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The end of American motors

David Blaza
2/24/2011 12:59 PM EST

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Duane Benson
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re: The end of American motors
Duane Benson   2/24/2011 9:33:24 PM
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I wonder if the next innovation in motors will be around greater customization in smaller volumes with reasonable costs. I don't know much about the industrial motor market, but I assume that there is already quite a bit of custom work. I also assume that it's expensive, highly volume dependent and very slow. (Anyone feel free to correct me if you know otherwise) Many other market segments in the electronics / electrical industry, such as PCB fab and prototype assembly, have taken this path. The mega-volumes go off shore and the domestic industry has learned how to deliver quick-turns at low volumes without blowing price constraints out of the water.

David Ashton
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re: The end of American motors
David Ashton   2/24/2011 9:35:50 PM
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ABB is a good company and you don't indicate that they have plans to move production offshore. So it could be worse? Presumably Baldor's motors DO meet the energy efficiency requirements noted in your first paragraph, so they'll be in a good position to continue the expansion noted in your second-last paragraph?

easy_eddie
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re: The end of American motors
easy_eddie   2/24/2011 9:52:05 PM
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After reading this I went and checked on Emerson Electric, a US company I used to work for, which also manufactures electric motors. I just read that they are selling their motor division to Nidec, a Japanese company. Oh well.

JLS
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re: The end of American motors
JLS   2/24/2011 10:06:49 PM
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Maybe the question isn't why are all the motor manufacturers foreign, but why are the American motor companies for sale? Sounds to me like these American companies are only thinking about lining their stockholder's pockets for a quick buck.

fdunn0
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re: The end of American motors
fdunn0   2/25/2011 12:30:50 AM
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That is what it all comes down to, the mighty payoff. Our short term markets where a company that is viable can be made a penny stock in a day is just plain crazy. Unless a motor company is willing and able to completely modernize their manufacturing with less US workers and more CNC, Robotics, etc. then they really don't stand a chance against a chinese company. Sure the product is going to be junk but the stockholders have spoken. What a F*****g pity. Fred Dunn

no clever name
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re: The end of American motors
no clever name   2/25/2011 3:15:24 PM
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Let's say a CEO sells a division, and the new owner modernizes and makes it profitable. Does the BOD of the selling company ever look and see how it did, and realize their CEO is incompetent and making bad decisions. Never happens does it. Rod

cbbear
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re: The end of American motors
cbbear   2/25/2011 3:42:21 PM
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At least one of the main reasons for the buying of these US companies is more prosaic: cheap dollar.

Clyde_rel
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re: The end of American motors
Clyde_rel   2/25/2011 7:30:54 PM
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There is a small motor company here in Colorado, UQM (formerly Unique Mobility) that focuses mainly on automotive applications. Are they still American owned?

agk
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re: The end of American motors
agk   2/26/2011 2:47:48 PM
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Like many things change in our life time the business owners also change. It also means again many new motor manufactures will come in future.Probably i guess that copper less motors will come from Americans.

sleibson
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re: The end of American motors
sleibson   3/1/2011 12:13:51 AM
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The article reminded me of Pittman electric motors, which used to power slot cars back in the 1960s before the Japanese Mabuchis took over. I looked them up. They're still available and seem to be offered from a US firm named Ametek. Perhaps Pittmans are no longer manufactured in the US, but it looks like they might still be manufactured in the US.

dblaza1
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re: The end of American motors
dblaza1   3/1/2011 8:55:27 AM
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in response to David Ashton and to be fair to ABB they have not indicated that they are moving any Baldor production overseas, in fact Randy Breaux said they are opening more capacity in the midwest as their business grows this year. Baldor is also one of the few companies making the EISA energy compliant motors which is also an advantage. Motors are heavy and highly customized so I think there is a future in US production.

