• billyjoejimbob Posted: 3/31/2008 3:40pm PDT

    Dauch and AAM deserve credit for a successful turnaround of a sadly neglected former GM business unit. But... they also enjoyed the confluence of good fortune. No one dared dream that crude oil would sell for $12 in the late 90s; that so many people could be persuaded to drive SUVs and pickups for personal transportation; or that so many of them could be persuaded to buy 4/AWD (a second drive axle) that they didn't really need. Evergreen contracts with GM were the icing on the cake.

    Well, the bloom is off the rose. The energy supply / pricing squeeze began in 2002, although it took Katrina to push US consumers out of their comfort zones. In its first ten years, AAM was at least as lucky as it was smart, but no matter... That was then, this is now, and Dauch plans to balance the budget at the expense of his workforce and blame the UAW for it all... not just their fair share, which is considerable.

    Apparently, he believes that he and 4 other senior executives earned their collective $40 million compensation in 2007. Not only does the UAW disagree with him, AAM shareholders, who collectively shared only $37 million dollars in earnings for 2007 would be inclinded to agree.

    Personally, I think the fate of AAM's US plants is already sealed. the NY sites are not productive or needed... they are history. The plans to move most of what's left in Detroit to Mexico are well developed. Dauch's lowball offer, is designed to piss off high seniority workers. They'll demand two tiers and/or buydowns, they'll have enough clout to get them. Dauch will then have the outcome he needs to justify moving most AAM jobs will move to Mexico by the end of the next contract.