Transmission plant drives optimism

Full story: The Indianapolis Star

The latest hopeful sign for Indiana's tumultuous automotive industry can be seen on a quiet intersection about five miles from the center of town, where rows of earthmovers are starting to level the ground for ...
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1 - 20 of 20 Comments Last updated Jun 19, 2007
last chance

Louisville, KY

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#1
Jun 19, 2007
 
It is amazing that Chrysler engineers and American auto workers at Chrysler could NEVER produce a reliable tranmission. They were, and still are, some of the biggest pieces of garbage in the industry.

To say that there is alot riding on this venture for Chrysler to produce a reliable product and drive sales is an understatement.
huh

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#3
Jun 19, 2007
 
Chrysler has been in Indiana since 1903
Oh really. Another cub reporter that does not know automotive history.
Russ Moore

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#4
Jun 19, 2007
 
last chance wrote:
It is amazing that Chrysler engineers and American auto workers at Chrysler could NEVER produce a reliable tranmission. They were, and still are, some of the biggest pieces of garbage in the industry.
The bean counters and upper management are responsible for funding and approving, not the workers and engineers. In NAZI tradition, anyone who disagrees with management will be sent to a shrink for evaluation and then fired.
karensflowers

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#5
Jun 19, 2007
 
What amazes me is the fact that Chrysler (Kokomo plant) is paying huge buyouts to current employees(most are $100,000 or more for those employed less than 10 yrs)....and then turns around and helps build a new plant only a few miles away and will need 1200 employees.

I have two friends who have worked there 8 and 9 years respectively and each are receiving $100,000 and $140,000 in buyouts this year.

I guess instead of $15 hrly, the Chrysler and its partner wants to pay $8-$10 hrly.
Belkin

Independence, KY

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#6
Jun 19, 2007
 
last chance wrote:
It is amazing that Chrysler engineers and American auto workers at Chrysler could NEVER produce a reliable tranmission. They were, and still are, some of the biggest pieces of garbage in the industry.
To say that there is alot riding on this venture for Chrysler to produce a reliable product and drive sales is an understatement.
And I suppose you drive a frickin Toyota. The most over rated piece of Jap Crap ever produced.
Walt

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#7
Jun 19, 2007
 
I will never buy another new Chrysler Product because I have worked on them since 1957 and I have cussed them every since and the failure of my Dodge 2.7L engine is the last F'ing straw.

I also do not want to support a company that is unfair to workers, especially a German one.

The State of Indiana should ditch Mitch and Tipton needs a brain stem transplant.
Bob in Brownsburg

United States

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#8
Jun 19, 2007
 
last chance wrote:
It is amazing that Chrysler engineers and American auto workers at Chrysler could NEVER produce a reliable tranmission.
Actually, they did. The Torqueflite transmission used in rear-wheel drive Chrysler products in the 1960s was a very stout transmission easily up to the massive torque produced by the 383 and 440 wedge V-8s and the legendary 426 Hemi. I can't speak for their front-wheel drive transaxles, though I've heard rumors that they are failure-prone in mini-vans.

The article mentions "Getrag also is betting the move will pay off. Ulrich Kohler, Getrag's vice president for manufacturing engineering, said the company has not signed any orders for the new products, called "dual clutch" transmission technology, although it has a memorandum of understanding with Chrysler." Gee, who did Getrag copy that idea from? Volkswagen has had dual-clutch automatics in their cars for a couple of years now.
Question

Indianapolis, IN

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#9
Jun 19, 2007
 
karensflowers wrote:
What amazes me is the fact that Chrysler (Kokomo plant) is paying huge buyouts to current employees(most are $100,000 or more for those employed less than 10 yrs)....and then turns around and helps build a new plant only a few miles away and will need 1200 employees.
I have two friends who have worked there 8 and 9 years respectively and each are receiving $100,000 and $140,000 in buyouts this year.
I guess instead of $15 hrly, the Chrysler and its partner wants to pay $8-$10 hrly.
READ, did the article say $8-$10. hour or way over $30 with benefits. Our education system needs to include more remdial reading and writing. Think and try to read before you complain or were you complaining because your friends received buy-outs and you didn't. A proud Totyota owner.
lastrep

Indianapolis, IN

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#11
Jun 19, 2007
 
Russ Moore wrote:
<quoted text>
The bean counters and upper management are responsible for funding and approving, not the workers and engineers. In NAZI tradition, anyone who disagrees with management will be sent to a shrink for evaluation and then fired.
Another Nazi comment. How very intelligent, and original.
JBP

United States

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#12
Jun 19, 2007
 
Too bad they made a deal with the devil (that would be the UAW in case you haven't noticed the destruction of the automotive industry in Indiana).

