Toyota's kicking our butts in sales again. Nothing new if you pay attention to car sales or are involved in this industry at all. (Come on people --aside from their Lexus brand, Toyotas are UGLY!!!) After 9/11, a major factor that saved us from a recession was GM's 0% APR (Keep America Rolling). Now we here in the D (and all over the country) need your help.
Here are some facts:
The American auto industry (GM, Ford, Chrysler):
-Single greatest engine of economic activity in America
-Largest investor in U.S. research and development (we're talking more than $16 billion in 2005 --that beats pharmaceuticals, software, scientific research and development, communications equipment, and aerospace products/parts)
-Have invested 6 times more than all other automakers in the U.S. since 1980
-Operations in almost all 50 states (from assembly plants to finance and credit offices to tech centers to dealerships) --far more than the seven or so plants Toyota likes to brag about
-Employ 8 out of every 10 American auto workers
-Impact 7.2 million American jobs (beyond direct employment) (compared with 1.8 million for Japanese and other automakers)
-Spent more than $12 billion on health care to 2 million Americans in 2005 (compared to only $1.6 billion spent by Japanese and other automakers in U.S.)
-Spent almost $11 billion on pension benefits to 739,000 retirees and surviving spouses in 2005
-We're up against unfair competition. The U.S. is the most open and competitive major auto market in the world (40% imports v. Japan with only 5% imports and Korea with only 2.7% imports) - The Asians use non-tariff barriers to maintain closed domestic markets
-Japan manipulates currency markets to keep their yen artificially weak, giving them an advantage of thousands of dollars per vehicle and unfairly disadvantages American automakers
Just a few things to think about. Not only will you feel good driving a great, new American car, truck or SUV, but you'll be helping millions of Americans who depend on the old "Big 3" for their jobs, pensions and health care.