Change or die for the Big 3

Change or die for the Big 3 http://tinyurl.com/5v9loa
We've heard it a million times.
"Our restructuring plan is working."
And it always is, until some unforeseen market force blows up beyond
"anyone's expectations."
Gas prices. Steel prices. Hybrid demand. Congress.
Pick a poison. But if you have to restructure your restructuring plans more often then your quarterly reports, you're problems are bigger than having too many trucks.
That was made clear again Tuesday when May's monthly sales figures were released and for the first time ever, the Detroit Three were overtaken by Asian automakers in terms of overall U.S. market share.
General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC now lay claim to 45.4 percent of the U.S. market. Asian automakers, led by Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co., now control 47.8 percent, according to Autodata Corp., which compiles monthly sales figures.
Even more striking and unfamiliar was the elevation of the Honda Civic as the No. 1 selling vehicle in the U.S. Ford's F-series pickups had been king for more than 30 years. Plenty of people knew
So what happened and how could the executives at the Renaissance Center, Glass House or Auburn Hills auto complex not know?
Your neighbor Joe knew. You knew.
Truth is, plenty of people in the know, knew, too. They've just been ignored, pushed aside or told to play along because that's part of the Detroit auto culture -- and part of the problem.
Money was good and consumers were demanding and buying big pickups. And, make no mistake, nobody has ever been forced to buy an SUV or truck. Consumer demand drove the U.S. auto market and the automakers rightly responded.
They didn't plan well and allocated too many resources into one segment at the risk of another, but that Explorer, Escalade or Ram that you're driving today didn't arrive thanks to Jedi mind tricks played by Obi-Wan Mulally. Changing business plans
How, or if, Detroit's automakers make a real shift in how they do business will determine whether they'll survive. They have to further thin their work forces, diversify their product lineup and bring tomorrow's vehicles to market today -- if not yesterday.
That won't happen overnight in this industry, nor would it in any of similar size and it requires realistic expectations from investors, consumers and policy makers. Perhaps the recent spate of changes will drive Detroit properly into the future.
No longer can we trust that revamped business plans are on track.
We'll believe that when the next thing we hear isn't something we've already heard before.
--
Civis Romanus Sum

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Sometimes you dont hear the shot that kills you. And Detroit probably didnt hear the fuel crisis booming away quickly enough.
I dont expect them to die, actually, but they will have to react wisely to avoid being pummeled to a pulp.
"Business as usual" has taken a head shot.
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In the socialistic GM -- oops I mean USSR - there were examples that one factory was given an order to produce 10.000.000 left brown shoe of size 44. Because of mixup in the orders the macthing right shoe was given to another factory but they were told to make 10.000.000 right black shoe of size 38.
It looks like GM is facing similar mixups in their production.
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This guy has finally tried my patience. Simply have no more time for his spam. Time for you to meet the toilet Jimmy...
--

-Mike-
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wrote:

I think he's the former automotive writer for the Detroit News. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Retired Shop Rat: 14,647 days in a GM plant. Speak softly and carry a loaded .45 Lifetime member; Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Web Site: www.destarr.com - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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David Starr wrote:

That would be Mike Hunt.
--
Civis Romanus Sum

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http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/06/03/gm-cuts.html?ref=rss
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No wonder GM has labor troubles.
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Rick wants to leave butt has a trouble leaving his brothers behind
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Denying that company destructive problems are really there will only lead their demise. Oh, I forgot that GM is already doing that, working hard to decrease their market share with their excellent planning and vision. Rick & the Board hard at work.
--
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In article

This CDN story says it all about GM.

GM top management are either con artists or simply stupid. My broker and I vote for just DAM STUPID, based on their behind tech cars over the last 10 years. Looking at the GM vs Toyota, Nissan and Honda small to mid sized car offerings, it's hands down for Toyota, Nissan and Honda.
I used to be a GM fan pre 80s, then a Chrysler fan. Chrysler has nothing for me and I certainly wouldn't look at a vehicle from such an ugly to employees company as GM. So now it's Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Honda on my short list list of companies that have product I'm interested in and a kind to workers approach to business.
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I don't disagree that GM top management needs to get a clue, but in what way do you believe GM has produced cars that are behind technologically?

With respect to GM's earned credibility (or lack thereof) owing to such things as the intake issues with the 60 degree engines, I agree. With respect to such things as junk window motors, alternators and a couple of other things, I agree. But then every manufacturer is going to suffer their own particular ills. In the overall, I don't see where any of those manufacturers have anything on GM except for public perception. That perception is one the public wants to see - not one that is necessarily real.

