it's much better than made in Mexico...
Made in USA ain't that bad anymore, surely not as good as Japan or Germany, but I'd say better than anywhere else.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Pneumothorax on 6/12/2012 12:01:28 PM , Rating: 4
The Fit ironically one of the few decent cars on their lot right now. Pressuring my cousin to buy one before they start being made by cartel members.


RE: Here's an idea...
By FITCamaro on 6/12/12, Rating: -1
RE: Here's an idea...
By Apone on 6/12/2012 12:13:44 PM , Rating: 3
- Agreed and that's the problem with Honda/Acura; they've virtually stepped away from continuous innovation and have become complacent knowing that "Honda" has become a household name (which adds to residual value). Case in point, Honda still prides itself on VTEC; we get it's great but VTEC has been around for a while and everyone has since adopted similar technologies. To make it worse, competitors are also utilizing direct injection, double-overhead camshafts, turbocharging, and 7-8 speed transmissions to enhance fuel economy/performance while Honda is still living in the 90's/early 2000's with 5-speed autos and SOHC engines. This has given competitors and opportunity to exploit & attack which we have seen with the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Optima, etc.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2012 12:35:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Case in point, Honda still prides itself on VTEC; we get it's great but VTEC has been around for a while and everyone has since adopted similar technologies.


This ^

Pretty much everyone is using variable cam and valve timing these days. VTEC was unique 15 years ago.

However Honda is totally an "ain't broke, don't fix" company. Their engines are utterly reliable, and Honda has claimed there has never been a single failure in the VTEC system on any of their 20+ million VTEC engines. A claim that I haven't seen anyone disprove.

I think Honda is just suffering from an image problem. As an enthusiast turbos and engine tech matters to me, but the average person probably not so much.


RE: Here's an idea...
By thejerk on 6/12/2012 11:24:47 PM , Rating: 3
I used to work for one of the Germans. We never considered any of the Japanese car manufacturers as innovators. We always saw the Japanese brands about 4 years behind, as they waited for tech to mature (become reliable) before implementing it in to their vehicles. That was 12 years ago. Now, it seems they're waiting 6-7 years.

It's a very conservative and committee-managed process with Honda. And, you'll always see product stagnate with management like that, until they make one giant leap forward (NSX) in to the next 15 years. And, the NSX's most pioneering element was its outstanding reliability (minus the snap ring issue) compared to its then peers.

VW's build quality from the Puebla plant is marginal at best.
Made in America is only slightly better than Hecho en Mexico.

Lastly, I sold my Mercedes and now drive a Honda. I'm not writing to choose sides.


RE: Here's an idea...
By stusanagain on 6/12/2012 12:19:48 PM , Rating: 3
And suppose Honda produced a real "barn-burner" that sold like hotcakes - how does that solve the problem of losing money on each one sold? Oh, that's right, it doesn't. They'll make it up in volume?

This is just your attempt to hijack the story for your favorite rant.

*sigh* And here I am, feeding the troll.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Apone on 6/12/2012 12:32:58 PM , Rating: 1
Nice try but my point examines the big picture of Honda's problem. I get it, Honda is trying to do some cost-cutting for the Fit. But do you honestly think that's enough long-term wise? Will that restore customers' respect and faith in Honda for innovation? Quality is just as, if not more important, than quantity.


RE: Here's an idea...
By lagomorpha on 6/12/2012 7:51:37 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And suppose Honda produced a real "barn-burner" that sold like hotcakes - how does that solve the problem of losing money on each one sold?


I imagine part of the problem is for small eco cars like the Fit which Americans expect to pay $15,000 for the cost of making in Japan and importing is a huge issue. For enthusiast cars with better profit margins (say the S2000 or Civic Si) it's easier to justify importing from Japan.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2012 12:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
Not disagreeing with your overall point, but the new Civic Si seems to suggest Honda is getting the message. After getting it's ass kicked repeatedly for years, Honda dropped in a 2.4 ltr and about 22% more torque than before at a much more usable RPM range.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/12/2012 12:28:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather spend $3k more and get a Scion FR-S ;)

Honda needs to bring back the S2000, make it a coupe-only, and price it like the FR-S/BRZ twins. If Toyota can do it, surely Honda can too.

