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· Cadillac Technician
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Kat,

I make a fair salary, but there are no rewards in this business for an A tech that does the kind of work I do.
I think it's a fair wage for what I do in this area but It's a 4 dollar an hour cut in pay from what I was making in California. The cost of living is a bit lower here except for housing. I am not "poor" per se, but I do have a very expensive home and my Wife is a PhD who earns a salary almost twice mine and it's her second year out of college. I have been in this trade for about 12 years. Most of what I do is electrical work and probably 80 percent of what I do is warranty work on new cars. Mostly stuff that nobody else in the dealership wants to do. GM does not reward techs with high pay for finding problems like the ones I work on. At best doing what I normally do I can get paid my 40 hours at my pay rate. There are guys swapping out pistons, rebuilding transmissions and changing engines that are making over 100 hours in a week, but my back can't handle that kind of work, plus I really don't like it.
If I traded my Trailblazer in and went a little deeper in debt I could probably honestly afford the payments but I don't want to encourage myself to do that because it would make me feel even more poor. Apart from my mortgage and 2 car payments (that are almost paid off) I really don't have much debt. I pay my credit cards off every month and have no vices except for buying DVDs (my current collection contains over 400 disks in all, some are box sets but it's about 200 titles)... I had to cut myself back to one a month because it was costing a lot. Maybe that would all change if people had some respect for the folks working on their cars instead of jumping in our faces and tell us how much we suck right out of the gate. I mean these cars are more complicated than the craft that put man on the moon but I am supposed to be spot on 100% of the time the first time every time. I try my best but there are still problems out there that GM engineers can't even solve, I seem to be responsible for that according to the general public as well. On top of that the honest guys get to earn a reputation from the few dishonest ones on national TV and then try to explain to someone why our shop labor rate is what it is. It's such a great business to be in....

Anyway.... enough about that.

I do agree that paying a premium price for a premium car, you should expect a higher degree of quality, and I didn't mean to say that Cadi doesn't care more about quality than Chevy does, what I really intended to say was that it's not as if less expensive carline carmakers don't care about quality as much.
Most of the cost, I think, is because of superior design and higher grade materials. I mean a luxury or performance car costs more in R&D and in production. It makes sense to expect more from a higher priced car in the way of quality, but I think a lot of people take it to an extreme.

I wish I got paid to hear people tell me how much they paid for their car every time they bring it in with something wrong with it.
I don't get a dime when our sales department sells a car and I respect the fact that you paid more for it, but whether you paid 1,000 dollars or 85,000dollars doesn't really matter to me, I treat people the same because when I am working on their cars, I get paid the same.
If I am working on a Catera or an XLR all I see is parts and wires. I treat them all with respect because they are not mine and my customers are entrusting me with them to get them fixed.

Sorry for the confusion of my previous remarks. I hope that makes it more clear.

Anybody who wants to talk to my boss about giving me a raise... most of you already know who he is... knock yourselves out.... :D
;)
 

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Yeah, I speak to alot of technicians in various dealerships, I dont want to deal with the girl on the desk telling me what is wrong with my car, I want to go out to the shop and see whats wrong with it. They are mostly willing to show me and point out waht the problems are and I respect them for that.

I was recently at a Mercedes dealership having my S600 serviced, and as I was waiting in the office a couple came in and shouted the place down about how they had sent their car in last week showing a fault, and they had paid £200 (not much in a Mercedes garage) and the fault was still showing, they wanted the technician hung drawn and quartered. These guys work hard on our vehicles.

As for a salary, they arent really realistic as to what most people actually walk away with.

Once you take out mortgage, cars, other debts and such like, most people only have a quarter of what they earn in their pocket.
 

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1989 Sedan DeVille is now just a fond memory ....
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10,459 Posts
mccombie_5 said:
....they wanted the technician hung drawn and quartered. ....
Are you guys still doing that over there?! :confused: :eek:
And all this time I thought you guys were civilized.....:canttalk: :bigroll: :duck:
:p
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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34,125 Posts
Cadillacs are great automobiles

I have loved Caddys since I was 14.