Kind to workers?
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In all fairness, I have owned other several brands of cars: I am on my first Toyota...now a year old. VW Passats....two of them SAAB......one Dodge van....one
All of them have been relatively trouble free over their lifetimes.
I have not owned a GM car since the 70'-80's that has not been troublesome once the new wears off. Every one of them...
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wrote in message

I would not categorize my experiences as troublesome. I've had the common experiences which I believe should have long ago been resolved, and I do not forgive GM for continually foisting some of these things on the consuming public, but I have not experienced continual, across the board problems. I have actually found them to be quite reliable, notwithstanding those aforementioned issues. I've always gotten over 200,000 miles out of them unless they were wrecked first. Never had tranny problems, bodies held up well (even in the salt belt), once you got past the '80's, fuel economy was much better than most people gave GM credit for, and they were solid and comfortable.
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The "built in" problems that you and I both recognize are some of the more expensive and annoying issues. I had transmission problems in three GM products, one Olds, one Pontiac, and one Buick...Probably the same tranny, more or less.
The bodies are better than they were in the 70's (which had the built in galvanic corrosion cell around the rear windows...They should have been horsewhipped for continuing with that for so many years.
Air conditioner problems - yep, had that too...
That Buick ate 2-4 alternators per year. Too much heat for a design like that.
I used to say I would rather push a GM than drive a Ford, but I ended up having to do exactly that too many times.
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Over the last 15 years I've had two week rentals on several GM cars. Only one would I have been happy to own. -A Malibu about 10 years ago has a low quality interior, even the glove box door wouldn't open properly. The drivers space was too narrow for me, too large a middle console. -A small Pontiac was acceptable, but the traction control switch was too easy to turn on. The V6 4spd auto drive train of both the above was OK.
-A Pontiac Alero (I believe) in 2001 had far to powerful a V6 engine and gave poor mileage. The drivers space was tight.
-A 2005 Impalla had too much space between 3rd and 4th in the Auto. Obviously set up to get maximum highway mileage, which was very good, but it was very reluctant to down shift making it a real pain to drive. I've noticed this down shift resistance is common in GM V6 4sp drive trains. What is needed is a 5 or 6 spd trans. The cornering of the Impalla was not very good. This Impalla would have been a good car in 1985, but not in 2005. BTW my 1995 Chrysler drives much nicer. I would not have done a straight trade for the much older tech 2005 Impalla.
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If it was a Pontiac, it was a Grand Am, if was an Alero, it was an Olds. Probably a Grand Am because way more of those were in the rental fleets than the Alero. Either way, yours is a very surprising review as the 3.4L found in the GT (which was the more common platform in the rental fleets), and the 3.1 gave pretty good mileage. Both delivered mid twenties around town, and over 30 on the highway, even with a heavy right foot. These are not EPA numbers, these are common real world numbers.

Haven't driven a newer Impala other than for a few miles. I've never noticed any reluctance in GM trannys to downshift. They don't have to downshift as much as others because the engine torque is not all rolled up into a ball at the high end of the rpm range. GM's will move out quite stoutly in 4th gear where Japanese cars have to downshift a time or two to keep the engine in its torque band.
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Could have been a CDN model that isn't in the USA.

In hilly country I experienced the reluctance to down shift, then a big increase in revs when it did. It wasn't my driving style, I tried it on cruise. It just needed another gear, but cheap GM simply moved high gear way up for mileage. IMO not a pleasant car to drive on hilly highways. The highway mileage was very good, although quite a bit lower than the EPA rating. I get the EPA rating with most cars I rent.
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I'm not sure I understand your position. GM tranny's don't shift too much, and GM engines have the torque to handle quite a load before requiring the tranny to downshift. So - when it downshfits into Drive, you don't like the increase in rpm's - big deal. In a tranny with more gears it would downshift more times and still get to that same ratio. The GM tranny is designed to pull in Drive just fine with the torque of the engine (something japanese cars can't do, thus they need more gears), and then to drop off for highway use - and you find that since you're in big hills and can't use the highway overdrive, that it's a bad design? Drive those same hills with a japanese car and pay attention to how high the engine revs and how many times that tranny is shifting.
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DUH! So did Toyota, Nissan and even Honda with the car based "truck" the Ridgeline. The growth of ALL of the Japanese brands for the past ten years was in what the American buyer wanted and that was ever larger more powerful compact and midsize cars, luxury cars, SUVs, Vans and trucks, not midget and small cars. Up until recently none of the Japanese brands best sellers were their midget and small cars it was their midsize cars

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