This movie is very applicable in today's age, especially in the auto industry. American auto makers continue to struggle, while Toyota and Honda (and others are rising as well) are thriving. While GM is having finicial troubles the past few years, Toyota and Honda are listed ahead of them in Business Week's top performers in the vehicle classification. While working on a report for my MBA class, I came across these stats on auto makers. In FY2004, Toyota made net profit of about $1,600 per vehicle, Honda made about $1,200, Ford was at about $650, Chrysler was at $175, and GM actually lost $2,200 per vehicle. GM is making money thru their finance department, and not by manufacturing. In other words, if GMAC financing would finance something other than their own cars, and quit making cars, GM would be in a much better financial situation. This is the reason GM was able to sell their vehicles recently at employee pricing and still make money. The financing of these vehicles is supporting them.
I am an American who believes in the American way and feel that a strong economy is what keeps America as the leader in the world economy. I also feel that some industries, such as the auto industry, need to take a close look at itself to continue to be on top. They have relied on the fact that their sheer size will continue to make them top of the world. Size, however, when you are not making money, only will quicken your downfall. The Japanese auto makers have relied on continuous improvement and lean manufacturing to help them drive efficiencies. "Cutting the fat" out of their manufacturing costs has allowed them to funnel more money into emerging technologiess that will drive the future. This is why the top hybrid vehicles are from foreign manufacturers. The Japanese are also known for creating value added relationships with their suppliers as opposed to the confrontational relationship that many US manufacturers foster.
I just hope it is not too late for US car manufacturers to turn things around. In order to do so, changes need made and the employees of these companies, as well as the thousands of companies that feed into the auto industry, need to be accepting that things need to change in order to bring the US auto industry back on top.