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Government Mule
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Like the Boss sang. "Them jobs are leavin boys and they ain't comin back".
 

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Bocephus Jones II said:
yup...that economy is just great.
They need to build cars that people want. The economy isn't too bad for Toyota. They sell tons of them and don't have to give employee pricing or $6000 discounts. Ford is hoping to deal with the reduction through attrition as much as possible since they UAW deal requires them to pay almost full salary to laid off workers through 2007. I can see the UAW weakening soon.
 

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Most of them still get paid, though...

I wasn't listening closely, but I heard a report on NPR last night that said most of the workers will still get paid until the expiration of their contracts, and I think it said they ALL keep their health insurance.In many cases it's $60,000 or so a year for several years.
The American car industry is in a sad state, and it's too bad the workers, who didn't make the decisions that got it there, have to bear the brunt of the collapse. You could see the end of the SUV coming several years ago--I did a couple of columns about it in 2002 and 2003--but they make five-figure profits on each one and nobody wanted to face it. Ford's execs, like GM's, are the ones who steered the companies into making cars they can't sell, but they're going to come out of this with their millions and their pensions intact. The poor bas*ards who just slap the hubcaps on are pretty well hosed.
 

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Cory said:
In many cases it's $60,000 or so a year for several years.
The poor bas*ards who just slap the hubcaps on are pretty well hosed.
How much of this is the fact that some poor bastard who slaps on hubcaps was making 60K a year w/ great benefits?

I was a Teamster back when I worked at UPS and I thought the union was absolutely bonkers in the demands they made for us workers. Sure it was hard work, but nothing your typical "ditch-digger" couldn't do. Seemed like to me the goal of the Union wasn't to protect the workers, as much as it was to squeeze every dime out of the company even if it meant ultimately hurting the survivability of the company. Most workers' attitudes were the same, take as much as you could get, damn the future of the company.
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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Cory said:
The American car industry is in a sad state, and it's too bad the workers, who didn't make the decisions that got it there, have to bear the brunt of the collapse.
Too bad they've been greedy and can't loosen the reins, which will do nothing but make the problem worse. If they're flexible and give in a little to give the company time and resources to recover, it'll pay off in the long run. But I won't cry for them when Ford and GM go down in flames because the UAW is forcing them to pay the operators $30/hour to use a glorified screwdriver, along with great benefits and health insurance (when they're not even working, for Chrissakes).

They don't make the decisions on what cars to make when, but they impact the business plenty.
 

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Cory said:
I wasn't listening closely, but I heard a report on NPR last night that said most of the workers will still get paid until the expiration of their contracts, and I think it said they ALL keep their health insurance.In many cases it's $60,000 or so a year for several years.
The American car industry is in a sad state, and it's too bad the workers, who didn't make the decisions that got it there, have to bear the brunt of the collapse. You could see the end of the SUV coming several years ago--I did a couple of columns about it in 2002 and 2003--but they make five-figure profits on each one and nobody wanted to face it. Ford's execs, like GM's, are the ones who steered the companies into making cars they can't sell, but they're going to come out of this with their millions and their pensions intact. The poor bas*ards who just slap the hubcaps on are pretty well hosed.
I heard that report as well. Illuminating to say the least.

As a self labeled "car guy" with a sport ute ('00 4-runner) in the house only to keep my wife happy, the sport ute concept Ford relied on (along with GM) was a bit of a house of cards. Factor in increasing gas prices, safety issues, fashion and market trends, the inside joke of 4WD never ever being engaged in 99% of them, and the emergence of the better handling, more efficient and practical crossover sport utility vehicles. That leaves with a Ford with its' eggs mostly in a handbasket heading to hell.

They've released some exceptional enthusiast targetted exceptions, the GT, the retro Mustang, the 500, and I wish the company and their employees well. I've owned a Pantera and the first year SHO, two of Ford's other enthusiast targetted products.

Maybe this re-structuring will result in a quicker turn of new designs; with greater reliance on digital systems rather than clay, they should expedite the next product line's development cycles. Right now, it's easily a three to four year process to design and deliver a vehicle. They can't exactly stop on a dime and implement a redesign, but they sure didn't seem to be taking into account how absurd sport utility vehicles are for the real world urban/suburban driver.

