Episode 729 – UAW and Chrysler Have Issues, VW Needs More Dealers, 2013 Chevy Malibu

September 22nd, 2011 at 11:36am

Runtime: 7:46

The UAW announced it is putting negotiations with Chrysler on the back burner and devoting its main efforts with Ford. Volkswagen doesn’t have enough dealers to triple its sales in the U.S. The wood trim in the Cadillac Ciel concept comes from a 300-year-old tree in Naples, Italy that was felled during a storm. All that and more, plus a look at the new interior in the 2013 Chevy Malibu.

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This is Autoline Daily for September 22, 2011. Let’s get into today’s report.

UAW AND CHRYSLER HAVE ISSUES
Labor negotiations between Chrysler and the UAW aren’t going so well. The union announced it is putting those negotiations on the back burner and devoting its main efforts with Ford. And it looks like it could take some time for Chrysler and the UAW to reach an agreement. Chrysler put out a statement saying it will extend the deadline to October 19th, a full month beyond the original deadline. And Sergio Marchionne is saying there’s no way he’s going to agree to the contract that the union got with GM, it’s too expensive. Clearly Sergio is playing hardball, and something tells me that this is more than just a negotiating ploy. We need to keep our eyes on this one.

GM ADDS MIDSIZE TRUCK PRODUCTION
One of the details that leaked out about the GM contract is that it is going to put a midsize pickup truck in its Wentzville, Missouri plant. Presumably this will be the next generation of Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. Ford has announced it will drop the Ranger pickup in the near future, so maybe GM believes it can pick up those sales.

VW NEEDS MORE DEALERS (subscription required)
Volkswagen wants to triple its sales in the U.S. by 2018. But according to an op-ed piece in Ward’s, VW doesn’t have enough dealers to handle that kind of increase. The company says it will add more dealers in the U.S. but if it wants to reach its target, it would have to be a lot and soon. The article also says existing dealers aren’t prepared to compete with Toyota and Honda dealers.

BRIDGESTONE EXPANDS IN U.S.
Bridgestone announced it will invest over a billion dollars to expand production and build a new plant in the U.S. The company will invest over $200 million at its South Carolina plant to increase production of tires for cars and light trucks. By 2015 the plant will make close to 38,000 tires a day. Bridgestone will also spend an additional $970 million to build a new plant in South Carolina that will make tires for large construction and mining vehicles. The new plant will open in 2014. This is the first time Bridgestone will manufacture these types of tires outside of Japan.

1ST TAILOR-MADE CAR FOR THE DISABLED
A company called the Vehicle Production Group started building the world’s first vehicle that’s tailor-made for disabled people. Called the MV-1, it’s built by AM General in Mishawaka, Indiana. What it lacks in style it more than makes up for with functionality. It can seat six, features a 36-inch wide, 56-inch tall sliding door plus a power-deployable ramp, which makes it easy load or unload a wheelchair. It’s built on a Roush chassis and features a Ford powertrain. Base price is $40,000, which sounds expensive, but it’s considerably less than converting a conventional vehicle. The MV-1 will be sold at more than 40 dealerships across the country starting at the end of the month.

WOOD TRIM IN CIEL 300 YEARS OLD
The Cadillac Ciel is stunning, and the craftsmanship and attention-to-detail rival high-end Swiss watches. Inside it’s swathed in acres of cow hide and wood. As you’d expect, that timber isn’t a simulated imitation it’s the real thing, and there’s an interesting story behind it. This beautiful olive wood came from a 300-year-old tree in Naples, Italy that was felled during a storm. The logs were shipped off to Pennsylvania where they were cut-up and kiln dried. The planks were then sent through a thickness planer and scanned into a computer so GM designers could precisely arrange the grain exactly the way they wanted it. Bellissimo!

After the break we’ll take a peek inside the new 2013 Chevy Malibu. Don’t you go nowhere!

2013 CHEVY MALIBU
The midsize sedan segment is really heating up. Never before have there been so many good cars on the market. You really can’t buy a bad one! To succeed in this segment, players have to bring everything to the table: refinement, styling, comfort, efficiency and more. A great interior is also part of that equation, and that’s what GM is working on with its latest midsize sedan.

