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Todd Gale, a Canadian worker at Chrysler's Trim Line at Windsor Assembly Line. His job and many other may be cut if Chrysler does not get the terms it wants and makes good on its threat to close Chrysler's Canadian operations. Chrysler is Canada's top automaker.  (Source: CNS)

Tom Lasorda to Canada and the Canadian auto workers: you expect to much pay and benefits, give us loans and leave us alone about the taxes, or we're leaving your country.  (Source: Jalopnik)
Chrysler is playing a high stakes game with the Canadian government

Tom Lasorda, Chrysler’s president and vice-chairman, states, "We have to close the gap.  As a corporation with manufacturing operations in multiple jurisdictions, we cannot afford to manufacture products in jurisdictions that are not competitive."

Mr. Lasorda, who delivered his comments before Canada's House of Commons industry committee on Wednesday, warned that if Canada and its workers do not deliver big concessions it will leave the country according to the Montreal Gazette.  This would result in the loss of thousands of Canadian jobs.  The comments are made perhaps more ironic by the fact that Chrysler recently passed fellow struggling automaker GM to become Canada's top seller.

Chrysler wants a $2.3B USD loan from Canada's federal government as a concession.  It says the government must additionally drop a tax dispute and that the Canadian autoworkers must accept pay cuts.  If its terms are not met, it says, it can't be profitable and all Chrysler's Canadian manufacturing plants will have to close.

According to Chrysler, it feels that its Windsor and Toronto plants would be sufficient collateral for the massive loan.  It says it is willing to accept as high as 6 percent interest and will actively work to repay it.

Chrysler is also struggling with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) over wages and benefits.  Canadians, like those in the U.S., have high expectations on their standard of living.  They expect, in exchange for hard work a good income, medical care, and a pension.  However, according to Chrysler, these expectations are not realistic in the modern economy and concessions must be made. 

Chryslers claims that its average cost per Canadian plant worker including benefits, retirement, income, etc. was $75 (USD) an hour in Canada. This figure is $20 more than in the U.S. and much higher than in countries with low labor costs like India and China.  In the U.S., auto factory workers typically make approximately the same, with benefits and retirement factored in, as a professional engineer with several years of experience.

The Canadian government says that these figures may be made up, though, as senior executives from Ford, Toyota, and Honda, as well as the Canadian Auto Workers union released contradictory estimates on Chrysler's cost per employee.  In total, 9,400 people are employed at Chrysler manufacturing facilities in Canada, with another 26,000 employed and dealerships and Canadian distribution networks.

GM recently signed a deal with CAW which agreed to some cuts in wages and benefits, but offered more moderate cuts than Chrysler wants.  In the past, if one automaker brokered a deal, typically the others in the Big Three signed it as well.  Chrysler is refusing to agree to a similar deal.  Says Mr. Lasorda, "It’s unacceptable to us, and we have to break that pattern."

Chrysler's situation is also rather unique as it’s in serious tax trouble.  The Canada Revenue Agency -- Canada's IRS equivalent -- says Chrysler owes hundreds of millions in back taxes.  It is has taken a $500M USD lien on Chrysler’s Brampton factory and says that it won't deliver the $300M USD it owes the state in tax refunds.  Mr. Lasorda said that repaying the taxes would take six years, and delivered a thinly veiled threat that if Canada doesn't back off the tax issue, his company will leave.

The loans Chrysler is seeking still pale in comparison to the $7.7B USD that GM wants from the Canadian government.  Toyota, Honda and Ford have also expressed concern about the economic downturn, but have not yet asked the Canadian government for loans.  All of the companies complained that the credit market is virtually gone, making leasing cars impossible.  According to Chrysler, two years ago half of all its cars and trucks acquired by Canadian consumers were acquired by lease.  Chrysler Canada has now closed its leasing business for lack of loans, losing even more money on top slumping sales.

Chrysler's rival GM is facing a similar situation in the U.S.  It recently spun off its largest European brand, Opel, and is asking for billions from the U.S. government in new loans.  GM says that if doesn't get the loans, it will be forced to liquidate, closing its US plants. 

In the U.S., Chrysler recently paired with Fiat, virtually giving away a 35 percent stake in its company in exchange for the support.



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As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/2009 9:16:13 AM , Rating: 4
Good Bye!

While I feel bad for the employees of the auto makers and dependent companies, I do not feel bad for the auto makers themselves. They decided to build crap for years and when it blows up, they expect a hand out / loan?

I say no more. The only possible salvation would be the Gov getting a non-controlling share with the current upper management shown the door and replaced by other with monitoring. Other to stock holders should also be held somewhat accountable for this debacle.

My 2c.




RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By omnicronx on 3/12/2009 9:24:37 AM , Rating: 5
I don't feel bad for the employees either, last check Canadian auto workers make more money than their UAW counterparts. Nobody deserves that much money to work on a line.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By FITCamaro on 3/12/2009 10:37:18 AM , Rating: 5
That was the average. Not the maximum.

And $2100 per week is far more than someone doing a menial task should be making. Even if they've been there 10 years Imagine how much fast food would cost if McDonald's employees made $20/hour.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By omnicronx on 3/12/2009 11:19:09 AM , Rating: 5
I don't see how the two are related. Quality control dictates how safe the end product is, not the 'skill' of the line worker.

Its not like they go to school to learn the trade, nor would they be underpaid compared to other union jobs if they took a 25%~ paycut.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By omnicronx on 3/12/2009 11:45:57 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Quality control is about designing systems that can be assembled properly, but it still requires workers to do their jobs properly in order to make that happen.
I think you have far too much faith in what the workers actually do. I currently live in Oshawa (Canadian GM town) and I have many friends who work at the plant. They tell me all the time that a monkey could do their job. Their work gets checked numerous times before it leaves the plant, its not like if they screw up they are the last line of defense. I assure you mistakes are made all the time.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By omnicronx on 3/12/2009 11:55:54 AM , Rating: 4
And just so you know, the plants I am talking about were rated 1-2 in terms of efficiency in North America last year.


By Cypherdude1 on 3/15/2009 7:18:17 AM , Rating: 3
Chrysler is doing nothing more than blackmailing Canada. The Canadians should tell Chrysler to go to hell. If they want to leave Canada, let them. I highly doubt Chrysler will leave anyway. Don't forget Canada offers FREE healthcare to everyone. Chrysler's healthcare costs in Canada are far lower than in the U.S.A. because our "wonderful" U.S.A. system has the antiquated private insurance model. Moreover, from what I understand, Chrysler isn't even an independent company. They're owned by a hedge fund! The hedge fund could pull the plug on Chrysler anytime they wanted.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Ratinator on 3/12/2009 12:07:17 PM , Rating: 3
My Olds Alero must have missed the additional checks then......actually it probably missed the original check. Either that or it was designed to be a lemon.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By DASQ on 3/12/2009 12:28:41 PM , Rating: 5
Man... you bought an Olds Alero....


By Ratinator on 3/12/2009 2:45:10 PM , Rating: 3
Ya it was before I knew they were complete crap. No word of a lie I have had $10k worth of work done on it. The extended warranty for $1500 was the best $1500 I ever spent as it covered all the problems. Anyone thinking of buying an Alero....stay away.


By Ratinator on 3/12/2009 3:59:13 PM , Rating: 3
Wow downrated. Must have an Alero engineer on the boards. Truth hurts.


By teldar on 3/12/2009 5:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
Saying that it requires people to do their jobs properly, should they not be able to be sued if their incompetence or negligence causes people to die d/t them not doing their jobs?

I would think it should. This comes from someone who is in an anesthesia program. I have the opportunity to kill people every day. If i don't do my job right, they die. And even if I DO it right, they may still die.

Before you say there should not be any personal accountability, think about how you feel about malpractice and negligence.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Bruneauinfo on 3/12/2009 6:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
the McDonalds analogy still fits. if the burger's bad and you're driving down the highway at 70 miles per hour is it the cooks fault that you start having convulsions? or the QC that put the meat in the restaurant? the question is if burgers were made at $20 an hour would you still buy them? we still bought American cars.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Penti on 3/15/2009 12:39:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure pizza bakers in Norway get 20 USD an hour (before the employment tax) and they still buy Pizza's there.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 3/12/2009 11:26:52 AM , Rating: 5
That is an engineering task, not an assembly task, that keeps the thing moving along at 80mph. In fact, I think the assembly should be entirely automated, and then we won't have to have these discussions anymore.


By Ratinator on 3/12/2009 12:16:12 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly, as long as the engineers design it to work correctly, pretty much anyone can put it together. Please don't elevate yourself to the level of those who design it.....there is a huge difference.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Penti on 3/15/2009 12:44:41 AM , Rating: 2
Except even an automated line needs low level technicians and maintenance workers. And other grunt work. It's just that the workload would be different not none existent. The assembly workers cost's aren't a lot anyway.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Proxes on 3/12/2009 12:24:36 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah give them more money or your car will crash and burn!

Guess what in 2005 I bought a Grand Prix GTP and my friend got a GT a the same time. Both cars were shipped without enough power steering fluid. Both cars' interiors rattle and squeak to high heavens. Both cars have had suspension and their steering shafts replaced. Mine has its HUD replaced, MAS air sensor replaced, O2 sensor replaced. His has had other things fixed (can't remember off the top of my head).

All this happened within one to two years of owning them. Please explain to me where these expert bolt screwers deserve such high wages.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By BillyAZ1983 on 3/12/2009 10:06:47 PM , Rating: 4
I drove a 98 Grand Prix GT that I bought used from someone who was very methodical in the way he took care of the car because his wife "didn't want any oil on the driveway".

Well all of a sudden I started getting check engine lights and what have you, come on. Long story short, because the car was leaking a small amount of oil, the wife took it to a GM DEALER and have the valve cover gaskets replaced. The cause of my problem was because the fvcktard who put the valve covers back on, pinched the main wiring harness between an iron block the ICM and the Block and melted the wires together.

And I've got one EVEN BETTER then that.

I bought an 07 fusion off the lot for 20k in Sept of 07, which ironically is the car I traded the broken Grand Prix in for. I have currently 27k miles on it. It also has a 5 speed manual transmission. I complained about the transmission from day one grinding from 2nd to 3rd gear, which I think was a synchro issue, and guess what took ford TWO WEEKS to replace? THE ENTIRE TRANSMISSION. So at 27k Miles I've already had the whole tranny replaced and my car books at 6.5k

Screw these car companies who expect me to handout money to them because they can't get their shit straight. Where is my helping hand to bail me out of a crappy vehicle that they can't even fix correctly? Boo-freakin-hoo to the "Big 3".


