November 23rd, 2005, 10:03 PM
It was all over the news. GM is cutting tons of jobs. What irks me though is that here in Qc, the government invested 80 million in GM to encourage them to keep their plant here open. I think it was a year if not a year and a half after hitting that jackpot that they closed the plant.
Now in Ontario, it seems the government did the same, only 250 million (if I remember properly). And the jobs are still lost.
So what is GM's plan? Build factories all over, threaten to close them so they get tons of free money from the different governments, and then close them anyway? We're paying for GM to not employ us? We're paying GM to take their money elsewhere?
What's the deal?
November 24th, 2005, 08:46 AM
It sounds like you need to blame your local government - not GM - for handing over your money to a company and not securing adequate guarantees for the life of the plant in return.
Just another example of why government should stay out of business.
As to GM, every worker globally for them produces about $8 in REVENUE . . . . . for Toyota, every worker produces about $67 in PROFIT. That's the difference between a company that's badly run and one that's doing well.
GM has a tremendous overcapacity problem, has to pay idle workers about 75% of full wage and has far too many workers to begin with. . . . . . they still sell more cars than anyone else but they're a terribly inefficient business.
Yet Toyota is looking at adding capacity in North America.
Workers will be the ones paying for the mistakes of GM management though, just as workers benefited from beautiful contracts earlier (which, in hindsight, are obviously a mistake).
Although 30,000 layoffs looks monstrous, its not nearly enough for GM . . . . and it would help if they had a better product line.
November 24th, 2005, 09:41 AM
I heard too that for every GM worker, there are at least 2 retirees (with pensions).
I have to say though that the "big three" were so focused on the current market for the past 15 or so years that now, they're way behind- not only in the gas consumption, but also just in technology and quality. They were always behind in quality.
Since I got interested in cars (back in the mid eighties) the big three were playing catch-up. But nobody noticed back then. People who drove Hondas and Toyotas stayed with Hondas and Toyotas, so the minute a big three customer switched over, they were lost.
I think that Hondas and Toyotas are much more refined both on the interior and under the hood. The automatics shift more smoothly, there are less useless gadgets in the cockpit, and the space is wasted much less. The engines- sure, they might not have 400 hp, but they get buy on little engines with enough power. Like the Honda S2000- last time I checked, it was a 2.0L engine with 240hp. How many litres of displacement does a big three engine need for 240 hp? Can they even make them that small?
And then people looking for fuel economy think smaller is better and they decide on a GM little car and Surprise! It's not fuel efficient. The engine is too small for the weight of the car.
Anyway, ask me when I was 5 or 6 years old and I would have told you that one day soon, Toyota and Honda would be the ones to beat. And that day is the day that majority of drivers have tried one or the other and are not going back.
November 25th, 2005, 10:50 AM
The biggest problem is that the unions in the US have made such huge demands, that GM is paying them three and four times what other non-skilled workers are paid (including the cost of health care, which is HUGE!), in other industries. The big three, 15 years ago, were riding a wave of cash, and decided that rather than argue, it was easier to give in. Now, they're paying the price. You can put all the investment into new plants that you want to, if you aren't selling the cars, it's not going to matter. Delphi, the parts plant that spun off from GM, has just gone into bankruptcy protection, and GM had negotiated that they would cover off all benefits in the event that Delphi disolved the plan. In retro-spect, huge mistake. GM is suffering billion dollar losses, and to cover off those benefits would be another twenty-some billion.
The other big issue is that the UAW is now threatening to strike at Delphi (because that's what you do when your company is going bankrupt...genuises), and if that happens for any length of time, it will effectively shut down GM plants. I've been reading up on the CEO of Delphi, and he doesn't blink. If the UAW goes on strike, it'll be bad for everyone.
November 25th, 2005, 12:29 PM
I heard once that the "big three" own many of the car rental companies, and that is how they sell a huge portion of vehicles. The rental companies replace them every year or so. The problem is they have all these crappy used cars that can't hold their value all over the lots.
Toyota and Honda are taking over.;) Mistsubishi is starting to get really big in Edmonton now as well. I personally feel the best cars out there are the German ones, the engineering is so clean and tight. Audi and VW's all the way. Although I drove my Boss's Infiniti G35 and was in LOVE:love: :love: ...sigh.....uh, with the car not the :yuck: boss:yuck:
November 25th, 2005, 04:30 PM
The problem with Audis and Vws is that they just aren't as reliable. They were always between the Japanese cars and the American cars but now, in the past 3 or so years, they've gotten much worse.
In my experience, with all the people with cars I know, American cars have problems from the start, German cars have problems after 2 or 3 years (unless it's an Audi TT, then it's from Day 1), and Japanese cars can go 7 years without any major repairs. I'd take 7 years over 3 any day and some of the Acuras and the new Civic would be as fun if not more than any volks, IMO.
I have to say that Golfs make great kindling though... I saw one on highway 15 here last night at around midnight totally engulfed in flames...
November 25th, 2005, 04:50 PM
(unless it's an Audi TT, then it's from Day 1
Noooooooooo!:eek: That is my favorite one. I don't worry though, because I can't afford it.
My BF told me he won't feel safe until I am driving a toyota. He has an 89 4 runner he can't part with. The body is totally rusted, but it starts everytime. I don't know all that much about cars, and I will be the first to admit I go by the looks of most of these cars:o . That is what Jay is around for, to tell me which cars are better than the ones that I like the looks of.
I am pobably getting a new vechicle in spring. So far I have my eyes on the Mitsubishi Lancer, of course I would have to drive one first - that could change it all. As for the civic, I have just never been a fan. Probably because there are soooooooo many out there. Not unique enough for me.
November 25th, 2005, 04:55 PM
You want unique- get the Acura 1.7! Nobody south of the border has one and very few here have one. And they're reliable and fun! Like a luxury Civic. My car is 9 years old and has 220000kms on it and every day, even when it doesn't want to, it starts. I have had "gold" CAA for the past 2 years at least and I haven't used it yet (knock on wood).
The 1.7s are also cheaper used because nobody wants a second hand luxury car, especially not a small one.
November 25th, 2005, 05:01 PM
I will check them out. I don't really know anything about them. I do have a friend that works at the honda/acura dealership.....I might be able to get a deal. If I mention it to him, I know I will hear about cars for an hour or two.;)
The way I see it, i can say I like this car or that car, but when it comes down to it, I guess the test drive will be a deciding factor for me.
November 25th, 2005, 05:01 PM
Oh, now the 1.7 EL is called the "CSX"... Just so you know, in case you were going to buy me one.:clown:
November 25th, 2005, 05:06 PM
Wait.. No, nevermind. You can still buy 2005 ELs though. (their site is a bit confusing...)
November 25th, 2005, 05:20 PM
It is a very nice looking car. Inside and out. Another one I will have to test drive.