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Archive for April, 2009

Report: GM “not backing away from NUMMI”

http://www.autonews.com/article/20090427/ANA02/904279953/1176

GM to seek another shared Toyota model to replace Vibe

Even as it shrinks its North American product portfolio, General Motors is negotiating with Toyota Motor Corp. to determine a new GM product to be jointly produced at the automakers’ 50-50 joint venture, New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.

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A GM spokesman said that, if successful, the negotiations would result in a new model for one of GM’s surviving brands — Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac.

Earlier today, GM revealed that it will end production of its Pontiac line, including the Vibe crossover.

The Vibe is currently GM’s sole yield from the NUMMI partnership — meaning the Pontiac decision effectively leaves GM without a need for NUMMI as it cuts factory production plans around the country.

But Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson said GM is in talks with Toyota and NUMMI itself to determine another vehicle to be produced there.

“We’re negotiating to see how best to utilize that facility going forward,” Hopson said. “We’re clearly not backing away from our partnership at NUMMI. There’s no issue of us backing away from NUMMI.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

No Police or Firefighter layoffs

About 20 Fremont employees are slated to lose their jobs shortly. None of them are sworn police officers or firefighters. The city still hasn’t released a list of positions scheduled for elimination

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009
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NUMMI Statement and stats

This is NUMMI’s statement in response to today’s news that GM will eliminate the Pontiac brand by the end of 2010.

“GM continues to express strong commitment to NUMMI and the production of a joint-venture vehicle with Toyota at this plant. We are in the process of discussing alternative options with GM regarding the elimination of the Pontiac brand.”

The Vibe accounted for 70,843 out of 342,012 cars produced at NUMMI last year. Scroll way down for some stats provided by NUMMI:

Chevrolet Nova

Toyota FX

Chevrolet Prizm

Pontiac Vibe

Toyota Corolla

ToyotaVoltz

Toyota Truck

TOTAL

1984

17

17

1985

64,764

64,764

1986

191,594

14,246

205,840

1987

143,655

43,722

187,377

1988

71,117

40,910

1,827

14,571

128,425

1989

112,342

80,130

192,472

1990

101,959

103,330

205,289

1991

94,994

111,143

2,535

208,672

1992

75,497

105,440

75,862

256,799

1993

85,271

121,719

116,061

323,051

1994

114,803

114,597

135,199

364,599

1995

94,280

135,112

123,257

352,649

1996

65,475

158,947

141,047

365,469

1997

60,838

149,041

147,927

357,806

1998

45,301

158,219

159,226

362,746

1999

49,965

160,762

156,387

367,114

2000

50,008

147,694

146,339

344,041

2001

46,020

142,937

162,714

351,671

2002

59,556

137,642

8,108

164,550

369,856

2003

74,500

158,145

1,751

161,276

395,672

2004

69,430

168,319

200

142,605

380,554

2005

62,159

185,729

0

169,617

417,505

2006

58,334

199,534

170,764

428,632

2007

49,367

200,189

158,325

407,881

2008

70,843

149,349

121,820

342,012

TOTAL

471,147

98,878

998,580

444,189

2,902,549

10,059

2,455,511

7,380,913

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009
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Pontiac is dead

What that means for NUMMI, I don’t know. It also makes the Toyota Corolla and Tacoma.

 

http://jalopnik.com/5229396/pontiac-vibe-solstice-are-dead-wont-live-on-as-chevys

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Best of ???

bestoffremontI’m reading The Fremont Bulletin’s Best of Fremont 2009 edition from a couple of weeks ago. We used to do something similar. It was a great way to butter up folks and generate ads. But really, who needs ads?

While the old Argus Best of the Tri-Cities edition included reporter contributions (Anyone remember where was the Best Place to Avoid Councilmember Anu Natarajan in 2006?) the Bulletin just does a reader poll.

Some of these are spot on. Others show just how much folks around here love the big chains.

Take the first category: Best Bakery. The winner was Vienna Bakery & Cafe. That’s great, but how did an honorable mention go to Costco.

For Best Coffee, Mission Coffee was the winner, which is reasonable. But somehow Bay Street and Suju’s didn’t even get an honorable mention, while Starbucks did.

