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Ha-ha! Toyota piles on GM

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by N8 v2.0, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. N8 v2.0

    N8 v2.0 Not the sharpest tool in the shed

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    Toyota Speeds Up Quest to Unseat GM
    HANS GREIMEL, AP Business Writer
    Wed Nov 23,11:08 AM ET


    TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. is quickening its quest to unseat ailing rival General Motors Corp. as the world's biggest automaker with reported plans to start manufacturing up to 100,000 Toyota vehicles at a Subaru factory in Indiana.

    Word of Toyota's ramped-up production schedule comes just days after money-losing GM said it will close 12 facilities by 2008 in a move that will slash the number of vehicles it is able to build in North America by about 1 million a year.

    The combined developments could help Toyota surpass GM in worldwide production, although it's unclear if that would happen because Detroit-based GM is growing rapidly in Asia.

    Toyota expects to produce 8.1 million vehicles this year, while GM expects 9 million, according to Greg Gardner of Harbour Consulting, a manufacturing consulting firm.

    Toyota will also chip away at GM's lead with a new pickup truck plant scheduled to open next year in San Antonio, Texas, that will add an additional 200,000 vehicles to Toyota's annual capacity. The Japanese company's output will be boosted by another 100,000 vehicles in 2008, when Toyota's new RAV 4 plant comes online in Canada.

    Under the latest expansion plans, the world's No. 2 automaker has asked Fuji Heavy Industries, maker of Subaru autos, to start building Toyotas in 2007 at a Lafayette, Indiana, factory operated by Fuji's wholly owned subsidiary, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, the Asahi newspaper reported Wednesday, without citing sources.

    Company representatives were not available for comment Wednesday, a national holiday in Japan.

    Ann McConnell, a spokeswoman for Subaru of Indiana, said Fuji Heavy Industries and Toyota Motor Corp. have been in discussions, but that there has been no word of a decision yet.

    There are five to six candidate models for production, the newspaper said, with the number manufactured annually to gradually increase to 100,000 vehicles. Earlier reports have suggested that Toyota might produce hybrid vehicles at the Fuji plant.

    The Indiana plant produced nearly 120,000 Subaru models last year.

    It wasn't immediately clear if Subaru production would be reduced or what the factory's total vehicle output would be.

    Fuji teamed up with Toyota in October after ending a five-year tie-up with GM, which sold its 20 percent in the Japanese company. Toyota, based in Toyota City in central Japan, bought a 8.7 percent stake from GM for about $315 million to become Fuji's top shareholder.

    Overall, GM lost almost $4 billion in the first nine months of this year, hit by falling sales and rising health care costs. Its share of the U.S. market has shrunk to 26.2 percent from 33 percent a decade ago.

    The plant closings, which will entail 30,000 job cuts, are meant to chop $7 billion off its $42 billion annual bill for operations by the end of next year, including a $3 billion cut in health care costs.

    Toyota, by contrast, is on pace to set a fourth straight year of record profits.

    Both GM and Ford Motor Co., the world's third-biggest automaker, are seeing their U.S. market share because of Toyota and other Asian competitors. Toyota, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. are all reporting healthy earnings bolstered by their reputation for well-built, fuel-efficient cars at a time of surging gas prices.

    GM's tie-up with Fuji was largely deemed a flop. But access to Fuji's plants could help Toyota boost production at a time of soaring sales, analysts say, although Fuji has only the one plant in North America, so additional capacity will be limited.

    Completed in 1988, the Indiana factory was built under a joint-venture agreement between Fuji and Isuzu Motors Ltd. Fuji bought out Isuzu's share in the venture and became sole operator of the plant in 2003.

    After GM's latest cost cuts, the company will be able to build about 4.2 million vehicles a year in North America, down 30 percent from 2002. Toyota is expected to have North American capacity of about 1.81 million cars by then, up from 1.44 million vehicles last year, Toyota spokesman Dan Sieger said Monday.

    China is one bright spot for GM, which said last month that sales there rose 27.8 percent in the first three quarters of the year to 472,468 vehicles. Growth was fueled partly by a mini-vehicle joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp. (SAIC) and Wuling Automotive.

