Future of GM

Any of you guys worried with the state of GM ? Where will they be in 5 yrs?

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A division of Toyota.
Here's waving to ya - \||||
Owen ___
'67BB & '72BB
-- not affiliated with JLA forum in any way -- alt.autos.corvette is original posting -- ___
"To know the world intimately is the beginning of caring." -- Ann Hayman Zwinger
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Theyll get bought out like Owen said, if things get real bad.
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Remember Chrysler? I predict government-guaranteed loans.
Someone mentioned Toyota - there's a brand new VW Passat in the parking garage here, and looking at it in profile or 3/4 rear, I could have sworn it was a Camry.
AJM '93 Ruby coupe, 6 sp
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building more, making higher profits, with less employees... oh yea ? someone did mentioned Toyota :-)
my2
--
"Key"



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Virgil Hilts wrote:

unions will not allow them to compete in the world marketplace; just like the problems with our social security system, they don't have a growth rate to carry the retiree and medical benefits load. Don't look for a "savior" to buy into them, or for a government bail-out, they'll go under and some of their (newer) assets will be acquired by the foreign automakers (who knows, maybe Corvette). Their fate was sealed back in the 70's and 80's by terrible top-level management, poor quality (despite the obvious growing threat from Japanese cars), stodgy designs, and strong unions. I enjoyed working 5 years for GM in the early 60's, so it really makes me sad to watch their demise.
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I don't agree. I think along with the "too big to fail" argument there are national security issues that will cause the federal government to intervene. Most likely is GM goes into Chapter 11, the contracts with the unions and retirees are voided, hourly employees get their pay whacked, PGBC picks up the (reduced) pensions, the government provides guaranteed bridge financing if private banks are unwilling to, and GM emerges as a going concern with much lower costs. Delphi is going through this now. I don't think the feds will allow a foreign company to take over GM. Maybe a merger a la DaimlerChrysler, but no takeover.
I do agree that most GM products in the 80s were stinkers, and that for years they were so intent on placating the unions that they allowed their cost structure to get way outta line vis a vis the foreign competition. That worked as long as the foreigners were building crap too, but once their engineering and build quality became far better, all GM could do was sell pickups and fleet cars.
Interesting that Honda has run Chevy and soon Toyota out of the IRL. I understand that Honda is primarily an engine company, but can't even the best of GM's people or subcontractors design a competitive engine? Sad.
AJM '93 Ruby coupe, 6 sp
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CardsFan wrote:

Remember too that Honda isn't primarily an engine company. They have been selling high quality whole vehicles on Dad's "left" coast while mid-america was sleeping. While much of their engineering expertise derives from their bike business, engines are only part of the Honda game. They engineer quality into the whole car to meet the market. Their expansion of product line has been made in careful steps. They master one thing and when they've got that sorted out they move on to the next. Accord is bread and butter. Pilot and Odessey are prestige items in their aresenal but with cooperation from other outfits. --This is coming from a guy who always buys Detroit because the folks there bought the best damn airplanes in the world for me to fly! I quit buying foreign 20 years ago--just because it isn't patriotic. Right now, the R2000 is stealing potential C6 sales right, left and center. Potential C6 buyers are "buying down" to drive an R2000. It's fun and it's status in the age 20-45 age group that has the $$$.
While I don't doubt that GM and Ford have both taken severe financial hits because of poor product mix decisions and failure to sense the market, part of this may be a little smoke and mirrors from the accountants to scare both the Congress and the UAW. I think the first downgrade to junk bond status was premature and had the faint aroma of bullshit.
Both companies have good cars in production that if cleaned up cosmetically could be marketed at a profit. I drive Chevy rentals (Impalas & Classics) when on travel and they are good! I wouldn't own one because the cosmetics are lousy. I buy further up the GM line. Businesswise we leased a package of three Nissan G45Xs because I got ganged up on by others (outvoted two to one). I drive it, don't really care for it and will get rid of it when the lease is up.
As I look to the future, there's no doubt that GM has to at least properly advertise their car line and rebalance their product mix. While my eyes are "old" when it comes to style, I think that the bow-tie logo on most of the Chevy line is applied as through it was aimed at display in Woolworth's basement -- ditto most of the superficial trim. I've got an eight year old grandaughter that could do better.
I live in one of GM's larger markets and am here to say that Toyota, Nissan and Honda are eating GM's lunch, in part due to solid marketing supported by their ability to quickly launch product that meets user desires. Thirty years ago the Japanese couln't offer paint color choices that were up to date and couldn't get from the drafting table to the show room in less than 7 years. Now, Honda can change the paint line-up, paint the car in Japan and get it to a SoCal showroom before GM can get its thumb out of it's a** and call New York to find out what colors are hot in what parts of the world. You all know the rest.
The way Chevrolet is marketing Corvette, Corvette will go the way of the U.K.'s Rover Sedan. A foreign acquistion of Bowling Green won't help because the marque will be dead for anyone under the age of 55. Our hot, upscale personal-cars for the age 25-45 guy (with $$$) are: Mercedes, BMW, Honda, Corvette & Mazda MX8 -- in that order and Mazda is gaining. The XLR isn't even in the running as great a machine as it is. Cadillac started a great marketing program for that car last year. Kept with it for 3 months. It didn't yield instant results so our four local dealers gave up and went back to selling Hummer H2's. The Ferrari dealer in this town work harder. Cadillac spent $ 7 billion on their new line up. Much of that has been wasted due to failure to persistently market their vehicles. As our illustrous leader says, "it's hard work." GM marketing hasn't yet appreciated that fact.
So much for marketing -- let's talk dealer sales effort. Corvette in San Diego isn't getting a sales push -- all of Chevy's effort here is to clear SUV inventory to any guy with over $ 40K to spend. -- a product that has little new-buyer enthusiasm since there are plenty of used, low mileage SUVs in the want-ads. Chevy won't step up to the plate and compete with the Japanese in this town in the areas of sports cars or sedans.
CardsFan: If you believe that PGBC may be a salvation, take a close read of last week's TIME magazine on just that topic. Sobering!
Having been on this planet for more than seven decades, I took my first Econ course while the U.K. was on the path to manufacturing oblivion and most of their automotive marques were entering the history books. The Econ prof, a Dr. Gillingham, when questioned about the "horrendous" U.S. national debt, (it had passed the amount of gold stored in Ft.Knox) made it very clear that it wasn't a problem since our debt was all financed by internal U.S. entities--none was owed to foreign governments or to their citizens. He went on to point out that the only significant foreign ownership in the U.S. was in mining and extraction and most of that material flowed directly into U.S. product for sales overseas. "Our balance of trade is positive and will continue to be so as we can out compete other countries on product." Now,I think we have little maneuvering room and better get hot!
The new Jib-Jab might be truer than we'd like to believe. I'm 72 and am still donating to the IRS, Social Security and Medicare. I don't owe anyone a dime, have a fair net worth and a spare income independent of business. I'd like to sell out of business at 75 but have reservations. Maybe I couldn't afford toys when I was 80.
Not where I thought this country would be when I was flying in Korea or Vietnam!
Now I'll hide my chain and tie up my goat where peopole can't find it. ... PJ
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Thanks, PJ.

