Mechanics at roughly 130 new car dealerships in Chicago went on strike Tuesday morning. According to the Automobile Mechanics’ Union Local 701, nearly 2,000 grease monkeys threw in the towel before also tossing a wrench into dealer maintenance schedules — leaving customers to fend for themselves.
On the first day of the strike, Mark Bilek, senior director of communications for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, issued a statement that most affected dealerships would remain open with partially functional service centers. “They may not be performing complex repairs, but oil changes, stuff like that, it’s business as usual,” said Bilek in a statement.
However, the union stated that wouldn’t last for long if demands were not met. It has been bargaining with the New Car Dealer Committee since June, citing uncompensated time, unacceptable schedules, unsatisfactory pay, and no opportunities for career progression as its chief complaints. Deadlocked since negotiations began, the union decided to halt all work at the beginning of August — despite Bilek’s assurance that customers could still get their oil changed or tires rotated.
We’ve already heard that the 2013 GT500 droptop will be limited to a relatively poky 155MPH. That’s probably for the best, really. It’s much safer to roll a convertible over at 155 than it would be at, say, a buck-ninety.
During the press conference, however, we heard an interesting factoid, one that got us interested enough to sucker-punch SVT’s Jamal Hameedi for a brief Q-and-A:
The last time we got an Elantra GT was in the early 2000s, when Hyundai brought over a quirky five-door that resembled the Mazda6 hatchback more than the re-badged Hyundai i30 you see here. Now dubbed the Elantra GT (rather than the Elantra Touring of the previous i30), the Mazda3 and Subaru Impreza just got a new challenger in the 5-door compact segment.
In a forthcoming review of Steve Lynch’s book “ Arrogance and Accords“, you’ll see that Acura was doomed from the start by inept management and internal politics that relegated the worst of American Honda’s corrupt to a division that needed its best players. On the other hand, they had the Integra, a wildly popular sedan that sold well – at the expensive of its prestige and Acura’s brand equity. Hoping to re-capture some of that magic is the ILX.