If history holds true, antagonistic union mentality combined with weak management will kill another golden goose.

In order for this or any other manufacturing facility to be successful, workers and management must work together in a spirit of cooperation and common purpose. As soon as “us vs. them” becomes the attitude of the workers and company, history will repeat itself with yet another empty automotive plant in Indiana.

Hopefully, the UAW will take notice of successful unions like those that represent the construction trades where quality workmanship prevails and petty grievances are rare.
Grade

Bloomington, IN

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#13
Jun 19, 2007
 
Question wrote:
<quoted text>
READ, did the article say $8-$10. hour or way over $30 with benefits. Our education system needs to include more remdial reading and writing. A proud Totyota owner.
Do you not understand that you can make $8-10 an hour and have a total benefit package valued at $30? The two are not mutually exclusive.
One benefit seldom mentioned is UAW Legal. A pretty worthless perk.
Maybe you are the one that needs remedial understanding and evaluation skills.
But then you drive a Jap Toyota. Figures
IU-Fan

Bloomington, IN

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#14
Jun 19, 2007
 
JBP wrote:
Too bad they made a deal with the devil (that would be the UAW in case you haven't noticed the destruction of the automotive industry in Indiana).
If history holds true, antagonistic union mentality combined with weak management will kill another golden goose.
In order for this or any other manufacturing facility to be successful, workers and management must work together in a spirit of cooperation and common purpose. As soon as “us vs. them” becomes the attitude of the workers and company, history will repeat itself with yet another empty automotive plant in Indiana.
Hopefully, the UAW will take notice of successful unions like those that represent the construction trades where quality workmanship prevails and petty grievances are rare.
Thanks for the information, modern companies are so benevolent, for example they hire bra sales gals or kindergarten teachers for foreman to ride herd on the workers, that I have often wondered why unions were needed to begin with.
lastrep

Indianapolis, IN

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#15
Jun 19, 2007
 
Grade wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you not understand that you can make $8-10 an hour and have a total benefit package valued at $30? The two are not mutually exclusive.
One benefit seldom mentioned is UAW Legal. A pretty worthless perk.
Maybe you are the one that needs remedial understanding and evaluation skills.
But then you drive a Jap Toyota. Figures
What are you complaining about. Are you going to commute to Tipton?
Judge Judy

United States

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#17
Jun 19, 2007
 
To Quote the article:
"Just last week in Bedford, Visteon Corp., an auto parts maker spun off from Ford, notified its 685 workers that it will close next year in a cost-cutting move.
Ford said it would sell or close its 1,900-employee Indianapolis steering plant by next year, along with sister plants across the country employing 10,400 in its Automotive Components Holding group.
In the past few years, Chrysler has cut jobs statewide to about 5,000, from more than 9,000. Last year, it idled thousands of workers in Kokomo.
Guide, a former General Motors unit, permanently closed its operations in Anderson in January, idling most of its remaining 1,325 workers.
Yet Japanese automakers are expanding here. Honda is building a 2,067-employee assembling plant in Greensburg, slated to open next year. Toyota recently opened a 1,000-employee Camry car line at the underused Subaru car plant in Lafayette."

JBP, I totally agree.
Can anyone guess the difference between the US automotive companies (that are dying) and the foreign automakers (that are expanding)? That's right kids - NO UAW! Until the UAW gets its head out of the sand and realize what is going on around them, nothing is going to change. They have inflated hourly rates, decreased the number of days that they actually work, increased the number of petty grievances, and basically ran the cost of producing automomobiles above what the companies can sell them for. All the while, the foreign automakers are hiring skilled laborers and producing quality vehicles (I don't care what some of you "Jap Bashers" say, their quality greatly surpasses any US automaker's). Until the UAW can start thinking about the good of the workers AND the company, it is going to be a lose/lose situation. The UAW needs to swallow its pride and start working with company management to come to a mutual agreement or work vs benefits. Otherwise, in 5 years this plant will also be headed to Mexico.
Bob

Indianapolis, IN

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#18
Jun 19, 2007
 
Gary Moody -- Franklin wrote:
Note where this site is. In the middle of NOwhere. It's boom days for the good people of Tetersburg and Goldsmith, folks. But the article does pose the question: If the workers are in KOKOMO, why didn't they site this project in KOKOMO? Indiana allegedly has a policy which promotes BROWNFIELD development. But typically with slothful bureaucrats and vapid politicians, it's just feel-good boilerplate which is generally ignored. Somebody's Man Mitch makes it his personal policy to implement GREENFIELD development, aka Farmland Destruction. But if this project was dependent on Kokomo workers, and there was no way in hell they could've avoided bulldozing ag land, Mitch's whiz kids could surely have AT LEAST found a site NEXT to Kokomo. One of the many benefits of that being a helluva shorter trip to work.
But, oh my gawd, that would be extra work for Mitchie and his economic development people. And maybe a few more bucks per acre for Getrag.
It's not where the workers are that matters. After all, if you offer the jobs, the workers will come. The site was selected by Gertrag, not the state based upon what they believed was best for them. You can promote brownfield development and offer all of the incentives you want, but in the end, the location decision is made by the firm. If Gertrag wants to build in Tipton, what do you tell them- "No thanks, it's Kokomo or nothing"? In which case, they move to Ohio, Illinois, or Kentucky. There's a word that journalists used to describe politicians who do that-"defeated".
Bob not Boob

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#21
Jun 19, 2007
 
Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
.. The site was selected by Gertrag, not the state based upon what they believed was best for them. You can promote brownfield development and offer all of the incentives you want, but in the end, the location decision is made by the firm. If Gertrag wants to build in Tipton, what do you tell them-?.
You tell them,'you can build anywhere you like and you can pay for it too'.
PT Cruiser

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#22
Jun 19, 2007
 
last chance wrote:
It is amazing that Chrysler engineers and American auto workers at Chrysler could NEVER produce a reliable tranmission. They were, and still are, some of the biggest pieces of garbage in the industry.
To say that there is alot riding on this venture for Chrysler to produce a reliable product and drive sales is an understatement.
A transfer to the Tipton plant will create a hardship for me because require frequent out of pocket and warranty repairs on my Jeep and my PT Cruiser and there is not a Chrysler Jeep or Dodge dealer within towing distance of the new plant. I see there is a Marathon station with a couple service bays so maybe I can eat there and get gas while I wait.
Practical

Evansville, IN

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#23
Jun 19, 2007
 
I think that, given the choice of Tipton or Kokomo, Tipton is the better choice. One, there's more available (read: cheap) land there. Two, it's only 20 miles away from Kokomo - about the commute a Noblesville resident would make to work in downtown Indy - so it's not a ridiculous distance for current Kokomo Chrysler employees. Three, Tipton is a heck of a lot closer to Anderson, Muncie, and Noblesville than is Kokomo - opening up their talent pool (once they do their staff shuffling) even further.

Doesn't sound like a crazy idea to me...
Bob

Indianapolis, IN

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#24
Jun 19, 2007
 
Bob not Boob wrote:
<quoted text>
You tell them,'you can build anywhere you like and you can pay for it too'.
And the victor in the next election will beat you over the head about who lost Gertrag and all of those jobs.
Bob

Indianapolis, IN

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#25
Jun 19, 2007
 
Gary Moody -- Franklin wrote:
Uh, Bob, yes it does matter where the workers are. What happening with this plant, like the Honda plant, is just a shell game. That's not what we pay government officials and employees, from Daniels to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, to do.
Misinterpreting what I said as "it's Kokomo or nothing" is absurd. That's not what I said, Bub. I said that had the State's own policies been followed, they could've done a much better job in this case. Do your homework. Read them. They're online.
I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to have government that uses best practices and operates intelligently and efficiently, rather than one that competes for the quickest, dirtiest, laziest, most thoughtless deal possible. We can compete with ANY other state on that basis. Any Hoosier that thinks about it wouldn't be satisfied with being the lowest common denominator. Hell, why don't we just eliminate all environmental laws and the minimum wage, then we can compete with China.
Princeton and Greensburg are hotbeds of industrial labor? If you offer the jobs, the workers will come. It's a lot easier to relocate labor than a firm, and it won't cost the firm anything. We're already seeing a building boom in Greensburg. You overestimate the importance of a labor force in these types of decisions.

I didn't misinterpret you. You said it should be Kokomo or one of the other brownfield cities and listed all of the reasons why that would a good choice for local community and the state. Unfortunately, what matters is what is best for Gertrag. They aren't out to do any favors for anyone but themselves.

I've read our policies. It's all well and good, but in spite of the incentives, firms prefer to look elsewhere, and there's nothing there that precludes the state from offering development packages for new development.

We elect our leaders to help us hang on to the jobs we've got and go get more. Letting opportunities pass by because they don't meet our vision statement or would be too easy to pursue or would require us to get our hands dirty is neither intelligent nor efficient.

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