By rudolphna on 3/13/2009 10:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
You must have bad karma. I have an 03 Expedition, has had few problems. a couple ignition coils and an alternator. My father has a 97 Cavalier. New transmission at 150,000 miles. My mother has an edge. no problems at all. mother in law has an 06 Grand prix, alternator only. My brother in law has an 07 fusion, he does ALOT of driving. 55,000 miles. No problems whatsoever. If you were even halfway intelligent, and looked shit up, you would find that Consumer reports and JDP&A have ford rated as high as honda with quality, and toyota and honda for reliability. Oh, also have a 99 Jeep Wrangler with 75,000 miles. It has been hauling 33" tires around for 50,000 miles. No transmission, or engine work at all, and no problems.


By DigitalFreak on 3/12/2009 1:58:04 PM , Rating: 5
There you go again TomZ, letting your stupidity show. Auto workers are maybe one step above burger flippers in terms of skill required to do their job. Putting lug nuts on a wheel doesn't take any skill. It's important that they are tightened correctly, but that doesn't require anything more than holding a power wrench and pulling the trigger.


By zinfamous on 3/12/2009 2:12:29 PM , Rating: 3
as much of these work as been replaced by robots anyway, I don't see how it can't be considered anything but menial.

by the way, menial /= simple.


By supergarr on 3/12/2009 9:08:07 PM , Rating: 1
paying them more automatically equates to a safer product? Litigation is more than enough to deter companies from making dangerous products. Not salaries.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/12/2009 1:55:21 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And $2100 per week is far more than someone doing a menial task should be making.


That number is very misleading. The mistake a lot of people make is that they divide the company's payroll costs by the number of workers and assume that the current workers are making this much. That figure takes into account the healthcare costs and pensions of all the retired employees.


By Ratinator on 3/12/2009 2:50:09 PM , Rating: 3
I hate to come to its defense but I think it also takes into account overhead costs such as the employers share of CPP, EI and Workers Comp that the company has to pay for each employee. That adds a few dollars an hour onto what the employee acutally takes home.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By inperfectdarkness on 3/12/2009 9:49:36 PM , Rating: 5
considering what officers make in the US military...yes. i'd say $2100/wk for assembly line work is WAY overpriced.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/13/2009 7:41:26 AM , Rating: 2
Officers in the military have their living expenses paid for.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By fownde on 3/13/2009 10:42:10 AM , Rating: 2
Military probably is not the best example of wages then. So I'll give another. Most of these people probably have no schooling beyond high school and some are probably high school drop-outs. Even if they made half that (about 1200 a week and I'm going to call that take home and leave out all the overhead), that's still 2x what I make a week.. and I have an associates degree and work for the state. UAW and CAW way overpay these people. Most of the car assembly is automated so I really don't see why they think they're so special that they need to make 2-3x what most people make.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/13/2009 1:26:04 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Most of these people probably have no schooling beyond high school and some are probably high school drop-outs. Even if they made half that (about 1200 a week and I'm going to call that take home and leave out all the overhead), that's still 2x what I make a week.. and I have an associates degree and work for the state. UAW and CAW way overpay these people.


That logic is very poor. You're suggesting that these people should make less than you because they have less schooling than you. This is a very selfish sense of entitlement.

As other posters said, you go to school to improve your chances of making more money. By no means does it entitle you to more money. You're only worth what an employer thinks thinks you're worth, not what you think you're worth.

I see way too many people (mostly kids in college or right out of college) complaining that someone who didn't go to school makes more money than them. That's life. I've found that while school helps, ability and work ethic make a bigger difference in your salary. Are you complaining that business titans like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, etc struck it rich without degrees? While those are filthy rich people that everyone has heard of, there are plenty of people out there who make good money without a degree.

It sounds like sour grapes when someone without a degree complains that he's not making more money than someone else.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 7Enigma on 3/13/2009 2:23:33 PM , Rating: 2
An assembly line is not a trade. It is a button push, or a screw here, or a pull out the bad peanut. He's not complaining about the amount of schooling, he's complaining (and rightly so IMO) that a job that doesn't require any special skills or long training does not warrant a high salary.

Ever watch How It's Made? The majority of the non-automated tasks are extremely redundant and easily picked up. Sure in 5 minutes you probably couldn't do some of them, but in a week you'd probably be a pro. Can you become a doctor/electrician/carpenter/scientist in a week.....not likely.

Here's a question for you. Do you think all of the non-automated jobs on that show deserve the salary that the UAW and CAW get? Do you think ANY would be in business if they did?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/13/2009 2:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to be conveniently overlooking the nature of a free market.

An assembly line job is a job. As simple as the job may be, the market sets the salary. As with any job, a number of factors may determine why that job pays what it does. It may be that the job requires a lot of skill, it may be that it requires a lot of schooling, or it may be that the job is so simple and monotonous that people would rather work somewhere else if the pay wasn't high.

I'll bet you that disgusting jobs like you'd see on Dirty Jobs pay quite a bit. Why? Because they're crappy jobs.

Even if we were to take the USA out of the equation and see what auto workers make elsewhere, you'd see that the average autoworker in Japan makes about $58k a year in salary and bonuses. They don't have any US autoworkers unions to contend with, either. Why do their workers make so much, too?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By rahizm on 3/13/2009 4:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
Man that's a weak argument. While you are right that the market sets the salary, when you dont let the market work and demand government bailouts you are completely bypassing the system.
Then you say Japanese autoworkers make $58k a year. Do you not realize that the cost of living in japan is a LOT higher then it is in the united states? And another reason their workers make "so much" is that hey produce reliable cars without the luxury of demanding governments to finance them.
"....or it may be that the job is so simple and monotonous that people would rather work somewhere else if the pay wasn't high." You must be out of touch with reality if you are implying the reason wages are so high is because the work is so monotonous that people wouldnt do it otherwise. No point in arguing that further.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/13/09, Rating: 0
By crleap on 3/14/2009 12:00:26 PM , Rating: 3
They ARE making what they make, and they ARE becoming unemployed as their companies go down in flaming wreckage due in no small part to it. Free market what?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Lerianis on 3/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/13/2009 8:33:12 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, it doesn't work that way. In most cases, people get paid based on the value their jobs impart to the organization they work for. Whether that work is physical or mental is irrelevant really.


By conquistadorst on 3/16/2009 2:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
These are not 'menial' task and most of them are harder work than the jobs you do on a daily basis. I'll be blunt: people who are doing REAL PHYSICAL LABOR deserve more pay than the people who are only using their brains to do their jobs.


Someone actually believes this? A guy replacing windows or working an assembly line deserves better pay than a rocket scientist or a nuclear physicist? I really hope that was just a brain fart that was accidentally typed out by your fingers.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Samus on 3/14/09, Rating: 0
By William Gaatjes on 3/14/2009 6:47:52 AM , Rating: 2
That much money a week ? If i would earn a salary like that i would have the means to build all my own designs and devices. What a lot of money !


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 3/12/2009 11:25:34 AM , Rating: 3
It is a good thing to bargain for labor. Labor is an input cost, and should be bargained for like any other (raw materials, parts, etc). The problem is that the labor bargaining units are monopolies, and they have priced themselves out of the market. So as a business person, if the operation is not profitable you have two options: stay in business and subsidize the local economy (hopefully with the governments help), or leave. Nothing personal, just business.

I think the auto makers who were saddled with monopolistic labor bargaining units (CAW, UAW) are the ones that were forced to make "crap" as you say, since there was no where else left in the process to make a margin.


By Spectator on 3/12/2009 3:40:29 PM , Rating: 3
So looking at it logically.

They are demanding cash from governments to support all this expence/losses from having unions dictate cost of labour?

So Either Government takes all cash in taxes from these overpaid workers for last x.xx years. And leaves them to fail.

Or Government supports company knowing that it will earn more taxes from both employee's and the companies if they keep this deal alive.

Like any business(Government). It all depends on the numbers i guess.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Motoman on 3/12/2009 12:40:11 PM , Rating: 3
...as I posted in a similar thread on a GM-related post a while ago, assertions that labor costs are not a significant enough portion of the cost to product to make a difference are retarded.

To summarize that post again...

Roughly 7% of the MSRP of a vehicle is labor cost. Remember...that's 7% of MSRP - and we know how many vehicles sell at MSRP. None.

Say the average vehicle has an MSRP of $40,000. GM (I know this thread is about Chrysler, but I don't know their output number off the top of my head) produced 8.35 million vehicles last year, IIRC, which of course was a horrible year for car sales.

8.35 million cars, times $2,800 (7% of $40k) is $23.38 billion. Labor costs...twenty three billion dollars. For labor that is unskilled and can be done by essentially anyone.

If GM could cut their labor cost in half, they'd save somewhere around $11.5 billion per year, based on last year's output.

The amount of money that automakers have to pay for assembly line labor is vastly disproportional to the skill required to perform that work. It is in no way worth anything close to what they have to pay for it. It is not, in my opinion, the kind of job that should pay a salary upon which you can supoort a family of 4. It's probably a job that should support a single guy (or gal) living in an apartment.

Cutting labor costs, including the truly bizzaro pork that the unions levy on them, is far and away the #1 most important (and probably the only controllable) expense that the auto makers should be doing. And if it takes every one of them going Chapter 11, and reorganizing without the unions to do it, so be it.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/2009 1:16:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
8.35 million cars, times $2,800 (7% of $40k) is $23.38 billion. Labor costs...twenty three billion dollars. For labor that is unskilled and can be done by essentially anyone.


7% is still 7%. That leaves 310.6 BILLION in other costs. Even if you reduce the cost of labour to 5% that is 16 billion labour and 310.6 billion other costs. There no way around it.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Motoman on 3/12/2009 1:42:54 PM , Rating: 5
...you're missing the points, of which there are at least 2...

1. Labor is vastly overpriced in auto plants, and addressing that fact alone might very well bring those companies out of the toilet.

2. Other costs may no be addressable at all...at least not by the automakers themselves. Labor is, realistically, about the only cost they can exercise any control over.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Suntan on 3/12/2009 3:54:36 PM , Rating: 3
As an engineer responsible for new product development (not in the auto industry), and recently returned from visiting one of our factories to help them begin production of a new model, I’ll add my 2 cents.

quote:
1. Labor is vastly overpriced in auto plants


Won’t get a disagreement from me on this in general. Most simple line jobs can be accomplished by people that don’t even speak the same language as their supervisor. Therefore their on the job training consists of their boss showing them what to do once, then giving them head nods of approval and head shakes of disapproval.

However, I question where you came up with 7% of MSRP. The products I work on have about 7% of cost in labor (cost for us to make it, not what we MSRP it at) and our factories are no where close to the efficiency as any GM have running.

Also, while general assembly is not considered a skilled trade, and anyone with opposable thumbs can do it, there are skilled trade job designations. While some of them are questionable in their designation of the term “skilled” there are jobs that require true skill. Put plainly, you pick 100 people out of a shopping mall and send them to an assembly plant and you won’t like the car that comes out the end.

quote:
2. Other costs may no be addressable at all...at least not by the automakers themselves. Labor is, realistically, about the only cost they can exercise any control over.


