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    • By William Maley
      The strike at General Motors' CAMI Assembly plant, home of the Chevrolet Equinox has come to an end. Today, 86 percent of Unifor Local 88 members voted yes on a new 4-year contract. With the approval, workers will resume work at the plant beginning at 7 PM tonight for early start-up, with production beginning at 11 PM.
      Here is what new 4-year contract include
      Stronger language around job security. Union said the new contract would make it more costly for GM to close down CAMI - $290 million vs. $190 million. If CAMI is shuttered, employees near retirement will still be able to get into a retirement program. Workers will get a 4 percent wage hike and $8,000 in lump-sum payments over the contract New hires on the production line will see an accelerated pace in terms of their wages increased to the max of $34.15 per hour A $6,000 performance bonus once the deal is ratified "The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community. We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce," said Steve Carlisle, President of GM Canada in a statement.
      There is one thing missing from this contract, a written assurance that CAMI would be the lead producer of the Equinox. This was the major point of contention between the two during negoations.
      It is clear that Unifor officials are not happy with this contract.
      “The end result was not the result we were hoping for, it shows the true colors of GM,” Unifor Local 88 Chair Mike Van Boekel said in a statement to members.
      Given these actions, our demand to protect the Equinox was not only fair and reasonable, it simply made sense. Our members had every reason to make this [lead producer] demand, and did everything to demonstrate it was a demand that deserved to be met. However, at the highest levels of General Motors corporate in Detroit, they coldly refused. As a result and after much internal discussion, we decided that we could not, in good conscience, ask for more economic sacrifice from you in this fight,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
      We have to wonder if GM's threat of ramping up Equinox production in Mexico issued last week was the turning point.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), CBC News, GM
      Press Release is on Page 2
      2017 CAMI / UNIFOR NEGOTIATIONS
      The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community. We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce.
      I want to extend thanks to the local and national Unifor teams who have worked long hours together with the GM negotiating team these past many weeks. The negotiations process requires a great deal of straight talk, creative problem solving, and compromise to achieve a positive outcome for both the membership and the Company.  Success is also achieved by remembering that we are here to serve our customers proudly and deliver the very best product and services to them. 
      Having grown up in Southwestern Ontario, the CAMI plant and the Oxford County community mean a great deal to me.  The challenges of the past months have been hard on all of us but now it’s time to show the character of our region and our plant. With the recent $800 million investment at the CAMI plant and this agreement, it is up to each of us to demonstrate the unparalleled value we deliver as leaders within Canada’s auto sector. The employees at CAMI have created a culture of team involvement and continuous improvement resulting in numerous industry awards for vehicle quality and productivity.  I am confident that by working as one team, that will continue for years to come.
      Steve Carlisle
      President and Managing Director
      General Motors Canada 

