Mr. Bob Lutz admits it may be impossilbe.

http://www.autonews.com/news.cms?newsId 124
General Motors Vice Chairman Robert Lutz admits it may be impossible from preventing Toyota from becoming the No. 1 automaker in the world.
"Obviously, our goal is to stop that," Lutz said. "It may be impossible to stop even if we gain market share in every one of our markets because Toyota is so huge and expanding so fast in the Asian markets.
"If they only grow with the market in those rapidly growing Asian markets, they risk knocking us off."
Lutz said GM is determined to do what it takes to remain the No. 1 automaker in the world "but we've got to run our own race."
GM cannot react like a race car driver who is in the lead position and is being gained on by a competitor, Lutz said.
"He is so obsessed with that competitor's car growing larger in the rear-view mirror that he finally spends all of his time on the rear-view mirror and not enough on his own driving and winds up going off the road," Lutz said.
Speaking of Toyota Motor Corp., Lutz said that automaker stated it wants to be No 1.
"We think we have the right strategy to remain No. 1, and after this initial surge by Toyota I am confident that we are headed for a surge.
"As Rick Wagoner pointed out, we gained a lot of market share in a lot of areas of the world" this past year, Lutz said, "But time will tell" how long GM can remain No. 1.
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Yea, yea ,yea. Lutz the putz that forgot to put his landing gear down out here at the local airport. Lutz who said on major media that the manufacturers have to tell customers what they want. He fits right into the current mold at GM. Confidence abounds as they rearrange the deck chairs on the ship. How about another retro vehicle like the SSR? That will bring the competition to their knees as they have a stomach hernia laughing. Lutz it cramming for his finals now anyway and they will find someone equally suited to carry on.
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You hit the mark perfectly with the Lutz quote that GM will tell customers what they want, not listening to customers to hear what they want. Translation? We will force on our customers what we think is important, not what they say is important. THAT IS the single largest issue with GM right now, in my opinion. Many former GM buyers that I know agree with me. My personal experience is they don't listen to their customers...in fact will denigrate them for making product suggestions. THAT is NOT a formula that wins the hearts and minds of the customer, THAT's for sure! And if you're interested in that resale market, you'd better win the hearts and minds of the customer. This all begs the question. What the heck happened to Lutz? He was NOT that way when he was at Chrysler (the opposite, in fact).
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James C. Reeves wrote:

stomer.
....."This all begs the question. What the heck happened to Lutz?

I have a partial theory on this. Remember Howard Cosell with his "Look at that little monkey" statement. And the other announcer that was fired for saying blacks were bred for hard work. And there's hockey's Don Cherry who still has a job if the NHL plays again. Cherry's wife was interviewed years ago and she said she has trouble listening to him any more. "He just keeps saying more and more outrageous stuff, like he wants to be fired." The point is these guys reach a point where they feel untouchable. They outgrow their pants and moreso their hats until the end. They become like FM radio floaters that push the envelope until they get forced out. Lutz feels like he's a king and what he says is fact because he says it.
And don't get me started on that old fart Shelby who plunks a big block on a small frame and calls it a sportscar.
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You could be on to something.
The sports announcer you were speaking of that was fired was "Jimmy The Greek".
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There are several reasons Toyota amy overtake GM in the next ten years. The most obvious is GM does not produce the micro cars and trucks to compete in some markets. The US is the largest market in the world for car and trucks. Toyota with its lower production costs has an advantage that GM does not. Toyota is a global producer in that it makes parts is low cost countries then assembles those parts into bodies made in higher cost countries, as they do in the US and do so federal corporate tax free. One advantage in the US is Toyota can assemble the same cars in lower cost countries as well. A prime example is the Tacoma truck which will soon move production from the higher cost GM/Toyota plant in California to Mexico. Currently 75% of the parts for the Tacoma must be made in the US to meet the demands of the plants union contract. The GM/Toyota plant is the only Toyota assemble plant in the US that offer decent union wages and benefits. Another example is the Camry. At one point the Camry was assembled of more than 75% American parts and was assigned a '1' as the first number of the VIN. Once Toyota had American buyers convinced the cars were 'Made in America" they dropped the content to less than 75% but more than 40% which eared the Camry a '4' assemble in the US of less than 75% part but more than 40%. Current Camrys are only assemble in the US of less than 40% American parts and have a '5' as the first number of the VIN. Toyota is building a plant in China as we speak, to take advantage of Chinas low wages and low electricity cost to assemble cars for export to the US within five years. The biggest thing Toyota has going for it in the US is its PERCEPTION of superior quality. Toyota does indeed built good vehicle but it is not remarkably superior, just about every other manufacture builds good vehicles today. The difference from brand to brand in build quality and longevity todays is minuscule. We service thousands of vehicle, of nearly all brands sold in the US, and the only real difference we see between them is in style and price. No one brand is superior to others in the same price range. One of the auto buff magazines recently did a comparison test of six mid size car brands. They rated the Camry number SIX based on it extra cost compared to the others. EVERY manufacture builds some that are not op to snuff, that is why they all have a warranty and Toyota is no exception. Now that Toyota is selling millions of vehicles in the US, rather than hundreds of thousands more, of their not so good ones are coming to the fore. Toyotas 'number of things gone wrong per hundreds of vehicles' figures are actually going up, while those of GM, Ford and DerMopar are going down to the point there is statistically no difference. When one considers that Toyota vehicles cost 20% to 30% more to drive home the difference become even more insignificant.
mike hunt
snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote in