This comment I can not agree with at all. There are very many costs that roll into a total budget for a project that a “company” (IE the people running the project) has direct control over. Much more so than they control wages (which are based more on the laws of supply and demand.)

Everything from a company’s ability to identify profitable projects early on (so that resources can be applied to those and away from profitless projects) to a company’s ability to commonize on parts (where it makes sense) across multiple platforms to increase volumes and reduce the cost associated with handling multiple versions of the same thing (both at the factory level and at the dealer/distributor/service parts level.)

At the business level, being able to respond to market requirements, both from a flexible manufacturing standpoint, and from a marketing forecasting standpoint saves much more than line workers salaries. A whole bunch or cars sitting on the lot because nobody wants to buy them still costs a company big dollars, even if they had people build them for free.

There is also the cost of development. Choosing to develop an efficient and realistic means of modeling/accelerated testing a component’s behavior is often faster and cheaper than simply testing it on a car, in a field test, until it racks up 150,000 miles.

Likewise, in the factory there is often much more money to be saved by eliminating excess inventory and WIP (work in progress) than there is to be gained from laying off the workers that are responsible for turning that WIP into finished product.

GM and Ford (and Chrysler to a lessor extent) have gotten really good at some of these (part commonality, reducing WIP and other inventory that used to sit on the books, advanced/accelerated testing, flexible manufacturing) but still need a lot of work on others (identifying the right projects to work on early and killing the ones that aren’t, identifying market requirements, etc.)

Quite honestly, GM (and Ford) have been holding on the last couple years due to the advancements in their factories, not in spite of them.

-Suntan


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Motoman on 3/12/2009 4:39:48 PM , Rating: 3
Quality points, which may boil into a "business model" or some kind of general operations category.

As for where I came up with 7% from, I quickly perused a number of Google hits when the previous thread was going on. Here's one from the UAW just as a quick example:

http://www.uaw.org/barg/07fact/fact02.php

...which, in the UAW's interest is probably low, but you get the idea.

While there certainly are savings that can be made in various efficiencies and things like parts reusability, I still think that labor is not only the most wildly out of control expense the auto makers have influence over, it's also the one that could make the most impact...

...as to the 100 people from a mall...well, granted that they're all healthy, intelligent adults to start with, I am pretty sure that with some really basic training they could probably manage just fine. Experience on the job always leads to better efficiency and quality...like anyone starting new on a job they'd be wonky for a bit, but I don't think it would take long at all for the average Joe Mallrat to become as effective as the typical UAW worker.

...I speak from experience having known friends who went into modern factories to work as "scab" workers during strikes. Was typically described to me as the "easiest $20 an hour" they ever made working as replacements for the $50 an hour union workers who thought themselves so highly valuable.


By Suntan on 3/12/2009 5:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As for where I came up with 7% from, I quickly perused a number of Google hits when the previous thread was going on. Here's one from the UAW just as a quick example:

http://www.uaw.org/barg/07fact/fact02.php


The only figure I saw in that link 8.4% showed the labor rate including labor cost for purchased parts, while a car company does have significant pressure that it can apply to vendors for price concessions (which the Big 3 did throughout the 90s) it is incorrect to state that they have control over that cost.

Now what the actual percentage is of actual Ford or GM workers, I don’t know but I’d be willing to bet it is probably half or less of that figure.

I’m not disagreeing that a lot of factory workers make more money than I would be inclined to pay them if I had the keys to the joint, but I am saying that there are a lot of places in the operation that have more potential for cost savings and that just squeezing the “rank and file” will not solve the problems. As much as it does offer nice talking points on both sides of the argument.

In any case, good discussion.

-Suntan


By svenkesd on 3/12/2009 6:08:29 PM , Rating: 3
Only saving $7 billion?

Would you rather have your company making a profit of $3.5 billion per year or a loss of $3.5 billion per year?

You are suggesting it doesn't matter because the other costs are high.

I suggest it does matter.


By Spectator on 3/12/2009 3:56:19 PM , Rating: 1
you could take a leaf from google as they will be taking top spot soon from auto .. be efficient and automate the sht and install some energy efficiency gear.

Auto industry must be a major energy user. hell even get 2 of those self contained nuke genny's. Dig a big ass hole. job done.

Here in the UK. some of us understand the saying...
Dont fix the blame, Fix the problem. (that has to be more efficient yes?).

Unless your the fooker looking to avoid the blame/concequences. but sht thats why you can litigate against staggering into a moving car when your to trunk to even remember your own name. lol


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By acase on 3/12/2009 4:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking by those numbers with all of the cost savings they would probably be much better off just deciding to say screw everyone in unions and fire them all. Then with all of the skilled but desperate unemployed out there right now, start over with no union and pay about 15 bucks an hour. It would take about a week max for all of the new people to be trained to do the job and then they could save millions.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Motoman on 3/12/2009 4:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
...you have to do really drastic things to legally get rid of a union once they're in your shop...you can't just fire everyone and then hire non-union people right away in the same place.

You'd have to declare Chapter 11, and maybe get acquired, and that would probably give you the ability to do it.

Usually what happens is a major manufacturer like that flat-out gives up on that plant - they shutter the plant and take those jobs elsewhere, leaving the formerly over-employed union workers with no job availability at all.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By acase on 3/12/2009 4:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
You can't just refuse to give them what they want, so they go on their gay ass strike, and then hire "temps"? If you never give in I'd say it's about the same.


By Motoman on 3/12/2009 8:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
...union protectionism from the goverment eventually steps in and forces you to settle with the union at some point. There's no such thing as just never settling a strike - eventually the government will force a settlement one way or the other, and the union is still in your shop.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Bateluer on 3/12/2009 5:50:39 PM , Rating: 3
Your regular work week is only 37.5 hours? Silly Canadians, work a full week.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/2009 8:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
The government considers in it's laws a regular week to be 37.5 hours PAID work. Most of the time it's really 40 hours - .5 per day for unpaid lunch. The is just a general baseline and applies only to government services.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By MrDiSante on 3/12/2009 9:39:25 AM , Rating: 5
I think that's completely ridiculous given that I'm only looking at maybe $40/hour wages when I graduate from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University with a bachelor of mathematics and bachelor of business administration respectively. I know that doesn't include benefits and pension plan contributions, but does anyone else see a huge disparity between the two?

1) These guys were nearly impossible to fire until the big three started having financial problems.
2) It's completely unskilled labour, which I'm sure for the better part could be done better and cheaper by machines, they just can't be fired because of the unions.
3) Job security (up until now) like ununionised government workers only dare to dream of.
4) Pretty much no health risks.

Yeah these guys deserve it - their unions are half the reason the big three are going under.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Dephcon on 3/12/2009 10:03:32 AM , Rating: 5
Screw the auto workers. It pisses me off when a bum that dropped out of high school makes more money than me and I've got a 4 year degree that I worked my balls off to get.


By orgy08 on 3/12/2009 10:08:35 AM , Rating: 5
I agree, their pay is one of the reasons car price has increased so much.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By SeeManRun on 3/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By invidious on 3/12/2009 10:43:19 AM , Rating: 5
Since when is using a power drill hard work?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By xti on 3/12/2009 11:02:06 AM , Rating: 5
Amen. Retail workers stand up all 8 hours/day on their job too.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 10:45:03 AM , Rating: 1
More importantly, when did a sense of entitlement triumph over anything?


By Steve1981 on 3/12/2009 10:46:30 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't say education alone triumph's over hard work; however, it is no secret that hard work combined with an education in a field that is in high demand and short supply is the ticket to a good wage.

Where hard work alone falls short is that there are billions of uneducated souls willing to work reasonably hard to make their daily bread. The more education you have, the more you set yourself apart from those billions.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By clovell on 3/12/2009 11:02:04 AM , Rating: 4
Since when is education NOT hard work???


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 3/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By someguy123 on 3/12/2009 4:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
extortion is a competitive practice now? because that's what these unions are doing. "give us ridiculous benefits and salaries for pushing this red button for eight hours, or we'll all go on strike and drag the company down under!"

pretty sure these guys aren't feeling they are entitled to higher wages, but that these people who are NOT doing hard nor complicated work are not entitled to their wages and benefits, especially when it's killing the company financially.


By borismkv on 3/12/2009 8:25:38 PM , Rating: 3
To be fair, the big three also have to take a lot of blame for signing the contracts that allow the Unions to do this. They were stupid to have signed a contract that extended for so long. Granted, I get the feeling that legislation that favors the unions prevented them from having a choice.

My biggest problem with unions today is how they operate. Legislation should not force any company to employ union workers. And the current unions that exist need to be split up. Make the bastards compete just like everyone else. "You want how much? That's obscene, you guys are fired and we're hiring your competitors." The free market is anything but free.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By mikefarinha on 3/12/2009 2:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since when does education triumph over hard work?


That has to be the stupidest thing I've read in a long time. In the entire history of human civilization ingenuity has always won out over brunt force. Education will *always* win out over hard work, if you are making it a one or the other argument.

Who do you think designs the cars that these *hard workers* build? I can tell you that it isn't their fellow laborers.

Don't get me wrong, hard work is something everyone should aspire to but you need to couple that with an education if you want to sustain a higher standard of living.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 2:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
You're right when you look at the big picture, but the point of the retort really is that at an individual level, having an education doesn't entitle one a good-paying job.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Jim28 on 3/12/2009 2:25:29 PM , Rating: 2
Suppose so, but if education is not entitlement, than not having education is? Most UAW workers are not educated but have a great expectation of entitlement. Nor is it limited to UAW. I work in the telecom/communcations industry and the union workers there are very difficult to work with, stand on seniority ,not ability, most frequently they underperform as well.(At least from an engieer's perspective.) If the UAW is anything like or is worse than the telecom union, then I don't know how cars are even successfully manufactered in this country unless the jobs those union workers are doing are unskilled labor similar to flipping burgers at mcdonalds or cutting someone's grass. (Not to say all union workers are like this, but the ones I met to a man exercised getting the most money for the least effort, not getting a raise because they kicked ass out there.)



RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/2009 8:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, I agree with this statement. I am unionized and see this all the time and it pisses me off that is nothing realistic that can be done. I take my job seriously and give it my best. But many take it a as free pass / free money. I've seen someone busted for porn and be given 2 weeks unpaid. That is ridiculous.

Add to that the ridiculous money demands that my union makes and then refuses to deal with the real issues of contracting out (which ironically cost more in my field) and the general treatment of employees by upper management.

