The TJ has a great story today about Malcolm Bricklin’s new electric car venture today. He is using a Toronto-firm to build the battery. He made some interesting comments about his New Brunswick venture all those years ago:
“We brought the engineering too fast and, when we went to New Brunswick, we went because they offered such a good cash incentive,” Bricklin said.
“The problem in New Brunswick was they didn’t have really “¦ good automobile labour,” he said. “And you can’t build a car with 80 per cent turnover [every two months].”
He blamed Hatfield for politicizing the enterprise.
“The Conservatives against the Liberals, it became a political thing where some of the people wouldn’t even go to work if they came from the opposition party.”
Further, he said, “[Hatfield] used it to win an election and, of course, that caused a lot of animosity in the factories “¦ the opposite party resented it.”
“If we had had a trained labour force, or if we had had a couple more years to train the labour force, either one, I think we would’ve been successful,” he said.
He would not do it again with taxpayers’ money.
“I didn’t realize how public public money really was,” he said. “It’s tough doing it in the public arena while you’re developing something new, because everyone has got a say.”
80% turnover every two months? What did he pay those guys? Geez. You pay people $25/hour in the Miramichi and they will never leave. As for the politics of the thing, Conservatives playing politics? Nah…….
I am kind of a freak, I guess but I would be in Bricklin’s face trying to get that plant into New Brunswick. I know, I know. Once bitten, twice shy but he owes New Brunswick something. I don’t know what. But something. And all that crap about not having ‘automotive labour’ is stupid. How much automotive labour was their in Kentucky? Alabama? South Carolina? All places the auto biz went to set up new plants.
Ultimately, Bricklin is a deal maker. A guy that likes to throw crap at the wall to see what will stick. His deal with the Chinese went south and now he wants to do electric cars.
But still, something in my gut says…..