Dave Sinclair Protests Outsourcing to China, Mexico, India, anywhere

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 20:38

Sometimes an image (or a youtube) will conjure up memories that have been repressed by years of heavy drinking, and this is certainly one of them.

Watching the Dave sinclair advertisements on TV was just something I grew used to.  Possibly shot in the garage out back, the graphics were always cars on the lot with their “reduced prices”.  Dave (and his son) would do a 2 minute tap dance on the quality of the cars, and that was it.  Pretty much to the monotone point…

Well, apparently Dave is not on the Lou Dobbs bandwagon and now has his own anti-outsourcing message that he needs to get out. It is a message that I fear is growing in acceptance, and one that has a lot of misplaced statistics to back it up.

Dave’s fleet (and trust me.. it is a fleet),  consists of Buick, Pontiac, and GMC Trucks… all American brands… but what is interesting is that looking at a June 2007 rank of “American made Cars”, only one car that he sells makes the top 10 in terms of American parts with two cars from Toyota actually ranking higher on the list!

In the 2008 list, Honda actually squeaks one in above him as well

[youtube width=”425″ height=”335″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOeuBeqGWXQ[/youtube]

Perhaps if Dave were to focus on the fact that his cars, and his way of thinking, are a bit out of tune with the reality of the market (i.e… Americans are looking for fuel efficiency… and most American brands high percentages of foreign parts), perhaps he would actually sell more cars.

I myself will openly admit that trade has had some unexpected consequences, but where I get irritated is when statistics and facts are completely thrown out the window for one’s commercial or political interest.

I can only wonder if Dave will continue to blame others when his sales fall from his decision to pull his ads from the only newspaper in town.

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4 Responses to “Dave Sinclair Protests Outsourcing to China, Mexico, India, anywhere”

  1. Mike Sinclair says:

    November 1st, 2008 at 10:12 am

    I’m not sure what smart guy missed the train on this one. The point is that Honda, Toyota, Nissan all have world headquarters in Japan. So when you buy a car that reads those nameplates, the money returns to their country, for their roads, schools, bridges, THEIR ECONOMY. Don’t you get it, he’s not out of tune, he knows our own manufacturers are outsourcing and using foreign parts and he hates it, complains about it, writes to them about it. The point is when you buy an American car, the proceeds go to Michigan, which is in our country, which helps OUR ECONOMY.

    In your own words, “Americans are looking for fuel efficiency”, GM has more cars that get 30 mpg than Toyota and Honda combined. It isn’t publicized because GM is not a media darling like the rice mobiles. Now, maybe next time when you take time away from drinking the coolaid being spoon-fed to you and decide to write down some BS rhetoric, make sure you understand what you’re saying. By the way, check the to see who is the top selling dealer in the above mentioned brands, we’re not having problems selling cars. In contrast we’ve flipped people who used to think like you out of their Japanese made-mobiles and into American metal quite easily.

    What you and I have said barely scratches the surface on this issue, so anytime you’d like to come in, in person, and discuss this, I or any of my other family members will welcome you with open arms. You can always find us, because good old Dave always leaves his address.

  2. Rich says:

    November 1st, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Mike Sinclair.

    Thanks for stopping in. I always appreciate and respect a person or group who will publicly address through the comments here issues I bring up… even when it may be a negative piece.

    First, a few quick comments. you are right to state that what we have said, and will say, are barely scratching the surface.. and mre than likely we are not going to solve this issue. Like I said above, I believe there ar some imbalances in the trade equation… but I think that the statistics behind them are regularly abused.

    to address your points above:

    1) To know where Toyota and Honda are paying taxes on profits, you first need to know what their corporate structure is. Is their factory owned by an American Subsidiary, which is in turn held by the Japanese parent? If so, then you are probably half right in that the American subsidiary is repatriating profits.

    In the case of Toyota (according to Hoover’s and D&B searches) – they are an S Corporation based in NYC (100% owned by Toyota Motor Corp of Japan) with sales of about 1 billion USD.

