Thursday, December 02, 2010
On the one hand, this accelerated video of the Chevy Volt assembly line makes General Motors actually appear to be an efficient high-tech manufacturer, which we know not to be true. On the other hand, I like watching pretty much any assembly line.
As the son of a former GM employee and the brother of a former line worker and a foreman for a GM plant, this picture did not show the line getting shut down because somebody tipped over a coffee; so instead of one of the line workers just cleaning up the mess the union boss insists that one of the delegated clean-up guys has to come and clean up the spill. So after about a 15 minute wait for this guy to come over to clean up the spill because he had to walk about 3/4 of a mile to get there, he now has to go back to where he came from to get a mop, because he brought a broom. Approximately 45 minutes later (because the janitor had to take his mandatory 15 minute break) he comes back with a mop and the spill gets cleaned up. Meanwhile an entire line of guys lost an hour because one guy did not clean up the spill. Now, had any of those line workers cleaned that mess up, they would have been in deep shit with the union foreman.
Somehow that daily ritual was left out of the video...? By the way, that is only one example of the crazy union abuses that have gone on for years...
My bet is that since the feds stole GM from it's shareholder-owners and gave most of it to the UAW, GM gets LESS efficient every day.
My bet is that production workers are taken off the line and assigned to UAW committees, grievance committees, safety, diversity, development committees and so on, adding to costs every day. Replacements are hired off the street and are "special" referrals, around Detroit, from Kwami's Mommy, Conyer's wife's friends and so on.
They had the GM IPO last week because they KNOW that the whole outfit will be worth a lot less at this time next year.
Nasty snark, Tigerhawk! You share a lot of the Anti-Americanism so admired by your fellow liberals.
How do "we know not to be true" that GM is an efficient high tech manufacturer? Because they don't have stealth recalls, like the Germans assembling autos from Turkish parts? Because they don't bury their problems and buy off US authorities like accelerating Japanese manufacturers?
GM is certainly not an efficient organization -- how can they be, when they are effectively a pension & medical plan with a manufacturing sideline. But their manufacturing operations are not shabby.
Still, Tigerhawk, feel free to carry on with your Anti-American snarkiness. It must make you feel so superior to all your knuckle-dragging compatriots, doesn't it? Enjoy your weekly visit to the Obama White House!
Anti-Americanism? I drove Fords and Dodges for years, and while my last experience with Dodge was breathtakingly bad, I would definitely drive a Ford again. But I rent a lot of cars, and I find the GM products to be almost universally suckier than most competitors. As for efficiency, you can measure that by the relative profitability of the manufacturers at any given level of sales.