By on July 21, 2011

It was quite a coincidence when, just last week, Audi restated its interest in US production facilities on the same day that the UAW announced it was in talks to possibly organize VW’s new Chattanooga plant. At the time we noted that

With Audi execs insisting on the need for more US production capacity, a UAW win in a Volkswagen vote could have serious implications for the firm’s future expansion.

Turns out, it didn’t even have to come to a vote. Just over a week after CEO Rupert Stadler insisted that “It is totally clear that we need new production capacity in the U.S,” Audi has suddenly decided that things look nicer in union-free Mexico. Automotive News [sub] reports that Stadler wants a new Mexican plant to build the Q5 SUV, but notes that

it was still unclear if Stadler would have his way in the face of opposition from some of Volkswagen’s top managers, who wanted Audi to make use of the new VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Did the UAW’s sudden announcement that it was in talks with VW’s global works council about organizing Chattanooga have anything to do with the decision? AN [sub] won’t say, but the timing can’t be ignored. Audi’s US production may just have been the first victim of the UAW’s transplant organization campaign.

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70 Comments on “Audi: On Second Thought, We’d Prefer A Plant In Mexico...”


  • avatar
    Volt 230

    This is the case,you meet a wonderful, beautiful, loyal girl who asks you to move into her beautiful home with her, but her nagging, unpredictable mom lives there too, what do you do?

  • avatar

    I applaud Audi for following the path of least resistance, just as I applaud other automakers for doing so. It would serve us right as a country for allowing the UAW to feed at the trough for so long… it’s time to let them starve.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    Note to Audi:

    I will never EVER pay you $40,000 for a car built in Mexico.
    the US? maybe. even probably. Mexico? forget it.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      would you pay $20k for a domestic-brand subcompact built in Mexico?

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Audi to Sundowner:

      That’s how an A0 can be offered at $39,999.00

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      Felt apart! How so?

      • 0 avatar
        Sundowner

        In the 10 months I owned the POS, It went in for service on pretty much a bi-weekly basis:
        1)Air bag light kept coming on – sensor connector broken when installed at the factory
        2) ABS light kept coming on – Wheel speed sensor broken when installed at the factory
        3) sunroof leaked and groaned, – the rails for this massive thing were not installed correctly at the factory, and they had to pull apart the whole roof to fix it.
        4) driver and passenger door windows would not seal – were not installed correctly at the factory and doors had to be pulled apart and rebuilt
        5) intermittant radio cut-out – never fixed
        6) random stall on highway when cruising at speed – this happened with the dealer’s tech IN THE CAR NEXT TO ME on a ride-along and they never found the reason.
        7) my favorite – loud clunking from the front of the car – the freaking FRONT SUBFRAME WAS NOT INSTALLED PROPERLY and the bolts holding it in were loose.

        I’ve owned no less than five (5) VW or Audi products in recent memory. A 2006 A3 that my wife adores. A 2008 Passat wagon that I adored until it was hit and totalled, a 2010 A4 that my father in law adores, and my own 2011 a4 that I adore just as much as my old Passat. Every single one of them has been rock solid for us EXCEPT for the Jetta. Pretty much every problem that car had could be traced back to the assembly plant. I want nothing to do with anything built in or around that plant in Mexico.

        If Audi has a lick of sense, they’ll bag the whole idea. A smarter move would be to use the carrot of a new factory to dangle in front of a hungry and angry republican governor in the northeast who can use it as political fodder to convert his state from closed shop to right-to-work status. There’s PLENTY of good sites in the north east for heavy manufacturing with everything you’d need for materials handling incluing heavy rail, truck freight, industrial ports, airports and some of the best educational systems in the country. GM and Ford pulled stakes from NJ almost 15 years ago, but all the infastructure to and from those sites is still there.

  • avatar
    rnc

    One of my current co-worker’s old company moved to mexico (not the drug war infested northern parts), he had the chance to go at his current salary and chose not too, I would have jumped on that in a second, they do have american schools there, despite what I would imagine to be high taxes, he would have been able to live like a king. To make matters worse he is of a highly specialized profession in an industry that is outsourcing to china, india and latin american at break neck.

