The Truth About Cars » Transplant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 04 Dec 2014 19:13:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Transplant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Transplants Could Account For Half Of American Auto Production In Five Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/transplants-could-account-for-half-of-american-auto-production-in-five-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/transplants-could-account-for-half-of-american-auto-production-in-five-years/#comments Tue, 23 Apr 2013 19:35:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=486028 In less than a decade, the number of auto company workers employed by companies other than the Big 3 has risen from 25 to 39 percent. But by 2017 that number could rise to 50 percent. A report by Automotive News outlines the post-recession rise in American auto manufacturing driven by Asian and European auto […]

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In less than a decade, the number of auto company workers employed by companies other than the Big 3 has risen from 25 to 39 percent. But by 2017 that number could rise to 50 percent.

A report by Automotive News outlines the post-recession rise in American auto manufacturing driven by Asian and European auto makers

Overall, carmaker employment in North America is down by 104,524 jobs since 2005. Yet Asian and European companies added 28,654 jobs during that stretch as they built plants, installed r&d centers and put in other facilities in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Nondomestic automakers have opened seven assembly plants in North America in the eight-year-span, while the Detroit 3 closed 21.

The key growth factor here is not so much the strength of weakness of Detroit, but the desire of auto makers like Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen to localize production in the United States as a means of protecting themselves from currency fluctuations or, in the case of the Japanese auto makers, unforeseen disruptions to their supply chain like the 2011 tsunami. As John Casesa of Guggenhein Partners tells it

“The economic reality of the auto business is that it is most efficient to produce cars in the markets where they are sold, and that is what has drawn all these automakers to the U.S.”

 

 

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UAW: The War On Transplants Is Still On, Dealers On The Front Lines http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/uaw-the-war-on-transplants-is-still-on-dealers-on-the-front-lines/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/uaw-the-war-on-transplants-is-still-on-dealers-on-the-front-lines/#comments Mon, 21 Nov 2011 16:32:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=419473 With a tough negotiating session with its traditional employers now complete, the United Auto Workers are turning their focus back to the year’s primary goal: organizing the transplant factories. 2011 was supposed to be the year in which the UAW took down “at least one” foreign-owned auto plant, with the union’s boss even going as […]

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With a tough negotiating session with its traditional employers now complete, the United Auto Workers are turning their focus back to the year’s primary goal: organizing the transplant factories. 2011 was supposed to be the year in which the UAW took down “at least one” foreign-owned auto plant, with the union’s boss even going as far as to say

If we don’t organize the transnationals, I don’t think there is a long-term future for the UAW

But as we found, the UAW is not welcome in the South, where most of the transplant factories are found. And with Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and VW all rejecting the UAW’s advances in some form or another, the union’s options are fairly limited. So instead of taking on the factories directly, the UAW is bringing back a questionable tactic from the days when it was misleadingly bashing Toyota for “abandoning” the NUMMI factory: they are taking the fight to dealerships.

Bloomberg reports

The United Auto Workers union, whose leader has staked its future bargaining power on organizing U.S. plants of Asian and European automakers, plans to start pressuring the companies through dealership campaigns.

Regional UAW representatives trained members about how the campaign will work at UAW Local 2209 on Nov. 19, said Mark Gevaart, president of the local in Roanoke, Indiana. The union hasn’t selected the automaker it will target and didn’t discuss when the drive will begin, he said in a phone interview.

The problem: as mentioned earlier, the UAW has already tried this on Toyota. And at the time, Toyota fired back with a pretty legitimate complaint, arguing

I still don’t understand why they are picketing our dealerships when the dealerships have nothing to do with the workers. Our workers make the ultimate decision if they want to unionize or not and for the past 25 years they have said no… Our team members want to make cars for people to buy. They don’t like it when people try to stop you from buying.

And here’s the funny part: the UAW has admitted that the dealership-picketing tactic didn’t help its cause, as President Bob King put it when he called off the last round of Toyota dealer protests

We said we were going to be the UAW of the 21st century and didn’t feel like that was accomplishing that goal

But hey, why not try it again? What’s the worst that could happen?

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UAW In Top Secret Talks With “Vast Majority” Of Transplants http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/uaw-in-top-secret-talks-with-vast-majority-of-transplants/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/uaw-in-top-secret-talks-with-vast-majority-of-transplants/#comments Wed, 03 Aug 2011 17:10:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=405477 Despite the fact that no transplant automaker has admitted to being in direct talks with the UAW, union boss Bob King told the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminar [via Reuters] The vast majority of the assemblers here in the United States have at least agreed to confidential discussions. We’ve had productive discussions. The […]

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Despite the fact that no transplant automaker has admitted to being in direct talks with the UAW, union boss Bob King told the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminar [via Reuters]

The vast majority of the assemblers here in the United States have at least agreed to confidential discussions. We’ve had productive discussions. The last thing we want is confrontation.

