For some time now when discussing the plight of the Big 3 automakers it has become the norm to compare them with Toyota. I have never understood the comparison since Toyota wages and benefits are essentially almost identical to the Big 3.
The Big 3 have more legacy costs with retirees but there are many reasons why this exists with the biggest reason being the Big 3 actually have been in business long enough to have retirees.
Not to mention the Big 3 have always understood the importance of taking care of those who take care of you.
I could give examples of people who have been hurt on the job at Toyota and left to the wayside by the company but we will ignore that for now.
If we are going to compare how great Toyota is to the Big 3 and how great their cars are etc then I have one question:
Why did Toyota post the biggest net loss in their history for the first quarter of this year. The loss is a staggering $7.7 billion.
This loss exceeds the loss by GM.
Interesting to say the least. Toyota blames the loss on poor US sales and poor Europe sales.
It would indeed appear that the union wages and benefits are not the problem and would bolster the case that perhaps the unionized Big 3 have not been wrong all along as many suggest.
Have there been mistakes made? Of course there have. But the one constant is a simple one.
Even Toyota depends on the American dollar and consumer to survive.
Sales are down because the economy is in shambles. Those are the facts. It is not because of union wages or benefits. Toyota's cost comparable to US brands and they get a better bargain with subsidized health care etc that American workers do not enjoy.
So for those who continue comparing Toyota to the Big 3 and the union workers in America? I say hogwash.
According to many consumer reports the American automobile is comparable to even Toyota for quality and price.
Fix the American economy and become the world's manufacturing leader again. Lead the way by eliminating the so called free trade agreements and shipping our jobs overseas.
Apparently even Toyota depends on it.
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