Well, the owners of General Motors have figured out a way to put a hurting on one of their rivals. They’ve decided to just up and take over 16 million dollars from Toyota.
Oh, it isn’t being presented that way. No, instead, it’s the Transportation Department (a wholly owned subidiary of Executive Branch USA, which is also the majority owner of General Motors) that is imposing the fine on Toyota over its handling of defective brake parts in its vehicles.
In essence, the auto business is a game where the referee owns one of the teams.
Expect more thorough investigations and hefty fines against other automakers that have the temerity to compete with Government Motors — and succeed.
For the record, I don’t think that “protecting our investment in GM” was the sole or even the key factor in the government’s handling of Toyota. But I do think it played a role, and as long as the government insists on being a player in the game, every single one of its actions as the referee is up to being questioned and challenged.