    GM and Toyota have a long-standing partnership to share environmental technology, and they run a car assembly plant in California together, although the ties do not involve holding stakes in each other.

    Out of concern for GM's plight — and possibly to stave off an anti-Japanese backlash by American consumers — Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda suggested earlier this year that Toyota should raise the price of car models in the United States to level the playing field.

    Toyota raised prices soon after, but denied the move was to placate U.S. automakers.

    U.S. shares of Toyota, each representing two common shares, rose 40 cents to $99.74 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. GM shares rose 52 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $23.79.
     

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  2. firetoole

    firetoole duch bag

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    I am soooo glad I got out of that market!
     
  3. Andy_B

    Andy_B Monkey

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    im so glad that I work for toyota
     
  4. merrrrjig

    merrrrjig Turbo Monkey

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    I drive a honda, so whatever!
     
  5. firetoole

    firetoole duch bag

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    Wooo Tulips!!!!
    we made stuff for them too
     
  6. spookydave

    spookydave Monkey

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    I was born and raised in Anderson, Indiana. Anderson used to be a HUGE GM town. There are still a few plants open but nothing like it was. It's a pretty depressed town for sure.
    It used to be (and still is for the most part) that if you lived there you drove an American car / truck. Because they put the food on your table and the braces on your kids (me) teeth.

    Times have changed for sure and all I can say is I am happy that more automotive work is going to Indiana.
    Lafayette is in the northern part of the state. And that's a good thing because Toyata already has a big, no HUGE plant in Princton (southern IN).

    One thing I don't know is if the UAW is involved with Toyota back there. I sure hope not but I have a hard time thinking that's the case.
     
  7. firetoole

    firetoole duch bag

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    Flint MI

    it;s a GM graveyard used to be nicknamed Buick City
     
  8. Alpha Kenny Body

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    I drive a toyota... i think big american corporation are sooo hypocritical, i mean most of the american are very loyal to american stuff... but then big corporations think more about the $$ than they think about their loyal customers and decide to move the production plant form USA to China, Mexico, or any cheaper place, taking the food out of their fellow americans table and moving it into Pedro or Juan's "mesa", good for us, bad for you (americans). Maybe japanese is the way to go, they don't care about their "people", the only think about bussiness.
     
  9. gschuette

    gschuette Monkey

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    So explain how this is different from the situation you just described at GM?
     
  10. Alpha Kenny Body

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    right, but as spookydave said,
    Most of the workers felt like the needed to buy an american car, to support their own people, but now there is no obligation and people can buy any car they want and need. Imagine you have to buy a gas sucking pick up truck because you work at GM, even though gas prices are sky high in comparison with the old days, now they can go and buy a corolla withouth regrets.
     
  11. firetoole

    firetoole duch bag

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    err no comprende seinyor

    who are you talking about?
     
  12. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    I think you are refering to GM when you talk about caring, not sure. Anyway Japanese companies demand loyalty from their employees and also give it back. I work for a business that is a joint agreement between a US corporation and a Japanese company. The Japanese side of the business has never laid off or fired a person in 40 years. When they replaced factory workers with robots they retrained them to become engineers and salesmen. When times are tough they transfer resources from manufacturing to development and come out with better more competetive products. Basically they are only concerned with the long term success of the company and not about the annual profits, a lesson US companies and shareholders never seem to learn.
     
  13. Alpha Kenny Body

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    Sorry, what i meant was that in spookydave's town, they used to buy GM cars to support their jobs, then i said that after GM closed a few factories, people no longer have to buy a GM, and now people don;t feel obligated to buy a GM and can purchase any car they want
     
  14. Silver

    Silver find me a tampon

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    The Japanese have their own problems though. A company can go right into the drain because the guy at the top who made the decision to go in a certain direction won't ever admit he is wrong because he doesn't want to lose face. You also have a bunch of deadwood in Japanese companies. A happy middle might be the best place. The Japanese will find it long before we do though...