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The strike at General Motors' CAMI Assembly plant, home of the Chevrolet Equinox has come to an end. Today, 86 percent of Unifor Local 88 members voted yes on a new 4-year contract. With the approval, workers will resume work at the plant beginning at 7 PM tonight for early start-up, with production beginning at 11 PM.
      Here is what new 4-year contract include
      Stronger language around job security. Union said the new contract would make it more costly for GM to close down CAMI - $290 million vs. $190 million. If CAMI is shuttered, employees near retirement will still be able to get into a retirement program. Workers will get a 4 percent wage hike and $8,000 in lump-sum payments over the contract New hires on the production line will see an accelerated pace in terms of their wages increased to the max of $34.15 per hour A $6,000 performance bonus once the deal is ratified "The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community. We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce," said Steve Carlisle, President of GM Canada in a statement.
      There is one thing missing from this contract, a written assurance that CAMI would be the lead producer of the Equinox. This was the major point of contention between the two during negoations.
      It is clear that Unifor officials are not happy with this contract.
      “The end result was not the result we were hoping for, it shows the true colors of GM,” Unifor Local 88 Chair Mike Van Boekel said in a statement to members.
      Given these actions, our demand to protect the Equinox was not only fair and reasonable, it simply made sense. Our members had every reason to make this [lead producer] demand, and did everything to demonstrate it was a demand that deserved to be met. However, at the highest levels of General Motors corporate in Detroit, they coldly refused. As a result and after much internal discussion, we decided that we could not, in good conscience, ask for more economic sacrifice from you in this fight,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
      We have to wonder if GM's threat of ramping up Equinox production in Mexico issued last week was the turning point.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), CBC News, GM
      Press Release is on Page 2
      2017 CAMI / UNIFOR NEGOTIATIONS
      The ratification of a new 4-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community. We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce.
      I want to extend thanks to the local and national Unifor teams who have worked long hours together with the GM negotiating team these past many weeks. The negotiations process requires a great deal of straight talk, creative problem solving, and compromise to achieve a positive outcome for both the membership and the Company.  Success is also achieved by remembering that we are here to serve our customers proudly and deliver the very best product and services to them. 
      Having grown up in Southwestern Ontario, the CAMI plant and the Oxford County community mean a great deal to me.  The challenges of the past months have been hard on all of us but now it’s time to show the character of our region and our plant. With the recent $800 million investment at the CAMI plant and this agreement, it is up to each of us to demonstrate the unparalleled value we deliver as leaders within Canada’s auto sector. The employees at CAMI have created a culture of team involvement and continuous improvement resulting in numerous industry awards for vehicle quality and productivity.  I am confident that by working as one team, that will continue for years to come.
      Steve Carlisle
      President and Managing Director
      General Motors Canada 
    • By William Maley
      We're now into the third week of the strike at GM's CAMI Assembly in Ontario and neither side appears to be budging. There are rising concerns that GM could be running out of the stockpile of the Chevrolet Equinox. GM's second-best selling nameplate.
      According to data from Automotive News, GM had 43,453 Equinoxes (about a 41-day supply) at the beginning of this month. Chevrolet dealers sold 27,512 Equinox models last month. If this trend continues, there could be some serious problems towards the end of the year.
      "That's going to be hard on Equinox to compete on such a limited quantity in such a hot segment. We would expect sales to pick up in the last quarter of the year," said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst and director of pricing and industry analysis for Edmunds.com.
      GM has been downplaying this issue since the strike started.
      "We believe we have sufficient inventory and production to meet demand while negotiations continue and we continue to work closely with dealers to ensure customers continue to be well served," the company said in a statement.
      A small number of dealers that spoke with Automotive News said their inventory of the Equinox models hasn't been directly affected, but that could change if the strike continues.
      GM is ramping up Equinox production at two plants in Mexico - San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe. The company declined to provide production capacity or change in plans due to the strike. But neither plant can compete with the output of CAMI. Through August, the two Mexican plants produced 40,017 Equinox models since production began in April. Compared to CAMI which produced an estimated 132,388 models in the same timeframe.
      "We don't know the ramp-up at the other production facilities in Mexico. That's the X factor," said Caldwell.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      We're now into the third week of the strike at GM's CAMI Assembly in Ontario and neither side appears to be budging. There are rising concerns that GM could be running out of the stockpile of the Chevrolet Equinox. GM's second-best selling nameplate.
      According to data from Automotive News, GM had 43,453 Equinoxes (about a 41-day supply) at the beginning of this month. Chevrolet dealers sold 27,512 Equinox models last month. If this trend continues, there could be some serious problems towards the end of the year.
      "That's going to be hard on Equinox to compete on such a limited quantity in such a hot segment. We would expect sales to pick up in the last quarter of the year," said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst and director of pricing and industry analysis for Edmunds.com.
      GM has been downplaying this issue since the strike started.
      "We believe we have sufficient inventory and production to meet demand while negotiations continue and we continue to work closely with dealers to ensure customers continue to be well served," the company said in a statement.
      A small number of dealers that spoke with Automotive News said their inventory of the Equinox models hasn't been directly affected, but that could change if the strike continues.
      GM is ramping up Equinox production at two plants in Mexico - San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe. The company declined to provide production capacity or change in plans due to the strike. But neither plant can compete with the output of CAMI. Through August, the two Mexican plants produced 40,017 Equinox models since production began in April. Compared to CAMI which produced an estimated 132,388 models in the same timeframe.
      "We don't know the ramp-up at the other production facilities in Mexico. That's the X factor," said Caldwell.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      FCA US Reports September 2017 Sales
      FCA US retail sales up year over year in September, compared with same month a year ago Jeep brand and Ram Truck brand retail sales up year over year Jeep® Compass sales up 75 percent; best sales month ever Jeep Renegade, Chrysler Pacifica, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City each post best September sales ever Dodge Durango sales increase 45 percent; best September sales since 2005 A 41 percent year-over-year decline in fleet sales is in line with the FCA US strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment October 3, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported sales of 174,266 units, a 10 percent decrease compared with sales in September 2016 (192,883 units).
      In September, retail sales of 146,904 units were up 0.3 percent compared with the same month in 2016 and represented 84 percent of total sales. In line with FCA’s strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment, fleet sales of 27,362 units were down, as expected, 41 percent year over year. The largest planned volume reduction in September fleet sales came from the Jeep® brand, which reduced its fleet sales number by 67 percent year over year. Fleet sales represented 16 percent of total FCA US September sales.
       
