Toyota, Meanwhile Down In Africa ...
Since the recalls, hearings, etc. it’s been difficult to gauge what effect this had on Toyota. On the one hand, sales are falling in the US, but globally, sales are up. Looking at it one way, Toyota had to raise their incentives to shift metal; looking at it another their incentives are still below market average and nowhere near GM, Ford and Chrysler. Companies that are committed to lowering their incentives. Well, here’s another story to further confuse us.
Maybe you didn’t know, but there have been strike problems in South Africa with the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA). Because of their industrial action, parts have been in short supply. Supply has been so short that car companies have been shutting down their plants in South Africa. Toyota being one of them. Now, if we were to believe the press, Toyota should be grateful for this shutdown. As no-one is supposedly buying their cars, their inventory will stay stable and low. Right?
Wrong. Business Report South Africa reports that now that the NUMSA has accepted a pay deal and called off the strikes. Leo Kok (don’t be juvenile, people!), spokesperson for Toyota South Africa, has said that the plant, which makes the Corolla, Hilux and Fortuner, has lost around 10,000 units and won’t be able to clear the backlog of orders for new vehicles and parts until the first quarter of next year. For a company dwindling, that sounds like a lot of work. The South African plants are competing for manufacturing contracts against the Turkey, UK and China plants and these strikes will not have helped their cause in the eyes of Toyota Japan. Which is probably the reason for NUMSA cutting a deal. As in “we better start working again, or Turkey will gobble, gobble up our jobs….”
Following Toyota gives me a headache sometimes. I think I might give up trying to make sense of the situation and try something a little simpler. Like quantum physics…
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the competing for work is standard in the industry (at least VW does it). for manufacturing decisions there is more than wages. A company gladly pay higher wages if they can avoid regions with civil unrest, bad infrastructure and strikes (hence the southern US state plants, or Eastern Europe). I'm sure a company would gladly pay a $ more than union wages, if the union was just gone with all their rules that promote "not to work or to work as little as possible".
LaHood must be mad as hell!