An in-depth, hard-hitting account of the mistakes, miscalculations, and myopia that have doomed America's automobile industry, this is the story of ...Show synopsisAn in-depth, hard-hitting account of the mistakes, miscalculations, and myopia that have doomed America's automobile industry, this is the story of how Detroit's Big Three automobile companies missed a golden opportunity to win back the traditional car-buyer.Hide synopsis
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What an unbelievably scary, I can't believe she wrote this book without a crystal ball. If we had read this book as soon as it was written and not after the fact, maybe our voices could have been raised louder and Detroit (and the Big Three) would not soon out to be the Big ZERO.
Ever wonder why there are so many foreign autos on the road in the United States? This book goes a long way toward explaining why. From a position of utter dominance in both the U.S. and the world, the U.S. automakers have managed to destroy a good portion of their business. The author details how a lack of concern for quality, research shortcomings, marketing fiascos, and tunnel vision by the Americans opened the door wide to foreign competitors. While tightly disciplined and focused foreign companies methodically studied the U.S. market and designed reliable and attractive autos that the U.S. consumer wanted, Detroit relied on marketing department ploys designed to sell the customer what the automakers wanted. The unholy alliance between short-sighted, uncomprehending executives and unions committed only to more and more benefits for members at the expense of quality, competitively priced autos has invevitably lead to the point where only slightly over half of the cars sold in the U.S. are made by the Big Three. The story of the overseas companies, including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Hyundai and others, is revealing. Tight discipline, employee involvement, patience and an obsession for quality products, have lead these companies to the pinnacle of achievement. They are not resting on their laurels either. They continue to pursue their own strategies to continue their phenomenal growth. The author points out that part of their strategy has been to place plants in the United States. These state of the art facilities are staffed exclusively by non-union employees who consistently turn out top quality vehicles. Their unionized Big Three counterparts continue to crank out sub-par vehicles. The author does not offer a comforting future for Detroit. Too many Americans feel betrayed by decades of the shoddy vehicles, indifferent service, and embarassing failures put forth by Detroit. Since most of the foreign nameplates now sold in the U.S. are made here, there is little reason not to buy a superior quality vehicle from a foreign automaker. Why should that change?
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