    Working with Germans something I noticed is they move around without hesitation, from the US to south africa, the Middle east, South America and China of course (of course thier educational level* makes my having 3 bach. and probably a hundred more various credit hours seem like a high school drop-out), but it is thier willingness to move that makes them so highly attractive.

    *
    CEO – 2 Phds, JD and 4 masters.
    VP Accounting (the company was a combination of parts of 3 companies with highly an advanced but not so profitable technology, so they combined them as one, the largest of the three, not wanting to give any executive power to the other two) so a Phd in mechanical and electrical engineering went back to school, got his masters in accounting and the German Equiv. of CPA (CA).

    Controller (my boss, in Germany controller has different meaning than in America) – 4 masters (Currently works in Russia).

  • avatar
    Pch101

    it was still unclear if Stadler would have his way in the face of opposition from some of Volkswagen’s top managers, who wanted Audi to make use of the new VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    This sounds like internal company politics. The Audi management wants to keep its distance from VW (the brand). That includes operating separate facilities.

    Notice that they aren’t talking about sharing facilities in Puebla, either. Audi wants to retain as much autonomy as possible, but that becomes difficult when your sister brand is building your cars for you.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Pch101 hits on something that I would bet is a strong reason for Audi’s decision. For the past 7 years Audi has made a very concerted effort to distance itself from Volkswagen and to ensure that there is little to tie the brand to Volkswagen from a marketing point of view.

      IIRC, when they moved headquarters to Virginia from Michigan, Audi was given separate digs from Volkswagen (someone please verify this if you can) to further enhance the image that Audi stands on its own.

      The reality is that Audi does function very autonomously from Volkswagen.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        For the past 7 years Audi has made a very concerted effort to distance itself from Volkswagen and to ensure that there is little to tie the brand to Volkswagen from a marketing point of view.

        That’s right. Perhaps more importantly, they made a similar decision with respect to quality control — Audi created its own separate QC for US-market vehicles, a responsibility previously shared with VW of A.

        I could see how this would play out.

        -Corporate hems and haws about setting up North American operations, while having an overall plan to expand volume

        -Corporate builds a VW plant in the US

        -Audi doesn’t really want to have anything to do with said VW plant, but can’t say anything too soon

        -As the deal looks more likely to move forward, Audi makes a gambit to assert its independence. Part of the gambit is to argue that the Audi plant has to be located in a place that is far away from the aforementioned VW facility, even though corporate would prefer that the VW capacity be utilized by both of them.

        It isn’t clear that there will even be a plant at all, or where it will be located. But ultimately, I suspect that Audi will want to run its own shop as much as it can. If forced to share a line, Audi would probably prefer to build cars for VW than have it the other way around, but they obviously can’t do that now if they agree to use a VW-operated plant.

  • avatar
    JJ

    On the same day?

    Then it probably has little to do with it. And no that’s not being sarcastic. Despite all the stupid short term based decisions that are made nowadays in politics and business, I give the management at Audi (I mean Veedub) a little more credit than basing a longer term decision like this on some speculation that appeared on the day.

    Faux news type kerfuffle.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I give the management at Audi (I mean Veedub) a little more credit than basing a longer term decision like this on some speculation that appeared on the day.

      Audi has been publicly hemming and hawing about this for the last three years. During that period, the entity has changed its agenda a few times over. Unfortunately, this blog piece fails to provide that context.

  • avatar
    obbop

    IF the exec-types visit the plant how much and how effective will their multiple gun-toting guards be against the vast forces arrayed against them.

    And i AM omitting the current ultra-high levels of various violence-types prevalent in the news recently.

    Most folks know what the media informs them about.

    Omit the “spooning” of selected-by-others media content and the vast majority of the human herd remain ignorant of MUCH reality.

    Go… go to Mexico Audi and others.

    Enjoy the oligarchy there and the entrenched graft.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Just because some regions of Mexico have drug-related gang violence, does not mean the WHOLE country is like that, based on that criteria, if I went to Camden, NJ or Detroit, Mi I would not set up a plant in the US neither.

