• Apr 27th 2007 at 3:12PM
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UPDATE: We've learned that the UAW contract disputes aren't likely to affect the introduction of the 2008 Malibu, since it will be built on the Epsilon I platform, which is still on track. The negotiations, however, may affect the debut of the next-generation Malibu and Aura, both of which will move to the Epsilon II platform.

The turnaround at General Motors is in full swing thanks to a bevy of new models on the horizon. One of those promising products is the new Chevy Malibu, which we're looking forward to reviewing as soon as possible. It turns out we may have to wait longer than expected to get behind the wheel of the new Epsilon 2-based Malibu. Apparently contract negotiations with the local UAW at GM's Lordstown, Ohio and Fairfax, Kansas plants have hit a snag. The Lordstown plant builds many of GM's Delta-based models, including the Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5, and is earmarked to build the next generation of Delta-based models, as well. The Fairfax plant, meanwhile, builds the current Malibu and Pontiac G6, but is being renovated to handle the new Malibu and Saturn Aura.

GM had asked for some big concessions from the local unions at both plants that included 10-hour shifts with no overtime and the ability to hire some non-union workers to do janitorial work, unload trucks and even do assembly in some cases. The local unions were very close to closing the deal with GM until the national UAW stepped in and stopped the talks.

The unions are reportedly seeking a guarantee that the next generation Delta and Epsilon 2 models will be built at these plants, which has come under question since GM has halted development of new assembly-line tooling for these vehicles. GM, on the other hand, claims to have halted the development of new tooling in response to these talks breaking down. Clearly there's some tit-for-tat going on here, and both sides hope things can be ironed out after UAW international reps meet with GM next week in Detroit.

[Source: Automotive News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      That is such an incredibly ugly car that no matter how decent the new platform is, it will be a sales disaster.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It must be four 10-hour days... five 10-hour days with no overtime for hourly employees would violate labor law, wouldn't it?
      • 8 Years Ago
      "There are only a very few American straggler brands (like Jeep)"

      It's Daimler who selling Chrysler and is German. No American buyers yet. Jeep is not American.

      The Malibu is a nice car. A low profile family car that use to be a top seller for GM. Procrastinating it, will just send the buyers elsewhere.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Effing Auto Unions. I would have zero problem with GM importing all of their cars from Australia. At least we as consumers will have new models to choose from instead of reading articles about vehicles that might come out after a new round of negotiations.
      • 8 Years Ago
      and leave it to the UAW to stymee the turnaround of a domestic manufacturer...GM should say yah i'll guarantee you a job for now.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This story seems to originate from the WSJ story (April 27th page A11) on UAW negotiations. The last line of this story states: “He said the company's redesigned Malibu sedan will go into production this fall as planned but declined to comment on product plans beyond that.”

      I repeat that “I think you are confusing the development of the existing Epsilon products with future Epsilon II products. The 2008 Malibu is derived from the stretched version of the Epsilon platform while the 2011 Malibu is derived from the Epsilon II platform.” Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Epsilon_platform

      From what I understand this story is about development of the next generation Epsilon platform, the one put on hold, and discussions about where those cars will be built, not about the 2008 Malibu.
      • 8 Years Ago
      10 hour a day too much and too hard naif? I loved working 4 10s back in the day. It was hard road contruction work too, not office paperwork. Dont give me the "factory work is too hard to do for 10 hours". Fact of the matter is american union factory workers are lazy. I know thats an offensive blanket statement but the guy sweeping the floor doesnt need $25 bucks an hour and full benies. The amount of work not being done for the pay and benefits union workers get its a wonder the big 3 didnt go under 20 years ago.
      • 8 Years Ago
      the G6 was NEVER made in Fairfax. It's always been at Orion Assembly in Michigan.
      • 8 Years Ago

      I read the 2008 Malibu is a go for sure. Also, I thought the Aura was already being made in Fairfax? The cars in question (of not being produced at those plants) is probably the 2011 model.
      • 8 Years Ago
      just when you though GM had the answer to the Camry/Accord, they go and delay it

      I hope those plants can agree on something quick as GM needs to pull the #1 spot again, though very unlikely
      • 8 Years Ago
      Please GM. Hold your ground against the God damned union. If necessary fire all union workers and hire scabs. Please!! They are more reliable workers and have MUCH less legacy costs.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "...If we had real leaders in Washington, they would be pressing for this to be settled ASAP.

      Posted at 5:02PM on Apr 27th 2007 by BOB

      Hey Bob, next time you get in a fight with your wife or girlfriend, I hope some third party looks at you and says "If we had real leaders in Washington, they would be pressing for you two to settled this ASAP."

      Why should the government get involved everytime there is a dispute between two private parties? Where in the federal or any state constitution does it say this is the responsibility of government? If government did involve itself are you sure you would like the solution they propose?

      The only precedent for this is where a labor dispute disrupts the economy (and therefore the general welfare) in a large way, ex. a railroad strike. One factory and one car model do not qualify. Besides by the time the future generation of the Malibu is supposed comes out Toyota will have finished there new factory in 'ol Miss and be probably building another one somewhere.
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