      Five FCA US vehicles posted record sales in September, including the Jeep Compass. Compass sales were up 75 percent in September, the compact SUV’s best sales month ever. In addition, the Jeep Renegade, Chrysler Pacifica, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City each recorded their best September sales ever. The Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Fiat 500L each posted at least double-digit percentage increases in September, compared with the same month a year ago.
      Jeep® Brand
      The Jeep Compass posted its best sales month ever, while the Jeep Renegade recorded its best September sales ever. In addition, sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee – the most-awarded SUV ever – were up 20 percent for its best September sales since the year 2000. Jeep Wrangler sales were up 10 percent in September. While Jeep brand total sales were down, due to its planned reduction in fleet sales to daily rental car companies, the brand’s retail sales at Jeep dealerships were up 9 percent in September, compared with the same month a year ago.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      The Ram ProMaster full-size van and the Ram ProMaster City van each posted their best September sales ever. The Ram pickup truck recorded its best sales month so far this year. Ram Truck brand sales are up 5 percent calendar year to date, compared with the same nine-month period in 2016. The Ram Truck brand’s retail sales were up 3 percent in September, compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand unveiled new-for-2018 updates to two of its most popular models at the State Fair of Texas in September. Laramie Longhorn Southfork and Heavy Duty Lone Star Silver models will offer truck buyers an even wider selection of exterior appointments and content.
       
      Chrysler Brand
      Sales of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica – the most-awarded minivan of 2016 and 2017 – were up 18 percent last month for its best September sales since launch last year. Parents magazine and Edmunds have named the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica the “Best Minivan” on their list of the “10 Best Family Cars of 2017.”
      FIAT Brand
      Sales of the Fiat 500L were up 103 percent last month for its best September sales since 2015 and its best sales month this year. Also in September, the FIAT brand announced the addition of the 2017 Fiat 500X Urbana Edition to its Italian-designed, fun-to-drive Fiat 500X lineup, offering customers yet another way to showcase their personality with their FIAT vehicle. The new 500X Urbana Edition takes the brand’s top-selling Trekking trim, best known for its rugged exterior and interior appearance, and adds unique content with black and copper accents to create a fresh new personality option for FIAT brand customers. 
       
      Dodge Brand
      Dodge Durango sales were up 45 percent in September, compared with the same month a year ago, for its best September sales since 2005. Last month the editors at WardsAuto named the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT to the Wards 10 Best User Experience List for 2017 in recognition of its advanced technology and ease of use. Offering an array of advanced technology features, the Durango SRT comes equipped with a new Uconnect fourth-generation system that includes performance improvements with quicker startup time and enhanced processing power.
       
      Alfa Romeo Brand
      Alfa Romeo brand sales of 1,268 units were up significantly compared with the same month a year ago as the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV begins to arrive in greater numbers at  U.S. dealerships.

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