By on December 24, 2009

Sending a message to Toyota. Picture courtesy

Venezuela’s, well, President Hugo Chavez took a page out of the U.S. government’s playbook, and ordered Toyota’s local assembly plant to make more cars, pronto. If the Japanese don’t produce an adequate number of vehicles designed for rural areas, Chavez will expropriate Toyota and kick them out of Venezuela.

According to this morning’s indignant Nikkei [sub,] Chavez said his socialist government is going to apply strict quotas on the number and types of vehicles firms can produce. He ordered an immediate inspection of Toyota’s facilities to see how many “rustic vehicles” they are currently producing. (“Rustic,” not “rusty.”)

“They’ll have to fulfill (the quotas), and if not, they can get out,” said Chavez during a televised address. “We’ll bring in another company.”  And what company would that be?

Chavez said if it turn out that Toyota is not producing what he thinks Toyota should produce, his government may take over the facilities and have a Chinese company operate it.

“We’ll take, we’ll expropriate it, we’ll pay them what it’s worth and immediately call on the Chinese,” Chavez said. Chinese firms, he said, are willing to make vehicles made for the countryside.

Toyota’s assembly plant in Venezuela has more than 2,000 workers, and has been in this Venezuela for more than 50 years. Methinks the Chinese government will think twice about accepting the Venezuelan invitation. The Chinese parts industry is heavily intertwined with Japan. Chinese state-owned automakers are engaged in joint ventures with Toyota and other Japanese makers. Previously strenuous Sino-Japanese relations are thawing, and won’t be risked for a banana state that happens to sit on oil. Toyota drivers, don’t buy your gas at Valero to show support to your brand.

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62 Comments on “Chavez To Toyota: Work Faster, Or Else!...”

  • avatar
    Michael Couvillion

    Citgo is Venezuela’s captive oil company in the US. Valero has nothing to do with Venezuela.

  • avatar

    Silly Chavez, you’re supposed to force the foreign automakers into joint ventures with your automakers like the Chinese do, not kick them out entirely.  And you’re supposed to steal the Japanese IP like Great Wall, not the actual factories.  Venezuela has Citgo, not Valero, but hey, details. . .  Given the choices it beats the Saudis.

  • avatar

    Citgo = Valero

    Valero stations are re-branded Citgo stations

    • 0 avatar

      No.  Valero (NYSE: VLO) has been taking over the contracts from some previously Citgo affiliated independent retailers, but it is a completely different company out of Texas that is a competitor of Citgo’s, not an affiliate.

      From oil nerds:

      From right-wingers angry that a Texas company is being associated with Citgo/Chavez by other right-wingers:

      This ridiculous woman had the same confusion as you, maybe your source?  Venezuela and Valero do both start with v, it gets confusing.

      And Toyota buyers?  Boycott? Ha!  No, they don’t care about national origin if it’s cheap and works well.  Unlike silly Chavez Japan actually did attack the US.

  • avatar

    Yeah, the Valero brand was used after Chavez realized that some of us were boycotting Citgo.  The name change is an attempt to fool us.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry, I just Wikipedia’d Valero and it’s been around a while.  Anyway, Valero and Diamond, Diamond/Shamrock are all the same thing.

    • 0 avatar

      Jesus! Associating Valero with Venezuela and Chavez is nothing but profiling of the racial sort.  You Libs kill me!
      Valero is the largest independent refinery in America.  They purchased a number of my ex-father-in-law’s stations up here in New England. They are based in Houston and have a pretty non- Venezuelan BOD.
      Company history below.

  • avatar

    If I ran Toyota, I’d tell Chavez off in a highly public manner.  Then when Chavez expropriates the auto factory and pays Toyota for it… blow the facility up.

    Toyota walks with the money and Chavez get a smoking ruin, complete with no auto production.

    • 0 avatar

      I like your plan. I thought Brazil should have done the same when Bolivia expropriated a Petrobrás plant. More than a regular expropriation, it was actually invaded by their army!
      Instead of our dear president Lula sending in the jets to bomb it (my plan, but nobody asked me…), he just said: “they are so poor, let them have it”.

    • 0 avatar

      Illusions… the day Chavez publicly says Toyota (or any factory in this @”#$$%% country for that matter) is going to be expropiated, inmediately the military takes the plant.