  • avatar
    derm81

    More and more manufacturing outfits are skipping the US, especially the southern states, altogether. This is really not a new thing, but has been neglected in the media. After 2011, I had semester internship at a fairly large “foreign” auto supplier in SE Michigan. They were seeking to expand their North American manufacturing capacity since they did work for the D3 as well as the Japanese and Germans. I vividly recall how they studied various locations throughout North America and settled on the following “typical” 4 choices:

    1-Stay in SE Michigan and be located in a UAW stronghold with arcane work rules and a semi-militant, yet talented blue collar workforce. The tradeoff would be that SE Michigan is the world’s automotive R&D and engineering center PLUS being near other suppliers as well as having a very deep pool of talented engineers was very appealing. Plus having Detroit’s world class airport with direct flights to Japan and Germany also scored a lot of points.

    2-Locate the new facility in Ontario where costs would be similar to the Detroit area but healthcare costs wouldn’t be an issue and the CAW, at that time, was more flexible than its American counterpart. The location was still within close proximity to either Detroit Metro Airport or Toronto Pearson for direct flights to Asia and Europe. Limited incentives were offered but the politicos were eager to partner up.

    3-Several southern states including Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. All three offered amazing tax incentives and NO UNIONS but the hiring pool was and probably still is absolutely terrible. The education level of the average blue-collar candidate was very low. Hell, we knew going in that we would have trouble finding HS grads let alone anyone with a two-year degree. Engineering talent was far from available and most white collar recruits would have had to relocate from the north. No direct flights to any of these states from abroad.

    4-Mexico offered less regulations, weak unions (if any at all), cheaper labor and excellent quality. The main concerns focused on the growing drug violence at the time, NAFTA issues, logistical/trucking issues and language barriers. The real factor that sold Mexico was the total amount of annual savings with the workforce…and that is why the Mexico site was chosen. It was a no-brainer.

    The thing I noticed is that Mexico’s place in auto manufacturing will continue to grow at the expense of the southern auto corridor. I guess it is similar to what happened with Michigan and the Rustbelt losing out on new “transplant” factories to southern states due to better business incentives and labor issues back in the 80s and 90s. Keep in mind that SE Michigan had the white collar sector of the automotive field with R&D and design to serve as a sort of back-up to the lost manufacturing jobs. The south doesn’t have that luxury with the exception of a few token engineering shops and maybe Clemson’s ICAR. What will the southern states (who poured a LOT of $$ into incentives and subsidies) do when manufacturing flees to Mexico?

    • 0 avatar

      That is an interesting comment. It is a least-resistance thing and I can’t not blame Audi for that. Especially with how Mexico is so great because you can pay Mexicans less.

      Will it stay cheap, and will the US continue to move 50,000 manufacturing jobs out of the country per month?

      I’d move to Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      Uh, I’m not sure I’m buying your argument against Alabama. The Atlanta airport is a stone’s throw. They’ve got enough talent to attract Hyundai, Kia and Mercedes-Benz. There’s a LOT of engineering talent available in that area., i.e., Georgia Tech, Auburn.

      So how do you find this engineering talent in Mexico without a language barrier?

      • 0 avatar
        derm81

        The company I interned for had to recruit in SE Michigan at schools like LT, UM A2, OU and Kettering. They had partnerships with those schools and we found it difficult to create any sort of academic partnetships with several local schools in AL and TN at that time. Things may have changed in ten years…usually, they preferred to recruit at UMich AA, Stanford, USC and maybe two other colleges first. GT and Auburn weren’t even on their map at that time but like I said, things had to have changed.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        I wouldn’t call that a “stone’s throw.” When I lived in central GA, I HATED that I had to drive 100 miles to Hartsfield to fly anywhere. That’s gotta be a major hassle for corporate travelers.

        As for engineering talent, it’s there, but in my experience, there’s a lot of groupthink amongst graduates of GT, Auburn, etc…although probably no worse than what you’d traditionally find in S.E. Michigan. Moreover, it’s hard to even get “local” talent to take jobs outside of metro Atlanta or Huntsville, maybe Birmingham or Tuscaloosa. Places like Montgomery, or Macon/Warner Robins, nobody wants to go there despite good employment opportunities.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Derm, you’re not a bigot much are you? Accusing Southerners of being less educated is old and tired. Especially the high school graduate thing, was your experience in the 1930s? I’ve worked and gone to school with Southerners and yankees both, generally people from the South are better educated and more worldly than you people. The plants located in the South appear to be doing pretty good, the product is at least as good as anything made anywhere else and the work force is probably above average compared to the UAW. The initial tax breaks given to the companies, well that wasn’t such a good idea, but I’ll not say anything else about that.

