• Jun 8th 2006 at 8:59AM
  • 8

General Motors CEO used the bully pulpit at GM's annual shareholders' meeting to repeat a complaint that has been made several times in the past few decades (and will likely will be heard many times again) - the Japanese government is artificially holding the value of the yen low relative to the dollar to help its exporters. The same complaint was recently issued by Chrysler's Tom LaSorda as well. A lower value for the yen makes it easier to stick a lower price tag on an auto that's imported from Japan; or, alternatively, it makes the sale of that vehicle more profitable at the same price.

The yen has experienced two significant slides in value relative to the dollar twice in the past ten years, but at this time it is close to trading near its strongest position over the same time period. While the Big Three do not enjoy the same relationship with their government as the Japanese automakers, it's unclear whether the Hill's financial policy of large federal and trade deficits would allow any significant manipulation of the dollar's value, even if the feds wanted to help the automakers.

[Source: Forbes]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      This is some weak "journalism", even for you guys.

      From your own article, that you even linked to:

      > LaSorda said that he, Rick Wagoner and Bill Ford plan to raise
      > this topic, along with health care and energy policy, with
      > President Bush in a meeting scheduled for later this month.

      Now you're surprised that Wagoner is somehow "joining the chorus" that YOU REPORTED he was already a member of.

      Slow news day, or what?
      • 9 Years Ago
      The ones who should be whining are the japanese people - who subsidize their own automakers by buying dollars from their treasury- rcvd from their taxes- Japan has been cheating on auto trade for 50 years- its high time the US do the same-for instance- GM and Ford merge and the US government pay for their health care and pensions costs- thats how Japan plays the game.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Waaah Waaah!" I think Rick missed his nap time.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I will buy an American-brand car when an American company makes a car that I want.

      I could have spent less for a Chevy or Ford than I paid for my Honda Accord, so price wasn't the issue. Quality and driving characteristics were the issues.

      Economy is in selection, not price.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Waaah Waaah.

      Camry, Accord, Civic, and most of the top selling Japanese cars are made in the US or Canada. So what's their lame excuse now?

      It's just bad PR. Passing the buck makes you look like a loser.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I went to Japan (pleasure, not business) and there are no bargains there except sushi.

      Anyone who says the yen is cheap should go to Japan and check prices.

      I hope GM recovers but it'll do so by improving its products and renegotiating ridiculous Jobs Bank and other UAW chokeholds.

      Nobody wants to hear overpaid auto executives moan and groan.
      • 9 Years Ago
      i just hate excuses, in sports, from my kids and most certainly in corporate America. Build me something I want and I'll pay the price.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Has Wagoner looked at the value of the US dollar lately? Or for the last 3 years for that matter. What are the Japanese doing that the US itself is not doing also.
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