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Old 02-16-2009, 06:22 PM
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Future of GM

So - GM has to come up with a restructuring plan. (By tomorrow?)

So the top brass are all gathered in "boredrooms", asking the really hard questions (you know the kind of questions: "I heard from my chauffeur that we manufacture something-or-other....so what is it that we make again?")

So what is going to happen now?

I have seen predictions ranging from a 100% buy-out by the Chinese, to the Chinese only buying the Buick brand (Buick is the single top-selling brand in China with VW second).

Go into Chapter 11, close out a bunch of brands. Chevrolet accounts for over half of all GM sales, so keep that. Sell/close out Saab and Saturn. Close out Pontiac and GMC. Keep Caddy so only two badges (with Chevrolet) remain, with Buick only being sold in China.

Rebadge the Holdens, Vauxhalls and Opels as Chevrolet or Caddy and sell only one version worldwide, rather than many different versions for different markets.

Just say "(censored) it" and shut down the whole works as a blackmail attempt against the government. ("If you don't give us a zillion dollars we'll close forever")

I guess we are gonna have to wait & see.....

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Old 02-16-2009, 06:28 PM
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There goes my stock's.... I believe China is going to end up with Chevrolet....
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:17 PM
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I'm in the market for a newer truck ( '92 Ranger beater needs some work, I'd just rather replace it )... Prices on Chevy's have tanked on anything used, probably because of the auto bailout. I think Chevy is just going to dissapear in a few years.. and because of that I'm only looking into Fords.. Chevy's are cheap where I'm at, but due to the way it looks for them, there values are going to tank compleatly if they go under and parts availability will go down... I did find a '01 Ranger 4x4 stepside, 4dr supercab. Red 4.0L loaded with 88k for under $8k.. nice truck. I think if the dealer agrees to give me $1,000 on my '92, I'll get it
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:19 PM
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GM should have eliminated GMC a long time ago. Is there really a need to market two nearly identical trucks? They could add a slightly more upscale submodel to the Silverado and SUV lines.

Chevrolet isn't going anywhere. Even if the rest of GM goes under you'll see Chevy (at least the Silverado, Suburban, and Corvette) and Cadillac continue on in one form or another.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:31 PM
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Future of GM

I really don't care, Yes i care about all the "NORMAL" people that will lose there $40 a/Hr. jobs, and $200,000 pensions. But there part of the problem too. If they wern't so greedy, (UAW)...If The uaw will not give up anything, (and they won't) then let'em hang.....If they made cars that people wanted, the mess wouldn't be so bad. When ya make 14 Mpg. cars that fall apart in no time If they die someone else will take there place, just like the air lines, if N.W. folds, someone will step in. They can't be doing to bad if they can throw millions at there CEO's.....the whole thing smells like a pile of sh##........
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:35 PM
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if the big three go down we are in serious trouble as a nation our manufacturing base or what is left would be destroyed. the resulting small shops getting stiffed would be incredible. in addition in a time of war who would manufacturer our needs? as far as the union we need stronger unions, while nothing is perfect and unions do have their **** employee's, the union's also help to establish livable wages not third world wages . think about it
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:35 PM
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And here we go again into the union wars! Lets just keep it above board please.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:11 PM
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For years now, GM has wanted to go into chapter 11 to tell the government "we can't afford the unions" - Then get the government to break up the unions and hire everyone back at 1/2 price. That was great when the economy was still in good shape, but now it is a different story.

GM has to change everything to truly survive, but management has lost touch with their roots to be able to get back out of the hole that they buried themselves in. I worked as a contract engineer at GM's fuel cell plant and saw large business bureaucracy at its finest. With my contract position, I was able to work from the pencil and design concept - to prototype testing, to the fuel cell assembly line. I had no union protection and was paid less than most on a production line. My credentials include 3 Bachelor degrees, 2 Associates degrees, and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering with an automotive concentration.

I originally wanted to work for GM to make a difference and improve the company, but management doesn't truly want to hear it. I am first to admit that I do not know everything, but some things are obvious to an automotive person. I no longer work for the contract portion of GM because of the sickening bureaucracy I encountered.

Management needs to change. No boss wants to tell their superiors bad news. Someone on the line says "this is a P.O.S!" Their boss says "it's not great", their boss says "it's not bad" and by the time it reaches Rick Wagner "we've got the best thing since sliced bread!"

Research and Design needs to change. Prototype parts are produced before the design is complete - so all the prototype parts are often scrapped to accommodate the latest approved designs (and wasting Millions of dollars). A totally new designed is out before testing is even started on the initial design and the initial design is often scrapped before exploring its full potential.

Many designs are made without many engineers knowing what end of a screwdriver to hold or where to put the oil in - in their own car. So serviceability is rarely considered, but initial assembly efficiency is top priority.

