August 26, 2009

Shouldn't Toyota Be Penalized?

Bambi and his tree hugging government has been pushing Electric vehicles for years now, I am pretty even going so far as saying automotive manufacturers will be penalized if they are not pursuing electric vehicles.

Despite Toyota's image as the world's greenest automaker, the company that brought us the Prius -- totem of the environmentally conscious -- has fallen behind in the race for the all-electric car.

And why is Toyota waiting on making an electric vehicle, well besides the obvious of waiting for someone else to spend the money prefecting it and then Toyota will come in a steal the technology like they did with hybrids.

"The time is not here," Masatami Takimoto, Toyota's executive vice president, said during a factory tour this year.

Electric cars "face many challenges," he said, adding that "to commercialize pure E.V.'s, we need a battery that far exceeds the current technology."

Toyota feels the timing isn't right yet for electric vehicles to take off ...

Toyota executives rattle off reasons to be skeptical of electric cars: They do not travel far enough on a charge; their batteries are expensive and not reliable; the electrical infrastructure is not in place to recharge them.

Executives also say that Toyota's reputation for reliability could be tarnished if the company forged ahead with an unproven technology.

It remains unclear how soon there will be a mass market for expensive cars with limited range, Toyota says.(emphasis mine)

Toyota doesn't want to tarnish it's reputation by putting out unproven technology.

So basically Toyota is saying they would rather be follower so it's reputation won't take a hit instead of being a leader. Rather cowardly if you ask me.

Even other manufacturers are speculating as to why Toyota isn't running a electric vehicle program, and the speculations are not of the nice variety.

And more often than not in the history of innovation, a change in the dominant technology means a change in the market leader.

"Electric cars are a disruptive technology, and Toyota knows that," Mr. Shimizu said. "I wouldn't say Toyota is killing the electric vehicle. Perhaps Toyota is scared."

Posted by Quality Weenie at 09:11 AM | Comments (1)

Canadians Visit Michigan Hospitals

With the health care debate raging everyone has heard, wether you believe it or not, that Canadians come to the U.S. for health care.

Proof positive now ...

Hospitals in border cities, including Detroit, are forging lucrative arrangements with Canadian health agencies to provide care not widely available across the border.

Agreements between Detroit hospitals and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for heart, imaging tests, bariatric and other services provide access to some services not immediately available in the province, said ministry spokesman David Jensen. (emphasis mine)

Canada has contracted with the U.S. for services not available in Canada or the wait is to long.

Canada does this so they don't have to build more facilities to deal with their own citizens, they instead send them across the boarder and basically use the U.S. as a back-up system for when their fails.

Of course they are saying it's not because of long waits, it's just "smart money" to use the U.S. as a back-up system.

But Dr. Uwe Reinhardt, a Princeton University health economist who has studied the U.S. and Canadian health systems, said arrangements with cities like Detroit "are a terrific way to manage capacity" given Canada's smaller health care budget.

And it's not just for non-emergencies either ..

Three Windsor-area hospitals have arrangements with Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, to provide backup, after-hours angioplasty. Authorities will clear Detroit-Windsor Tunnel traffic for ambulances, if necessary

After hours angioplasty? Hospitals actually close in Canada and do not provide all services after hours? God help us.

How profitable is it for the U.S. hospitals and how much is Canada spending, just in the Detroit area, for sending it's patients across the boarder?

Pontes declined to give revenue figures for the DMC's international business, but said the program "always has been a profitable entity."

Tony Armada, chief executive officer of Henry Ford Hospital, said the hospital received $1 million for cardiac care alone.

One would think that Canada would secretly be pushing against nationalized care in the U.S. because their source of medical care will dry up. I think that Canadians would be put low on the priority list when the wait list start in the U.S.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2009

Delicious Irony

The irony in the situation is just killing me and I don't think anyone else sees it.

In Michigan a Democrat proposed and Republicans support this idea:

House Speaker Andy Dillon's ambitious proposal to bundle all public employee health care plans into one has turned traditional state political alliances upside-down and threatens to change the dynamics of next year's governor race.

Dillon wants to make all public employees (government, school teachers, police, etc) have the choice of only one health plan. Bundling everyone into one plan will save the state $1 Billion dollars (or so Dillon says)

Hmmm, everyone under one plan desginated by the government, sounds familiar.

The Democrats and public employees (ie unions) are in an uproar about this:

On the other side: almost every labor union imaginable, but especially the Michigan Education Association; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; United Auto Workers and AFL-CIO. While Dillon has never been a darling of the unions, he's now a target. MEA officials have declared war and called the plan worse than anything proposed by former Republican Gov. John Engler.

So a one choice plan being mandate and chosen by the state government, although through a private insurer, and Republicans love the idea and Democrats hate the idea and believe it's Satans work.

It's like Bizzaro world here in Michigan, does anyone else see the irony here?

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:37 AM | Comments (2)

August 13, 2009

Gitmo To Michigan, A Real Possbility

Gitmo prisioners may really be coming to Michigan, it's not a distinct possilbility anymore.

Federal and state officials visited a maximum-security prison in rural Michigan on Thursday to begin assessing its suitability to house Guantanamo Bay detainees.

About a dozen state officials were joined by 18 representatives from the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security departments and the Bureau of Prisons on the tour of the lockup in Standish, said Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

I wrote about this back in May when a former governor suggested this as a way to bring jobs to Michigan. Except he suggested prisions in the Upper Pennesula.

The prison in Standish, 145 miles north of Detroit, and a military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., are being considered to house the 229 suspected al-Qaida, Taliban and foreign fighters currently at the Guantanamo Bay prison, if it is closed by 2010 as President Barack Obama has ordered.

