Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 What's up with Ford's unflinching optimism? Previous Next
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 4259
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 12:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does Ford know something we don't? Merit raises being reinstated, and now they are considering bonuses for their 54,000 auto workers early next year, regardless of meeting the profit sharing formula? And yet they don't expect to return to profitability for another year or so?

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20071219/BUS INESS01/712190349/1002
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 2912
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 12:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is about high achieving employee retention.

The companies have cut the people they wanted to get rid of. They now need to keep the workers they have. Employee turnover can be a company killer.

The most highly educated and productive workers are still in high demand from other companies. They have options. Whenever you cut the bottom performers, the top performers start looking for jobs. They fear they'll be cut too. They're looking for Job security. You'll lose people you want and need to keep.

Chrysler just cut about 30% of their contract workers in the last 2 months. They are now coming back and giving the remaining contract workers a decent sized raise. They're afraid they'll lose the high performing ones. Contract salaries haven't been adjusted at Chrysler in over 5 years.

All of the companies also have holes they need to fill. How do you fill those holes if you're laying off people in other places and not paying an above average wage.

If you're a powertrain controls engineer there are plenty of openings at all the suppliers and OEM's with local presences. Somebody needs to figure out how to get to that 35MPG target and it's not going to be the sales and marketing people.
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Detroithabitater
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Username: Detroithabitater

Post Number: 94
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 1:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well said Ndavies!

I'm an OEM engineer and we have laid out a path to hit 35mpg by 2020, but it is going to require us to hit homerun after homerun and to estimate what future technologies might buy us. It's obtainable, but it will be intense to get there.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 4261
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 1:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good luck DH, do us proud. :-)

Good reasoning there Ndavies.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 2914
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 1:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, I'd like to thank the Federal Government for providing me with at least 15 years of Job security and steadily growing wages. I'll be able to retire at that point. Even if it kills the domestics autos, the foreign manufacturers will still need my services.

Consumers will be paying more for the added fuel economy. A nice little piece of the extra money will be going straight into my pocket.
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East_detroit
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Username: East_detroit

Post Number: 1301
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 1:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ford has some incredible stuff in the pipeline and coming out now. I just tried out SYNC in a 2008 Focus and its great! 35MPG highway, too.

And quality is jumping by leaps and bounds.

Not sure if I will wait for the Fusion Hybird coming out in a few months or go for the Focus.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 4262
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 1:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That new Focus is nice looking. But pretty soon I'll own my Focus. Oh well, it's a nice car too.

BTW we discovered you can INDEED fit an almost 7' Douglas Fir in the back of a Focus hatchback. :-)
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Spacemonkey
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Username: Spacemonkey

Post Number: 286
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 2:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They are all delusional.
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Plymouthres
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Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 374
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 2:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ndavies-

This is about anal retention and nothing more.

I am one of those guys who was forced to take a buyout in February from Ford and to say that there is any talent there left worth a damn shows how little you know about that environment there. I could swear your one of the a$$holes in management who perpetrated this disaster in the automotive industry. Thanks also for dismissing my 27 years of experience and rewarding those responsible for running the company into the ground with a raise after they blatantly threw out the hard workers and supplanted them with low wage wanna be's.

You are disgusting to me in a lot of ways. Just to let you know, I was a 7 year Excellent plus and 4 year outstanding employee, so where you say stuff like "Whenever you cut the bottom performers, the top performers start looking for jobs." it is just a small sign of your ignorance on this issue.

Do you think that those arrogant bastards at the top would ever let THEMSELVES go? From what basis do you make your assertion,m personal experience or just some knee-jerk reaction to guys who have already earned their keep? Remember, we wouldn't have been high paid, high performers if it hadn't been for the fact that the company made it that way by giving us REWARDS for our achievements, then cutting US loose after they screwed up to cover their total incompetence.

How do I know all of this from the other side? I am working as a supplier, contract, no benefits, about 50 yards from where I started about 15 years ago, and I see the GROSS incompetence at the top. The arrogance at the top will kill this place as quickly as your uninformed opinion has cut those of us that contributed so much and got back so little.