      You need to get out more or overcome your superiority complex. And I noticed that for an intern, you were remarkably involved in the process you describe. “We knew going in”, come on, you were a fetcher of coffee and copy machine operator, you didn’t know anything except what you overheard your superiors talk about.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Derm, you’re not a bigot much are you?…I’ve worked and gone to school with Southerners and yankees both, generally people from the South are better educated and more worldly than you people.

        So, how’s that reverse bigotry think working out for ya?

        come on, you were a fetcher of coffee and copy machine operator, you didn’t know anything except what you overheard your superiors talk about.

        He can speak for himself, but given his handle, my guess is that it was an internship for a master’s degree. I had one when completing my MBA, and it was certainly not low-level work. (In my case, we were offering a strategic plan to the company; no coffee fetching was involved, although some after-hours boozing and schmoozing certainly was.)

      • 0 avatar
        derm81

        Nope, not really….just stating as a fact from my own personal experience. Make of it what you will, but I am just calling it like it is. The southern workers were a hell of a lot friendlier and more flexible than the UAW types up north but it was extremely difficult to find well-trained automotive engineers in the south at that time and we were willing to pay top dollar.

        MikeAr…are you Mike Randle by any chance of SouthernAutoCorrdor.com? I am starting to think that you are…

      • 0 avatar
        Signal11

        Sorry Mike, but you’re wrong.

        Almost every existing metric used to compare education, the South lags the United States. This isn’t even in question. It is a fact. The South is last in educational attainment/achievement, period.

        Also, my experience is that Southerners are in fact, not more wordly or educated than other Americans.

      • 0 avatar
        derm81

        The company I interned at also looked at Texas, which was and is VERY sweet for any company, but there were logistical issues involved that hindered that plan. Out of all the “southern” states, Texas would be #1 on my list but hey, that is just me talking. TX isn’t really even “southern” at all. It’s Texas.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        I had started to reply to this over an hour ago but it got lost somewhere. First of all, Pch, I’ve got one of those things too. I interned and it was fairly challenging but in no way did any intern ever have the right to use “we” when talking about a major corporate decision. That’s being terribly presumptuous. And Pch, you don’t know enough about me to try and bs me like that. I’m sure that you contributed heavily to board meetings during your intership.

        Second, from the knee-jerk responses, I’d say that most of you learned about the southern part of your country from TV and movies. That’s no substitute for actually knowing something. As far as education goes, there are two Souths and I mean class not race before anyone says anything. You shouldn’t paint a whole region with a broad brush, just like I wouldn’t say that NYC and Chicago are the same or that everyone from California lives on the beach.

        One last thing, if that company wanted experienced automotive engineers, did it not occur to the geniuses in charge that a place with no automotive industry at all wouldn’t have any of those? Or was Mexico just filled up with automotive engineers? Your post seems somewhat iffy, except for the part about Texas. It is a country of its own and I like it that way.

        And no I’m not the guy you asked about.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I interned and it was fairly challenging but in no way did any intern ever have the right to use “we” when talking about a major corporate decision

        That was your experience. In my case, our team worked with a 100-employee start-up, and suggested a complete rewrite of their strategic plan. It went to the top of their company and their private equity investor, and after blowing it off for a few years, they finally dropped their old plan in favor of a (half-assed) version of our recommendations.

        As noted, I don’t know what Derm’s experience was. But neither do you.

      • 0 avatar
        Signal11

        Don’t know if you’re referring to me, but in the states, I grew up in the American South, through several states (Lived in GA, LA, VA, TN and SC). I’m here visiting the South now. Well, Texas.

        My less than flattering opinion of the South has to do with my less than favorable experiences.

        It’s the 21st goddamn century and I have a hard time getting served in a timely manner in some of the diners out here. It is 20-effing-11 and there are STILL people who live in major burbs of a major metro area out here who will tell me that I speak English real good.

