Friday, January 27, 2012

Modern Automotive Manufacturing



Impressive video of a state-of-the-art VW car factory in Germany, and this February 2009 video is now almost three years old!

28 Comments:

At 1/27/2012 3:29 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Here's a video of another high tech auto assembly plant: Fords Camacari assembly plant in Brazil. This plant would have been built in the U.S. except for the objections from the UAW.

 
At 1/27/2012 5:23 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Che's video is much better: that's a real factory, not the glorified showcase that VW built. What I'd like to see is a real cost breakdown of why Ford built that factory in Brazil, how much of it was due to labor costs vs regulatory costs, whether due to govt laws or union rules.

 
At 1/27/2012 5:30 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1/27/2012 5:35 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

So basically it's a car factory for cars not meant for mere mortals to afford. Now if that was used for cars that regular people could afford, that would be a far better demonstration.

That, and I wonder if it adheres any bit to the rule of the workers being able to afford it - or if they have to settle for the typical I4 golfcart of Europe.


Here's a video of another high tech auto assembly plant: Fords Camacari assembly plant in Brazil.

So that's what passes for a golfcart down there.

I wonder if they have their own Ford Security to commit thuggery on behalf of the company should workers attempt to become more than just slaves.

That kind of supplier integration is a threat as well, for it makes it easier for Ford to treat workers worse by dividing them up.

 
At 1/27/2012 6:02 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"I wonder if they have their own Ford Security to commit thuggery on behalf of the company ... That kind of supplier integration is a threat as well, for it makes it easier for Ford to treat workers worse by dividing them up." -- sethstorm

Not to worry, no UAW workers were harmed in the making of this film. Neither were any of the thousands of Brazilians who now have good jobs thanks to the UAWs greed and stupidity.

 
At 1/27/2012 6:12 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Che is dead said...

My point is that they have somewhere where the Battle of the Overpass doesn't go in the worker's favor, but that the people & photographs get disappeared. Thus all you might see are happy people with trains all running on time, much like a Potemkin Village.

 
At 1/28/2012 5:55 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

to be fair, two things that have been the initial focus of unions in the US - health care and retirement pensions are not major union issues in many other countries that have universal health care and their own version of social security - and both are entirely portable from one job to the next.


but I had a similar reaction when looking at the video.. I think even "assembly" work is not THAT "clean" but all those car parts that are part of the assembly process are done in steel mills and stamping plants... which are far different looking that the process shown in the videos.

 
At 1/28/2012 7:57 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


but I had a similar reaction when looking at the video.. I think even "assembly" work is not THAT "clean" but all those car parts that are part of the assembly process are done in steel mills and stamping plants... which are far different looking that the process shown in the videos.

It's for their Phaeton, one of the few models of VW's lineup that isn't a golfcart. Safe to say it costs a ton.

 
At 1/28/2012 4:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"It's for their Phaeton, one of the few models of VW's lineup that isn't a golfcart. Safe to say it costs a ton."

They sell for around $100k. Whether or not that's "a ton" depends on who you are. I suspect it's out of your price range.

Do you see a problem with cars like these being manufactured for people eager to buy them?

 
At 1/28/2012 4:26 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"to be fair, two things that have been the initial focus of unions in the US - health care and retirement pensions are not major union issues in many other countries that have universal health care and their own version of social security - and both are entirely portable from one job to the next."

So *all* the people in a country with universal healthcare are subsidizing my purchase of a car made there, as costs to the manufacturer are lower.

We should thank them for their generosity.

 
At 1/28/2012 4:39 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" So *all* the people in a country with universal healthcare are subsidizing my purchase of a car made there, as costs to the manufacturer are lower."

well..if you buy a car from them rather than a union car maker in the US... what does that mean?

 
At 1/28/2012 6:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1/28/2012 6:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"well..if you buy a car from them rather than a union car maker in the US... what does that mean?""

That means that people who don't know me, and have no interest in helping me pay for my car, are being forced to do so anyway.

I should be grateful to them.

 
At 1/28/2012 6:51 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I'd say that since they pay 1/2 what we do for health care, they can afford to sell the car for less and it's a net job for them and a net job loss for us.

right?

 
At 1/28/2012 7:14 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I'd say that since they pay 1/2 what we do for health care, they can afford to sell the car for less and it's a net job for them and a net job loss for us."

Who is "They" in each case, and who is "us"? Your vague, collectivist attributions are confusing.

 
At 1/28/2012 7:16 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


They sell for around $100k. Whether or not that's "a ton" depends on who you are. I suspect it's out of your price range.

That's getting into the price range where it is more form than function. Much more expensive than that, and the cars are less meant to be driven than admired.

While I wouldn't refuse a Phaeton outright, it'd be very expensive to maintain.


Do you see a problem with cars like these being manufactured for people eager to buy them?

None. I'd just not mind if the mass market wasn't hemmed into satnav equipped I-4 golfcarts. Sort of like those Fords linked earlier in the thread.

 
At 1/28/2012 7:26 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"they" are the countries that provide health care benefits so the auto company in those countries do not have embedded health care costs in the price of the auto itself.

"us" are the auto plants here that have to include the health care benefits for workers in the cost of the car they sell.

 
At 1/28/2012 7:53 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That's getting into the price range where it is more form than function. Much more expensive than that, and the cars are less meant to be driven than admired."

That's nonsense. In reality it's just the opposite.

"While I wouldn't refuse a Phaeton outright, it'd be very expensive to maintain."

Why would that be so? What would make it expensive to maintain?

"None. I'd just not mind if the mass market wasn't hemmed into satnav equipped I-4 golfcarts. Sort of like those Fords linked earlier in the thread."