And while we're at it, how about Nissan bring back the SX as well :)


RE: Here's an idea...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2012 12:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well Honda already knows the S2000 wasn't profitable. Toyota and Subaru have yet to show if that's the case with the BRZ/ FR-S.

quote:
I'd rather spend $3k more and get a Scion FR-S ;)


Waiting for the BRZ STI myself :)


RE: Here's an idea...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/12/2012 12:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Waiting for the BRZ STI myself :)


200hp is enough for me in such a light car, and $25k is a sweet price.

My son is only a month old... perhaps when he can fit in a front-facing car seat in a couple years I'll get one...Subaru/Toyota has a custom one that they sell that fits. Then we'll just sell my wife's Civic and let her take my Sonata 2.0t ;)

It'd be worth it just to see the grin on his face while looking in the rear view mirror :)


RE: Here's an idea...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/12, Rating: 0
RE: Here's an idea...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/12/2012 12:55:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Good dad! When I think about all the kids these days who's first experience in a car is some cheesed out Prius or whatever...ugh. Shudder!


Speaking of which, this almost brings a tear to my eye :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQCFgJalNo4


RE: Here's an idea...
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2012 6:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
The only place Subaru has traditionally suffered is in fuel economy.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2012 6:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
LOL I can attest to that. AWD and boosted boxers are not the makings of good economy. But frankly, to hell with fuel economy sometimes :)


RE: Here's an idea...
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2012 10:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Their turbo motors + AWD are quite fun. ;)


RE: Here's an idea...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/12/2012 6:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
And paint quality...


RE: Here's an idea...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2012 7:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
Is it really that their paint is of less quality, or the fact that most of their cars are sold in high snow areas where salted roads slowly eat the cars away from the inside out?


RE: Here's an idea...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/12/2012 10:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, it's the paint. Just like on my old Mazda 3s... you could look at that car funny and the paint would chip.


RE: Here's an idea...
By DukeN on 6/12/2012 12:44:17 PM , Rating: 3
As a parent and someone who's seen people put car-seats in coupes, don't do it.

Not worth the strain it will put on you (and your spouse's) backs, especially on trips when you have multiple stops.

Also trying to get a sleeping kid out gently is near impossible in a coupe, especially once they have a few pounds on them.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Spuke on 6/12/2012 1:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
200hp is enough for me in such a light car, and $25k is a sweet price.
Not enough for me. :) My cars weighs a little more (2900 lbs) but has 100 more hp and 200 lb-ft more torque now (funny what a simple ECU flash will do). Makes for a much more exciting drive than before and I was quite satisfied with stock performance (although that pesky manual trans Accord V6 coupe gave me a run for my money). Interestingly, the tires have no problem handling the extra power.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Manch on 6/12/2012 3:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
100hp & 200 lb/ft from an ECU flash? What car is this?!


RE: Here's an idea...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/12/2012 4:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
Probably a VW 2.0T or something ;)

Or perhaps, 1.8T NEVAR LOSE!!! >:-)


RE: Here's an idea...
By Spuke on 6/12/2012 4:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I meant 100 more hp/200 lbft MORE than the FR-S/BRZ twins taking a guess on drivetrain losses on my car. I have a Pontiac Solstice GXP, turbo 4 with DI. Gains on my car over stock were 65hp/110 lb-ft. I have the flash and an exhaust.


RE: Here's an idea...
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2012 6:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
That 2.0L Ecotec is a thing of beauty. I got the tune for my Cruze on sale. Added 30hp and 30-40 lb ft. Still not fast but the flick of a switch for a little extra power when I want it and better gas mileage when I don't for $300 ain't bad.


RE: Here's an idea...
By steven975 on 6/12/2012 6:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
Nice!

My S2K has added boost...I have around 370/225, or 310/200 at the wheels. Only 5psi of progressively building boost, though. I'd bet due to the torque you're putting out 280HP for much of the rev range...I only put out that for split seconds.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Manch on 6/13/2012 4:28:31 AM , Rating: 2
lol, ok. either way, 65/110 over stock is pretty damn good for an ECU/exhaust. Being that its a turbo car, did you increase the boost any to get those numbers?