The American Automotive industry is probably the best example of how greed and arrogance can destroy even large corporations. While the auto manufacturers acted in unison with large outrageous yearly bonuses and product price increases to pay for these bonuses for some of the highest paid workers in the world, the consumer was ignored. While this is happening the quality and consumer choices go downhill. The product is determined by the short term profits even if this is not in the interest of the public or the industry in the long run. Any company which continues to produce known defective products, such as faulty engines and transmissions which will fail prematurely and cost the consumer expensive repairs, probably should go out of business. Clearly the vast majority of people who have owned both domestic and foreign cars, overwhelmingly prefer the foreign cars, although this is not the case in the newsgroups such as this or other American car newsgroups. Mike your constant use of sales stats and other useless statistics is rather laughable in light of what anyone with an open mind can see for the future of the American automotive industry. The same will apply to the Japanese car makers as China begins exporting cars world wide. The Japanese have one advantage the American car manufacturers don't and that is better overall customer satisfaction, which means it will take longer for the Chinese to take market share. In short, the idea of exporting industry and jobs has been an overwhelming success, and now the people who didn't give a damn about anyone or anything except their own huge salaries and fat yearly bonuses and getting what other industries got long ago. Welcome to the free market world George Bush and the proponents of what can we do for big corporations and the wealthy next, have created and embraced for many years, the fruits of that philosophy are now coming home for everyone to see and share.
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You are free to believe what you wish and spend your money as you please but contrary to your personal opinion Toyota dealerships, in the US, are on the top of the list for poor customer service. As to sales figures the three domestic brands produced in the US by GM, Ford and Chrysler outsell ALL of the import brands combined, how can one suggest those facts are insignificant? The fact is more trucks than cars are sold in the US. The fact is both GM and Ford individually sell more trucks alone than Toyota sells car and trucks combined. Your assumption that import brands never make bad cars is not supported by the facts. The domestics have been producing better light trucks than the import brands in the US where sales have been growing of the past ten years. The declining car market was left to imports and the imports are now way behind in trucks. Currently domestics have now turned to redoing their cars and are doing as good or better than the imports in the quality of their cars. Toyota made a big deal when they outsold Chrysler by a few hundred vehicles in 2003. Not a word now that Chrysler, with it hot selling new cars and truck, has outsold Toyota by over 100,000 vehicles in 2004.
mike hunt
tango wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com says...

Fire everybody at GM(especially the ones that let Asstek get approved) and hire everybody that worked at GM in the 1960's and 70's.
Give all the divisions their own engineers again. Axe all this Corporate Bull$hit stuff. Engines, interior, suspension, and sheetmetal engineered by their own respective GM division. Bring back brand loyalty!
GM's decision to go "Corporate" in 1982 is now kicking them in the a$$ 20 years later ...
--
_________________________________________________________________
Dennis Smith
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Dennis Smith said something really funny about firing all the guys at GM and hiring back the guys that worked there in the 60's & 70's.
You gonna have to dig them up out of the grave yard & wheel them out of the nursing homes.
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE 3800 V6 ( C ), Black/Slate Grey _~_~_~297,626 miles_~_~_
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~~~The Former Fleet ~~~ 89 Cavalier Z 24 convertible 78 Holiday 88 coupe 68 LeSabre convertible 73 Impala sedan
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You have that right. I worked as a design engineer for GM back then and I'll be 79 in March. I was one of the new guys, most of those I work with are long gone ;)
mike hunt
Harry Face wrote:

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Get back to work! GM needs you! ;-)
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