While Detroit caused fuel economy standards to stagnate for decades, the Japanese were making the investments and taking the risks to transform vehicle technology in response to changing realities. Their competition may have precipitated Detroit's downfall, but it's also providing the jolt Detroit needs to bring back the innovative spirit of the industry's early years. It's instructive to compare how the formidable duo of Honda and Toyota have positioned themselves and responded successfully to the same challenges that have tripped up the Detroit Three.
Toyota and Honda emerged in a very different environment from the Detroit Three. They got started in a nation without a trace of crude oil reserves and in a home market devastated by World War II. In reaching out to the U.S. market, they were forced to work around protectionist tariffs and trade rules crafted by the Detroit automakers. Approaching the automotive market from different circumstances, they focused on efficiency and small vehicles, with a different understanding of the public interest and public priorities. Later on, they witnessed their government signing the Kyoto Protocol in 1997—the first international agreement to address global climate change—and Japan's continuing efforts to "prevent dangerous [human] interference with the climate system."54 As the twenty-first century rolled around, with higher fuel prices and increasing energy and environmental concerns, Toyota and Honda were well positioned. Their business models fit better with increasingly aggressive energy and climate policies than did those of the Detroit companies.
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Hybrid Cars! Man! Is that a HOT topic right now! There are some good reasons why hybrids are so hot. If you’ve pulled your present car or SUV or truck up next to a gas pumpand inserted the nozzle, you know exactly what I mean! I written this book to give you some basic information on some things<br />you may have been wondering about.