GM taps into Los Angeles market

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GM taps into Los Angeles market http://tinyurl.com/yfc8osa
Automaker unveils fuel-efficient, 'green' vehicles in hopes of capturing Calif. sales
ROBERT SNELL The Detroit News
Los Angeles -- Though General Motors Co. stabilized its U.S. market share in the third quarter, it is slipping in the nation's largest auto market: California.
The Detroit automaker hopes to change that with a fleet of fuel-efficient and "green" vehicles it unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The cars the automaker showed off here should appeal to Californians and could help meet Chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre's mandate to boost revenue and market share, analysts said.
And there's no better, or tougher, place to try than California, a land dominated by Asian imports.
The four vehicles promoted at the show -- the Buick Regal midsize sedan, Chevrolet Cruze compact car, Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car and Cadillac CTS coupe -- also could help change perceptions among consumers who otherwise would never consider a GM vehicle due to past quality concerns.
The Regal and Volt, however, are at least a year away from hitting showrooms and analysts say GM needs to post gains quickly, as evidenced by President and CEO Fritz Henderson's forced ouster Tuesday in part because the board didn't think he'd made enough changes.
"I think it is an opportunity, especially when their share is as low as it is in California," said auto analyst Erich Merkle of Autoconomy.com in Grand Rapids. "Ford is much closer to making inroads with the Fiesta and following it up with the Focus about six months later. That's a couple solid subcompact and compact vehicle offerings from Ford right around the time the Cruze launches (in third quarter 2010). GM does have a plethora of small vehicles coming out, but it's going to take some time to get to market."
Susan Docherty, vice president of sales and former Buick-GMC general manager, acknowledged the importance of California, saying the state is critical to GM's survival and transformation.
GM's U.S. market share in the third quarter was 19.5 percent, flat compared to the first half of the year, but its share of the California market has plunged 2.7 percent this year, according to the California New Car Dealers Association.
That's a steeper decline than even Chrysler Group LLC, which has struggled mightily the past year. Of Detroit's Big Three automakers, only Ford Motor Co. gained market share in California this year, according to the dealer's association.
GM's share in California through September was 11.5 percent, trailing Ford by a percentage point and less than half of Toyota Motor Corp.'s 24.2 percent share.
GM continues to suffer from perceptions formed in the late 1970s and early 1980s when quality plummeted and drove consumers toward better-built, more fuel-efficient Japanese imports, California dealers said.
Those perceptions haven't been erased despite advances GM has made, particularly with fuel-efficient crossovers. There are signs of progress, dealers said.
"Now, it's just all about perception," said Scott Allen, who owns a Cadillac dealership east of Los Angeles. "We need consumer perception to move off of 'my dad bought a Toyota and told me never to buy anything but that.'"
The state's power to influence and change perceptions helps explain why GM this week confirmed the Volt will be sold in California, along with select other markets, before the car is available nationally.
Allen was buoyed by GM's heavy presence at the auto show, particularly with the Volt, which is targeted toward environmentally-conscious consumers.
"If the product hits the ground and is well-received in California, that will flow throughout the country pretty quickly," Allen said.
The Volt, likely won't boost GM's share in California, but could help change perceptions.
The Volt won't be a high-volume car, at least initially.
GM plans on producing about 8,000 Volts for the 2011 model year before eventually expanding to as many as 60,000, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said during his keynote speech at the auto show Wednesday.
Buick's high-volume models could make up for that, however.
GM said sales of the new LaCrosse in California, which launched this year, are up 53 percent year-to-date compared to sales of the prior model last year. In October, LaCrosse sales in the state increased 207 percent compared to the same month a year earlier.
The 2011 Buick Regal, unveiled at the auto show, is being counted on to continue the transformation of a brand that historically draws older buyers.
The modern sports sedan, based on the GM's European Opel Insignia, is scheduled for production in the first quarter of 2011. It will get at least 30 miles per gallon and feature a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine or optional 2.0-liter turbo-charged version.
"The car certainly has more California appeal than anything Buick has had traditionally," said Michael Richards, the new head of Buick-GMC.
--
Civis Romanus Sum