        Want to know what makes this really bizarre? When white buddies and family visit, they always leave talking about how friendly everyone is. Indian and African friends? Not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        windswords

        I think the problem with the whole education thing is that any study you cite about the South will be entirely about or at least largely encompass public primary and secondary schools. There is a lag there although it’s disappearing. At the college and post grad level it’s a different world. Some of the best colleges are in the south.

    • 0 avatar
      NYCJoe

      This is the funniest comments ever!

      No good engineers in the South?!?

      Is that why we build F-22s down there?!

      Is that why we build C-130s, F-16s and half a dozen other jet fighters down there?

      Is that why we build nuclear powered aircraft carriers there?

      Is that why we shifted building Aegis Destroyers to there from Maine?

      Is that why the space program has been largely based there?

      I don’t get it.

      I get a laugh out of non-Southerners who love to rip the South, or think it’s a backward or something.

      As a man who’s lived in the greater NYC area almost my whole life (with short stints elsewhere and overseas for work and my education) I can’t understand how NYers (or folks from California or Europe or Whereever) are so confident that the Southern US is all hillbilly, when they would NEVER go there. When they really know nothing about it.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Just as an example, I went to school with a couple guys from Jersey who were both congenital liars. Does that make everyone from Jersey liars? Nope, it doesn’t, that’s why all you Southern haters ought to visit and see the real South. You would be suprised, you shouldn’t be but you would.

        And Signal, I really wasn’t talking about you but I gather you haven’t enjoyed your time here. Maybe the problem is with you, not us. If you act decent and respectful of the people you meet instead of assuming that you are better then them, maybe you’ll get faster service. I don’t know if that’s your problem but I’m guessing it is.

        And Pch, you didn’t make any decisions for them did you? So you were still just a flunky. You also didn’t fill us in on how your plan even implemented half-assed worked.

      • 0 avatar
        Signal11

        MikeAR,

        So far from you, I have seen several remarks directed towards several different individuals that are attacks on their character.

        I have given you my opinion and none of it was personal in nature. Yet you chose to take it personally and proceeded to insult my character.

        Who is being the arrogant and judgmental one here? Between you and me, who is being impolite?

        Is that the Southern courtesy that you learned?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Just as an example, I went to school with a couple guys from Jersey who were both congenital liars. Does that make everyone from Jersey liars?

        Funny. You’re the same guy who was just saying yesterday that all teachers must be well paid, because you saw an article about one who made six figures.

        In any case, there’s no controversy about educational attainment levels in the South generally being lower than the rest of the nation. The US Census has measured it:

        High School Graduates in the Population 25 Years and Over for States: 2003

        1 - New Hampshire
        2 - Minnesota
        3 - Wyoming
        4 - Nebraska
        5 - Alaska
        6 - Montana
        7 - North Dakota
        8 - Iowa
        9 - Utah
        10 - Washington
        11 - Vermont
        12 - Colorado
        13 - South Dakota
        14 - Delaware
        15 - Wisconsin
        16 - Kansas
        17 - Hawaii
        18 - Missouri
        19 - Idaho
        20 - Virginia
        21 - Maryland
        22 - Michigan
        23 - Connecticut
        24 - Ohio
        25 - Massachusetts
        26 - Oregon
        27 - Maine
        28 - Indiana
        29 - New Jersey
        30 - District of Columbia
        31 - Pennsylvania
        32 - Ilinois
        33 - Oklahoma
        34 - Nevada
        35 - Georgia
        36 - Florida
        37 - New York
        38 - Arizona
        39 - Kentucky
        40 - New Mexico
        41 - North Carolina
        42 - Mississippi
        43 - California
        44 - Tennessee
        45 - Rhode Island
        46 - Arkansas
        47 - South Carolina
        48 - Alabama
        49 - Louisiana
        50 - West Virginia
        51 - Texas

        http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/p20-550.pdf

        you didn’t make any decisions for them did you?

        We performed in the function of management consultants. (You might want to Google what that is.)

        You also didn’t fill us in on how your plan even implemented half-assed worked.

        I’m not particularly sure, but given what a half-assed job that they’ve done with it, I’m not sure how relevant that would be.

