Symbol-mindedness

In other news, there actually is a Michigan Republican Party:

The Michigan Republican Party harshly criticized the Obama administration for allowing a Toyota Motor Corp. pickup truck to tow one of the retired space shuttles to its final home in Los Angeles.

“Barack Obama acts as if he singlehandedly built the U.S. domestic auto industry, meanwhile, a symbol of American greatness will be towed to its final resting place by a foreign competitor, forever cementing the image of a Toyota truck towing a retired space shuttle,” said Matt Frendewey, director of communications for the Michigan Republican Party on Monday.

“The symbolism of this PR stunt should be offensive to every red-blooded American with vested interest in the success of the U.S. automotive industry.”

The Toyota Tundra is built only in San Antonio, Texas, with 75 percent domestic (defined as “US and Canada”) content, compared to, um, 62 percent for the Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra twins that compete with it.

(Via The Truth About Cars.)







6 comments

  1. John »

    19 September 2012 · 4:52 pm

    But it is still a foreign “company”!! I love hearing this argument about the makeup of the Tundra.

  2. CGHill »

    19 September 2012 · 5:27 pm

    I quit worrying about that sort of thing when I bought my first Commodore 64 in the 1980s and discovered that while the official CBM HQ was in southeastern Pennsylvania, the company was incorporated in the Bahamas, presumably for tax purposes.

    And besides, Toyota trades on the NYSE (symbol: TM).

  3. stixx23 »

    19 September 2012 · 6:28 pm

    I would guess that labor costs far outweigh profits for a car company. One site I saw said Toyota makes $1500 in profit per vehicle. So if the decision is whether to have the labor costs stay in the US or the profits stay in the US, it sounds to me like the labor costs would be far more. And result in taxation.

  4. CGHill »

    19 September 2012 · 7:03 pm

    Then again, labor costs are an expense, which can be written off at tax time. And they’re relatively stable: labor doesn’t cost a whole lot more for Toyota to build an Avalon instead of a Camry, but the Av commands up to $10k more on the sticker. (Turn that Av into a Lexus ES, as they’re doing for ’13, and that’s another $5-10k more.) GM, it’s said, banks well over ten grand for each and every Escalade, despite the presumably high cost of bling. Where money gets tight is down in the A and B segments, where the buyers are price-conscious if not downright price-desperate.

  5. Charles Pergiel »

    20 September 2012 · 10:52 am

    Interesting. I don’t know, but I suspect that the Japanese and Europeans are building the high-dollar components like engines and transmissions in their home countries and shipping them over here for installation. American car companies are getting their work done in Canada, which is really just a suburb of America, what with NAFTA and all.

  6. nightfly »

    20 September 2012 · 11:31 am

    We know full well that this administration would rather do anything else, up to and including their jobs, than have let a Ford tow the Shuttle home.

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