This post does a great job of outlining the negative implications for the US that can stem from nationalistic policies. All too often, in my opinion, calls to bring back jobs to the US ignore the fact that many US companies’ ability to outsource certain pieces of their manufacturing actually generates a net gain in US jobs. When faced with nuanced arguments like the impact of nationalist policies on automakers, it is vital to actually understand the financial implications of doing so versus focusing merely on the politically expedient soundbite. It is my hope that GM continues to strike the fine balance between appeasing the current administration while making savvy business decisions. And in the event that the pressure becomes too great domestically to continue their operations this way, I would push GM management to make it abundantly clear the negative consequences US GM employees experienced as a result.
In my view, there is no doubt Boeing should aggressively pursue the JV – and as Bismah said, there is already traction on that front. Without pursuing such a venture, I have major concerns about Boeing’s ability to penetrate the Chinese market at all. I could not help but draw connections between this post and another post by Josh regarding Lotte, a South Korean conglomerate who recently had suffered significant repercussions from Chinese nationalist policies. In that post, Josh alluded to other successful JVs that have allowed companies to establish effective operations in China. If Boeing truly has aspirations to penetrate the Chinese market, I would be hard pressed to find a better solution. And, I would also argue that Boeing’s success in penetrating the Chinese market can benefit their domestic US operations – which could be a selling point against the recent nationalistic rhetoric prevalent in the US system.
Lucas, quite an interesting take unsurprisingly. I’m not sure I totally agree, however. I think many of the assertions you reference are true. But the argument hinges on two assumptions I take issue with. First, you assume the material composition of batteries and the processes required to generate them are fixed and will not improve as the demand for the resources increases. I fundamentally believe not only the efficiency of batteries, but the actual raw materials required to produce them will decrease as technology advances. Secondly, I think your argument lacks an apples-to-apples comparison to the technology electric cars are displacing. By simply citing the resource requirements and ecological impacts of electric cars, I’m not sure we get a true sense of how the carbon footprint of electric vehicles compares to their fuel counterparts over their lifetime. When viewed through that lens, my hunch would be electric vehicles would be undeniably more “green.”
This post reminded me a lot about Michael Porter’s research suggesting that when companies try to do good (societally), they oftentimes end up doing well (economically). And in fact, it served as a counterpoint to his research in my opinion. A lot of the aforementioned tactics and strategies employed by J&J do not seem accretive to their business model or capable of driving long-term shareholder value. So, I wonder how long management will continue to invest in these tactics in the event their financial performance begins to struggle. While I understand there is diversification within the J&J portfolio that allows for some of these tactics, I believe there may be investor or management pressure if the business starts to struggle and these activities are viewed as economically unsound. Additionally, I wonder if there is a diminishing return curve to Michael Porter’s research where the more good companies do, the curve of economic wellness flattens.
Really interesting read about a topic I’ve thought about quite a bit. One of the things I wonder is how scalable 3-D printing technology is outside of retail production. I’ve read certain use cases of it being used in various manufacturing capacities, but none as compelling as the story Nike has been able to craft. So, even if Nike does become a pioneer for 3-D printing, I wonder how beneficial pioneering the technology will be in the long run. The skeptic in me feels like 3-D printing is very effective for certain use cases, but less so for other industries despite the hype surrounding it.
Very interesting concept. I wonder how much of this technology is truly new and unique to the technologies mentioned above and how much has been implemented in potentially slightly less sophisticated ways. Essentially, I wonder the incremental efficiency from these technologies relative to the cost of implementation and labor intervention you mention. I wonder if there is value in testing an Industry 4.0 factory against one of its less technologically advanced peers to gauge the true cost-benefit trade-off.