RE: Here's an idea...
By FITCamaro on 6/13/2012 9:01:29 AM , Rating: 2
How else do you think those numbers are gained? Unless you believe the sticker that is on the side of bolt on parts.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Manch on 6/14/2012 2:22:51 AM , Rating: 2
What?! You mean those numbers arent actual? So verifying the gains with my butt dyno is no good either? Damnit, I guess Ill take my car to the shop....

I figured he bumped the boost, or being that its a lil 4banger, his exhuast was a gigantic fart can the size of a 55gallon drum to make it sound like a dying giraffe. Car guys have a tendency to leave out certain details of there build. "What you got in it?" reply: "Bolts-ons, tune..."


RE: Here's an idea...
By One43637 on 6/12/2012 12:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
Good to know! I hope the steering and handling are also up to par. I had a Civic coupe when I was a teen and I enjoyed driving it. Just want to see them make fun cars again.

Although at my age, I would probably skip the Civic and wait for the turbo FR-S or maybe the BRZ. The BRZ actually has leather and push button start. It's hard to go back, after you get used to total hands free with your key.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Spuke on 6/12/2012 2:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
If they make a turbo BRZ (AND if the get rid of the Prius tires), I'll be down at the dealership with a check.


RE: Here's an idea...
By One43637 on 6/12/2012 7:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
They've already talked about a turbo FR-S. I would be shocked if Subaru didn't release one before or at the same time as Toyota.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Gungel on 6/12/2012 1:05:38 PM , Rating: 2
Surprisingly you can get a better car from Ford, Dodge or Chrysler today than from Honda. Take any of the Honda's and compare it to the 3 mentioned above. Even the quality and interiors are better now than Honda's offerings.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/12/2012 1:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even the quality and interiors are better now than Honda's offerings.


Speaking of interiors... Honda, WTF is this s**t?

http://i49.tinypic.com/2m5gpib.jpg


RE: Here's an idea...
By Gungel on 6/12/2012 1:17:08 PM , Rating: 1
Wow that is awful. Just for comparison here is the 2013 Dodge Dart interior:
http://newautodesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/...


RE: Here's an idea...
By Spuke on 6/12/2012 2:05:39 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! That IS awful. That Dart interior is worlds better.


RE: Here's an idea...
By corduroygt on 6/12/2012 8:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you comparing a Honda Pilot (horrible vehicle) to a Dodge Dart?
Post the Durango interior or JGC interior for a better comparison.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Gungel on 6/14/2012 12:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the Durango, Journey and JGC is even better than the Dart.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2012 2:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Surprisingly you can get a better car from Ford, Dodge or Chrysler today than from Honda.


Dodge and Chrysler shouldn't even be around today to compete with Honda in the first place. They lost, Honda won.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Gungel on 6/12/2012 3:38:46 PM , Rating: 1
Not with the cars they sell today. I myself went from owning 3 previous Honda's to a Dodge and never looked back.


RE: Here's an idea...
By corduroygt on 6/12/2012 11:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
The Dart is very nice, but let's see how it holds up after 5 years. My guess is worse than a Civic or a Corolla.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Gungel on 6/14/2012 12:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well not if you look at the latest statistics. The Ford Focus is beating both of them and the Dodge Dart is not out yet, but all of the new Chrysler and Dodge models do very well.


RE: Here's an idea...
By RU482 on 6/13/2012 1:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
why leave ford out? take a look at the quality of the crap they were selling 10 years ago

their rebound started a little sooner than the other domestics (note: little)


RE: Here's an idea...
By Manch on 6/13/2012 8:41:55 AM , Rating: 2
I believe he's referring to the bailout of those two companies. Ford started shedding their excess baggage well before the the bailout crisis, which is why they were able rebound without the gov bailing them out too.


RE: Here's an idea...
By Samus on 6/12/2012 4:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
Crappy car? I'd consider Honda's substantially better than Nissan, Subaru and Mitsubishi, and substantially more fun than anything from Toyota.

