GM Hurtin' - GM HEALING!!

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I have have heard a lot about this issue lately and believe that General Motors CAN and WILL turn itself around.
And I will use an example of how: Toyota.
Simple, isn't it??
#1. DESIGN ISSUES #2. MARKETING #3. LOWER LOWER LOWER PRICES - NOT! #4. CUSTOMER SERVICE - NUTTIN'S PERFICT!
GM(and Ford and Chrysler) all design wonderful cars as far as I'm concerned. As such we should be whipping Asia's ass sales wise and service wise. So why doesn't GM, in particular?
Because their prime focus is the bottom $line$. NOT cars that last. NOT producing lifetime loyal customers. And, NOT fixing it right the first time when there is a problem!
Again, there is NOTHING WRONG with what comes off paper design wise - the problem is HOW THE DESIGN IS EXECUTED - wielded from a CAD drawing into hard steel, glass, and rubber.
And GM is painfully guilty of this - cutting corners when translating the design into a product for sale. I'll compare the trunk space of my Impala to that of my fiancee's Corolla. The separator wall between the Impala's passenger compartment and it's trunk space contains more holes (perforations? knockouts??) than a spaghetti strainer. Are these holes for running power to accessories on upscale Impalas?? I seriously doubt it. The Corolla? Barely half the number - and size - of openings. The cabin on that little ricer is tight enough to pressurize and fly the NY -DC express!
So explain the openings in the Chevy? Simple - the less metal you consume, the lower your costs. Lower costs, at the expense of structural integrity and a cabin that is as airtight as a WIND TUNNEL!!
Other cost cutting measures? Not limited to Impala: using the thinnest metals structurally possible to save MONEY - on panels, structural members, even on door hinges and seat frames(Ford Escort) - Future costs: Liability and settlement costs resulting from injury or death due to those seats failing!
Using the thinnest recommended gauge of spark plug wires to save MONEY -even though in the long run those plugs become carbon fouled sooner than later because they don't receive all the spark they were designed to handle. Future costs: plugs that foul, detonate, damaging the block, or need to be replaced 2x or 3x times more often than necessary.
Using cheap grade plastics for interior trim to save MONEY when higher-grade safer composites are available. Future costs: replacing trim that potentially falls off, cracks, or otherwise damages too easily, sometimes within the warranty period.
So how have the Japanese beat us at our own game?? By not doing the things above - by building stuff right in the first place. And of COURSE that's EXPENSIVE!! But that higher cost passed on to the consumer will still be lower than the long-run cost to both the consumer and the mfg. to bring cars back, and/or recall, to correct some of the results of the mistakes I illustrated.
#2. MARKETING For goodness sakes how many brands and segments and niches does GM need?? I know this is gonna hurt, but how about having just 4 - FOUR - Brands:
VALUE for the money: Chevrolet PERFORMANCE: Pontiac LUXURY: Cadillac UTILITY: GMC Truck
F#&$K all the rest!! Have these four divisions FOCUS on their CORE COMPETENCIES, what customers traditionally associate with them. And NOT on trying to be all things to all customers - logistically, it is impossible to be all things: Costs will escalate, quality will plummet, and sales will be lost.
We've got Cadillac and Buick building SUVs - what in the heck is going on here people?? Did Hoover Vacuums become great by selling sidelines of toasters and TOILETBOWLS?? Wake up!
#3. LOWER LOWER LOWER PRICES - NOT! Constantly lowering prices, and offering "ZERO PERCENT FINANCING UNTIL THE NEXT PRESIDENCY!!!!" and "BAZILLION DOLLARS CASH BACK ALLOWANCE" are not the way to get the customer in the door, and into the bucket seat. GM is not the only one here, either - all car companies trumpet this crap all over evening TV.
Sure, a sale every once in a while is a cool incentive, but so is having a product you believe in as much as you expect your customers to believe. To build an Impala - or Taurus or Liberty or Hummer - as well as a Camry, X-Terra, or Sequoia, COSTS MONEY. It also satisfies the customer by lowering built in future costs - as described above.
And all the options in the world can't sugar coat that dose of common sense. So stick your heated seats, heated steeringwheels, and self adjusting radios and mirrors where the sun don't shine.
#4. CUSTOMER SERVICE - NUTTIN'S PERFICT! Shit goes wrong. Doesn't matter if it's a Benz, a Buick, a Mercury or a Toyota. But less shit will go wrong if a good design is executed well in actuality.
But for what does go wrong - back it up! Don't just say "Bumper-to-Bumper: 36,000 miles", and then tell the customer that the bumper that is hanging on by a bolt on one side is "not covered." FIX THE PROBLEM PEOPLE - don't give us conditions!!
Also, and this relates to design and everything else - FIX IT THE FIRST TIME IN!!! How difficult is it to make sure everything is right the first time a warranty or other repair is performed. PAY ATTENTION - Don't replace a defective oil sending unit and THEN forget to properly tighten the drain-cock before returning the car to the customer!!
Don't just repair the faulty CD or cassette player and then, upon installation, forget to hook up half the speakers to the unit before bolting it back in the dash and replacing the trim!!!!
IT IS SIMPLE SHIT LIKE THAT THE ASIANS HAVE US BEAT. COME ON AMERICA - YOU'RE BETTER THAN THAT. Sure, you elected a crappy president, but at least build quality cars and repair them properly.
whew!!
-ChrisCoaster
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Chris,
I can agree with most of what you said.
I really do hope GM will get their stuff together and start making quality vehicles again. I miss driving my Suburban, what I don't miss is taking it to the dealership so they can fix the poor workmanship and stupid design issues. I would like to be able to own 1 again, IF AND ONLY IF, GM will start making a quality product. I refuse to buy crap no matter how cheap it is. I guess a lot of others agree with that kind of thinking and that is a large part of the reason GM's sales and the stocks are in the toilet.
Chuck in Phoenix

