This guy has a lot of opinion, which he is entitled to, but shouldn't pass them off as facts...
"And DaimlerChrysler, again maybe because it is an international company in the way that Detroit born-and-bred General Motors and Ford aren't,...."
I would like to know what he means by that? There is Ford of North America, Ford of Europe, Ford of South America, Ford of Australia....and many many others including the South Pacific and Eastern countries. Ford of Europe has just about moved all of their designing to Germany.....where Daimler is.
"Maybe because the German end of the company (DaimlerChrysler) has experience and success with niche markets that sell on design -- why else buy a Mercedes?"
In the 2005 Consumer Reports (non-profit magazine, most often consulted for info on vehicles before purchasing) "Best & worst in car reliability" review NO GERMAN cars made the "Most Reliable" list. Seems that Germany is having their own quality problems......
From the article...."Most of the worst sedans in our rankings came from Europe, including several expensive luxury models such as the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar S-Type, and the Mercedes-Benz E- and S-Class."
Here is the Consumer Reports review -----> Consumer Reports
Personally I like the 300, Magnum, and Charger a LOT!! I think they look great, but the quality problem with these cars is going to catch up to Chrysler real soon.
Delphi UAW workers have a contract similar (almost exacting) to the one I work under at Ford. That is due to "Pattern Bargaining" and I can tell you that the figure for benefits its greatly inflated. According to my "2004 Summary of Compensation and Benefits Report" that I got from Ford which reviews my total compensation for the year my benefits equal another $10 an hour, not the rediculous $38 an hour that is being reported in from many news agencies!! Included
in the list of "Benefits", according to Ford, is taxes such as Social Security and Worker's Compensation (a State insurance for financial aid to workers injured on the job) that the company MUST pay by law anyways and is NOT a negotiated thing. All
employers must pay this.
As for financial cuts that need to be made (speaking of Ford only since that is where I work) I believe they have to leave the retirees alone. These people bust their but for the company for 30 years or more and retired with a contract in hand
the retirement benefits that the company agreed to! To change their benefits is to say that a negotiated and agreed contract means nothing!
Personally I would have no problem with $2 per hour of my wage going to pay for my health insurance. That is $80 a week, $320 a month. Also I usually work more than $40 hours a week and that adds up to even more money. I would even go $3 an hour towards my healthcare benefits. That's $480 a month (on a 40 hour week), $5,760 a year! According to Ford this would more than halve my medical coverage which is their biggest complaint. I think reducing Ford's UAW member's health insurance costs to the company by 50% would be a good move.
There are other ways to reduce costs without penalizing the retired workers who already have contracual guaranteed benefits. To change them would be illegal!!