GM doesn't want to listen to their customers. It wasn't always this way. Cars used to have 4 wheels, a seat, and a body. People had to order their trim package, decide if they wanted heat, AC, a radio, carpet, washer fluid, a back seat, etc. Now, you have to choose "do I want my work truck with grey plush carpet or tan plush carpet?"

Perception is key! If a product looks good to the public and it gets good reviews by the media it must be good! An "A-tech" or someone that knows quality cars can better identify the crap that is produced but if it shines (and GM likes to polish turds) and costs money - people will buy it.

Gm lost touch with their roots. There was a class system (or division) in GM's history. Chevy was the bottom of the line. Then Pontiac, and Oldsmobile was the middle for "the middle class", Buick was for those that were well off, and if you "made it in life", you could afford a Cadillac. If you needed a cheap vehicle that went from point A to point B you got a Chevy - no bells and whistles unless you paid extra... That would allow people to consider a Pontiac "upgrade", and so on.

This wasn't cost effective for GM because each division had its own R&D, its own engineers, its own engines, its own transmissions, its own bodies, etc. There wasn't a lot of interchangeability, but this internal competition allowed for great design improvements (ie, hydra-matic Transmission, V-type engine such as the sbc, etc). To save money, GM kept one of everything and reduced the workforce (saving money) - they made one vehicle and rebadged it (remember the Chevy celebrity and the Cadillac Cimarron?) and charged obnoxious money for basically "crap that people didn't want" and GM was making a killing (for investors). (If you don't think so, look at the basic pick-up... One of the cheapest vehicles to make, throw a Cadillac badge on it and charge 5x the production price - look at how much they are cutting back prices now that sales are down)

GM needs to look at the recession and reintroduce the class / division system the way it once was. Chevy needs to be a barebones, affordable (less than 9k), reliable, serviceable vehicle that your average Joe can maintain. Cadillac needs to be only a limited production opulent and classy vehicle for the richest of the rich. The other divisions need to be for the different economic divisions around the world. This will improve sales all around.

GM needs to reeducate management and engineering by putting them on the line like some of our foreign competitors to help the GM Brass better understand what truly is needed and what is really going on.

And most of all, GM needs to listen to its people. After all, the people are what allow the company to exist.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:15 PM
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First off, China already owns us, we sold out to them years ago.
Second, GM is not listening to the customer who keeps them in business.
If you can`t offer me a car that excites me or has to offer what I`m after why would I buy it?
Third, All GM cars look the same, no lines, no personality, all squared bodies with no distinct lines.
It`s why I`ve did many posts telling GM to wake up, and I can only come to the conclusion they all must be smoking something they shouldn`t.
"The Hero" Bob Lutz, who should have retired 10 years ago took the corvette and screwed it up so badly nobody wants one. The front end looks identical to a Viper (which by the way he designed) the body is square, the interior looks and is extremely cheap and the butt of the car has been chopped off. Who wants one with the price tag it carries?
I remember when I heard on the radio GM was going to discontinue the camaro and the firebird, right away I said "Morons! these are the 2 cars many want due to there looks and price tag"
So what do they replace it with? "A car the average Joe can afford" The SSR, Well, the SSR is over $50,000, and no, I can`t afford that and I`m a CNC machinist, a "average joe" as they say. Next they come up with the brilliant idea,, "SUV`s are all the rage,,, I know,, we`ll make a hot rod SUV!"
Brilliant idea stupid, what college did you grad from again? captain crunch University? Lets see, a 4 door, I repeat 4 door SS SUV? what in the he** were you thinking or can you think at all? You can`t make a 4 door vehicle look sharp and you can`t make a family car into a gas guzzling hot rod! you disgraced the badge of "SS" by placing it on a 4 door family vehicle.
Next look what you did to the Silverado, they, like the colorado, like plucked chickens, bat wing head lights? Grilles that look completely hidious with flares on the fenders? a 3rd grader could come up with better designs.
Now ask yourself "Why are we going out of business?" again, I just gave you all the answers.
Lastly, I have said we cannot let Chevrolet go under. If we lose Chevrolet we`ve lost entirely. Wake up GM, listen to the customer. Make cars that excite us and you`ll be back on top. And no, the new camaro is not going to help you any, it don`t look nothing like a classic camaro, it looks like a early 70`s mustang. Now gentleman I`ll step off my box and stop ranting. Respectfully.
DV
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:26 PM
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Being too young to have lived the glory years of... "This is the car, what options would you like to have installed?". The dealers of today are more about "This is the car we designed, take it or leave it." Very unappealing to say the least.

