New UAW President Says "No More Concessions"

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1st Gear: He Also Doesn't Like Confrontation

Dennis Williams, the ex-Marine finance guy who just took over as president of the UAW, used his opening speech to say he doesn't want to give up concessions.


"It's time for each and every one of us to tell our corporations no more concessions," he said. "We're tired of this.

"I don't want anybody to misread what I'm saying; I want to work closely with the companies as long as it doesn't hurt our members. I also want to tell them, I do not like confrontation, but I am not afraid of confrontation."

He didn't touch on the two-tier wage system.

2nd Gear: Is Mulally Going To Go To Sears?


Here's a weird exclusive from Reuters, it turns out that Eddie Lampert, the billionaire who owns most of Sears, met with Ford's Alan Mulally for "advice."

It's also possible that Lampert was trying to feel out if Mulally might be interested in turning around Sears the way he turned around Ford.


Kind of a funny outcome but I doubt it's something that would happen:

It would be a surprise if Mulally, who is seen as one of the most successful manufacturing executives in recent American history, considered joining Sears. Ford came out of the financial crisis much better than its U.S. rivals General Motors Co (GM.N) and Chrysler Group LLC CHRY.UL, who both went into bankruptcy and had to be rescued by the U.S. government. He came to Ford after running Boeing Co's (BA.N) commercial plane business.


Yeah, it would be a surprise.

3rd Gear: Automaker Taxes On The Upswing


Automakers around the world are paying more taxes — at a rate of about 28.4% — up 24.9% from a couple of years ago.

"The improved business climate and increased profitability at several manufacturers have led to an increase in (effective tax rates) across the sector, although companies have continued to benefit from maintaining operations in overseas markets with lower tax structures, in addition to benefiting from tax incentives."


Still, ultimately a good thing, as automakers have benefited a lot from taxpayer spending so they should return some of it.

4th Gear: California Wants That Gigafactory


Having seen Toyota fly to lovely Texas, California seems to want avoid repeating history and have proposed a law making it as easy as possible for Tesla to build its Gigafactory in California.


It should be noted that Elon Musk dismissed the idea of building it in California because of some regulatory issues, but now maybe that's not going to be a problem now?

Either way, it's about jobs and political leverage and Musk seems to be playing it pretty well.


5th Gear: Skoda!


Skoda sales in the UK are up 15.9% year-over-year, because people love Skodas. Granted, that means their market share is just 3.1%, but that's not bad for a Czech car brand.

Also, I'm hopefully going to go to Prague this summer and drive a couple of Skodas. They seem a little perplexed as to why we love them so much, but c'mon. Look at that Citigo!


Reverse: D-DAY

Although the term D-Day is used routinely as military lingo for the day an operation or event will take place, for many it is also synonymous with June 6, 1944, the day the Allied powers crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II. Within three months, the northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet forces moving in from the east.


Neutral: What's The Future Of The UAW?

Photo Credit: UAW/Getty Images

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