AD #1782 – GM Jumps Into Car Sharing, Skilled Trades Shortage, Tesla Sues Door Supplier

January 21st, 2016 at 12:02pm

Runtime: 6:57

- GM Gets Into Car Sharing With Maven
- Car Sharing Puts a Dent in Hertz
- Uber Booming In Saudi Arabia
- Tesla Sues Door Supplier
- Making Glass Lighter
- Skilled Trades Shortage

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Bridgestone and Dow Automotive Systems.

»Subscribe to Podcast | iTunes | RSS | Listen on Phone Stitcher | YouTube

Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com

35 Comments to “AD #1782 – GM Jumps Into Car Sharing, Skilled Trades Shortage, Tesla Sues Door Supplier”

  1. C-Tech Says:

    If Ford, GM, Toyota, and the other OEM’S are looking to train skilled trades, it seems they are keeping the training programs a secret. There are many young people down the road from you at OCC who would love the opportunity. Where do you apply?

  2. C-Tech Says:

    If rental car companies are hit by ride-sharing, then do they order fewer new cars? After the auto show, it may make and interesting interview with with a rental company honcho.

  3. dcars Says:

    We pay CEO’s millions in severce packages but make skilled craftsmen work in horible conditions. They get little if any respect and wonder why people don’t go into the trades. This problem isn’t hard to figure out.

  4. Lex Says:

    The looming shortage of Skilled Trades Workers should have the OEM’s partnering with Community Colleges near there manufacturing plants to have Career Path programs that can recruit young people and recent ex-military personnel into these apprentice programs.

  5. David Sprowl Says:

    The shortage of skilled trades has multiple fronts. Outside applicants face a very difficult time getting one of those jobs, even if they are better qualified than the internal production staff. There are really great programs out there that educate people for these jobs. Those programs are really expensive and offer little chance for that kind of a payoff. Internal automotive hiring practices are the industries worst enemy.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    At one time, high schools had vocational machine trades, and similar programs, which were good preparation for entering a skilled trades apprenticeship. Now, most school curricula seem to assume that everyone is going to college, to pursue a computer science degree, or similar. Maybe schools should re-consider vocational programs.

  7. Bradley Says:

    Does Chrsyler still own the rights to “Colt” ?

    Ask the Volt/Bolt guy if there is a Colt in the works? Or maybe a “Jolt” ?

  8. Al Says:

    When I got out of school – many years ago – the steel mills, building trades etc had apprenticeship programs that trained new hires. Now it seems that all industries want the schools to do it for them. VoTech used to be another option but those schools are about closed down due to lack of interest in working with ones hands anymore. I can still work and I can teach electrical if anyone manufacturer is interested!

  9. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I did 2 1/2 years in an auto body repair and painting program.Learned a lot that served me well.

  10. Lex Says:

    I do not see the sense in the Falcon Winged Doors on the Tesla Model X. I really admire Elon Musk and what he has done with Tesla. I know the Falcon Winged Doors look really cool but they will not be able to operate in all home garages and parking situations. I would have preferred siding rear doors

    I see many Model S running around my neck of the woods. There is a Tesla Super Charger
    Station not even 2 miles from my house. I want to see what the Tesla Model 3 looks like before I decide to trade-in my current ride for a new one.

  11. Jon M Says:

    Progress can be tough sometimes. Hertz may not like what’s happening to their industry, but I’m sure lamplighters, switchboard operators, and mom and pop video store owners–just to name a few–all felt the same way.

  12. GM Veteran Says:

    I recently read that Tesla had filed suit against this supplier, but had switched to a new supplier for the Falcon wing doors many months ago and the new supplier was able to produce the doors to Tesla’s specs. I imagine the doors from the new supplier are what are being installed on the assembly line now. I wonder how long it will take to get the line speed up. As of the end of the year, they had only delivered 280 Model X units worldwide!

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I rarely rent cars. The last time was one-way rentals to and from Orlando airport, when renting a car would be cheaper than parking my car for two weeks. If Uber et. al. would be cheaper than one-way rentals, the daily rental companies would lose my business.