        But in any case, as usual, you miss the point. Irrespective of what you wish to believe, they did actually pay attention to what we said, even if they blew it on the actual implementation. Despite your earnest hopes to the contrary, we were not just “flunkies”.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Yeah, those drunk, doped up Chrysler workers looked really educated.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Yes Pch, I do know what a management consultant does. In fact I made a pretty good living for about 3 years doing just that and I have worked with consultants hired by my employers. That’s why I don’t have much respect for that particular profession. The value of consulting is somewhat lacking as far as I’m concerned and giving your consulting project the respect it’s due, I’m sure that the recommendations of MBA students were most likely better than those of seasoned industry professionals.

        Nice to quote high schoo; graduation rates, you do understand that high school graduation rates mean very little when talking about how well educated people are, don’t you? I bet you don’t know any high school dropouts, I don’t. Whereever they are, they aren’t who I was talking about in my first post. I’m talking about the people who I work with and know, mostly born in the South, who are mostly well educated and traveLled.

        Signal, I tend to respond when someone attacks me or something important to me. You did, so I responded accordingly. It seems that the only acceptible bigotry now is against the South and Southerners. I don’t like that and I will defend myself. Plus I really don’t like it when people, even unwittingly inflate their importance in something. We made the decision, come on, you had very little to do with it.

        My courtesy extends to those who desreve it, your additude is such that you don’t. If you knew anything about the South at all, you would know that we don’t respond well to ignorance and condescension.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The value of consulting is somewhat lacking as far as I’m concerned

        I guess you weren’t very good at it.

        you do understand that high school graduation rates mean very little when talking about how well educated people are, don’t you?

        Correct if I’m wrong, Mike, but I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of high school dropouts don’t end up graduating from college.

        I bet you don’t know any high school dropouts, I don’t.

        Once again, you and your selective use of anecdotes. The drop out rates in Southern states, at least as of 2003, were generally higher than the rest of the country. That’s not debatable, just a fact.

        Whereever they are, they aren’t who I was talking about in my first post.

        Apparently, there are quite a few of them whom you don’t bother to notice. The Census data contradicts your anecdotes.

        I prefer data to anecdotes. Apparently, you do only when it suits you, which isn’t often.

        If you knew anything about the South at all, you would know that we don’t respond well to ignorance and condescension.

        I do business in the South. Fortunately, the people with whom I deal are above your level.

      • 0 avatar

        Guys, I gotta ask you all to simmer down and show each other a little courtesy. We’re way off-topic here, and everyone just seems to be trying to antagonize each other… and for what?

        Be cool my babies!

      • 0 avatar
        windswords

        “Does that make everyone from Jersey liars?”

        Well, since I was born and raised in NJ I hope not. :)

        I now live in the “South” And to tell you the truth, I don’t even see racism here. I’m sure there is some if I go out the “sticks” somewhere but not where I live and work. Funny thing is, when I lived in NJ and DE before moving I saw fliers for Klan rally’s (back in the 1990′s). I’ve never seen one here and I’m a half hour away from the GA border.

      • 0 avatar
        Signal11

        @windswords

        Where do live?

        If you haven’t seen a Klan presence, it’s because you haven’t been out far enough. I’ll give you an example.

        In 2005, I was with the Red Cross doing hurricane response for a few months. One of the areas I was responsible for after Katrina and Rita was along the TX/LA border. I got around there pretty extensively. If you drive north on any of the rural highways from Beaumont, TX, you can find what are essentially Klan towns with open Klan iconography. These are the only places I’ve worked in the entire world where the local authorities refused to shake my hand on first meeting. There are far worse stories, but I know this isn’t just a story because it happened to me. 2005.