You might ask why I came back, then? Because they called me back, as they could not find anyone who could do the job as well as me. Period.

Nice opinion, way off. Your post #2914 shows YOUR arrogance and your lack of understanding of this life altering issue. Until you have walked a mile in my moccasins, don't feel free to suppose why what happened to some of us happened. In this case, you have no clue.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 2915
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 3:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LOL, Plymouthres. Typical disgruntled employee speak from someone who thinks he's entitled to lifetime employment. I didn't get my lifetime job, so management must be screwing up.

I have walked in your shoes. My 22 years of automotive experience tell me I'm right. The last 15 years of that as a contractor. I watched my father go through this twice in his career.

The difference is, I know the companies don't really give a shit about me. Never have, never will. I'm here for as much money as I can get today. I don't care about any individual company's future. I don't expect them to take care of me until I'm old and grey.

I continue to build a varied, transferable skill set that will be useful to many automotive and non automotive companies. If this job goes away there will be another. If another doesn't appear right away, I have over 2 years salary stashed away as a safety net. I can even go back to school to learn any new skills needed in those two years.

Christ, you got a buyout and a contract job. That Sounds pretty damn good to me. What the hell are you complaining about. There's nothing like a little double dipping.

If you came back under contract without benefits, it's your own damn fault. The supplier fed you a line and you bought it. I'm a contract employee. I earn more than the OEM's employees. I get all of the holidays. I get 3 weeks vacation. I have 401K matching. I have full medical and dental.

If they needed you so bad, they would pony up and pay you. You need to stop looking at a company to provide you financial stability and look within for protection. What did you do with those 27 years of excellent salary and benefits they paid you? Why didn't you protect yourself from this occurring?

My Dad worked in the Steel industry. He went through the same crap 40 years and and again 20 years ago. My family left Britain when I was very young to get away from the UK's decimated steel industry. We came here and had it pretty good until the same thing happened to the US steel industry. I promised myself I would never put myself in the same position he was in.

And having watched the steel industry I can tell you the upper management will get cut hard soon. My father was upper management and reported directly to a VP at Great lakes steel. On his last week there he was given a list of his department's employees and told to fire them. After he did so he was called to his bosses office, where he was then fired.

Gross incompetence by management would be continuing to pay far too many employees, sucking too much money out of the company, as it goes bankrupt. Oh, wait didn't they do that for the last 10 years. Finally they got it right and did something about the dead weight.
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Kslice
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Username: Kslice

Post Number: 240
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 3:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How can you not be optimistic when you have a beautiful car like the MKS coming out soon:
http://www.leftlanenews.com/li ncoln-mks.html

The Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda, and Volvo brands are all making great cars right now. The problem is, not many people know it. The Fusion will be getting a hybrid version soon, a face lift and possable a coupe version. The Taurus will also be getting some design tweaking in the years to come.

Shine Sweet Freedom.
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Sstashmoo
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Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 739
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 4:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Plymouthres, I concur, knowing quite a few that were bought out, they lost some very talented and vital folks. The ones that needed to go are still there, clinging to the only opportunity they have available to them.

Some of the people I've dealt with have no business trying to build automobiles or anything for that matter.

(Message edited by sstashmoo on December 19, 2007)
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Alan55
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Username: Alan55

Post Number: 949
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 4:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ndavies: "You need to stop looking at a company to provide you financial stability and look within for protection. "

- And yet the companies not only expect unquestioning loyalty from employees, they DEMAND it.

Work thru your lunch hour.

Put in at least an hour and a half of casual overtime every evening.

"You didn't come in here last Saturday - where were you?"

"Yeah, I know you have some vacation days to burn up by the end of the year, but the ramp-up in Lordstown (or Lorraine, or Belevedere) has gone to shit, so we need you down there for a week or two."

"I'm so sorry to hear about your dad's passing - I won't call unless I absolutely have to, but you will have your cell phone on, won't you?"

