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PORTSIDELABOR  July 2011, Week 2

PORTSIDELABOR July 2011, Week 2

Subject:

With Sonic, G.M. Stands Automaking on Its Head

From:

Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 13 Jul 2011 21:58:45 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (68 lines)

With Sonic, G.M. Stands Automaking on Its Head 

By BILL VLASIC

July 12, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/business/with-chevrolet-sonic-gm-and-uaw-reinvent-automaking.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

(Moderators Note. The article refers to "independent
suppliers who work inside the plant". According to
our information, there are 500 "independent
suppliers in the factory, who earn $10 per hour.)

ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- The only subcompact car being
built on American soil will soon roll out of an assembly
plant here in suburban Detroit that is as unusual as the
car itself.

The production line has been squeezed into half the
space of a traditional plant. Welding robots are
concentrated in efficient clusters, instead of being
spaced along the line, while many of the workers earn
half the typical union wage. Even the first coat of
rust-proofing has been reformulated so that it is
one-hundredth as thick as -- and thereby cheaper than --
the coating on other cars.

One of the oldest axioms in the auto industry is that no
company can build a subcompact car in the United States
and make money because they are priced too low. The Ford
Fiesta is built in Mexico. The Honda Fit is made in
several places, including China and Brazil. But with
Americans -- and Detroit -- rediscovering small cars
because of high gasoline prices, General Motors is
intent on shattering that notion with its new Chevrolet
Sonic. The car, with a base price of around $14,000,
will give G.M. a new entry in the lowest tier of the
market when it goes on sale this fall. The Sonic is also
expected to be a breakthrough in establishing a new
level of cooperation between Detroit and the United
Automobile Workers.

The radically revamped factory here operates with fewer
and cheaper workers, many of whom are paid $14 an hour
rather than the full U.A.W. wage of $28 an hour. 

For the rest of the article please go to,

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/business/with-chevrolet-sonic-gm-and-uaw-reinvent-automaking.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

____________________________________________

PortsideLabor aims to provide material of interest to
people on the left that will help them to interpret the
world and to change it.

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