I think the consumer is finally awakening from the SUV coma and neither Ford or GM were in the visiting room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thinkcooper said:
I heard that report as well. Illuminating to say the least.

As a self labeled "car guy" with a sport ute ('00 4-runner) in the house only to keep my wife happy, the sport ute concept Ford relied on (along with GM) was a bit of a house of cards. Factor in increasing gas prices, safety issues, fashion and market trends, the inside joke of 4WD never ever being engaged in 99% of them, and the emergence of the better handling, more efficient and practical crossover sport utility vehicles. That leaves with a Ford with its' eggs mostly in a handbasket heading to hell.

They've released some exceptional enthusiast targetted exceptions, the GT, the retro Mustang, the 500, and I wish the company and their employees well. I've owned a Pantera and the first year SHO, two of Ford's other enthusiast targetted products.

Maybe this re-structuring will result in a quicker turn of new designs; with greater reliance on digital systems rather than clay, they should expedite the next product line's development cycles. Right now, it's easily a three to four year process to design and deliver a vehicle. They can't exactly stop on a dime and implement a redesign, but they sure didn't seem to be taking into account how absurd sport utility vehicles are for the real world urban/suburban driver.

I think the consumer is finally awakening from the SUV coma and neither Ford or GM were in the visiting room.
Meanwhile Ford kills off one of their best car--the Lincoln LS--and is about to let DC take their cab and cop car fleet business from them, cause the Crown Vic is such a outdated joke. The Taurus should have been killed off years ago. And what about the Ranger? When was the last time that got a substantial update? They need to invest in R&D and come out with some interesting cars again. The 500 should have been RWD IMO and more agressively styled--like the Ford 427 concept. The Fusion doesn't look bad, though. They should rush the Bronco mini-ute concept to production.
 

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Henry Chinaski said:
Meanwhile Ford kills off one of their best car--the Lincoln LS--and is about to let DC take their cab and cop car fleet business from them, cause the Crown Vic is such a outdated joke. The Taurus should have been killed off years ago. And what about the Ranger? When was the last time that got a substantial update? They need to invest in R&D and come out with some interesting cars again. The 500 should have been RWD IMO and more agressively styled--like the Ford 427 concept. The Fusion doesn't look bad, though. They should rush the Bronco mini-ute concept to production.

From what I understand, the Fusion was based on end-user online repsonses. What a way to learn about your customers. Listen to 'em. RWD on the 500 would've been very cool, add more agressive styling and it'd be a star and could've gone toe to toe against the 300C. The LS is still a handsome car.

But, I never liked the police model Crown Vic from the back seat. It really could've used door levers. The whole trapped in the back approach made me uncomfortable. :D

I wonder what their first new offering will be following this debacle. It better be a hit out of the park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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thinkcooper said:
But, I never liked the police model Crown Vic from the back seat. It really could've used door levers. The whole trapped in the back approach made me uncomfortable. :D
I love mine from the front seat. Speed limits mean nothing and I never pay for coffee.
 

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Henry Chinaski said:
Yeah, my friend has one. It's pretty cool having the left lane all to yourself.
I bet he always wonders "are they giving me free donuts cause they like me, or are afraid of me?" :D
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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Henry Chinaski said:
Meanwhile Ford kills off one of their best car--the Lincoln LS--and is about to let DC take their cab and cop car fleet business from them, cause the Crown Vic is such a outdated joke.
Have you seen how much the LS costs? I'd take a Lexus IS350 over it anyday.
 

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Government Mule
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Henry Chinaski said:
Yeah, my friend has one. It's pretty cool having the left lane all to yourself.
Run it down the middle on the beltway during rush hour and you'll look like the pace car leading the first lap of the Indy 500.
 

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stevee said:
Run it down the middle on the beltway during rush hour and you'll look like the pace car leading the first lap of the Indy 500.
Going through Hartford once I brought traffic down to 45mph before they started passing me.
 

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Henry Chinaski said:
Yeah, my friend has one. It's pretty cool having the left lane all to yourself.
But it ain't the same as having the real McCoy... flip that freekin blue/red strobe on and watch the traffic scatter with perspiration all over the inside of the window. Punch one of the many audio device selections and it gets even better.

Yeah, it's sick... but oh so much fun to witness.

Been there, done that. Past life tho!

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