i have to agree that general motors has a good product at the moment and so
do alot of others. not gonna take anything away from anybody on this one.
but i agree about the focus group thing. lets face it body designs that keep
getting more and more rounded are only selling because "everybody is doing
it" 90% of the women and men for that matter that use thier trucks for what
a truck was supposed to be for all have the same gripe. the body's are too
rounded and make it difficult to see where the vehicle is....now this is
where i agree entirely with your focus group thing. if they ran a focus
group on this particular issue id bet they would find exactly what i just
said. and if they built a vehicle to suit that complaint then they would
corner the market on an easy to park and work with automobile.....
but then again what do i know?
You're a customer...so you know what you want.
Chrysler seemed to have started the rounded "aero" design fad in the early
90's with their "cab-forward" concept. I actually liked that design quite a
bit. It is getting old though.
Now, some of the newer GM designs are not so rounded. Look at the Cadillac
line. They're more chiseled/boxy in design. I don't particularly like the
design, but Cadillac is selling better now with that design. Couple that
with the boxy Chrysler 300/Dodge Magnum with the high belt-line selling like
hotcakes too, I guess "boxy" and "chiseled" are back in style from it's late
1970's early 1980's roots?
Can wide neckties be far behind!? :-) After all, the Cadillac commercial
features Led Zeppelin music these days..who'd have thunk it!
Not even close. It was the success of the original Ford Taurus which
triggered the complete redesign of the automotive landscape into
jelly-bean cars. The Taurus cribbed much of it's look for the niche
Nice story James. Your experience with your daughter almost mirrors mine
with my daughter. My only regret is that she pushes herself as hard as I
used to push myself. (I'm retired now.) If I had it to do over again, I'd
wind it down a notch or two. Okay - maybe not. :-ή
My daughter is a District Sales Manager with GM and I am constantly
suggesting that she push her senior exec. to use Customer Focus Groups for a
variety of issues, including product design and development, quality and
customer service. No luck yet! (Now you know why I'm sensitive to unduly
harsh criticism of GM.) By the way, I like DRL's! Anything I can do to make
myself more visible to some of the idiot drivers on the road, the happier I
am. But I do agree that they should have a simple on/off switch. Hmmm,
sounds like the old-fashioned on/off headlight switch on my Vette. ;-)
I have no doubt that you hit the right balance, from what I can see here of
your Daughter's accomplishments.
Grrreeattt!! Keep the inside pressure on! No pain...no gain (as the saying
goes). Now, once they get information from the focus groups, they have to
drop the chip on their shoulders IF they find customers don't like certain
"features" LUTZ admitted forcing on people (if that is one of the things
that comes out of them), then they can regroup and refocus. Of course it
would have been better to have known that *before* doing the R&D work on
those things in the 1st place. I'll keep my fingers crosed.
And with the curent NHTSA rule, you should have that feature if it's
important to you. No arguement from me on that.
You already know that my personal preference is the "old-fashioned" switch.
;-) But if customers want auto control systems, those should be avalable
also (or owner programmable for one or the other to owner preference).
....and a DRL activation/deactivation switch would work for both you and me.
You would leave it on. I would leave it off. The car is them marketable to
both your pro-DRL types and my no-DRL types. Seems too simple, doesn't it?
Somebody at GM sure has their head in the sand (or elsewhere) on this one.
It's funny how just about everyone else, especially BMW, Volvo, Mercedes
Benz, Chrysler, Toyota, (and probably several others) understand quite
clearly that making DRLs a option is important to marketing the product to
the broader base. It's also interesting that it seems that less than half
of the customers of those brands seem to be opting *for* the DRLs. So that
no-DRL market that GM has completely written off *may* be much larger than
anyone realises. I truly believe that it's huge. I think GM even knows it,
which is why they're petitioning the NHTSA so hard to make them a
requirement (so that GM is no longer at the disadvantage)...which is yet
another bone-headed tactic to further allenite that segment of the market.
