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Chevrolet Volt
GM isn't going to let a little thing like a lack of money prevent the Volt from coming to market in 2010

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.

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RE: Price
By InsaneGain on 12/19/2008 12:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
UAW workers currently make on average $55/hour, about twice as much as the average American worker. One has to wonder how semi-skilled labor can justify this difference. On top of that are the overly generous pensions paid to retirees. Only the health care costs have been offloaded with a massive 1 time payment. Anyway, the Japanese plants in the U.S. pay about $45/hour.
Unionized labor distorts free market economics, and misallocates resources. A closed shop unions means that an employer cannot hire non-unionized employees. This means the union has monopoly power over the supply of labor, which gives it the ability to coerce higher benefits under the threat of plant closure. This is called extortion. Assuming that auto companies must adhere to a total cost per vehicle target, the extra costs for labor mean that there are fewer resources allocated to engineering and product design.
The wages paid to American auto workers should have nothing to so with how much the UAW thinks they are worth, and it should have nothing to do with how much Toyota workers think they are worth. It should be determined by the supply and demand for auto assembly workers, just like everything else in a free market economy. The equilibrium rate is the most efficient, and the deviation forced by unions create a huge cost for society as a whole. If the equilibrium wage rate is not high enough for an auto worker, they should remove themselves from the supply and train themselves for work in another higher paying field. This may result in a labor shortage, and the auto company would have to increase wages to attract workers. This is how resources are allocated in a free market. It has nothing to do with governments getting involved. I really don't see why unions should appeal to "libertarian-minded" people.
The current USA auto industry crisis is a perfect example of how unionized labor will destroy an industry in the long run.

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