UPDATE: Supportthebigthree.com Run by Toyota Supplier

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

After our post on the “ 1000-DAY BIG THREE PLAN” to save the domestic automakers, TTAC commentators have been wondering about the man behind the website supportthebigthree.com. I’ve just got off the blower with site founder Sid Taylor who, it turns out, is the CEO of an automotive supplier named Set Enterprises. Scanning the site, it turns out the campaigner who would have Americans buy only Chrysler, Ford and GM products has a contract with Toyota. When asked about the apparent contradiction, Mr. Turner said the money involved is so small as to render the contract meaningless. “If I didn’t have Toyota it wouldn’t have any impact on my business.” Besides . . .

“Minority owned suppliers have trouble getting business from Toyota,” the former president of the National Association of Black Automotive Suppliers (NABAS) insists. Not to go too far off-topic, but is Mr. Taylor suggesting that Toyota is racist? “The numbers speak for themselves,” Taylor says. “You can draw your own conclusions.” Not to mention the fact that when it comes to supporting inner city causes, Taylor says “Toyota’s non-existent.”

OK, well, that’s that then. Back to the America first deal . . .

I asked Taylor about another contradiction: supporting American automakers who build cars abroad using foreign workers while eschewing cars built by foreign automakers in America using American workers. “You’ve got to ask yourself a simple question: where do the profits go?”

When I pointed out that the domestics haven’t made any profits for quite some time, Taylor blamed the American consumers, southern tax subsidies, foreign automotive import quotas and government fuel economy regulations for creating an “unfair playing field” that allowed foreign automakers to “build-up an excess war chest.”

So, nothing new there, then.

Taylor also answered the question that’s been vexing me since gamper sent me the link to his site. “When exactly did the thousand days start?” I asked. “January first,” Taylor revealed. Which means we only have 788 days to go before we learn whether Taylor’s campaign can save Chrysler, Ford and GM. Needless to say, we’ll keep you posted.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Eastaboga Eastaboga on Aug 13, 2009

    Paperpusher Eastaboga, I respect your perspectives and the points you have made above are correct, but I think Taylor’s point is that while the Toyota’s of the world attempt to “appear” to be committed to the MBE community, and to the “American worker” in general, their support is superficial. Is what they do within the rules, absolutely. Can we blame them for doing what is within the rules, nope. But, I can assure you that Ford, Chrysler & GM do not take an equity position in their MBE suppliers (except maybe in a distressed situation and they feel that must)because as you point out, the idea is give them an opportunity to become a successful supplier. And I think, whether or not you agree with Taylor’s point of view, its his perogative to complain when he can’t get sourced business because he’s not willing to sell an equity position to them. I hope you agree, while fully within the rules, that’s not the spirit of the MBE programs. If Toyota made an initial investment to incubate the business then divest once the business can stand on its own, that would be pretty cool, but that’s not what they do. I can agree with that, the rules should probably be tweaked to require that equity position to be bought out by outside investors over time. I also appreciate the constructive dialogue. I encourage everyone who's spent the time to comment on this to actually do a little research on it. It's a fascinating auto supplier industry sector and an example of private industry engaged in social policy. I would say, only to those speaking in soundbites, that an MBE must be a great supplier first and foremost, if not then they should not be awarded business by any OEM. For any such program to work, the results have to be mutually beneficial. OEM's actually do a fair amount of charity work, but this is not charity.

  • Loverofcars1969 Loverofcars1969 on Aug 13, 2009

    Cole Trickle : August 12th, 2009 at 5:53 pm Sweet ’stache, though. I think we can all agree on that. LOL I was thinking the same thing but didnt wanna be first to say it. Nice suit as well.

  • Dave M. IMO this was the last of the solidly built MBs. Yes, they had the environmentally friendly disintegrating wiring harness, but besides that the mechanicals are pretty solid. I just bought my "forever" car (last new daily driver that'll ease me into retirement), but a 2015-16 E Class sedan is on my bucket list for future purchase. Beautiful design....
  • Rochester After years of self-driving being in the news, I still don't understand the psychology behind it. Not only don't I want this, but I find the idea absurd.
  • Douglas This timeframe of Mercedes has the self-disintegrating engine wiring harness. Not just the W124, but all of them from the early 90's. Only way to properly fix it is to replace it, which I understand to be difficult to find a new one/do it/pay for. Maybe others have actual experience with doing so and can give better hope. On top of that, it's a NH car with "a little bit of rust", which means to about anyone else in the USA it is probably the rustiest W124 they have ever seen. This is probably a $3000 car on a good day.
  • Formula m How many Hyundai and Kia’s do not have the original engine block it left the factory with 10yrs prior?
  • 1995 SC I will say that year 29 has been a little spendy on my car (Motor Mounts, Injectors and a Supercharger Service since it had to come off for the injectors, ABS Pump and the tool to cycle the valves to bleed the system, Front Calipers, rear pinion seal, transmission service with a new pan that has a drain, a gaggle of capacitors to fix the ride control module and a replacement amplifier for the stereo. Still needs an exhaust manifold gasket. The front end got serviced in year 28. On the plus side blank cassettes are increasingly easy to find so I have a solid collection of 90 minute playlists.