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I remember It was just over thirty years ago that the first Honda cars rolled off the production line at the first Japanese car plant in North America, in Marysville, Ohio. Ford chairman at the time, Harold Poling said that the Japanese should “build cars where they sell them”. Because at that time the US had a protectionist mood, the only way Japan’s car companies could get round import restrictions was to invest directly in America and they did. And over the past 8 -10 years, while Detroit automakers closed factories in the face of the dramatic drop-off in U.S. auto sales, Asian rivals continued to add plants North America.
How times have changed since then. Asian car manufacturers now have about 18 plants operating in the US employing over 50,000 people. Add to that the number of contractors and subcontractors who supply them (especially plastics) and you can see that there are a lot of Americans who directly benefit from this growth. The loss of this business in Japan has no doubt hurt the economy there and the jobs lost will never be regained as long as the demand is as high as it is here for Asian inspired vehicles. But for Americans workers, the machinery manufactures and companies like Eurotherm who supply control systems to them; we have all felt the positive effect of this.
As Mr. Polling said; “build cars where they sell them”. Yes, it surely is better to be making them here where American people, American companies and American consumers can all reap the benefits.