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  #1  
Old 01-31-2007, 07:41 PM
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Ford and it's Bold Moves

I saw a program on television hosted by Dan Rather which was bacially bash Ford and praise Toyota hour. According to this program the factories such as Wixom which were shut down and have had their operations moved to Mexico are paying workers only $2 - 4 an hour. Which in certain cases will be ten times less then what they were paying employees in Wixom to build their vehicles. Now if this is true, shouldn't Ford atleast beginning to see if not already had a turn around in the amount of money lost per year?

How is it that everyone will sit and say that they want to buy an American vehicle, bash Mexico for illegal immigration and refuse to purchase a Toyota, Honda or Nissan? You have cars such as the Fusion which are made in Mexico (not in America) by Mexicans and Honda Accord's that you can purchase that were made in Marysville, OH by Americans. We all know the answer that Ford, DM and GM will give us on this issue. They simply can not afford to pay for their retired workers pension and health care ontop of their current workers paychecks and health care costs. Now either one day Toyota, Honda and Nissan are going to fall on hard times in the next 40 to 50 years due to the same issue or the big 3 just do not know how to play their cards right.

I have seen some really stupid moves by the big 3 and just do not understand what they are thinking sometimes. For instance you have the F-150 plant located in Norfolk, VA which is being shut down and operations moved. In 2004 Ford dumped $375 million into the plant to begin production of the new style F-150. The Norfolk Assembly Plant has excellent access to not only the sea lanes through the 3rd buisiest port on the Eastern Seaboard but also fantastic connections to the railways. They are not even much more then 10 minutes away from Norfolk Southern who operates the rail lines between Norfolk, VA, Detroit, MI, and Claycomo, MO. So you take a company, Ford, who see their future as not just selling America but world wide. To improve their current and future financial standings they close down their plants near the sea lanes which in the future will hurt their cost of shipping the vehicles because petro is not getting any cheaper. By the way Ford just can not seem to leave this plant for good as they keep saying they are. Toyota had interest in building their own plant on the property and being able to hire workers from the area so what does Ford do? They say that they will wait to tear down the plant or sell the property because they may want to reopen the plant soon. Even though they announced a permanent end to the plant only weeks before. So Ford will not only give your job to someone in another country for 10x less an hour, they'll fight to prevent other companies from moving in to employ you in the future.

I'm sorry for just rambling on but this situation that Ford and the rest of the big 3 has put themselves in drives me crazy. Not only does what they did in the past drive me nuts but what they are doing to fix the problem makes them look like a bunch of no brains.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:22 PM
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I hashed this out with Number Dummy a few weeks ago.

My un-educated theories are as follows:

It was stated that actual labor to produce the car is a small percentage of overall cost.

I came up with a not so scientific savings of $800(?) per car BEFORE adding the ADDITIONAL costs.

My GUESSES of added costs are importing and exporting parts and finished vehicles in and out of Mexico; the added cost of actually building/retooling factories in Mexico AND paying laid of UAW workers.

I honestly wonder if there is any significant cost savings to build in Mexico.


All this is happening while the Asians are building factories on U.S. soil.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOHCmarauder
I hashed this out with Number Dummy a few weeks ago.

My un-educated theories are as follows:

It was stated that actual labor to produce the car is a small percentage of overall cost.

I came up with a not so scientific savings of $800(?) per car BEFORE adding the ADDITIONAL costs.

My GUESSES of added costs are importing and exporting parts and finished vehicles in and out of Mexico; the added cost of actually building/retooling factories in Mexico AND paying laid of UAW workers.

I honestly wonder if there is any significant cost savings to build in Mexico.


All this is happening while the Asians are building factories on U.S. soil.
I wonder too if labour and environmental laws probably play a lesser role in building in Mexico. They may save very little to nil but don't have the government breathing down their neck as much.

Just a guestion.
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SMIGGS
I wonder too if labour and environmental laws probably play a lesser role in building in Mexico. They may save very little to nil but don't have the government breathing down their neck as much.

Just a guestion.

Good as a guess as any.

Have to think breaking the UAW is up there on that list also.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:26 AM
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To prevent strikes, automakers for years have not negotiated well with the UAW, basically signing bloated contracts, because sales were good.

Now, the story is different. High gas prices drove people away from gas guzzling pickups and SUV's, so the dealers are overloaded with new 2005 and 2006 vehicles. And they aren't selling, even with the 10 grand or more off MSRP giveaway deals. One local Ford Dealer had huge ads in last weeks paper. (2006) Explorers at 12 grand off MSRP, Lariats at 10 off, Expeditions at 15 off!

BTW..a local Toyota Dealer still has new 2004 Land Cruisers for sale...gas guzzlers are still gas guzzlers, regardless of who makes them.

Blame the UAW? NO! Blame the manufacturers...they signed the contracts. Now, to break or drastically reduce the UAW's influence...Ford, GM and DC are moving out of the US to save a buck...which also frees them from the EPA and Gov't watchdogs.

Meanwhile, the Japanese/German/Korean based Corporations are building or have built factories here...but none employee UAW workers.

