8 Star Automobiles Made at American UAW Plants
After a contentious battle pitting the United Auto Workers (UAW) against Republican politicians and party operatives in Tennessee, workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga voted against unionizing 712 to 626. That kept the UAW from entering a foreign automaker’s U.S. plant for the first time in the South. Opponents of the plant’s unionization ranged from the Republican Senator of Tennessee to Grover Norquist, whose billboards suggested the UAW could bankrupt the area.
Showing the long-defunct Packard Plant that closed in the 1950s, one of the Norquist billboards read, “Detroit. Brought to you by the UAW,” USA Today reports.
That’s a great deal of venom directed the UAW’s way. A glance at the award-winning automobiles produced at UAW plants in the U.S. tells quite another story. From sports cars that pace the auto industry to compacts that sell more than any other model on the planet, union plants have countless feathers in their caps. Here are eight world-class cars and trucks made at America’s UAW plants.
1. Ford Fusion
The slick-looking Ford Fusion injected a considerable dose of style into the midsize segment known for its blandness. U.S. auto consumers responded to the new Fusion in kind, making it No. 11 in the list of top-selling vehicles of 2013. In fact, the Fusion’s 27 percent gain over its prior year sales was the biggest boost of any automobile in the top 15.
Good news about the Fusion became great news for Detroit when Ford announced it was bringing production of the car to its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant in August 2013. UAW officials joined Ford corporate officers in celebrating the arrival of the Fusion. As Volkswagen learned from its entirely unionized German plants, the road to automotive success is often paved with cooperation between workforce and management. In bringing production of its world-class car back to Michigan, Ford clearly agrees.