"Whaduya mean you have an interview with another company? Where the hell is your loyalty?"

Every corporation will cheerfully tell you, however, "Our employees are our greatest asset!"
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Sstashmoo
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Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 740
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 5:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"- And yet the companies not only expect unquestioning loyalty from employees, they DEMAND it."

Just like you'd demand your paycheck if you didn't get it.

"Work thru your lunch hour"

"Yeah, I know you have some vacation days to burn up by the end of the year, but the ramp-up in Lordstown (or Lorraine, or Belevedere) has gone to shit, so we need you down there for a week or two."

If thats what the job requires, thats what makes your paycheck. Be happy you have the experience and aptitude to have a key role there.

"I'm so sorry to hear about your dad's passing - I won't call unless I absolutely have to, but you will have your cell phone on, won't you?"

That gets answered "NO!" Sometimes employers cross the line and there is no harm in letting them know it. They are human beings too, and sometimes they like to push as far as they can, stand your ground. They'll respect you for it.

"Whaduya mean you have an interview with another company? Where the hell is your loyalty?"

Answer: Where the money is.. Just like you.

"Every corporation will cheerfully tell you, however, "Our employees are our greatest asset!"

And they are. Whomever they may be. Thats the part they leave off that sentence.
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Plymouthres
Member
Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 377
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 6:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ndavies-

Nice response. A lot of assumptions about me that you know nothing about, but that's okay as you are certainly entitled to your opinion, even if I don't agree with you. I didn't think you even read what I said from what you wrote back, as you didn't even bother to address anything that I wrote, you just started firing away.

You are right about one thing, I am disgruntled. I earned the right to be.

Although your accusations don't really deserve a response, I'm going to do so because you need to realize that you are not the end-all, be-all knowing wise man you think you are and perhaps after reading this you will get the idea of what I was trying to point out rather than just dismissing my observations as "Typical disgruntled employee speak from someone who thinks he's entitled to lifetime employment", which, if you knew me, would be the furthest thing from the truth.

So without further adieu, here goes.

I was a contract guy for 17 years before Ford begged me to come on board. I never approached them, they came to me. They paid me what I wanted, and had the choice to not accept what I asked for. They did so I accepted. End of story.

They, not I, sold the job as "lifetime" employment. Although I accepted employment with them, I didn't "buy it", and continued my education and my self improvement. During the 12 years I worked for Ford, I went back to college and continued,at age 42(painfully slowly), to pursue my degree.

I know 9 proprietary computer design systems, in addition to manual drafting (descriptive geometry) having paid for my education both in college and in the computer arena out of my own pocket, not wanting to be endeared to the company or anyone for my education. I currently carry a 3.375 GPA and am 30 credit hours away from my BSME from U of M. I have, indeed, stayed ahead of the curve, as evidenced by the fact that I am still in the business, where approximately 75% of those people that I started with are not. I know it's difficult for your narrowly focused mind to comprehend, but there must be some reason for my success, huh?

By the way, during the time I was working at Ford and going to school, I managed to put BOTH my 27 and 25 year old through Eastern and Lawrence Tech as well, to the tune of about $75,00 or $80,000. Care to offer some sage wisdom on how I pulled off that little gem without any loans or help? I don't think that you can, so don't even try.

I got 9 months of salary for 12 years of work. How is that even close to equitable? Believe me, I was thankful for the buyout offer, but it took me a bit of time to re-employ and with the reduced rates here in this area, I've had to use most of that money just to stay afloat. I wish I were lucky enough to have benefitted from "double dipping"(?) but that just was not the case. I wonder how you derived from my statement that it "sounded pretty damn good". By the way, do me a favor and leave Christ out of it. He had very little to do with it, I'm sure.

As for the contract benefit comment, you should look around a bit. Those benefits you have don't exist anymore, so I have no clue what the hell you are talking about. Just shows how really out of touch you are on this subject. When all of the "diversity candidates" come in for near free, then those benefits you possess now are the first cut to get to the bottom line. It's alright, though, as the buyout money helps supplement what I am not getting. By the way, that's where that amount keeps going, slowly but surely, to supplement what I'm not making vs. what I was making. Hope you understand that simple bit of math. You see, I did protect myself as best I could.