    • 0 avatar
      NYCJoe

      “:High School Graduates in the Population 25 Years and Over for States: 2003

      1 – New Hampshire
      2 – Minnesota
      3 – Wyoming
      4 – Nebraska
      5 – Alaska
      6 – Montana
      7 – North Dakota
      8 – Iowa
      9 – Utah
      10 – Washington
      11 – Vermont
      12 – Colorado
      13 – South Dakota
      14 – Delaware
      15 – Wisconsin
      16 – Kansas
      17 – Hawaii
      18 – Missouri
      19 – Idaho
      20 – Virginia
      21 – Maryland
      22 – Michigan
      23 – Connecticut
      24 – Ohio
      25 – Massachusetts
      26 – Oregon
      27 – Maine
      28 – Indiana
      29 – New Jersey
      30 – District of Columbia
      31 – Pennsylvania
      32 – Ilinois
      33 – Oklahoma
      34 – Nevada
      35 – Georgia
      36 – Florida
      37 – New York
      38 – Arizona
      39 – Kentucky
      40 – New Mexico
      41 – North Carolina
      42 – Mississippi
      43 – California
      44 – Tennessee
      45 – Rhode Island
      46 – Arkansas
      47 – South Carolina
      48 – Alabama
      49 – Louisiana
      50 – West Virginia
      51 – Texas ”

      So your point is high schools are tougher in the South correct?

      Because I have family in the NYC educational system and in the Atlanta system.

      Who socially promotes?!?

      Yes, NY-Georgia-actually FAILS students.

      Back on topic-so Audi is growing in leaps and bounds, isn’t it?!?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        So your point is high schools are tougher in the South correct?

        The point was pretty straightforward — contrary to what Mike claimed above, the South produces lower percentages of formally educated people. Those figures are also consistent with Derm’s conclusion that “The education level of the average blue-collar candidate (in the South) was very low.” Hiring a workforce of assembly workers in such areas may not be easy.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Audi did not move to Mexico to avoid partnering with the UAW. German manufacturing has a long history of working with unions. For over a century, German manufacturers partnered with German unions in manufacturing automobiles, homes, trains, Fahrpanzers, Bertha Guns, “Brunos”, minenwerferen, torpedo gliders, Mausers, mortars, aerial bombs, antiaircraft guns, concentration camps, barbed wire, bullets, submarines, oh – and Hummels. It seemed that for many years, especially between 1932 and 1945, German unions rarely struck for higher wages, more vacation days, better working conditions, or extra soap and toothpaste. While there were individuals breaking down and complaining during this time, they were handled swiftly by a special committee dedicated to ensuring peaceful permanent rest for those folks.

    As a result, Audi did not choose Mexico because of the UAW. It chose Mexico because today there are perhaps 2-3,000 German vacationers currently unaccounted for in Mexico. Audi has been tapped to lead on searches for German vacationers by German federal government in Berlin. Used to be Bonn – but no one likes living there anymore.

    CEO Rupert Stadler insisted that “It is totally clear that we need new production capacity in the U.S, but who can resist Mexico’s weather, nightlife, beer or donkey shows?” The Audi CEO told reporters, “Yo quiero Mexico”, then sped off heading for the border.

    Since 1966, over 21,843 German vacationers have not returned from such vacation destinations as Mexico, Haiti, Equitorial Guinea, El Salvador, Cuba, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, and Orlando Florida. Chancellor Angela Merkel tapped Stadler to lead investigations as to these German vacationer’s whereabouts. Stadler has established a team of investigators committed to finding these Germans, except for those living in Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and on rancheros south of Brazilia.

    Audi selected Mexico as their new manufacturing venue as a result.

    UAW has issued a statement claiming that although since 1966 it has been collecting union dues from 21,843 union members with German addresses, the possibility that it is involved in any disappearances is simply coincidence. “The UAW is only responsible for the disappearance of auto manufacturing jobs, not Germans”, the union responded.

    • 0 avatar
      JJ

      Stadler has established a team of investigators committed to finding these Germans, except for those living in Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and on rancheros south of Brazilia.

      Some other people are still very interested in finding those…

    • 0 avatar
      EEGeek

      The Truth about Onions?

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “German manufacturers partnered with German unions in manufacturing automobiles, homes, trains, Fahrpanzers, Bertha Guns, “Brunos”, minenwerferen, torpedo gliders, Mausers, mortars, aerial bombs, antiaircraft guns, concentration camps, barbed wire, bullets, submarines, oh – and Hummels.”

      You forgot MG42′s.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      sounds like the “final solution” to the union question.

      Actually the UAW and the Nazis would have been good friends. the Nazi party NSDAP (National Socialist German Labor Party) used similar propaganda when it came to to protecting (German=Arian) workers. They also fought anyone who was opposed to them and (officially) fought the big capitalists.

