Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Toyota Is Gouging Customers - Right?

Overall, GM lost almost $4 billion in the first nine months of this year, hit by falling sales and rising health care costs. Its share of the U.S. market has shrunk to 26.2 percent from 33 percent a decade ago.

The plant closings, which will entail 30,000 job cuts, are meant to chop $7 billion off its $42 billion annual bill for operations by the end of next year, including a $3 billion cut in health care costs.

Toyota, by contrast, is on pace to set a fourth straight year of record profits.

Why is Toyota gouging it’s customers? Shouldn’t we, as patriotic Americans be taxing the excessive profits of this greedy Japanese auto maker.

Out of concern for GM's plight — and possibly to stave off an anti-Japanese backlash by American consumers — Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda suggested earlier this year that Toyota should raise the price of car models in the United States to level the playing field.

Toyota raised prices soon after, but denied the move was to placate U.S. automakers.

So when a car company raises prices it’s to make sure that it’s underperforming competitors can still compete, but when a gas station raises prices it’s only to stick it to the unwitting US consumer. Color me confused, but something just doesn’t add up here.

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