Oligopolies/ Mergers etc.

JOEFREEMEN at aol.com JOEFREEMEN at aol.com
Wed Feb 27 08:14:17 MST 2002


Below is an excerpt from a presentation two years ago.


   On January 15, Herr Jurgen Schrempp spoke before the Automotive News World
Congress in Detroit. Having long ago abandoned assessments of leaders based
on ideology, I pay close attention to men and women thrust into leadership of
world businesses. Herr Schrempp is an important man and his assessment of the
industry and world in which we live are very important to anyone who seeks to
understand the political and economic terrain. Let's examine a couple of
paragraphs from his presentation.

. . the chickens have come home to roost - in no uncertain terms. And the
main reason is overcapacity. Which had lead to high incentives and an
overheated market; an unrealistic market, if I may say so. Overcapacity has
been with us in the past - in fact, as we all know, it's been driving
consolidation.

A generation ago there were 32 passenger car manufacturers; today, there are
10 independent ones. And the number of independent commercial vehicle
manufacturers has dwindled from 34 to 14 in the same period. There is
enormous downward pressure on profit margins right now and thus obviously on
the returns we can deliver to our shareholders.

We are not alone in facing this challenge. All of us in this industry are
confronted by the same pressures to streamline and restructure in the months
ahead.

. . . Our strategy is straightforward. It's about achieving sustainable
profitability. And it calls for global reach, a comprehensive brand and
product portfolio and innovation leadership delivered in a socially
responsible manner.

. . . Over the last year, we at DaimlerChrysler have concentrated on what we
know best: developing, building. Selling and servicing cars, trucks and
buses. We now generate more than 90% of our revenues in the automotive sector
and in vehicle-related services. Today, ours is a truly global company,
manufacturing in 37 nations and operating in over 200 countries. And this
does not include Mitsubishi.


     Herr Shrimp's straight forwardness - his "Germanness" if you will, is
incredibly refreshing to one subjected to the rhetoric of the typical
hucksters in the American automotive industry. Actually, his presentation was
nothing less than remarkable in pinpointing the global landscape.
Specifically, Daimler Chrysler's response to changes in the communications
and productivity infrastructure. DaimlerChrysler is truly a world corporation
and not merely a transnational corporation.

      DaimlerChrysler is poised to operate as a world entity in the
transition economy. However, the corporation is still leagues away from an
internal interactivity that matches the interactivity of the evolving
transition economy. DaimlerChrysler is not merely subjected to the laws of
exchange operating on a capitalistic basis, but also the law of dislocation.
The transition from one mode of production to another cannot but reveal the
logic of the market "pattern." Perhaps, presenting the logic of the general
character of the market "pattern" from Herr Schrempp's standpoint as a leader
will clarify what is meant by interactivity.

"Now, DaimlerChrysler has moved decisively into Asia, the last big market in
which we had to considerably strengthen our position. Why? Because Asia will
make up 35% of global GDP 10 years from now. Yet today, we derive only
between 2 and 3% of our revenues from this region, where automobiles are
growing by more than 10% per year. That is why we are investing in Asia. That
is why we seized this short window of opportunity when Mitsubishi was in
trouble to acquire a major stake in a leading Asian player - at a most
reasonable price.

. . . This fourth challenge is about building a truly global team. . . Any
multicultural global company, today, has to respect cultural diversity, but
at the same time build a common loyalty to the company. Whether American,
Japanese, German or French in origin: if we want to succeed in this new
global marketplace. All of us have to fundamentally change the way our people
work and relate to each other - in fact we need a new mindset."

      Here is a fine description of the organizational strategy of a
corporation, transforming it to operate upon the basis of a new mode of
production. Again, it must be pointed out, we are only 10 - 15% in the
transition period. Asia contains over three billion human beings. Apparently,
Herr Schrempp intends for DaimlerChrysler to be standing when the smoke
clears. Market crisis is being met with reorganization while dislocation is
being met with the fight for increased interactivity across the board. The
market crises and the dislocation and transformation of the communications
and productivity infrastructure are a crisis in the general character of the
market. Lurking beneath this dislocation is the specific character of the
market pattern. It is the specific character of the market pattern that
generates revolutionaries.

        From Herr Fredrick Engels and Karl Marx to Herr Juergen Schrempp.
What a world. From the small village near the birthplace of Nelson Mandela -
where DaimlerChrysler provided the resource to build a school, to China's
Gudong Providence to Detroit by way of Struttgart, Germany. What ties
everything together into a web of interactivity is the infrastructure
undergoing qualitative transformation. The slow and emerging transition from
electro-mechanical processes to electronic-digital processes is the essence
of the opening of a new era in human history.

Looks like we are going to get another shot at things and half of y'all need
to lose weight and try and stay out of Vegas. Next month will be my first
Annual Joint Conference in Vegas and my brother ******* has to get there
early to set things up. He's going to have another heart attack arguing all
the time with Nate and his staff. He's crazy to be an International rep. They
work ten years on staff for the double pension and then die before they get
the pension. Nate Gooden is horrible and for him to head up the Chrysler
Group section of the union is our punishment for the highlife and the bribery
everyone says don't exist. Can't nobody on earth tell me luck ain't a part of
the law of motion, case this ignorant m*******, don't know how to make the
company honor basic agreements they are trying to honor.

People in Labor relations be calling talking about "will you guy stop giving
back things we are not asking for." Can anyone doubt for a moment that the
key to understanding the revolutionary process is man himself within a
specific boundary of a specific productivity logic and not the tools of his
inventiveness as abstract things?  Y'all know what they say, "what ever can
happen will" and "I'll take luck over science."

      As the saying goes, shift happens and the shift is starting to hit the
fan. We are fortunate enough to be carried by the wind that precedes the
shift or as brother ****** calls it "riding the m****** wave that precedes
the electron."  The shift is the incremental changes that constitute the
transition economy.

February 2000

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