Is there any difference between Hugo Chavez and Barack Obama in terms of how they approach the auto industry? "Make the kind of cars I thing you should, or the government will take you over."
Mr. Chavez said his socialist government is going to apply strict quotas regarding the number and types of vehicles auto makers can produce. The president also ordered his trade minister, Eduardo Saman, to inspect the Toyota plant, saying it may not be making enough "rustic vehicles," a style of all-terrain vehicle that is much-needed in Venezuela's countryside, where they are often converted into minibuses.
"They'll have to fulfill [the quotas], and if not, they can get out," Mr. Chavez said during a televised address. "We'll bring in another company."
He said if the inspection shows Toyota isn't producing what he thinks it should and isn't transferring technology, the government may consider taking over its plant and have a Chinese company operate it. "We'll take it, we'll expropriate it, we'll pay them what it's worth and immediately call on the Chinese," Mr. Chavez said. Chinese companies, he said, are willing to make vehicles made for the countryside.
It seems like Venezuelan workers want the same deal Obama gave the UAW:
Venezuela's auto sector is in tatters amid recurring labor problems that have led to a lack of productivity. Analysts say many auto workers hope their company is nationalized so they can become de facto government workers and enjoy the extra job security that comes with that status.
By the way, this seems like a suckers play -- please put more valuable stuff in your store window so when we break in there is more to steal:
Mr. Chavez said late Wednesday the Japanese auto maker needs to transfer more new technologies and manufacturing methods from headquarters to its local unit in Venezuela.
While Mr. Chavez directed most of his criticism at Toyota, he said other auto assemblers, including Fiat SpA and General Motors, are also guilty of not sharing technology from abroad with their Venezuelan units.
The left often seems to imply that the US government is too eager to shed blood to protect American industry overseas, but in point of fact American industry has had to live with the reality for decades that foreign governments often steal billions of dollars in American-owned assets with barely a peep being heard from the US government. For example, there is really no such thing as a Saudi or Libyan or Venezuelan or even Mexican oil industry - those are just assets paid for and built by private Western concerns and then stolen by local governments.