GM "Finds" More Parts to Build 'Bu's; Three UAW Locals Threaten Strikes
First, the good news. Automotive News [sub] reports that GM has found more American Axle-made suspension-related knuckles. That means the American automaker can withstand the knock-on effects of the American Axle (AA) strike and keep making the Chevrolet Malibu at its Fairfax assembly plant for an "extra" week– until April 18th. (The idea that GM doesn't have an accurate tally of its parts inventory is deeply worrying, but not, let's face it, entirely surprising.) Now, the bad news: Automotive News [sub] reports that workers at three United Auto Workers' locals– Arlington, Texas (Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon); Delta Township, Mich. (GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, Buick Enclave); and Parma, Ohio (metal stamping)– have filed five-day strike notices over… no one is saying. "GM spokesman Dan Flores would not comment on the specifics of the notices. But he cautioned that issues negotiated under last year's national agreement could not cause a local strike." The shot across the locals' collective bow indicates that local union members may be unhappy with new, two-tier wage demarcations– even though the labor bosses signed-off on them. We'll keep you posted.
The strike is over the UAW agreed layoffs of "non core" jobs. Those plants do not wany any layoffs in order for GM to hire new employees at competitive wages. Malibu supply must be ok. There's some 35 new Bu's sitting on the lot at my local GM dealer lot - seems sales have slowed to retail customers according to the salesguy - their biggest customers are local businesses for company cars - i.e. fleets. I was in the dealer today for last minute warranty repairs before it expires.
Jerome10/Crackers: Bingo! We used to have a saying: "Measure 'em until they're good." and also "Polish the turd." Toyota/Honda would just shut it down and focus their effort/time on something else, but the Big 2.8 just gotta build cars no matter what.
My guess: An area manager (who will be anointed a hero by his/her plant manager) squirreled a rack or two away for just this eventuality.
Perhaps in the interim, GM can simply import some Chevrolet Epica mid-sized six cylinder cars to take up the slack. Sold as Epica pretty much everywhere else in the world. http://www.globalautoindex.com/bodies.plt?no=4536&ass=&g=Daewoo%20(GM)-Tosca They could bring in as many or few as they wish, since D-class cars don't sell in high numbers the rest of the world over. The engine is designed by Porsche, believe it or not. It's a little smaller than the Malibu - would not be amiss on American and Canadian roads. Pretty well would also be GM's answer to strikes, high cost/money losing US and Canadian operations, too, wouldn't it? Wonder if bringing this car in would knock some sense into the UAW at American Axle? Nah, probably not. They'll strike themselves out of jobs.