      And many UAW methods (preaching fair wages while giving new employees Tier 2 wages while the union bosses make $ 500,000, forced membership) sound like what was going on with the Nazi leaders. Let’s face it, the prevailing wages laws in the North states were introduced to keep cheap black labor, that came up from the south after being freed, out of work after the civil war.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        And many UAW methods (preaching fair wages while giving new employees Tier 2 wages while the union bosses make $ 500,000, forced membership) sound like what was going on with the Nazi leaders

        Hitler built freeways. Therefore, freeways are bad.

      • 0 avatar
        JJ

        Godwin’s law.

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        Pch101: actually the first autobahn was built before he came to power. I guess today’s patent trolls would be able to sue anyone who builds a “road that has on/off ramps instead of intersections” because someone had the idea first..

        http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichsautobahn

        Planning and construction begin dates back to 1913.

        I know another myth is lowering unemployment by Hitler… (killing millions really works :-) so we should not lower any unemployment either…

        actually i was replying to Vanilladude’s (hillarious if he really meant it to be sarcastic) comment.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I guess today’s patent trolls would be able to sue anyone who builds a “road that has on/off ramps instead of intersections” because someone had the idea first.

        Actually, the first motorway in the world was the Long Island Motor Parkway, which opened in 1908: http://www.nycroads.com/history/motor/

        I forgot to add that the Nazis drank beer. Therefore, beer is bad.

        (Although Hitler was a teetotaler. Therefore sobriety is also bad.)

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      The missing ones in Orlando maybe at the German Pavilion in EPCOT

  • avatar
    obruni

    union free mexico? really TTAC?

    VW’s Mexican plant is unionized, and strike prone.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      Quiet, you. Your “facts” disagree with TTAC’s media narrative that auto plants are moving to Mexico to flee the UAW, rather than this Audi plant in Mexico just being the result of some idiotic internal turf war at VWAG.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      VW’s Mexican plant is unionized, and strike prone.

      You might want to be careful. Some folks who post here don’t need to be inconvenienced with facts like that.

    • 0 avatar
      spyked

      Yep, the MKIII VW’s made it to the U.S. late, by a full model year!

  • avatar
    spyked

    Ugh…AUDI…you (claim to be) are a premium brand. People that buy your cars don’t need cheaper cars. Why are you trying to save money on production and transporation costs? Build them in Germany and charge accordingly. I won’t buy a Euro premium brand if the first digit in the VIN is anything other than W, Y or Z.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    For how long will Audi ride their reputation as a fine German automobile once they produce the bulk of inventory in third world countries?

  • avatar
    Fusion

    Working ok with the TT and quite a lot of engines and components, isn’t it?

    Also, I am not sure if there really is a “second thought”. The german media reported that Stadlers (first) stated opinion was that more capacity in North America is needed. Automotive News reported that more capacity in the US is needed. So one way or another, there must be a translation error.

    The original article that Autonews is translating this time around also never states anything about plans for an Audi plant in the US, it is all about a separate plant in Mexico or combining in Chattanooga. I highly doubt the UAW plays much of a role in this decision, seeing how no Transplant so far has had any trouble with them. I’d guess the VW topmanagement wants to use their plant, while Audi would like to keep things separate (as they have traditionally been – Audi and VW don’t really share plants).

    Also remember that when Spiegel Online or Manager Magazin (basically the same) quotes from “unnamed management circles”, this really can mean anyone in the company, not neccessarily someone involved in or even knowing about the decision itself…

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    Dear Audi,

    Just build you plant in Texas or another right to work state where most of the workers hate unions to begin with. Alabama is a good choice too.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    There seems to be a never ending diatribe on TTAC regarding the UAW vs Right To Work US states vs Mexico. What is the actual percentage of production cost of a new car for human labor? Is it so large that paying workers in pesos makes the production cost worth moving to Mexico? Someone educate me. I also don’t understand why a human even needs to be involved in making a car given the capabilities of modern robotics.

    • 0 avatar
      stationwagon

      well, Bertel Schmitt wrote an article about Toyota opening a new plant in Japan that emphasized humans more than robots http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/02/toyota’s-secret-weapon-low-cost-car-factories/ . heres a neat article on the puebla plant http://www.tirekick.com/TK07/VW-Puebla.htm .


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