FYI - My 2004 Chevy Silverado comes with DRL's and automatic headlights.
However, at any time you can flip the main headlight switch to the OFF
position and it will shut off all external lighting plus the dash lights
(including the DRL's if that's what's on at the time). Flip it to OFF again
and the lights come back on (whatever lights are appropriate for the ambient
conditions). The switch is spring loaded, so when you turn it to OFF it
rebounds to the AUTO setting. This way, the next time I start the truck the
lights function normally again. Of course you can flip the switch to the ON
position at any time which disables the AUTO function and get your regular
headlights and full external lighting plus dash lights.
GM is listening to what people want, and this feature in my truck is in
response to the anti-DRL crowd. I like DRL's myself, but I can appreciate
that some folks don't want them. I applaud GM for listening to everyone and
making this option available.
Cheers - Jonathan
This is partly great news. But why have the spring loaded piece of the
switch? If the owner wants the things off and has placed the switch in the
off position for that reason, why force them to have to turn it back to the
off position every time they restart the vehicle? That doesn't make any
sense at all and will still piss people off. GM needs to get out of the "I
know better than you do, Mr. Customer" mentality...and do so PRONTO!
And you'd be wrong on two of the three. ;-) But, what's your point? The
purchasing market is full of people...some don't want ABS, some don't want
DRL's, etc., etc. If you're going to sell cars to those people, you need to
have a product they will buy. The concept is really about as elementary as
it can get. Duh!!!
DUH??? Listen Skippy, building a car ain't building a Whopper. You
don't always get it your way. All of the automakers play the average
and build for the majority. You get choice of many options and colors
so why would any of the automakers change some of their basic safety
features just to suit a few. Oh, I get it now, you just don't want to
be told you have to have something. If it was a add on option you would
buy it on your own.
True enough, with one extremely glaring exception in this case...unless your
competition builds a competing Whopper the way significant segments of the
market want it and you don't. When that situation exists, you loose market
share of that segment needlessly to your competition. The situation should
change, especially when it is a *very* simple and *no cost* thing that can
be done on GM's part to open up that segment of the market to them. Yes, it
is a elementary concept...Marketing 101...DUH is the only word that could
possibly fit the obvious.
Not exactly. The auto consumer market does not have any single "majority"
constituent. The needs and desires of the market are many and quite varied
and diverse. IF you want to sell cars, build them the way that satisfies
the greatest numbers of "needs" and "wants" (and the combinations
in-between) AND offer options that don't cost much (or anything) to attract
as much of the "fringe" market in as you can as well (without loosing money
in the process, of course).
What we have here is that "all the automakers" (actually most of them) are
providing these options except GM (translation = "DUMB-AS-HELL"!). Are
"all the automakers" surveying a different auto consumer market than GM is
(so getting different results)? Of course not. GM is "hearing" the same
thing they are. GM just isn't "listening" and the competition is. That is
quite obvious from the situation. The cars are good. Many are very
desirable vehicles, good looking, very good performing, etc. So, it's the
"intangible" things working to erode their market share. (e.g. Customer
Service, respecting the customer's wishes that could easily/cheaply be
accommodated, responding to customer's letters, etc. would be examples)
I take it from this statement that you actually agree then that GM is not
doing what some segments of the market want that ARE being satisfied by GM's
competitors. Make up your mind. Which is it? Hint: you're right...the
sales numbers prove it.
Back to the topic. This one is quite simple too. Again...if GM wants to
sell more cars, then they have to provide what their competitors provide or
those customers will go to their competitor for their car purchase.
"Safety" only sells if the consumer agrees that a feature being pushed on
them actually provides safety. The customer makes safety choices and
assessments as well. Those "safety decisions" by the customer should be
respected by GM, if they want to sell cars to them! If they don't respect
the customer, then it's yet another "intangible" that becomes a huge
Only if I don't want it and I can get it the way I want elsewhere. So, no,
you don't get it...and this really is as plain as day too, so you should.