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Gee, imagine that. GM is going to increase their marketing in the Socialist State of California.
Gonna try to convince some of those gosh darned patriotic citizens in California, who somehow prefer buying Toyota's at twice the rate as other's do in the United States of America (IOW's the "other" 49 states), that GM makes good products. (Maybe buying one today would be considered to be "cool", or "politically correct")
Imagine that. 35 years ago, the perception was that Japan manufactured better vecichles, both quality=wise, and gas milage wise, than GM did, (or does, today)
The perception was NOT reality, even back then, and it CERTAINLY is not the case today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Of, course, I have said it before, and I'll say it again, in the crazy world we live in today"
Perception IS reality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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jr92 wrote: > Gee, imagine that. GM is going to increase their marketing in the

Gee, taking offense to people who don't buy domestic brands? Here in this country, one of the nice things is that we have freedom of choice. I'm sure you can appreciate that, so how can you criticize other peoples' choice in products as unpatriotic?

What is the basis for your judgment that it was only a false perception? Seems to me that Toyota's quality and reliability in the past were two of their main selling points leading to Toyota's popularity. I've heard that their quality has waned recently though.

Much like one's perception that GM makes better cars than other companies? I suppose that's why they went bankrupt earlier this year, requiring government bailout money? I've never really trusted the reliability of GM cars, and now I'm not sure I want to buy one because they've also taken a bunch of taxpayer money in a bailout. It's interesting that in this economic recession, GM was one of the first car companies (perhaps the only one so far) to declare bankruptcy. hmm, I wonder why that is..
If you think that GM is any better or worse than another company, how much of that is perception, and how much of it is based on truth?
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Eric O. wrote:

Don't have a choice any more, Obama was sure to put GM bailouts on credit owed by the US taxpayers all over. Your GM car payments have begun.
Don't be nice to these idiots that support GM, GM is a loser that needs to go under on principle.
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So lets see if I support and American company that I worked for I am a loser and you want to see them fail you are a winner, in IMO you are a whiner who has been a troll who has made the same post daily for months. we all have our own beliefs and you are welcome to yours but why post to a gm newsgroup for the only reason is piss people off. there are only 3 or 4 of yours and I think you have driven most of the positive gmers off this group. All you and yours do is flame anyone that is positive. so you cant get a responsible response to anything actual questions and responses have disappeared. as a PS am I happy with everything that GM has done over the years NO. I have seen a lot of people dedicate a lot of hard work to make the company good, but there have been many things that have happened some gms fault and others out of their control but I think we did the best we could under the conditions, most of these conditions where caused by the govt and UAW and I don't mean to demean the UAW I think the unions have done a lot for this countrys way of life, if you grew up around the mines, and steel mills you could have seen the good, sometimes it got out of control, but it worked both ways. Not a Union Member never was worked on the other side.
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On Sun, 06 Dec 2009 13:30:07 -0500, Tom fired up the etcha-a-sketch and scratched out:

Typical troll.
Canuck probably doesn't even have a job.
--
perfectreign
www.perfectreign.com || www.ecmplace.com
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PerfectReign wrote:

What does having a job or not have to do with being a troll? Many people in this economy have been laid off and are looking for work - something that was beyond our choosing..
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MAYBE your job is in Japan, China, or Korea. Support American whenever possible
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Typically you find losers like mr. poster from Alberta to be jobless and/ or living at home with parents. This gives them much time to think and fret about how evil the corporations and/or other companies are.
Of course, nevermind that he (Dave?) uses a 100% American operating system developed by a company who has used more underhanded techniques to stay in business than GM ever could.
-- perfectreign www.perfectreign.com || www.ecmplace.com a turn signal is a statement, not a request
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PerfectReign wrote:

Ones that pick my pocket for nothing in rreturn like GM, they certainly are evil.
And actually, it isn't 100% American, it hasn't been for some time. Did you notice the reader isn't MS?
Copenhagen http://www.microsoft.com/danmark/mdcc/default.mspx India http://www.microsoft.com/india/msidc / Swiss http://www.microsoft.com/switzerland/sdc/de/default.mspx China http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/1998/11-5mschinalab.mspx
Ireland, Canada and a host of others.
Only the NSA RSAKeys come from the US.
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PerfectReign wrote:

I'm not a huge fan of Microsoft either, but I've never really thought of the nationalities of various operating systems. :) Unlike cars, there are very, very few operating systems that are major players in the desktop computer arena. There's Windows and OS X (both of which are developed by American companies) and Linux (developed by people around the world), and if you want to use another OS, good luck finding software for it.
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Eric O. wrote:

Linux would be the most international, but it does have American code in it. I really am not sure any top OS out there is purely American any more. Apples BSD based might be the most American, I say this as Microsoft does it's crypto offshore as well as other parts and like GM assembles it in USA for postarity and image. In short, Vista/Win 7 has more foreign content than ever before.
Didn't see politicians and UAW complain as computing went offshore. Hell, can't even make the things with American parts any more, at any price. Ok, you could raid the Smithsonian for Eniac. Try buying American made parts. Even the machines that make the parts are now foreign. The sky didn't fall either, they just became cheaper and more reliable. Like autos should.
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PerfectReign wrote:

You wish.
I probably make more off of investing than you do working. Plus I have a job. Even made money betting GM would go bankrupt and Obama corruption would bail them out. So I bought Ford at $2.00-2.25 and sold them off at $6.50. Perhaps premature in selling Ford, but never lost money taking a profit.
And no, I don't suck on taxpayers for it as I wouldn't work for a scum company like GM. The stigma of picking peoples tax pockets for gross negligence and incompetance will stick to GM for years.
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Tomorrow is DEC. 7th it is to Americas credit that we have forgiven and forgot what the japs did to us do you think the japs feel the same way towards us, all they care about is the money they take from the us taxpayers every day and when its gone they will turn their backs on us. All the Japanese plants in this country were built with my tax dollars with no chance of any repayment. our monthly balance of trade is -65 billion every month it wont be long. Support American companies even Canadian. I wouldn’t want Canuck 57 to lose any money since he is such a good investor he made 9 dollars off Ford
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Tom wrote:

Japanese didn't get $60,000 per US vehicle in 2009. You fixation with Japanese is UAW/CAW drivel. Many a Japanese vehicle has more NA content than does a GM. If you think Japanese get $65 billion of US taxpayers cash each month, ple cite. Has the UAW come out with a Onion like site?
Worse, the money came from debt saddled onto the taxpayer.
If Japan wants to subsize their let them, but it wasn't like the GM windfall of getting into taxpayers pockets for corporate welfare.
GM keeps on sucking.
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is English your second language Many more GM cars have more North American content the the Japs is said the balance of trade decifict is 65 billion a month it goes to japan, korea, china, and many other third world countries. your fixation with the us taxpayers money is drivel. make sense sometime and get something new to discuss There have been too many american jobs lost to the aisian countrys, steel, textile, electronics, and auto, etc to sit back and say is ok
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Tom wrote:

You mean domestic like the GM Aveo?
While I agree too many US & Canadian jobs have gone to Asia, putting taxpayers into more debt to pork up GM is morally WRONG. You can't let two industries, banking and auto screw peoples pay cheques (UK-Canada sp for the never left USA types) -- just not ethical.
GM is still in denial. Every inch of change forced, and they still can't make money. Losers. They have no right to saddle Americans and Canadians with debt-taxation.
Asians just work harder, smarter, faster, cheaper than US and Canadian larders with fat pay cheques. And the time has come to get Walmart to carry Chinese vehicles cheap. Just like TVs, radios, CPUs, memory and a plethora of other stuff.
Had an interesting conversation with a slaghterhouse owner. He has to pay $5 per bovine hide to dispose of it! That could be good cheap leather for the next vehicle, I quiped. He stated that with all the bureaucracy and BS finding workers, taxes, government costs, having a local tannery is out of the question. This is in the middle of cattle country. Kind of sums it up. Too much government overhead and in your face. So it winds up in a dump or exported to Asia for peanuts.
Now that autos come with a debt-surtax, we can all rest assured it will get worse before it gets better. Because people will have less to spend on autos -- any brand. And it will be permanent for at least a generation or longer.
I won't even be paying much of GMs tax, I will be retiring soon. Just not selfish enough to wish the debt on my grandchildren. You know, like a GMer.
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Not really. I just take offense to the REASONS people say they buy foreign brands. Over the past thirty years, trying to pinpoint these reasons are kinda like trying to hit a moving target. The first excuse many used, years ago, was:
1. Gas mileage. When that was proven to be untrue, the big selling point became:
2 Quality. With a few exceptions on a handful of specific models, this was an absolute joke, as well. When it became obvious to most that quality was not a major issue, the next selling point was
3. Price. Believe it or not, there have been a few times over the past three decades, that, in spite of unions, health care costs, and such, American nameplates on occasion actually could be had for less money than a comperable foreign car or truck. Usually had something to do with the value of the dollar vs yen. Whatever, when that was the case, the final reason was the one you brought up:
4. Choice. No doubt, choice IS a good thing to have in this country, but consequenses often accompany these choices. Layoffs, and factory shut-downs usually happen when fewer products are sold from those factories. Use "choice" if you like, but please dont use the first three excuses I listed as the reason you bought your Honda or whatever.
BTW, out here in the midwest, and the southeast, as well, domestic cars are still pretty dominate on the roads, unlike out there in the Socialist Republic of Kalifornia, where Hondas, Toyotas, Nissons, BMW's and the like exceed Chevys and Fords. Guess those of us in the 49 states basically choose to be patriotic and buy American nameplates.

Yeah, If you bother to open your eyes, and do any research, or even let the research find you, you would find that Toyota's quality "waning" may be the biggest understatement of the decade.
My "basis" for it being "false perception" is that any way you can compare GM with Toyota (or any other domestic vs foriegn nameplates) with raw data, GM comes up on top. Gets better gas mileage. Compare apples to apples, they did twenty years ago,as well. An early 90's Chevy Lumina, or Pontiac Grand Prix would better gas mileage and have more horsepower than a similary equiped Toyota Camary.
Toyota recalls FAR more vechicles than anyone today, and have been doing so for several years. The problems they have had are many. To, me, that shoots a hole in the "quality" myth. They are no better than anyone else, and according to stastics, are probably a little worse, quallity-wise, than most others.
Now as far as 'selling points" go, the likes of Consumer Reports enjoy using things such as 90 day after the purchase of a vechicle surveys, and terms such as "fit and finish", both totally unscientfic at best, to "prove" Toyota is a better product.
Myself, I'll take the tangible evidence over a writers opinion every time.

MY perception is that GM makes as GOOD AS a car as anyone else. Have been doing so for a long time. They went bankrupt because:
A. Bad management
B. Government regulations (without CAFE standards, GM would probably be making a ton of money by selling the cars that are profitable to them, and NOT making cars that are unprofitable to them simply because they have to sell smaller cars to make their MPG "quota"
C. Unions. (A and C go hand-in-hand, IMO) A well-managed company would not let a union bleed them dry like GM did.
D. People like you who,knowingly or not, shown your bias against GM in your previous paragraph. Quote: " I've never really trusted the reliability of GM cars".
Why????
Because of what you read in Consumer Reports, or USA today????

