GM claims Toyota has more pull in Washington DC

Bob Lutz is crying foul on the special treatment Toyota seems to be getting from Washington, D.C. lately. GM's vice chairman for product development, Lutz was quoted as saying he thinks Toyota is spending a lot more on politics nowadays because they seem to have even more clout than world number one GM in lobbying power. Political power is important when government regulations are being considered and can mean a great deal in advancing certain innovations, or steering automotive development towards one company's products over another's.

"Toyota outspends us. They have more congressmen and senators than we have," Lutz told a group of reporters Tuesday at the North American International Auto Show. "Toyota has more clout in Washington than we do." "I try not to go to Washington too often," he added. "I find it profoundly depressing."

Perhaps it has something to do with all of the US plants being built by Japanese firms of late. Toyota alone employs 39,000 workers in six US plants with the possibility of adding two more in the near future. Contrast that with the 140,000 workers GM has left after all of the recent layoffs and you can see that GM is still far and away employing more US workers, but Toyota's is still a big workforce.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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