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GM rejects union's squad car proposal
UAW sought to add work at Lansing plan
Barbara Wieland
Lansing State Journal

The United Auto Workers' attempt to make a cop car in General Motors Corp.'s Lansing Car Assembly plant has failed.

The world's largest automaker decided not to build the rear-wheel drive Hol-den Commodore at the aging assembly plant, GM spokesman Dan Flores said. The union had proposed making the car in Lansing last month.

"While GM appreciates the creativity of the local proposal, it is not something we are going to pursue," Flores said.

Despite the setback, union officials said they're still trying to find more work for the plant. Lansing Car Assembly recently lost production of one of its three car models.

The Commodore "is not the car they're looking for, but we're still trying to bring work in," said Mike Green, vice chairman of UAW Local 652.

Union officials had proposed the rear-wheel drive Commodore because they thought it could fill a need among the nation's police departments. Ford currently dominates the cruiser market, but Green said earlier that many officers aren't happy with its Crown Victoria.

Last month, union members traveled to Detroit to pitch the Commodore idea to GM.

Local 652 Chairman Art Baker said GM hasn't ruled out cop cars completely. Though the Commodore idea was nixed, he said GM could still be persuaded to make a different police cruiser in the plant.

"The concept is still there and we are still pursuing it," he said.

The union also is looking for sheet metal work or parts production to bring to the Lansing Metal Center plant on Saginaw Street, Baker said.

Finding new work for the plant is a priority for the UAW Locals 602 and 652.

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GM is kinda dumb at times... if the could make the comardore localy, they could make the GTO localy, (not that demand is extremly high) they should persue this, the comodore is basicly a 4 door GTO right? I bet cops would love to have crusiers that have 350HP on tap to run down the ricers. I always see cop cars on TV shows and whenever there is a car chase, the whole group of cop cars is always like 3-5 cars BEHIND the perp... shouldnt they be able to cut him off and corral him into a corner or somthing?

On top of that, its work for the plant, and money for the poket..
 

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Good decision by GM. American didn't like the Caterra which is essentially the same product (with different engines) and American isn't going goat wild with the GTO either. GM needs to be serious with its platforms and have something that isn't just a warmed up, tired European/Aussie model with some new headlamps, grill, and tail lights. It is obvious that in these transplants GM is unwilling to spend a dime on different sheet metal to make them look substantively different, so GM, had it introduced the Caprice, would have looked stupid peddling a five year old Cadillac with a different grill which was really then a tired five year old Eurocentric piece of garbage.
 

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Originally posted by laserwizard@Jun 25 2004, 02:07 PM
Good decision by GM. American didn't like the Caterra which is essentially the same product (with different engines) and American isn't going goat wild with the GTO either. GM needs to be serious with its platforms and have something that isn't just a warmed up, tired European/Aussie model with some new headlamps, grill, and tail lights. It is obvious that in these transplants GM is unwilling to spend a dime on different sheet metal to make them look substantively different, so GM, had it introduced the Caprice, would have looked stupid peddling a five year old Cadillac with a different grill which was really then a tired five year old Eurocentric piece of garbage.
I would like for you to explain what the public has to do with a bunch of cars that the police would drive? The public will have very little to do with this car.
I also think this is good, but for totaly different reasons that Lazer has blurted out.
Why does GM NEED to make a cop car? Im sure cops would love it, but to be just a fleet factory? Why not wait for Zeta to come out.

and its not the Omgea chassis Lazer. Its very different from Omega. Yeah, its based off Omega, but the chassis has been morphed and evolved into the VX chassis. There is very little that will trasfer from one to the other. The GTO has very little to do with this car.
And this Eurocentric piece of garbage is 100000x better then anything Ford has to offer. A Ford fan like yourself should never talk about old chassis as Ford is the KING of the old mothball platforms.
 

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The Catera is a piece of crap! It is now worth next to nothing and there is a reason for that. It had a ton of problems that they couln't fix! I've driven one, hell I almost bought one. They are too heavy and a dog off the line. The one I drove was a used car and had some mistery problem that made my desicion easy.
 