      If they call him off… they get the military in no time.

    • 0 avatar

      To: Stingray

      You do realize that SOMEBODY other than the military will have to be at the plant to actually *BUILD* the cars.

      And all it would take is one janitor with a cleaning kart filled with boxes of “toilet paper” to make it happen.

  • avatar

    Venezuela’s, well, President…
    Well, it’s not like he wasn’t elected in internationally-verified fair and democratic elections by a wide margin.   Unlike some other countries I could mention.

  • avatar

    Re:   Toyota drivers, don’t buy your gas at Valero to show support to your brand.

    I am not fond of Chavez, but he is the duly elected leader of Venezuela.  I am not fond of Citgo either because they do not send me the rebates I apply for when I buy their oil.  So I don’t do it anymore. 

    We  import over half of our oil.  Some of it is from countries that were involved in the 9/11 attacks.  Some of it comes from Russia. 

    Valero is in the process of becoming the 3rd largest ethanol producer in the United States.  Boycotting Valero hurts the U.S. more than Chavez.

    Valero is an American company trading  on the NYSE.  I find it odd that a Venezuelan
    company like Citgo is singled out because of Chavez when he has never physically attacked us while other oil exporters have.  Why not boycott Iraqi oil for example?

    Valero is an oil refining company and an ethanol producer.   It like all oil refiners buys their oil on the international market at market prices.  They specialize in heavy crude which sells at a discount and often comes from Venezuela.  If their production is boycotted, prices will be bid up on light sweet crude which is in short supply.  Yesterday it jumped up over $2.  Gas rose 7 cents.

    Gas prices will rise overall and the boycotters will gain nothing but  higher prices at the gas pump.  How will they or the United State benefit from that?

    Boycotting Valero is a stupid idea.

  • avatar

    Got the local news. After breakfast some google translation… and hopefully information increase.

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    Don’t you all think that  Mr. Chavez is out to Lunch, in just about every thing he touches, even though the Masses in his Country have always elected him with a large majority, by the way we here in Canada supply most of your foreign Oil and also Natural Gas and Hydro Electric, not anyone else and that is why the Canadian dollar is almost Par once again as the price of Oil is on the rise, that is good for Tourists but not so good for exporters of Autos to your country and so it goes, Happy New Year 2010!

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    If the Toyota executives have any stones at all, they’d simply give the employees a paid “holiday” for Christmas, hire out-of-country workers to come in, strip the plant of their property and tell Chavez to shove it where the sun don’t shine. 

    Chavez, good luck with the Chinese.  Their vehicles are SO safe and SO high quality. 

    Morons.   The world seems to be full of them! 

    As for “elected President” – I’ve sadly come to the conclusion that most people simply vote for their next handout and so it goes.   “Total control” lordsoverus types seem to be on the ascendency right now. 

    You’d think the human race would have learned after the last century of total, abject failure of the communist system, but apparently the human race doesn’t have the capability of learning from the past in order not to re-live it, on a wholesale basis. 


    Merry Christmas anyway, folks.  At least here with the B&B I seem to have some kind of oasis of differing but intelligent thought!  So I enjoy it.  Hope you do too.   

  • avatar
    John B

    “Well, it’s not like he wasn’t elected in internationally-verified fair and democratic elections by a wide margin.   Unlike some other countries I could mention.”

    True enough.   I get a perverse pleasure watching a country’s economy self destruct, a slow motion train wreck if you will, and not be able to blame the Yanquis.  I understand it’s also benefited Canada as many highly qualified petroleum engineers leave Venezuela for Alberta.  Viva la revolution!!

    “Iraq was a stable country when Saddam Husseign was leader.  It wasn’t an all out  killfest like it is now.”

    I suppose; then again so was Stalin’s Soviet Union.  It wasn’t an all out killfest, just a highly targeted and controlled one.  Ask a Kurd.

    On topic, I can’t wait to see what Hugo’s next five-year plan will be.  He’s already asked Venezuelans to limit their showers to several minutes due to water shortage.

