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Tariffs to Help Domestic Manufacturers?

"Green Plastic"

"Mitsubishi Motors has dubbed its independently developed plant-based resin technology, including this PBS-bamboo fiber resin, "Green Plastics". Mitsubishi Motors will continue to promote the development of environmentally friendly materials, directed toward increased practical applications."

http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2006/02/20/211059.html

It's cool to see Mitsu getting some much needed attention on this. Even with the struggles they have been going through, they still manage to innovate... Kudos.
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Comments

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    That is pretty cool.

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    The Eclipse is selling very well. It must be nice having a government that believes in keeping a company afloat when bad times hit. Those workers get to keep a job and hell they do make a few nice cars. Mitsubishi would be a great edition to GM, and would give them a great advantage for selling small cars, and the best turbo design, since it's looking like $3 dollar gas is here to stay based on what Lou Dobbs has said. :sick:

    Rocky
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Outsourcing wouldn't be a political issue if domestic jobs are abundant. In reality, having people in other parts of the world working for us, making products and services available to us, is probably a net plus for us, to put it mildly.

    The real advantage of flat-tax is two fold:

    (1) Simplifies tax collection and book keeping; so people can go ahead do more real wealth creation instead of dickering over taxcodes, looking for and creating loopholes.

    (2) Help the poor become part of the liberty-loving coalition. When a new business is not started, and a set of new jobs are not created, the poor are the ones who pay the ultimate price by losing another precious opportunity to lift out of poverty. Very few business pay workers less than 13% of profit. Yet that's how little the government business pays the poor out of money collected in their name. If a charity paid out that little out of total collections, it would be under investigation for fraud.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    It's no Evo: catching up with the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/GeneralFuture/articleId=116193

    Mitsubishi Concept-X

    Boy I love this cars design...Very sporty and it's performance is breath taking. Mitsubishi needs to make the EVO-X concept look just like this and give it a great interior with some creature feature "gadgets" :shades:

    http://www.edmunds.com/news/autoshow/articles/107458/page005.html

    The Mitsubishi Evo X Concept Redefines Cornering

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/articleId=109902

    Rocky

    P.S.

    If Mitsubishi, delivers a Concept-X along with a great comfy interior and Subuaru WRX STI performance I will have to at least give it some consideration because you get a helluva lot of performance for your dollar. The subie is a hair small for me to get the kids in and out of and I can't get past its ugly nose. :(
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    It must be nice having a government that believes in keeping a company afloat when bad times hit.

    When you say government you mean taxpayers, right? How big does a company need to be for it to deserve taxpayer support? Should the government have stepped in when all the dot.coms went under or are you primarily sympathetic towards union companies?

    Actually I think that Mitsubishi has somewhat seen the light that Ford refuses to see. They need to be an innovative company to stay in business. They won't out compete Toyota at their game.

    I owned a 1990 Eclipse turbo. It was an absolute blast to drive for a front wheel drive but from a quality perspective it was a piece of garbage. That was a joint Mitsubishi/Chrysler effort so maybe that had something to do with it. I don't know much about the new Eclipse other than it weighs more than it should (over 700 lbs heavier than 1990 model).
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    How many jobs did those dot.coms support ? I mean really we are talking apples to oranges in size comparison to a major automaker. The government doesn't need to step in financially put politically. ;)

    Rocky

    P.S. Mitsubishi, has always been a good innovator of performance hardware. Now only if they would step up the quality dept. ;)
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    "How many jobs did those dot.coms support ? I mean really we are talking apples to oranges in size comparison to a major automaker. The government doesn't need to step in financially put politically."

    What does that mean, to step in politically?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Change the trade laws and hold the country's like Japan, that manipulate there currency's accountable. Japan's market is very much closed to american goods.

