GM Bans Unscheduled Overtime at 'Bu, Cobalt Plants
Remember when the Chevrolet Malibu was the Next Big Thing? Or what about the Cobalt, GM’s small car superstar? You know: “we can’t build these cars fast enough!” Well, guess what? They can. USA Today reports that union officials at Orion Township (MI, Malibu/G6) and Lordstown (OH, Cobalt/G5) reports The General has banned overtime at both factories. Maybe more. What’s unscheduled overtime, you ask? “Unscheduled overtime generally is used when a worker calls in sick. An employee who is on duty at the time usually works half the shift for the sick employee, and another worker is called in early to work the other half. The union officials were unsure how the company would fill assembly line positions for those who are ill.” Meanwhile, shhhh! “Officially we haven’t told employees anything,” GM spinmeister Tony Sapienza told the former McPaper. “As we weather very difficult economic conditions, we’re looking at a variety of ways to be as efficient as possible while balancing the needs of the market for our products.” Translation: Somebody stop me! We’re buring through a billion bucks a month. “Several analysts predict that GM will burn up so much cash that it will reach its minimum operating cash level of $14 billion sometime next year.” Just in case you haven’t been paying attention.
The Studebaker prototypes done in 1962 by Brooks Stevens, by the way, would have saved Studebaker a lot of money. The left front and right rear door pressings were identical, likewise the right front and left rear doors were identical (obviously excepting the inside upholstery, positioning of armrests, and glass/window surrounds, which were added on). This would have saved a lot of money in dies. Also note the cars have simplified body pressings - alligator hoods and trunks (both extending to the wheel openings except on the 1964 prototype hood). The cars had safety features galore, and in fact, Studebaker were the first automaker to introduce disc brakes on the 1963 Avanti and Hawk. The rear suicide doors would have given the Studebaker a real touch of class, as this is the era when the Lincoln Continental had rear suicide doors. Unlike the Lincoln, but like the Lancia 4 door cars from the 1950's, there was no B-pillar at all in Steven's Studebakers. Soundproofing the thing would have been a nightmare... in other words, when you opened both doors on one side of the car, you would see an unbroken opening from the hinges on the front doors all the way to the hinges on the back doors. Like some modern day pickups and that weird looking Honda box-thing.
Those Studebaker roofs surely look fragile!
joeaverage: Yes, these Studes seem to be where the "greenhouse" term came from! menno: I find the Sceptre quite cool, thanks for the links to the photos. (I can imagine turning on the "headlights" and having them flicker to life!) One day when I drive back from Wisconsin for business, I might stop by the Studebaker Museum in South Bend.
Hi "Menno" I hate to be a pedant.... but I have to add a slight correction to your statement that Studebaker were the first automaker to introduce disk brakes in 1963 with the Avanti and Hawk. That may be true that they were the first of the US automakers, but the British company Standard-Triumph were (I believe) the first automaker to offer disc brakes on a mass-produced car. They had disc brakes on the Triumph TR3 from 1957 onwards.