    • 0 avatar

      Ask a Kurd.
      Or an Israeli whose loved one was killed by a suicide bomber whose family was rewarded by Hussein.  Or a Marsh Arab who was driven off his land and his habitat despoiled.  Oh wait, Jews,  Kurds, Marsh Arabs and Americans don’t count in the left’s moral calculus. The only dead and suffering people that count are the ones they can blame on America.  America is hated because of yada-yada-yada numbers of Muslims allegedly killed by US actions, while the thousands of Muslims who have been killed by Islamists are ignored.
      You know, John, that it’s not fair for wingnuts like you and me to bother the lefties with little things like facts.
      Chavez’ policies will lead to ruin in Venezuela just as surely as Democratic policies have made Detroit a hulking, decaying, emptied out city.
      Oh, and the Great Satan doesn’t subsidize Chavez all that much. We buy most of our imported oil from Mexico and Canada, Venezuela not so much. Venezuelan oil is of poor quality, has a high sulfur content and is heavy and difficult to refine. It’s a far cry from west Texas sweet crude.

    • 0 avatar

      “while the thousands of Muslims who have been killed by Islamists are ignored.”
      In the case of Sadaam, it’s well over a million. Nobody knows exactly how many. Iraqi (including Kurds) Muslims, Iranian Muslims, Kuwaiti Muslims. Quite possibly the greatest Muslim killer of all time. I work with a very devout Muslim from Pakistan. He never considered Sadaam to be a true Muslim and does not consider Bin Ladin (who has killed many Muslims) to be one either and would be happy to put a bullet in his head if given the chance.

  • avatar

    Still, it’s a better take on bailout socialism than Obama’s. Go Hugo!

  • avatar

    local news

    Straight from (not updated online yet) in my email.

    Miércoles- 23 Diciembre- 2009
    El Presidente Chávez ordenó este miércoles una inspección e investigación gubernamental contra la filial venezolana del líder automotriz japonés Toyota y amenazó a todas las ensambladoras con expulsarlas del país si no producen los vehículos que el país, con la respectiva transferencia tecnológica.
    El régimen se ha caracterizado en los últimos 30 meses por su frontal ataque al sector industrial automotriz y en los últimos dos años asumió un severo control de las importaciones de vehículos armados sin haber logrado impulsar la producción nacional.
    Este miércoles Chávez acusó a Toyota de no producir vehículos rústicos en Venezuela. Lo cierto es que la empresa avisó hace dos años que dejaría de producir los rústicos y utilitarios deportivos 4×2 y 4×2 para aumentar la producción de los automóviles Terios y Corolla, así como la nueva generación de las camionetas Hilux. El gobierno no solo estaba informado del cese de la producción de los rústicos de la familia Land Cruiser sino que además le otorgó a Toyota las licencias para que importara esos productos.
    Chávez ayer dijo que si Toyota no produce los vehículos que el gobierno quiere podría sacarla del país, comprarle y pagarle su planta en la ciudad de Cumaná y entregar esas instalaciones a los fabricantes chinos interesados en producir los rústicos en Venezuela.
    El Jefe de Estado dijo: “Suponiendo que la Toyota no quiera, pues le decimos que se vaya… ¡esta casa es nuestra! Y esos mismos galpones y fábricas, las tomamos, las expropiamos, les pagamos lo que valga y llamamos a los chinos” “Empresas que vengan aquí a instalarse, deben estar dispuestas a transferirnos tecnología, si no, no nos hacen falta. Estas empresas tradicionales, que tienen aquí cincuenta años o más – la Ford, General Motors, Toyota, la Fiat – no transfieren tecnología. Si ellas no quieren, que se vayan de aquí. Yo las invito a que recojan sus cachivaches y se vayan”, amenazó el Presidente Chávez. Fiat dejó de ensamblar en Venezuela en 1999…
    Chávez exigió una inspección e investigación muy severa y ordenó al Ministro del Comercio, Eduardo Samán: “usted le dice a los señores de la Toyota que tienen que fabricar esto y vamos a imponerles una cuota y si no cumplen les aplicamos la sanción correspondiente. ¡Es una solicitud del gobierno revolucionario!”

  • avatar

    It’s no surprise Chavez wants his factory operated by a communist country hostile to the US, as opposed to by a capitalist US ally.  It seems like he’s making an impossible demand on Toyota he knows they won’t/can’t meet so he can “justify” to the world why he’s kicking them out.  If this happens, presumably the incoming Chinese company would gain access to Toyota’s intellectual property (processes, tooling, management systems, etc.).  One would think that Toyota has a response plan stashed in a safe for just such a scenario – surely they knew the risks when putting factories in places like Venezuela and China in the first place.  At a minimum, computer systems containing IP processes and designs can be remotely wiped in the event of a military take over.