My "truth" is that I have owned MANY GM cars and trucks over the years.
All have been reliable.
Some have been daily-drivers, which have served me well.
Others have been pick up trucks which were wonderful.
Have also been fortunate enough to have owned several GM 'toys" as well. Currently have a low milage 98 Trans AM and a 2008 Pontiac G8 in my drive-way. Both are sweet. Far from being "junk", "inferior" or "unreliable".
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Not really. I just take offense to the REASONS people say they buy foreign brands.
BTW, out here in the midwest, and the southeast, as well, domestic cars are still pretty dominate on the roads, unlike out there in the Socialist Republic of Kalifornia, where Hondas, Toyotas, Nissons, BMW's and the like exceed Chevys and Fords. Guess those of us in the 49 states basically choose to be patriotic and buy American nameplates.
************************************************************************** You were correct a few decades ago.
Hard to really say what is patriotic today. Many of these foreign brands you mention are assembled with a good portion of US made parts by US workers. Many of the "American" brands are made in Mexico.
I bought my 2007 Hyundai Sonata and it had 25% US made parts. My 2010 model (pick it up tomorrow) has 43% US made parts. It is assembled in Montgomery AL by US workers.
My reasons for buying Hyundai: 1. Good value for the dollar 2. Every feature and option the US built car I considered, but that was almost $10,000 more 3. I like the looks of the car 4. 66,400 trouble free miles, better than any other brand I've ever owned 5. My Buick is disintegrating and had problems early on and Buick was of no help.
Just a guess, but the guys working at the Hyundai plant in Montgomery are happy I'm buying them groceries.
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jr92 wrote:

That flies in the face of everything I've ever heard, and even my own observations and experience. Japanese brands, such as Honda and Toyota, rapidly became popular in the US in the late 70s throughout the 80s. If not for quality and gas mileage, then why would they become so popular? Take the Honda Civic in the late 70s through 80s - Indeed, a small car like that would get fairly good gas mileage, and I saw plenty of them on the road for quite a while - A testament to their reliability, I think.

I've noticed that when visiting family in Missouri (I'm from Oregon BTW). But when people start talking about being patriotic in buying American cars, and trying to argue that the quality/gas mileage argument of buying imports is BS, what I think is perhaps the worst thing about that is that it vilifies foreign brands, making them out to be evil companies that take away American jobs. If that were really the case, then perhaps companies should only sell their products in their own countries? How about we make foreign brands illegal in the US? That would never happen though. Trying to vilify foreign brands for possibly taking away American jobs and talking down to people who buy those brands as unpatriotic seems a bit like a xenophobic attitude - afraid of what's beyond our own borders. Anyone has the ability to make a decent product, including US and foreign brand.
Besides, many foreign auto brands have (or have had) manufacturing plants in the US. Honda and Toyota both have manufacturing plants here, and Volkswagen is building a new manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. These plants provide American jobs. From what I understand, many Toyotas on the road in the US were manufactured in the US, so by buying a Toyota, you are likely to be supporting American jobs. I've heard that one of the main reasons foreign car makers build plants here in the US is so that they can more efficiently profit from the US market (they can avoid currency conversion losses that way), and also to avoid expenses coming from bringing autos into the US from foreign locations.
It's also hard to know exactly how American your American car is. A car that is built in the US likely contains many parts (electronics in particular) that were made in other countries. It seems that that's something you can't really avoid these days.

Yeah, I've heard about Toyota's recalls and accelerator problems lately. BTW, I don't own a Toyota.

At one point, I had a 1987 Buick LeSabre, and a friend of mine had a 1984 Buick Park Avenue. We both thought they were crap because of all the problems those cars were giving us. My friend also likes to work on cars, and he often complained about working on his Park Avenue because when ordering parts, you had to know the precise manufacture date of those cars, because GM changed the parts they used quite often. So, I know that's just anecdotal, but that's my own personal experience. I'll also admit that I've just heard from a lot of people about American cars in the 80s not being that great - Bad experiences and such.
Eric
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