Caddys to me, are one of the american dreams. To have your own house in a nice part of town, and a Cadillac in your driveway to me means you've made it. It's too bad this dream has changed for the rest of the american population. Now everyone wants Hondas, Toyotas or Mercedes and BMW's, I admit they're nice cars, but Cadillacs are still my favorite car brand.

I love the older Cadillacs (pre 1997) more than the newer ones.
They have so much class, dignity and style, they were very american, and very bold. Now the newer ones are nice too, don't get me wrong, but it's not the same, they are changing to be like the imports which is good to keep sales up, but it's the death of the true american car. I honestly believe the last true Cadillac was the 96 Fleetwood Brougham. The RWD, body on frame monster was the last of GM's grand, elegant luxury liners. After that was gone, the only true american luxury car was the Town Car.

If I didn't like Cadillacs, would I have one when I'm in college, when everyone else is driving "economy cars"?
I dont think so.

If I didn't like them, I surely wouldn't buy another after the bizarre problem my engine block has (coolant leak). But I recognize this is a fluke motor, and this doesn't make all Caddys bad.

Oh yeah, and look at my name on here, and recognize that my nickname is "Chadillac"
I luv Caddys!
 

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1989 Sedan DeVille is now just a fond memory ....
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10,459 Posts
mccombie_5 said:
LOL

Well, err, y'know
:getaway:
Don't worry about it Mac, we're still much more cruel and barbaric. We sue the pants off 'em!
 

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1989 Sedan DeVille is now just a fond memory ....
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10,459 Posts
I love my old 89 and am looking forward to finding a nice low mileage STS with a N* to replace her in a few years.
 

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Kev said:
Don't worry about it Mac, we're still much more cruel and barbaric. We sue the pants off 'em!
:histeric: :histeric: :yup:

Although the compensation culture is catching on here too.

Soon we're going to be too scared to speak in case someone sues us!
 

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94 FWB, 93 SDV, 94 FWB (sold), 90 Brougham (sold)
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Randy_W said:
Night Wolf, I've been saying that for a long time. It's one thing to have true fans and owners talk about the good and bad points, but it sucks to have a bunch of trolls as members, that only hang around to use every chance to bad mouth GM and Cadillac. We could all rattle off their user names like a who's who of pains in the ass. Some are very young while others should know better.
Obviously my name is in that list, but let me tell you, I don't hate GM, I hate what GM has done to itself. I don't want the GM I grew up with, I want the GM Kat and Sandy grew up with. I love my Brougham, I think it's the classiest mother-effin car ever built, but the way GM is crashing down right now is embarassing to American Business as a whole. I don't like FWD, that's no secret. Therefore, I dislike to some degree almost all passenger vehicles GM builds. I love the V family, but the STS-V needs a lot more power and the CTS-V needs a new pumpkin and less wheel hop. GM doesn't build the vehicles it once does, and it's getting it's ass handed to it. Good, actions speak louder than words. But I love Cadillac. Cadillac is the most American automobile company in my book. When you think of a classic car, you think of the '59 Eldo. I love Cadillac, but I can't help but shake my head in amazement at the crap that's been coming out of GM lately, or the way the GM empire is trying to deal with its problems right now.
 

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1996 Fleetwood
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2,547 Posts
I got ticked with GM in the past 10 yrs... Death of the big body RWD car, end of the beloved Camaro, a dedication to FWD, end of Oldsmobile, the spineless SS's coming out, just too many things to still be happy with GM. But, as things start to improove, like the new Vette, GM has been sluggishly winning me back. But their failure to rise to the multiple challenges made in multiple markets by the other manufacturers is depressing. Ford brought out the retro Mustang, Dodge has their Challenger on the way, Nissan has the 350Z, GM has...... Nada. Dodge gave the Viper, GM has finally gotten the Z06 to stand up to the Viper, bou time, and well done it seems. The Lucerne I need to see more of in person, but has potential. As for the new Cadillacs... sorry, but the ones I've driven so far ride harder than any car I've driven. My 99 olds absorbs the bumps better. Hell, my riding lawn mower absorbs more impact. Nice motors are good, but pain is not.
 

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ewill3rd said:
Kat,
I make a fair salary, but there are no rewards in this business for an A tech that does the kind of work I do.
I think it's a fair wage for what I do in this area but It's a 4 dollar an hour cut in pay from what I was making in California. The cost of living is a bit lower here except for housing. I am not "poor" per se, but I do have a very expensive home and my Wife is a PhD who earns a salary almost twice mine and it's her second year out of college. I have been in this trade for about 12 years. Most of what I do is electrical work and probably 80 percent of what I do is warranty work on new cars. Mostly stuff that nobody else in the dealership wants to do. GM does not reward techs with high pay for finding problems like the ones I work on. At best doing what I normally do I can get paid my 40 hours at my pay rate. There are guys swapping out pistons, rebuilding transmissions and changing engines that are making over 100 hours in a week, but my back can't handle that kind of work, plus I really don't like it.
If I traded my Trailblazer in and went a little deeper in debt I could probably honestly afford the payments but I don't want to encourage myself to do that because it would make me feel even more poor. Apart from my mortgage and 2 car payments (that are almost paid off) I really don't have much debt. I pay my credit cards off every month and have no vices except for buying DVDs (my current collection contains over 400 disks in all, some are box sets but it's about 200 titles)... I had to cut myself back to one a month because it was costing a lot. Maybe that would all change if people had some respect for the folks working on their cars instead of jumping in our faces and tell us how much we suck right out of the gate. I mean these cars are more complicated than the craft that put man on the moon but I am supposed to be spot on 100% of the time the first time every time. I try my best but there are still problems out there that GM engineers can't even solve, I seem to be responsible for that according to the general public as well. On top of that the honest guys get to earn a reputation from the few dishonest ones on national TV and then try to explain to someone why our shop labor rate is what it is. It's such a great business to be in....
Anyway.... enough about that.
I do agree that paying a premium price for a premium car, you should expect a higher degree of quality, and I didn't mean to say that Cadi doesn't care more about quality than Chevy does, what I really intended to say was that it's not as if less expensive carline carmakers don't care about quality as much.
Most of the cost, I think, is because of superior design and higher grade materials. I mean a luxury or performance car costs more in R&D and in production. It makes sense to expect more from a higher priced car in the way of quality, but I think a lot of people take it to an extreme.
I wish I got paid to hear people tell me how much they paid for their car every time they bring it in with something wrong with it.
I don't get a dime when our sales department sells a car and I respect the fact that you paid more for it, but whether you paid 1,000 dollars or 85,000dollars doesn't really matter to me, I treat people the same because when I am working on their cars, I get paid the same.
If I am working on a Catera or an XLR all I see is parts and wires. I treat them all with respect because they are not mine and my customers are entrusting me with them to get them fixed.
Sorry for the confusion of my previous remarks. I hope that makes it more clear.
Anybody who wants to talk to my boss about giving me a raise... most of you already know who he is... knock yourselves out.... :D
;)
I feel for you man. I really do. I can even relate to your feelings completely. To be honest, I've had it worse. Try being the tech AND the owner of the shop. I got it no matter what. That's why I can honestly tell you that I understand your feelings. 20 years at the the fleet followed by having my own shop wore me down too.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad mechanics out there that have been conspiring for years to give us good guys a bad rep. I've written articles in magazines about that very subject, it pains me so much. I hate that auto mechanics are usually bearly a step up from a used car salesman as far as average public perception of competence and honesty.
My problem is I'm also on the other side of the fence quite often. I've bought a lot of new vehicles over the years and if you think it's bad on the mechanic's side of the fence, try being a professional tech on the BUYER's side of the fence. You want to talk about the ultimate in frustration?!
I can't tell you the crap that I've been told by mechanics, shop foremen, service writers, and service managers with respect to vehicles I've taken in for warranty repairs. the CRAP they've tried to pull on me is relentless.
One time, the only way I got a dealership to fix my car was to offer the service manager the phone number of the GM engineer who designed the component we were fighting about! I've had some virtual knock-down drag em out's with dealership people over the years. THAT's what bothers me about the OEMs I write about most. There are problems that are obvious to the trained eye yet they try to feighn ignorance of them to your face. It's unacceptable to me for a manufacturer to knowingly force consumers into accepting known flaws as being acceptable.
 

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I hope this place doesn't adopt an attitude of "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" with respect to Cadillacs, because if it does, the true value of the place will be lost IMO.
Kat, so do I, and that is certainly not what this thread is about. It's about those that bash on every thread and never provide anything constructive.

ewill3rd, those are great thoughts, man. Probably some of the best stuff I've seen here in a while.:thumbsup:
 

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Randy_W said:
It's about those that bash on every thread and never provide anything constructive.
I would agree that anyone who only offers negative stuff is probably not an asset to this forum. For the most part, I try to avoid those people on forums, I generally end up in a fight with them anyway, and that's seldom useful to anyone.
 

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2003 STS w/BoseNav, 1993 Deville, 1985 Deville
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If I didn't like Caddies, I wouldn't have just bought my third one! They've all been used Caddies. I found that as far as *value* goes, it's really really tough to beat a Caddy.

I hear some people talk about this car and some other car having almost 150,000 miles or approaching 200,000 miles. Stuff like that. They think they're smart for not buying domestic. The room goes quiet when I tell them my 1985 Deville made it to 238,000 miles and my 1993 Deville is currently at 298,000 miles and still looks like it's new.

It's all attitude, it seems.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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11,713 Posts
This topic seems to crop up here on a fairly regular basis... and my answer never changes...

I think there are very few people who "tow the line" as far as any entire corporation is concerned... myself included. I am NOT a fan of GM and I never will be, they make several products that are anywhere from subpar to completely unacceptable in the market they serve. Ford to some extent, though quite a bit less, has the same problem. Both companies, and GM moreso, are in serious financial waters right now because of lackluster products, declining reliability, piss poor management and a host of other problems. I for one am not supporting either of them hand and foot.

As far as Cadillac goes, there are a select number of Cadillacs throughout the years that have always appealed to me regardless of what the rest of the brand is doing... classic Eldorados, 92-03 STS, current STS, CTS-V, Escalade etc. But thats as far as my loyalties to Cadillac go. I want to see Cadillac succeed but until things are at the level that I expect in some of the other brands I shop I will make no apologies for not owning one and not necessarily painting a pretty picture about the brand as a whole. Thats just how I feel. I think most here recognize my position and respect it, and while we do have a few bad apples, on the balance there is no other Forum I would rather be on because this forum has the best mix of members period.

I am above all else, a LUXURY CAR enthusiast, not just a Cadillac enthusiast.
 

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2003 STS w/BoseNav, 1993 Deville, 1985 Deville
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This came out in today's Wall Street Journal's Opinion Page:

COMMENTARY
RICK WAGONER

GM wants a level playing field, not a bailout.

A Portrait of My Industry

By RICK WAGONER
December 6, 2005; Page A20

DETROIT -- Since mid-October, General Motors has announced plans to cease production at 12 North American manufacturing facilities and eliminate 30,000 jobs by 2008; trim $1 billion in net material costs in 2006; and, in cooperation with the United Automobile Workers, reduce GM's retiree health-care liabilities by $15 billion, or about 25%, for an annualized expense reduction of $3 billion.

The reason for these dramatic actions is no secret: GM has lost a lot of money in 2005, due to rapidly increasing health-care and raw-material costs, lower sales volumes and a weaker sales mix -- essentially, we've sold fewer high-profit SUVs and more lower-profit cars. What is less clear is why things turned sour so fast for GM, as well as for other American auto makers and suppliers. To put it another way, why are so many foreign auto makers and suppliers doing well in the United States, while so many U.S.-based auto companies are not?

* * *
Despite public perception, the answer is not that foreign auto makers are more productive or offer better-quality or more fuel-efficient vehicles. In this year's Harbour Report, which measures manufacturing productivity, GM plants took three of the top five spots in North America, including first and second place. In the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, GM's Buick and Cadillac ranked among the top five vehicle brands sold in America, ahead of nameplates like Toyota, Honda, Acura, Nissan, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz. And GM offers more models that get over 30 miles per gallon (highway) than any other auto maker.

In fact, this kind of operating performance makes GM's recent financial performance all the more frustrating. The fact is, we're building the best cars and trucks we've ever built at GM, our products are receiving excellent reviews, and we're running the business in a globally competitive manner. Outside of North America, we're setting sales records. In fact, for the first time in our history, we will sell more cars and trucks this year outside the United States than inside, aided in no small part by our market-leading performance in China.

So why, fundamentally, are GM and the U.S. auto industry struggling right now?

Intense competition, for one. The global auto business grows tougher every year, and we accept that. Our ability to compete has made us the world's No. 1 auto maker for 74 consecutive years, and we're fighting hard to stay on top.

Beyond that, our performance in the marketplace has not been what we've wanted it to be. While we've been strong in truck sales, we've been weaker in cars, and, yes, the recent surge in gas prices hurt sales. While we've led in technologies like OnStar, we've lagged in others like hybrid vehicles. Rest assured, we're working hard to address the areas where we lag. Simply put, we are committed to doing a better job of designing, building and selling high-quality, high-value cars and trucks that consumers can't wait to buy. No excuses. We will step up our performance in this regard.

But competition and marketplace performance are not the whole story. To fully understand why GM and the U.S. auto industry are struggling right now, we have to understand some of the fundamental challenges facing American manufacturing in general -- challenges well beyond the control of any single company.

There are those who ask if manufacturing is still relevant for America. My view: You bet it is! Manufacturing generates two-thirds of America's R&D investment, accounts for three-fourths of our exports, and creates about 15 million American jobs. And the auto industry is a big part of that, accounting for 11% of American manufacturing, and nearly 4% of U.S. GDP. Together, GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler invest more than $16 billion in research and development every year -- more than any other U.S. industry. And GM, alone, supports more than one million American jobs.

So what are the fundamental challenges facing American manufacturing? One is the spiraling cost of health care in the United States. Last year, GM spent $5.2 billion on health care for its U.S. employees, retirees and dependents -- a staggering $1,525 for every car and truck we produced. And the figure is going up again this year. Foreign auto makers have just a fraction of these costs, because they have few, if any, U.S. retirees, and in their home countries their governments fund a much greater portion of employee and retiree health-care costs.

Some argue that we have no one but ourselves to blame for our disproportionately high health-care "legacy costs." That kind of observation reminds me of the saying that no good deed going unpunished. That argument, while appealing to some, ignores the fact that American auto makers and other traditional manufacturing companies created a social contract with government and labor that raised America's standard of living and provided much of the economic growth of the 20th century. American manufacturers were once held up as good corporate citizens for providing these benefits. Today, we are maligned for our poor judgment in "giving away" such benefits 40 years ago.

Another factor beyond our control is lawsuit abuse. Litigation now costs the U.S. economy more than $245 billion a year, or more than $845 per person. That's more than 2% of our GDP. No other country has costs anywhere near this level. And the perverse thing is that, in many cases, the majority of courtroom settlements go to the lawyers and other litigation costs, not to the injured parties.

Another major concern is unfair trading practices, especially Japan's long-term initiatives to artificially weaken the yen. A leading Japanese auto maker reports that for each movement of one yen against the dollar, it gains 20 billion yen in additional profitability -- or nearly $170 million at today's exchange rate. No wonder Japanese auto makers have noted their recent record profits were aided by exchange rates. And no wonder the U.S. trade-balance deficit continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

There are other issues, of course, but my point is this: We at GM have a number of tough challenges that we must and will address on our own -- but we also carry some huge costs that our foreign competitors do not share.

Some say we're looking for a bailout. Baloney -- we at GM do not want a bailout. What we want -- after we take the actions we are taking, in product, technology, cost and every area we're working in our business today -- is the chance to compete on a level playing field. It's critical that government leaders, supported by business, unions and all our citizens, forge policy solutions to the issues undercutting American manufacturing competitiveness. We can do this. And we need to do it now.

Mr. Wagoner is chairman and CEO of the General Motors Corporation.
 

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Opinions are a good thing. Without them it would be a very bland world.

And being brand loyal is stupid, unless Caddilac is paying you to use their cars then theirs no reason you cant like or support a different maker.

I read one dude on here that said: "Since I own an infinity, I feel its my duty to bash lexus". Now thats just dumb.

I absolutely hate the way the 2007 Escalade looks, but thats my opinion. More than likely I wont be getting another Caddy after I trade my current Lade. Just b/c I have one, doesnt mean I cant like other cars or must agree with everything that Cadillac does.
 
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