Thursday, December 24, 2009

Best of luck, Venezuela


The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Venezuelan thug Hugo Chavez has threatened to exporpriate Toyota's plant if they do not hand over technical secrets to competitors.

Mr. Chavez said Wednesday that Toyota needs to transfer more new technologies and manufacturing methods from headquarters to its local unit in Venezuela, adding that other foreign auto-assembly plants are also not doing enough of this.
Mr. Chavez said his socialist government is going to apply strict quotas regarding the number and types of vehicles auto makers can produce. He ordered an immediate inspection of Toyota's facilities to see how many "rustic vehicles" they are currently producing.
"They'll have to fulfill [the quotas], and if not, they can get out," Mr. Chavez said during a televised address. "We'll bring in another company.
You gotta love socialists. Take what capitalism creates. Destroy it. Then invite the capitalists back to rebuild your society.
As for the auto industry?
Venezuela's auto sector is in tatters amid recurring labor problems that have led to a lack of productivity. Analysts say many auto workers hope their company is nationalized so they can become de facto government workers and enjoy the extra job security that comes with that status.
As a result of low productivity, demand for automobiles far outstrips supply in Venezuela. Demand is also enhanced by subsidized gasoline in this oil-rich nation that makes a gallon of gasoline cost about seven cents.
Eduardo Blanco, who manages a Toyota dealership in the Los Palos Grandes neighborhood of Caracas, said last week that he has 600 people on a waiting list for vehicles, and that only a half a dozen cars arrive at his lot each month.

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