I say, let them fall. As for the employees who will lose their jobs, I have sympathy. But the company let them down and they took that risk when hired, just like you and I. Yes it hurts, but it will hurt a lot more if they keep putting bandaids on and ripping them back off again...
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:33 AM
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You all may laugh but I worked for the certainly doomed division of GM known as Saturn for nearly 6 years. I attended countless training courses that were designed specifically for the Saturn brand, everything from design to retail marketing. When Saturn first emerged in the late 80's early 90's they were on top of their game. Why? Because they listened and formed a company around what their customer wanted. People didn't buy one Saturn, they returned time and time again and Saturn developed an almost cult like following. For a while the resale value of a Saturn beat Honda and Toyota, thats no BS.They were not performance cars, they werent luxury cars. But they did fill a large niche of people that wanted basic, reliable, cheap transportation. Most people probably think that Saturn's were poorly designed and put together vehicles. They really weren't. The only part that most saturns ever needed replacing before 100k miles was the timing belt, and occasionally an alternator. In 2000 the most expensive Saturn offered, the SC2 fully loaded, had a price tag of less than $19k. And thats about the time that things pretty much took a downward turn. GM refused to offer any real funding for R&D to update the dated models and instead went in the direction opposite of what Saturn buyers were used to buying. The started making larger, uglier vehicles that no one wanted. Quality took a major dive when the LS series of cars came out and prices started to creep to the mid 20k range. They ran into problems with their no-haggle pricing when they had a lot full of cars that people refused to buy. They didn't offer rebates because one of the benchmarks of Saturns mission was to promise that everyone paid the same price for the same car. GM basically screwed up a good thing because they wouldn't listen. Today they can't move anything because they have become just another car company and are no longer interested in what the end buyer wants. Their cars are pieces of junk. They have no real attraction to the general market anymore. I know not many people on here are huge fans of Saturn's but it's just another fine example of bureaucratic "I'm a big-wig and know whats best" instead of "Lets keep doing what works, if it ain't broke, don't fix it". GM is the victim of demise they brought on to themselves.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:03 AM
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Future of GM ?

I think it's called greet! I redone a 1940 chevy 2 dr sedan, frame up. I found and old life magizen with a picture and ad. $900.00 give or take a few bucks. Radios and heater were extra or add -ons.
73 I bought my first new veh. from GM, Chevy pickup and a 73 Vega. they marked 700. off he truck, but only 200. off the Vega. Gas was just starting to rise, (price only) 4400. list 3700. straight sale and 3000. straight for the Vega.
Now I know things had gone up, but really 10x as much. very few salary's have risen that much.
Its get it from them thats got it. Well guess what \, a lot of people that thought they had if, didn't, so look where we are, it is only car but more importance, houses. I've always ried to tell my kids, a home is the most importance thing to acquire. Well they listened to the realestste and (tried ) to buy what Joe blow was buying because so body told them you can do it to.
The rule of thumb was 3 x your annual income. So figure, How can a 50,00.00 a year job come to 178,000.00 a year mortgage.
I know times change, but 3 x is still 3 x regardless of the bottom line.
Yea, I'm retried, about 4,00.00 a mo. income over all, 3 houses, no payments and 2 veh. a 98 and a 99, Ford (explorer and Blazer) both with just over 100,000 miles and dent free. I thought about trading, or acquiring a new veh. But my kids (grand) say, pop they look go and run good, why would you trade. Do you think I might have gotten thought to them? hope
A are only entitled to what you can afford, without earned income, how's it earned income when you get back more than you paid in?
Both my finger are getting tired so i'll read some-more and catch my breath thanks guy for listing (and Dolls)
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:42 AM
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Low budget rodder,

There is some truth to your comments, but a great big mistake as well.

People need to start understanding the cost of manufacturing product, what goes into COGS (cost of goods sold), what market pricing will support, and what margin means.

To put it simply - you can build the best car in the world in its class, but if it's too expensive (compared to the competition) then people won't buy it. You can build and sell a zillion cars, but if you don't make money on each car, you'll go broke.

In this case, guess what the largest cost for the big 3 is to build cars? People. Labor.

So if labor is priced too high compared to the competition, but you need to stay within a fixed range of cost, what do you do? You cut corners everywhere else you can.

Certainly GM engineering and management deserves a great deal of blame. But, the basic root of all issues at GM for example is simple. Labor costs including legacy costs are too high. Period. Without fixing that, there is zero possibility that they can produce a competitive car and make money on it.
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:27 AM
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South, your reply made good reading. I`m happy I`m not the only one who believes you got to listen to the customer to stay afloat. Toyota was sure listening as were many other companies. But GM seems to have that attitude "I`m smarter than you so why should I listen?" and my reply is had you listened you wouldn`t be bankrupt. So please GM, tell me again your smarter, it makes me laugh which is something I rarely do.
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:38 PM
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After the meeting today, Chrysler to lay off 3000 workers and wanting five BILLION more. GM has not laid out their plan yet. I'm sure it will be huge.
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