The last Honda I owned was my car from high school, a 1990 Honda Accord, a good car at the time. These days the only Honda I own is of the riding variety...


RE: Here's an idea...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2012 5:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Crappy car? I'd consider Honda's substantially better than Nissan, Subaru


Now just hold on one goddamn minute there sonny. Them's fighting words!!! What are you basing that on?


RE: Here's an idea...
By One43637 on 6/12/2012 7:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
by Samus on June 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM Crappy car? I'd consider Honda's substantially better than Nissan, Subaru and Mitsubishi, and substantially more fun than anything from Toyota. The last Honda I owned was my car from high school, a 1990 Honda Accord, a good car at the time. These days the only Honda I own is of the riding variety...


IMO, I would rather have a 350Z then an Accord, a Subaru BRZ, Legacy or WRZ then an Accord. Of course a Toyota FR-S/GT-86 over an Accord. Scratch Mitsu because of build quality.

There is nothing fun in Honda's stable outside of the Accord MT V6 coupe, and that's subject to what one considers fun. Honda doesn't win for me against any of those brands except Mitsu.

Definition of Fun for me = No FWD, MT, good handling and at least 200HP.

PS if price isn't an issue, then sign me up for a LF-A or Skyline. No the hybrid NSX made out of Ohio doesn't interest me.


RE: Here's an idea...
By corduroygt on 6/12/2012 8:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The TSX looked great 5 years ago, until I saw that it was FWD...The Accord coupe MT V6 is the only one that has any appeal to me

You are not even consistent within yourself...you criticize the TSX for being FWD, yet favor an even more unbalanced FWD V6 torque steering crappy accord coupe. The first gen TSX with a manual transmission was a better and more balanced car than any Accord Coupe ever.


RE: Here's an idea...
By One43637 on 6/13/2012 4:10:26 PM , Rating: 2
I can forgive the TSX if it was FWD and a V6. Sadly the TSX back then came in a 4 banger. The Accord, at least, came with a good MT and a V6.


RE: Here's an idea...
By xpax on 6/13/2012 12:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The civic is bloated and unappealing. They axed the popular Integra, killed the short-lived replacement RSX. So long S2000, I barely knew you. NSX you took my breath away, but now I can't find a well kept used one for under 50k.

Agreed. I had an '08 Civic and it was a POS compared to my '02 RSX. I haven't seen a car as great as that from Honda since.


If not for
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2012 12:28:54 PM , Rating: 1
Our high environmental standards, cost of labor, rising power costs, and high corporate taxes, they might open that plant here in the US instead of Mexico.




RE: If not for
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/12/2012 12:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't they just go "down south" like Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai/KIA, Toyota, and Nissan? They all have plants in South Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, etc.

Also, no unions there either. These southern states are basically foaming at the mouth for auto companies.


RE: If not for
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/12/2012 12:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
I forgot to add, even VW has a plant in Chattanooga, TN.


RE: If not for
By Apone on 6/12/2012 12:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately it still comes down to total cost. Foreign labor such as in Mexico is most likely significantly cheaper than U.S. southern-state labor.


RE: If not for
By DukeN on 6/12/2012 12:46:59 PM , Rating: 3
Love the cart-blanche tea party tagline.

Based on that thinking, none of the car companies would have any plants here in Canada ever. But yet there's atleast 10 different models that are made in Ontario, alone.

There's more to capitalism than red tape and taxes.


RE: If not for
By leviathan05 on 6/12/2012 1:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
How long would they last if we dropped NAFTA? My guess is not very.


RE: If not for
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/12, Rating: 0
RE: If not for
By DukeN on 6/12/2012 3:32:00 PM , Rating: 1
How the fuck are you subsidizing Canadian manufacturing?

It's a treaty that goes both ways, there are no duties for Canadians importing US made cars and parts, and there are no duties for Americans importing Canadian made cars and parts.

And how exactly is the American taxpayer propping up Canadians?

You might want to stop watching Fox and Friends for a few minutes and think, for once.


