I'd enjoy seeing China quietly acquire enough GM stock to be able to sit down with Gettlefinger next time the UAW contract comes up and explain a few "realities" to him...Chi-Com style.
Gettlefinger..(UAW)...."we demand 70.00 an hour"..!!!
Ching Wang...(Chinese government official):"You Get 70.00 per week...plant moving to Mongolia".
Don Steele I read a few years ago that the auto workers in China were about the best jobs going in China and they were making $50/ month. The article didn't say how many hours per day or days per week. Hard to compete with that kind of labor cost don't you think? Dan
If you think the best jobs in China sre paying $50/month you're kidding yourself. I was doing factory audits in Shanghia this year and I saw more Buicks on the streets of Shanghai in 1 hour than I see in any American city in one week (literally). Buicks cost more there than they do here and in most major cities you have to win a lottery and pay a hefty fee just for the privelege of getting a license to own a car. The people paying those fees and inflated car prices aren't doing it on $50/month. It's true that Chinese salaries are a fraction of ours but the average person here does not grasp the concept of Purchasing Power Parity, nor do they understand the difference in net vs. gross income between the U.S. and China. One obvious difference between auto workers in China and auto workers in the U.S. is their work ethic. People over there WORK, and the Union Slacker mentality that contributed to the decimation of our auto industry is unheard of over there.
Getting back to the point, GM's shamelessly going on welfare had nothing whatsoever to do with low labor costs in China. GM opted to take mfg to China, Mexico and Canada long before they were facing bankruptcy.
Aw, c'mon guys! Obama put his ass on the line for us! He flexed the sinewy muscles of the Federal Government, tucked GM under his arm, inserted a bottle of warm milk into their eager, suckling lips, and nursed a Treasured Industrial Icon back to health. A Gilded Symbol of American Economic Might brought back from the abyss, in a vibrant display of the Gubmint's Power To Do Good......and this is the thanks he gets?
For the love of God.
It's almost like you _want_ the UAW to get what's coming to them.
Geez, I swear...there's no pleasing you guys.
Sigh...I hope you can live with yourselves, after those "American Working Families" are out of a job.
Obviously you're being facetious. But watch and see -- as the 2012 elections ramp-up the Democrats will actually have the gall to spin this GM bailout as an accomplishment. The mainstream media will help sell it too. And guess what? Half of America is ignorant enough to buy it.
While I would never buy a car from GM since they are owned by unions and government, I would definitely buy their stock if I thought I could make a profit on it. Unfortunately, so long as they are owned by those two, buying their stock would be a suckers play.
I am still amazed at the un informed people who have never done any credible research that believe they understand the auto industry. Direct union labor is only 5% of the price of a car. 5%! If the cars were built for free with slaves, that would only save 5%! Not to mention those workers pay checks pay federal, state, sales and property tax, buy groceries, clothes, homes, insurance, medical services, telephones, etc. They also pay the federal pyramid scheme we call social security. What type of business supplied your wages? Factory workers probably contributed to your wages, pensions, social security and you towns tax base.
Car quality is what is designed in and specified in the parts. The line workers have NO say in that. Those decisions are by the men you probably admire because of their big wages. The bonuses on the executive and upper managagement are obscene, even Lee Iaocca is on record with that statement.
If you all want American workers to live like slaves in Ho Chi Min city, then you will have to make adjustments too. No customers, no sales. No sales, no companies, no companies, no pensions, no social security, no returns on financial interests. (The industry that stole my life's savings) Welcome to the bottom gentlemen; that non union utopia we all will scrape by on survival through anarchy. By the way, I am bigger and stronger than you, so give me that ham sandwich, or I'll have to take it away.
If I really knew how to keep our money in America, and keep this countries enemies from robbing our lives I would take control of the Whitehouse and help everyone. However, I will never feel smug about knowingly and willingly insuring that all my money leaves this country so that you will have no chance to benefit from free commerce. I just do what I can. By the way, my wifes 2005 Taurus just needed it's first repair at 55,000 miles, the front brake pads were worn....
Worked at Fisher Body in St. Louis in the sixties. Got to polish molds for the new Stingray. Assembled bucket seats for the Super Sport Impala. Have been a long time GM fan...............until last year. I had a couple of lemons along the way, an Olds Omega (like all of those family of cars, a POS), an 85 Caprice (during the tranny problems) and an 89 full size van..(they got it right after 55,000 miles)...but many, many others well made and little trouble. Have a Silverado right now but will replace it with a Ford. Don't want anything to do with a company that has its lips attached to the rear end of Gubmint Motors leaders...and a company that spends megabucks lieing to us about how they paid back their government loans.
I had a few shares of GM stock and made some money on it. Now I'll keep buying Ruger, Caterpillar and a few others.
Wife's Edge is the best riding, smoothest running crossover/van/whatever we've ever had (after a pair of nice Windstars).
