Posts Tagged ‘old’

Tesla Forgets the Lesson Toyota Taught GM in Fremont: “Build fast, fix later: speed hurts quality at Tesla”

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Read and learn, from NPR:

“At the old GM plant in Fremont, Calif., the system had been totally different and there was one cardinal rule that everyone knew: the assembly line could never stop.

“You just didn’t see the line stop,” Madrid said. “I saw a guy fall in the pit and they didn’t stop the line.”

Lee, the supervisor who oversaw the plant summed it up this way: “You saw a problem, you stopped that line: you were fired.”

As a result, vehicles at the plant had lots of defects. Haggerty saw all kinds of mistakes go right down the line.

“So we had Monte Carlos with Regal front ends and vice versa,” he recalled. There were cars with engines put in backwards, cars without steering wheels or brakes. Workers fixed them later in a yard outside — sometimes doing more damage to the vehicles.”

So those were the bad old days of GM in Fremont. But then came the Toyota Way of doing things during the NUMMI era:

At the NUMMI plant you can see Toyota’s solution to this — a thin nylon rope that hangs on hooks along the assembly line. It’s called the andon cord and when pulled, it will stop the line.

The first pull summons a team leader. Workers try to correct the problem on the line. If it takes too long to fix, the line stops. The andon cord also plays a surprisingly cheerful little song that workers can chose. For longtime GM workers who switched to the NUMMI system, all this was a revelation.

After two decades at the GM Fremont plant, Earl Ferguson flew to Japan to learn a whole new way of making cars.

When Madrid trained in Japan, he saw workers stop the line to fix a bolt.

“That impressed me,” he said. “I said, ‘Gee that makes sense.’ Fix it now so you don’t have to go through all this stuff. That’s when it dawned on me. We can do it. One bolt. One bolt changed my attitude.”

And guess what’s made at that very same factory down south in Fremont today – that’s right, Teslas:

After Tesla’s Model S sedans and Model X SUVs roll off the company’s Fremont, California assembly line, the electric vehicles usually make another stop – for repairs, nine current and former employees have told Reuters.

The luxury cars regularly require fixes before they can leave the factory, according to the workers. Quality checks have routinely revealed defects in more than 90 percent of Model S and Model X vehicles inspected after assembly, these individuals said, citing figures from Tesla’s internal tracking system as recently as October. Some of these people told Reuters of seeing problems as far back as 2012.

By now, the reader should have realized that New Tesla is sort of like Old GM.

Artist’s conception of Elon Musk wearing Mens crocs size XXL, if he ever were to do that and then pose awkwardly in/on an expensive vehicle that obviously didn’t fit him (or Arnold, or Gavin, or a lot of others who Wanted To Believe):

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END OF LINE

This is Not/ America: Old-School House on Stanyan Doesn’t Match the Others – The Steepest Roof in Frisco?

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Near Hayes:

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It doesn’t feel like America, anyway.

Frisco Neighbors in a Sort of Contest to See Who Can Leave Their Now-Rotting Pumpkins Out on the Stoop the Longest

Monday, November 13th, 2017

As seen after Veterans Day 2017 in the 94115, where Every Day is Halloween:

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“Little Mouse” Spotted in Huge Golden Gate Park: Golly, It’s a Genuine Fiat 500 Ghia Jolly

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Fiat 500 Ghia Jolly surrey with a fringe on top:

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As seen on JFK:

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Wicker seats, baby!

Perhaps it’s tropponuova” to be called a Fiat 500 Topolino, but shoegazers are on my side…

Shake, baby, shake, you know I can fit you in my arms
Brake, baby, brake, taking me in with all you’re charms
I’ve never been inside you but you’re so alluring
They call you “little mouse” by name in Rome and Turin

Old NISHIKI Mountain Bike from the 1980’s is the Un-FordGoBike: Old, Cheap, Light, Reliable, Sustainable, and NOT an Advertising Vehicle, At All

Monday, September 18th, 2017

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Old: Well, sure, just look at it. (Reminds me of the “MOTIV” “brand” bikes I bought for $199.99 at the South Airport Drive (which is,oddly, located north of SFO) Price Club (loaned it to a bro, told him how to lock it up in the Tenderloin, was ignored, so it got stolen) and at a Costco (road it for 13 weeks, then sold it at the end of summer, then came home). And it also reminds me of the Trek 8000 I bought for $560 (retail was $899 and similarly had a saddle what towered over the handle bars – 4 inches higher in altitude IIRC) that had “luxurious” LX shifters what were two generations newer than this Nishiki. In any event, this Nishiki is old.)

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are new new new.

Cheap: Well, sure.  You could buy one  yourself for less than the $150 it’ll cost you just to get started or just one year with FORD.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals will run you $1200 if you happen to lose one. (IDK if they’ve made people actually pay this amount, as the publicity would be highly negatory, good buddy.)

Light: Oh yes, quite.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are heavy metal, designed to be clunky. (On a lark, some roadies rented some GoBikes to race them across The Bridge and up Conzelman to the top of Hawk Hill. It was treated as a kind of a joke given the design of the Ford Motor rentals. (And even though this speed contest violated some clauses of FoMoCo’s detailed and lengthy agreements, some at Motivate, International promoted it on social media, at least for a while.))

Reliable: Well, sure, just look at it. It’s honest machinery what shows you how it works.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals need a whole crew of workers what get paid just 15% more than the bare minimum wage. (Are they experts on the new-school rear hubs by now? I hope so.)

Sustainable: Well, sure. What’s stopping this Nishiki from going another 40 years on the mean Streets of San Francisco?

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are mostly funded by something like $50 million worth of Ford Motor Company marketing money. Who’s to say that this K(ontract) will make it even the seven years specified? And that brings us to…

Not an Advertising Vehicle, At All. Well, sure, it says NISHIKI on it, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking it off – I mean that wouldn’t violate your Rental Terms or your Rental Agreement, etc. Right? So that’s part of the reason why Ford is paying to buy up parking spaces in Frisco – the advertising placement.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are Advertising Vehicles. That means that if the Ford Motor / Motivate International people happen to catch you on one of their rental bikes, you know, and then take a picture of you, or make a video of you, well, you’ve already signed your rights away to YOUR image. See what I mean? (Oh what’s that, you don’t care? All right, well I bet I could point out something in the agreements that you wouldn’t cotton to.) Myself, well I’m not worried about my photos rights cause any images of me on a FoMoCoGoBi have gotta be fakes, plus I don’t think there’s any advertising edge to be garnered using my image anyway.

So there you have it, Yet Another Corporation Trying To Make Money Off Something That Oughtta Be Free, 2017 Edition.

Heartless DPT: Can You Put a Note on Your Car to Avoid an SFMTA MUNI DPT Parking Citation? Sometimes, But Not In This Case

Friday, September 15th, 2017

And I’ll tell you why.

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It’s cause then everybody would do it and things would get out of hand. OTOH, if you are out there when they come around, trying to do a jump start or something, I think you’d have a better chance.

Just a note? I don’t think that’s going to cut it barring exceptional circumstances

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(And this note above here, along with its mate at the rear, did work. Hurray.)

Straight Outta Okazaki: This Old Mitsubishi DELICA STAR WAGON TURBO-D Could be YOUR New Ride – (Small Detail: Right Hand Drive)

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

As seen on the Streets of San Francisco:

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Figure about $12k for a 25 year old model…

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Old Mercedes Benzes Never Die, They Just End Up Getting Dissected by George Washington High Students – Auto Shop Class Lives!

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Never thought I’d see this – old Mercedes Benz cars parked on the lawn out in front of Geo Wash High in the Outer Richmond, with a grease paint obituary written on the windshield:

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Is Auto Shop Class a thing for high schoolers in 2017? Hell to the yes.

I took shop in high school, but that was then and this is now. Generally, guys took shop and gals took typing, or home ec., I think, but there were exceptions. (I should have taken typing instead oh well.)

(What’s sad is that yes, you can keep an old Benz on the road, but it’ll cost you. Imagine if the owners of these rides had opted for something like a 1990 Lexus LS400 – they would have saved money up front and down the road. Oh well.)

Anyway, I says to myself, I says does GW offer shop, and guess what, it does.

These cars have lived, they are dying, but, like Nux, they will live again, in the memories of today’s teens.

TMYK…

The Vanishing Mopeds of Haight Street – Perhaps Something Like This should be Your New Ride

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Stylin’!

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My only sighting so far this year.

(The ones I used to see on Valencia and down in that area all seemed to be extra smoky, oh well)

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Mope on!

How People Got Around Frisco BEFORE Lyft and UBER: The Secret Phone Numbers of Veteran’s Cab in SoMA

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Here it is: Gritty HARRISON 1500 –>, lovely COSTCO #144, and of course, the Italianate red/white/green of VETERAN’S CAB 502-1300 all down at 11th and Harrison in SoMA:

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I don’t know how things work now but back in the day if you were a regular / reliable customer, cab companies / drivers would give you secret phone numbers that would get you to Dispatch quicker than the public “sucker” lines that you’d see: in the phone book (yes, an actual book); painted on the sides of cars; or, in the case of Veteran’s, lit up in neon for tout le monde to see.

I can’t recall anything at all about 415 502-1300. I suppose it was ahead of my time. (Maybe it connects you to UCSF these days.) But I DO recall 415 552-1300 from the pre-UBER/Lyft era. At that time, if you gave that line a jingle ’cause you needed a taxi at, let’s say 7:00 PM on a Saturday night, you’d most likely get a busy signal, oh well.

Why? Well it’s ’cause there were <1000 taxi medallions in Frisco for the longest time. This shortage meant that cabbies could make bank, especially considering how cheap rents were Back Then compared with now. It was such a sweet job that former Mayor Willie Brown drove a taxi to pay his way through UC Hastings Law School back in the 1950’s. And in the 1980’s, Frisco was gaining a national reputation as a place where it was hard to find a cab. Read THE MAYOR, THE CABBIES and the 84 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION – Historical Essay by Rua Graffis, United Taxicab Workers, 1996 for the reason why.

Anywho, just think about what phone number cabbies would use to call in for a tow truck if a taxi broke down – they sure as Heck wouldn’t use the sucker line, right? They’d call a number where somebody would actually pick up. That’s the kind of number that you’d want to use.

What’s that, you lived out at 25th and Irving way out there in the Sunset? Well in that case, you might have had to wait / give up on getting a taxi, but at least an effort would be made. Or maybe a taxi driver heading in that general direction would drop off and then swing on by in 20 minutes or so.

I’m not saying that that was great, but all this attention paid by the taxi industry to those who knew how to get through meant there was less attention paid to some tourist / newcomer who didn’t know anything.

Of course, our Chamber of Commerce and our tourist industry HATED this situation, but then, in part due to the difficulty certain ballers (like Travis K) had finding a taxi in Frisco ’round about a decade ago, ALONG CAME UBER AND LYFT.

Now, any rube can get a ride, but traffic is much worse, and getting worser, so who knows which era you’d prefer.

Ah, mem’ries…