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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Why Canada is Kicking Your Ass

The big news in Detroit this week was that auto parts supply giant Delphi is bankrupt.

Delphi Corp.'s bankruptcy filing sent its shares -- along with those of General Motors Corp. and most of the auto sector -- down Monday as investors worried about the industry's financial stability.

Delphi's bankruptcy is a high-profile signal of the U.S. auto industry's continuing problem of rising costs and declining profits, said David Sowerby, whose company, Loomis Sayles & Co., manages $70 billion in investments for clients.

A string of smaller auto suppliers -- Collins & Aikman Corp., Meridian Automotive Systems Inc. and Tower Automotive Systems Inc. -- filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Delphi adds a big name to the list.

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The big news in Toronto, Ontario was the new Toyota plant in Woodstock:

Toyota Motor Corp. is already preparing to double output at its new plant in Woodstock, Ont., to 200,000 vehicles a year and boost employment to 2,000 from the originally planned 1,300 positions, industry sources say, just as its North American rivals are in turmoil.

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When citing the rationale for locating their plant in Canada, Toyota officials cite lower labour costs, the educational level of Canadian workers, and lower health care costs. It's also not just Toyota. Honda is also planning to expand their operations in Canada:

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Why is the United States, the free market, business-friendly, low tax paradise losing out to Canada?

Because their neighbor to the north has invested in public education, vocational education, and a national health care system.

Don't take my word for it. Ask a Japanese auto industry executive.

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