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Give it a little more time for it to tank and then buy it up, one of 2 things will happen, the company will make a spectactular comeback, or they will be bought out and your stocks will be bought for more then you paid for them, one way or another.
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wrote:

another 10,000 white collars perhaps there will be fewer impediments to positive change.
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If GM continues to deteriorate there will be nobody who would want to buy them.
Part of the problem with buying out GM is the tremendous legacy costs of massive retired worker pensions and healthcare as well as very costly union contracts.
Nobody would buy the company.
John
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GM sells more cars and more trucks than ANY other manufacture in the US and in the world world, period. The only claim to fame Toyota has in the US is that it sells the most of ONE brand, the Camry. The number one selling vehicle however is not a car it is a truck, the Ford F150, and at twice the rate of the Camry. Several GM, Ford and Dodge trucks OUTSELL the Camry as well. Both GM and Ford sell more trucks that Toyota, Lexus and Scion sell cars and trucks combined. Both GM and Ford sell more cars than Toyota, they simply have don't have the same name on the hood. ;)
mike hunt
Paradox wrote:

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Mike,
I'd just let it go - the group you are trying to educate are diehard GM-haters for whatever reason, and the facts just won't have any impact with them. I don't know what their goal is here in a GM newsgroup. Maybe they really think that by bashing GM here they will cause one of us to suddenly say "Oh my God, you are so right! How could I and so many, many, many others have been so wrong for so many, many, many years? I'm going to sell my (insert your current GM vehicle here) and take their advice and go right out and buy a (insert any other non-GM vehicle here)."
Or are they actually here just to stir the pot and cause arguments - the classic definition of a troll. If they really want to just bash GM for their own fun, they should go over to (insert your favorite non-GM newsgroup here), and maybe they'll find one or two people who actually agree with them (or maybe they'll just end up talking amongst themselves - again).
Cheers - Jonathan
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Jonathan A. Race
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I'm just pissed that now I have the financial means at this time in my life I can't buy a F-ing Trans Am or Z-28. I really don't want to have to buy a Mustang, and the GTO's are way overpriced. GM has shot themselves in the foot so many times over the last 20 years it is bound to catch up with them. And it is.

