Thomas L. Friedman: Save us, O Toyota
Thomas L. Friedman starts a recent column with a provocative question:
“If I am rooting for General Motors to go bankrupt and be bought out by Toyota, does that make me a bad person? It’s not that I want any autoworker to lose his or her job, but I think the only hope for GM’s workers, and maybe even our country, is with Toyota.“
He is thinking in terms of Toyota’s leadership in hybrids and alt-fuel technologies, how spreading that throughout GM would help reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, which would help with a number of geopolitical situations.
As a former GM employee (also having a dad who is a 36-yr GM employee), I don’t want to see GM crumble and see people lose jobs. But, I wonder if having Toyota buy GM wouldn’t be best for productivity, quality, customers, and long-term employee job satisfaction and security.
Now, Toyota probably wouldn’t want to deal with the UAW. And, other than that, I doubt our leaders in Washington will ever let GM be bought by foreign owners (they won’t let failing airlines go under, too many jobs at stake).
I guess the question is this — if Toyota bought or merged with GM, could Toyota “fix” GM? Click “Comments” to let us know what you think.