I guess these things are all subjective and just one guy's experience. I
have a hard time not commenting here, though, with respect to this due to my
experience with GM vehicles. I've got a '93 Chev. diesel pickup with
208,000 m. on it that has been without any major problems. Particularly the
turbodiesel engine. Absolutely rock solid reliability and this truck has
not been coddled at all. Had a '79 and an '83 of the same vehicle with the
exact same experience. Even the paint jobs never faded out on me and they
still looked good until the last day I had them. The only Jap car I ever
owned was back when I was working in Saudi Arabia. A Datsun that spum out a
rod bearing and left me beside the road. A friend I worked with bought one
of those new Nissan small pickups. He'd had it about a year when he started
in our work parking lot and the crank pully broke off at the crankshaft.
You read that right. The crankshaft snapped off flush with the front of the
engine. I'm not saying this has never happened to a GM vehicle, just that
I've never heard of it and I've been around for 56 yrs. I just do not agree
at all with this business of GM not building reliable vehicles, but, again,
it's just my personal experience.
When the price of a car approaches $20grand ( or more )
people want more than styling and slogans.
You can't say that Japanese cars are priced any cheaper
than comparable American sedans.
You can't even allude to overseas assembly.
Several Japanese brands are assembled in the US
And yet when all is said and done,
consumers vote with their dollars,
and they're rejecting the Detroit product.
I can accept that. But, I can also say that I have had relatives (just as
yourself) who have had Chevy trucks last well past 400,000 with nothing
major done to it, and the other day a friend stopped by with a Cavalier
which had already rolled the odometer once, and they were quite pleased with
the car as well. As for Honda's, I cant really comment on them as I have
never owned one, and I have a strictly GM family (I live in Oshawa Ontario,
so a lot of them work at the plant there, and a couple more work for GM
dealerships), however my mother's boyfriend does have a Civic. Though, I
once again can't comment on it as I have never driven it, and he does not
know much about them as he trades it in every 2 or so years. I guess
basically, every car company makes the occasional 'pearl' and every company
makes the occasional 'lemon'.
Hey, I live near Oshawa, too and my husband and I have both worked at GM
over 20 years. I buy a new car every couple years and only had one Cavalier
many years ago that was a piece of junk. Ironically, I bought it because it
had been made in Ohio rather than Mexico. My family's experience has been
excellent, as well. Also, we have gotten a few things "goodwilled", i.e.
paid for (bearings on a Rendezvous, head gasket on a Venture), after the
vehicles were well out of warranty. Sometimes you just have to ask.
GM and Toyota share the top quality awards. It is mostly a false
perception, based on the past, that GM's quality is poor. The plant they
are axing in Oshawa has the best quality in North America, of all the
Yes, it sure does. Two plants will remain in Oshawa, a second car plant and
a truck plant, plus stamping and triaxle, so we're not a ghost town just yet
(The axle plant is technically Delphi, although the employees still have
bumping rights to the rest of the complex)
They need to ditch Wagoner...like, yesterday!
I read somewhere that the 3800 has been built (in varying styles) for over
40 years, and it is in my opinion the best engine I have ever owned or
driven. I get 210 horsepower, 230 torque, all in a 4000 pound car that can
do 0-60 in 7.8 seconds and still get 30mpg on the highway, and yet they
still want to get rid of the engine. Makes me think that someone from Honda
is actually running GM trying to ruin them....
Many don't believe it will actually happen. Likely wishful thinking, but
we'll see. They will want concessions, especially mandatory overtime. It
may also depend on the dollar and other things we have no control over.
Quality is definitely a major component to consider, when consolidating
operations, but so too is profitablity. In this regard, Oshawa is said to be
highly profitable and I have heard that Canadian operations account for some
$ 500Million in actual profits, while many other divisions lose Millions.
The only problem with the profitability numbers we are hearing for Canada is
that intercompany pricing between parent and subsidiaries is fuzzy at the
best of times. Any division can be made to appear profitable OR losing
money, depending on inter-company pricing and Corporate whims. These
decisions are most often tax driven. So it's really hard to know which
divisions really are making money. Having said that, GM would have to be
"dumb as a post" to close down any profitable division, given the sea of red
ink they are mired in.
Jane, on the plus side, there's a lot of time before any job losses are
actually scheduled to take place in Oshawa. There are good possibilities for
any number of things to happen, including:
1. The Grand Prix manufacturing line could be replaced with a new product
line or even an existing product, should it be economically feasible.
2. There is a strong possibility of government intervention at both the
Provincial and Federal levels. Hey, we're looking at a Federal election in
the new year - let's make it clear to local candidates that we want this on
the election platform!
3. Now here's a sore spot with many GM employees, but it's worth mentioning.
Employees have to help themselves and set the example for the rest of us.
Jane and 80 Knight, I encourage you both to take a drive by the employee
parking lots of all the truck and car plants in Oshawa. I did it yesterday
(before the snow started last night!) and I was appalled by two things; a)
the number of non-GM cars in the employee lot; b) the number of non-North
American cars in the employee lot. I would suggest to you that the
percentage of Korean cars in the parking lot exceeds the Oshawa average.
