GM Cancels U.S. Production for Orlando Crossover
The Wall Street Journal reports that General Motors has canceled plans to build the seven-seat Orlando stateside, or bring a foreign-built version to The Land of the Free. “The canceled Chevrolet vehicle, code-named the ‘Delta MPV7,’ was originally intended to be built in Hamtramck, Mich., beginning next year, according to the auto maker’s recent agreements with the United Auto Workers union. The MPV, or multi-purpose vehicle, would have been based on GM’s compact-car architecture, but capable of seating seven people.” The program termination leaves the U.S. factory SOL, hoping to score Volt production (via federal low-interest loans, of course). The United Auto Workers (UAW) can’t be too pleased about recent developments, having acquiesced to GM’s “two-tier” wage system, increased health insurance co-pays, etc. in their last contract. “In recent months, the auto maker has suspended plans for several new models that GM told the UAW last September it would eventually build in North America. These suspended model programs include a new generation full-size trucks and sport-utility vehicles; large, rear-wheel drive luxury cars; and a redesigned flagship sedan, known as the Aura, for the Saturn division.” To be fair, that is one ugly-looking thing. And did GM really need another model? More interestingly, was the Orlando a head fake from the beginning?
I would think by now the UAW would understand that all of GM's US production will eventually be cancelled. If GM actually survives, I suspect they will "make" cars just like Westinghouse "makes" televisions and Kodak "makes" cameras. And (although I may be wrong on this) I don't believe the UAW has a presence in China, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, or India.
So, it would appear that they dug into every office sofa in the RenCen, and couldn't come up with enough nickels to pay for the tooling and development. That they are giving the ax to this, while giving the go-ahead for the abomination known as the G3, speaks volumes. A shame, as this is the one GM vehicle with true promise that I have seen all year. All the proceeds from soda-can deposits must be being poured into the Volt, which makes it now the "home run or bust" vehicle for the General. Perhaps they should rename any rebadged Pontiac version of the Volt as the "Alamo." I am willing to bet my last piaster (Steely Dan reference alert) we'll see C11 from GM before we see a delivered Camaro. Any takers?
nudave- there are fairly strong unions in Korea, don't know about the rest. Shipping costs for Asian manufacture for cars trump the savings in labor. Mexico(cheap labor) and Canada (expensive labor but no medical costs) win for making cars for sale in North America. There's a rumor they're replacing this with a tiny car again (Beat?)