Sérieux risque d’une délocalisation excessive de notre industrie canadienne

Trois articles sur le phénomène de la délocalisation, le troisième article, démontrent la tendance réelle de la délocalisation, cette fois-ci Volkswagen louange les mérites de sa nouvelle usine au Tennessee, par contre sa filiale Audi a choisi le Mexique comme future usine.

Le Canada à une particularité unique, elle ne possède que deux voisins immédiats, les États-Unis et le Mexique, malheureusement cette particularité est aussi notre faiblesse.

Elle nous met dans une situation de fragilité, car notre premier voisin imprime de l'argent et le salaire médian des travailleurs est inférieur aux nôtres, ce qui veut dire que notre main-d'œuvre est trop chère.

Et notre deuxième voisin, c'est le Mexique étant un pays émergent, où les salaires et services sociaux ne se comparent même pas.

Le secteur de manufacturier canadien dans l'ensemble est sous pression constante de se faire délocaliser, et tenter de croire que l'on pourra compenser par une économie de services est encore une autre connerie de certains économistes qui ne connaissent rien en économie réelle, d'autant plus, le service est drôlement dé localisable, demander aux ex-experts en SAP qui sont au chômage ou ont été obligé de trouver un emploi moins rémunérateur, car les Indiens font très bien le travail, mais à cinq moins chers.

Donc, si on n’établit pas de nouvelles règles de réciprocité (tel que produits finis pour profits finis), notre secteur industriel ne fera pas long feu devant cette différence majeure des coûts humains.

Et ce n'est pas en exploitant des boulettes de fer, que l'on va s'en sortir, il faudra rétablir un protectionniste équilibré, non croire à une fumisterie idéologique.

Donc, nos chers politiciens qui ont cette fâcheuse tendance à faire du bruit pour faire du bruit, il serait grand temps que vous fassiez votre travail et protéger votre peuple.

Extrait de : Counterpoint: Get the auto industry moving, Ken Lewenza, Financial Post, Apr 23, 2012

Everyone knows our auto industry has experienced tremendous turmoil over the past few years. Yet the industry has survived: It’s still here, directly employing 112,000 Canadians, and ultimately supporting 375,000 jobs (when all the spinoffs and indirect effects are added up). Output and exports have bounced back. Canada’s share of total North American production actually grew a bit.

But the industry still faces intense challenges from international competition,

1.      the emergence of new global producers,

2.      and a soaring loonie

that makes Canadian workers look 25% more expensive than we actually are.

This is a good time, therefore, for Canadians to take stock of the future of this still-vital industry. Auto is still Canada’s second-most important export industry. Our communities, indeed our entire national economy, still depend on auto. The dramatic measures that all stakeholders took during the crisis — government, workers, and the companies — have paid off. But where are we headed next?

This is a critical juncture for auto, for several reasons.

1.      From the corporate perspective, several of Canada’s important auto facilities face key investment decisions over the coming years.

2.      We need to win those investments, to keep the industry firmly rooted here, on the cutting edge of technology and productivity.

From the government perspective, meanwhile, there is great uncertainty regarding the policy framework for auto moving forward. Government policy was essential in defending the sector through the meltdown. And the economic evidence shows it was a good investment — for Canadian taxpayers, not just the auto industry.

But will government continue to be an active player at the table?

1.      At the federal level, we don’t know how committed the government is to the very idea of active industrial policy for the auto industry or other important high-tech sectors.

2.      In Ontario, meanwhile, government is grappling with a big deficit. So there are question marks at both levels.

If governments step back from playing a proactive, powerful role in building Canada’s auto manufacturing footprint, then the future of the sector is not bright.

A look around the world indicates that jurisdictions with active auto strategies are the ones where employment and exports have remained vibrant despite global economic uncertainty, changing technology, and environmental constraints. Countries like Germany, Korea, Japan, Brazil, and of course China are building and expanding their industries. In none of those cases does the strategy rely on cutting labour costs, trying to win a race to the bottom (indeed, in several of those countries, labour costs are higher than Canada).

Canada is one of the only auto-producing jurisdictions in the world without a clear national auto strategy. This is an important structural weakness that will hurt us badly in our efforts to cement future investments.

Even the U.S., which preaches free-market capitalism, is using every policy trick in the book these days to support auto and other high-tech industries. Investment subsidies. Technology support. Trade interventions. Domestic content rules.

How ironic that the cutting-edge efforts of an innovative Canadian firm, Magna International, to develop and produce electric vehicle technology are occurring mostly in U.S. facilities (like a new $40-million facility just opened in Grand Blanc, Mich.). Why?

