In support of ‘Made in America’

While the taxpayer is being asked to fork-up billions of dollars to bail out the automotive industry, the Big 3 continue to waste hundreds of millions of dollars every year on plant automation alone. General Motors, Chrysler, as well as Ford, do not allow competitive bidding on automation control devices while protecting their old, inefficient and outdated suppliers.

By Shalli Kumar, AVG Automation April 1, 2009

While the taxpayer is being asked to fork-up billions of dollars to bail out the automotive industry, the Big 3 continue to waste hundreds of millions of dollars every year on plant automation alone. General Motors, Chrysler, as well as Ford, do not allow competitive bidding on automation control devices while protecting their old, inefficient and outdated suppliers.

Labor unions may be a factor as to why the automotive transplants in the South are operating in the black, and there has been plenty of criticism of Detroit in this respect; however, there has been no public discussion of other aspects of the Big 3’s spending sprees. For example, Toyota and Honda have much more open specification policies than the Big 3, which provide for more automation for the same cost.

Detroit spends close to $1.2 billion per year on automation control products that are supposed to increase plant productivity and reduce costs. But most of these products are not even manufactured in the U.S. any more. On the other hand, there are American companies that can provide better products for half the cost, saving Detroit $600 million per year with products that are manufactured in the United States of America, further creating additional high tech manufacturing jobs here in the homeland.

As a major critic of wasteful spending and a big proponent of U.S. manufacturing, I intend to raise this issue in public discourse and I hope others will join me. If you wish to contact me, you can reach me through my executive assistant Mary Kay Kollin at 563-359-7501, ext. 235. www.avg.net

Author Information
Shalli Kumar is CEO of AVG Automation, makers of the EZAutomation line of control products. Established in 1975, AVG holds more than 20 patents and performs all research, development and manufacturing at its facilities in Bettendorf, IA and Carol Stream, IL.