Proving that he is nothing if not predictable, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich blamed the United Auto Workers for the loss of American manufacturing jobs at a recent campaign appearance. Automotive News reports that Gingrich lauded the BMW factory in Spartanburg, SC, for being "vibrant" and mentioned Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan in a positive light, while blaming the UAW for impeding continuous improvement at domestic automakers. The UAW did not respond to a request for comment, according to the report.

While we wouldn't expect Gingrich to behave any differently towards his political enemies in the union, we will say that the loss of manufacturing jobs is a far more complicated subject than this or any other soundbite can explain. And for all the attention that the auto industry continues to receive from politicians hoping to score points with voters, we remain appalled at how little those on both sides of the aisle actually know about the business.


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  • 174 Comments
      Steven Roby
      • 3 Years Ago
      We could learn something from team building, I suppose. Every country expreiences extreme labor turbulence after which it learns that worker-management co-dependence / cooperation can lead to longer term wealth and growth.
      whofan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Fighting Against Bailouts "Senator Shelby is the leading Congressional opponent of using taxpayer dollars to bail out private firms. One of his first votes as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives was to oppose the federal government rescue of Chrysler in December 1979. He has opposed all forms of federal bailouts ever since, including the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that was enacted in October 2008. Senator Shelby continues to actively pursue policies and legislation that clearly stipulate that no enterprise is too big to fail." I don`t think it was a mistake to give Chrysler a federally backed loan in 1979, a loan that Chrysler paid back in full early. This copy paste is right from his web site. Foriegn aid never gets questioned. We can`t give aid to our own interest? Be careful who you vote for
      sofienyc
      • 3 Years Ago
      Blame the CEO!
      Ark
      • 3 Years Ago
      Typical Republican candidate support for large businesses at the expense of the worker. If the candidates had there way there'd be no minimum wage and we would all starve on the street.
        Jason Alan Sipes
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ark
        Actually he is a Neo-Con or closer to a liberal than a republican. Republicans are supposed to be for smaller government and less government intervention in the marketplace, Neo-Cons like Newt and Mitt are for government intervention and larger government.
          Sam C
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jason Alan Sipes
          True, a RINO no doubt.
      Mike
      • 3 Years Ago
      Newt is 100% right
      STARMAN
      • 3 Years Ago
      Corrupt politician puppets like Newt and their puppet masters destroyed the manufacturing jobs in this country.
        Evan McMiller
        • 3 Years Ago
        @STARMAN
        Wow you really have that tinfoil helmet on tight don't you. Care to elaborate on whatever moronic conspiracy theory you've concocted to corroborate this?
      P.Z. Dawkins
      • 3 Years Ago
      Republican candidate hates unions. Color me shocked.
      donnieorama
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love this guy--serial wife-leaver & all-around total a**hole. He's making it easy for the President to win another term.
      jamescarbary
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey Newt crawl back in the hole u came out of.....
      travisjb
      • 3 Years Ago
      right on, newt!
      alexkoolur
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's so funny reading most of the comments on here....clearly made by people who have NEVER managed a business in their life. Managing any successful business from your local bakery to GM is all about cash flow and margin.....bottom line is, with the union cost structure on the books at GM, it makes it impossible for them to have a competitive margin in today's global automotive economy = failing business model. To say the union has nothing to do with the demise of GM or the "miss-management" of the top brass is to blame is silly.....the biggest "miss-management" of capital at GM goes towards paying the union workers (those working today and the HUGE cost associated with retirement benefits). Why has WALMART been able to sustain a successful business model for so long? It has denied the ability for their employees to unionize, which would eliminate WALMARTS ability to manage to a compettive margin and keep expanding their business, keep driving the stock price up, and keep making shareholders more return on their investment, which is the primary goal of management. That is what is lost in all of this. The management at GM and any other public company is responsible for delivering return to SHAREHOLDERS....NOT EMPLOYEES. If employees want to reap the benefits of this, it's simple...they can BUY SHARES of the company they work for. Instead these UNIONS want to simply entitle union employee returns on salary, bonuses, benefits etc...with ZERO of the risk that a shareholder would experience trying to get a return on their investment. And spare me the "we need to keep GM jobs going" - my tax dollars should stay in MY pocket to support MY family - not taken from me to keep some union guy at GM going for another year in a failed business model when he/she CHOSE to work their.
        speedjohn
        • 3 Years Ago
        @alexkoolur
        Hey douche bag, the German companies that have plants inside Germany are profitable. And the line workers make almost TWICE as much as US line workers. The German plants have the highest cost per hour out of any country that makes autos. You're an idiot.
        Zippy The Chimp
        • 3 Years Ago
        @alexkoolur
        @speedjohn Just a couple things you might want to think about before the next time you reply to someone. When you begin your reply by calling someone you disagree with a "douche bag", you're expressing a level of maturity that only exceeds your intellect. And speaking of intellect, anyone who can't comprehend that companies whose vehicles sell for more than double what GM's products do (on average), have the ability to pass wages that are double those of GM, onto their consumers, ie; if GM paid its laborers what the German marques paid their native laborers, a Cruze would start at $24,000, not $16,700. I understand that this is a basic business concept, which is what probably threw you. That said, before calling others idiots and douche bags, you might want want to look at the argument you are trying to make and see if it can be supported by even the most rudimentary of business principles. That way, people reading your replies won't shake their heads and think to themselves, "Wow, that speedjohn, what a douchebag idiot."
        ReTired
        • 3 Years Ago
        @alexkoolur
        And as for your "Buy shares" of your company's stock...wonderful - if you're being paid more than a poverty-level wage or limited to "Part-Time" positions, so you have extra cash to "gamble" - remember...don't invest it if you can't afford to lose it...and then, do you remember a corporation named ENRON ? It wasn't the only company to go down the tubes via management malfeasance, taking employee retirement investments with it. You folks who try to paint pin-stripes with a push-broom will not impress me with your viewpoint...sorry.
      turingTest
      • 3 Years Ago
      Autoblog has become a sewer of leftist propaganda. Way to cut your readership, starting with me.
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