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I own two Acuras. I'm aware they make cars. In my opinion, and also in the view of many in the automotive trade press, Honda's main stock in trade is their engine designs. Toyota and other companies have similar build quality. Honda motors run everything from lawn mowers to ATVs to motorcycles electric generators to passenger and IRL cars. Toyota does not have that breadth of engines.

So a minivan is "prestige" these days. How could I have missed that development...

Ask all those Honda employees in Marysville, Ohio if they're being unpatriotic by going to work every day. You might want to ask a bunch of people in Georgetown, KY, Princeton, IN, and a lot of my friends here in Lafayette who work building Subarus. It's possible they'll tell you they're just as American as you are, their paychecks are in US dollars, and they're glad to have their jobs.
<snip>

Bond-rating companies are deadly serious these days. Granted they might be quicker to downgrade nowadays after debacles like Enron, WorldCom, etc. but there is no way they WANTED to throw GM and Ford under the bus. In the financial world downgrades are widely considered to be much more believable than upgrades. If you have evidence of conspiracy between banks and rating companies, Eliot Spitzer is in the NYC phone book.

How many miles on those Impalas and Malibus? If by cosmetics you mean styling, it is a subjective thing, but I don't think the Accord looks that much better than a Malibu. The interiors, yeah, I agree. I've said before Cadillac is getting most of the better stuff at GM these days, and again it's subjective, but I like their styling. I think eventually GM might be down to 3 lines, Chevy, Pontiac and Cadillac.

What were the arguments on the other side? What other vehicles were being considered?

Other than most Hondas and even some Acuras, including my TL, are built here in the US, I tend to agree. GM is too bureaucratic to be nimble. And yet they approve things like the Aztec. I don't get it.

In my opinion, the Corvette is priced out of the "consumer" sports car arena, and is is now a quasi-exotic. It is still a helluva car for the money. I don't really consider Honda upscale - too mainstream for the exclusivity guys with $$$ want. What I see is the BMW 3-series, the Audi A4, newer Infinitis, the Nissan Z.
<snip>

The feds bailed out the S&Ls, and they'll do something with the pensions. Too much political pressure for them to walk away. Not that pensioners will get 100% on the dollar...
<snip>
AJM '93 Ruby coupe, 6 sp
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UNIONS..............there's your problem!! they are totally useless..... Other car builders have proven time and time again they can build quality cars and trucks with non union shops..........WHY????????? Detriot could do the same thing..........maybe they should before they all go broke...........I don't see Toyota or Nissan asking Uncle Sam for handouts..........only US car builders????
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