Your description of how you view your dad's misfortune really points out your cavalier, arrogant attitude and dismissiveness of how badly people were being screwed by the automotive business and, formerly, by the steel industry. My buddy got the shaft from Great Lakes after 29 years, so I know a bit about that industry, too. I also had many friends see their jobs disappear at McClouth as I grew up downriver and watched the incompetent management of those companies drive the steel industry overseas and close all of the local plants. Your assessment of that situation does not even deserve comment, but I felt a bit obligated to offer my opinion again.

Finally, I more than proven that I wasn't "dead weight" or even a "under performer" as you tried to state, so if you can't argue with some basis in fact then I just don't know what to say to you.
I guess when I get to Arizona and my new job in the defense industry in January, I'll tell them all about your opinion so they can get rid of me, eh?

I stick by my assertions.

It was management's gross mismanagement that precipitated this, whether you agree or not. Apparently, from the posts that I read after yours, others agree with me. Only Perfect Gentleman seems to agree with you.......

Next time you want to get into a pissing contest, drink more water (or beers)!

As always, you are entitled to your opinion. But please try to keep it real.

Alan55/stash-

Awesomely supportive of my opinion and right on as I see it.

Ford will survive and I agree that they seem to be on the right track. They have nothing in the pipeline that I've seen, at least from my studio observations recently, so I hope I'm missing something and they surprise the hell out of me and the nay-yers. I still would like to see them succeed, even though I think they mismanaged themselves into this situation and those who mismanaged then are still there. They will never allow "one of their own" to be accused of being part of the problem, as that would be an indictment of their ability and they just wouldn't have that!
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Kevgoblu
Member
Username: Kevgoblu

Post Number: 39
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 7:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Plymouthres- what's the comment about the "Diversity candidates" coming in for nearly free about?

Also, what in the world would motivate you to pay for school yourself "so not to be endeared to the company"? Doesn't that just translate into "throwing money away"?
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Focusonthed
Member
Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 1541
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 10:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ndavies, fantastic post #2915. Sums up the entitlement mentality quite succinctly.
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Plymouthres
Member
Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 380
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 11:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kevgo blu-

I made the diversity candidate comment in an effort to be a bit pc and because it is a fact. I saw cheap transplant labor from other countries under cutting traditional labor rates and taking what used to be good jobs down by working for rates that were substantially lower than what was usually paid. The fact that they couldn't do the job as well was commensurate with the quality of the jobs produced. It is a direct correlation.

I make no apologies for what is fact. It is what it is, and to deny that the recalls that we suffered from was partially due to this fact is to deny the truth. Most of those folks are no longer with the company, by the way, having used it up and thrown it away like a dirty paper towel.

I paid for school myself so as not to owe anyone anything, and that is exactly what I said. Why is that so hard to comprehend? And no, it was not throwing money away because when I get my degree, I expect to get some of that back. I was also trying to point out that I didn't depend on anyone for anything, a point that appeared to be lost on Ndavies.

I just don't understand your questioning me on this. It was my decision, and I don't think you could possibly understand what motivated me if you didn't see what I and a lot of other good people were subjected to.

Focus-

I hope that you were not referring to me as you don't know me from Adam, nor do you know any of the things I went through there. I love the way you guys so insidiously refer to people who have these type of experience as though they are liars.

I do not suffer from the "entitlement mentality" at all. I paid my way, in many ways other than financially, for many years and asked nothing of anyone that they didn't offer me first. Too bad if that doesn't fit the way you think, as we are all different and are "entitled" only to our own opinion. The only thing I was entitled to was fair treatment and an expectation that when I was told something, it would be the way they said it would be. To infer anything other than that is simply not true.

