I am writing about "Japan's health care gives Toyota edge" (March 28).
The first two sentences of the article would have readers believe that the health care crisis in the United States is a root cause of General Motors' problems.
While your story may be comforting to some readers - GM employees and board members - most industry watchers, including those I know in the investment community, have an entirely different view of the causes of GM's spiraling decline.
The automotive giant has found itself mired in mediocrity for years. PR-effective Band-Aid approaches, including some executive hires and ad campaigns, have indeed bought some time.
Unfortunately, that time has been squandered as management has once again failed miserably at developing a competitive, customer-focused strategy to compete in the mature U.S. auto industry.
If you want to compare Toyota and GM, the stark contrast of successful product launches is far more indicative of GM's real problems than its health care costs.
If GM is to remain viable, fresh and aggressive management fully responsible for developing and implementing a customer- and product-based strategy producing measurable results is in order.
MICHAEL J. SEERGY
Adjunct Professor of Strategic Management
Montclair State University
Upper Montclair, N.J.
The writer was general manager of Nissan Division in 1998-99 and is a partner in Vanguard Dealer Services, an F&I company.