Tuesday, March 28

Hey Now!

OK, I have to take exception to the below post. I happen to drive a Chevy Equinox. LOVE it. My brothers have TrailBlazers --LOVE them. My parents also like their Cadillacs. I've also driven the new Impala and Malibu and found both fun to drive. GM, particularly Chevy, have definitely turned things around in the last five years or so with good new product designs and better quality. Obviously, they have a long way to go to change public perception.

As far as the engineers getting laid off goes --don't bash their products and then complain when the designers of those products you're bashing are getting laid off. Come on, what are we here --the French? Do we expect job guarantees for life? (I've also heard these workers are getting fabulous payouts for leaving (some to the tune of $200,000) BTW) Sure, I feel for them. But GM isn't going to be able to start building better cars cheap enough to compete with the Asians without making some major changes.

The facts are that GM is struggling. Its biggest problem is health care and pension costs for former employees. (Union employees used to have health care covered by GM for LIFE) The entire manufacturing industry in America is changing as we become more and more of a global economy. How could GM compete when they're paying great wages and covering health care for life for Union employees when Toyota can go down south, hire cheap, non-union employees, and not come close to matching GM benefits? Is it any wonder Toyota could have put that extra money into other aspects of their product?

I'll acknowledge that the U.S. auto makers took a big siesta in the 1980s and 90s, never dreaming that the Asians were a threat. They've recently woken up and are starting to turn around. GM is the largest auto maker, so it's got the biggest clean up job. Personally I'm glad that they're trying to fix things themselves instead of selling out to the Germans. (cough- did you refer to them as Chrysler before?) The Jeep brand aside, "Chrysler" was not doing so well until a few years ago either and their products were nothing to boast about.

At the end of the day, we should be more supportive of our employers. Whether you work directly for them or for a supplier, the entire economy of the New Fallujah area depends on the Big 3. And I applaud the product improvements GM has been making.

And once again, let me tell you that my Chevy Equinox is the most fabulous small SUV out there. It has more rear seat leg room than any SUV in its class, the AWD is hardly challenged unless we have at least a foot of snow, it has a NHTSA five-star frontal and side impact crash test rating, and has more standard horsepower than the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape. So THERE.

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