American car companies are producing more and more units each day. But they don’t generate enough revenues to keep their operations going. As a consequence, an inevitable reduction on the number of workforce that they can afford to pay is taking a heavy toll on production due to constricting sales.
Who is to blame for this backlash in sales? Of course, globalization and free trade where foreign companies are allowed to operate and compete in the American markets. It didn’t occur to American car-makers 37 years ago that the entry of Japanese-made cars into the mainstream of American business would indeed hurt the domestic automobile industry which American was famous of many decades ago. But the tide has turned from better to worse. In these past few months, domestic car-makers are making it difficult to compete with those made in Japan.
As clear manifestation was the news that giant car-maker Toyota has overtook GM in terms of production and sales revenues. As reported, the Japanese automaker sold at least 2.35 million vehicles worldwide during the first three months of this year, against only 2.26 million cars and light trucks sold by the Detroit-based General Motors.
Consumers said they sought Japanese-made cars, especially Toyota, because they are better built, good resale values and fuel-efficient in terms of gas mileage. These qualities have been present in the Japanese cars, while American cars have only upgraded their automobile units only the first batch of hybrid cars that flooded the U.S. markets.
Comparatively, GM, established in 1908, has 284,000 workers. While Toyota has 285,977 industrious workers who were indoctrinated on the Japanese management system of had-work and efficiency. GM has more brands in its stable like Buick, Cadillac, Daewoo, GMC, Holden, Hummer, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. Toyota has Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino. In terms of stock market value: GM, with US$17.4 billion; Toyota, US$223.6 billion.
With the advent of high gas prices in a given year, upbeat consumers wouldn’t have any choice, if only to save, but to look scout for cars that are fuel-efficient in so far gas mileage is concerned. They said that American cars consume so much gasoline so that the preference nowadays among the people are Japanese-made cars.
No wonder why Toyota is again setting its eyes on setting up five more assembly plants in North America by 2016, reports said. Some 10,000 more jobs will be created, once the expansion is finalized.
If things aren’t going well for the American automakers, perhaps, there is a strong need to review GM’s management system and the attitude of its workers towards their responsibilities. Compare Japanese workers with American workers and you will see the difference. Of course, there are still millions of Americans who work harder and harder. But sometimes, the question lies on the pay scale because more Americans are conscious so much on their hourly rate and other fringe benefits rather than what they can accomplish in a given time.
After experiencing pains during their first few years of operations, Toyota has finally broken the spell. And nobody knows if Toyota is now absorbing some of the workers slashed by GM.