In fact from my experience there is as much a sense of entitlement in upper managed as people in the the front line.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By garbageacc3 on 3/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By clovell on 3/12/2009 11:02:49 AM , Rating: 4
Math isn't a dime a dozen degree. Pull your head out of your ass.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 10:26:22 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
I think that's completely ridiculous given that I'm only looking at maybe $40/hour wages when I graduate from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University...
Look, let me be the first to tell you that life is not "fair." Some people, even some with less education than you, make more money than you do. I know! It's hard to believe, isn't it?!?

IMO, you should appreciate what you've got, and stop complaining that others may have more. Earning an education doesn't entitle you to anything, really. Oh wait, weren't you compaining about auto workers being entitled to good pay and benefits? That's ironic, isn't it - you seem to be demanding the same thing you are complaining about? Maybe you are just jealous/envious/greedy and want the same for yourself?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By invidious on 3/12/2009 10:46:34 AM , Rating: 5
Are you implying that it is wrong to strive for fairness? That instead it should be encouraged to randomly distribute wealth? Everyone is looking out for number 1, why would he be frustrated if people are getting a free ride?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 10:52:33 AM , Rating: 2
Fairness - sorry, where does our social contract promise that? For some reason we learn from when we are children that the world is "fair." Where does this come from? The notion that the world is fair is pure fantasy.

Complaining about someone else's wages will never improve your own wages. There are other things that can be done about that, and no, I'm not saying there is "random distribution" of wealth, but on the other hand, it is also not equally allocted to each according to his ability or his need, either.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TheSpaniard on 3/12/2009 11:28:51 AM , Rating: 2
exactly! it doesnt!

which is why we refuse to pay MORE for our vehicles than we feel they deserve


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 12:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
Last I checked, nobody was forcing anybody to pay more for their vehicles than they think they should. That's the point of having an free, open market after all, at least here in the US.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By DigitalFreak on 3/12/2009 2:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
You're quite the master of changing the subject, aren't you?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 2:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
No - my replies are direcly related to the the posts they are attached to. I didn't change the subject at all.

You did, however. :o)


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Jim28 on 3/12/2009 2:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
I guess we won't have to worry about it when the UAW kills the auto companies for lack of conessions. Look no one likes to take a pay cut. However, right now choosing between no job and keeping my job with a pay cut, I choose the latter! Something about half a loaf is better than none and all that. Not only that while STILL working I can look for a better job while at the same time I have no personal financial pressure do deal with.

I don't care who you are and what you do, unskilled labor is unskilled labor, and they get overpaid for it. If they weren't then why has the UAW been a big issue for a long time now? This has been an issue since I was a kid in the 80s. GM was loosing billions in early to mid 2000s when the economy was fine. With the economy in the ditch it merely makes the UAW problem a much bigger issue for them to handle.


By TheSpaniard on 3/13/2009 12:43:31 AM , Rating: 2
exactly though the vehicles are too much for their value (IMO)

which put them in this predicament

therefore the company should go under for its poor practices

which includes *potentially* paying its employees too much


By killerb255 on 3/12/2009 11:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's not wrong to strive for fairness. It's unrealistic, however, to go out in the real world under the assumption that life is fair. If you want to set an example of fairness to the world, that's fine. If you expect the world to automatically provide you a fair environment, keep dreaming.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By omnicronx on 3/12/2009 1:11:48 PM , Rating: 4
By your logic why don't we just all drop out of school and hope for the best. In fact Why go to school at all? A good chunk of the people working at the plant closest to me never finished grade 10, let alone high school. So why try?

You wouldn't be singing the same tune, if all of us truly did have the same sense of entitlement.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 1:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's not what I'm saying. There's no question that earning a good education is an important step towards getting a good-paying job. My point is, however, that earning such an education doesn't entitle you to a good paying job. You still have to work hard, recognize opportunities, have a little luck, etc. in order to be successful. Just showing up isn't enough.

And really my broader point is that it makes no sense to complain that other people are making more than you are, since really life isn't "fair" in that sense.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By MrDiSante on 3/12/2009 3:41:34 PM , Rating: 5
I do not feel entitled, nor am I complaining about fairness. However when people who are making way more than what their labour is worth, and thus force their employers into near-bankruptcy have to either accept pay cuts or lose their jobs, I feel no pity for them.

When their attitude towards this is "I am entitled to my currently obscene salary and would rather see my employer bankrupt and myself out of a job rather than take a pay cut," that lack of pity turns into a sort of vague satisfaction that they're in this situation.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 7Enigma on 3/13/2009 2:31:26 PM , Rating: 4
Well there's a completely unbiased source of information!


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/13/2009 5:37:32 PM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree, but at the same time, anyone is free to dispute the facts and figures presented by the UAW. Until that happens, we have to take what they state as being true.

And for the record, I didn't pick that source intentionally. It just happened to come up in some google searches I was doing to try to get facts and figures about autoworker pay.


By conquistadorst on 3/16/2009 2:43:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

I don't disagree, but at the same time, anyone is free to dispute the facts and figures presented by the UAW. Until that happens, we have to take what they state as being true.

And for the record, I didn't pick that source intentionally. It just happened to come up in some google searches I was doing to try to get facts and figures about autoworker pay.


"We" is such a strong word to use here. It's probably not a wise choice to believe everything you read until proven false so don't include me (or everyone else) in on your choice to believe them as dogma here. You should also probably check a source before linking it as a reference too. The truth most likely lies somewhere between both of their biased claims as is usually the case much of the time. The link was still good food for thought though however. It made me wonder if the other (foreign) auto manufacturers would even continue pay their workers the theorized $20-26/hr if it wasn't for currently the "overpaid" UAW. We could only guess what value would be placed on these workers in a union-free market as it doesn't really appear to exist at the moment?


By tim851 on 3/12/2009 2:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
Man, are you just trolling or are you stupid?

While you were finishing High School, the drop outs already had to work. While you were going to college, they were still working.

It's not like YOU had to suffer through education (and we all know what a bitch college life is...) while THE OTHERS were just lazing around all day.

College doesn't give you an entitlement. It gives you options. You don't have to work a stupid 9-to-5 job, you can maybe find something fulfilling. THAT should be more than enough reason to strive for higher education.

But you seem to expect people without higher education should live in trailor parks. With people like you representing college it's no wonder that the Ivy League has such a crappy reputation in America...


By SavagePotato on 3/12/2009 10:59:38 AM , Rating: 2
Things don't always work out like they should. If you think that's fucked up you should see how out of whack things have been in Alberta because of the oil boom.

There have been labor shortage issues here for so long because anyone could go make incredible amounts of money in the oil patch. Pretty hard to get someone to work at the 7-11 when they can go make 8 thousand bucks a month with the same skills for some oil or gas company.

One of my brothers kids who was in high school was making over $20 an hour just to man a weed whacker at a gas plant for the summer trimming grass. Yeah 8 or 9 bucks an hour for the fast food restaurant really stacks up to that doesn't it?

Even moderately skilled trades like welders were getting $120 bucks an hour because of demand. Now my brothers other kid, a welder is scrambling for work with the downturn. What goes up must come down.

I used to drywall 5 years ago and you used to have to nearly fistfight the company management to get 14 cents a foot for residential jobs like apartments and during the boom it was like falling off a log to get 30 cents.

So you've got all these people making insane amounts of money, driving the cost of housing up to absurd levels, utilities at absurd levels and anyone that's not in an oil industry job or some job that is affected by the demand of the oil industry, well good luck with paying for that $600k condo in Calgary.

Now with the downturn though you've got these guys with a 60 thousand dollar diesel pick up, that they spent 20 thousand extra getting lifted up and slapping 44 inch tires on, and 500k dollar houses with 50 year mortgages and no more job.


By Larrymon2000 on 3/14/2009 2:36:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think that's completely ridiculous given that I'm only looking at maybe $40/hour wages when I graduate from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University with a bachelor of mathematics and bachelor of business administration respectively


You're COMPLAINING about making 80 grand out the gate from university? God, that's asinine. I mean, yes it's unfair, but that's just silly. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm in 'Loo softeng and am looking at a similar situation, but come on...That's fantastic money at our age and the opportunities it provides you.

You might make less than them now (not really, since 100 grand per year is not an accurate figure) in terms of strict salary+bonus figures, but your upside is uncapped. So if you're using this as a chance to mention how "$40/hr is sooo little", please stop bragging. The vast majority of people in North America would love to be in your (or our) shoes. You have no reason to cry foul. I mean, you of all people, should GET that given you're in MATHBUS. Seriously...


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By MFK on 3/15/2009 4:15:30 AM , Rating: 2
Didn't realize there were so many of us from the town of Waterloo on here!
I'm doing my BSc and BBA at Wilfrid Laurier too!

Anyways, I think the problem facing the Big Three is analogous to the TV serial making corporations!

I read somewhere that for most companies, it is unfeasable to continue to make a show after 5-6 seasons because of the costs. And a major factor in those costs is the wage of the actors which typically increase exponentially based on how well the show is doing! Luckily for production companies, its easy to kill off a show, but unluckily for the Big Three, it is difficult to get rid of your workers pensions and health care costs!

Also, I think bad management negotiations with the UAW and CAW can also be partially blamed for the current state of affairs. Some one should have forseen how the costs would balloon in the future and not agreed to them!

Just my thoughts on the whole deal!

I second some ones thought on the matter who stated that the companies should file for bankruptcy and reorganize without the unions! Is there no easier way of getting rid of the union?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By oab on 3/12/2009 10:39:24 AM , Rating: 2
I want to know wow they measured their total per hour wages compared to US workers, the salaries are $20 higher, but the canadian dollar is worth less, and healthcare costs are substantially paid for by the government, significantly reducing the benefits overhead.

I do know that some parts of the CBA have really stupid things in there that GM/Chrysler needs to pay for (such as portions of legal fees for their members for private suits ie: divorce), but I also know that wages only account for 7% of a cars total cost in Canada (according to the CAW).

The CAW just made concessions to GM a couple days ago (benefits freeze, no annual bonus, reduction in paid time off) which is in addition to the concessions that will kick in 2010 or 2011 which will make the starting wage on a line $20 an hour (maybe it's $15).