RE: If not for
By foolsgambit11 on 6/12/2012 4:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you! I can't understand how a free trade agreement could be considered a subsidy - especially by people who consider themselves "free market" capitalists! Tariffs are the very definition of protectionist, closed-market policies.

While, perhaps, some argument could be made that free-trade with Mexico is "unfair" because of the lax labor and environmental policies (and lax enforcement of the policies they do have), but the same cannot be said about free trade with Canada, where labor and environmental policies are at least as strict as in America, and taxes are generally higher. Of course, Canadian businesses aren't strapped with untenable health care costs, but that's our own damn fault.


RE: If not for
By Mint on 6/12/2012 6:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
He just doesn't want to accept the fact that a "socialist" country can possibly have any sort of manufacturing advantage over the US.

I remember when Toyota chose Ontario for a new plant around a decade ago, despite hundreds of millions in gov't subsidies from the southern states and little north of the border.

Quite odd how a company can value things like an educated workforce from good public education and free healthcare. Oh wait, it's f***ing obvious why...


RE: If not for
By Ringold on 6/12/2012 6:44:08 PM , Rating: 3
Labor is a diminishing part of the manufacturing equation, especially with newly built plants built with all the modern automation, so labor cost isn't as huge a factor as it once was.

I'd also be careful not to paint Canada with a wide socialist brush. It's just spent quite a while under Harper, a conservative that's drilling for oil and gas as quickly as he pleases. Some areas in Canada are better then others.. As you said, it built a plant in Ontario, not Quebec.

Finally, if the logic worked as well as you thought, Sweden of the 90s with its government spending as a % of GDP of over 70% wouldn't of faced near-collapse and had to practically restructure its approach to business and commerce from the ground up. France would be the most powerful, vibrant economy of the Western world. Spain would be lecturing us all on how to craft effective 'macroprudential' regulation.

Oh, and "free" healthcare? Thanks for showing your "I'm a liberal" card. Nothing is free, fool.


RE: If not for
By foolsgambit11 on 6/12/2012 7:36:31 PM , Rating: 1
Total labor costs may not be as high as they would be without automation, but the skill of the labor needed to maintain a sophisticated automated assembly line is greater - which turns the advantage to areas with an educated workforce.

I don't think anyone would argue that, "the more socialism the better", any more than they should argue, "the more capitalism the better". The ideal would balance the two. Thanks for showing your "I don't understand English" card, by the way. Health care in Canada is free, in the same way public education is free. Nobody objects to the phrase "free public education", because everybody knows that the phrase is shorthand for "not paid for by the consumer, but by the community". Welcome to English, where words have more than one meaning.


RE: If not for
By Reclaimer77 on 6/12/2012 7:07:28 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I remember when Toyota chose Ontario for a new plant around a decade ago, despite hundreds of millions in gov't subsidies from the southern states and little north of the border.


You have to be a Liberal of the highest order to believe they picked Ontario for it's education and "free" healthcare. First off, the "education" required to put bolts in place and lugnuts on tires...yeah I think the US has that covered. Secondly if you don't think Canadian businesses pay out the ass for that "free" healthcare, jokes on you.

It's pretty obvious whey they built in Canada, just wiki it. Hmmm non-union workforce. Convenience. Their deal with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc which no doubt entitles them to writeoffs and other perks.

Toyota's first manufacturing facility in North America was Georgetown, Kentucky by the way. So umm..take that Socialism!!??? :P


RE: If not for
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2012 6:01:30 PM , Rating: 2
Same reason plants still exist in parts of the US with unions. The unions themselves. The companies are too afraid to go against the Canadian version of the UAW. The media would try to destroy them and at least in the US, with current administration they'd probably sue the company and sick the NLRB on them like they did with Boeing building a non-union facility here in SC.

And what happened with that? Boeing signed an agreement with the union in Seattle to promise to keep building planes there and, low and behold, the NLRB inquiry ended. As if its somehow illegal to say "Sorry it costs too much to do business here, we're going somewhere else".

And GM has cut just as much manufacturing in Canada as they have the US.