    Rocky
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    How would you say we should hold them accountable? Do you mean we should close our market to Japanese goods?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I'm saying we should tariff their products at the estimated manipulation rate of somewhere between 30-40% to help even out the playing field for the domestics

    Rocky
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Let's take Ford for example. I'd be somewhat surprised if they still exist as we now know them in 10 years. It's not due to tough times its due to their inability to compete. How would government intervention change that? How would an open Japanese market help an automaker that's not producing relevant vehicles. It's not the government's role to force the taxpayers to keep non-competitive companies alive simply as a jobs program.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I'm saying we should tariff their products at the estimated manipulation rate of somewhere between 30-40% to help even out the playing field for the domestics

    Are you talking about Japan or China in regards to currency manipulation? I've heard that about China but I guarantee a lot more US automobiles are sold in China than Chinese vehicles sold here. That probably won't always be the case but it is now. A lot of the Japanese vehicles are manufactured in the US. How would you put a tariff on them?

    If you want to address all the major reasons that domestic automakers aren't as competitive you can't ignore the UAW's role. I suspect that this tariff you propose is merely an indirect method of subsidizing the auto union.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I agree but when your government sells the home team down the toilet and tax payers have to help front the bill for a new foreign plant is plain wrong. We have allowed the Japanese to take advantage of our country. They lobby our politics to get favorable laws passed for them. Years of them having not only currency advantages but us not having a national healthcare plan also hasn't helped our domestic manufactors out. Some also would blame over regulation as another cause. The Japanese flat-out have had advantages of being relatively young and are able to build new modern plants at tax-payers expense. They left japan because they new they could get americans to work like slaves because we are the best overall workers in the world and ask little in return in the form of compensation. Now many in the public say Toyota and Honda are more american than Ford and GM. They use the famous line that Toyota and Honda, aren't sending there workers to the unemployment line. That is true but like i said when you have all the advantages of timing and a foreign government and media helping you out its not that hard to obtain success and have enough extra money to put a few bucks more into a car and still make thousands more than the home team. ;)

    Just my $0.02

    Rocky
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Okay, let's say the United States puts a 35% tariff on incoming Japanese-made automobiles...this effectively raises the price of a Japanese car by 35%.

    How would this help Ford?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Are you talking about Japan or China in regards to currency manipulation?

    Both..... Japan and China are among the best at hiding there true currency values. I've read several different publications from various sources saying both country's manipulate it as high as 38%.

    I've heard that about China but I guarantee a lot more US automobiles are sold in China than Chinese vehicles sold here.

    Well for a few years any ways, right :surprise:

    That probably won't always be the case but it is now. A lot of the Japanese vehicles are manufactured in the US. How would you put a tariff on them?

    I wouldn't because they are becoming more "american made" which is great but many more of them are still made in Japan. I however would cut-off the tax exemptions the new plants are getting. Don't quote me but the San Antonio Toyota plant is getting like 300 million in tax exemptions. That is insane. :surprise:

    If you want to address all the major reasons that domestic automakers aren't as competitive you can't ignore the UAW's role.

    As we've discussed in several other forums the Japanese and European labor unions make the UAW look like pussycats.

    I suspect that this tariff you propose is merely an indirect method of subsidizing the auto union.

    No its a way of saving small business which creates jobs. I want to save my country and its workers from low cost 3rd world countrys. Joe-six pack shouldn't have to compete with some guy in china both in small business and labor rates. If you haven't noticed the U.S. standard of living has gone down. People are making less money now then they were a few years ago. It wasn't until this year we saw a small spike back up in real wages but we have lots of catching up to do. It's just not wages where your average american has been squeezed but one needs to look at the benefits package also. American employers can't afford healthcare costs, let alone fund pensions or match 401K's. We are going through a very bad time and hopefully we will pull our head out of our butt and say wait a minute !!!!!

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    It would help ford because they could afford to stick a few bucks more into the product and make it more competitive. It would allow the domestics to play on a more level playing field. Japan, isn't as big of a worry as the chinese because over there they pay workers $0.43 an hour.