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By albundy2 on 3/13/2009 4:45:13 AM , Rating: 2
[Rant] where does everyone, including you, get your "this work get's you this pay" mentality? your labor is worth WHATEVER you can get for it and not a penny more. there is no magical price list out there [Though i am certain someone here will prove me wrong] for what each job is worth. we are all out to get as much as we can. it's time out of your life you will never get back. if you value your life as much as i do, your time is priceless, though you settled for what you could get and so did i.

personally, i think there is a lot of hater's that spent ton's of cash and time on their shiny "better than thou" degree's and it just eat's you up inside to realise, you could have just walked on to an assembly line and made close to, if not more than you do now.

sorry if you thought your better than an assembly line worker, but he paid someone better than you to negotiate his salary for him.[/Rant]


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By rwg88 on 3/13/2009 6:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
There are a number of entitlement comments on here but at the end of the day, personally I don't care what anyone makes. If you were lucky enough to get a UAW/CAW after dropping out of highschool and make $150k or worked your butt off getting a PhD in astrophysics and have to settle for $30k. My complaint is that don't come to me "the taxpayer" asking for a handout because the job you chose in the industry you chose, can't support the wages, benefits, pensions, marketting, management salaries, bonuses, etc.. It's not my problem. I understand that the $70-$75 per hour is a combination of a lot of items and not the pocket money of the line workers so you'll have to either take a pay or benefit cut, or convince all the retired "union brothers and sisters" that they'll have to give up some of their pension and/or benefits (which they I'm sure they feel entitled to) so that you can keep your job.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By talikarni on 3/12/2009 9:35:49 AM , Rating: 2
...so ALL cars and SUVs and vans and trucks from every single manufacturer worldwide are crap?
You cannot say that Chrysler vehicles are crap so therefore they are hurting financially... every single auto manufacturer around the world is having economic problems of their own whether it is BMW, Mercedes or Rolls Royce, or Hyundai, Kia or Tata.
This global economic problem affects most industries, and relating to automotive, it is GM and Chrysler that is making the "big" news.

Toyota: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic...

Honda: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&si...

Hyundai: http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20N...

and the list goes on and on.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 10:28:19 AM , Rating: 2
LOL, you complain about the quality of Ford and Chrysler and then buy a Mazda. That's beautiful. How did you figure out that Mazda is so much better than Ford and Chrysler?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By chrnochime on 3/12/2009 9:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
...and you bought an Audi...

Please, don't associate Ford quality with Mazda. Their RX-8 and MX-5 are pretty damn reliable and great sports cars.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/13/2009 5:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, and that car will be 11 years old this year. Still runs and looks great. I'm frankly getting a bit tired of it. I want to buy a new car, but I really can't justify it with the old one still in good shape.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By mydogfarted on 3/12/2009 10:31:34 AM , Rating: 2
This is hilarious... you realize that Ford owns Mazda? The majority of the smaller Ford platforms are Mazda based or Ford built and rebadged as Mazdas?

Silly, silly man.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By ihavewurms on 3/12/2009 10:53:13 AM , Rating: 3
From what I understand, Ford no longer owns Mazda, but they do have a partnership with them. As with the car he bought, it's assembled in Japan, but is still based off of the Ford C1 platform. I drive a Mazda3 which has the same platform, and judging from my past experiences with Fords, the quality is better. Maybe I just took comfort in the fact it was made and assembled mostly in Japan.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By ExarKun333 on 3/12/2009 1:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
You are wrong. Mazdas are made and assembled in the US and only use ~10% parts from Japan. I own one too, and the quality is great. This only proves the point that the COMPANY is what makes the cars good, not just the workers. GM and Chrysler just don't care.


By omnicronx on 3/12/2009 1:32:41 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize Mazda uses many ford parts and vice versa.


By Steve1981 on 3/12/2009 1:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
FWIW my Mazda 3 was assembled in Japan with 95% Japanese parts content.


By sprockkets on 3/12/2009 4:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
You are both wrong. Mazda makes their vehicles in Japan, and the Mazda6 is the only vehicle made here in the US. Even the Mazdaspeed6 was made in Japan.


By The0ne on 3/12/2009 4:03:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, Ford sold quite a bit of their shares back to Mazda a few weeks back I believe. And your last statement is what really counts in terms of REAL quality(non JDM crap test taken as the ONLY quality to believe in); or to be more specific, quality is much better due to their logistic and manufacturing capabilities whether that's in the US or outside.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/2009 10:53:25 AM , Rating: 1
I am aware of Mazda's history. I went with them because of cost - not necessary quality. My previous car was a Mazda as well and would of lasted a long time still if not for the accident.

My first choice was a full van but at an additional cost of 10k, it was out of my budget.

Mazda, while it has influences from Ford, has better quality in my opinion. It's not the best but it's not the worst.


By rudolphna on 3/12/2009 11:14:52 AM , Rating: 2
Really? Huh, odd. I have owned many a ford, and have had little to no problems, and they are great quality cars. I just the other day bought a used, 2007 Mustang V6. 20,000 miles. Fantastic Quality, interior is beautiful, and the engine is more than powerful and gets at least 25mpg. I guess time will tell reliability wise, but I have had minimal problems with ford in the past. 2003 Expedition, almost 55,000 miles. Only problems were 3 new ignition coils, and an alternator. Other than that, nothing. When was the last time you owned a ford? 1990? Open your eyes and look around. Ford is as good as honda/toyota quality and reliability wise.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TSS on 3/12/2009 10:12:58 AM , Rating: 2
because chrysler and GM are the only ones asking for loans or else liquidation.

liquidation, that's why it's such big news. that's not bankrupcy, you can come out of a bankrupcy if you find additional financers. GM and chrysler have already admitted that they will never find those and will die without goverment help. here i'll trust the people who's own finances depend on the outcome, rather then somebody else's.

besides that, GM and chrysler surviving might actually be hurting the other car companys. together they have about 30% marketshare left of the current market. suppose they die, then all other company's can absorb that market share.

the alternative, since sales are down 35% industry wide, is the entire industry scaling back 35%.

which wipes just as many jobs off the market as a failing of GM and chrysler. who, even with goverment funds, are still cutting jobs and will have to cut more in the future to survive.

oh, and the market is down 35% overall while chrysler sales are down 50%+. that has to mean something. probably that, if you need a car in these financially bad times, you don't purchase chrysler. because they cost more then it is worth to consumers to buy them, ergo, their crap.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By chick0n on 3/12/2009 10:29:36 AM , Rating: 1
exactly.

And this is not the first time.

GM/Chrysler/Ford has been making garbage for years.

You need power? Snap another 2 piston to it and BAM! you have a new motor ! The results? garbage motor with piss poor mpg and blows up in 3 years.

Just make the biggest car u can get on the road, people will buy, yeah right.

I never bought a US made car for the past 15 years. why? cuz they're all garbage. I would rather get a Kia than anything from the Big 3.

Ford is probably The first one to "wake up" and did something for the past 2 years, so they're least effected.

I truly hope GM and Chrysler go out of fuxking business. they deserves it.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 10:42:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM/Chrysler/Ford has been making garbage for years
That's your opinion, not an actual fact. The fact is that GM is tied for #1 in global sales, and Ford is still ahead of Honda in tems of sales. So they must be doing something right, despite your warped perspective. After all, if all their cars were garbage, nobody would buy them, right?

Oh wait, you're probably one of those types who think that everyone is an idiot and therefore they just don't know any better, LOL.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Steve1981 on 3/12/2009 10:55:50 AM , Rating: 2
Of course according to GM's balance sheet, they have a net worth/stockholder's equity of about negative 60 billion dollars (as of Q3 2008), so they are obviously doing something very wrong.

http://finapps.forbes.com/finapps/jsp/finance/comp...

Meanwhile, Toyota has over 100 billion in net worth/stockholder equity.

http://finapps.forbes.com/finapps/jsp/finance/comp...

It should also be noted that thus far they have only posted one quarter with negative income in spite of the drops in revenue.

http://finapps.forbes.com/finapps/jsp/finance/comp...


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 10:58:29 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that GM is not exactly a well-run company from a financial perspectve, however, that doesn't mean that all their products are crap, as the OP stated. There are obviously a lot of people around the world who like GM vehicles.


By Steve1981 on 3/12/2009 11:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
It's not really a question of whether people are willing to buy the cars or whether GM only produces garbage: obviously someone out there is buying GM and thinks they're at least passable.

The question is can GM sell their cars without offering significant incentives on a regular basis? It likely costs them as much to produce a Cobalt as it costs Honda to produce a Civic. However, it would seem that they cannot charge as much for that Cobalt as Honda can for a comparable Civic. Until they can, they've got a major problem


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By The0ne on 3/12/2009 4:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
Just want to point out that most of the cash Toyota has is from Quality improvements. Something the big3 can never "fully" implement or realize because of the UAW.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 4:22:30 PM , Rating: 2
Come on, it was "proved" by DT posters above that quality has nothing to do with auto workers. Any unskilled monkey could to that job, or so we're led to believe.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By The0ne on 3/13/2009 3:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
I take it your comment was sarcastic. If it's not, then there's a huge problem in understanding this situation with quality, manufacturing, logistic and anything UAW won't allow.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/13/2009 5:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
It was semi-sarcastic. I believe that quality requires implementation of a quality system, plus properly trained/skilled assemblers. I don't buy the assertion that assembly is an unskilled job without product quality consequences if mistakes happen.

But on the other hand, I also recognize that it probably doesn't take many years of training or experience to properly perform that job.


By chick0n on 3/13/2009 2:52:35 AM , Rating: 1
people got GM because they "Thought" that americans are Good.

Yeah right they're so good that now they're crying for help.

kiss my butt.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Atheist Icon on 3/12/2009 10:47:29 AM , Rating: 2
Last time I checked, 11 of the Top 20 vehicles were domestic. If they were crap, not 1 of the top 20 vehicles would be domestic. Hate to burst your bubble dude.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Flunk on 3/12/2009 1:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
Top selling doesn't mean that they're any good. Also, a bone to pick. We Canadians don't have any domestic cars so why should we care?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 1:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
That's a narrow view. You do have domestically produced cars and domestic jobs. If Chrysler leaves Canada, they will simple manufacture the cars outside of Canadian borders and then import them into that market. So the net change is the loss of Canadian jobs. Do you care about that?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By MFK on 3/15/2009 4:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM/Chrysler/Ford has been making garbage for years.


I would beg to differ with this statement too!
Sure, they dropped the ball with quality during the 80s and the 90s. But this is the 21st century. I'm sure some of the brightest engineering minds work at the big three, and they've heard enough of the complaints of the North American public during the last 20 years. They make reliable cars now, if you got stuck with a lemon, that was just your luck.

I just bought a Cobalt about 2 years ago. It still runs like it did they day I drove it off the lot. I also know a family with a Ford Escape that has yet to have any problems with it!


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/2009 11:54:31 AM , Rating: 1
Honestly, no I don't care to capitalism. A system that lets the rich get richer and poor get poorer is flawed in my opinion. Everyone has something to contribute but we don't all get the same back.

I would love to see money / bartering abolished in favour of a system where you get what you need provided you contribute sufficiently. I have thought about it a lot but I know capitalism is too strong. I may one day publish it to a web site somewhere... but not now.

As for democracy, it could be improved but it's not bad. The concept is sound and works with smaller numbers but with the population numbers, democracy is starting to be overstretched. How can so few represent so many in such an absolute way? They can't under the current system.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 12:37:33 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I would love to see money / bartering abolished in favour of a system where you get what you need provided you contribute sufficiently.
That already exists, it's called communism, and it hasn't exactly been a runaway success so far, has it?

