American Auto Industry Essay

1227 words - 5 pages

Four main challenges facing the United States [American] auto industry are; competing globally, staying on top of technological innovations, controlling environmental waste products and emissions, and building and maintaining consumer confidence. All of these challenges require control over one’s own business to maintain agility, and flexibility. A business’ agility and flexibility can only be qualified in terms of the decisions makers that are involved in guiding the company’s missions, goals, and structure. Finally, control is of course the final part of the P-O-L-C formula. (Carpenter, Taylor & Endrogen 2009)
Competing globally seems to mean focusing a company’s “competitive and ...view middle of the document...

(Dussuage, Garrette & Mitchell 2004)
Efficiency plays another important role in the realm of global competition, particularly considering the disparity in the productivity standards across international borders. Comparing America to Japan and Germany; Bailey and Gersbach in their 1995 work stepped back from the focus on the auto industry and took apart component industries such as steel, metalworking, and automotive parts. Monteverde & Teece did a study on two American car manufacturers, Ford and GM in 1982 to analyze the efficacy of in-house production of component parts of their respective vehicles. Technological innovations drive a great deal of efficiency, meaning not just technology in the computerized or mechanized sense, but in the industrial sense. (Monteverde & Teece 1982)
Redesigning processes, after careful and meticulous analysis, is a great way to achieve greater levels of efficiency when a firm is constantly trying to keep an edge on competition, as well as be a good steward to the environment. (Klepper 2002) Not to leave out that environmental efficiency tends to keep firms on the good side of government as well. In regard to the environment, not only does a manufacturer, foreign or domestic, of automobiles in the United States have to deal with NHTSA, they also have to meet Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA’s emission standards. (US EPA 2014) In some states, even stricter standards such as those imposed by California’s Air Resources Board, or CARB by its initials, further complicate the market share. (CEPA 2014)
Controlling, especially control over the impact of manufacturing on the environment, necessarily has to be merged with the bigger picture when it comes to the same firms meeting the emissions standards. This is no more poignant than in the work published in 2002 by Levy and Rothenberg, wherein they analyzed the response of companies to the threat of global warming. Part of the analysis deals with the consumer base itself, and doubts about the climate and environmental science that ‘drives’ stricter and stricter standards into place. Additional doubts as to the marketability of newer, smaller, or lower emission vehicles come into play as well. (Levy & Rothenberg 2002)
Marketability, and indeed building a consumer base, is something that any nationalist could relate to politically. In the American auto industry, fierce consumer loyalty is not the default though fierce loyalty still marks the majority of customers. How one becomes a Ford, GM, or even Honda or Mercedes aficionado is unknown beyond simply being a matter of ‘taste.’ In regard to firm’s interaction with the public however, whether a consumer or prospective consumer, an aficionado or not; the character Edina Monsoon from the British Broadcasting Company’s television show, Absolutely Fabulous probably put it best in Series Three, in the episode titled “Jealous” when she said, “I don’t want more choice, I just want nicer things!”
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