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By Al Vinikour  

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DC Awaits First Global Fours by Joseph Szczesny (12/27/2004)
Joint venture with Mitsu, Hyundai pays off next fall.

 

Once upon a time there were great big companies in a land called Detroit. Often they were attacked by foreign invaders. Being all-powerful, Detroitflicked its would-be rivals aside like cigar ashes on an expensive suit.

Thus, when another attempt was made to raid their kingdom — this time by Japanese with funny names like “ Toyota, Datsun, and Honda,” the laughing from the land called Detroit brought such tears to its American executives’ eyes they couldn’t clearly read the sales charts that illustrated the start of an alarmingly diminishing market share.

When their ample bellies stopped shaking and their eyes cleared the horrible realization that they’ve been successfully invaded was so paralyzing they still develop nervous B.O. in boardrooms through Southeast Michigan.

Over time the Detroiters and their Japanese rivals reached an accommodation, one that basically reads, “Let us live and we’ll give you the South.” As the Japanese, and their European colleagues took over Southern states in a move not seen since the mid-1860s, all have become oblivious to a new challenger to their turf — the Koreans.

For many years Korean manufacturers tried to gain a foothold in North America, but their notoriety was primarily limited to being the standard for manufacturing vehicles the public did not want to buy (just like the early Japanese imports). Thus, for the most part they have been ignored and allowed to market in this hemisphere, the thought being they made everybody else’s vehicles look better by comparison.

After years of diligence towards improving quality and attempting to produce a good product at an affordable price, Detroit and the Godzillas of the Pacific Rim are now seriously threatened by the Korean invasion.

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