American Axle Strike Hits Buick Lacrosse and Chevy Impala

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
american axle strike hits buick lacrosse and chevy impala

Automotive News [sub] reports that the growing paucity of parts from American Axle has "forced General Motors to eliminate a shift today at its auto assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario. GM also said it slowed production of four-speed transmissions in Ypsilanti Township, Mich." The obvious question: who cares? Aside from no one in the first instance (LaCrosse) and fleet buyers in the second (Impala). OK, that's a bit harsh (Mikey). But the fact that the slowdown/shutdowns caused by the eight-week old United Auto Workers' (UAW) strike at American Axle hasn't got GM execs in a lather is either a condemnation of the affected products' appeal or management acumen, or both. Anyway, for those of you keeping score, the AA strike has now impacted 32 GM factories. And then there's the unresolved UAW strike at Lansing Delta (Enclave, Outlook, Acadia) and the looming strike at Fairfax (Malibu). What was that about bang vs. whimper?

Join the conversation
4 of 12 comments
  • Menno Menno on Apr 22, 2008

    Mikey, we're all sorry to see the jobs go away, it seems pretty crap to everyone losing work and wages. Just because we all could see the handwriting on the wall, does not mean any of us likes it. Of course, it's easy to say (and I've written it myself) that GM the company is getting just what it deserves because it has been insulary, obstinant, arrogant and moronic in its collective, corporate decision making and attitude over many decades (as have the UAW and CAW). But, that fact does not put food on the table for some 2000 families now affected by this latest factory show-down/slow-down. If this 2000 families affected by this Oshawa slow-down is average over 32 plants, that's 64,000 GM and supplier and trucking jobs affected. But then again, many of the GM plants are not just slowed down, but entirely shut down. So I suspect the numbers are way higher. I can tell you that signs here in Michigan are not good, either. I don't work the food pantry at my church, but we do stuff behind the scenes for it and the (usually retired) people who do go open the food pantry during the day are telling us that there are 6 to 8 families lined up when they get there on Monday and Thursday, so they can have some chance of getting milk and eggs (we only have so much room in the refrigerator for so much milk & eggs). It was the case that we were getting under 1/2 a dozen families twice a week a couple years ago, now we are getting as many as a dozen and a half twice a week. Nobody goes away with no needed food, but the folks who don't show up first, don't get milk & eggs. Will the last person out of Michigan (and southern Ontario) please turn out the lights?

  • Friedclams Friedclams on Apr 22, 2008

    The lack of urgency is strange. The news item from 4/16 that first mentioned the 3rd shift drop stated that the supply of Impalas is only 21 days. Even if the fleet orders are filled, that is still a low number. Mikey has a point, the Impala is one of GM's better propositions. What is going on? My guess: they are letting Impalas dry up in order to get people into the Malibu. This, and the politics behind it, bodes ill for the future of Impala on any platform.

  • Umterp85 Umterp85 on Apr 22, 2008

    I don't know if this has been covered before---but why is it that the UAW seems to be targeting GM vs. Ford (or Chrysler for that matter). it did appear that during the recent milestone talks...Ford and UAW seemed to be much more amicable...not sure why this was the case or if it is a good thing long term. That said...the labor situation certainly seems to be affecting stock prices as Ford shares have gained 50% over the last month (5 to 7 3/4) while GM shares have slid. Probably much more to this story than labor unrest...but it has to be a component.

  • on May 01, 2008

    [...] plant in Oshawa, Ontario. GM also said it slowed production of four-speed transmissions in Y plant in Arlington will shut down for 3 weeks Fort Worth Star-TelegramBy BOB COX general motors [...]