Volkswagen redux

Someone reminded me this morning about the rumour last year that New Brunswick was at least pitching VW on the possibility of putting that plant in this province. I could never confirm this by any serious source but it was floating around the ether.

It seems to me (and I have said this before) that BNB should put out there as much as possible their actions/efforts. Maybe they should publish a “notes from the road” blog where they inform the public on some of the companies/deals they are pursuing. Sure, I know that some projects are confidential but if Daulton McGuinty can get national press about his visit to Italy to pitch Fiat for Ontario, why couldn’t Premier Graham do the same?

Even after the fact, it would be helpful for the public to know that BNB was at least pursuing some big deals. Many U.S. state officials come out after the fact and talk about how they were pursuing these large projects, what they were offering, etc.

It seems to me that if BNB wanted public support for big investment projects, they should be more open about what they are up to. Again, I think this can be done within the bounds of any confidentiality.

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0 Responses to Volkswagen redux

  1. mikel says:

    That’s partly the media’s fault, which virtually never discusses this stuff.

    From their 06/07 annual report (which you should check out, I’m sure you’ll find fodder):

    Number of ‘leads’: 1326
    Number of Investment related leads qualified and pursued: 561
    Leads moved to project status: 58
    Number of successfully announced projects: 10

    So the number of projects from leads is about 1%, not sure what the averages are, I remember a basic marketing book saying that a general mail out flyer to the general public can be expected to ‘average’ a 3% return. In other words, they’d be better off with a more massive flyer mail out rather than wasting time.

    Of course it depends what a lead is. That seems to be about five phone calls a day, since their main areas are the eastern seaboard and India (though I didn’t notice many Indian names in the directory), then that doesn’t seem too good. I would suspect that at least that number would call them up and say ‘I’m from company X and was loooking for information on…’. That’s a lead, which means not a lot of cold calling is going on.

    I had to laugh when I got to the ‘accomplishments’ section-number one is “a continued emphasis was placed on employee wellness”. That’s too funny.

    For NBT, the department has over 445 million in financial assistance. One thing of interest there is that of 372 million industrial payouts, only 21 million are actually equity investments.

    The rest of the stuff was fluff. For somebody who does this for a living it would be interesting to see a comparison of ‘accomplishments’ from various provinces, particularly in the east. I don’t know what the ten projects are, heaven help you if they were golf courses.