Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shifting Back Into High Gear For GM

A few years ago I spent an extended weekend at Wildwood, New Jersey.  For those who don’t know, it’s a giant boardwalk with tons of games and activities.  If you’re looking for fun, well, chances are you’ll find something. 

Coincidentally, I booked my trip during the tail end of a giant car show weekend. One night I was outside my hotel room, possibly with a beverage in hand, watching the cars show off on the main street.  Engines were roaring, exhaust pipes were belching, and the sidewalks were filled with cheers.

It was a great clear night, and my then girlfriend came out to sit with me.  She started complaining about the work she expected once we got back home.  I turned my head, put my finger on her lips, and said, “Stop talking, you’re ruining the awesomeness of these cars.”

Harsh?  Perhaps.  Was I being honest?  DAMN RIGHT I WAS!

Camaros, Chevelles, Mustangs, Challengers…

I can go on and on.  I love the evolution of these cars.  The designs explain so much history of a generation.  HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE IT!

While growing up you learned to love motorcycles, baseball and cars.  I even remember my father saying to me at a ridiculously young age, “If you ever bring a foreign piece of shit into my driveway, expect to live in it.”  So needless to say, the greatness of American cars was etched into my brain at a very young age.

Dad would be proud.

Except for one Dodge, I’ve only driven GM made cars (mostly Chevrolet).  To be honest, they’ve treated me really well over the years.  I looked great driving my Camaro, and I was always able to haul anything with my Trailblazer.  To make things even cooler, I know people who have been treated really well by GM.

Close to where I live in Jersey, GM had a huge assembly line.  The size of the place was insane!  I remember going for a walk through the place like a lost mouse going through a maze.  Throughout the place, my dad must have known a person in every department.

I thought it was the coolest thing.  It was really great seeing the plant.  Then, GM started having problems.

The local plant closed, as an obvious result, lots of people lost jobs.  GM tried to relocate as many people as possible, but that didn't help everybody.

As I grew up, I worked at local dealerships and parts suppliers to earn some extra bucks.  I noticed, little by little, how bosses were downsizing.

For years I kept in contact with former co-workers.  When I asked how work was going, I received grim answers in return.  My father also tried keeping in touch with his friends at the old GM plant. Sadly, he lost a lot of contacts.  People had to move in order to find work..  In the age before smart phones & email, he wasn't able to keep track of them.

Fast-forward even more; you have the GM bankruptcy and bailout.

I had very mixed emotions about this.  I still do for that matter.  I criticized the airlines and banks needing a bailout, so how is GM any different?

No matter what your opinion is on it, what's done is done.  GM and Chrysler received bailouts, so there's no need to debate over something that's already happened.

But GM was being criticized by many current co-workers of mine, and frankly, I wanted to kick them in the teeth for it.

GM says they plan to regain their title as 'World's Largest Automaker".  Toyota has held the title since the market collapsed a few years back.

In response, co-workers scoffed & ridiculed GM's statement.  Hell, the way they talked, you'd think they want GM to fail. 

Their comments were so ridiculous, that I was beyond dumbfounded.  I guess their noses are so high that they can smell their own shit.

But let's put it in perspective, shall we...

In order to regain the title, GM will have to sell more cars.  If that happens it means they'll hire more workers, pay back the remaining amount of bailout money, and continue to strive for many years.  WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THAT?

Don't like the bailout?  I can understand that.  But why would you hope for GM to fail?  They employ countless numbers of middle class workers.  Are you rooting for them to fail as well?  Some people need to think things through instead of being so smug…

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