what the hell were GM thinking?

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First, they buy Saab and turn a qaulity car maker into just a brand, and plan to use it's factory to make "Small European" cadillacs in Sweden.
The it suggests that it might make Saabs in the Opel factory in Russelheim because all the Saab engineers will be building Cadillacs.
Then it badges a Subaru as a Saab to get the youth market, and makes at the Subaru plant too, because they own a stake and because they can.
So it ruins Saab by making Cadillacs that are really Saabs, and Saabs that are really Opels/Subarus (and not the best of either), when Cadillacs have never sold well in europe even when they were avialable.
And they bought Daewoo, because Daewoo have always licensed Opel/Vauxhall european GM designs 2 generations out of date anyway, and the company was having trouble.
But look what they have done now. http://www.chevrolet.co.uk The first ever official Chevy presence in the UK, and look what cars they choose to put the badge on. It is sick.
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Dang, no corvette and no pickup...Thanks god I'm American.

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says...

believe it or not, before there was an official Chevy presence, you could buy order a Camaro or a vette from any european GM dealership (generally Opel(most of europe)/Vauxhall(uk only)). Now they have a presence, it looks like it might not be available, although I guess they would still order one.
Doesn't do the brand much good globably though if europe only see Chevy as badly built low budget Korean GM castoff with a badge though does it.
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Well the strategy isn't working. GM is loosing market share faster than anybody, including Ford. At least that is according to reports released yesterday (and a string of reports before that one). It's always interesting that GM management seems to blame auto sales as being poor in general, yet Toyota, Nissan Honda, Chrysler (and others) say auto sales are better.
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That may be true but GM still sells more cars than any other manufacture. The also sell more trucks, although Ford sells the most of single brand trucks, where GM has two brands. The reason domestic are loosing share is the pie is being cut into many many more pieces than when they commanded nearly 50% of the market. Fifty years ago there were basically only four manufactures selling cars and trucks in the US. Only 10% of which were light trucks. Today there are more than 120 models sold in the US and over 50% are trucks, not cars. Toyota sells the most of one brand car, the Camry, but the F150 sells at a rate nearly double that of the Camry. The Silverado and the Ram outsell the Camry and the Explorer sells as well as the Camry. GM and Ford own the truck market, with even DerMopar selling more trucks than all the other foreign truck manufactures combined. GM and Ford sell more cars and trucks in the US than all of the other manufactures combined, as well. If you are going to divide the pie among more manufactures every year, as is happening in the US, ones piece of the pie will continue to get smaller even as the pie continues to get bigger. In 1978 the total number of vehicles sold was around nine million, today it is more than twice that many.
mike hunt
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Maybe they need to change the name to General Trucks. GM already got out of aerospace, locomotives, appliances, big trucks and military vehicles. Now with it's automobile line mostly sucking eggs they might as well fall back another notch.
The final assault on Detroit's last strength is already well under way. Nissan and Toyota are expanding their pickup truck manufacturing with new factories at the very same time when GM is having to put massive incentives on it's trucks just to try and keep things rolling.
The writing is very much on the wall. Decades of poor management decisions and short-sighted union policies are taking a heavy toll. Read a good history of the English automobile industry from 1950 through 1990 some time to get one view of how the story might play out.
John
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It is known as economies of scale. The new small Caddy to be offered in the EU will be a Cadillac design, not a Saab, only it will be built in the Saab plant. The Saab plant is much cheaper to operate than the GM plants in Germany and it is currently under used.
Saab sales are higher than ever since they were bought out by GM, but the Saab division still looses money every year.
Suzuki sales were up in the US by 30% in 2004, their best sales year ever. They are built by GM in the Daewoo plants in Korea, not Japan, since Japan does not allow foreigners to own a Japanese company. Ask Boone Pickers, he learned the hard way ;)
mike
Sleeker GT Phwoar wrote:

Sleeker GT Phwoar wrote:

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Tell me why are you such an arselicker to GM?
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I personally do not own a GM vehicle. I am merely trying to set the record straight with the facts available to anybody willing to do the research, not merely expressing an opinion..
mike hunt
tony kujawa wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

