Ford Taiwan: Emigrants Cause Car Malaise

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
ford taiwan emigrants cause car malaise

Memo to Ford: recall your Taiwanese head honcho and put him in charge of Detroit’s pimp-machine. Jeffery Nemeth, Prez. Of Ford Taiwan, a.k.a. Lio Ho Motor Co., found an ingenious rationale for sagging sales: too many people are leaving the country. The Taipei Times reports that Nemetz is pissed that 1.3m Taiwanese have moved to mainland China; it’s getting worse, it’s bad for auto sales, and it’s gotta stop. His warnings come on the heels of the latest government statistics that counted a paltry 17,324 units being sold last month- – the crappiest October level in 20 years. If this trend continues, two million Taiwanese move to China next year, it could cost Taiwan 150k units, Nemetz predicted. Judging from October’s insipid new car sales rates, fleeing Taiwanese could wipe out the island’s entire car market. Of course, it’s pure coincidence that there are rumors of yet another prospective emigrant: Ford itself. Nemetz immediately denied that his company would forego Formosa. “Ford does not plan to leave or end our operations in Taiwan.” Likewise not true: industry-protective measures of Taiwan’s government might cancel all citizens’ passports to prevent an extenuation of the exodus. Dear DHS: Please, don’t get any ideas, ok?

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  • 50merc 50merc on Nov 06, 2008

    Taiwan and China just adopted a treaty to expedite trade and travel between them. Apparently now that China is mostly a de facto capitalist society, Taiwan has less to fear. Schmitt, your reference to Taiwan's low birth rate is spot-on. A fast-approaching demographic disaster looms ahead for China as well.

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Nov 06, 2008

    @50merc: "A fast-approaching demographic disaster looms ahead for China as well." Not really. For more than 10 years, I have been keeping my eyes on now and future age distributions all over the world. That's the only surefire way to predict a market. China looks pretty benign. Little bit less young than old, but not drastic. One child policy is being loosened. Probably because they are only allowed to have one, making babies is of high importance in China. If you have money, you can have more. If you are in the bigger cities, and if both parents come from one child families, you can have more. If you have twins: Jackpot! (There are ways to have twins.) What looks REALLY bad are the pictures of Western Europe (especially Germany) and Japan. Age distributions that look like nuclear mushrooms. Germany just celebrated that they have the lowest unemployment rate since 16 years. It's not the economy, stupid. It's the big bulge of boomers leaving the workforce and going into retirement. US btw looks pretty decent. PS: The nationmaster charts are too coarse. When I really worked with that stuff, we had much finer grained ones.

  • 50merc 50merc on Nov 06, 2008

    Thanks, Mr. Schmitt, for the additional info. Good to hear the one-child policy is being relaxed; that'll also be good for female fetuses. My thought was that sex ratio and the burdens on single sons from caring for the aged who lack wealth or government assistance will exacerbate the demographic problem.

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Nov 07, 2008

    That "sex ratio" thing is also niu shi, or BS, as they say. (Not Chinese) propaganda. I have the not so gory details on that. If anyone cares, I can find them. Tidbit: Nationmaster sees 2.28 Qatari males for one woman. Heard anyone complaining? Need I say more? I can, if anyone is interested .... In the meantime, peruse Nationmaster.