Leo you wrote "I am still amazed at the un informed people who have never done any credible research that believe they understand the auto industry. Direct union labor is only 5% of the price of a car. 5%! If the cars were built for free with slaves, that would only save 5%!"
I will admit to being uninformed, and not having done any credible research, so could you please tell me where you came up with - "If the cars were built for free with slaves, that would only save 5%!"
Only 5%, really??? The little research I have did shows that GM spends between $1500 to $2000 per vehicle just for health insurance costs!! So does your 5% figure include health care - which is a direct cost??
Is it also completely misleading and useless? ABSOLUTELY.
The same is true of Leo's statement that, "Direct union labor is only 5% of the price of a car." The actual number is between 6.4% and 8.0%, depending on the car, but that's not the point. The point is this: It's as low as it is only because the ridiculous cost of UAW wages and benefits forced U.S. auto manufacturers to outsource everything they possibly could. That's kind of like the crack dealers in Detroit taking credit for increasing the sales of steel bars people had to install over their doors and windows.
Even with most of the parts being outsourced in order to get around UAW extortion, the in-house labor and BENEFITS costs still crippled GM ($70 per hour average at GM). It's only about $48 per hour at Toyota even though their base hourly wage is actually a bit higher than GM's.
So don't fall for the UAW talking points crap. After all, GM and Ford didn't spend countless billions of dollars moving assembly plants to Canada and Mexico because domestic labor was only 5% of cost.
Aside from that misleading fallacy, I agree with much of what Leo said. I also drive Ford.
As far as the pension and benefits cost, That figure includes all the executives, upper, middle and lower management, non production employees such as advertising, marketing, bean counters, clerks, inspectors, and government compliance positions. That is a lot of people. It is not hard to understand that those who are closer to the top get a lot better packages. GM has been way too top heavy since the early 70's. Besides, with obamacare, everyone gets the same benefits, even if they never worked anywhere, and we'll all be paying for that, in addition to government motors executives.
I have never once been a production worker, union or otherwise. I just hate to see wives tales that blame all the problems on the least significant group of people who have the least power and authority to solve the problems, while we overlook the people who can really make a difference. Those who can make the difference, CHOOSE not to do the right thing, making themselves rich beyond comprehension. They know they are screwing the customers and hurting the overall health or our nation, but do not care, even joining in blaming the stiffs on an assembly line. As long as we focus on the factory workers, we will not put any pressure on the amoral fat cats.
Modern manufacturing is truely an efficient process. Even Gary who busted my butt so thoughly, came up with 6.4-8%. Accepting his figures, at worst case that would be $2800 on a $35,000. car. I agree it sounds amazing, but that is the reality of modern manufacturing. Time are measured in seconds and tenths of seconds. Before the Germans bought Bob Eaton, who gave them Chrysler, the Kokomo Transmission plant was building and shipping 15,000 transmissions a day. That is from molten aluminum, cold rolled bar stock, and raw pig iron castings, to a complete 4 speed transaxle with a torque converter and wiring harness attached, and full of transmission oil. This complete assembly was shipping out the door for $215.00 each. That is not a misprint, that is fact. I still think it is amazing, all that die casting, machining, heat treating, assembly, and testing of that complex assembly. Some women spend more than that to get their hair done. You can hardly buy a rebuild kit for what they built the whole transaxle for. Even at $215.00 each, the plant was rolling in cash and bonus money. The most expensive car they had to produce at that time was the high end leather Jeep Cherokee limited that was pushing $40,000 as a full list sticker price. The total for material and labor for that model was just over $6,000.00 each. Corporate overheads added 2-3 times that amount to the price. I watched it from a technical position for almost 10 years. I was also given awards for ideas that only shaved a second or two off a few different processes.
At the time I was dating a woman who was a tool and die tradesman at the Marion Stamping plant (GM). The body work is cheaper than you can imagine also. Take a tour of the Corvette plant in Kentucky. They will proudly tell you how long it takes to build each Vette, which is a very expensive car to produce. It probably varies from model year to model year, but the best I remember from the tour, there was just over 30 hours to hand fit the body and interior and 5 or six hours total labor time in the whole rest of the car. Is not just assembly time there, that is the total time added to each part or sub assembly along the way. Keep in mind, the Vette is a carefully built specialty car. The standard metal body car lines run much quicker, and the body work and parts are much lower priced, both in design and quality.
I do not like unions spending their time in socialism activities. I also do not like the government agencies that force preferential treatment of slackers and incompetents and call it affirmitive action. We need more manufacturing in this country, and a LOT less people depending on the government, both for wages and welfare. If you bust out 80,000 auto workers from their jobs, what do you want them to do? If we do not address the real issues, we are done as a country. The people on the assembly lines, are a pretty small part of the equation.
I hope the rain holds off, I hope to shoot a few rounds tonight. I highly recommend that, and I think we all agree.