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Old 02-02-2007, 02:18 PM   #71
The_Aerodynamic_Head
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Default Re: It's Official: Hoard the Hogs Now.

He's on his comedians' union break. He doesn't have to be funny for another fifteen minutes.

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Old 02-02-2007, 02:47 PM   #72
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Default Is that you Dilbert?

Isn't the comic strip Dilbert by Scott Adams all about the grey collar workers? You guys are funny.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:49 PM   #73
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Default Re: It's Official: Hoard the Hogs Now.

I wonder if H-D isn't laughing all the way to the bank on this one. Hasn't one of H-D's "problems" for the last couple of years been that they could no longer afford to have supply lag so far behind demand? But now that supply roughly equals demand, aren't they worried about declining prices at the dealer (i.e.-less gouging)?



The perception in the market and press is often overly focussed. This little stunt could be exactly what the Company was hoping for, in order to temporarily close the flow of production and generate a short-term (3-6 month) demand spike. Meanwhile, yeah, the factory is idle, but their labor cost just went way down for the very short term (1-2 months).



Since H-D has a habit of front-loading annual production, there's likely to be enough units in the pipeline to keep dealers stocked through the Spring/Bike Week buying rush.



Y'all, this is ONE factory. What are they making? If it's frames, they have another frame plant in Canadia. If engines: Milwaukee. If final assembly: two more in Milwaukee and (I think) one in Ohio. H-D can save a bit on near-term labor, lose very little, if anything, in terms of units stocked at dealers, and "correct" their slipping supply/demand ratio, all without actually ceasing to make bikes. meanwhile, the simians on the picket line get their $235/week strike wages from the Union.



H-D can wait them out. Hey, how old is this factory? H-D could easily say, "Ah, screw it. We'll shut the whole thing down and build a new one closer to our suppliers. But I suspect the factory will reopen, regardless of concessions, when H-D is ready for it to, and not sooner.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:50 PM   #74
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Default It's a global economy now.

Excellent Post. Good counter arguments. As an engineer now manager I know first hand of what you speak. I naively try to look for win-win solutions However, in this case I honestly don't think the union is being smart. I believe that even if union gets HD to cave, the next time around will be different. When a new model is purposed, they will talk about outsourcing parts and even subassemblies . (see my prediction post) Why? Is HD management greedy? Are they evil? No they are competing globally. Like it or not we all are competing globally even executives, low-level managers, engineers, HD workers etc. The pressure on management is intense to lower costs..



As far as Ford goes, I stand by what you consider a my silly remark. Actually Ford quality has been improving quite a bit. Yes they made some bad decisions but they made some good ones too... The Explorer really was at the leading edge of the SUV craze. Yes they should of been plowing back profits into R&D on fuel efficient products. They do have a hybrid by the way. Perhaps Ford's cost structure wouldn't allow them to invest back into the company. In particular, the main problem are these 'entitlement" like programs to retirees and the current work force. This locks them into a terrible cost structure for labor especially during bad times.. Go read more about their pension and retiree benefits including health care.. This cost structure for labor is not competitive globally. Like or not we compete globally.[/b]



I agree with you on the CEO pay thing but I think global competition will take care of that as well. i.e. CEO pay will likely come down to more reasonable levels. On the otherhand it might go up. The talent to successfully run a major company in a global economy may be a rare talent.



Like I said the solution is like this [b]income = wage + profit sharing.. When profits are lean at least you keep your job..
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:20 PM   #75
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Default Re: It's Official: Hoard the Hogs Now.

Do not forget that many of their suppliers are overseas
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:09 PM   #76
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Default Re: It's Official: Hoard the Hogs Now.

I though it was just a clever double ententre
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:08 PM   #77
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Default Re: It's Official: Hoard the Hogs Now.

You're absolutely right about the visas, though as a staff member at an engineering college, I have to point out that we'd be half the size or less, or even closed, if it weren't for our "international students."



And bad management is about mismanaging costs as well shoddy products. According to my local newspaper's business section, it costs Ford & GM an average of $2500 per car more than the Japanese manufacturers to produce a similar vehicle - in the U.S. PLANTS! That's a lot of pensions and free health care... Of course, that's probably just BS spread by the management to get the unions to accept the heartbreak of a $15 co-pay for office visits like the one I have, right?



Somebody here's a bit greedy, all right.

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Old 02-02-2007, 07:12 PM   #78
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Default Re: It's Official: Hoard the Hogs Now.

IIRC, York is the 'big' assembly plant with a bunch of the largest-margin products. St. Louis does things like the Blast.



And Milwaukee... well, Milwaukee was probably in York's position a decade or two ago, eh?

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Old 02-02-2007, 07:28 PM   #79
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Default Re: It's Official: Hoard the Hogs Now.

Just pray for the Ghost of H. Andrew to take its revenge on them.
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:38 PM   #80
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Default Re: It's Official: Hoard the Hogs Now.

The union can play ball or they can cling to their union dreams and watch as Harley just out-sources their jobs and lays them off when there is no longer work to justify their employment. Harley is a company with a product to sell and will follow business rules, not mystique and nostalgia.

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