Tomorrow, Canada’s Minister of Industry Tony Clement and Finance MinisterJim Flaherty will meet with White House economic aide Larry Summers to coordinate automotive aide. The Canadian units of General Motors and Chrysler presented restructuring plans to Canada’s government last month with a March 31 deadline for reaching an agreement. Reuters reports that Clement says the Canadian government is “still undergoing our review of their plans.”
Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) president Ken Lewenza told the Montreal Gazette that “Canadian auto industry rescue talks have been postponed until next week pending a deal with the UAW in the U.S., leaving the CAW waiting ‘in limbo’ for more details of what GM and Chrysler want from the Canadian union.”
Yesterday, Reuters reported that “Canadian auto sales extended their freefall for a fourth consecutive month in February…Overall, February auto sales sank 27.7 percent in Canada from a year earlier, extending declines of 25 percent in January, 21 percent in December, and 10.3 percent in November, as the economy worsened and consumers stayed away from big-ticket purchases.”
Given the potential for understandably nation-specific concerns as to where a particular country’s money might end up, a coordination at the highest levels makes much sense. A major organizational fact of life for companies like GM, Ford and Toyota is the interconnectedness and interdependence of the design and manufacturing functions. Thus the importance of state to state coordination.