And you misunderstand capitalism completely. The point is that there is opportunity for all to participate and succeed economically as much or as little as they desire. This motivates people past mediocrity because they can achieve a good living and wealth by working hard.

If everything is provided to you by simple "contributing sufficiently," what kind of society do you think that would lead to?


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Gzus666 on 3/12/2009 12:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That already exists, it's called communism, and it hasn't exactly been a runaway success so far, has it?


Hard to be a success when there hasn't been a working communism yet. Throwing a dictator in charge then calling it a communism doesn't count. The definition of communism requires there not be a dictator, so there is really no working model to judge how well it works. But there is lingering fear mongering from the Cold War that people love to bring up.

Once could argue all day about the benefits of any system. Everyone gets the idea behind capitalism, but clearly it falls short. Communism might fall equally short, but to say it doesn't motivate is just stupid.

There will always be lazy, worthless parasites taking from the hard working as long as we have society. Whether it is welfare and that crap in capitalism or pure communism. I think communism that requires you to work to get the benefits would work at least as well as a capitalism that doesn't give hand outs.

Also, reward usually has little to do with how hard people work. Many people just aren't motivated by money or things and they do the minimum to get by and then there are the achievers who will do whatever whether they are paid or not just cause that is how they are.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 1:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the former Soviet Union and the present Peoples Republic of China were/are both Communist states not under dictator control, so I think that refutes that claim.

And how do you measure "motivation"? By measures such as economic wealth and standard of living, and all Communist states in history have failed in that regard.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Etsp on 3/12/2009 2:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well, there exists the argument that both the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China are not, have never been, and never will be true communists, as defined by Karl Marx.

There are similarities, and they tried to pass off their version as Marxist communism, but the way Marx defined communism, it would have no central leadership, and everyone would be exactly equal.

This has never happened to any nation in the history of the world, and it's extremely unlikely to ever happen to any group of people larger than 100,000 people. (Even 10,000 people would be a stretch...)

Hippies did the commune thing in the 60's, but that was in small groups, where it was semi-practical.

True communism would be a fantasy within a fantasy in the industrialized world.


By The0ne on 3/12/2009 4:11:00 PM , Rating: 2
No they are not. People who continue to claim that they are and still are don't know what they're talking about. They need a dictionary first.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/12/2009 8:21:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hippies did the commune thing in the 60's, but that was in small groups, where it was semi-practical.


And even that didn't work. Deadbeats began showing up and leeching off the commune-loving hippies. These deadbeats consumed goods at the commune but didn't pull their own weight. Eventually the harder working hippies got sick of it, bailed out, and got jobs.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Gzus666 on 3/12/2009 2:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_union

Socialist and Stalin was basically a dictator with a nicer sounding title.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_republic_o...

Socialist and Mao was a dictator.

Once again, just cause someone says they are something, doesn't mean they are. We as Americans call ourselves a democracy, but we know this to be false. We call ourselves capitalists when we aren't technically 100% capitalism. It is a word game and communism in it's purest sense has never been attempted.

Communism is meant to remove classes, clearly Mao and Stalin were classed well above the common man, which is directly against the communist manifesto.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 2:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
1. Did Stalin "dictate" over the Soviet Union in 1975, for example?

2. Is Mao still running China?

3. Is the (single) ruling party in China not the Communist Party?

I agree that no actual economic/political/social system has ever achieved 100% purity, but the rest of your post is rubbish.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Gzus666 on 3/12/2009 2:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1. Did Stalin "dictate" over the Soviet Union in 1975, for example?


Was there still a class system?

quote:
2. Is Mao still running China?


Was there still a class system?

quote:
3. Is the (single) ruling party in China not the Communist Party?


Is there still a class system?

Maybe you didn't realize this, but the biggest thing about communism is demolishing class and promoting equality. Clearly no one has embraced this system as a society, so it has never been tested. Remember communism is a socio-economic system, not just economics or a government system. Also China clearly embraces capitalism currently, so they can call themselves whatever they wish, it doesn't make it true.


By The0ne on 3/12/2009 4:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
Gzuss is right. Most people relate Communism to just the government and that's not the case. In addition, if you ever visited or done business in China, as I have, you'll notice that they embrace various systems. And as Gzus as mentioned Capitalism is one of them. Having said that China's embrace of these various system is very messy. This, again, can be seen clearly on a day to day business. Just take a stroll around some of the companies and stores.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/2009 1:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There will always be lazy, worthless parasites taking from the hard working as long as we have society. Whether it is welfare and that crap in capitalism or pure communism. I think communism that requires you to work to get the benefits would work at least as well as a capitalism that doesn't give hand outs.


That is the thing with any system. What about those who refuse to contribute? I know someone like that. The solutions is difficult. What is a meaningful contribution? There are many similar situations that current systems just can't address.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 2:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What about those who refuse to contribute? I know someone like that.
That's why we have Democrats. If everyone were financially successful and self-sufficient, then we would all be Republicans.

<ducks>


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/12/2009 8:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
Communism doesn't work and I'll tell you why.

In order for it to work every single citizen of the communist state must want to be a part of a communist society, they must be willing to do an equal amount of work, and be willing to do the task that's been chosen for them.

If any of these things breaks down the country doesn't work. For instance, if some of your citizens didn't want to live in a communist country they would leave. If they felt that they work harder than the other workers and still make the same amount, they'll lose motivation or choose to move elsewhere. If the workers wanted to move into a position that was in short supply but high demand, there would be competition and unhappy workers. If someone felt that they were smarter/stronger/better than the average worker and felt that they should make more money, they'd leave to work elsewhere and you'd have a brain drain.

Without rewarding excellence you'd have a country of mediocrity.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/2009 1:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
TextIf everything is provided to you by simple "contributing sufficiently," what kind of society do you think that would lead to?


Well, that is the obvious flaw. How do you ensure that everyone is doing what they can? No, it's not communism, it's socialism.

quote:
TAnd you misunderstand capitalism completely. The point is that there is opportunity for all to participate and succeed economically as much or as little as they desire. This motivates people past mediocrity because they can achieve a good living and wealth by working hard.

Motivates past mediocrity? In theory yes. Capitalism survives because of minimum wage. Otherwise, what motivation do companies have to pay you? Bad example I know. I can work really hard but not get ahead for many reasons that have nothing to do with motivation. How about poverty, 3rd world countries (minus corruption)?

That is my view. I'm AM extreme in a sense towards capitalism. I want a better system that is better balanced and treats everyone equally. There are many flaws with capitalism.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 1:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Otherwise, what motivation do companies have to pay you?
Uh, they pay you in order to motivate you to work...? Not sure your point.
quote:
There are many flaws with capitalism.
Yes, there are, but it is by far still the best economic system that we humans have come up with so far.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By gmyx on 3/12/2009 1:46:28 PM , Rating: 2
Again, it was a poor example. I am convinced that capitalism is the economic system. It's a poor social system.

Capitalism cannot deal with poverty. It is counter-productive in a sense. Although reducing poverty means more people working buying more products, you can't eliminate it. Look at what some companies are doing in the name of profit, it's almost slave labour.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 2:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Capitalism cannot deal with poverty.
Neither can socialism nor communism, as history has proven.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Gzus666 on 3/12/2009 2:52:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Neither can socialism nor communism, as history has proven.


Communism hasn't had the chance, since it hasn't ever existed.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 2:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
Neither has capitalism, by your standards.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Gzus666 on 3/12/2009 3:20:07 PM , Rating: 2
By definition you mean? I really don't care, but stop acting like communism exists. Also, the main feature behind capitalism is free market, or as close as possible. This has been done many times.

Classless society and shared ownership have never been attempted even slightly to the point required to be communism rather than socialism. Technically communism wasn't even defined to be a working system by Marx, so it was really just a rough outline without a working medium. You can't define a true society that holds a classless society with shared ownership, cause it has never happened.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/12/2009 8:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
The communist utopia you're dreaming of cannot exist, since those who are smarter/stronger/better at a certain task will want to be rewarded extra for their work. They will not want to be dragged down by the slow or the weak.

You can't have a classless system when some people feel that they're better than others. There will always be the weak and the lazy, and there will always be the strong and the hard working. These people will feel that they're pulling more weight than others and will want more in return. It's basic human nature.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By 91TTZ on 3/12/2009 8:25:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Capitalism cannot deal with poverty.


Actually it can. In the purest sense, the poorest would die off and those able to work and survive will continue to work and survive. Those unable to feed themselves would starve.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Steve1981 on 3/12/2009 1:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can work really hard but not get ahead for many reasons that have nothing to do with motivation.


Who ever said working hard was enough on its own? Pretty much everyone on this planet, when push comes to shove, would work hard for their daily bread. That isn't what makes success. For success you have to work hard and, just as important, smart. Moreover, you have to take what money you earn and have the will not to fritter it away on fleeting pleasures, but invest it where it yields long term returns. That is Success 101.

quote:
How about poverty, 3rd world countries (minus corruption)?


What about them? Capitalism is not charity; however, one can be charitable within a capitalist system.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Penti on 3/15/2009 1:25:38 AM , Rating: 2
Yes they can but for example a mixed economy like Sweden gives more money, much more through the tax bill and that's pretty much true for any country. Bill Gates and crowd just gives pennies compared to the governments of the world. Any way US imported about 60% more then it afford for the year 2008. And it only gets worse. You need a large devalue of currency or something. 60-70%? Sounds crazy but you have been living on borrowed time for a long time. There are huge structural problems in the US economy.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By rcc on 3/12/2009 12:09:50 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps. More likely though, there are actually people that think the government is capable of running a business at a profit.

It'll be a cold day........


By Drexial on 3/12/2009 10:58:55 AM , Rating: 2
Man I just don't understand how everyone has decided that American car makers make crap. They really don't. I have seen American cars put through punishment that no car should deal with and they still ran. It really has nothing to do with what brand, but how its been treated. I see more imports actually taken care of. US cars are driven and people let the rain wash them. Whoops I'm 2,000 miles past my oil change date... EVERY car maker has its faults. But even with those faults it depends on how the person that owns the car takes care of them.

I have seen American cars last 200,000 + miles and still look great and I have seen Honda Civics die around 80k miles.

It's all about maintenance.


By Fenixgoon on 3/12/2009 11:10:03 AM , Rating: 2
with chrysler i am highly inclined to agree. in my opinion, they have the weakest product portfolio of the Big 2.5

I thought GM would be head of the pack since they've been bringing a lot of new models out lately, but Ford has really surprised me. Both have done an excellent job of revamping their lineup.


By Moishe on 3/12/2009 11:18:53 AM , Rating: 2
I saw let em leave. Demanding money for jobs is ridiculous. The welfare mentality has gone too far.

Chrysler needs to get it over with and just go bankrupt.