RE: If not for
By Ringold on 6/12/2012 6:46:52 PM , Rating: 2
Clarify for me, since the story disappeared? Is Boeing building a plant in SC or not? An absolute shame if the NLRB killed the deal entirely; Boeing's reliance on its union Seattle production base loses it a lot of sales from airlines worried a strike could delay delivery.


RE: If not for
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2012 10:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
Boeing has built a plant here in Charleston that is largely complete and it actually will be building another facility out past my house to build other pieces for planes, wings I believe.

The media spun it as "planned to build" for some reason when in fact the facility was built and operational (albeit still hiring). The question from the suit was would it be shut down.

Boeing's unions definitely have harmed them. When you have to worry about your work force striking every year or two, its hard to meet production schedules. Not to mention the much higher cost. The only good thing for Boeing is that its only real competition in the Western world, Airbus, operates not only in the US but in Europe where benefits and pay are also high due to the socialized nature of European countries.

Boeing though has brought a nice economic boost to the area. That the NLRB tried to kill that to bow to their union masters is deplorable. As is trying to make the claim that a company is not allowed to do business where it chooses and without union labor if it chooses. But I can see how the Democrats don't like that since it doesn't mean more money from thug union bosses.


Honda Fat
By Mitch101 on 6/12/2012 12:36:56 PM , Rating: 3
Small demographic for FIT they should market a FAT for the US.

Yes I live here.




RE: Honda Fat
By DukeN on 6/12/2012 4:16:00 PM , Rating: 2
Chrysler already beat them to that idea.

The 300 probably refers to passengers who weigh that much (average American), while the 200 is for those who aren't as large.

Not long til the 400s and 500s become popular..


RE: Honda Fat
By lagomorpha on 6/12/2012 7:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The 300 probably refers to passengers who weigh that much (average American), while the 200 is for those who aren't as large. Not long til the 400s and 500s become popular..


I wish I could rate you a 6!


RE: Honda Fat
By corduroygt on 6/12/2012 11:06:35 PM , Rating: 3
So what's a Fiat 500 for then? :)


RE: Honda Fat
By Mitch101 on 6/13/2012 9:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
Masturbating to the girl in the commercial OMG.


By Mathos on 6/12/2012 7:06:13 PM , Rating: 1
As far as the Fit and all that goes, I'm not really a hybrid fan. Either we need to go all electric power train with a gas/diesel power generator, or develop truly more fuel efficient IC engines. Ditch the heavy Lithium Ion battery packs completely, until something that doesn't require a rare earth metal is developed and in production.

And to those obsessing over the heydays of the civic and what not, I've honestly driven cars in the same category that were more fun. My first car was an AMC Alliance for example 1.4L with turbo added on to it, and a 5 speed manual.

Regarding the NAFTA thing. There is nothing really wrong with NAFTA on the Canadian American side. They make almost the same wages american workers do, have unions as far as I remember, and have pretty much the same or more strict regulations when it comes to worker rights and safety. You also have to remember, not only does Canada send us Cars and parts, they send up cheap OIL, as they send us the vast majority of what we import, the rest coming from Mexico, and smaller % coming from Saudi, and other OPEC countries. The biggest problem I've seen with Honda.... Or anyone sending plants to Mexico is build quality. It certain hasn't helped the US big 3, or VW for that matter when it comes to quality I think it's actually hurt all of them.

Mind you the plant opening in the US is good. I have an old friend that works at one of the Honda plants in Ohio for example. The main difference between the Japanese auto companies and the US auto companies is in the corporate and national culture. Companies like Honda and Toyota treat their workers fairly and with respect, regardless of whether they're required to or not by regulations, they also tend to understand that a healthy work force will be much more productive than one without healthcare, so they tend to provide benefits without being forced to. My own brother-in-law worked at Ogihara in Michigan, which is an american branch of a japanese parts company. And he could outright tell you how they were to their people.

And at the chrysler 300 comment.... Come on now, the 300 is actually a real nice car, especially for the price... Now if only they could shake the image we see on tv or in person every day of some Big old woman of.....getting out and acting a fool when they've been pulled over or other situations.




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