That “tipping process” Crystal talked about involves taking a material and printing a lighter color overtop of the high spots, which makes it appear to have more depth.

Earlier in today’s report we showed you where the wood came from that went into the Cadillac Ciel. The timing of that story was perfect because our guest tonight on Autoline After Hours is Clay Dean, the head of advanced design at General Motors. And the Cadillac Ciel came out of his shop. That’s what me and the Autoextremist Peter De Lorenzo will be talking about tonight, Join us, won’t you? And make sure you get your questions in for the Rapid Fire segment.

And that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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63 Comments to “Episode 729 – UAW and Chrysler Have Issues, VW Needs More Dealers, 2013 Chevy Malibu”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Glad to see Chevy/GMC staying in the midsize truck segment; I think with some stout 4 cyl engines that these will attract buyers (still wanting a truck) but looking to the future (in relation to fuel price increases).

  2. Tony Gray Says:

    Malibu had a Hyundai steering wheel? Or did I miss that?

    Even the logo BEHIND John at the end of the Malibu segment…was Hyundai.

    Subliminal?

  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    That’s a good looking GM midsize truck, if they make a good range of engines available, it should do well as long as the reliability is better than its predecessor. VW seems to appeal mostly to young people, if they don’t address this issue their plans will fall short. Bad reliability perception still and rightly haunts them.

  4. tj Martin Says:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/massachusetts-supreme-court-approves-charging-innocent-ticket-recipients/

    Excuse me but was I moved to a Dictatorial State when I was sleeping and someone forgot to tell me ???

    This is NOT the America I grew up with

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    Is Mass really part of the US? I doubt it, just like California, they don’t seem to belong in the land of the free, home for justice, etc.

  6. tj Martin Says:

    VW needing more dealerships ;

    Thats a laugh considering two have been closed down here due to lack of sales .

    From the word on the streets a couple in CO are heading that way as well .

    So who’s fooling who on this one ?

    Kaiser Winterkorn catching a case of the Madness as well perhaps ?

    ——————————

    300 yr old WOOD in the CIEL

    What a complete and utter waste of a valuable and rapidly diminishing commodity . I could think of about 1000 things that wood would have been better used on other than some pretentious Concept Car which we all know Cadillac has no intention of building

    So why is this in anyway something for GM to be bragging about ?

    ———

    Between Stocks plummeting like a stone into the Abyss and all this tripe in the Auto Industry me thinks I’ll take the rest of the day off from any news

  7. tj Martin Says:

    @ John Mac.

    You can tell Clay Dean from me that between Cadillacs pathetic design language of late ( multiple and radical blind spots ) their pretentious engineering ( remember John I put some 800 miles on an SRX before buying the Benz ) and now this blatant waste of material goods on the CIEL that my presence will never cross the threshold of any Cadillac Dealer for as long as I am still driving

  8. Chuck Grenci Says:

    @tj #4 Even people from Massachusetts use the term Taxachusetts; now they have another reason to say why. Hopefully someone else will fight the ‘right fight’ and take this to the MA supreme court.

    @tj #6 I think it is justified to use the olive wood for the one-off concept vehicle(after all it was salvaged wood from a storm destroyed tree); I’m sure the production model won’t though. (but the production model has pretty much been verified as coming as Cadillac’s ‘halo’ model.

  9. HtG Says:

    Here’s the key sentence from the MA case…

    “Equal protection. Where a statute does not burden a protected class or a fundamental right, it is presumed to be constitutional and will survive an equal protection challenge if “the classification drawn by the statute is rationally related to a legitimate state interest.”

    The guy was only forced to file a fee to challenge the charge of crossing a lin, which he was able to overturn at the appeal. It’s not a police state, it’s a cleptostate that passed a law charging a fee for arguing your case.(DC charged me 40 to appeal a parking judgement that cost only 35. Stop smiling at me, Kwame Brown)

    ______________________

    come on tj, a little place in your heart for the Ciel?

  10. Lex Says:

    @ TJ Martin #4 and Pedro Fernandez # 5

    WTF! We should all write Governor Deval Patrick, Sentor Scott Brown and John Kerry of Massachusetts to say we will not be visting, or vacationing in their state since it is so hostile to motorists.

    Maybe Mass-a-chew-its-ass is upset because the NY Yankees once again clinched the AL East.

  11. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    # 9

    So what you’re saying is that in MASS you’re presumed Guilty till Proven Innocent and will be charged a Fee to prove that innocence , even though the Ticket issued may have been due to the Police Officer in questions judgement having been impaired due to Incompetence , Misreading the Evidence , improper observation or …………. Just the cop trying to meet his Ticket Quota for the Month ( tell me that doesn’t happen )

    Nice ! Really nice .

    So much for the Constitution , Bill of Rights etc etc .

    Heil Patrick ! Ja Vol !

    :(

    ———————-

    Come on HtG I’d rather have a Hyundai or a Hybrid in my garage before I’d let a Ciel ( or any Cadillac ) even park in my driveway , never mind give it a place in my heart . Heck I’d own a Ferrari FF before giving the Ciel even an honorable mention .

    I DESPISE that Rolls Royce Pastiche of a Cadillac and abhor its very existence ( That clear enough ? )

  12. HtG Says:

    But the guy won his case on appeal. He was suing about the fees under Equal Protection only. Unless one is member of a protected class or is indigent, the Court found that the fee was not an undue burden. It sucks, but his right to defend himself was not violated. (You think I don’t like standing up to Officer Bob Speed?. One technique is to look him square in the face and say, “I am sorry Officer.” Works pretty good. Another is to go to court and force the Officer to show up, then bargain in the hall. But only do this to make your point, because it costs money to take the time to go to court. But if feels goooooood.)

  13. tj Martin Says:

    #10

    You read my mind . Here’s the letter I just posted to Governor Patrick ;

    Governor Patrick ;

    This letter is to inform you that due to the new State of Massachusetts ruling of Charging the Plaintiff for the right to prove his/her innocence even after the Court has decided on behalf of the Plaintiff my wife an I will no longer continue to spend our Septembers in Martha’s Vineyard nor will we be Attending any further concerts and/or events in Lennox Mass at Tanglewood ,or Boston for that matter , in spite of family obligations ceasing to exist now freeing us up to do so .

    I do hope , for the people of Massachusettes that the additional revenue collected because of this recent decision will make up for what we estimate ( based on previous years ) the $13-$14,000 per annum in Lodging Restaurants Ticket Sales Retail Shopping etc that we would have spent had this situation not come about.

    Sincerely

    Tj and Mrs Martin

  14. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    The key phrase here is ;

    ” Innocent till Proven Guilty ”

    Which by Constitutional Law makes the accused the Protected Party , not the State .

    Everything else is legalize on behalf of the State in a vain attempt to justify their actions .

  15. HtG Says:

    Patrick hasn’t got anything to do with the court ruling. He did however sign the legislation in 2009 creating the new fee. Going to court is never free, tj, whether you pay for lawyers, in your time, or court costs. These costs are an incentive to settle. Do you want courts, with their arbitrary nature, ruling on lots and lots of cases? I don’t.

    But then, MA blows. Crap baseball team and schools. You’re better off in California, driving up US1 in your M6, nudging that Ciel convertible off into the ocean, gokart style.

  16. HtG Says:

    14, He lost the first round, then won on appeal. The suit regarded the fees, not the traffic charge.

  17. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    I don’t know what courts you’ve had to deal with , but Tradition and the Constitution say that once proven innocent , the COURT fees are assessed to the Accuser , not the innocent party .

    eg- The State screws up , the State pays the Court fees .

    FYI – In # 15 you kind of contradicted yourself Mien Freund

    re- ” Patrick hasn’t got anything ….. ” vs ” He did sign the … “

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ # 6 makes me wonder if we are twins separated at birth, I feel the same exact way re both subjects. GM did not go ahead with the Cadillac 16, a much more practical and appealing car than this monstrosity, I can’t believe they’re gonna built this one. VW it’s simple, build them more reliable and they will be sold.

  19. tj Martin Says:

    In conclusion to the above discussion on the recent State of Mass. ruling

    In cases such as these ;

    VOTE WITH YOUR CHECKBOOK gentlemen !

    Thats been our S.O.P. for the last decade . And sometimes …… it works . When it doesn’t ? Oh well at least you have the pleasure of not filling the pockets of someone or some entity you completely disagree with .

  20. tj Martin Says:

    #18 pedro

    I always suspected there was a bit more Latin in me than the Italian heritage I already know about

    Mi hermano mucho tiempo perdido

    Where has you been ??

    :o

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    Last week I had to go to our neighbor county to the north, Broward and was dismayed to find cameras in every traffic light I passed by, I don’t know if they’re there for tickets or traffic monitoring or whatever, but it sure made me concentrate real hard as I approached every single one.

  22. HtG Says:

    You do like an argument, do you not Mr Martin? If you read near the end of the case, the Court explains why the fee is legal, given the legislative intent. But it isn’t universally OK to charge a fee for defending yourself, fair point.

    Also, Patrick is Chief Exec, the Court is a distinct institution, which he doesn’t control.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    I already avoid using Heinz products due to the Kerry connection, it would be easier to avoid everything and anything to do with Mass.

  24. HtG Says:

    As to voting with your checkbook, I certainly keep an account with DC. Every time they wack me, since I have little choice about going there, I divert moneys away from the District, so as to even things up. I also love to slow to a crawl at the speed cameras in front of the national tennis center. Police are known to blast through these zones, waving a three finger salute to the traffic camera.

  25. dcars Says:

    Sounds like the new Malibu is going to be Great car! ;)

  26. dcars Says:

    We have three VW dealerships in Western New York. They are undersized, under-maned and they are truly pathetic. Two them are tacked on to other dealerships. It appears that they sell more than they do, because the cars haven’t changed much over the years.

  27. Chuck Grenci Says:

    @dcars #25
    The old Malibu was really good (but it lives in a real good car segment) so the new one will have to be better; looks good so far though (and I’m hoping for a home-run).

  28. MJB Says:

    Alright! Now that we know (Cadillac) what to mention subliminally (Cadillac) to get tj all pissed off (Cadillac)…..

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    VW needs both more, and better dealers if they want to compete with the “big boys.” The new Passat is a decent car. I’ve checked it out. Also, you can get it with TDI for those who want to get an actual 40+ mpg, albeit with more expensive fuel than regular gas.

    I’ve had recent VW’s, the most recent a 2004 Jetta TDI wagon. It was a great car, and was reliable. The reason I only kept it about 2 years was mainly the lack of a good dealer anywhere, and even a bad dealer nearby. Also, with the TDI, at the time, you couldn’t get oil with the proper spec except at a dealer. If VW can get past their reputation for poor reliablily, and come up with more and better dealers, they can easily double or triple their volume in the U.S. They have a lot of good products. Even the new Jetta is appealing to some people I’ve talked to, even though all the “experts” hate it.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I guess I buy the products I like, rather than buying, or not buying for political reasons, such as buying Fords or not buying Heinz products.

    I actully would rather buy American cars to create jobs here, but the two most recent cars I bought, a MINI and a Prius, had no serious home-grown competition.

  31. tj Martin Says:

    @ MJB

    Thpppppppt

    ( actually MJB that was really pretty funny :o )

  32. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart

    #29 Oh yes the new Passat and other recent offerings from VW look like mighty fine rides ……………. until you own one and it falls apart before your very eyes

    #30 I buy what I want as well , but the simple fact is there are always alternative choices so when someone or some entity gets up my nose a little too far with their behaviors and decisions … well I turn around and buy/use the alternative .

    Not buying Heinz ( which I don’t buy anyway , we make our own ) is one thing , thats a multinational company … but NOT spending my hard earned Vacation money in Mass where I might fall victim to this little Law ( very little ) is something else entirely

    Fact being there are plenty of places Mrs Tj and I can enjoy that’d be glad to have us .

    FYI Kit.. I still lust after a Wrangler every time I see one , but in light of their lousy record ( just got another recall BTW ) I’ve no regrets about getting the Benz. That was a choice based on logic and fact not politics or ethics .

  33. tj Martin Says:

    FYI Bad VW Dealers in the US are common as VW – Audi USA treats their dealerships like chattels .

    You should hear the stories the BMW/MINI dealer tell about when they also owned a VW dealer and why they finally dumped them .

    The one GOOD dealer we had here . The other has a long standing record of abysmal treatment of their customers . Which is probably due to VW USA treating them like garbage

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    The new Jetta and Passat seem to be aimed at the people who buy Honda and Toyota, instead they should have maintained their appeal, better handling and dynamics and just worked on reliability, I only know one person who owned a Passat and after the 3rd year, they started having so many issues, they got rid of it, and to this day never went back to VW.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think Land Rover is even worse,when you consider they’re a luxury brand. There are only 2 in this county and one of them is really terrible.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “FYI Bad VW Dealers in the US are common as VW – Audi USA treats their dealerships like chattels”

    In Lafayette, Indiana, the VW and Audi dealer is also the Mercedes-Benz dealer. They share a shop and show room.

  37. XA351GT Says:

    Let’s face it ,once you are charged with any crime it is up to you to prove your innocence more than the State proving your guilt. Getting arrested makes the front page ,getting aquitted makes the bottom of the business/local news page.

  38. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit #36

    In KC they ( VW ) shared the same property/ownership with the BMW and MINI dealer until the owners dumped VW because of the garbage they were putting up with from VW – Audi USA .

    The point being it was bad business for the BMW/MINI dealer to continue on with VW because of VW America’s treatment of its dealerships

    So what’s your point Kit , other than trying to engage me in an argument that in this case does not exist .( re-read #33)

    ———————————

    @pedro Land/Range Rover have consistently been at the very bottom of the pile when it comes to reliability .

    To borrow a C&D quote ;

    ” Land/Range Rovers are great for getting you there .. but don’t bet on them getting you back “

  39. tj Martin Says:

    #37

    Actually if you read the Constitution its up to the State to Prove your guilt .

    Doesn’t matter a hoot where it winds up in the paper.. thems the facts .

    Any astute and sharp lawyer can and will tear the States case to pieces the moment the DA begins to assume otherwise . Which …… is why a lot of very guilty people sometimes get off so easily . Ignorant and Arrogant DA’s

    Innocent Until Proven Guilty

    Many a man ( and women ) have given their lives in defense of that simple principal … so don’t ever back down on it yourself .

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s amazing how riled people get about having to pay a little bit to appeal a citation they probably wouldn’t get, and would be unlikely to appeal, even if they did receive the citation. I’m not going to Massachusetts because I have no particular reason to want to go there at this time.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “I’ve no regrets about getting the Benz. That was a choice based on logic and fact not politics or ethics”

    I realize that. The people buying (and not buying) cars for polical reasons are mostly buying Ford, and not buying GM and Chrysler.

  42. HtG Says:

    And you’ll have even less reason to go to Massachusetts, Kit, when the Saux complete their late season swan dive. Wicked.

  43. dcars Says:

    #27, I’m sorry Chuck, I was not being very nice….
    You are correct the latest addition of the Malibu was/is a very good car. I’m sure the next model will be even better.

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey you want to talk unfair? recently Miami-Dade county did away with toll takers, replacing them with the Sunpass system and tag photos, which then get billed to the person who own the tag. Well seems like most are not paying the bill, and the system is losing money and now they’re gonna need to raise the tolls for those who actually pay them. If this happens I will avoid the freaking toll roads like the plague.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, might they add on the tolls to the bill for renewing tags, for Florida residents?

    They are putting up additional toll booths between Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach and the Orlando airport. Unfortunately, there is no alternate route for avoiding the tolls.

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    No they’re just raising the toll rates to compensate for those who don’t pay, even though there are penalties, it’s not enough to get those to pay, I mean, what the hell, a lot of them don’t even carry insurance.

  47. cwolf Says:

    Additional to GM mid-size truck plant: These trucks will have axels from Dana Corp. rather than from American Ax. Good going Dana. Toledo,Oh can use the biz.

  48. XA351GT Says:

    Tj @#39, I agree with you that’s how it’s supposed to work, but most people only read the headline and assume one’s guilt before knowing any facts of the case. It may not matter to most people ,except those who have been accused and their families who often get treated like they’re wearing a scarlet letter. So in the court of public opinion I think my statement is valid. Do I like that is how things work? Not in the least.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re. #46,
    I’m glad I don’t have to use Florida toll roads on a regular basis.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The tolls on Florida’s “cheap” toll roads, like the 265 mile Turnpike amount to about 3/4 the fuel cost of driving my Prius, or 60% of the fuel cost for the MINI. It’s like they want to encourage people to drive gas hogs, when then the toll cost minimizes the significance of fuel cost, even at today’s prices which are bound to increase.

    Why not just raise gas tax a penny a gallon, and they could get rid of all the toll booths and crap that goes along with them. I guess the toll roads do create jobs, though.

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    That would be too easy.

  52. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, the excuse is that many people don’t use the toll roads so it would not be fair to them, I say: BS most people use them at one time or another.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    When it comes to tolls, Fla is more like a north east state than a southern one

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re. #52
    …and the stuff they buy gets transported on them.

  55. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit & pedro

    Well its been a while since I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with the NE and East Coast in general , Toll roads , so about them I’m not in a position to comment on .

    I can say though that the E470 Toll road in CO is absolutely brilliant , taking what would normally be a 45 – 90 minute ( or Worse ) commute through the downtown corridor ( I-25 ) down to a 19 minute blast past that as well as the I-70 mousetrap ( so named because inevitably there’s a back up there ) as well as the CO 36 exit ( which is another mess indeed )

    Yes it costs a bit ( and pedro they’re doing the Photograph the license plate and bill the owner bit as well ) but damn it is well worth it .

    So maybe there’s good and bad toll roads .

    But ………. the I-70 Toll road in KS in the Lawrence corridor .

    Now that one is a complete waste of money , yet unavoidable unless you want to take a good ten mile detour to get around it .

    So there’s our West of the Mississippi bad toll road .

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    We got one here, TJ, near Disney, it is a toll road, but yet it has traffic lights and slow traffic and all, when I took it, I thought I was seeing things. Right after a toll booth, a traffic light, I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere!

  57. tj Martin Says:

    Oh dear . Oh me oh my .

    And we thought the link I tossed up yesterday riled a few folks ( including me ) feathers

    Wait till you see the hum dinger I’ll toss up when todays ALD gets posted .

    @ Kit # 56

    Yeah don’t you just hate ” worthless ” toll roads where its painfully obvious ( like WTH is a Toll Road doing on I -70 , but then again W. Penn does the same ) its only purpose is to suck a few extra $$ out of your back pocket ?

  58. HtG Says:

    OK, let me speak up for I95. Between NY and DC, EZPass makes tolls a breeze generally. In DE, a new set of lanes were built so EZ Pass cars never even need to slow down; the same at the top and bottom of the NJTP. The George Washington, on the other hand, is a disaster, and drivers will be forced to pay much more so that that tower downtown can somehow be paid for.

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    Having to pay to use the NJ pike is a travesty, bad surface, horrible smells, nothing nice to look at, but as they say, they got you by the proverbial gonads, the only possible alternate route would be I95 thru Pa, but that would take more time and distance.

  60. HtG Says:

    I think that smell at the north end is mostly due to the sulfur being extracted from the oil exiting the pipelines from Oklahoma. The biggest problem now is drivers in the left lane, and over the past several months I think the police have improved the situation a lot. Also, the DE welcome center is a great place to stop, powder, eat, resume.

  61. Jim Head Says:

    I think the Malibu can use upgrades to every part of it. Let’s hope that someone redesigns the taillights – they are the ugliest in the industry.
    I’ve seen better rear-ends on “People of Walmart”.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Huh, Jim Head,
    The current Malibu looks at least as good as most of the competition. The interior looks better than most of the competition, and the controls are more logical to use. The power trains, while not best in class, are competitive. I just hope the new Malibu is at least a little better than the very good current one.

  63. Jim Thykeson Says:

    Regarding the UAW and its contract talks; if they take any more wage & benefit concessions there really won’t be any reason for a union. Thats exactly what republicans and management want. Eventually, (and its not far away) all labor thats left in this country will work for Walmart wages or less, if that doesn’t do it they’ll displace bottom tier workers with Mexican and central American workers. And if that doesn’t do it, they’ll pack up the plant and move it to the moon if necessary! These bastards don’t want to pay you for your labor. And for these dumb-asses to think of that as a ‘good thing’, try and live on that 1972 $13 per hr. waqge…you can’t. Is that really what you want?