I agree that GM have done a lot for Saab through investment and such. But a lot of what they done has also cheapened the brand.
Now it seems they are almst at the point of just reducing it to a badge. A badge that could be slapped onto anything.
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Carl Robson
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If the former SAABs were the great vehicles you seem to thing they were, the parent company never would have degraded the car division to the point where GM could buy them up, wouldn't you agree?
mike hunt
Sleeker GT Phwoar wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

No mike, I wouldn't. Problem is earlier, non GM SAABs were too good. They didn't make any money for the company. My own old 1984 900 T16S was approaching 20 years old, with 135k miles, and still passed the UK annual inspection (which is a pretty stict mechanic, structural and emissions test) with very little problems, and met the emissions levels of a car 15 years newer. It never once broke down on me, and the only reason I sold it was that the previous owner had let too many little faults grow into bigger ones because he did very little miles in it as a second family car, and the independant garage he used wasn't the best. As it happens, when I bought my current Toyota, I could have spent less money on putting the Saab right. The Toyota is very reliable, but again, has some wear and tear issues that weren't immediatley evident when buying.
My 900 is currently under new ownership with a guy who wants to put the money into it that it needs as he has been looking for 5 years to find one worthy of the work, at a realistic price.
What GM did (when they part rather than fully owned SAAB) to SAAB was give them a shared base floorpan that produced a competant, rather than brilliant chassis to work on. SAAB had to put extra investment into the product to make it a SAAB, and that is what ultimatley made them sell the remaining part of the company to GM. A sub SAAB standard product from GM was a nice trojan hose to leverage the rest of the company.
I still like them, because SAAB in it's current incarnation still shines with SAABness, at least in spirit if not in body. I (and many other SAAB owners and enthusiasts) think that this may be the last generation of SAABs with any kind of individual brand identity.
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Carl Robson
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I guess you went to the Bill Clinton school of language use.
What exactly is a "Cadillac design". The Euro Caddy is widely reported to be a reskin of the Saab 9-3 design.
I suppose that back in the day you might have defended the Cimarron as a "Cadillac design" and scoffed at suggestions that it was just a tarted up Chevy Cavalier.
John
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And just how much market share do you suppose they'd get if they brought to the European market vehicles that got 15-20 mpg like their full-sized pick-ups and SUV's? How well received do you think GM would be in a place that averages somewhere between $5.00-7.00/gallon if they decided to bring over full sized Caddy's and Buick's? Sub-compact fuel efficient cars (which for whatever reason they don't produce here in the US) are exactly what they need to bring into Europe first just to get a toehold. This is exactly what people in urban/suburban areas are driving, and if they brought in anything that gets less than 30mpg then all the press they would ever get from that point on will be bad. I ain't no marketing guru, but just basic common sense tells me this is a good common-sense start, but you can't be so dense not to realize that it's only a first step. Not everything they do is wrong, even though it may not seem that way to the traditional GM-haters. It's the same business model many Asian and European auto makers use over here - start small for a few years then expand the line-up gradually. It's workable, affordable, and can be changed easily as time/needs/opinions change.
Cheers - Jonathan
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Jonathan A. Race
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On Thu, 03 Mar 2005 01:01:26 GMT, "Jonathan Race"

In a country like the UK where Range Rover, Rolls Royce, Bentley and Ferrari do stunningly well I think you'd be surprised how well a Cadillac Escalade or Ford Expedition would do. Most people in England (relatively speaking) are poor) but there are A LOT of rich people. When your rich price of fuel is a moot point.
I think this is a bad move for GM personally.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.com says...

over.
But why do they need to get a toe hold with new brands with no history?

True, but don't how the new euro Caddies are going to look/handle/run but the cars they are now badging as Chevrolet have the worst image you could imagine. Almost all the sales of those cars are to seniors who only drive to the supermarket once a month and church on a Sunday, the rest are sold through special schemes as adapted cars for disabled people, or as transport for their carers. Very few are bought new by normal private individuals as regular use cars. The Daewoos as they were previously branded, tended to be based on 2-3 generations out of date euro GM designs (Opel/Vauxhall), so were never going to be big fleet, or family transport sellers, and have absolutley no resale value used. People know what a Daewoo looks like, and giving it a different badge isn't going to change their opinons.