    • 0 avatar

      Toyota factory in Venezuela is probably a CKD plant. You don’t find a lot of IP in those plants. There are also doubts about Japan being a) capitalistic and b) an ally.
      Also i don’t really see that big of a difference between telling to sell more fuel efficient cars  otherwise we will fine you or and ordering to sell more agro vehicles otherwise we will take you over.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Valero has nothing to do with Chavez, that is Citgo you are thinking about. Valero is based in Texas and has more US refineries than any other company. They expanded by buying assets from various other oil companies. Many Citgo franchises switched to Valero in recent years, but that is about the extent of that relationship.
    If you want to put the hate on Venezuela, Citgo is the company you are going after. Just because Debbie Schlussel got it completely wrong visa-vis the stations which switched from Citgo to Valero doesn’t mean we have to repeat it here.

  • avatar

    YotaCarFan: “It’s no surprise Chavez wants his factory operated by a communist country hostile to the US, as opposed to by a capitalist US ally.”
    You’ve been reading too many spy novels, and you haven’t paid attention:
    1.) China is everything but communist. It is the most rabid capitalistic country I ever set foot in. When you ask a Chinese what the most popular religion in China is, he’ll usually grin and say “money.”
    2.) China isn’t hostile to America. You think they are nuts and suicidal? The USA is by far the largest importer of Chinese goods. It’s not good business to be hostile to your best customer. China is the largest creditor of the USA, the bulk of their foreign reserves are parked in the USA. One usually is very concerned about the well-being of ones largest debtor.
    3.) The USA is everything but Venezuela’s ally.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Many of the people who throw the “communist” and “socialist” label at the current US government with respect to the car business do so on the basis of the government’s level of involvement in the industry. If communist=heavy government ownership of and involvement in industry, then China certainly is communist. Interestingly enough, the people who think of Japan as a staunchly “capitalist” ally of the US ignore the universal health coverage of Japan as well as the massive role the Japanese government’s MITI has played in Japan’s rise.
      The old broad brush labels really don’t apply very well in the modern world.

  • avatar

    This episode beautifully illustrates the leftist mindset. Rather than let people’s needs drive their purchases, socialists want a top-down command economy that tells people what they need.
    Everyone on this site is aware of how Toyota has been focused on becoming the biggest car company in the world. You don’t get huge by ignoring potential markets.
    Does anyone here think that if there was a genuine demand for utility vehicles in rural Venezuela that Toyota wouldn’t increase production of those types of vehicles to meet the demand? Of all companies, would Toyota pass up a chance to increase volume and market?
    Now if the president of Venezuela was a free market type interested in the well being of his country and the transportation needs of rural Venezuelans , not the worldwide spread of socialism as appears to be Chavez’ interest, rather than expropriate and nationalize Toyota’s operations he’d facilitate entry into their market by companies like Tata, whose Ace pickup would seem ideally suited for rural Venezuela.
    Never try a governmental regulatory scheme when there is an alternative free market solution.   Competition usually works better than control.
    It should be noted that the United States never had the environmental problems of the former USSR and the current PRC. That’s because even before EPA, RCRA, SARA, and all the other environmental structures set up in the wake of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, property rights gave individuals recourse through the courts if polluters damaged their property. When the government runs everything, it can run roughshod wherever it wants to.

    • 0 avatar

      In the 19th and early 20th Centuries, yes we did have those kind of environmental problems. The Great Lakes used to *catch on fire* for God’s sake.

    • 0 avatar

      It should be noted that the United States never had the environmental problems of the former USSR and the current PRC.

      …for which you can thank the “liberal mindset”, which forced companies to give a damn about what they were putting into the atmosphere. Lord knows the Soviet government didn’t, and Chinese industry doesn’t. And in the absence of regulation, polluters here won’t either.

      Arguing that polluters will stop polluting out of responsibility, the public image of their products, and/or concern for their property value without regulation is hopelessly naive conservative / libertarian thinking.

      As someone whose wife suffers from respiratory problems, I can tell you that clean air is far from some uber-left-wing ideal.