By kellehair on 3/12/2009 11:56:53 AM , Rating: 2
How did they build crap? Chrysler was the best-selling brand in Canada apparently.


By TA152H on 3/12/2009 12:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm, OK, but you do realize the company was part of Daimler, right, so it's not exactly the same management?

You also know it sells very well in Canada, right? You read the part about it selling well? So, why are Canadians buying crap?

You also know that every other car company is losing sales drastically, right? Even Toyota had sales drops of 40%, so it's not as simple as one car company making crap and suffering because of it. They're all losing sales. About the only car that seems to be in short supply is from Smart (ironically, from Mercedes).

I hope they leave Canada too, if the costs are as high as they say (I'm suspicious about their numbers). Why should Americans have to keep paying the bills for these companies to stay afloat, so they can keep jobs in other countries? If we are the only ones paying, let's keep the jobs here, not in Canada, if they aren't willing to help.

Keep in mind, I don't like Chrysler cars either, although my brother loves his Viper and thinks it's the greatest thing on Earth. But, I just don't think it's fair that American citizens foot all the bill, to save jobs in Canada or any other place.


By drycrust on 3/12/2009 1:03:10 PM , Rating: 2
I agree entirely. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to make his product to the quality the customers expect, and to sell it at a price that enables his company to make a profit (whilst paying his taxes as well). Obviously his company cannot compete either because his products don't meet "the customer is always right" type standards or because there is inefficiency within his company. It isn't a government's responsibility to run his company, it is this company's responsibility. If other car manufacturers can make a profit in Canada, then this company can too.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Flunk on 3/12/2009 1:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, bye Chrysler. Leave and make room for better car companies. I would have never bought your terrible cars anyway.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By Screwballl on 3/12/2009 2:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
agreed... let them leave Canada. Let them die. Other companies will fill in the gap left by any of these companies going under. Did the US or canadian government ever ever save Hudson, or Willys, or any of the other THOUSANDS of car companies that have gone under in the past century?

No this should be no different

sure a lot of people would be out of a job but in the areas where the companies pick up the slack, that will create a good chunk of new job openings thus allowing those out of work to take the new openings... not as bad as this socialist regime claims.


RE: As a Ontarian / Canadian I say...
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 2:59:09 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
...will create a good chunk of new job openings thus allowing those out of work to take the new openings...
Yes, maybe a few of the workers can get jobs unloading the ships when all of Canada's cars are imported from Korea. The others can compete for job openings at Tim Hortons or collect unemployment checks from the government. :o)


By callmeroy on 3/13/2009 2:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
Some companies just don't know when they are done I guess....they need to just go away, lets not waste any more press on them ---- they are done...so just let them die.


This is the problem
By FITCamaro on 3/12/2009 10:34:31 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
In the U.S., auto factory workers typically make approximately the same, with benefits and retirement factored in, as a professional engineer with several years of experience.


Paying people with absolutely none to little education outside of high school the same amount as someone who is a skilled engineer and spent years in school to achieve their success. Not just joined a union and used the mob mentality to get what they wanted.




RE: This is the problem
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 10:47:59 AM , Rating: 1
You're assuming Jason's right in that quote, and he isn't.


RE: This is the problem
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 12:19:23 PM , Rating: 3
Nationally and in Michigan , hourly earnings of Assemblers working in the auto industry ranged from $18.83 to $26.24 in late 2005. In addition, these workers receive a cost-of-living allowance.

ref. http://www.michigan.gov/som/0,1607,7-192-29940_234...

Most engineers earn in the range of $25-50/hour, so not exactly the same.


RE: This is the problem
By Gzus666 on 3/12/2009 2:27:12 PM , Rating: 1
You didn't factor in the benefits and retirement in like the quote he used said. If you actually read things, then think about them, then post, they tend to go a little better. Plus it said engineers with about 3 years experience, which will be on the low end of the pay range.


RE: This is the problem
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 2:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
Engineers earn pretty good fringe benefits as well, so I think it's pretty fair to compare hourly rates.

But really the point of my post is to dispute the widely-held myth that auto workers are usually earning $100-150K salaries, which is clearly not the case. They earn a decent living, but engineers are still paid more.


RE: This is the problem
By The0ne on 3/12/2009 3:53:59 PM , Rating: 3
No they don't. You're assuming things left and right. Some Engineers start at low paying jobs and work their way up the ladder in position and pay. Some stay where they are. I started out at $13/hr right out of college. Line workers don't have that wide of a range so they tend to start on the mid range of the pay, say around $18/hr and after a few years get to the max pay rate.

Some Engineers and Managers I know aren't even getting pay that much. They don't have a bully to fight for higher pay. Hell, I know some architects that don't even make as much as these machine operators. But if you compare apples to apples, typical machine and line workers average around $16-$18/hr, and that's high already.


RE: This is the problem
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 4:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not making assumptions; I'm basing this on industry data.

For example, according to this source, electrical engineers with 1-4 years of experience earn on average about $60K/year, or around $24/hour. Next step up is 5-9 years at around $70K/year.

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Electrical...

How long ago did you earn $13/hour? Like 15 or 20 years ago?


RE: This is the problem
By The0ne on 3/13/2009 3:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yes yes, we can throw out numbers to this discussion all we want. Salary.com is useful too since it does that same graphs for a specific profession in the area you are interested in. This will give you a much better understanding of what one makes in CA compare to North Dakota, for instance. Some fields in engineer are worth more than others and that hasn't been considered. But we'll leave that discussion out of this.

The point here is that you are assuming all engineers get pay MORE than UAW operators/line workers. What I'm telling you is that this is not the case for everywhere. There are engineers out there, and even bright technicians which I had the pleasure of working with, that doesn't even break the $25/hr and doesn't get any bonuses other than your typical benefits. I have a friend working as an architect and he's only making $18/hr. I've worked with many contract engineers when I was a contractor myself that didn't even reach $20/hr.

You're saying to yourself "sure but their pay can rise after a few years!" Well, the thing is that IF the person is willing to go out there and request/demand more money for what they're worth. You be amaze how many people don't know how much they're worth and settle for less. And there again you be amaze at the few that is quite happy with what they are getting. UAW workers do not have this problem. They have a bully to do the work for them and everyone gets a piece of it afterward.

I started at $13/hr to get my foot in. Once in, I'm good.


RE: This is the problem
By The0ne on 3/13/2009 4:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
Nice site btw. Thanks.


pay
By orgy08 on 3/12/2009 10:05:16 AM , Rating: 2
I think the pay is bullshit. Why should an unskilled worker in a car assembly plant make more than another unskilled worker in any other assembly line. $75 an hour for 40 hours a week pushes them over $150k a year. They should be starting around 35k a year and ending around 65k after about 15 years of experience, plus benefits.




RE: pay
By TomZ on 3/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: pay
By orgy08 on 3/12/2009 10:56:45 AM , Rating: 3
I'm comparing what line workers in my company make, which should be similar for all line workers.


RE: pay
By xti on 3/12/2009 11:09:30 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Seriously, this kind of thinking is dangerous and destructive to America . I can only hope that you are not a US citizen .


holy failblog batman


RE: pay
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 11:13:05 AM , Rating: 1
I believe most DT readers are living in the United States. Get over it.


RE: pay
By xti on 3/12/2009 3:00:05 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, we do live here. Represent us better please...


RE: pay
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 3:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
Represent yourself, dude!


RE: pay
By Azzr34l on 3/12/2009 12:52:18 PM , Rating: 4
I agree that the sense of entitlement some people have is an unrealistic expectation.

I don't have a college degree and yet I make over $100K a year in salary alone, with benefits around $125K, in a white collar job. I got to where I am through perseverance, self-teaching, emulating the practices of other successful individuals, and some fortuitous opportunities. I can see how some people that spent thousands of dollars and many years on bachelors or masters degrees could have some level of acrimony.

With that being said, workers should be paid their true value. Benefits must be factored in to the "total compensation" of employees - your employer is paying for the benefits. Some jobs have very lush benefits but a modest salary, and vice versa, and if you're lucky, you get the best of both worlds.

We all know there's a lot of jobs out there where the pay doesn't accurately reflect the persons' contribution. Nobody is saying an auto line worker's job isn't important, I think what most people are saying is their total compensation isn't commensurate with the service they provide. It is unskilled labor - plain and simple. You can pull anyone off the street, train them for 3 weeks and they could do the job. You simply cannot make a comparison between unskilled line workers (in any field) and skilled trade workers such as master masons, carpenters or iron workers.

I don't think anyone is arguing the unions are the sole cause of the Big 3's current predicament, but they are most definitely a sizable part of it. The defined benefit maelstrom that has been brewing for the past 30 years is finally coming to light.


RE: pay
By Atheist Icon on 3/12/2009 10:43:51 AM , Rating: 2
jesus tap dancing christ, they are not making 75 an hr. That is the legacy costs + normal pay. Normal pay is around 28 an hr. About 45K a year after taxes. One of my uncles still works at the Belvidere plant for Chrysler he is getting paid 30 an hr to assemble the steering columns with electronics.


By Dfere on 3/12/2009 9:58:50 AM , Rating: 2
Let me understand the argument.....
The US gave us a subsidy. If you don't pony up, we will only hire workers where we get a subsidy.

So now they are entitled to demand subsidies??? This in ONLY A FEW MONTHS....

Oh
My
God.

No, I do not understand this. Where do subsidies come from, anyways? From other efficient, tax paying businesses and individuals. No company is too big to fail, because individuals and other companies should not pay for someone else's poorly run business operations. And then to demand more....




By TomZ on 3/12/2009 10:19:37 AM , Rating: 2
The auto companies are asking for loans - not "subsidies" - and they will be paying interest, so the net cost to the government is only the risk of non-payment.

I'm not saying that cost/risk is zero, but my point really is that the auto companies - unlike the banking industry - is not looking for handouts.


By Moishe on 3/12/2009 11:39:48 AM , Rating: 3
Regardless of what they're asking for, there is no reason for anyone to have confidence in Chrysler. They are in position to demand anything.

not that I am anyone important, but the only way I would have any faith in Chrysler's ability to turn around is if the company was to fire it's entire management staff AND get out of the position it is in with the unions. Since this isn't going to happen, I say let em burn. Other companies will learn from these mistakes and pick up the pieces. We don't need Chrysler and we don't need to continue this management mentality and we don't need jobs that require this much overhead.


By TomZ on 3/12/2009 11:56:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Regardless of what they're asking for, there is no reason for anyone to have confidence in Chrysler. They are in position to demand anything.
How can you justify that statement when Chrysler is the #1 seller in Canada and probably one of Canada's largest employers?

Also bear in mind the inflammatory nature of the DT article...


By matt0401 on 3/17/2009 12:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
Ugh, this keeps coming up. "Chrysler is the #1 auto brand in Canada"

This must be some old stereotypical figure. As a Canadian I don't know anybody who owns a Chrysler. Anybody. Not even old people.


