A Novel Idea – Insourcing

August 25, 2005 at 10:16 pm | Posted in Technology | Leave a comment

A New Zealand website has a very good history of the Prius hybrid car. The interesting part is that Toyota started this project in 1993 after being excluded from the Partnership for the Next Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), which was an American effort to produce an 80 mpg sedan. I remember back then that Toyota claimed that they considered themselves an American company since they had invested so much in domestic production and research facilities.

Twelve years later, the PNGV has yielded very little in terms of any consumer benefit while costing taxpayers billions of dollars. In the meantime, Honda and Toyota are the undisputed leaders in hybrid technology and market share. They eventually licensed their patents to other car companies like Ford and Nissan.

I was encouraged by what Ford is trying to do to address their problem of not having equal access to the Japanese technology they are licensing. They came upon a solution that escapes (pardon the pun) 99% of American businessmen — developing products and technology within the United States. In 21st century American business, the standard practice would be to complain to the government and try to get them to apply political pressure.

Corporations should re-invest in this country, our people, and national economic security. It will pay off, as it did after WWII.

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