Evolution Shift
A Future Look at Today
July 31st, 2008

The Future of Detroit Can Be Seen in Brazil

Recently, I wrote about the Big Three Auto companies and how they need to change, and change their product lines if they wanted to stay “big”.   Since those columns there has been even more evidence that these companies are struggling to keep up with current realities.  Additional plants have closed, the production of trucks has been dramatically lowered, the projected number of vehicles to be sold this year has been lowered and now Chrysler has gotten out of the leasing business because the resale value of the big vehicles leased has plummeted.

Earlier in the year I wrote several columns about Brazil and how it will be one of the countries leading the world with economic growth, vision and innovation.  It is a country that leads the world in smart use of ethanol.  It is a country that has a sustained rate of economic growth and a country that seems to be finally realizing its potential as being the country of the future.

A good friend sent me a video about a Ford plant in Brazil that shows what the new and future auto manufacturing plants of the world can and will look like.  It is interesting that this Ford plant is in Brazil and not in the U.S.    Brazil is in the stage of becoming a new model country for manufacturing while the U.S. is stuck in institutional constructs of the last century.  The good news is that Ford has found a new way to manufacture cars.  The bad news is that it has to do it outside the U.S. at least for now.  Unions, politicians and auto executives must all realize that in order to embrace the future, in order to survive and thrive in the Shift Age, they must all let go of holding on to the way things used to be.  We can’t lament the ‘used to be’, we must embrace the future.

Here is the video, courtesy of the Detroit News:  http://info.detnews.com/video/index.cfm?id=1189

When I was driving the roads in Brazil earlier this year, I had been struck by the number of cars on the road with the Ford name.  I now know the reason why.

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