I'm not a GM hater, much as I dislike what they have done to Saab, because they don't have the individuality that they used, but that is progress, and I'm not a GM shareholder. I just don't understand why GM, which has established brands, that sell really well, built in europe or japan, in the shapes and sized wanted by a european buyer, need to launch new brands, that nobody knows about, other than seeing on TV (and they aren't even the same cars, should they want them), when since the true globalisation, you could walk into any european GM dealership and order a Camaro, or Corvette, or pickup, or Holden (GM Australia) HSV, or Comodore. Sure you paid for the privilage of bringing in a one off, both in money and time, but you got the car you wanted, with the badge you wanted, and it was the real deal, not some two pronged attempt as hauling the last rats off a sinking ship, and introducing them as squirrel.
The competetive area for the Daewoo/Chevrolet Matiz is the SMART car. Don't know if you get them in the US, they have a 2 seater "City" coupe (650cc petrol turbo or diesel with semi auto gears), the 2 seater roadster and coupe min sports (800cc turbo petrol with semi auto gears) or the new For4 (5 door 4 seater 1400cc petrol/1900cc diesel). They are in the same size range as a Matiz, but they are built "Funky", they are built with changeable plastic panels to customise the outside of the car, they feature "designer" interiors, and most of all are now owned by Chrysler Daimler Benz. So you get reliability, fashion (that can change to keep up because the funky exterior changes), and image. That is something Daewoo could never manage, and means that even though they are substantially lower priced, have more seats than most SMART cars, aren't much bigger, they just couldn't get the sales they needed in the area that would make them the most money, single young women, and parents buying a first new car for their children or as a second household car. Show a 17-21 year old a Matiz (even Chevvy badged) and the response you would get would be "I ain't driving that, no way", or "I would need a Skimask, I don't weant to be seen getting in". Show them a Smart, and "oh wow, cool, go on, yeah, buy it". It's an image thing that Chevvy won't shake off with it's current UK line up.
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Actually the full size Buicks and Caddys with the 3.8 Supercharged and V8 Northstars get 18-20 in the city and 30-32 on the highway. Pretty incredible for a full size car with 260-300 hp if you ask me. I agree with you on the SUV's. F them things unless you have 3+ kids and live in the snow belt, or really need to tow something.
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But they do "have 78 seat variations that, quite frankly, you&rsquo;ll never need or use."
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well, unfortunately it is true. We used to have American cars all over the place up until mid-70s here in Turkey. After the oil crisis, they just vanished from our streets. Some people still remember those big, good looking and comfy cars. And exactly one year ago, an ad appeared on the tv saying that "Chevrolet: it is back!" that was true but not really true!. they brought some Daewoo made cheap crap cars with a bow-tie stuck to their grills. it is true that they use some GM ecotech engines that were used on earlier generations of Opel Astra, Corsa, Vectra but still the tape deck had a Daewoo label on it. I checked them out when I bought a new Opel Corsa 3 weeks ago. They are fully loaded but they sell for considerably cheaper than less equipped Opel. Some older folks bought one thinking that it was a real Chevrolet but time will tell very soon if this is right. personally, I wouldn't even thinking about touching one.
Ahmet
Turkey
'05 Opel Corsa 1.2 Twinport Easytronic
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says...

Haven't been to Turkey for a few years, but can remember, while on the coach from the airport to Marmaris and Kusadasi, while travelling through the countryside, a lot of the farms an villages would have lots of older american cars parked up, either broken down, or broken for parts.

camaros and firebirds in Marmaris, usually at night, driven by young folk.
I can remember the price of fuel in TL too, and how it was very little different to UK price once exchange was worked out, but wages were far lower, and how many cars ran on Otogas (propane/LPG).

My Girlfriend used to have a Corsa 1.2. It was a good car, but believe it or not, her replacment was a Skoda Fabia 1.4 classic (old Skoda engine (best part) in the new VW floorpan based body and mechanicals) it is quicker, smoother, more comfortable and cheaper to run than the Corsa. She was against having one because I was an old Skoda nut (the ones with the engines out back) and she didn't like them, but drove a Fabia and fell in in love.
Biggest thing I remember about Turkey is, every where you look, there is a Tofas parked, especially if it was a Taxi (License designed Turkish Fiats weren't they?).

on the few times I've visited.
-- "Sorry Sir, the meatballs are Orf" The poster formerly known as Skodapilot. http://www.bouncing-czechs.com
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