So, the issue isn’t that the transplants are all responding to the UAW’s overtures like Honda, which has said

Honda has had no dialogue with the UAW and has no interest in a discussion with them.

No, talks are happening with the “vast majority” of transplants… they just happen to be secret talks (which, at least in the case of VW, appear to be going nowhere). That in itself is strange, considering the UAW’s previous, highly-public approach to naming and shaming non-union transplant manufacturers. More likely: secret talks keep the union from losing face and the transplants from looking like “human rights abusers.” My how things change fast…

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Will VW’s New Chattanooga Plant Become The UAW’s First Southern Outpost? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/will-vws-new-chattanooga-plant-become-the-uaws-first-southern-outpost/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/will-vws-new-chattanooga-plant-become-the-uaws-first-southern-outpost/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2011 22:08:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=402270 Earlier today Bertel noted that the UAW’s goal of organizing “at least one” transplant automaker could be motivated by a desire to earn “brownie points” from the Detroit automakers. But the question that has remained unanswered ever since the union announced its transplant campaign is “which automaker will let the UAW into its plant?” Now […]

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Earlier today Bertel noted that the UAW’s goal of organizing “at least one” transplant automaker could be motivated by a desire to earn “brownie points” from the Detroit automakers. But the question that has remained unanswered ever since the union announced its transplant campaign is “which automaker will let the UAW into its plant?” Now that question may have its answer, as Automotive News [sub] reports:

Volkswagen AG and the UAW have intensified discussions about organizing workers at a new plant in Tennessee, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported in a preview of an article that will run Tuesday.

The newspaper, citing Volkswagen officials, said the union and automaker have held meetings and a workshop over the matter in the past few weeks.

VW insists that talks are still preliminary, and that no organizing campaign has yet begun. But, say the UAW, VW’s long tradition of worker unions “more willing to talk to unions about representation.” Ultimately VW says the decision to organize “belongs to our workers alone,” which implies a lot more openness to organization than Honda, for example, has indicated. But Southern workers seem to be largely ambivalent towards the UAW, so just because VW could let organizers into the plant doesn’t mean workers will necessarily vote for union representation. Meanwhile, there’s no word on how a possible UAW organizing campaign could affect a possible new VW/Audi assembly and engine plant that is being considered for the US according to AN [sub]. 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.

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Ask The Best And Brightest: Which Automaker Will The UAW Target? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/ask-the-best-and-brightest-which-automaker-will-the-uaw-target/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/ask-the-best-and-brightest-which-automaker-will-the-uaw-target/#comments Tue, 29 Mar 2011 23:09:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=388986 The WSJ gets a little closer to the truth about the UAW’s incredible disappearing transplant organizing campaign, reporting On Tuesday, UAW leaders meeting here described plans to reach out to foreign unions and consumers in what would be their first major campaign since failed efforts in the last decade at Nissan Motor Co. and auto-parts […]

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The WSJ gets a little closer to the truth about the UAW’s incredible disappearing transplant organizing campaign, reporting

On Tuesday, UAW leaders meeting here described plans to reach out to foreign unions and consumers in what would be their first major campaign since failed efforts in the last decade at Nissan Motor Co. and auto-parts supplier Denso Corp. They hope to be more successful by reaching out to foreign unions at the auto makers’ overseas plants and bringing pressure from prayer vigils, fasts or protests at dealerships.

A person familiar with the matter said the union is now planning to target one foreign auto maker and has narrowed its list to three or four companies. Inside the union, much of the talk centers on targeting the now-struggling Japanese auto maker Toyota or Korea’s Hyundai, this person said.

The UAW has set aside tens of millions of dollars from its strike fund to bankroll its campaign. International actions are to be coordinated with foreign unions and run by some three dozen student interns recruited globally, UAW officials said. When the interns return to their home countries after learning about the UAW efforts in the U.S., they’ll be expected to organize protests against the auto maker, UAW officials said.

OK, so it’s a little bit strange that the UAW is entrusting a campaign that UAW President Bob King calls “the single most important thing we can do for our members ” to a bunch of interns. Still, with “tens of millions of dollars” allocated towards the campaign, some automaker somewhere will be feeling the union’s hot breath on its neck in due course. So, which automaker will the UAW target? Which automaker should they target? And with the UAW apparently refusing to fight the two-tier wage structure, will any transplant or foreign workforce want to join up?

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