By Moishe on 3/18/2009 1:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
I frequently agree with you, but not this time. I don't care if a company is #1 in anything. If they are setup to fail, they need to change or fail. Let Canada bail them out if they think it's so important.

The article's level of flame has no bearing on my point. I have no faith in Chrysler and they don't provide any reason for anyone to have faith in them.


By Ralos on 3/12/2009 1:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
They are not even paying their taxes, and we're not talking a couple of thousands here but some 300 millions $. I don't know about you, but a couple hundreds of millions here, a couple of hundreds of millions there and pretty soon, we're talking about real money.

Then they specifically say they will "actively work to repay it" as if one had to specify this!

Their collateral is worthless compared to the amount of the loan requested, they are in one of the worst situation one could expect and they have accumulated as little as 300M$ in unpaid taxes.

The risk of not recovering this 2.3billions is extremely high, so yeah, the net cost to the government is in the same ballpark.

While technically this is a loan and not a handout, this is just that: technically. On paper.

Is there anybody here that does not think that this is another case of taking the money to keep their salaries and benefits awhile longer and that this loan would never be recovered?


Huge opinion fest
By Hieyeck on 3/12/2009 11:16:55 AM , Rating: 2
Reading through all these comments... my answer:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/c...

Only 1 American vehicle, and that's because no one but Americans actually use the vehicle type.

Feel free to click through the rest of them and have a good laugh at the expense of "The Big 3". One I found particularly amusing:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/b...
Only one American car in the top 10, and NINE in the worst 10.




RE: Huge opinion fest
By Atheist Icon on 3/12/2009 11:54:03 AM , Rating: 1
Not opinion, sales figures. Again, if Domestics produce so much crap, then why are they selling 11 of the Top 20 Vehicles in the US?

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/reute...

RANK VEHICLE 2009 2008 '08 RANK % Chng

1 Ford F-Series P/U 48,851 93,673 1 -47.8

2 Chevy Silverado-C/K P/U 43,775 80,218 2 -45.4

3 Toyota Camry 41,416 66,515 3 -37.7

4 Toyota Corolla 37,341 41,938 4 -11.0

5 Honda Accord 32,557 51,588 6 -36.9

6 Nissan Altima 30,137 44,998 9 -33.0

7 Honda Civic 29,885 44,792 8 -33.3

8 Dodge Ram P/U 27,291 42,544 5 -35.9

9 Honda CR-V 25,513 31,710 11 -19.5

10 Chevrolet Malibu 20,828 27,001 26 -22.9

11 Ford Escape 18,450 25,383 17 -27.3

12 Ford Focus 17,673 27,902 15 -36.7

13 Toyota RAV4 16,432 21,274 18 -22.8

14 Ford Fusion 15,755 24,163 20 -34.8

15 Jeep Wrangler 15,450 13,225 +16.8

16 Toyota Prius 15,353 22,272 16 -31.1

17 Chevrolet Impala 14,867 42,740 7 -65.2

18 GMC Sierra P/U 14,420 28,288 12 -49.0

19 Mazda 3 13,996 14,472 -3.3

20 Chevrolet Cobalt 13,508 34,268 14 -60.6


RE: Huge opinion fest
By rwg88 on 3/12/2009 1:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
If you take out the fleet sales of the pickup trucks, you'll find that there is a big change in your top 10 list. The average consumer is not buying these trucks which is why they have the largest percentage change. Another trend is to go for smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles which explains why the vehicles with a lower percentage change are the Corollas, and Mazda 3s.


RE: Huge opinion fest
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 1:28:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
trend is to go for smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles
That trend only exists in the liberal brain, not in the real market. There are no market statistics that back up your claim.

The only time that Americans are interested in tiny fuel-efficient cars is when gas prices go North of $3 or $4/gallon. Otherwise, people like their mid-size cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans as long as they can afford them.
quote:
...why the vehicles with a lower percentage change are the Corollas, and Mazda 3s
If your assertion was correct, then you'd also see the Prius in the same category. After all, that car is the poster child for fuel efficiency. But that dropped by a lot, too. The real reason for the trends you see is simply the recession and its effect of causing consumers to prefer cheaper cars.


RE: Huge opinion fest
By Gzus666 on 3/12/2009 2:24:15 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If your assertion was correct, then you'd also see the Prius in the same category. After all, that car is the poster child for fuel efficiency. But that dropped by a lot, too. The real reason for the trends you see is simply the recession and its effect of causing consumers to prefer cheaper cars.


The problem with your equally baseless assertion is that the Prius was marked up heavily during the gas spikes and quite possibly still is. Touching a Prius back just a year ago for less than 30k was impossible. On the other hand, a little car like a Corolla could be had for around 18k. The gas savings don't catch up for a while in that price gap and you also don't have to drive a space wagon.


RE: Huge opinion fest
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 2:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think you just agreed with me. :o)


RE: Huge opinion fest
By Hieyeck on 3/12/2009 8:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
I never said the average consumer paid attention or was particularly smart.


not bad for the govt
By MadMan007 on 3/12/2009 9:07:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
According to Chrysler, it feels that its Windsor and Toronto would be sufficient collateral for the massive loan. It says it is willing to accept as high as 6 percent interest and will actively work to repay it.


I assume Windsor and Toronto should have 'plants' or 'facilities' after them. That's real collateral and 6% interest is nothing to sneeze at. Making threats is kind of silly but those loan terms aren't bad, I guess the tax thing mucks it up though.

Also, too many people lease cars. Leasing is the most financially idiotic thing possible. You pay higher than loan payments and end up owning nothing.




RE: not bad for the govt
By omnicronx on 3/12/2009 9:18:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's real collateral
The Canadian government is not a bank. Furthermore if Chrystler goes belly up, what exactly are the plants worth? Not like anyone is going to buy them. Unless the land in which they reside is worth 2.3 billion dollars, I say they need a bit more of a guarantee. And please do not say that we can convert them into hockey arenas ;)


RE: not bad for the govt
By TomZ on 3/12/2009 9:55:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, too many people lease cars. Leasing is the most financially idiotic thing possible. You pay higher than loan payments and end up owning nothing.
Not true - lease payments are typically less than loan payments, because you're only paying for the depreciation and interest for the term of the loan, instead of paying the full cost of the vehicle plus interest.

ref. http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/leasing/

I purchase all my vehicles because I put very few miles on them and keep them for 10 years. In that case, buying is far cheaper than leasing. But if you are the type that likes to have a new vehicle every few years, then leasing is a reasonable option.


RE: not bad for the govt
By MadMan007 on 3/12/2009 12:16:22 PM , Rating: 2
My bad. I guess the info I'd last seen probably took in to account buying and keeping a vehicle for 10 years and I morphed that in to meaning lease payments are not lower. At the same time data shows people generally don't look at buy vs lease for the same vehicle. They look at buying a less expensive vehicle versus leasing a more expensive one that they couldn't actually buy.

Leasing is still financially stupid :p which is what I was getting at, to say it's ok to want a new vehicle every few years doesn't change that. The best deal is buying preleased vehicles. They've gone through most of their depreciation but have 'known quantity' when it comes to service and often have warranties.


Let the people choose
By Ratinator on 3/12/2009 12:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
Instead of giving Chrysler $2.3billion, set up a system where Canadians are entitled to a $5,000 rebate for buying a new vehicle. Let the people choose which auto maker gets the money.




RE: Let the people choose
By DASQ on 3/12/2009 12:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
That would almost automatically crush domestic car makers. A lot of the reason people DON'T pick 'Japanese' cars is because they're more expensive. But $5k off on a $21,000 Civic or a $18,000 Hyundai is going to DESTROY anything GM/Chrysler/Ford can offer. The entry level Kia would end up costing about $6k, brand new.


RE: Let the people choose
By rwg88 on 3/12/2009 1:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
This was something that was first proposed by Ford here in Canada. So they must obviously think it will work.


RE: Let the people choose
By Ratinator on 3/12/2009 2:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
Ford would do quite well actually. It may crush GM and Chrysler, but that wouldn't hurt my feelings.


The Government can't be held hostage
By Athena on 3/12/2009 11:29:45 AM , Rating: 2
We've all read numerous articles about the plight of these automakers and the devastation that their demise would bring. I have mixed feelings about most of these situations but this one really makes me mad.

Chrysler is trying to blackmail the Canadian government into giving them a pass for tax evasion. If the only way they can maintain the fiction of solvency is to not pay taxes on prior profits, then the government's response should be "Goodbye, don't let the door hit you on your way out". They are trying to blame the government for their own poor management (you won't let us evade taxes so we have to go out of business). This is a failed business and the sooner the whole think is wound down, the better for everyone.




By Hiawa23 on 3/13/2009 9:14:37 AM , Rating: 2
So, this is the plan. Blackball Canada, LOL. I say, don't give em the money, it's clear GM & Chryler need complete overhauls, & so far seems like their restructuring plans have not brought them to more manageable levels. I don't know what the answer is but I do know they shouldn't get one more dime, & if a company can't operate profitably then they need to seek chapter 11 restructuring, or internal restructuring, cust reductions, it seems clear the internal concessions have not gone far enough.


By HotFoot on 3/13/2009 11:54:43 AM , Rating: 2
I think if a private company feels the need to blackmail the public (ie. government) like this to remain solvent, then natinoalisation is a real option. Really, if it's taxpayers dollars keeping the jobs here then taxpayers should be reflected as shareholders and effectively have a say on who sits on the board.

I'd rather see Chrysler's assets seized under bankrupcy and broken up and sold off to competitive companies that can do business here without the blackmail.


Ultimatum
By rburnham on 3/13/2009 9:42:55 AM , Rating: 2
My stepdad once told me that if anyone gives you an ultimatum, always pick "or else."




RE: Ultimatum
By callmeroy on 3/13/2009 2:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
Brilliant advice.....so if God forbid, one day you are held up at gun point ask to hand over your wallet or else ....will you follow your step dad's advice then?


RE: Ultimatum
By AnimeRomeo on 3/13/2009 5:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
If the person holding the gun was dancing on a raised platform in a poorly lit room. Either decision would be good.


MB era
By Lord 666 on 3/12/2009 9:38:58 AM , Rating: 1
Curious on how much fault and vision MB had when they "partnered" with Chrysler. Is MB to blame for the tax issues?




RE: MB era
By Atheist Icon on 3/12/2009 10:50:34 AM , Rating: 2
Actually MB is to blame for turning Chrysler from the lowest cost, highest profit manufacturer to the highest cost, lowest profit manufacturer.


RE: MB era
By Moishe on 3/12/2009 11:40:33 AM , Rating: 2
stats please?


Come on, this is not true!
By Roy2001 on 3/12/2009 12:39:54 PM , Rating: