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solli4me said:
Article dated June 8, 2005 concerning GM layoffs & the Newport plant. "GM has recently invested $50 million in the plant to build several niche vehicles based on the rear-wheel-drive platform known as Kappa. The highly publicized Pontiac Solstice, a sports car expected to begin production at the plant this summer..."


http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050608/NEWS01/506080341/1006

The same article said Solstice prodiction is expected to run 7 cars per hour.

"When you stop and think about the cars they projected to be built there, the Solstice -- seven jobs [cars] an hour -- is not a whole lot," said Michael J. Fallers, an electrician from Newark who has worked at the Newport plant for 23 years." :yawn:
 

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From some of the other sources we've read (the GM Blog) it sounded like the line rate will start very slow to ensure quality. If things pass inspection they will ramp it up faster.
 

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mceb said:
From some of the other sources we've read (the GM Blog) it sounded like the line rate will start very slow to ensure quality. If things pass inspection they will ramp it up faster.
Was what I was thinking. They might be spinning what he was really saying. He might have been refering to early ramp up before they reach full line speed.
 

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I don't know. 7 cars an hour down from 72 is a big reduction all the way around. Production for 3 lines @20,000 units per line is just a quarter of the volume that employees are used to seeing. I'd be nervous, too. What's going to happen to the rest of the employees?
 

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solli4me said:
I don't know. 7 cars an hour down from 72 is a big reduction all the way around. ....is just a quarter of the volume that employees are used to seeing.
Those old numbers quoted where for a completely different car and line so it's apples vs. oranges. Kappa is lower volume car and it's #s will never match up to what that plant did with the L-series.
 

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Those old numbers quoted where for a completely different car and line so it's apples vs. oranges. Kappa is lower volume car and it's #s will never match up to what that plant did with the L-series. mceb
That's exactly my point. GM is transitioning from the L-series @250,000 cars per year to a tri-car production estimate of 60,000 per year. If I were assigned to that plant and saw that kind of decrease, I'd be worried too.
It's called downsizing.
 

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From the article:
David Sokolowski, who has been on long-term layoff from the Newport plant since 2003, said announcements of more GM layoffs always are a concern even if they are unlikely to affect Delaware in the near term.
I'd think that most of the layoffs already occured first, when they cut back on the volumn of Saturns produced,and latter, last year when they shut down the plant to convert it to Solstice production.
 

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DreamerDave said:
From the article: I'd think that most of the layoffs already occured first, when they cut back on the volumn of Saturns produced,and latter, last year when they shut down the plant to convert it to Solstice production.
Agree, I think people were hired back in smaller numbers for kappa after last year's layoff when they shut down L-series.
 

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In a previous thread, Anyone know the MAXIMUM line production rate?, GMlinedog stated that the expected max rate would be 50-60 per shift. So assuming a shift is 8 hours, 8x7=56. So 7 cars per hours would be about right.

But as been mentioned by others, we're comparing apples and oranges. You can't draw a straight comparison between production rate and number of employees. It is possible that the Solstice line will have more work stations or more complex operations, than the L-series line, which would effect the number of employees on the line.
 

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Also don't forget that it has been reported that the Solstice will have more pieces and components assembled by hand compared to a regular production car. That is probably one of the main reasons for lower than usual line rates.

Essentially, it may take as many workers just as many hours to build 20,000 Solstices as it would take the same number of workers over the same time to build 100,000 L-series sedans.
 

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dengel said:
In a previous thread, Anyone know the MAXIMUM line production rate?, GMlinedog stated that the expected max rate would be 50-60 per shift. So assuming a shift is 8 hours, 8x7=56. So 7 cars per hours would be about right.

But as been mentioned by others, we're comparing apples and oranges. You can't draw a straight comparison between production rate and number of employees. It is possible that the Solstice line will have more work stations or more complex operations, than the L-series line, which would effect the number of employees on the line.
It's not a "straight line" but it IS very correlated. The only piece of information missing is the hours it takes to build a solstice compared to an old L-series. Typical American cars are in the neighboorhood of 25 hours per car.

7 cars per hour and 25 hours per car tells you roughly how many work stations are required to build the car. 7 cars per hour means 8 1/2 minutes of time in each work "station". Simple manufacturing modelling would use these assumptions and work like this:

Every 8 1/2 minute work station is composed of 2 to 6 people (1 to 3 working on each side of a car). Call it 4 for rounding purposes.

25 hours is 1500 minutes - means 176 rough stations (at 8 1/2 minutes each), or about 700 line workers. Multiply by a fudge factor of 2 to account for line management, maintenance, etc. and you get over 1400 people.

Contrast this with a line rate of 65 cars per hour. Maximum time in station is 55 seconds and you can only fit one person on each side of the car per station at that speed. 25 hours is 90,000 seconds - 2 people per 55 second station and you get a smidge over 1600 line workers, or 3200 people when accounting for overhead personnel.



Also, the interesting thing is the max capacity of the plant and line rates seem reasonably close:

L-series intended was 250,000/year at line rates varying between 65-72 cars per hour. 65 cars per hour at 240 standard 2-8hr shift annual operation is 249,600 per year...

7 cars per hour at 240 standard annual work days is only a bit shy of 27,000 per year. Something is wrong with the "60,000 per year" estimate of the Wilmington plant, or they have a second assembly line operating at the same rate that they haven't disclosed yet. It's pretty much impossible to get 60,000 cars from a line rate of 7 per hour...
 
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