American Axle Strike to Halt Chevrolet Malibu/Pontiac G6 Production
Automotive News [sub] reports that the strike at American Axle (AA) will soon claim its 31st and 32nd factories: the Orion and Fairfax plants that manufacture the Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6. "GM is fast running out of an American Axle-supplied knuckle used in the rear suspension of the Malibu and Pontiac G6 sedans, said Mike Dunn, shop chairman of UAW Local 5960. The local represents some 2,900 hourly workers at GM's Orion (Mich.) assembly plant. The plant makes about 1,000 G6 and Malibu sedans per week. Dunn said a shortage of the knuckle also will shut GM's Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan., by mid-month." As predicted, the AA strike's impact has spread from GM's slow-selling SUVs and pickups to cash-flow critical cars; the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant (Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS) stopped operations today. You've got to wonder: is this the bus GM didn't see? And if so, why not?
@ Ray H, You also have to take into account that parts aren't just made and thrown into a car. There is a significant amount of testing that goes into validating the parts meet their functional requirements and can be produced repeatedly within a known set of limits. Even if you just move a tool from one place in a building to another, it has to be re-validated. This requires a limited production run and many measurements to be taken and reams of paperwork to be produced and reviewed.
"Hopefully GM is smart enough to stop making G6’s and use the parts they have left to make Malibu’s.' HEY! Don't let the facts get in the way of a good comment!! Sales from Automotive News for Feb. '08: Pont G6 16,901 Chev Malibu 12,460 Chev Impala 25,196 Looks like the G6 has strong sales as well. Or at least they're movin; however that has to happen. Impala still seems to be the best GM seller. Even if some go to rental fleets. Americans still want a bigger, efficient car at a great value. So it seems...
gawdodirt, I think the point is that the Malibu is tagged as being one of the standardbearers of GMs future, while the G6 is not. Therefore, if it comes down to a choice between making one OR the other, GM should probably build the Malibu.
Hmm, cars on short supply - maybe production will finally meet market demands... VBG!