    • 0 avatar

      BDB, the “Great Lakes” never used to catch on fire. You’re mangling one of the foundational myths of the environmental movement – the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland infamously caught fire in 1969.
      In the Earth Day mentality of the first flush of the environmental movement, the burning Cuyahoga in 1969 represented man despoiling nature. The only problem with it is that a good deal of the story of the Cuyahoga burning is the stuff of legend, suitable for celebrating in a song. Oh yeah, Randy Newman actually did write Burn On, Big River.

      The famous photo of a fireboat fighting a huge blaze on the river that Time magazine used to illustrate the story in 1969 in fact was from an earlier fire in 1952 – the 1969 fire wasn’t dramatic enough, just some wood debris.  The Cuyahoga has been catching fire at least since the time of the Civil War. As Cleveland developed, the river became an open sewer, carrying both human waste and the waste generated by the industrial concerns and oil refineries on the river banks. For a long time the refineries would dump the unrefineable fraction of crude right into the river.
      So there’s no question that industrialization contributed to the state of the Cuyahoga by the 1960s, but there’s a question as to whether or not the burning river is a modern phenomenon and completely the result of industrial pollution. Cuyahoga means “crooked river”,  and the river’s meandering path ends up trapping a lot of debris. There’s some evidence from native source that indicate that the Cuyahoga was burning in pre-Columbian days. Lightning strikes would ignite the debris along with naturally found napthas and other hydrocarbons in the water.
      There’s no doubt that the Clean Water Act helped revive Lake Erie, which was dying.
      There’s also no question that pollution in the United States never reached the levels that it did in the former Soviet Union.

    • 0 avatar

      It should be noted that the United States never had the environmental problems of the former USSR and the current PRC.
      …for which you can thank the “liberal mindset”, which forced companies to give a damn about what they were putting into the atmosphere. Lord knows the Soviet government didn’t, and Chinese industry doesn’t. And in the absence of regulation, polluters here won’t either.
      Actually I was referring to the era before environmental legislation in the US, when your supposed avaricious companies were relatively unregulated. Even before the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the EPA, RCRA, SARA and the rest of the environmental regulatory scheme here was established, pollution here never ever was as bad as it got in the USSR. Read Ecocide In The USSR by Murray Feshbach. Air quality may not have been great in Los Angeles in the 1960s, but it was pristine compared to industrial regions of the USSR and was probably cleaner than Beijing air is today.
      My point was that in the absence of regulation, property rights, tort law and public nuisance law provided some level of environmental protection. That’s not my opinion – it was treated as fact by my professors when I studied the development of environmental law. If Standard Oil was damaging your property with their pollution, you could still take them to court.  Heck, in the US even the government has limited immunity from lawsuits.
      Arguing that polluters will stop polluting out of responsibility, the public image of their products, and/or concern for their property value without regulation is hopelessly naive conservative / libertarian thinking.
      The biggest polluters in the US are not industrial companies but rather farms. Since much agricultural pollution is not point-source it’s very hard to control.
      I do believe that companies won’t be responsible environmentally out of the goodness of their hearts but rather because it makes sense from a business standpoint.
      I managed all the waste streams for a major DuPont R&D facility, including solid, liquid, non-hazardous and hazwaste. DuPont is one of the biggest industrial polluters in the US (though much of that is actually waste that is deep well injected) and I know from my own experience and from what company management said that the company was genuinely focused on eliminating all waste, including pollutants. It’s simply too expensive to throw things away and in all likelihood, if the “waste” has an environmental impact it probably has some possible use as a feedstock.
      As someone whose wife suffers from respiratory problems, I can tell you that clean air is far from some uber-left-wing ideal.
      Is that some kind of moral trump card? If that’s the case, I’ll see your wife with respiratory problems – my son, my only son, whom I love, has pretty severe asthma, and I’ll raise you my late father who had emphysema.
      First you say that clean air and water is the result of liberals who pushed through environmental regulations and then you say clean air is not a left wing ideal. Which is it?

  • avatar

    Chavez was duly elected. That doesn’t mean he has any more wisdom than our non-duly-elected former president. And apparently he doesn’t.
    IF anyone here still thinks Iraq–whatever its offenses might have been under the late Saddam–had anything to do with 9-11, which killed the mother of one of my dearest friends, I’d like to sell you a very beautiful bridge  that was made in the latter 1800s. It carries a lot of traffic between a couple of New York islands, one big and one small, but highly populated, and you could probably make a lot of money off of tolls. $200 and it’s yours.

