Ford will pay only 1.5-percent more in labor costs each year under a new contract with the United Auto Workers, the automaker reported Monday.
Ford announced it would take a $600 million charge this year to pay out the $10,000 ratification bonuses to their workers as part of the new deal.
The new deal allows the automaker to hire more low-cost workers who will either be temporary or entry-level employees, shift production of some of its cars overseas and continue using controversial “alternative work schedules” that favor fewer, longer shifts instead of traditional work days.
Editor’s notes: One of the best reads of the year, there’s nothing like some Fargo-style forgery on a massive scale to liven up your afternoon. This piece originally ran September 3rd, 2015.
In the opening moments of the above scene from the flick “Fargo,” Oldsmobile dealership sales manager Jerry Lundegaard is working up some bogus paperwork to cover his tracks with General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC). We can infer that he sold some floor-planned cars and did not pay back GMAC, which was the impetus for the movie’s storyline of his bumbling attempt to extort money from his father-in-law.
Jerry’s store may have been “out of trust” with GMAC on a few dozen 1987 Cutlasses, but that pales in comparison to the scheme concocted by New York car dealer John McNamara.
Between 1980 and 1991, McNamara convinced GMAC to advance him $6.2 billion to pay for 248,000 conversion vans that did not exist. It was one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history and ended up costing GMAC $436 million, equal to $725 million in today’s dollars.
We would like to show you a photo of McNamara but none are to be found. That may be because it is believed he went into the Witness Protection Program a few years after his conviction for fraud in 1992. Just picture Lundegaard with a really big brain.
McNamara’s brilliant swindle was deliciously simple. It was based on one undeniable truth he learned from his years of owning a Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealership on Long Island: General Motors and GMAC were too incompetent and too bureaucratic to figure out that they were being scammed.
A federal judge Wednesday denied a request to make available communication between GM and its lawyers over certain cases involving defective ignition switches, Reuters reported. The documents will remain secret because of attorney-client privilege, the judge wrote.
Lawsuits against GM allege that the company tried to further cover up its defective ignition switches. Those lawsuits sought to uncover documents between the automaker and its lawyers in three separate cases.
“… the case evaluations have all the hallmarks of dispassionate, sober evaluations (perhaps, in hindsight, too dispassionate and sober for their own good) by counsel of the costs and benefits of litigating the cases to their conclusion — just what one would might expect in a defense file and in the absence of a crime or fraud,” Judge Jesse Furman wrote in his ruling. (Read More…)
General Motors may contract production of its commercial vans to AM General to free space to build its popular Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon midsize trucks, Automotive News reported.
In a note to Wentzville, Missouri workers obtained by Automotive News, production of cutaway versions of the Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana, which are used for ambulances and moving trucks, could be moved to Indiana-based AM General. According to the report, about 30,000 cutaway vans will be made this year at GM’s Wentzville facility.
The available capacity will be used to build the Canyon/Colorado, which have outperformed expectations this year and sell like hell.(Read More…)
A week before Thanksgiving, the United Auto Workers and all of the domestic automakers know they will enter the holiday season without having to worry about a strike.
According to the Detroit News, the UAW announced late Friday that their members at Ford approved a proposed contract by a narrow 51.4-percent margin.
That news followed closely the union’s announcement that its International Executive Board considered ratified its contract with General Motors. It will go into effect starting next week. That deal had been delayed because, although the overall vote was in favor of the contract, almost 60 percent of skilled trade members of the UAW at GM voted against it. (Read More…)
Detroit automakers may be betting high-profit SUVs and trucks are a better fit for their domestic plants as those automakers shift production away from cars to make room for larger, high-margin vehicles.
Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will largely shift production of their cars to Mexico and bring more trucks and SUVs to North American facilities, according to their contracts with the United Auto Workers, Automotive News reported.
The report consolidates production planning schedules included in UAW contracts with domestic automakers, which shows automakers’ plans to move some of their cars to Mexico or overseas. Of the Big Three, General Motors will sell the most domestically produced cars in North America, including the Malibu, Impala, Sonic, Bolt and Volt, although the small-car plant recently announced a slowing production schedule. Ford will still produce the Mustang and Fusion at its Flat Rock plant in Michigan. (Read More…)
On Friday, Williams announced on the UAW’s website that the union would go back to GM to discuss those workers’ issues with the proposed contract that was approved more than one week ago. On Friday afternoon, Estrada announced in a separate letter that she would support further negotiation with the automaker over skilled trades workers’ concerns.
General Motors announced Thursday it will import a Buick crossover from China to the United States by the end of 2016, much to the UAW’s disappointment.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the crossover in question, the Envision, is currently produced at a facility in the Shandong province. The Buick brand itself is doing well for itself in China, where it’s GM’s best-known brand, and in the U.S., where the brand is experiencing rapid growth as of late. In both instances, the main draw for Buick is its small and medium crossovers and SUVs.