It's not about Mexico, Canada or Bum Frick Egypt...it's about breaking the UAW.
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:18 AM
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Is there some kind of law mandating that the big three must only employee auto workers from the UAW? If not, wouldn't it make more sense to do what Toyota, Honda and others are doing by employing non-union workers to work in their plants? Also, if they do not have to have UAW workers then I imagine the only reason they continue to do so is to have a group to pass the buck on.
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomcat7742
Is there some kind of law mandating that the big three must only employee auto workers from the UAW? If not, wouldn't it make more sense to do what Toyota, Honda and others are doing by employing non-union workers to work in their plants? Also, if they do not have to have UAW workers then I imagine the only reason they continue to do so is to have a group to pass the buck on.
I believe GM Ford and DC must employee UAW workers in the US. The original contracts were first signed by GM in 1936. Chrysler soon followed suit, and Ford, after the "Battle of the Bridge" where Harry Bennetts goon squad beat Walter Reuther and other UAW organizers to a pulp...garnering Ford world wide bad publicity, signed up in the early 40's.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by NumberDummy
To prevent strikes, automakers for years have not negotiated well with the UAW, basically signing bloated contracts, because sales were good.

Now, the story is different. High gas prices drove people away from gas guzzling pickups and SUV's, so the dealers are overloaded with new 2005 and 2006 vehicles. And they aren't selling, even with the 10 grand or more off MSRP giveaway deals. One local Ford Dealer had huge ads in last weeks paper. (2006) Explorers at 12 grand off MSRP, Lariats at 10 off, Expeditions at 15 off!

BTW..a local Toyota Dealer still has new 2004 Land Cruisers for sale...gas guzzlers are still gas guzzlers, regardless of who makes them.

Blame the UAW? NO! Blame the manufacturers...they signed the contracts. Now, to break or drastically reduce the UAW's influence...Ford, GM and DC are moving out of the US to save a buck...which also frees them from the EPA and Gov't watchdogs.

Meanwhile, the Japanese/German/Korean based Corporations are building or have built factories here...but none employee UAW workers.

It's not about Mexico, Canada or Bum Frick Egypt...it's about breaking the UAW.
But one must remember that "bloated" contract was first drafted by UAW. I think both parties are to blame. Yes, times were good so lets basically get rich now and not plan for the future. That's what's happening now. The UAW took advantage of good times and Ford gave them what they wanted to prevent a strike. Now years down the road, the Company is having to restructure to compensate.

I think that's the best thing all these foriegn automobile companies that are setting shop here are doing, keeping the unions out of it. ( if that is truly the case )
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:07 AM
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Not to throw fuel into any fires but while gas guzzling trucks and suv's sit on dealers lots. Exxon just earned a record $39,500,000,000.00 to close out there year. Though to disappoint, Exxon was sadden to have a slight decline in the fourth quarter due to natural gas prices. Such a shame that they had a slight decline in the fourth quarter, maybe I'll send them a get well card

I wouldn't trust the Ford family with sweeping floors no less running a buisness. They seem to be pretty stubborn when it comes to doing what they want and not whats necessarily best for the company. Heck these guys won't even fire Matt Millan from being the GM for the Detroit Lions no less run a car company.
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:20 AM
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Look at the history of Ford Motor Company, it's not a pretty sight. Beginning in 1903 with the first Model A, 'ol Henry was so stubborn that by the mid 1920's the company was on a downslide, because Henry refused to change with the times. The T first introduced in October 1908, was still using the same engine, transmission and rear axle in 1927!!

Henry actually shut down production of the Model T and didn't build anything for 9 months...changing over to production of the Model A...finally introduced in 1928. This move cost him thousands of dealers, who signed on with the up and coming Chevrolet, and other makes.

While son Edsel was the figurehead president of Ford, Henry treated him like a child, belittling him constantly in front of other employees, from janitors on up. Edsel died in 1943 of bleeding ulcers...and a broken heart.

During the 30's, Ford had its ups and downs, losing second place to Chrysler in the late 30's. Ford had already lost first place to GM in the mid 20's.

At the beginning of WWII, Ford Motor Company was hide bound, moribund, and in chaos. Ford had no engineering or design staff. Henry had hired a fellow named Harry Bennett in the 20's as a body guard. Bennett soon wormed his way into the company, becoming head of the Service Department, which was anything but. Bennett hired ex-convicts to enforce his rules throughout the company. When UAW organizers tried signing up workers off property in the late 30's (GM & Chrysler were already in the UAW fold) Bennett's goon squad ambushed them and beat them to a pulp. Bennett also fired any worker who even spoke about organizing. Bennett was now the de facto head of Ford.

War production problems forced the US Government to move into Ford in 1943, to oversee production. Henry had to go...but how to accomplish this?

The Government proposed that Henry Ford II....Edsel's son, take over Ford. Henry refused, but his wife Clara said if he didn't make the change, she would sell her stock (Ford didn't go public till 1956).

When "The Deuce" took over, the first thing he did was fire Harry Bennett. He then hired Ernie Breech and the Whiz Kids, former Washington DC War Production Board staffers composed of white collar accountants, designers, and engineers, which transformed Ford from the dark ages to profitibility by 1950. (Several of those "Kids" went on to start TRW and Home Savings).

The history since the 50's has been calm, rocky (the Edsel) and somewhat stable till several years ago, when tire and rollover problems with Explorers, faulty engines, high warranty costs and hide bound executives and other ills were driving the company down. Bringing in in-experienced Bill Ford was unwise, and now Ford is being run by an outsider again..Alan Mulally, a bean counter with no previous auto experience.

All we can do is hope.
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Last edited by NumberDummy; 02-02-2007 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:20 AM
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