Tag Archives: SUV

The end of GM Oshawa has begun? The time of the small car renaissance has come!


General Motors says it will cease production at four factories in Ohio, Wisconsin, Canada and Mexico that produce trucks and SUVs. As General Motors Corp. prepares for its annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday, workers across the country are worried that the next round of the company’s restructuring could cost them jobs or even their factories.

GM may also furlough entire shifts of workers at some truck factories and may move them to car plants as it restructures to adjust to a rapidly changing U.S. market brought on by $4 per gallon gasoline.

With high gas prices, more expensive groceries, the credit crunch and declining home values, fewer people are going to dealer showrooms, Gettelfinger said.

“People are going to stay away from the big-ticket items like automobiles,” he said.

GM sales through April were off 12.2 percent when compared with the same period last year. The company sold 20.8 percent fewer Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks, and the market for big SUVs has all but collapsed.

GM also lost $3.3 billion in the first quarter and a record $38.7 billion in 2007, largely due to a charge for unused tax credits.

JP Morgan analyst Himanshu Patel said he would not rule out a cut in GM’s 25-cent-per-share dividend, and said in a note to investors Monday the company likely will have to borrow more money.

“GM no doubt needs to raise financing given current cash burn rate — we think as much as $10 billion of total financing may be needed, though not all immediately,” Patel wrote.

Already the company has announced indefinite layoffs of one shift each at the Pontiac and Flint pickup plants, and more are expected.

Last week the company announced that 19,000 of its 74,000 U.S. blue-collar workers had signed up for buyout or early retirement offers. That clears the way to shrink the company’s production footprint, but few know where the cuts will come.

For workers, it could mean being forced to move to another city, away from families and lifelong ties to the community, if their jobs are eliminated or their plant is closed. If they’re lucky, there could be a factory nearby where GM will increase production of cars that get good gas mileage.

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Stupid to the last drop – Alberta oil thirst leading to disaster


The author of a new book on the future of Canada’s oil industry says Alberta is destroying itself in its rush to extract every drop of fossil fuel from the oilsands.William Marsden, a Montreal journalist and author of “Stupid to the Last Drop: How Alberta is Bringing Environmental Armageddon to Canada (And Doesn’t Seem to Care).

Read an excerpt from ‘Stupid to the Last Drop’

He says Alberta is giving up control of its oil assets to foreign investors and private business, with little effort to ensure its economic or environmental future is protected.

“This is really crazy what’s happening in Alberta today. We have a province that is actually destroying itself in the effort to get every last drop of oil and gas out,” Marsden says.

“We’re shipping it to the United States — 60 per cent of our production — at a time when Canada looks, and the whole world looks, like we’re beginning to run out of oil. And we will need these reserves in the long-term.”

He said experts estimate there are about one trillion barrels of oil in the world today. Those are being used up at a rate of about 30 or 31 billion per year, and rising. At that speed, the reserves will dry up in about 65 years unless additional reserves are discovered, Marsden says.

He predicts the approach of a transition period, where the world will shift towards using new types of fuel as global supplies begin to run out.

To prepare for that, Marsden suggests Canada needs to begin stockpiling fuel in order to guarantee a successful transition through that period. At the moment, however, that isn’t happening.

“We’ve basically given it over to private industry, most of which is foreign, so the vast majority of the profits are going to private industry,” Marsden said.

“So we won’t even have the kind of treasury that we will need as we enter into this new age to smooth over this transition.”

He said Canadians don’t seem to realize how dire the situation really is and many believe there is no reason to question the status quo.

“It’s almost sort of the politics of our age where we continue to think that it’s business as usual,” Marsden said.

“I mean, Canadians are looking at Alberta and thinking to themselves, we have vast reserves there, there’s no problem. In fact, we don’t have vast reserves. We’re running out of conventional oil and gas. Within 10 years Canadians could see a fairly serious deficit in gas which is going to affect millions of homes and industries.”

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5 reasons why Canada is not a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions


According to the latest national inventory on greenhouse gas, Canada’s emissions are now 32.7% above its Kyoto Protocol targets. According to the latest national inventory on greenhouse gas, Canada’s emissions are now 32.7% above its Kyoto Protocol targets.

Here’s 5 reasons why:

1. Over the last 15 years, emissions from light trucks and SUV’s has risen by 109%.

2. Canadians are not conserving energy. Demand for electricity continued to increase between 2003 and 2005.

3. Alberta oil sands production continues to grow at a rapid rate. The province of Alberta (where the oil sands are found) is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas in Canada (230 million tons in 2005), followed by the provinces of Ontario (200 million tons) and Quebec (90 million tons).

4. Leakage from natural gas pipelines grew 54% between 1990 and 2005.

5. The Canadian government has not introduced new legislation to deal with Canada’s rising greenhouse gas emissions, despite promising to do so for the last two years.

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