  14. Max C. Says:

    The rental car companies have brought most of this on themselves, especially Hertz! They are typically the highest priced rental compared to the others, and there is no reason they should be higher priced – as the premier and likely largest rental car company, they could cut their costs to match the lower cost companies and still make a profit. Their problem has been caused by corporate greed, and seeing them take a nosedive does not bother me one bit.

  15. Marshall Says:

    Glass accounts for a fraction of a vehicles weight. A quick web search shows the average weight of a windshield is between 20-30 pounds. So for the front / back / and side windows you are talking less the a hundred pounds total weight.

  16. MJB Says:

    #6. Disco!

    In fact, they still had them (in Detroit) when I came out of school in ’89. But they got the ax shortly after I left. Too much cost-cutting going on to keep those programs running.

  17. Next Says:

    Didn’t we learn there is a difference between making cars and using cars? Uber, SideCar and ride sharing is how cars are used, not how they are made. I think GM is being seduced by the glamour and hype. I think they should stick to the core business, to what they know best. I second C-Tech’s question.

  18. HtG Says:

    15 I’ve had a car with 45lb removable hardtop. The car itself weighed about 2400lbs. That 45lb made a big big difference in how the car handled and changed direction. High mass is bad mass. Look at F1 cars; they have a minimum weight requirement, but the designers make the car as light as possible then stick a very heavy metal flat weight under the floor to meet the regs. Gets the CG way down with all its benefits.

  19. motorman Says:

    the unions limit the number of apprentices to keep the supply down to keep the wages up as they are worried they will cut back on the overtime the union gets. been there seen that

  20. MJB Says:

    #17. I don’t know. The numbers don’t lie. When a major corporation invests those types of dollars, it’s usually backed up by solid financials that forecast good returns.

    I think GM can walk and chew gum at the same time.

  21. Chuck Grenci Says:

    As long as the new type glass isn’t vastly more expensive, even 50 pounds (for glass) would be huge. A little bit (reduced weight) from all areas/sections of construction add up, as we are seeing 700 pounds from the Ford Pickup, 200/300 pounds on the new Camaro, hundreds from various other makes/marks; it is a good thing. And with all the additional requirements for crash resistance, fuel economy, better handling, it screams good engineering. I say Yea!

  22. Enn Norak Says:

    Lighter auto glass better not be at the expense of strength and visibility. I lived in Alberta for a few years and was happy to see sand used there instead of salt on winter roads. Cars there hardly rust but one or two replacement windshields per year are common since occasional stones end up getting flung into the windshield when following a truck with no mud flaps at the rear wheels.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just hope the glass remains glass. It’s bad enough that polycarbonate headlights become almost useless after a few years. I hope we don’t end up with windows like that.

  24. Eric Brunner Says:

    I know that Subaru went to thicker glass to help in reducing the inside noise of their cars especially the CVT equipped Cross Trek. Will this new “lighter” glass cause some noise reduction loss?

  25. next Says:

    #20. If I remember correctly, didn’t Ford own part of Hertz at one time? Yes, GM can walk and chew gum – and create the same mistakes. Stick to making cars. Autonomous cars are how a car functions. Uber and SideCar are how they are used. Two completely different subjects. Mystifies me why people keep seeing the two technologies as one. Car manufacturers are make cars, they don’t rent them. Big mistake.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Ford and GM both partly owned rental car companies at one time, but have sold them. Maybe they knew that selling them was a good thing.

  27. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I’ll play devil’s advocate for GM here: Getting into ride sharing will introduce many people who in the future,just may buy a car.Especially if they get in a ‘family way’.IF,and that’s a big IF,they were really happy driving GM products,they might tend to lean towards GM for an actual new car purchase……or not ;}>

  28. Roger T Says:

    Does engine else see the irony that rental cars are losing while car sharing is the hype? Rental cars defined this segment until now! I’m also sure GM and Ford are leveraging what they learned with their previous stakes in rental companies with their current moves, so there’s something in this story that’s missing: Hertz and other rental companies should be best positioned to thrive in this transition, this is puzzling.