Then it should be obvious to you that there are hundreds of different car models, with hundreds of various features and amenities, meant to appeal to the widest possible market - except for you of course.

There is no uniform mass market, but millions of individuals making decisions and choices about the car they find best suits their needs.

When automakers guess wrong, they lose sales, and respond by discontinuing a model or feature. If cars you call golfcarts weren't popular - and by the way you use that description for cars you seem to know nothing about - they wouldn't be made.

It's bizarre that you think certain choices are forced on people.

 
At 1/29/2012 3:45 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"they" are the countries that provide health care benefits so the auto company in those countries do not have embedded health care costs in the price of the auto itself."

Then, as I said, I should thank the people in those countries who have helped pay for my car, even if they didn't want to.

 
At 1/29/2012 12:09 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I'd say that since they pay 1/2 what we do for health care, they can afford to sell the car for less and it's a net job for them and a net job loss for us"...

So who is paying for the other half of their total cost of health care?

Or maybe the quality of their health care is such that they can't afford the technology US health care has access to...

Via con Dios if that's your ideal of health care nirvana...

 
At 1/29/2012 12:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

well.. they pay about 1/2 what we do for an MRI or CAT....etc....

same deal in Singapore...

so if you control your health care costs - you make your own manufacturing enterprises more competitive, eh?

keep in mind that nowhere in those countries that have universal health care are you prevented from spending more money for more/better if you want to.

the health care is a basic standard for all.

you're free to buy "up".

the primary difference is we delude ourselves in this country by thinking we don't pay for the uninsured.

We not only pay for them but we pay twice as much as it should cost.

and we think it is terrible to make scofflaws prepay for their inevitable health care needs and instead are only to glad to pick up the tab for them later.

all the while.. our cars have 1500 of extra costs built into them making them largely uncompetitive for export.

The cars that GM and Ford actually do export are made in countries that have universal health care - those countries get those jobs.

 
At 1/29/2012 1:31 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"the primary difference is we delude ourselves in this country by thinking we don't pay for the uninsured"...

Who are these 'we' you're talking about?

"and we think it is terrible to make scofflaws blah, blah, blah"...

Again who is this 'we' you blathering on about?

In your usual state of denial you seem to go to extra lengths to forget a major detail: “Universal” protection and redistributive financing are now widespread policies. Most or all people are covered, must pay payroll taxes, and receive standard benefits. While the rich – usually the healthier – pay standard percentage-of-wages rates, their higher incomes cause them to contribute more money. The less healthy—usually the lower earners – consume more benefits from health insurance and the disability accounts, often while paying in taxes less than their actuarial costs...

 
At 1/29/2012 2:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The cars that GM and Ford actually do export are made in countries that have universal health care - those countries get those jobs."

Please look up the definition of the word 'export', then try again.

 
At 1/29/2012 4:03 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: "export"

I was not clear.

I was pointing out that Fords and GMs made in other countries like Brazil and Europe can be "exported" from those countries but in this country we don't see to export many GMs and Fords.

re: " : “Universal” protection and redistributive financing are now widespread policies."

from the same provided reference:

" During the twentieth century, policy researchers in the United States repeatedly published descriptions of European social insurance and offered designs for America. The United States enacted duplicates of the European social security pension and disability systems during the 1930’s. National health insurance was repeatedly considered, but policymakers and interest groups thought they could accomplish the same result with a mixture: voluntary employer-provided insurance for workers and managers, supplemented by government programs for the retired (Medicare) and the unemployed (Medicaid).

The failure of this model motivates us to organize this conference."

 
At 1/29/2012 6:00 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Then it should be obvious to you that there are hundreds of different car models, with hundreds of various features and amenities, meant to appeal to the widest possible market - except for you of course.

Which are not as numerous as you suggest. You might be able to choose the shape or whether your I-4 golfcart has a turbocharger or spoiler on it, but the car design at (un-American) Ford, and outside the US, remains the same.

Let me know when it doesn't take raiding the luxury or fleet tiers to get a V6 or a RWD V8 behemoth. That is, something properly US-sized and not some terrorwagon.




It's bizarre that you think certain choices are forced on people.

It's bizarre that you think people really have a choice. Even when the choices end up with an equal result.

 
At 1/29/2012 6:24 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Ron H. said...
There is no uniform mass market, but millions of individuals making decisions and choices about the car they find best suits their needs.

That presumes that there isn't a limited scope of choice. Thanks to the gradual step-down, it's been conditioned to think it's not OK for cars to be Americanized in size and power - but be little more than golfcarts with English translated manuals, designed by people who don't even have the slightest idea of US preferences.

 
At 1/29/2012 8:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That presumes that there isn't a limited scope of choice. Thanks to the gradual step-down, it's been conditioned to think it's not OK for cars to be Americanized in size and power - but be little more than golfcarts with English translated manuals, designed by people who don't even have the slightest idea of US preferences."

You have no idea what you are talking about. Have you looked at new cars lately? You need to get out of your mother's basement more often.

Do you really think people buy cars they don't want?

If price is your problem, you may have missed the fact that your government has devalued the USD badly since you last bought a car, and everything is more expensive in nominal dollars now, including cars.

 
At 1/30/2012 3:48 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


You have no idea what you are talking about. Have you looked at new cars lately?

Yes. A whole lot of I-4's that look more at home with Third World countries. At best, you're looking at their upper tier as our lower tier.


Do you really think people buy cars they don't want?

Yes. If they can't find something that they do want (which is otherwise reasonable and mass-market), they will begrudingly buy the golfcart.

 

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