145 miles north of Detroit, folks that isn't in some sparse populated area of Michigan. A prision stands there now, except it is slated to be closed by the state and the people in the area are all for bringing Gitmo prisioners to the area so they can keep their jobs.

How wrong is it to want to keep your job so bad that you are willing to risk the lives of a couple million people. It's just under an hour from Saginaw, just over and hour from Flint and only 2 hours from my house.

"Let 'em come. This community is hurting enough," Gloria Watson, 71, said while lunching in a downtown restaurant.

The terrorism suspects would be no more dangerous than other criminals who have been held in the prison throughout its 20-year history, said Watson, the pastor of a Presbyterian church in nearby Twining. "I just wish people would stop running scared."

Well Mr Watson, maybe you think they are no more dangerous then anyone else that has been in the prision in the past, but I didn't just crawl out from under the rock in which you have been living.

When the Steward for the Michigan Corrections unions has a problem with bringing the Gitmo prisioners to the area maybe people should reconsider their "oh there not that bad" position.

"The problem I have is, you almost are putting a bulls-eye on the whole entire area. There are just too many things that could go wrong," said Tom Kerrins, the chief steward for the Michigan Corrections Organization, the union representing prison workers in Standish.

Kerrins, 49, said the union opposes sending the Gitmo prisoners to Standish in part because it doubts the jobs of watching over them would go to the state officers working there now and would instead go to federal officers.

Kansas officials and senators oppose bringing Gitmo prisioners to their state but Michigan officials who think saving 300 out of nearly 1,000,000 jobs already lost in the state is worth it.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 04:03 PM | Comments (3)

August 10, 2009

Back To Semi-Normal

Mr Weenie is on his way to work as I type.

We had found out that a bunch of his co-workers were called back this weekend and he was next on the list.

The union was holding a meeting this morning for those that didn't get called back to inform then of what was going on and when they might get called back.

So Mr Weenie walked into the union hall this morning and they look at him and say "Uh your suppose to be at work, didn't they call you this weekend?"

Nope they didn't call him, some misunderstanding about a guy who is on medical and shouldn't have been called back and Mr Weenie should have been called to take his place.

He went to the meeting in shorts and didn't have a big breakfast because he didn't think he would be there that long.

He is hoping they let him come home when he gets there so he can change, get some food and pack a lunch.

We are getting back to semi-normal around here.


Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:08 AM | Comments (4)

August 06, 2009

Vehicle Sales July 08-July 09

A Picture is worth a thousand words!


I should note that this is comparing July 08 to July 09

Posted by Quality Weenie at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

Toyota Looses Again!

Looks like Toyota really is following in GM's footsteps!

It reported a loss Tuesday of 77.82 billion yen, or $802 million, for the quarter ended June 30. That was less than half the loss anticipated by investors surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Toyota lost $4.3 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, its first annual loss since 1950, and warned investors that it expected to lose $5.8 billion this year.

But Toyota pared its loss forecast Tuesday after exceeding its cost-reduction targets in the first quarter and spotting recovery signs in its home market.

It now expects a $4.9 billion loss for the year, and an $8.2 billion operating loss.

So that is a loss for the first quarter, loss for the second quarter and a expected loss for the whole year. And it didn't loose quite so much for the second quarter because of heavy cost-reductions.

They also reported a 36% decrease in sales for the second quarter.

So what does Toyota fall back on while licking their wounds?

Toyota has sacrificed styling panache for predictable reliability

Toyota certainly still hasn't learned ugly won't sell, no matter how good the car is.

And all those thinking that Toyota builds most of it's vehicles in the U.S.? Well think again.

The new team wants to increase Toyota's North American-assembled vehicles as a percentage of sales in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Through the first seven months of this year, that figure was about 59%, compared with more than 80% for rivals Honda and Nissan.

Toyota is building the vehicles in Japan and shipping them to the U.S. because it's cheaper right now for them to do that. At least Honda and Nissan are sticking with U.S. plants.

How the mighty have fallen!

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

Stimulus For Foreign Auto Makers

Otherwise known as Cash for Clunkers.

There is a reason Obama won't release the list of who's profiting most from the cash for clunkers deal, because it's the foreign auto makers.

Top 10 most bought cars in Cash for Clunkers

The Toyota Corolla has topped the Ford Focus as the most-purchased vehicle under the "cash for clunkers" program.

The Focus is now second, the Department of Transportation announced Wednesday, followed by the Honda Civic, Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry in the top five. Rounding out the top 10 are Hyundai Elantra, Ford Escape (Front Wheel Drive), Dodge Caliber, Honda Fit and Chevrolet Cobalt.

So that is 6 of the top 10 for the foreigners and 4 for the domestics.

Obama is also claiming that fuel efficiency has gone up 60% in America, it's just a small lie

The average fuel economy of new purchases is 25.3 miles per gallon, while the trade-ins average 15.8 mpg -- a 61 percent increase.

That is for the cars traded in, not for America as a whole.

And of course Reid is claiming it's creating jobs ...

Reid said the program "creates jobs, helps our manufacturing base ... it's really been stimulative."

The program has only sold 300,000 cars, how many of those were already planned buys even before the cash for clunkers was annoucned.

And 300,000 spread over 6 or 7 manufacturers isn't enough cars to even cause enough of a bump for somebody at any one company to go "gee maybe we should raise production. And even if they did raise production, they are not going to hire people for the production raise, all they would do is speed the line up a bit to produce more.

Harry Reid is full of shit.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:37 AM | Comments (3)