By on January 14, 2015

We’re back from NAIAS, with full coverage over the past two days. Here’s what’s been happening now that the dust has settled.

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22 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: January 14, 2015...”


  • avatar
    sirwired

    Whenever some industry group complains about a “shortage” of workers, what they almost always REALLY mean is that there is a shortage of workers that will accept the wages the employers would like to pay. It’s amazing how many “worker shortages” better pay magically solves.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Canada and the US have a shortage of skilled technicians because dealers, (and more so manufacturers) aren’t willing to pay them for their work. The flat rate for a technician has stayed relatively flat (no pun intended) while the dealership flat rate has gone up rapidly. At the same time the times manufacturers are willing to pay is going down to levels where it’s getting to be impossible to do the job at book time. Many techs are going to independent shops or opening their own, or are leaving the business all together.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      That’s my observation as well. I have a friend that is a decent mechanic but the stealership he worked at practically starved into other work.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Flat rates have always been a complaint. They complain incessantly when they can’t make the book rate on a job, but not a peep when they can regularly beat it by 50%. The reality is that dealer techs still make the most overall when compared to independents.

      Idependent facitities are feeling the shortage of qualified techs too. The main reason is the Provincial licensing scheme and College of Trades that act as barriers. Young people just aren’t getting into the trade like they used to because of the investment of time and capital needed to make good wages.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Another problem with trades is the people that actually have the motivation and drive to go to school want to make more than 60-70k a year. Another subset of college students want to believe they’re too good for a profession cons*dered lowly. A large portion of art degree individuals would be better served going into the trades and would have a much better job outlook, make more money and have better job security.

        It could be seen as controversial but I don’t believe loans should be given for professions that aren’t in demand, if your going to be an arts major become a teacher.

        Finding someone that is good in a trade is hard and expensive, I’ve taken several classes at CC to learn skills in trading and metal working so I can do it myself.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Beating the time is idea behind flat rate pay. It is a result of experience, and the financial investment we make into specialty tools that allow us to do things faster. 60-70K a year is becoming a lot more rare for the average dealership tech. Some of the guys who worked from the 80s on have said that year after year, their pay has steadily gone down. The whole time cars are becoming more complex, and everything else is becoming more expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      That’s what I hear too. Dealers barely pay enough to survive, not enough to buy a house or lead a decent life. Take-home pay has not increased much since the 1990s, and the hours you need to put-in have increased.

      The dealers’ ultimate goal is to have mechanics that are no different from disposable retail employees. It’s amazing how often you see work that testifies to a total ignorance of mechanical principles, like how to torque a bolt, or how to route a hose.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “That’s what I hear too. Dealers barely pay enough to survive, not enough to buy a house or lead a decent life. Take-home pay has not increased much since the 1990s, and the hours you need to put-in have increased.”

        This isn’t particularly true. Perhaps somewhat in high cost areas like SoCal or New York City. A good dealer tech can still make a decent living. If they’re just a lube tech, well, then no.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Talking about Ontario. Mind you, all of the techs I know are complainers, so that may explain a lot. I have known some for 25 years, and their complaints sure seem to match-up with reality. For instance, starting dealership pay is nearly the same as in 1990 (less than $20/hour for a licensed tech), while shop rates have nearly tripled.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            You have to have some experience to get to $20/hour. I had to work for 5 years, and have certifications coming out of my ass to break that barrier. I make a bit more now, but I moved to Seattle and the cost of living is much higher. A kid starting out will make around $10-$12/hour.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Turbos are what Honda needs badly. All the Honda’s I owned (3 for them) suffered from a serious lack of torque. And TQ is one thing turbos have in spades. I wonder if this is somewhat related to their return to F1?

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      I don’t think turbos love torque so much as they are sized to provide a large amount of torque early on while sacrificing bigger power later on as the turbo passes beyond its area of best effciency.

      Small plenum volumes, comparatively high compression and small turbos are great for lots of torque at fairy low RPM and reasonable boost but are counterproductive when the wick is turned up where larger plenum volumes make more power, Hugh compression limits boost, and small turbos limit the amount of exhuast volume that can pass.

      • 0 avatar
        jrmason

        And this is where variable geometry turbochargers come into play. Eliminates the lag down low that a larger housing would cause and allows the engine to breath in the upper rpm range without snuffing the fire like a small housing would. VGTs are fairly new to American engines but VW, Audi, and other European manufacturers have been using them for years. The only thing more efficient than a VGT is a properly matched set of compound turbos (different than twins)

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Did anyone find out when the Jeep Renegade will go on sale in North America?

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    Perhaps Bob Seger should have offered just one car in this video, a Buick Electra 225, with scenes from all over the Motor City. Otherwise it’s just a mishmash of street driving with hoodlums thrown in for good measure. The length of a skateboard is sometimes equivalent to the IQ of the rider. Oh no, another Bill Maherism; am I being politically incorrect? Absolutely!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    TURBO VTEC YO!

    Backwards hat wearing teenage boys celebrate.

    God help us, what will the fart can muffler sound like when strapped to that system?

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      ‘Sadly’ one of the ‘downsides’ of a Turbo is that it kills a lot of the engine sound (‘upside’ is that you don’t need any other silencers at all with the right turbo)
      People have (more or less successfully) turbo- and super-charged VTEC engines since they first came out, so it’s about time that Honda takes a part in this market themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      jrmason

      Discriminate much?

      Having owned more diesels than gas engines I am a big fan of a turbo charger and the benefits it can bring to an engine and I consider myself to be very conservative. A properly matched turbo charger will increase the performance and efficiency of an engine. What’s not to like about that?

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