Less than recently... this is from June of this year:
TOKYO — Suzuki Motor Corp. will dissolve its sales tie-up in Japan with General Motors Corp. (GM) and end its joint development operations in the country with the American auto maker, a news report said Sunday.
The Japanese small-car maker plans to stop its distribution of the Chevrolet-brand Trailblazer sports utility vehicle and Optra wagon in Japan sometime this year, according to a report in Japan's largest daily, the Yomiuri.
Suzuki will also stop the manufacture and sales of the Chevrolet Cruise, a jointly developed SUV, it said. The vehicle was developed in 2001 and is manufactured in Japan, it said.
The report did not identify any sources or offer a reason for the move. Suzuki officials were not available for comment Sunday.
The GM-Suzuki partnership dates back to 1981. But those ties have loosened recently after GM sold 17 percent of Suzuki in April for about $2 billion, leaving it with a 3 percent stake.
That followed last year's sale of GM's entire 20 percent stake in Fuji Heavy Industries, the Japanese maker of Subaru cars. GM, which has been struggling to boost profits, also sold the 7.9 percent stake it held in Japanese truckmaker Isuzu Motors Ltd.
I'm sorry, but the phrase "buy American" doesn't mean anything any longer. That phrase is just touted by people who simply do not understand the modern automotive industry. Do some research on how many countries are involved in the production of a modern car.
This subject has been argued often. Lables mean little in todays vehicle manufacturing. Ford, Chevy, Buick and so on are not made with only American made parts. I have seen the breakdown of foreign parts in USA brand vehicles and it is very high. Assembled by US workers is the new meaning of built in the USA. That applies to Toyato, Hyundia and most 'foreign brands. American brands are assembled in Mexico and Canada and parts plants are located world wide.
I think its time to start giving Honda and Toyota some credit for building auto plants in the U.S.
And buying parts from manufacturers here in the U.S. (And paying a fair price for those parts).
It is hard to see GM and Ford laying off so many people. Closing so many plants.
To see where the U.S. is going in the auto industry, you only have to look at Europe. In the U.S. Gm and Ford have had 30% shares only a decade ago.
Now they are dropping below 20%.
In Europe there are dozens of car makers all with 12% or less market share. All compete and all make money (not sure on Fiat).
This is the way the U.S. auto market is headed. No dominate maker of autos like GM in the 50s and 60s.
It will take time for the car companies to fix their production supply. But once they do this they will make profitable cars and be able to compete against international car companies.
I for one like all the choice. And as long as Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes (Chrysler) and other auto manufacturers build factories in the U.S. Putting Americans to work and supplying them with a good wage, I will not have any problems buying a car from them.
When Toyota build a factory in Michigan, then things will have truely changed. For the better I think.