Christ, if GM employees don't drive their product, why should the rest of
the population??? I say this with a certain amount of pain in my heart
because I am a true blue GM guy, presently owning 4 GM products and zero
I remember once my Dad saying when he worked at the Oshawa plant and the
Lada (if memory serves) came out, a couple workers bought one and brought
them to work. They finished there shift, and went outside to find there cars
destroyed. Not a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you.
LMAO! 80 Knight, at risk of sounding like a redneck, that is poetic
justice! I think it is unconscionable for an employee of any auto
manufacturer to own a vehicle from a competitor, unless of course, it is an
older classic. Your Lada story reminds me of my own Lada story. For a short
period back in the 80's I was in a carpool with 3 other guys. We all owned
small econo-box commuter cars, (I owned a Chevette with an Automatic, so my
wife could drive it!)but one of the guys was so embarrassed about driving a
Lada, that he tore off the name plates and told every who didn't know better
that it was a Fiat! Then we explained to him that a Fiat really wasn't much
of an improvement over a Lada. He finally broke down and bought a Chevelle!
A Chevelle? Now theres a car! Love those things, just wish I could afford
Anyhow, though I would not have been one of the people out there destroying
the Lada (or whichever competitor's car) I would be bitching out the owner
of it. If you work for GM, you can damn well buy GM, cause IMHO, if you
don't like there cars that much, then you shouldn't be working for them in
the first place.
Ah yes, the dark side of Union Power .... threat, intimidation, property
damage, even lethal force. I still remember during the trucking strikes
of my youth when union truckers would stand on overpasses and drop rocks
on the windshields of any trucks which were still on the road. Killed
several people as I recall. That was a formative bit of news in my
youth and left a very bad impression of unions ... that and the whole
gang involvement bit along with the history of the mob and unions
"investing" in Las Vegas in Vegas' early days.
Hey, if the guy drives his Lada into a GM parking lot, it should be
destroyed. What about you, John? Will you suffer when the GM closers happen?
If not, then shut the hell up. You take your Honda, Toyota and other pieces
of foreign crap and drive it all you want. *I* will support the company who
I should. The company who I respect, and the company who puts a *lot* of
money into my community. Can you say the same? All I have seen from you is
trollish behavior. If you hate GM so much then get out of the group, or stop
Destroying those Ladas was very stupid.
If they had just waited a few years the Ladas would have self destructed
and demonstrated their very poor quality.
Continuing to support GM when they have demonstrated very poor
management is just sticking ones head in the sand. I feel very sorry
for the GM workers who are watching their company fold around them,
because of very poor management.
Many of us (me included) were strong GM supporters and users, but have
recently been frustrated with the poor designs they have been marketing.
In addition GM importing cars from Korea and soon China simply
demonstrates they are off track.
IMO the GM workers would be better off if a very well managed company
such as Toyota took over the GM plants.
Another example of poor management is Stelco.
They are a basket case, yet next door Dofasco, the kid on the block,
has been doing so well a European company has offered an excess amount
of cash to buy them out.
Unfortunately company history is full of stories where poor management
has caused company failure. The only solution is a complete overhaul of
Hey, I am all for getting new management and what not into the company. They
need new people with new idea's. But, I'm sorry. I can not stand 'non big 3'
cars. Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia. Heck, I don't like many Chrysler's or
Ford's, but I have always liked GM's vehicles. I look at Honda's and they
just make me sick. The style (IMHO) is just terrible. Sure, they can get
30Mpg, but so can my Bonneville, and it has a hell of a lot more power, room
You know something, I honestly don't think anyone can understand what it is
like to live in this part of Ontario without growing up here. The Oshawa GM
plant is a huge part of this place. It gives a lot of people jobs, and does
a lot for the town, and the surrounding ones. Just the mere thought of what
is going on actually happening sickens me, because I know the impact it will
have on my family, and countless others. Some of you seem to think that
working 40 hours a week doing the work these people do for $25 an hour is
the easiest thing in the world. Well, go ahead and give it a try. Do it for
one week, and then tell me what you think of it.
There is definitely a price to be paid for the income and benefits we enjoy.
When I started there in '82, you could look forward to getting off the line
in about 9 years. With productivity improvements and outsourcing, those
days are long gone. Most of us will be on the line almost our whole career
and will retire disabled in one way or another. I've had surgeries on both
my hands. My husband has had skin rashes from lubricants in the air guns
(has been tested at St. Mike's). Not to mention the mind-numbing nature of
the work. Fine; we made the choice to work there (I have a science degree,
but went to GM because it paid better than contract work for the MNR and
because I could forget my job at the end of the day). GM has allowed us a
pretty good life and we've been able to invest along the way in case our
pensions are lost.
There is some "dead wood" in there (as there is anywhere), but they are few
and far between. Most of us work our butts off.
Exactly. And that is what some people can not seem to grasp. They think that
you just sit there on your butt all day and do nothing, while making $25 an
hour. Well, I guess it's easy for someone to say its simple work when they
have never done it.
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