Different perspective on Toyota problems
Ran across this in the NYT this AM:
February 5, 2010
In California, a Rebuke to Toyota
By MALIA WOLLAN
SAN FRANCISCO — Wary of the expanded Toyota recall and still stinging from a recent decision by the Japanese automaker to close a major manufacturing plant in California, the State Assembly turned patriotic on Thursday, adopting a “Buy American” policy for all future vehicles bought for its fleet.
The decision, by the Assembly Rules Committee, came at the urging of Assemblyman Ted Lieu, who represents the Southern California district that includes Torrance, home of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., its North American sales division. “I used to be one of Toyota’s strongest supporters,” said Mr. Lieu, the committee chairman. “It took a lot to turn me into one of their strongest critics. What broke the camel’s back on this is the safety issue. I saw this pattern of denial at Toyota. They were not truthful with Americans.”
Mr. Lieu said he intended to encourage other state agencies to follow suit, buying only vehicles that are at least 50 percent manufactured in the United States.
Even before the most recent accounts of stuck accelerators and anti-lock braking system problems on Toyota models, emotions were raw in California after the automaker announced it would close a manufacturing factory in Fremont in April. The plant employs some 5,440 workers.
In an e-mail message, a Toyota spokeswoman said that the company would not comment on the new rule until it had seen the language, but “that most of the vehicles Toyota sells in the U.S. are manufactured here.”
The “Buy American” policy had been in place for all State Assembly vehicle purchases before 2003, when lawmakers dropped it so they could buy more environmentally friendly foreign-made hybrids.
“Now, in 2010,” Mr. Lieu said, “many American manufacturers make hybrids. There’s no reason to buy Toyotas.”
Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company
The whole reason that we have captive plants in the US was instigated by a similar move in the 60's by a California legislator!!! Seems the CHP wanted something better to replace their H-D motorcycles. However, a law was passed early on that restricted purchases to US products. So, Kawasaki set up a plant in Lincoln NB and shipped in kits that were assembled by locals and all rubber and fluid products used on the kit bikes were made in the USA. CHP started buying 4 cylinder Kawasaki's as did other local law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The next step was a Honda plant in Marysville, Ohio and the dam burst with captive import plants in this country.
There's a certain irony in this whole situation.