All Quiet At The Venezuelan Front

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Toyota’s Venezuelan unit has yet to be inspected by the government, today’s Nikkei [sub] reports. As a matter of fact, they haven’t heard a peep.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez last week threatened to nationalize the plants of foreign car makers, and ordered his Trade Minister Eduardo Saman to “immediately” conduct a thorough inspection. Nothing happened.

Chavez said if Toyota doesn’t make a sufficient number of “rustic vehicles,” then he will nationalize the plant and bring in the Chinese to run it.

Chavez also lambasted Toyota and other auto assemblers including Fiat and GM for not bringing the latest technology to Venezuela.

The Trade Ministry is most likely on an extended Christmas holiday. We’ll see what the new year will bring: More rhetoric, action, or nada,

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • FordDude FordDude on Dec 29, 2009

    Toyota Farm Implements??

  • Coatejo Coatejo on Dec 29, 2009

    I would never advocate bombing Chavez. His demise will come from the will of the Venezuelan people when they have enough of this tyrant. The best thing that Toyota and the rest of the automakers could do is call his bluff and leave. Then his government can make all the "rustic" vehicles they want. By the way, not all conservatives are religous or read Newsmax, for the record.

  • Kendahl Kendahl on Dec 29, 2009

    Chavez doesn't know anything about modern technology. He is currently running Venezuela's oil industry into the ground. If he screws any major foreign company, no one will risk becoming involved with him.

  • Lumbergh21 Lumbergh21 on Dec 29, 2009

    So, he wants rustic vehicles with all of thelatest technology. Is there a translation problem or is he really that big of a moron? Both?