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Old 05-18-2012, 05:19 PM   #1
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Workhorse Plant

Talked to a friend of mine from Union City,IN, and I was told that the Workhorse plant is reopening as a non union plant,and that some of the old workers have been called back to work.As of today she is checking for me to see what they are doing in the plant,and I hope to have more info next week.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:26 PM   #2
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AMAZING how such rumors get started. I was told by a Workhorse employee, in a position to know, that the UC assembly line plant is COMPLETEING an existing order for thousands of commercial chassis and that they (workhorse) have brought in temporary workers to help the UAW employees finish the current order. Navistar still plans to shut it down and sell the property. Only time will tell if their "plan" is fully implemented.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:08 PM   #3
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Thats why I'm going over this weekend to find out whats going on,only 45 miles from my house.
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:47 AM   #4
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I was told by a Workhorse employee, in a position to know, that the UC assembly line plant is COMPLETEING an existing order for thousands of commercial chassis and that they (workhorse) have brought in temporary workers to help the UAW employees finish the current order.
We are a Workhorse Service Center and my boss was informed this week by WH that they are finishing an order and expect to be shut down sometime in October".
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:38 AM   #5
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One of our very good friends (virtually) punched their time card "Out" for the last time yesterday. The best information that I have puts the plant closing at November 1st and the assets being sold off thereafter.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:34 AM   #6
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Would the UAW workers be first on the layoff list? Just curious.



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Old 05-19-2012, 09:54 AM   #7
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Would the UAW workers be first on the layoff list? Just curious.
Mike, Between now and November 1st, I might be going on a limb BUT I don't think that they are going to have time to train people. "Who" is going to want to train for a 6 month career? I have not heard of migrant automotive workers.

I think they keep what they have and just bring in some folks that were previously laid off. The cost of a Union worker was probably factored into the price of the product before the orders were taken. I would be surprised if they split wages but curious if it did happen.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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Would the UAW workers be first on the layoff list? Just curious.
Mike
MIKE: There have already been TERMINATIONS, not layoffs, of many of the hourly and salaried employees who were not union members. While that may seem "strange", the people already let go were not directly involved in completeing the existing commercial chassis order, and so THEY were the first on the "former employee" list.

As I understand it, the "temporary" workers being called in to help the remaining UAW workers finish the current order may be some of the previously employed and experienced union & non-union workers. I'm guessing these temps will be the first to leave (again), when things begin to wind down (again). IMO, "some" of the UAW guys will probably be the among the last "out the door".

What a shame- all these good people, many of whom helped build the company literally "from the ground up" starting in 1999, have to suffer due to the demise of this "new breed" concept that developed & built the best gas RV chassis ever known.

I still can't believe that "management" could not "find" a suitable replacement for the 8.1L gasoline motor. Apparently "somebody else" bought the rights to its design from GM and has proceeded to develop applications for it.
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:53 PM   #9
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Ed,

You are correct. There is still a UAW/Workhorse conract in place and state and federal laws about the closing of a represented plant. I'm sure they are using experienced workers as "temps" as it would be difficult to train new people to do the work.

It is tragic that these people are going to be out of work through no fault of their own. They did everything they could to make this product a success at the local level. And that was union and management together. They did everything right and still got the shaft from circumstances beyond their control.

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Old 05-20-2012, 08:29 AM   #10
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Since I only plan on working another 5 years, I'm sure I'll be dealing with the various WCC's currently on the road.

Out of curiosity though, that's in the pipeline somewhere to replace the WCC as a suitable gas, front engine chassis?
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:31 AM   #11
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Out of curiosity though, what's in the pipeline somewhere to replace the WCC as a suitable gas, front engine chassis?
Honestly, absent a 8.1L Vortec engine, there isn't a suitable replacement for the gasoline powered Workhorse.

The Ford F Series Super Duty is the only show in town at the moment and for the foreseeable future. That said, there certainly would be customers that would choose differently if given the choice. Not having a choice for a gasoline powered RV chassis must be frustrating for new RV buyers.

I do expect that a small amount of shops will offer engine replacement options in order to keep long life RV coach bodies up and running. Whether the choice would be a GM 502, a PSI 8.8 or a completely rebuilt 8.1 would be up to the customer. For the immediate future and for the next 10+ years I would expect, there should be a few options that folks can pursue.

PSI has already stated in their press releases that they could supply engines at the OEM level, so its not for a lack of engines.

Whether or not we will see a second custom RV chassis company come on-line with a product for entry and mid-line coaches will completely depend on whether or not the economy improves. If there's a good reason to ramp up production for a product at this price point, I would expect that a 2nd competitor might take on the challenge.

When Workhorse bought the unit from Chevrolet, there were no guarantees that the brand would have done as well as it did. Pulling the trigger and taking the gamble is what companies that want to accomplish business do. Ultimately they have to make money or there's no need to invest millions into making a product that will never turn a profit.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:57 AM   #12
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Soap Box/Opinion On

Workhorse had to know 2 years in advance of the demise of the the 8.1L and that they would have to come up with a new engine platform. Being that NOTHING was done it was a planned exit of the RV chassis business. The W20D was not going to save the day and neither was the MaxForce series engines as the FRED type chassis were not real popular, especially with a 40 gal fuel tank. So, their FRED business went the way of the R chassis.

As for the commercial side... With the advent of the Sprinter type chassis Workhorse had some competition. Also, with the 8.1L engine gone, no replacement engine and FRED type chassis not being accepted for the "bread truck" business it was just a matter of time before the shut down would happen.

As for the TAC and Some Time Parts... I predicted they will cease to exist in the not to distant future. The TAC will be the first to go and the parts side will not survive considering that 90+% of parts a stock GM parts and the high prices for re-branded GM parts that are probably over priced to start with.Why do you think they copied "Husky Jack's" fuel filter adapter and have it produced by an OEM. Once you install the adapter you only need a GF481/652 filter. The only problem is finding GM xref numbers for Workhorse numbers. Maybe Workhorse would provide that before all the documentation is gone. But, do hold your breath that it will happen.

The bottom line is that a company that had the best gas chassis in the business has screwed the pooch one more time and we as consumers are the real losers.

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Old 05-21-2012, 08:16 AM   #13
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Workhorse died from MASSIVE SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS, too bad. Great chassis.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:37 PM   #14
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Who used to own WH? He must have previously flipped houses and was / is a very smart man. How in the heel did he get Navistar to buy it? And why did Navistar buy it?
Come on I'd at least like to hear some speculation, I'm not trying to be a thread killer.
Maybe Ford was a silent partner. Unlikely since they are mad at each other after power stroke prolems but that's the only logical explanation I can think of.
I really thought that Navistar buy WH was going to be a good thing.
We just got a new International C DOT truck today it is called a Workstar so that name is taken.
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