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Manufacturers & The Environment

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While trolling the Internet, with no particular purpose, I stumbled upon an article on the Toyota Prius. In the article, the author mentioned Toyota's 'New Earth Charter'. This is Toyota's mission stement regarding the environment, and it includes it's plans for vehicles, as well as it's manufacturing plants.


A little more research revealed an office complex Toyota built in California that is the largest LEED certified building to date in the US. This brought to mind a topic discussed here recently that Toyota ruled out Houston as a site for its new Manufacturing plant because of our air quality problems.

Toyota is dedicated as a company to improving the footprint automobiles leave on the planet. As a large manufacture, it has no rival, except Honda, in this regard. Contrast this mindset with GM's remarks regarding its successful June sales drive:

"GM, the world's biggest automaker, said June amounted to its best month since September 1986. The boom was driven by record truck sales, which increased 69 percent. The Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup led the industry with a 102 percent gain, GM said.

"We see this as an indication that America's desire for trucks and SUVs is still a strong force in the marketplace," GM vice president of marketing Mark LaNeve said."

The same article said this about Toyota:

"Toyota reported its best-ever June on a 10 percent sales increase. Toyota's total sales are up 11.6 percent for the year on the strength of car sales, which have jumped 20.1 percent.

"Our fuel-efficient strategy continues to pay dividends," Toyota Motor Sales USA president and chief operating officer Jim Press said."

What does this have to do with Houston? Toyota's strategy represents the future of transportation and manufacturing. GM represent's American refusal to let go of the cheap oil past. Houston, more than most cities, because of its reputation as an industrial city, could have a bigger impact in redefining environmentally friendly manufacturing as a profitable enterprise as opposed to a costly one. Toyota is poised to become the world's largest auto manufacturer...it is already the world's most profitable. GM, with the help of backward thinking politicians, is poised to become the world's biggest collapse.

I am glad Toyota is in nearby San Antonio to provide Houston business and political leaders a case study in how to be a corporate good neighbor. I can only hope that they learn from them and put those lessons to good use here.

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I agree 100%, while companies like GM may be good in the short term, I think that companies like Toyota will be worth a lot more in a city once people are more conscious of oil and the environment and the effects that such an entity could have.

So I agree, and I also hope that Houston gets some of the good that San Antonio is getting.

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