    The currency manipulation of the Japanese, Japans closed markets because they are nationalistic, no national healthcare in the united states, and a U.S. government that has fostered japanese investment has damaged the competitiveness of the domestics. The domestics have been in business almost or over 100 years. Many old plants still exist. If I wanted to point the finger at anyone i'd point it at GM and Ford management in the 1970's, 80's, 90's, for not adopting to the changes. How could ford let the very popular Taurus just wither away and die is beyond me ????? :mad:

    Rocky
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
    Since we've veered well off the original track, I've made a discussion title change. Thanks for keeping this discussion automotive-focused as we continue the political/economic conversation!

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  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
    And Mitsubishi engines in the 1980's turned "Dodge" into a verb rather than a proper noun for our family - it's what you should do when encountered with the opportunity to purchase one.

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  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    So you'd imagine that Ford would use this "breathing room" created by an bigger price differential to up the content/quality level of its products?

    I notice that even now in this supposedly unequitable environment, the average Japanese family sedan (for example) is more expensive than the comparable Ford. Yet people still buy these Japanese cars, in shocking amounts even...

    I suppose the big question is: is "helping out" Ford by lessening its competition going to make it more, or less, competitive?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    So you'd imagine that Ford would use this "breathing room" created by an bigger price differential to up the content/quality level of its products?

    Based on what little I know about Alan Mulally thats all he would need to turn-around ford way sooner.

    I notice that even now in this supposedly unequitable environment, the average Japanese family sedan (for example)is more expensive than the comparable Ford. Yet people still buy these Japanese cars, in shocking amounts even...

    Well thats not hard to imagine because you can spend a few more thousand and buy a toyota that is probably a better vehicle and do to the perception of such it will hold its resale value. Again a marginal savings by going domestic doesn't reflect the "big picture" ;)

    I suppose the big question is: is "helping out" Ford by lessening its competition going to make it more, or less, competitive?

    Japanese makes would still sell at a high rate because americans would still pony up the extra change to buy one. However the "breathing room" would allow ford to become more competitive and profitable per unit. The detnews had a big article about currency manipulation a few weeks ago and on some models the manipulation gap is a staggering $9K :surprise:

    Rocky
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I'm saying we should tariff their products at the estimated manipulation rate of somewhere between 30-40% to help even out the playing field for the domestics

    Let's see if I've got this.

    * two generations of disastrously incompetent management at all the domestics has resulted in the American car-buying public continually moving away from their inferior offerings;

    * the Japanese government has subsidized the American purchase of superior offerings to the tune of several thousand dollars per vehicle;

    * even though the transaction price of domestic offerings is less than the "foreign" makes, the American public's rejection continues;

    * even though the long appreciation of the yen after the Plaza Accords did nothing to reverse or even slow the American public's rejection of the domestic offerings;

    * you think it's a good idea to punish the American public for buying cars they do like and rejecting cars they don't like.

    Keep your hands out of my wallet, Rocky. :mad:
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    ROTFLMAO @ bumpy :D

    I was only trying to make it fair. I guess many americans like the NY yankees like stacking the deck in ones favor. ;)

    Rocky
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    that is just all wishful thinking

    did the profits made year after year by selling exlpores and F150 went to create a better quality vehicle? the taurus could've used it, so is the ranger, focus, freestar....
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    did the profits made year after year by selling exlpores and F150 went to create a better quality vehicle?

    I'm not saying that they did. However they should at least had the oppertunity too and still have that oppertunity. :sick:

    Rocky
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Fair to who? It's not fair for me to have to pay an extra 38% for a good car because Ford can't get it's act together.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Fair to who? It's not fair for me to have to pay an extra 38% for a good car because Ford can't get it's act together.

    It's not fair for ford, to have to compete against a country that lies and not have the opportunity to sell you a vehical as good as the foreign make. ;)

    Rocky
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Interesting arguments.

    Rocky, while blaming currency manipulation in japan and China (don't understnad the China argument), the reason the big 2-1/2 have lost market share is bad business practices and decisions. You forget that the Taurus was the number one selling car in the mid 90's. What happened? ford re-designed it and blew it. Camry and Accord re-designed and hit a bulleyes. Ford has not recovered since. they introduced the Focus in 1999 and promptly had 9 recalls in the first year and half. The Ford Explorer, the most popular SUV on the planet, had a major tire recall and associated lost of life. Sales are now almost half of what they used to be. A foucus on building profit rich SUVs and pickups in the 90s killed product development for their cars and now Lincoln and Mercury are suffering. But I guess it is easier to blame someone else than your own actions.

    If the domestics would concentrate on building a better product, the Japanese would not stand a chance! If Chevy built a car like the Accord, they would sell over 500,000 of them without rebates. Americans want to buy domestic but when you are paying $20k for a car, you have to go with the best for needs.

    The Big 2-1/2 are too big, too many brands, too many acocuntants deciding what a car should have an not have, too high labor costs, too many retirees pensions. Nothing at all to do with currency manipulation. they need to build a better product and change their business practices. They are doign better but it will take time.
  • The Big 2-1/2 are too big, too many brands, too many acocuntants deciding what a car should have an not have, too high labor costs, too many retirees pensions. Nothing at all to do with currency manipulation.

    Bingo. GM and Ford still think they are living in 1950 controlling 60% or whatever figure they had for market share. They have to cover way too many bases with all the brands and in the end instead of one kicka$$ product, we get a bunch of mediocre ones. And each one of them end up fighting for the same buyer rather than actually competing with outside competition.

    Example: I don't understand the hype that GM fans have got for the new Malibu but as someone said before and on other threads, it appears to be nothing more than a reskinned Saturn Aura, itself a glorified Pontiac G6 with a better interior, all tracing roots back to the LAST Malibu and the Saab 9-3. I may be way off and this thing could be something TOTALLY new, but the average buyer is going to look at this ALL NEW Malibu and if they weren't a GM fan or car nut, they would most likely get the impression that it is no better than the old one. Or they would realize that they could buy a Saturn which would be old news by then. Or a G6 which is REALLY old news now. Or they could see that SAAB is giving their cars away because basically the brand is dead and they could probably get a steal on a 9-3.

    Certainly doesn't seem that special of a car anymore...
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I never brought up china, but was mentioned in the currency manipulation. ;)

    While your post is filled with many facts the currency manipulation is something you can't just ignore and find other reasons to justify problems at the big 3. We all know the current problems at the big 3. currency manipulation, no national healthcare, free trade and other trade laws, are the root problems with not just auto manufactoring but with manufactoring in general. The china equation and there expansion since you brought them up will only magnify these problems even more. :( We americans can't compete with $0.40 an hour. We don't live in grass huts (yet) and eat snakes. We have a hard time as it is competing with the Mexicans that make $2.00 an hour. $0.40 an hour is impossible and as more and more manufactoring goes to china the only hope for americans is that the people in china form labor unions someday to level out the playing field. however than is going to take at least 25-50 years mininum and we don't have that much time to wait and see. :sick:

    We are either going to address the problems now or we will be owned by a variety of foreign governments. I fear the latter. :cry:

    Rocky
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I've got news for you. All this currency manipulation and protectionism that Japan is practicing isn't doing much for their domestic economy. Their national debt relative to GDP makes our debt look like pocket change. For the longest time Japan offered zero percent interest in what is comparable to our federal reserve rate. This was because their economy was stagnant and the standard of living was definitely not improving. I'm not sure why you would offer this up as an example we should follow.

    As far as the Toyota plant getting big tax breaks in San Antonio, that has nothing to do with preferential treatment for Japanese automakers. That is simply what states and localities do in order to lure major employers. If Ford wanted to open a plant in San Antonio I'm sure they would be offered some sort of tax break. It wouldn't be as big because they can't sell as many vehicles and could probably only afford to hire a few people.

    American employers can't afford healthcare costs, let alone fund pensions or match 401K's.

    Actually corporate profits are at almost historically high levels. Its just the automakers that can't seem to compete. I can't imagine why with all that highly skilled and motivated union labor.
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