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Hey, I feel your pain - I didn't want to see the Camaro go either but the profits just didn't make the cost of producing the car worthwhile. It's the same argument I hear about Harley-Davidson. All of the true hardcore "bikers" complained that the motor company started catering to middle and upper income folks when the truth is those are the folks who buy Harleys now. More and more often, those that we consider true "bikers" are riding Hondas and the like, but the fact is you can't fault any company for making business decisions geared toward raising profits and lowering costs. You have to pay your shareholders, and the Camaro is just another example.
I don't believe GM shot themselves in the foot - pony cars are only a small fraction of their total sales, especially when the buying public is looking more and more towards trucks and SUV's. Sometimes you just gotta let go.
Cheers - Jonathan
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Can we assume you have not driven and priced the 2005 Sporster?
mike hunt
Jonathan Race wrote:

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I have a '95 Softail Custom, moderately "enhanced". I started out on Sportsters, but the old addage held true - A small bike only gets smaller, but a big bike stays big. Sportsters were fine when I was solo, but marriage changed all that. Although Sporty's have come a long, long (LONG!) way since my first in '83 (an iron head shovel), I'm afraid I just can't give up my big twin.
Cheers - Jonathan
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I've heard that and there's a serious flaw in it.
A car company like GM really needs to keep at least 1 low-profit vehicle in production - why - so they can pick up young new car purchasers.
If they drop all the low end stuff to go for the high dollar SUV's and such then they can just kiss the young 20something car buyer market goodby. Those folks will go buy their cheap foreign brands and a decade later when they are making the big bucks they won't have any brand loyalty to GM.
Ted
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Trust me test drive the new Mustang V8, you will love it. I just took deliver of a 2005 300 HP 2005 Mustang GT convertible, a few days ago. I drove or priced them all. NOBODY gives you so much for the money. I paid 29K for a vehicle with every option except the super sound system. The MSRP was $32,800. The comparable loaded 4 cy and V6 convertibles of other manufactures were as much as $6,000 more and their smaller engines were powering the wrong end for a performance car. Other convertibles that offer 300 HP or more start at around $40,000
mike hunt
tony kujawa wrote:

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Congrats on the Stang purchase. Do you think a 6'3" 250# lump like me would fit well in one? H
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Best thing is, go sit in one. The cowl is higher than the one was on my 2O03 rag top so I have the seat raised a bit and I have plenty of room at 5'10"
mike hunt
Hairy wrote:

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I'm sure the new Mustang's are just great, but I've never had the urge for a pony car. I drive a 2004 Chevy 2500HD crewcab with the Duramax and the Allison tranny (my third Chevy and second diesel in a row). My wife owned Camaros in the 80's and early 90's, but even she eventually moved over to an SUV.
Cheers - Jonathan
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Nothing like the room, power and safety of a truck or SUV ;)
mike hunt
Jonathan Race wrote:

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Absolutely 100% correct, especially on the safety part. I've spent the last 20 years of my professional life dealing with auto accidents of various degrees of severity, and I can attest through extensive personal experience and first-hand accounts that I am much safer in my truck than probably 99% of the cars out there on the road. Of course my truck and a typical car do not perform the same, but I've been trained (many times) not to drive one like the other, and I don't.
Cheers - Jonathan
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On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 15:15:19 -0500, "tony kujawa"

Buy a Mustang till GM brings back it's Camaro/Firebird (or equivalent). Should be in a year or two if they can pull their fingers out. This new Mustang will likely have good resale till then, Enjoy your money, leave the GTO for the Australians.
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GM just announced that it is killing off it's new rear wheel drive car development, so I bet that kills any return of the Camaro.
John
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