General Motors has been in a downward spiral all year with lagging sales and losses in the billions. GM and its cross town rival, Chrysler, asked Congress for monetary assistance to stave off bankruptcy by the end of the year. In the end, the Senate failed to hand over even $14 billion USD to the two struggling Detroit giants.
Now as the White House mulls what plan it will present to help GM and Chrysler stay in business during 2009, GM is stating that it will bring the Chevrolet Volt to market no matter what. This confidence in the Volt program comes despite that fact that GM announced yesterday that it would halt the production on a new engine assembly plant which will produce the 1.4-liter gasoline engine/generator for the vehicle.
Despite the setback with the engine assembly plant, billions of dollars in losses, and a production schedule that leaves little room for error, GM is still committed to bring the Volt -- and the Chevrolet Cruze -- to market by the end of 2010 as it has always stated.
If the engine assembly plant is unable to be completed in time to get the production Chevrolet Volt and Cruze out the door in 2010, GM will be forced to rely on one of its overseas facilities to produce the engine according to the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly enough, the Chevrolet Cruze is already available in overseas markets like South Korea albeit with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine -- two years ahead of the car’s North American launch.
"Everything that involves heavy cash outlays obviously is under review," said GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel on Wednesday. "Our intent is to still go forward with a new facility bringing that engine to Flint, Michigan."
"Although we are temporarily absolutely stopping all work on everything, the Volt will be out as originally scheduled," added one GM executive.
GM is banking on the Volt to bring it some of the same positive press that has been bestowed upon the Toyota Prius. However, the Prius and its rival, the Honda Insight, have base prices below the $24,000 mark. The Volt, however, will be priced near or will surpass the $40,000 mark before a $7,500 tax credit.
quote: Take off your own, and look at Detroit high school graduation rates. Look at the price of homes in Michigan, some of which have sold for a dollar. Look at their unemployment -- and not just current unemployment, but the rate going back ten years. Check out their budget problems, which aren't exactly new. If anywhere in America comes close to resembling a dysfunctional, rapidly failing socialist state, it's Michigan.
quote: As for unskilled labor, they've traditionally stayed in one place and worked for, or tried to work for, the same company for 30+ years until retirement. And in this day and age, where health services, IT, and other skilled professions are growing and manufacturing continues its multi-decade trend of shedding workers in favor of automation, who do you think has more options for work? Someone who has made bolts for 20 years or an accountant? (Hint: Even in this economy, I've got an accountant friend who has the enviable 'problem' of choosing between multiple job offers)
quote: Thanks for the union propaganda. I guess doctors, bankers, lawyers and other early professionals before labor unions were ever first formed who still were well compensated should thank yet-to-be-created labor unions?