Because the U.S. Department of Energy offered enormous investments for clean car technology … but only if the work is done in America.

Il faut arrêter de croire que tout le monde est gentil et tout le monde est beau et tout le monde va jouer selon de sainte règle, ding, ding, revenez dans le monde réel, si vous aviez été entrepreneur, ça fait longtemps que vous auriez compris cela.

Last week, the CAW released a major policy document, titled Rethinking Canada’s Auto Industry. We surveyed best practices from the policies of 16 auto-producing jurisdictions around the world. And we propose a 10-point strategy to ensure Canada retains a vibrant, productive, profitable industry for decades to come — one that once again can generate good jobs for our children and our communities, as is occurring in other countries today.

Market-worshiping commentators have criticized our approach as interventionist, nostalgic, or (gasp) “protectionist.” In fact, every one of our proposals has been enacted successfully in at least one auto-producing jurisdiction today.

Both real-world experience, and our own national economic history, prove that without targeted, powerful measures to expand the domestic footprint in desirable sectors like auto, we’ll be left in the dust by other countries who are already doing exactly that.

Governments must embrace the idea of active, sector-focused policymaking for this industry (and any other sector that similarly generates disproportionate investment, productivity and exports). The default policy stance for those who reject the whole philosophy of industrial policy is to continue to put all our national economic eggs in the basket of extracting and exporting raw resources (especially bitumen). That’s dangerous and unsustainable; Canada needs and deserves more.

Il parle de Harper bien sûr, qui couche avec l’industrie pétrolifère et Bay Street, 
  pour Charest c’est un cas purement pathétique.

Extrait de : Canadian Auto Workers’ leader confident union will make gains, Greg Keenan, Globes and Mail, Apr. 16, 2012

The Canadian Auto Workers is gearing up to win new investment for Canadian plants and regain benefits its members surrendered during the crisis, setting up a battle with auto makers determined to hold the line on labour costs.

“I’m confident that we’re going to make some progress,” Mr. Lewenza said. “Not significant progress. We’re going to make tiny steps forward.”

That confidence butts up squarely against public comments by senior auto industry executives – notably Chrysler chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne – that labour costs in Canada need to be reduced and annual pay increases eliminated in favour of profit sharing.

The difference of opinion sets the stage for tough negotiations at a critical time in the industry as the Detroit Three collectively ponder whether to make billions of dollars worth of investment at their Canadian operations, where competitiveness has taken a beating because of the rise in the value of the Canadian dollar.

At the same time,

1.      The companies have slashed their U.S. labour costs .

Du vrai, dumping social américain.

2.      And governments in Mexico and some southern U.S. states are throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at auto makers to land assembly plant investments.

Vive, notre supposément libre-échange.

Volkswagen got more than $500-million (U.S.) from the state of Tennessee and municipal governments, while Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. have announced that they will be building new assembly plants in Mexico.

Contracts covering about 25,000 auto workers at plants in the Ontario cities of Windsor, Oshawa, Oakville, Brampton, St. Catharines and the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke expire in September. The two sides will kick off negotiations in July. After those talks, the CAW chooses what is known as a target company, with which to reach a contract that will serve as a template for the other two.

The CAW leader made his comments as the union released a policy paper beseeching the federal government to adopt a national automotive policy as Brazil, Japan, Germany and other major auto making nations have done. Canada does not have a policy despite more than 10 years of discussion, reports and policy initiatives set out by the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council, a joint industry-government-union group set up in 2002 to assess the health of the industry.

The federal government could follow its own precedents, such as its participation in the more than $13-billion bailout of Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. it shared with the Ontario government or recent shipbuilding contracts that were open only to Canadian companies, the CAW said.

Federal and provincial governments need to jump in again to help win the new investments and make sure the industry continues to grow, Mr. Lewenza said, adding that an official policy is necessary rather than ad hoc decisions.

“We’re not going to grow jobs without an effective auto industry strategy,” he said. “Make no mistake about that. We can’t deal with this in bargaining, in isolation without the government.”

The paper calls on the federal government to lead the way with strong government intervention in the sector. The CAW wants Ottawa to encourage the creation of a Canadian-owned auto maker, cease free-trade talks with South Korea, Japan and the European Union, and slap tariffs on auto makers that sell vehicles in Canada without making any here.

Much of the paper sets out to refute the idea that labour costs are higher in Canada.

They’re about $60 (Canadian) an hour, including wages, pension contributions and health care and other benefits, the CAW said.

The Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich., says agreements signed with the United Auto Workers last year cut Chrysler’s U.S. costs to $52 (U.S.) an hour, GM’s to $56 and Ford Motor Co. all-in hourly costs to $58.

But CAW economist Jim Stanford says those figures don’t take into account the fact that Canadians pay higher prices for goods and services than Americans – including for those vehicles CAW members put together at assembly plants in Ontario.

The higher prices mean a basket of goods and services that costs Canadians $1 would cost Americans 81 cents when the dollar is at par, he said.

Extrait de: BC-TN--Volkswagen-Fischer,1st Ld-Writethru, TN, By AP, Canadien & Business, April 20, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — With a year of operation on the books, Volkswagen's facility in Chattanooga is boosting employment and capacity to meet demand, moving up plans to export the vehicle to Asia and becoming a blueprint for the German automaker's future plants.

Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of the Tennessee plant, said in an interview with The Associated Press this week that running the sprawling facility on the site of a former ammunition plant has had its share of challenges, but the overall experience has been "fantastic."

"If you have a new product in a new factory with new equipment, new suppliers and a completely new team and new processes, every day you have something new crop up," Fischer said. "But we planned for much of this in advance, and it helped us to be prepared for any surprises."

Fischer's time as head of VW's Chattanooga plant represents Fischer's third extend stint in the United States after earning his MBA at the University of Washington and spending a semester at Michigan State as an undergraduate.

Fischer, 50, has been employed by Volkswagen AG for 18 years, working the company's plants in Braunschweig, Emden and Wolfsburg. He also spent time as an assistant to the VW board and on an exchange program with Toyota.

The Chattanooga plant's first Passat sedan rolled off the line last April and the plant produced nearly 23,000 vehicles through the end of the year — a number it has already surpassed through the first quarter of this year.

Demand for the award-winning Passat led the plant to increase the speed of the production lines by up to 12 percent earlier this year by adding 200 workers. The company announced last month that it would add another 800 employees to further expand production.

Starting in the second half of the year, the plant will switch to two 10-hour shifts per day, six days per week, Fischer said.

"We all consider the project to be a success — it's been a perfect mix, a perfect marriage," Fischer said.

The company has been careful from the start to avoid the pitfalls that plagued Volkswagen's last attempt to build vehicles in the United States.

In 1976 Volkswagen bought a partially completed plant in southwestern Pennsylvania from Chrysler and began production two years later with plans of selling 500,000 vehicles per year.

But sluggish sales due to price and quality problems meant it would take seven years before the Westmoreland plant rolled off its millionth vehicle. And by 1987, the company announced it would shutter the facility that at its peak employed 5,700 people.

Fischer said much of the success of the Chattanooga facility comes from the design of the facility that was built from scratch and subject to heavy debate among company officials.

"It was a very interesting process internally, because when the building chief came to me to show me the layout, I said, 'No way,'" Fischer said. "We made some heavy modifications."

The successful launch of the U.S. operations has led the facility to become a blueprint for four new VW plants under construction in China, Fischer said. The plant has also fostered a domestic supply chain and kept strong ties with VW headquarters in Germany.

"There are a whole series of very important factors that we have implemented that have made the work much easier this time around," he said.

The plant sources parts from about 180 suppliers — about 30 of which had no previous experience working with Volkswagen. The company has worked closely with the suppliers to ensure smooth delivery of parts, Fischer said.

"We've gone back and supported them with personnel and know-how," he said. "The result is that we can make 500 cars a day, and that's a good feeling."

The company had first planned to spend more time consolidating sales in the North American market before starting exports, but that timetable was accelerated and the U.S.-made Passat is now headed to Mexico, Canada, South Korea and the Middle East.

"We would have liked to push that back, but it was decided that the timing made it critical to introduce the vehicles there," he said.

A similar Passat is produced in China, but is limited to the domestic market there. The American Passat is available in 16 versions, ranging from the basic model to the 3.6 liter engine SEL that Fischer describes as having "all the toys."

The U.S. version of the Passat is limited to a top speed of 122 mph, but Fischer said an American-made Passat retrofitted to German specifications showed no handling problems when he drove it at close to 150 mph there.

Volkswagen subsidiary Audi announced this week that it plans to open a new plant in Mexico, dashing hopes in Tennessee that the Chattanooga facility might be chosen for an expansion.

Fischer insists that regardless of Audi's plans, the Chattanooga plant will remain in the hunt for producing another model. Fischer said the corporate culture at Volkswagen promotes competition among its existing plants around the world.

"Management here says we want a second model, and the plants are all competing with each other for one," Fischer said "Fundamentally, it would be a logical step."