Personally I used to wonder why supposed conservative parties such as our Republican party ended up with so damn many liberals in it, all prancing around as RINOS. (Republicans in name only.) In the Big Tent of Republicanism we let in all types.
You take me, a wonderfully well-adjusted gay man in his mid-fifties who is so staunchly fiscally conservative that I have had arguments with Newt Gingrich on excessive spending. Go figure. One thing that does piss me off with these guys (these RINOS) however is when they bring their liberalism over and play team sports.
What’s team sports? You know, some sports fans will defend their team when it is painfully obvious those coaches, players, fans, and the whole passel were terribly wrong in their actions. Sort of like Penn State fans defending Penn State fans after they’ve rioted and destroyed thousands of dollars in property. Or defending Michael Vick because he is a) a football player and b) black.
I ran into this type person unexpectedly on Realjock.com. He appears to be an gentleman older than I — I assume retired — that uses a member name something like Freedom Isn’t Free all scrunched together of course. He has and can post some fairly conservative comments. He is however that Penn State rioting fan when it comes to comments on General Motors.
My assumption has been he fires up when any true but perceived negative comment on ObamaMotors, otherwise known as Government Motors, comes onto the playing field. In his posts he uses what I assume are plant level codes for the various GM platforms, for example I think he referred to the once Opel engineered Buick Regal (Opel Insignia) as the ELW II car. GM calls this the Epsilon II platform, therefore I’m assuming ELW II is derived from this.
My good union conservative on RealJock is therefore either currently a “hand” at GM, recently retired, or plugged in via some union family member with information flow. A partisan (The General Motors Political Party 2012) no doubt.
Now if you know anything about modern day automotive manufacturing of “unit body” automobiles, you know the basic structure of an auto is a BIW, otherwise called Body In White. You also know that the BIW is the common part both major Japanese manufacturers and U.S. manufacturers share across countries and plants. For instance, Ford uses the Mazda BIW of the Mazda 6 in some of its’ cars manufactured in the U.S. In fact, the Mazda 6 is produced in Flat Rock, Michigan but is about to be moved back to Japan for production. Why? Our RealJock RINO can tell you about those labor contracts — although he doesn’t know a damn thing about costs at Ford — that brought this to pass.
My thoughts may appear random, but remain with me here. As some of you may know, my family have always been associated with industrial concerns. So being obliquely involved in auto production shouldn’t surprise you. On occasion, that gives me access “to see what’s coming in the future.” Such a time came when there was a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu sitting along with other cars — some preview — that could be driven.
In this drive, of the Malibu where the BIW was designed by Opel in Russelheim, Germany, on the surfaces at the “track” designed to mimic varied road surfaces, I noticed considerable vibration or shake in the Malibu’s firewall component as well as the component behind the rear seat. Along with this came considerable torque steer (which my RJ critique didn’t deny amazingly) , tire nibble (which he blamed on “cheap” tires although I have since discovered the tire were Goodyear LS2 in 225/50-R18. TireRack sells this tire for $93.00. On your Mazda 6 you get a Yokohama AVID TRZ at $132.00 per tire. Why do you see this difference and why is Mazda moving Mazda 6 production back to Japan? Because that $39 dollar difference is going in the pocket of the union employee and the union.
Now that buys loyalty — for the union employee, not the Malibu driver.
So……..why does the Malibu shake? Structures such as a BIW have a First Moment. Specifically, a first moment of vibration. This vibration may be seen in either the “space frame,” those parts of the unit body acting if you will a frame members in the floor pan, roof support, and the large side panels (one of a BMW 7 series pictured below), or in panels/components that attach to the space frame.
There are many parameters that come into play as to how “effective” such a panel might be. Some of these parameters include metal alloy; metal processing techniques; metal thickness; and weld technique, number, and placement.
Let’s skate along here in our dialog. As we know, General Motors needs to make a profit on cars produced in the U.S. to survive. (If they can survive at all without occasional cash infusion from taxpayers, which is yet to be seen.) The labor cost is something they dampened to some degree in bankruptcy. GM also stiffed bond holders and GM shareholders in the mighty name of Barack Obama/George Bush, Liberals, and other assorted Socialists in order to hand shares to GM’s union, the United Auto Workers, in order to at least to attempt to pay that lavish retirement and health benefit till the day the former lug nut turner dies. (As well as his wife you know. Cradle to grave Socialism) So how do they make a profit and pay for all of this? (General Motors single largest supplier prior to bankruptcy was Blue Cross and Blue Shield.)
They buck the intent of global platform design and change things like metal alloy and thickness in what has falsely been termed “non-key” areas of the BIW. Then they come along and give you the Goodyear tire rather the the $39 more expensive and non-nibbling Yokahama.
Tell the truth dammit. Although this RealJock guy likely does not know the truth nor care as long as his cash flows.
(By the way, the lowest labor cost in auto manufacturing is in Germany. The highest in Japan. The U.S. labor cost sits in the middle of those.)