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I applaud the UAW for its creativity. It is amazing how much more intelligent the Lansing locals are than the Flint Locals are/were.

Even with this failure, the local didn't go on a tirade against GM. Instead they said "Were gonna try another one!"

It is absolutely terrific to see that American "Do or die spirit" alive in Lansing!

I wish I could get behind their fight.

They deserve a great product!

While the commodore might not be it, ...and it really wouldn't be a hit, something else would.

Maybe they could shift the jobs from the thankless workers in Pontiac or Flint.
 

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Originally posted by GM-10@Jun 25 2004, 02:52 PM
I applaud the UAW for its creativity. It is amazing how much more intelligent the Lansing locals are than the Flint Locals are/were.

Even with this failure, the local didn't go on a tirade against GM. Instead they said "Were gonna try another one!"

It is absolutely terrific to see that American "Do or die spirit" alive in Lansing!

I wish I could get behind their fight.

They deserve a great product!

While the commodore might not be it, ...and it really wouldn't be a hit, something else would.

Maybe they could shift the jobs from the thankless workers in Pontiac or Flint.
I agree. Starting a fleet-only factory wasn't the best idea in the world, but t can't hurt to try. Living in the Flint area, I'd appreciate more people put back to work.
 

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But Lansing's two plants will be "fleet only" beginning this fall. The plants currently make the Chevrolet Classic (fleet-only) and the Pontiac Grand Am (soon-to-be fleet-only). Adding something with more shelf-life than these two would be a good thing...and trying to find new products may be the best move the UAW has made in decades.

While the Commodore and Omega do share platforms, they are, as was pointed out, different vehicles since the Holden has been improved from the Opel. Just because the Omega-based Catera was a flop as a near-luxury car doesn't mean it wouldn't be good for other things. But I don't think it would be well suited as a police car. The Commodore is not quite as big, primarily in the rear seat and trunk, as the Crown Victoria...it's probably not even as large as the Impala inside.

Also, there's no point in building the Pontiac GTO in the US. Sales of the GTO weren't expected to reach above 20-25,000 units a year and the vehicle will be replaced in less than four years. Volume isn't there and there isn't enough time to retool a plant to build it profitably anyway. The next generation GTO will, most likely, be built in Oshawa.
 

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Originally posted by laserwizard@Jun 25 2004, 02:07 PM
American didn't like the Caterra which is essentially the same product (with different engines)
The Catera was a rework of an Opel car, and it's not as big as the Aussie Commodore anyway. If you're gonna whine, at least get the facts right.

I think the Commodore would have worked out quite well for police, as someone has already mentioned. But there would have to be changes to make it fully legal here (much like the GTO's fuel tank) and there are likely other complications. I would certainly like to see more police units like the Caprice instead of that Crap Victoria. Every cop I've talked to (only a few, granted) liked their Caprices better, and indeed many units keep their old B-bodies around despite their age because of the alternatives.
 

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Originally posted by Hudson@Jun 25 2004, 03:27 PM
But Lansing's two plants will be "fleet only" beginning this fall. The plants currently make the Chevrolet Classic (fleet-only) and the Pontiac Grand Am (soon-to-be fleet-only). Adding something with more shelf-life than these two would be a good thing...and trying to find new products may be the best move the UAW has made in decades.

I said "starting" a plant as fleet-only. There's a huge difference in just keeping the doors open a year or two longer building the existing products for fleet, as opposed to doing all the plant setup required (plant equipment, training, logistics, suppliers) to build a different product. And that doesn't even include the engineering needed on the car itself to be legal and appropriate for the states.
 

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This might be a dumb question, but why not just dig out the tooling for the old Caprice and start making it again? Ford's plan has been rumored to be putting the Crown Vic into "fleet only" service for some time now.
 

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GM is smart on not building a new caprice on the aging catera,malibu,and olds cutlass..if theyre gonna build a new caprice wait til ford re-enters the cop market with their new version of the crown vic or renamed version for cruisers and public driving..very smart thinking!!!!!! and now we know chrysler wants to get back into it but lets wait til we get to see the next crown vic and build something that maybe we can bring the next GTO and future caprice back to the US soil to be produced and not in australia
 

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Originally posted by Lichtronamo@Jun 25 2004, 04:33 PM
This might be a dumb question, but why not just dig out the tooling for the old Caprice and start making it again? Ford's plan has been rumored to be putting the Crown Vic into "fleet only" service for some time now.
Body on Frame cars are loooooooooong gone. No need to bring it back when there is a new RWD chassis right around the corner.
 

