Oh Shut Up UAW… by Michael Accardi February 7, 2017February 7, 2017 Share Comments You know those people at parties, the ones who force feed their political position into innocuous conversation and jump down your throat at the slightest variance from their world view? Well Cindy Estrada, the United Auto Workers’s Union VP in charge of GM, is probably one of them. While the rest of America quietly enjoyed Buick’s second quarter Super Bowl spot featuring NFL quarterback Cam Newton and Australian super model Miranda Kerr, Estrada was at home, indignant that Buick would dare feature foreign-made machines: Can’t believe GM would feature foreign made vehicles on all-American Super Bowl @UAW — Cindy Estrada (@CindyEstrada174) February 6, 2017 I suppose in Cindy’s world GM should have featured the nearly decade old Enclave, or the due to be replaced Regal, no, wait, how about the very dead Verano? On a more serious note, Estrada’s disbelief is potentially treasonous to GM’s UAW backed workers. First of all, the Encore literally birthed the compact crossover segment, and with 56-percent of buyers being pulled in from competing brands, it has now become arguably one of the most successful products in GM’s entire global product arsenal. Cascada on the other hand sports a 60-percent conquest rate and fills a white space in the market no other brand was willing to fill. Buick’s ad highlights not just its market intelligence but also its willingness to take risks and its ingenuity to do so within GM’s imposed cost considerations. A car like the Cascada would never exist in this marketplace if it was built in North America, both it and the Encore exist because Buick avoids the UAW, Buick’s renaissance exists because it has learned to draw products from GM’s overseas departments and re-purpose them for American life. GM’s increasing reliance on lower cost non-UAW manufacturing leads to more competitive pricing, higher margins, and higher average transaction prices which all translate into more money for the company. Ironically, GM North America’s record breaking 2016 pre-tax profit of $12.05 billion trickled down into record profit sharing with the union. Because GM-UAW hourly workers take home $1 for each $1 million GM earns, some 52,000 hourly UAW workers will take home $12,000 profit sharing checks this month. Well, Cindy, which is it, do you want the money or not?