By on October 22, 2015

New Top End Cadillac to be Built in Detroit in 2015

General Motors announced Thursday that it would add a second shift to a flexible Detroit plant to prepare for upcoming demand for its cars.

GM will add roughly 1,200 jobs to Detroit-Hamtramck this year to help it build new models, the automaker said in a statement. The plant builds the Chevrolet Volt, Impala and Malibu and the Cadillac ELR there on a single production line. Production of the Cadillac CT6 will start there in early 2016. Read More >

By on October 21, 2015

General Motors Renaissance Center HQ

General Motors announced Wednesday that third quarter, adjusted profit for the company was $3.1 billion, led by truck sales in North America and car sales in China. The net revenue was down $500 million from the same period last year, which GM says is due to currency fluctuations, but the automaker’s profits were decidedly higher.

Automotive News reported that the profit margin was the largest for GM since its 2009 bankruptcy, even after its $1.5 billion charge to settle claims related to its defective ignition switch that resulted in 124 deaths.

The automaker posted an 11.8 percent profit margin — also its largest since 2009 — and said it would end the year above 10 percent.  Read More >

By on October 14, 2015

Conner Avenue

Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, Dodge will end production of its supercar Viper in 2017 when the current generation has finished its run, Allpar reported.

(OK, so the Viper wasn’t exactly perfect.)

The website reported that United Auto Workers proposed contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles doesn’t include a product at the Viper’s Conner Avenue plant when Viper finishes in 2017. Viper has languished since its introduction in 2013, suffering from a high price and increased competition from the Chevrolet Corvette. Last year, Dodge sold 760 coupes, which was the best year for the current generation so far, but far from the nameplate’s zenith in 2003 when it sold 2,103 examples.

Read More >

By on October 14, 2015

UAW Member Assembling Corvette in Bowling Green Circa 2015

A United Auto Worker retiree medical fund created to reduce healthcare costs and increase services for more than 700,000 people reported a $20.7 billion difference between assets and future liabilities, Bloomberg reported Wednesday (via Automotive News). The shortfall increased by more than $16 billion over the last report.

A similar system proposed for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles workers in the union’s first proposed contract — which was rejected by workers nearly 2-to-1 — was scrapped in the second contract.

Accounting for future inflation and longer average lifespan are to blame for the increased shortfall, according to the report. Read More >

By on October 13, 2015

2013 Jeep Wrangler

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may double the amount of temporary workers it uses under a new deal negotiated with the United Auto Workers, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

The negotiated terms include a provision for the automaker to use the workers any day of the week, instead of the previously allowed Monday, Friday and weekend shifts.

According to the report, the terms may have been negotiated as a way to keep labor costs lower and offer more workers raises. Temp workers are hired at rates lower than any of the tiered-pay scales. Temp workers can be terminated at any time by the automaker.

Read More >

By on October 13, 2015

Marchionne - Picture courtesy

Like Al Pacino in “The Godfather 2,” Sergio Marchionne’s move to insulate himself further and tap future successors has claimed another victim. On Monday, former Fiat North American chief Jason Stoicevich resigned from the automaker, days after he was replaced as head of Fiat by Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis.

Stoicevich was a longtime FCA employee, heading up the automaker’s California sales office and former head of Jeep operations before that.

His departure is the latest in a company-wide shakeup to consolidate most North American brands between fewer brand chiefs.

Read More >

By on October 12, 2015

UAW Wages

United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles facilities will vote next week on a newly proposed contract to cover 40,000 workers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Workers will have until Oct. 20 to review the proposed deal, which was reached last week before a threatened strike. According to the report, workers will vote on the deal Oct. 20-21. Roughly 65 percent of workers reportedly voted down the first deal between the automaker and the UAW because of concerns over its tiered pay structure, health care co-op and lack of communication from union leadership. Read More >

By on September 30, 2015

UAW Wages

it’s probably dead.

The Detroit Free Press reported that the deal appears to be mathematically impossible after several large locals voted down the proposed contract this week.

The margins of defeat have been growing since Mopar and axle operators workers voted down the proposal by just over 50 percent and 65 percent last week, according to reports. Workers in Toledo, which builds the Jeep Wrangler and may lose the Cherokee to Sterling Heights, Michigan in order to build more Wranglers, voted overwhelmingly against the proposal; 87 percent declined the contract according to the Free Press.

Union workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plants say that the contract, which does not specify production sites or moving plans — such as shifting truck and car production — doesn’t assuage concerns that more jobs will be lost to Mexico.

Read More >

By on September 28, 2015

Jefferson North Assembly Plant

United Auto Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jefferson North Assembly Plant and its Kokomo Transmission Plant voted down a contract proposal over the weekend, marking the latest and perhaps the most significant defeat to the union’s proposal, the Detroit Free Press reported.

According to reports, 66 percent of the workers, who build Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos at the Jefferson facility, vetoed the contract.

The contract faces an uncertain future with the rest of UAW workers at FCA, and while overall passage is mathematically possible, the growing rate of rejection doesn’t look particularly promising.

Read More >

By on September 23, 2015

mopar girl pic courtesy

Parts and service workers say the recent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles-United Auto Workers contract has created an unfair, lower paying tier and are airing their uncertainty, the Detroit News reported.

Under the proposed contract, Mopar parts distribution center workers and axle operation workers top out at $22 and $22.35 respectively — less than the Tier 1 and Tier 2 pay raises up to $30 and $25 per hour respectively.

“They created a third tier,” Lamont Carr, a Local 1248 worker, told the Detroit News.

Read More >

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