Thursday, August 5, 2010

The idea of Producer "royalty" is not a mere metaphor

Just waxed
Some people think I have a fetish for paste wax.  Far from being a "fetish," my attachment to the joys of waxing my car are quite rational.  A car's paint is very important for without it, the steel it protects would rapidly rust.  And while you can pretty easily replace a broken engine, replacing rusted body panels is difficult, expensive, and almost never cost-effective.  So in many ways, periodic wax jobs are as essential as regular oil changes.

Even better, waxing your car means you get to carefully inspect every bit of the paint surface.  So because I have paste-waxed every car I have ever owned, I have a pretty good idea which manufacturer has produced the best paint job.  In my case, the answer is Lexus.  The paint job is just stunningly good.  And a story in the Lexus magazine tells us why.

After six hours of rain
Virtually everything any Producer ever does is about 100 times more difficult than it looks but a flawless paint job is easily 1000 times harder.  So it is good to see Lexus honoring the folks who make such paint jobs possible.  After all, I drive a Lexus because it is a monument to Producer Class excellence and achievement--NOT because there is some sort of enhanced Leisure Class status attached to such a vehicle (after all, how much status can there be driving a 14-year-old vehicle with 145,000 miles on it?)
The Takumi Files: Mirror Man
EVER NOTICE HOW members of the most elite superhero clubs never seem to have an ego? Take the Jedi Council or the Justice League of America. These guys and gals are the best at what they do, but they never seem to let it get to their heads. They go about their jobs with confidence and wisdom (unless, of course, they turn evil), as if they were born to change their worlds.
And so it is with Kimihiro Sakakibara, a confident, modest man of 48, who, after nearly 30 years of proving his skills on the floors of Lexus plants, has been inducted into the Lexus group of 10 “masters.”
For anyone still unfamiliar with the term, Lexus Takumi are the automotive equivalent of a 10th Dan black belt. Each of the ten Takumi specializes in a key area of the vehicle—and each commands enormous respect in the Japanese auto world.
Sakakibara’s specialty is paint, specifically that multilayer, high-tech, deep-luster finish of a Lexus that requires a combination of art and high science to make perfect. more

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