The conclusions you seem to keep coming to are so often quite incorrect. If
you must know, the car I currently drive is a 2004 Chrysler product that has
neither DRL's or ABS...both were options. So your theory, not surprisingly,
Look. If we want GM to do better, we need to stop making lame excuses for
their bad behavior toward their customers AND their lack of response to
customer wants. GM has some damned excellent product offerings that should
be selling the pants off of other products out there. Now, if you have a
different explanation why Toyota (which is really nothing special in my
book) is eating GM's lunch right now, we're all ears. When Toyota took the
heat from their customers in 1999-2000 for their mandatory stance to DRL's,
they switched their position to do what the customer wanted...as GM should
have also done (5+ YEARS AGO). It didn't cost Toyota a darn thing to do
what their customers wanted, and THAT sells cars. It's the little things
like that that matter.
Management rarely suffers, upper management that is.
The workers at the low end of the food chain will be the ones to bear the
brunt of fiscal troubles in the company.Upper management is going to rape
the company until there is nothing left and then escape in their golden
You are wrong my friend. GM managemant often go without bonus money
when profits are down and the profit share for hourly workers suffer
too. If you are a GM employee or retiree then you know what I'm saying.
Upper management isn't going to rape anyone, the UAW is watching very
That makes good sense. however the gm workers at the low end of the
totem poll are all over paid, and their perks are among the best in
On Fri, 13 May 2005 13:32:33 -0400, Schlomo Smykowski
Oh please, this isn't GM's fault. You can blame anyone you want and
complain about salaries until the cow's come home, but don't think for one
minute that GM would be paying this kind of money to folks if they didn't
have to. If they could lower their pay and benefits costs, they'd drop the
prices on their vehicles overnight just to grab more market share. As an
example, if you are looking at both a new Silverado and Tundra similarly
equipped for the same price and suddenly the Silverado was $5000.00 cheaper,
Silverado sales would skyrocket and Tundra sales would dry up in a
Cheers - Jonathan
GM is now desperate for dollars, the banks don't lend dollars to
companies with junk bond status.
gm was a fat cat, with over paid staff and workers. with some of the
best perks in canada.
just a matter of time before it ran out of steam, if they offer you a
package deal take it and move on...
On Sat, 14 May 2005 15:43:24 GMT, "Jonathan Race"
Want a bet JK? I'm a retired Corporate banker and we still stand in line to
lend to GM. You are way off base when you equate junk-bond status with
bankruptcy or insolvency. I'd suggest that you take a basic accounting
course. There are many financially strong corporations who have been
relegated to junk-bond status by the bond rating agencies. GM is but one of
them at this point in time and they are still quite solvent.
Some GM employees are overpaid. Others are underpaid. It happens with every
large company. There is never an equitable balance.
I've watched you for a while now Jk and I must say that you are an epitomy
of the old adage "A little learning is a dangerous thing". You talk about
GM's shrinking market share, while failing to acknowledge or perhaps even
recognize the plethora of new car manufacturers in low wage countries who
have flooded the market with low cost, low-value products. Free trade has
opened North American markets to the world and when markets are opened to
low-cost producers, there is an immediate and negative impact on North
American market share. Over time, the balance can and often does shift back
dramatically, as foreign wages and benefits get closer to the "world
average". In the meantime Jk, you may rest assured that GM is well
capitalized and is not on the verge of bankruptcy. And they are taking
drastic cost-cutting measures and are becoming far more efficient than in
the recent past. So don't get your panties in such a knot. Many of today's
blue-chip companies have suffered Operating losses from time to time. It's
not the end of the world if they address the issues leading to these losses.
This is the part that bothers me. They're harping on hourly health
care, but there are a lot more issues that need addressing. GM has to
look beyond next month's balance sheet. Band-aid fixes may look good
short term, but wouls only postpone another crisis.
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Retired Shop Rat: 14,647 days in a GM plant.
Now I can do what I enjoy: Large Format Photography
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