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Originally posted by link@Jun 25 2004, 09:41 AM
The Catera is a piece of crap! It is now worth next to nothing and there is a reason for that. It had a ton of problems that they couln't fix! I've driven one, hell I almost bought one. They are too heavy and a dog off the line. The one I drove was a used car and had some mistery problem that made my desicion easy.
Well as the owner of 2 Catera's I CAN say that the car got a bad rap from the media. I had a 1998 with 98,000 miles that I traded for a 2000. When I traded the 2000 with 65,000 miles the ONLY thing I had to do to each one was buy tires and oil changes. Yeah, that sounds like a trouble plauged car to me. As I recall, the 1997 had electrical problems that were fixed by 1998. I will go along with the part that it wasn't fast or light. But they drove nice. Now if you put a big V8 in the car, then all of its short comings are fixed.
 

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I can appreciate the UAW trying to save its union member jobs, but I'm happier still that sensibility ruled the day and GM axed this plan. As much as the lay perspective suggests that a Commodore police car would sell in droves, when someone actually runs the figures, I'm sure the business case is not there (hence the dismissal of this idea).

Good show, GM. Spend your money on better investments.
 

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Originally posted by bigals87z28+Jun 25 2004, 11:48 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bigals87z28 @ Jun 25 2004, 11:48 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Lichtronamo@Jun 25 2004, 04:33 PM
This might be a dumb question, but why not just dig out the tooling for the old Caprice and start making it again?  Ford's plan has been rumored to be putting the Crown Vic into "fleet only" service for some time now.
Body on Frame cars are loooooooooong gone. No need to bring it back when there is a new RWD chassis right around the corner. [/b][/quote]
So are pushrods, but that hasn't stopped GM yet. Besides, with more than 50% of new sales as trucks and most trucks being body on frame, they are long from long gonnnnnneeeeee...
 

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Originally posted by Lichtronamo@Jun 25 2004, 11:33 AM
This might be a dumb question, but why not just dig out the tooling for the old Caprice and start making it again? Ford's plan has been rumored to be putting the Crown Vic into "fleet only" service for some time now.
As much as I like the idea of a rear drive full size Chevy in the lineup I wouldn't like to see Chevy dig the 91-96 style Caprice back up. I currently own one of these pigs and really the only 3 things I like about it are the styling, the 5.7 LT1 power and the ride. Other than that it feels like i'm driving a 70's design vehicle. Add to that all the trouble I've had with it; wheels falling off the vehicle at 60 mph due to defective ball joint, driveability woes, front end eating tires up and not staying aligned, lots of wind noise with windows up, squeaky door panals, tranny failure at 46k miles etc. Looking at some Caprice and Impala forums finds many of the same symptoms. I would love to see a new style 4 door with RWD and a 5.7 LS1. The current Aussie Caprice with some more inventive side door sheetmetal would be a good start.
 

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This was a dumb decision. The Crown Vic is a goldmine for Ford, and it wouldn't have been that hard to refresh the Commodore. Say what you want about it, it's still better than no full-size RWD chevy.
 

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Originally posted by banzai79@Jun 25 2004, 05:06 PM
This was a dumb decision. The Crown Vic is a goldmine for Ford, and it wouldn't have been that hard to refresh the Commodore. Say what you want about it, it's still better than no full-size RWD chevy.
Agreed, GM really blew it here! Not only are skilled, experienced still be out of work, it also lost the opportunity to really fine-tune the Commodore chassis for this market. Who knows, we could've had a GTO with better styling and a gas tank that doesn't take up the whole trunk! Cops and Families could've had a new RWD Impala or Caprice to compete with the LX Chryslers.
What a dumb-*** move! I guess GM would rather piss off workers and let more sales go to Chrysler than actually employ people and sell cars!
 
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