  29. Roger T Says:

    “Engine” read “anyone”
    Second point, regarding GMs car sharing numbers: $6/hour fuel included may make sense for a Chevy Volt (mine is averaging under $0.02/mile total fuel cost), especially since I think getting people behind the wheel of that car is the best way to get sales traction. On the other hand, $12/hour sounds overly optimistic for a full size SUV. Take it on the road and fuel cost alone will eat most of that figure.
    If these are numbers released by GM I suspect this may be the first hint we’ll see more vehicles in the FCA Pacifica category.

  30. Stu Says:

    Re: Skilled trades

    It’s not just an automotive industry problem, all skilled trades suffer from lack of people. This stems largely from the educational system’s focus on everyone going to college, regardless of whether that is a good fit for you or not. The powers that be have the opinion that you have wasted your life if you don’t take on $100,000 in debt coming out of high school.
    We need less people going to college, not more. All of those philosophy and english majors would be better served by being encouraged to pursue a trade, in my opinion.

  31. Rob Says:

    No tears for the rental car companies or cab co.s here. Those CEO’s get paid huge salaries and should be smart enough to reconize the company needs to reevaluate its business plan. Adhere and conform to change or be prepared to fade into the sunset of business has-beens.

    I think GM is making a smart decision to prepare itself to be a leader in an emerging market by partnering up ride share co’s. They seem to fair pretty well in the finance and insurance arena with GMAC. (excluding the mortgage collapse)

  32. Rob Says:

    My take on the skilled trades shortage is just a guess but I’m willing to bet a study could be done to find that most kids dont go outside and play and build tree houses or forts anymore. They dont disassemble their bike and make modifications and in general just do anything with their hands. They play video games, they surf social media sites and they dream of having a job doing graphic design or creating the next Halo. Skilled trades was for the kids that just didnt want or plan to attend college. Not that they are not smart enough but are more right brained and like to create and are more common sense smart than book smart. Kids are told that to make a good living they need a college degree and sadly the good paying non-degree jobs are shrinking. just my $.02

  33. MJB Says:

    #30. Disco! Not all people are geared for college, and should not all be channeled there. I don’t know what my brother (who was DEFINITELY not college material in any sense of the term) would have done the rest of his life had he not gotten the vocational schooling in auto mechanics that he did all throughout high school.

    Regarding the GM ride sharing investment, this only makes sense to me. I think it’s key to remember that the car rental industry never put car sales at risk for any automaker. In fact, fleet sales help the bottom line. People don’t rent cars to use as designated drivers or make grocery store runs.

    There’s not one car maker who will ever be able to put the ride-sharing cat back in it’s bag. And opposite car rentals, this cat brings with it inevitable carcos sales losses – however small.

    If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

    Any business worth its salt will make every effort to eliminate threats while increasing profitability. A similar argument could have been made (autonomy is how a car functions, ride-sharing is how they’re used) when Apple got into the digital media business – iPod, anyone? They wouldn’t be nearly as profitable now without that whole product line, and yet they somehow still managed to build good computers too.

    Bottom line, there’s a lot of money to be made with ride-sharing. GM sees this and I think is doing the right thing by getting in near the ground floor to reap the benefits long-term.

  34. David Sprowl Says:

    Skilled trades is a tough biz. It’s my business. Just like cars years ago for forced into OBD assembly lines and machinery is not yet totally geared that way. Most shops struggle to purchase equipment that is state of the art, and pay the help, and make profit. Top that, try and find a person that can perform multiple trades reasonably well and you now have the storm in which we are in. Train the guy inhouse and they take that skill elsewhere and the expensive process starts all over again. Put them in an out board program and the expense of keeping up with new technology then the skilled guy also has a 60-100K plus bill for a job that might pay 24 – 28/hour.

  35. Marshall Says:

    #18 Removing the top altered the cars rigidity. That is what affected your cars handling. Being open air also altered your perception of the vehicles performance.

    Adding or subtracting fifty pounds from the upper portion of a sedan or coupe would have negligible to no effect on handling.