AN's Edward Lapham Has Lost the Plot

ans edward lapham has lost the plot

These are stressful times for Detroit. All that Motown’s mavens held dear is dead or dying. The shock is equally brutal for the town’s cheerleaders, whose teams have all been routed and now, publicly humiliated. Automotive News’ [sub] Edward Lapham has snapped. The Executive Editor has penned a column that sounds not a small amount like a suicide note: “See! See what you’ve made me do! Well, I’ve done it. I’ve killed myself. NOW how do you like it?” To wit: “Those of us who want the Detroit 3 to avoid bankruptcy need to think outside the box. I hate to admit it, but there’s some hidden wisdom among the silly things said by politicos and others who don’t understand the auto industry. No, not all the talk about letting General Motors, Ford and Chrysler use Chapter 11 as a kind of boot camp to whip themselves into shape; that’s just too asinine to consider. I mean the admonishments to be more like Toyota, Nissan and Honda. Think about it. Now that the Detroit 3 have narrowed the gaps in productivity, quality and labor costs, the transplants have one obvious advantage: Their headquarters, engineering staffs and main product development operations are all overseas. To them, America is a colony. So GM, Ford and Chrysler ought to move. Great! That’s settled. Now the only question is: Where should they go?” Some outside observers who’ve listened to the domestics’ camp followers unseemly combination of whining and bullying– as expressed here– might suggest some place consistently hot. But I couldn’t possibly comment.

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  • Derm81 Derm81 on Nov 20, 2008

    Ah, Crain Communications. I drive by their lovely office complex on I-375 every morning and wonder how they get away with paying their employees such a low wage.

  • Cthill Cthill on Nov 21, 2008
    Honda, Toyota, etc. may have their HQs in other countries, but they produce the Accord, Camry, etc. right here in the US. GM, Ford, and others have their HQs here but assemble their vehicles abroad already. Toyota assembles some of its vehicles in the US however the article is talking about where the cars are designed and engineered. GM does a lot of this overseas but I will bet that it does more of it in the US than any of the transplants.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Nov 21, 2008

    If your concern is overall economic health, what matters is where the vehicle and most of it's parts are built. The net benefit to your community is the number of paying jobs a vehicle generates locally. Where it's designed doesn't matter as much. Where the corporate HQ is matters not one whit. You've heard "buy local, think global"? When you're talking about economic health where it matters to you, it's an important concept. So if the bulk of, say, a Honda Civic's MSRP goes to workers at the local Honda plant, that's a lot more beneficial than a Chevrolet built in Mexico and designed in the USA. It may not benefit Mr. Gettlefinger, or designers in California (or wherever, if you live in California) workers in Michigan, or stockholders in New York, or Congressmen in Washington, or even fellow citizens in another part of the country, but the closer to home you spend your dollar the better it is for you.

  • Charly Charly on Nov 23, 2008

    The cost of the final assembly of a car is $1000. So the bulk of a Honda Civic's MSRP doesn't go to the local Honda plant. They in fact get less than what is spend on sales.

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