    However, what you fail to mention, is that unlike GM and Ford which are investing abroad, Nissan, Toyota, and Honda are investing in the US. They are buying land in the US (that means tax for the city, state, and fed & commissions for the agents), they are purchasing equipment in the US, they are employing US contractors, I am sure there are more than a few unions that benefit from building the infrastructure these factories need, the various restaurants that feed the workers, and so on… ask anyone what the relationship is between a factory in Michigan and its surrounding community is.. and that is the same benefit that these firms provide to other communities around the US (I believe Toyota – maybe Nissan – has 7-8 plants in the US now?)

    They are employing Americans to build their cars, they are using American logistics firms (full of Americans) to move their parts, and they are paying taxes in America on many of the items they purchase through sales tax, and they are paying profits on a lot of the cars they sell…

    and.. they are not asking tax payers to bail them out of the mess they have created.

    2) Environmental sustainability of the fleet.

    When it comes to fuel efficiency ratings, GM may have more that offer more than 30mph, but does this reflect the portfolio as a whole? My meaning is.. if you have 15 cars over 30, but 5 SUVs under 15, does that make your firm’s portfolio greater than, less than, or equal to a firm that has 35 cars at 25?

    Regardless, according to US EPA (an American institution), it is the rice mobiles (using your slur) that are leading the pack on efficient cars.

    Looking at the issue from the best performers:
    1. Toyota Prius
    2. Honda Civic Hybrid
    3. Toyota Camry Hybrid
    4. Ford Escape Hybrid
    5. Toyota Yaris (manual and automatic)
    6. Honda Fit (manual)
    7. Toyota Corolla (manual)
    8. Hyundai Accent (manual)
    9. Kia Rio (manual)
    10. Hybrid Escape, Mercury Mariner Hybrid (tie)

    How many of those cars are on your lot?

    From a portfoliio perspective, the story is a bit different…

    According the National Highway and Safety Board CAFE results (as reported by the July 30, 2008 Motor Authority article Toyota tops CAFE ratings for 2007):

    Toyota’s fleet average, which covers everything from its Tundras to its Solaras, came out to 29.69mpg. Honda came in second with 29.47mpg while Hyundai finished third at 29.39mpg.

    and…. I quote

    .As expected, U.S. domestic manufacturers trailed significantly, with GM scoring the best of the three at 25.16mpg, Ford in second with 25.15mpg and Chrysler bringing up the tail at 23.97mpg.

    Some conclusions:

    With regard to your sales, I am glad to hear that all is well with your family business. I am all for regional economies, and I am all for SME firms who develop a brand. Your father has done that, and he has done it so well that he can take a stand.

    At the same time, I am not against the Big 3 per se in the way a member of Greenpeace is…

    Where I think you should reconsider your position is that in today’s world, things are not always what they seem. A Japanese branded car is not necessarily a product of Japan any more than a Dell computer sold in China is a product of the US. They are brands of global firms, who have regionalized their manufacturing operations.. and contrary to public belief, that does not make them evil firms that should have racial slurs leveled at them.

    They are firms that employ people in dealerships, on the line, and at universities.. equally… .well, I guess some more than others.

    Again, I am not against American businesses doing well (one of my jobs here in China is to help them expand their sales into new markets), but I am against wrongly creating sentiment that is clearly misplaced, misguided, and will ultimately do more harm than good.

    Anyway, next time I am back home, I’ll drop in and we can discuss further. I will do my best to convince you that your fleet needs hybrids, and we can work together to find the one made in America. Deal?

    R

  3. Remi says:

    November 2nd, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Mike,

    What you describe is simply global competition. I am sure you have no problem with GM or Ford selling cars to Asia and Europe and bringing some profit back to the US; why wouldn’t Toyota or VW do the same? Coming to the quality of car, I live in the USA and drive a Toyota Prius. I do not think any GM car compares to the Prius in terms of reliability and mileage per gallon. I used to own 2 Pontiac cars before and their overall quality was way below Toyota’s. What can I say? I am not to buy American just for the sake of buying American.

    Full deregulation has its price too, something that is abundantly clear after 8 years of the current Administration

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