Best Desserts in a Restaurant: PF Chang’s China Bistro. How does a city with so many Chinese people even have this place? You wouldn’t find a Pizza Hut or Olive Garden in Bensonhurst.

Best Burrito: Chipotle   –  You shouldn’t be allowed to live in California if you think Chipotle has the best burrito. Sell me your house for $100,000 and move to Manitoba.

Best Bar: The Elephant Bar — Something tells me they don’t have shuffleboard. Mojo’s does, but it only got an honorable mention.

Best Pharmacy: Kaiser Medical Center  — This beat out Hallers, Fremont’s only independent pharmacy.

Best Doctor: Dr. Gorsulowsky  –  Two problems with this choice. One, they didn’t give his first name. Two, he’s a dermatologist. Shouldn’t the best doctor in town do something more important than unclog pores and lance warts?

There were a lot of legit winners: Dale Hardware, Regan’s Nursery, Lloyd’s Doughnut Kitchen, Salang Pass, Shalimar, Bob’s, and, of course, Country Way.

Still, McDonald’s won honorable mention for best kids’ restaurant. Not good.

BTW: The best place to avoid Anu Natarajan in 2006 was the Washington Township Men’s Club.

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009
Under: Artz, Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Fremont proposes layoffs

So charming of them to send out this email late on a Friday.

budget-update

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009
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Film and Food venues are hard to make work

As Fremont considers turning the Center Theater into a theater that serves food and drink, it can’t like the news from up north. First the Parkway Speakeasy theater closed, and now operators of the new one in El Cerrito (which was refurbished with public money) want a break on their rent.

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009
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This and that …

Still hoping to get an account set up for Laquinna Johnson by the end of today. Fire Dept says someone broke in through her back door and started a fire near the sofa. Some type of excellerant(sp?) was used.

I was out of commission for a couple of days. While I was gone, the Henkel Building in Niles was demolished and city folks tried to figure out how to get the Passenger Depot over some soft terrain.

Other things: Fremont is about to start offering fingerprints to the public. I guess that can be used to help protect kids, but I’m not really sure why people would want to get them. It’ll cost $21 — just $1 more than Hayward charges. City will make a very tiny profit, if all goes according to plan.

The city is poised to award a $3.8 million contract to build the new Fire Dept. Tactical Training Center on Stevenson, west of I-880. The whole think will cost almost $7 million. The money comes from the fire bond you folks passed several years ago.

Patterson Ranch EIR isn’t ready yet.  The EIR is over-budget, and the council will have  to amend an agreement to allow for another $125,000 to finish it.

When the council rushed ahead with a tough new law for nightclubs recently, it scared lots of entertainment venue owners by prohibiting amplified music that could be heard beyond the property line after 10 p.m. That is now getting amended to be less stringent.

Also, I’ve made a few boo-boos in the past couple of weeks, but none was more embarrassing than writing that Sabercat Creek was named for the the saber-tooth tiger. Turns out it was named for the sabercat, a nearly-extinct Arena Football League team, whose offspring  strangely resemble human females that use too much makeup.

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009
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Beer and pizza at the Center Theater

I finished my work too late to hear a presentation about the prospects of building a performing arts center or doing something with the Center Theater. One idea for the Center would be to operate it as a theater that shows second run movies and serves food and drinks.

A performing arts center would cost anywhere from $20 to $80 million to build. According to a city report Fremont residents are nearly twice as likely to buy classical music as the average American. Fremonters are also much more likely to go to live theater, and pop concerts.

I’m not a Fremont resident, but I stopped by karaoke night at the Huddle on Mowry late last night. Almost as much talent there as there was free popcorn. My buddy and I were going to go on stage, but couldn’t decide between Islands in the Stream or something by Wham. Now, I’m suddenly feverish.

Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
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Laquinna Johnson

I wrote a sad story for tomorrow’s paper. It’s about a woman whose home burned down. But there was no picture of the woman or the house. Blame my crummy camera work. Here are the pictures that were too amateur for The Argus: Below is Laquinna and what used to be her couch. Click here for the story.

Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »