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Spoke to a someone that works at the plant and he told me that they were exploring a 3rd shift option to increase production output. He said that they are still not at the full target production rate.

He told me that GM built about a dozen plant cars that they allowed employees to take home for a single day and then submit their reviews of the car. One employee said that the biggest problem is that when stopped, EVERYONE wants to look at it! He said that one night he emptied a diner!

He said the employee reviews were absolutely excellent.

:cool:
 

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that would be sweet if they set-up for a third shift. that would give me hope to a december delivery. :leaving:
 

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We've talked about this before. A 3rd shift is a short term, far more expensive answer that really doesn't make much sense. Once they reach full production rate and catch up to production needs there will be no need for the very expensive 3rd shift to be there anymore.
 

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I see the third shift as GM's hat, tee shirt and photo album offer to the group that were not part of the first 1K. It would not be the most inexpensive way to proceed, but it would help fill the gap until production levels were up to full capacity.
 

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I said it yesterday on a different thread: Wilmington assembly plant will soon be going 24/7,,,if it hasn't already. OT wages don't mean much to GM if there is a demand for the unit being made. If they don't respond,,,,they lose sales to Honda, Mazda, Ford, Toyota, etc,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, it's a business!
 

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The Mayor said:
Spoke to a someone that works at the plant and he told me that they were exploring a 3rd shift option to increase production output. He said that they are still not at the full target production rate.

He told me that GM built about a dozen plant cars that they allowed employees to take home for a single day and then submit their reviews of the car. One employee said that the biggest problem is that when stopped, EVERYONE wants to look at it! He said that one night he emptied a diner!

He said the employee reviews were absolutely excellent.

:cool:
A third shift would be great but that would only leave more cars waiting in th bay to get shipped and at the rate they are shipping I don't think they would have the space. Does your friend know what is up with the delays on shipping? Maybe you could ask and get us some inside info! ;)
 
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If GM can meet their target production numbers up, they will have to do something. If a 3rd shift is the answer, so be it.
 

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Whatever it takes! Get the cars out here to the loyal and dedicated! :willy:
 

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brentil said:
We've talked about this before. A 3rd shift is a short term, far more expensive answer that really doesn't make much sense. Once they reach full production rate and catch up to production needs there will be no need for the very expensive 3rd shift to be there anymore.
I admit I do not know the production capacity of this plant to produce 20k Solsti in addition to Sky and Opel exports. However, the fact is, according to original post, the production numbers are falling behind.

Coming from an extensive manufacturing background, IMHO, running 3rd shift or continuous production shifts 24/7 is by far the most efficient, cost effective way to increase productivity. The shutting down and starting up of production every day takes a tremendous toll on the plants efficiency.

I do agree that if the ultimate full production of Solstice, Sky, and Opel can be met without 3rd shift, a temporary 3rd shift is a bad idea as they would have to train employees and then lay off when no longer needed. Very few facilities would want to go with that approach.

If it is indeed temporary production output that is needed, the best approach is to increase overtime hours to keep the plant running continuously.

The fact that 3rd shift is being considered and not overtime leads me to believe that the production deficiency is not temporary but long term. In light of this and the astronomical demand for the Solstice, one may even speculate that they are trying to increase capacity and annual production higher than the original 20k forcast.
 

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PhxSunCat said:
I said it yesterday on a different thread: Wilmington assembly plant will soon be going 24/7,,,if it hasn't already. OT wages don't mean much to GM if there is a demand for the unit being made. If they don't respond,,,,they lose sales to Honda, Mazda, Ford, Toyota, etc,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, it's a business!
Exactly right. Continuous 24/7 production gives the best efficiency and productivity. If there is demand, i would think GM would like to bring this plant to its highest form of productivity and profitability.
 

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This is a rumor that pops up repeatedly from time to time.

As mentioned what good is a 3rd shift going to do if the reason they're coming out slow is due to quality issues and not line speed? All that's going to do is make more cars faster that can't be shipped.

What good is a 3rd shift going to do if the current two shifts can already make the Solstice/Sky/Opel numbers? Incure training costs, incure possible more equipment costs, laying off of Union workers once demand is meet (worst idea ever), and only fill a short term need for cars once they reach full speed and meet production numbers.

The car line is going through it's teething stages, and hasn't even reached full line speed yet. Adding more workers is not going to solve those teething issues, and isn't going to get cars that can actually ship to owners faster any time soon.

The current 2 shift line will make enough cars to fill all the current Kappa needs. So once this inititial demand is over, what do they do? Fire Union workers or make more Kappas then the world can support sales of?
 

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"The current 2 shift line will make enough cars to fill all the current Kappa needs. So once this inititial demand is over, what do they do? Fire Union workers or make more Kappas then the world can support sales of?"

That is so obvious, they make the turbo versions and the Nomad!
 

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brentil said:
This is a rumor that pops up repeatedly from time to time.

As mentioned what good is a 3rd shift going to do if the reason they're coming out slow is due to quality issues and not line speed?

The current 2 shift line will make enough cars to fill all the current Kappa needs. So once this inititial demand is over, what do they do? Fire Union workers or make more Kappas then the world can support sales of?
Yes, you make very good points as to why a 3rd shift would not be justified. It does appear that this may just be rumor. I do believe that this plant will ultimately produce the expected numbers that production engineers have forcast.

However, I disagree that these numbers will adequately satisfy world demand for this product. That is where I was going with my response. It would seem that GM would want to produce enough to meet demand, thereby increasing their profitability. The introduction of the Solstice has far exceeded expectations so far. The first year production of the Miata did not come close to meeting demand. By the second year, the numbers increased dramatically. Perhaps GM would like to be proactive and increase production to meet demand.

Of course this is purely speculation and rumor on my part and is meant to stimulate discussion.
 

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It's not like a "snap your fingers" and a 3rd shift appears. And once your demand falls off, you can't just snap your fingers and have that 3rd shift go away - you have to pay them, or find work for them...

Bringing on extra capacity is a very difficult thing to just "do". Overcapaticization is one of the problems of the Fiero - geared up for more cars than demand can absorb.

The fact of the matter is that the Solstice (and sibling Sky) are 2-seat, convertible, limited trunk capacity, nich vehicles with a handful of "style over convenience" "features. GM is trying to sell about 30,000 more of these cars per year, in a market that is JUST BARELY 100,000 a year.

To do this, they'll have to pull off a big magic trick - "grow" the 2-seat roadster market by 20%, and "steal" another 10% from Mazda, BMW, Honda...

I think they are playing it right, and adding a 3rd shift could actually be the downfall of the kappa if the 2-seat market hits a downturn.

I'm sure they are exploring it, but in the end they will not be able to sustain a 70,000/year volume of such a limited car - even if they are $20,000 a piece. The Solstice/Sky cannot be a primary transportation for a family of 3 or greater. It is limited by ground clearance for inclement weather (like snow >3").

If they play it smart, they won't add a 3rd shift, they'll just try to work in increasing capacity with the line they have.
 

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:agree:
You make excellent points, while my thoughts are just knee jerk gut feelings.

The real question of adding a third shift is the long term demand of Kappa. If the demand can be sustained, than by all means increase production. If not work through the initial demand surge with current production capacity.

Initial demand for this car has resulted in 10,000+ orders sight unseen with a 4-6 month wait for those ordering today. Most people I have spoken to don't even know what a Solstice is. When they start to appear on the streets and showrooms I would expect demand to skyrocket. GM will have no problem selling out the 06 MY. It remains to be seen how successful Kappa is after the initial buzz.

Yes, the roadster market is limited, and my opinions are severely jaded. But I hope that this is the homerun that GM needs and they take full advantage of it. Solsti for everyone :)
 

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Obviously it's speculation on my part, but I don't think anyone really knows what the demand for the Solstice and Sky will ultimately be. The cars aren't in show rooms nor do they have a presence on the streets. What will happen when that happens, considering there are already over 13,000 orders now? They have, at least partially, created new market for these types of cars. I have several friends that will buy next year and, like me, they were not in the market for a two seat roadster prior to the Solstice. So I don't think anyone can totally rule out the need for a third shift. I'm certain that GM will explore this from every angle. I think these cars defy conventional wisdom, and may require some unusual decisions from GM.
 

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There are so many factors that go into a decision like bringing on a 3rd shift that it makes your head spin :willy:

But there are really only two questions to answer - one GM knows very well, the other, we can only speculate at.

I know it has been said that the Solstice is profitable - but do we know this for sure? I hardly think GM would announce they are willing to lose $1,200/car to build a halo vehicle for Pontiac, but we know they have been willing to lose big money on certain vehicles. If GM isn't making money on the Solstice - they would have no reason to even want to meet demand (if your losing money on every sale - you can't make it up on volume :lol: ).

Total demand (not the initial rush) is the big, un-aswered question. The true believers on this forum (like me) don't doubt the Solstice is a homerun. I'm one of the many who had no intention of buying a 2-seat convertible - and still have no interest in a Miata or S2000 (seems to me there was a poll sometime ago that indicated +30% of forum members were in a similar mood). My belief that GM could sell 45k Solsti/Sky isn't going to get them to commit the millions it would take to bring on a third shift - they obviously have research that tells them 30k a year is about it.

Is GM looking at a 3rd shift - I'm sure someone is. Chances of it becoming a reality :( , probably not very good.


I don't know for sure, but I'll bet there a whole bunch of employees from the L-series production that are getting paid 85% to sit at home - that might make even a temporary 3rd shift more palatable. Also, future products (can anyone say Kappa-coupe?) might help the proposition :thumbs:
 

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brentil said:
This is a rumor that pops up repeatedly from time to time.

As mentioned what good is a 3rd shift going to do if the reason they're coming out slow is due to quality issues and not line speed? All that's going to do is make more cars faster that can't be shipped.
Do we know if the reason they are coming out so slow is due to quality issues??? What if the plain truth is they just can't build them? I'd like to see a third shift added if for no other reason than just to get to work fixing the hundreds of "poor quality" cars rumored to be parked on the lot waiting for re-work.

Fact is they are having real troubles building this car...I have faith they will overcome these start-up issues. I do think they would have been a whole lot better off had they not put themselves into this situation by promising a whole lot of people in prime time they would have their cars by this year. A few lucky ones will, but by over-promising and under-delivering they can only damage their reputation. As you say a third shift may not be economical but neither is a 'black-eye' from failure to deliver as promised.

I have faith General, I'll keep a light on in the garage.
 
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