EDITOR'S DESK, FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, MARKETS/ECONOMY, STOCKS, TECHNICALS

F BOMB

MARCH 11, 2020. Back in 1957 Toyota landed at a derelict Rambler dealership deep in Hollywood. Nobody noticed. “Made in Japan” meant junk. Detroit owned American driving, and had since the beginning. During the mid-80’s the Japanese auto invasion reached critical mass. Buyers had noticed the quality difference. Detroit was caught lame, dopey, and bloated. The junk rolling off their production lines looked good, to them. Buyer felt otherwise.
Meanwhile, Japan’s spiritual egalitarian management style was producing a lean and reliable product line. Fuel economy mattered as well, and those quality-packed offerings carved up the U.S. auto market like a Samurai sword.
And it was business as usual for Detroit. Ford and Gm have habitually leaned backward rather than toward a transformative future. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973 OPEC hit an oil addicted west with an oil embargo. Gas lines wrapped around the block as motorists physically pushed eight cylinder boats toward busy pumps.
Oil trouble sent Detroit halfheartedly toward EV thinking. The obstacles were huge. Did they keep thinking long-term? No. The second oil again flowed they jettisoned the entire EV concept and packed their shaky prototypes into the crusher. They didn’t even leave an EV pilot light sparking. Now Tesla’s all over their backs.
The marvels of Detroit are many, including their repeated myopic refusal to tool for any future beyond next year. Detroit is a come from behind operator. That’s why Ford’s now an “F BOMB.”

Read more