  • avatar

    That top-down leftist mindset Ronnie S refers to, which applied to USSR is the subject of a lot of very funny Soviet jokes my late father used to tell, is also illustrated in all those who want to reduce carbon emissions by forcing production of electric cars, having incentives for hybrids, taxing miles driven, and a bunch of other measures aimed at cars, which cause only about 15% of carbon emissions in the US, rather than taxing carbon.
    I don’t know that the right wing thinks any more clearly than the left wing though. A lot of them want a Christian state with Christian law (aka a ban on abortion, a ban on same-sex marriage, etc.), an interesting counterpoint to Sharia law.

    • 0 avatar

      The social conservative right wing wants that.  I’m “right-wing” and I don’t want any of those things. 

      I don’t know if you’ve ever checked out, but it highlights that the old left-right debate is outdated and it’s more of a 4 cornered dynamic.

  • avatar

    I may have missed a link, but what is the Toyota “rustic” vehicle under discussion?

    • 0 avatar

      Why, the one that is as nimble as a mountain goat, of course!
      On a communist note, they COULD take a page out of China’s book (that they got from everyone else) and actually . . . PAVE the roads?
      I’m just sayin’ :D :D :D

    • 0 avatar

      The “rustic”, poorly translated from rustico, which here means off roader is the Land Cruiser FJ70.
      It was producer here until about 2008. Same with the FJ80, which was also discontinued.
      The FJ70 is employed here by the Guardia Nacional (National Guard), Police, Utility companies, Cell phone companies, offroaders and in the long wheel base version (similar as the aussie trooper version) as a small bus to take people up to the barrios (or favelas taking the brazilian name).
      Production stopped more or less when the facelifted version was launched, and all of them are imported right now. However… there’s a ban on imports for vehicles with engine capacity over 3.0 lts (the Toyota petrol engine we get is the 4.5 DOHC 24V) and the government hasn’t given any import permit to anyone during 2009 and have already been denied for 2010.
      So in the practice, the vehicle is not available in the market. Isn’t assembled and can’t be imported. The goverment can give the manufacturer a permit for a load that is going to be employed by itself.
      This measure is unfair with Toyota (coming from a brand hater) and here’s why:
      1) they have been through a lengthy strike this year. Between 3-4 months. When they finally were able to open the company, they didn’t produce at the desired level.
      2) they were the firsts in complying with the CNG program mandated by the government and AFAIK they helped them a lot.
      3) the workers are going to make everything possible to not allow Toyota to reach its goals. And when the company gets expropiated… they’ll be PWNED by the government they helped.

  • avatar
    John B

    This story gets even better.   From AP via Yahoo News:

    “In Venezuela, Chavez gives automakers ultimatum: Share technology or get out of country”

    “Chavez gave the ultimatum to Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Fiat during a public ceremony in the Venezuelan capital. There was no immediate response from the companies, which all have assembly plants in Venezuela.”

    “If his demand isn’t met, Chavez said, “I invite you to pack up your belongings and leave. I’ll bring in the Russians, the Belorusians, the Chinese.”

    The Belorusian cars are coming, the Belorusian cars are coming!!!!

    • 0 avatar

      That’s what I posted in spanish, from other source. Fiat doesn’t have an assembly site here, they left in 2000. The only site from Fiat Group is IVECO, don’t know much about the local Chrysler assembly site.
      Yes, his point is technological transfer. Good luck at that with the chinese.

  • avatar

    Commies promise Belorusian cars, but deliver Trabants. Fortunately, the true believers think there’s nothing wrong with Trabants that can’t be fixed by sending more engineers to the gulag.

  • avatar

    Venezuelan oil production metrics and productivity have been slowly tanking since Chevez’s  nationalization. I suspect the Toyota plant will be on a similar slide to Trabant-grade work. The Chinese may help or pay lip service to helping, but it’s not in their best interest to alienate Toyota that much.
    Blowing up the plant ain’t gonna happen. Way too many Chaviztas and other workers who would drop dimes. Chavez has the place locked up tight.
    Fortunately, the true believers think there’s nothing wrong with Trabants that can’t be fixed by sending more engineers to the gulag.
    Unfortunately, the engineers in this case don’t have an automobile industry to absorb them. Many Venezuelan ex-oil engineers could (and did) flee to make a living in Alberta and Texas.