David Ashton
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re: The end of American motors
David Ashton   3/1/2011 10:54:08 AM
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Sounds like the old shareholders who sold out have killed the goose that laid the golden egg then?? More fool them and good luck to ABB....

nicolas.mokhoff
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re: The end of American motors
nicolas.mokhoff   3/1/2011 8:49:11 PM
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It's business my friends, plain old business. You manufacture where labor is cheap. Business has no nationality, no religion, just profit as a goal: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/smith-adam/works/wealth-of-nations/index.htm And with all the turmoil in the world today, it's still the better way.

David Ashton
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re: The end of American motors
David Ashton   3/2/2011 9:51:13 AM
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I'm afraid Nic is right. No nationality, no religion and (you should have added Nic)no morals either. But that does not mean Business is right. As employees, we are encouraged to have pride in our company, as citizens, we are encouraged to have pride in our country. Yet companies are almost encouraged to take jobs away from their employees, and profits away from their country. The time is coming when voters are going to demand that business be legislated into moral conduct, if they won't do it voluntarily. As part of that, tax imports or offshoring that do not meet the internal standards of a country, in terms of minimum wages and rights and safety standards. Apart from anything else, this would force developing countries to lift their game, to their ultimate advantage. On a wider scale, the Australian government is currently trying to implement a carbon tax. It's very much opposed, not least because if our iron ore and coal are exported, processed into steel in countries like China without a carbon tax, and the steel is imported back to Aussie then it has no carbon tax on it, to the disadvantage of Australian producers who do pay it. Governments are just as bad as business in this respect - no respect for their citizens at all. Sorry, this is a bit off the subject of the post - ABB don't look like they're going to move production offshore... sounds like they knew a good thing when they saw it and the shareholders of Baldor didn't. Or maybe ABB just wants to learn the technology and THEN move production offshore...

WKetel
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re: The end of American motors
WKetel   3/5/2011 4:29:56 AM
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I am not aware of exactly how the sale of Baldor to ABB came about, but it is certain that when the board of directors decided to sell for some price, the only consideration was how much money it would provide for those individuals who decide the size of bonuses. The BOD has no concern at all for the value delivered to those who purchase a product, only for the ROI delivered.

Neo10
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re: The end of American motors
Neo10   3/5/2011 6:39:31 AM
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When did moral start figuring in the business. Morals are good for individuals not for companies, because when it comes to rightness over money, everybody knows who wins in the end. I think these capitalists all have etched the Keynes thinking that ".., in the long term we are all dead". Well, it may not be wrong after all! I know Baldor from my earlier years as an electrical maintenance engineer. A name which commanded respect and quality, we had their motor's in many critical process equipment.

apummer945
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re: The end of American motors
apummer945   3/10/2011 3:47:15 PM
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Question: if the drive is such one important device from the point of view of the operating costs of a motor, why Baldor never looked that issue? they did not even responded to any discussion starting letters, [we have two US patents on power-factor correction, verified at the DOE's motor research center]

RWatkins
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re: The end of American motors
RWatkins   3/10/2011 9:46:51 PM
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In response to Neo1, when quarterly profits and short-term gain only drive business, only short-term success can be achieved. When long-term growth and investments drive a business, and employees are treated with an expectation that their performance will impact their long-term compensation, the company moves slowly and steadily towards long-term success. Sadly, this is a point brought to the forefront in several recent cases of recalls of drinking glasses with decorated with lead paint and children's toys cast of cadmium alloys, where the articles in question were made by employees of firms where employees must meet daily quotas to be fed. Morals are a cute excuse, and we will all die someday, but we may not die before the effects of what we have done, and our children and theirs will likely see the consequences. On the other hand, if it must owned by a foreign company, ABB is not such a bad fit for Baldor, and has a long and relatively honorable record.

anon9303122
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re: The end of American motors
anon9303122   4/18/2011 10:14:16 PM
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The Pacer was definitely the end of American Motors. :-)

ReneCardenas
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re: The end of American motors
ReneCardenas   6/14/2011 8:09:39 PM
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W2R,R2W: I do not blame you for the confusion regarding motor manufacturer vs. car manufacturer. I am in the impression that this thread was on the topic of the first not that latter. Somewhat related but not quite.

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