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LUTZ SAYS PREDATORY TRADE PRACTICES THREATEN ENGINEERING IN AMERICA

 LUTZ SAYS PREDATORY TRADE PRACTICES THREATEN ENGINEERING IN AMERICA
 /ADVANCE/HIGHLAND PARK, Mich., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler President Robert A. Lutz today encouraged engineers to overcome their poor image, to reject the popular notion that consumers are more important than producers, and to fight the "predatory trade practices" that threaten the engineering profession.
 Lutz told the Society of Automotive Engineers International Congress in Cobo Center, "In America, engineering is not considered a glamorous profession ... when the American public thinks 'engineering,' it thinks 'nerds.'"
 Chrysler is trying to combat the impression, Lutz said, and encourages its engineers to get advanced technical education, Lutz said, because "we figure the world already has enough lawyers and MBAs; what we need to compete are people who actually know how to design and build things."
 There's a mind set in this country, he said, "that it's somehow not as important to produce things as it is to consume them."
 While consumerism has been good for America, Lutz said, "It's simply unrealistic to think that we can keep on being a nation of consumers without at the same time being a nation of producers. And the reason is very simple: An unemployed consumer is ultimately no consumer at all."
 Lutz said that "predatory trade practices abroad, coupled with an all-out disinformation campaign here at home, are threatening the very future of engineering in this country."
 He pointed out that the Big Three sold 8.8 million vehicles in the United States last year, generating almost 1.4 million jobs, compared to 3.1 million vehicles sold here by Japanese automakers who generated only 139,000 domestic jobs. Most of the engineering positions at Japanese car companies are in Japan, Lutz said.
 "The bottom line is, automotive engineering -- and indeed, engineering of all kinds -- directionally has a declining future in this country as long as we allow present trade practices to continue the 'hollowing out' of American industry.
 "Only 21 percent of the engineered parts that go into a vehicle sold by Japanese automakers in the U.S. today represent American jobs," he said.
 "That compares with 81 percent U.S. job content for vehicles sold by GM, Ford and Chrysler.
 "Even with Japanese vehicles now being produced in this country, most of the engineering is still being imported," Lutz said.
 Lutz said he applauded the good working relationships that have developed between Japanese and American companies at the technical level.
 "The problem is," he said, "we need those same kinds of good working relationships at the trade level. And we need to get governments in both countries working more in that direction."
 -0- 2/27/92/1900
 /CONTACT: James E. Kenyon of Chrysler, 313-956-4664/
 (C) CO: Chrysler Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


SB -- DE033 -- 3479 02/27/92 17:13 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 27, 1992
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