Alas, that never occurred and I left. That is all there is to it.
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Ray
Member
Username: Ray

Post Number: 1065
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 12:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ha.. you guys want to work for a really demanding asshole, you should try being self employed. You'll be the worst boss you ever had!
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Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 4374
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 12:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ndavies and Plymouthres, oddly enough I enjoy your exchange. Having had the pleasure of coming to know the two of you, I know you both have in common immense energy and are both making Detroit better, Ndavies with the Vinton rescue and Plymouthres with the Fort Wayne restoration.

I got dumped from a good paying job in 1979. Best thing that ever happened to me. My art career had the time and necessity to emerge and life has been a wonderful adventure ever since.

Plymouthres, I see something like that in you, widening your vistas with the great things your are doing for Fort Wayne.

Ndavies, I always respect your honest, if chilling, and accurate assessments. You are right. In the information age we are all being forced to be independent contractors on temporary contracts. That transformation is rolling across manufacturing after rolling across a lot of other. I was an earlier victim. Companies don't / can't give a s*** about any of us. It's just the way things are and we have to get good at dealing with it.

"School is in forever" as I like to say and we are in a race with knowledge, like it or not. It is kind of scary and exciting at the same time.

Regarding 'Consumers will be paying more for the added fuel economy.' That is true, initially, but if this ever grows into a serious movement that brings national energy independence, the end of oil wars, and cleaner air, the consumers will ultimately be paying less.
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Focusonthed
Member
Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 1543
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 1:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Plymouthres, I distinctly addressed Ndavies in my post...not sure how you think I was talking to you. Honestly, I didn't even read your story. But whatever you went through doesn't make Ndavies incorrect.
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Plymouthres
Member
Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 381
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 6:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Lowell. I do agree with the school of life long learning comment, as I am proof of that statement.

Focus-

Sorry that I mis-read you. I thought that you were inferring that I was part of the "entitlement mentality" and that isn't so as I tried to point out in my rebuttal to Ndavies.

Now, to Ndavies, I respect what you say but I also respectfully dis-agree with your assessment. I really shouldn't have turned it as personal as I did, which, in retrospect, I now regret as it somewhat weakened my assertions by getting off on my own personal tangent.

We will ultimately see in the next five years whether the current management at Ford is right or wrong, and their success or failure will be a plain example of their ability. We could go on and on, as we are at diametrically opposite sides of our opinions/assertions, so I will wait until the jury returns for the real decision to show itself. I'm thinking that under the current management direction, Ford cannot continue to do business the way it has and will ultimately suffer for their ignorance.

Again, as I stated in post #377, I really wish them well in their effort to get there.It will be a tough road to travel.
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Mikeg
Member
Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 1332
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 7:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Plymouthres,

Best of luck to you in your new career!

The best advice I can offer is to forge ahead and don't look back. By February, this will be a lot easier for you to do, but in the meantime - for the sake of your health and peace of mind - just let it go. Whatever management at Ford has done - or will do - has no bearing on your future.
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Plymouthres
Member
Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 382
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 9:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you Mikeg for at least allowing me to express my opinion and for your well wishes.

I have, indeed, taken your advice and am moving on. I really appreciate the encouragement as this is a bit scary to me in the fact that I am giving up a lot that I have invested here but the end has come and it is time to go where I can once again make a decent living. I am not so delusional to believe that the grass is greener on the other side, either, so the battle to exist will continue "over there" as well-just on a different front!

I'll finish school in about two years, which should add to my resume and make me even more marketable.

Hopefully, the cuts that these companies make will be effective and they will also begin to cut the management people that they need to and who have substantially contributed to their current state. As of today, that hasn't occurred, so I doubt that they can exist under their current direction.

Good luck to Alan Mullaly and the whole Ford team, but I see the giving out of bonuses as the wrong thing to do. They should be plowing that money back into PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, not people's pockets. After all, when they eliminate all the employees and still fail, who will they blame then?

Time will tell, that is a fact. I'm letting go.................now!
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Docmo
Member
Username: Docmo

Post Number: 325
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 2:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kslice,

I've got the turbocharged MKS in my sights.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/ autos/2008-01-01-navigation-sy stems_N.htm

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