Doomed GM plant is most productive
“Considering that they will be building vehicles in 2007 with dramatically fewer hourly employees in the U.S., GM, Ford and Chrysler likely will reduce their hours per vehicle significantly”
The most productive auto plant in North America is doomed - it's on the list of plants that General Motors is closing as the world's largest automaker slashes capacity in a bid to stem losses. via SI.com
Join the discussion below, or Read more at SI.com.
#1 Jun 4, 2007
Oklahoma City was idled 15 months ago, just 90 days after the Nov. 21, 2005 announcement of plant closures. The 27 year old OKC plant was considered to be one of GM's best in the U.S. In 2002 GM invested $750 million in OKC to build SUV's, but when gas prices accelerated, SUV sales slowed down. The two Oshawa, ON plants have a capacity of 500,000 cars a year. Both OKC and Oshawa were in competition for the 2009 Camaro. The state of Oklahoma has offered GM $200 million to retool the assembly plant in OKC. The local union also proposed $143 million in annual cost reductions. Not to mention only 300 of OKC's 2,400 employees remain, further reducing labor costs. Essentially a new workforce would be needed, at lower wages. Giving OKC the edge for a future product. Lower utility rates in Oklahoma, plus a diversity of alternative fuels such as oil, E85, CNG and windpower. Oklahoma's quality workforce provided GM with several J.D. Powers awards over the years, building 5.5 million quality vehicles. It seems like some of GM's best plants are suffering the brunt of GM's problems. Yet outdated plants remain, one was built in 1919 and several others about 50 years old.
#2 Jun 6, 2007
The headline is rather misleading. GM will combine the product of both into one plant, instead of two. The production of 500,000 cars will continue. The Canadian Auto Workers union agreed to concessions about a year ago to get the 2009 Camaro at Oshawa, ON. Reductions of certain off line job classifications, no replacements for attrition, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary, the UAW has since exceeded those offers. Now, here comes the real kicker. The CAW is threatening to strike all of GM's Canadian facilities, unless the Windsor transmission plant gets a new product. CAW president Buzz Hargrove said, he would force GM to give in at Windsor. The Canadian union has GM is a quandry, GM's strategy of giving all the RWD Zeta platform cars to Oshawa, leaves the General vunerable to the hardline union in Canada. GM better be careful, the entire supply of new cars at Oshawa, starting with the Camaro is now in control of the CAW. An idled 27 year old plant in OKC, was competing with Oshawa for the Camaro last year, but GM ignored the offers from the local union to reduce costs $143 million a year. The state of Oklahoma also offered $200 million to retool the OKC factory, after GM spent $750 million in 2002 at OKC to build slow selling SUV's. OKC has a high reputation for quality and productivity, one of the best for GM. Does any of this make business good sense? Why does GM give the CAW all the leverage? When OKC offers a viable alternative to the insanity of the CAW. Go figure?
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