Sometimes I want to throttle everyone that’s a “Nationalistic” kinda person. Because. They have totally missed the point of everything. Let me explain. Let me use lots of examples. This is going to be a series. I’ll start it with this note.
Example #1 : Cars.
Hate me all you want. But, following World War II, Europe, and Asia, made virtually no cars. Both parts of the world were tied up in repairing their countries, and rebuilding their nations. Entire cities were gone. Entire industries were wiped out.
South America, Africa, the Middle East, had no ability to build cars.
That left General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and a few others (predecessors to what we have today in the USA). American car manufacturers got to build what they wanted to build. Because, if you wanted a car, you bought what they sold. It was that simple.
The auto makers did not have to innovate. They did not have to worry about passenger safety. They did not have to worry about fuel economy. They did not have to worry about reliability. Because. If you wanted a car, you HAD to buy one from them. Period.
That changed in the 1970s. Especially in the late 1970s. That’s when Datsun, Toyota, and Honda virtually destroyed Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. Because, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler could not compete with them. Could not build cars that got the same gas mileage. Could not build cars that were as reliable. Could not build cars that were as safe for their passengers. Could not build cars that provided all those features, all those advantages over American cars, at a price that was competitive with Datsun, Toyota, or Honda.
It resulted in a bloodbath for American automobile manufacturers. American Motors died out completely, with Chrysler buying its remains. General Motors bordered on bankruptcy, but managed to negotiate with the unions to stay in business. Ford did the same. Chrysler would have folded if not for a 9 billion dollar bailout from the US Government.
It all happened back in the 1970s, and 1980s, during the days of Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan.
Why did it happen? Because of isolationism in the car market. Because, for almost 40 years, the only cars in the US were from Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, with smaller players like American Motors Corporation. Because, those manufacturers only had each other to compete with, they had no other competitors.
They grew fat. They grew entrenched. They lived off the reality they could sell what they wanted. Because in the USA, if you wanted a car, you bought one from them.
Then, the market opened up, and imported cars arrived in the USA. When that happened, the consumers in the USA realized what junk the cars made by Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler were.
It’s now closing in on 50 years later, and Chrysler is gone. The name exists, but it’s just a division of the Stellantis Corporation, which is primarily Fiat and Peugeot, both of which are European automobile manufacturers. General Motors is dramatically different. Pontiac and Oldsmobile are gone. Cars are virtually gone, with only a few models left. Ford is now a truck and SUV manufacturer, having admitted it can’t make money on cars.
Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Hyundai, KIA, and others, own the car market. And they are investing heavily in the SUV and truck markets. It is these import car manufacturers that now determine the future of cars, trucks, and SUVs. Because they invest, continuously, in improving their products, and in developing new products, and new technologies.
Let me reiterate how this all happened.
The US automobile manufactures literally owned the US auto market for decades after World War II, with no competition from anyone outside of the US. Their only competition was each other. This resulted in the manufacturers becoming unable to innovate, unable to improve, unable to develop new technologies. They stopped growing, stopped evolving, because they had no reason to continue doing so.
They owned the market.
You can look further into the history of the US automobile manufacturers. As you look, you will notice they never made any significant sales in any Asian market. In Europe, they had to develop entire European divisions that ran separately from the US divisions, because the US cars did not sell in Europe. In South America, again, a similar story unfolded, with automobiles that sold in the US not selling well at all in South America.
But, that was all acceptable, because the automakers made so much money in the US, they didn’t have to worry about the rest of the world.
The result? The rest of the world passed the US Automobile Industry, and left it behind. And that industry has spent nearly 50 years trying to become competitive on the global market.
Now? Now, there are people who want to ban the imported cars. People who want Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Hyundai, KIA, Volkswagen, and everyone else, banned from the US car market, as a means of forcing the US to develop its own manufacturing capability, and capacity.
These same people seem oblivious to the history of the automotive market since World War II. They seem oblivious to the truth that for decades, the US automobile manufactures were the only option US consumers had for purchasing a car. They seem oblivious to the documented history that the US automobile manufactures made awful cars, and had no interest, and no financial incentive, to improve those cars.
They seem completely clueless to what will happen if they close the US automobile market to everyone except US owned manufacturers. In the 1970s, when Toyota, Datsun, and Honda exploded on the US car marketplace, front wheel drive cars were an already fully developed technology. Transverse engines were an already fully developed technology. 4 valve per cylinder engines were already fully developed. The list continues for pages.
And none of those developed technologies was available in the United States. None of them. Because, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler had no reason to make them available. Because it cut into their profit margins to modify their assembly lines to support the use of those new technologies. Because the products they had were selling well, why mess with a successful product?
Today, if you, as a consumer in the United States, have a choice between a Ford Escape, or a BMW X5 SUV, which vehicle would you like to purchase? Why?
I’ve said enough. Let me close out example 1 by saying that this is what happens when you close off the market place in your country, to protect American jobs, American workers, and American companies. When you close off the market place in your country to make your country great again.
You end up doing everything but making your country great. You end up with a country that can’t compete, that has a trapped consumer market, that has no innovation, no advancement, no growth. You end up at a dead end. And the entire world leaves you behind.