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  1. #21
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    Maybe the ford/gm guys should let thier designers and engineers drive mercedies, bmws, hondas,and toyotas. That way they can find out what quality really means, and perhaps learn something about why they are getting spanked left right and center!

    Spankings are in order IMHO. Too bad that those guys don't seem to be learning the very simple and basic lessons.

    B

  2. #22
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    Interestingly enough there was an article in yesterdays Wall Street Journal about this subject, with extensive quotes from the Level Field Institute.
    In the article, it sounded as if the Level Field guys, who were described as "retired UAW members" have already given up on the domestic content issue-
    They were specifically asked about the new Mustang, which is 65% domestic, versus a Toyota Sienna van, which is 90% domestic, and their new line is- "which company employs more US workers per car produced?".
    they have some sort of formula for determining the number of US workers per car- which seems to me to be a silly way to determine domestic content.

    If the company is employing a bunch of guys who sleep in the back of the warehouse, I should buy their car?
    What about GMAC- are they counting all the people who process loans as US employees?
    If Toyota will spend TWICE what GM will this year on new factories and modern machinery- which is almost true- expected expenditures are 8 Billion for GM, versus 14.5 Billion for Toyota for the upcoming fiscal year-
    Then it only makes sense that Toyota will make cars with fewer employees.

    So since the "foreign" auto makers make their cars in the US now, we cant boycott them because they are imports.
    Since they often have higher domestic content than "american" cars, we cant boycott them for domestic content.
    Since the actual companies are no longer owned by American family dynasties, but instead shareholders worldwide, the ownership of "foreign" and "domestic" is actually very similar.

    So according to the UAW guys at Level Field, we should exercise our patriotism by supporting the most inefficient companies?

    Sorry, I aint going there.
    I buy a lot of domestic stuff- as much as I can. Almost everything I eat and drink is from the county I live in, I wear American made clothes from Carhartt, American Apparel, and others.
    I always consider country of origin when purchasing anything.
    But I dont let blind patriotism guide me to pad the wallets of guys who are outsourcing and laying off american employees as fast as they possibly can- I wonder if Level Field is including the 25,000 each that GM and Ford have recently announced they are laying off?

  3. #23
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    I agree that this is a very complicated issue. Something else to think about:

    "In Japan, Toyota spends $97 per vehicle on employee health care, while the government covers retirees. That compares with $462 per vehicle for employees and $1038 per vehicle for retirees for GM." (Excerpt from yesterday's Wall Street Journal: "Toyota to Keep Raising Capital Spending")

    Regarding counting GMAC employees in the employee/car calculation, I doubt it. GM recently sold most of its stake in GMAC to raise cash for its "turnaround plan." GM sells part of GMAC division

  4. #24
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    Local GM plants require non-GM cars to park farthest away from the entrance.

    Local Daimler-Chrysler plants require non-Daimler cars to part farthest away from the entrance.

    Local Ford plants require non-Ford cars to park farthest away from the entrance.

    I go to all three mfgs and its been this way for about 10 years. Just deal with it.

  5. #25
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    Here at work anyone caught using a Mac is
    put in the public stocks in the front lobby....

    [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Jim

  6. #26
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    Ries's 5/12/06 12:34 post couldn't have said it better.

    And Stephanie, do you work in the auto industry?

    Jstolaruk: If they've been doing it so long, why is everyone making such a big deal about it now-- could profits have something to do with it?

  7. #27
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    I know a Ford auto dealer who had a "Ford only" rule at the dealership. He didn't care if you owned something else but you better not drive it to work. One day, his shop manager drove his Dodge truck so the dealer gave him a verbal warning. The guy didn't believe it so he drove the Dodge again after a few weeks had gone by. The old man saw it and fired him on the spot - although I think this incident was more about politics and less about policy...

  8. #28
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    I dont let blind patriotism guide me to pad the wallets of guys who are outsourcing and laying off american employees as fast as they possibly can
    Ries--agree. I don't let blind patriotism lead me ANYWHERE. That's why I am researching and trying to think through this.

    Stephanie, do you work in the auto industry?
    No. (Though I think I deserve honorary membership in UAW ) My interest is as a consumer and webmaster, which I cannot even plug or Admin5 might come down on me!! [img]smile.gif[/img]

  9. #29
    art_deco_machine Guest

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    I think this separate parking lot stuff began when employees began vandalising foreign cars belonging to other employees.

