CAW Kingpin Buzz Hargrove: GM NEEDS Us on That Wall

caw kingpin buzz hargrove gm needs us on that wall

Call it a pre-emptive attempt to steal GM's thunder, call it a veiled threat, call it a bluff. No matter what you call it, Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Prez Buzz Hargrove is once again out there (in every sense of the word) discussing GM's future plans for the new Oshawa plant. GM's already set-up Oshawa as the focal point for GM's new rear wheel-drive architecture; the factory's currently readying the 2009 Camaro. But GM Car Czar Bob Lutz threw a major spanner in the works by announcing that new federal fuel economy regs could mean that the next gen Chevy Impala will probably be a front wheel-drive (FWD) vehicle. An FWD Impala could well sound the death knell for Oshawans, as production of future RWD Cadillacs has already been shifted back to Lansing, Michigan. Of course, the prospect has done nothing to diminish the Union Kingpin's sense of entitlement. "There's an obligation on the part of General Motors to put new product in there," Buzz pronounced to CTV. "What that will be, we don't know." I admire Buzz' gumption. With new CAFE standards favoring FWD, the soaring Loonie, high gas prices and GM's multi-ga-jillion dollar debt, Buzz is about to enter negotiations with approximately no leverage.

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  • Jaje Jaje on Jan 25, 2008

    It is so good that the CAW has a crazy ole coot in Hargrove to balance out Lutz. It's like watching Ole Coot Senators Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd try to discuss differing agendas in a calm manner.

  • Johnster Johnster on Jan 25, 2008
    NickR: Is it simply the mass of the driveshaft that makes RWD inherently less fuel efficient that FWD. Other than that, I can’t see why it would make that much difference. Basically, in addition to the weight of the driveshaft, in RWD, the driveshaft itself creates and places additional stress on the chassis, which needs additional reinforcement to withstand it. And that adds weight. FWD is also easier, quicker and cheaper to build on the assembly line.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jan 25, 2008

    Nice reference Samir. The real question is if ole Buzz can "handle the truth." There ain't a lot more blood in that turnip he gets paid to squeeze, and having heard him do radio interviews I don't think he ever had much of a handle on the truth to begin with.

  • Thalter Thalter on Jan 25, 2008
    NickR: Is it simply the mass of the driveshaft that makes RWD inherently less fuel efficient that FWD. Other than that, I can’t see why it would make that much difference. First of all, the weight of the driveshaft is not insignificant (ever try picking one up?). Second of all, any time you transfer power over a distance (be it mechanically or electrically), there are losses that increase with distance owing to inherit inefficiencies.

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