    • 0 avatar

      You know, industrial espionage is big business for large corporations.  And they’ve got the game down pat.

      It’s only a small leap to industrial sabotage; actually, an even smaller one, considering it’d be their *OWN* plant to blow.  But to be honest, Toyota will probably just hand the keys over to Chavez, bowing and scraping all the way.

      Because had any foreign company… *ANY* foreign company… that had been targeted by Chavez stood up for itself and told Chavez off, it would have been a major news story.  No company as yet actually has done so.

  • avatar

    You’re certainly correct about that. Thanks for the referral to

  • avatar

    Is it just me or is there a few posters here that need to just come on out of the socialist/commie closet….? The more you hide in there the more other posters are just going to keep calling you out. Just come out loud and proud and then we can go back to talking about cars.

  • avatar

    John Horner: Universal health care coverage has absolutely nothing to do with communism. Stop drinking the kool-aid dispensed by filthy rich US insurance companies.  Unless health care is dispensed poorly by the government (as it is the case in the UK,) there is nothing wrong with forcing the people to carry proper health insurance, to provide the infrastructure for it, and most of all to make it portable from job to job and available to the self-employed.  The US system of employer-provided insurance is a mess, evidenced when you are out of a job, and bitten by a snake called COBRA. I have accompanied my Japanese wife to Japanese health care providers paid by her Japanese  National Insurance, and the experience (private doctor) was pleasant, courteous and efficient. I have carried private German insurance for all of my life (even when working in the US,) it is provided by a private company (Allianz) and pays my expenses even in China. Try that in the USA. FWIW, in the last years I lived in the USA, the system had a more and more “communist” twang to it, with insurance companies forcing me to go to their doctors that are part of their HMO, with dubious results. When my former wife developed serious problems, the only capable doctor flat out refused to deal with my HMO. I paid in cash, surrendered his bills to Allianz, and they picked up the tab. Those who rant against universal health care (which usually is universal health insurance, different animal) don’t know what they are talking about.
    Memo to all:  “Communism” is dead.  It died in the late 80’s / early 90s.
    Supposedly “communist” China has lousy insurance coverage. Health care is professional, good, cheap (by Western standards) but you’ve got to pay in cash. That’s how capitalistic China is.

    • 0 avatar

      A common mistake is to confuse Socialism, the economic system, with Communism, the political system.  Communism was originally envisioned by Marx and Engels as the last stages of their socialist revolution. “… after 1917, when Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik Party seized power in Russia. The Bolsheviks changed their name to the Communist Party and installed a repressive, single-party regime devoted to the implementation of socialist policies.” (quote from Encarta.).

      I don’t know about you, but this sounds familiar to what Chavez is doing/has become – a repressive, single-person party regime devoted to the implementation of socialist policies. Both socialism and communism are based on the principle that the goods and services produced in an economy should be owned publicly, and controlled and planned by a centralized organization. From an economic stand point there is not a lot of difference between the two, and that is what we are talking about here.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      “Universal health care coverage has absolutely nothing to do with communism.”
      I couldn’t agree more. My point is that the people who throw the communist label at others as a epithet are quite certain that any form of universal health care coverage is ipso facto either socialism or communism.
      Actual communism is more accurately described as the government owning the real property, plants and equipment in the name of “the people” and using a system of central planning to allocate those resources. From that point of view, China is still “more communist” than most western nations are. But I agree, the old labels are worn out and mostly misused.

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    Unless health care is dispensed poorly by the government (as it is the case in the UK,)

    What? Stop drinking the press kool-aid. Yes the system isn’t perfect and yes a few people do complain that the NHS is poor. But people always forget the millions who are successfully treated with no issues. The NHS does need tuning up, but is streets ahead of other health systems. People need to stop listening to tossers like Daniel Hannan.

  • avatar

    Once again we stand idly by watching the creation of a new version of Stalin/Hitler/Hussein/Pol Pot/Mao. Eventually  someone will have to go in and save the Venezuelans from their own short sightedness. That will most likely be the people most vilified by Chavez, because he knows his regime can’t stand under any objective, honest scrutiny. For you Chavez supporters, try living there if you think its so special.

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