  10. #30
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    "In Japan, Toyota spends $97 per vehicle on employee health care, while the government covers retirees. That compares with $462 per vehicle for employees and $1038 per vehicle for retirees for GM." (Excerpt from yesterday's Wall Street Journal: "Toyota to Keep Raising Capital Spending")

    GM is quietly lobbying the US government to have the taxpayers pick up their "Health Care" tab. We're already paying part of the retirement benefits, to the tune of fifteen percent of our labor cost to our employer, of which we pick up seven percent. That's good enough for common trash, not our Union Brothers of the UAW. They're worth more - Quality in ever action.

    Naturally GM will continue to hire lunkheads from Wharton and Harvard Business Schools - the same people who helped contribute to our smashing success in Viet Nam when they ran the DOD. If you ever wondered why the UAW is so militant, consider who calls the shots at GM.

    These intellectual heirs of McNamara's "Whiz Kids" have a talent for snatching defeat from the Jaws of Victory. Two of GM's greatest full bodied cars, the early 1990s vintage Impala SS, and the early 2000s vintage Camaro, were fantastic mature brands. Style, neck breaking horsepower, balance and grace. Naturally within a couple of years of perfecting these pieces GM discontinued making them. Quite possibly they'd still be selling them today if they were making them.


    Meanwhile, Toyota continues to refine its "Lean Manufacture". As an assembly line worker you get paid more and more as you refine and expand your skill set. Meanwhile your peers at GM are too busy defending the Status Quo. Why pick on the UAW? GM management is also working hard at defending the status quo.

    Toyota also has a superior product development program. Every person in the Engineering Department is expected to contribute knowlege. All pertinent knowledge carefully documented and is maintained on a data base. Everyone is expected to use it.

    Rather than being promoted to management Senior Engineers are paid to lead development teams. Management is rightly considered a diversion from a fulfilling and prestigious career as a Senior Engineer. It is a privledge to lead a "Car Team".

    Where I work now we're trying to emulate Toyota's Product Development system. Here's to it.


    I had a friend who worked for GM's R&D. "Stupid is stupid does". After he made the mistake of pointing out that a nifty new navigation feature would kill people, and their "Risk Management" department calculated that, Yes Virginia it would kill people, but not enough to break GM, they put him in a window seat.

    After a year of twiddling his thumbs, and being obliquely threatened by GM security, he cried "Uncle". They paid him $70,000 to go away.

    Sorry I don't make enough money. I'd gladly buy a Toyota.

    Gene

  11. #31
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    Another viewpoint. Consider you work for one of the Big 2 (3?) hourly, salaried, or a supplier, whatever.

    Your own job's wages, benefits and thus directly the bacon on your table is paid for by people buying new vehicles which "keeps the chain running" and keeps you in a job.

    How anyone can justify buying somebody else's product and essentially paying for somebody else's bacon while compromising your own job security in an incremental way that you directly control is beyond me.

  12. #32
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    I have free will. I am not a slave. I am a whore. I look in the mirror and tell the truth. I put steel to the throat of my master every day.
    Charlie, I admire that, and ain't many got the stones to say it. I salute you. I look in my own mirror.
    Dobber

  13. #33
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    I think this separate parking lot stuff began when employees began vandalising foreign cars belonging to other employees.
    My dad was a steelworker (Republic Steel, Youngstown Sheet & Tube), and he used to mention that he'd come out after his shift and see imports laying on their side or upside down.

    This was mid-70's - when you used to see these bumper stickers...

    "Hungry? Eat your import"

    Mark

  14. #34
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    GeneH,

    "Sorry I don't make enough money. I'd gladly buy a Toyota."
    I believe that if you did, you would never be sorry. They make great automobiles and just keep getting better.

    In the professional quality world, they set the standard that everyone aspires after.

    Just take a look at the latest reliability studies that came out. The top cars on the list were Toyota products with a few Hondas. No USA manufacturers even made the list.

    The saying "Once you get your hands on a Toyota, you never let go" does have merit.

    I just read where they plan to expand operations in the US, including R&D. Of course they have many plants here already.

    Bernard


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