General Motors is not as incompetent as you may believe. They have two
of the most efficient production facilities in North America and
produce some truely great vehicles. The issue with GM is perception.
General Motors did neglect R&D for many years up until the late 1990's.
However since then, GM has pumped billions of dollars into vehicles
which meet or exceed what most of the competition is doing. For proof
take a look at the 2006 Chevrolet Yukon, Pontiac Solstice or Cadillac
In regards to salespeople, most dealerships are part of larger dealer
networks which own dealerships of all different makes. To suggest that
GM has the worst salespeople doesn't make sense as often these
salespeople are trained by automotive product specialists which don't
work for any specific make. The professionalism of a salesperson has
more to do with the management style of a particular dealership than
the brand itself.
The suggestion that Toyota would buy GM is ridiculous. With cash
reserves of over $19 billion, GM is able to push through this latest
crises. If GM moves ahead and sells a majority stake in GMAC it'll get
another $10-$15 billion. This can be invested in new products which
will help off-set shrinking market share. The problems facing GM stem
from as far back as 20 years ago when then CEO Roger Smith took his eye
off of GM's core business. The SUV craze in the 1990's provided
temporary relief but the UAW took full advantage by pushing for even
more generous benefits for its members which in turn left GM with
little money to pump into product development.
I think that the original poster may have been pulling our chains: Remember
years ago when someone posted a good, well written post that Microsoft was
buying the Catholic Church? Nice piece that I stashed away in my files.
Yes management fix the direction of the sales approach.
Here in Vancouver, BC many GM dealerships are owned by a very rich man
who practiced intimidation of customers when he was a car salesman.
I've gone into his dealerships three times over the years and left in
disgust each time when they tried to control what I should buy.
The last time I even reported them to GM, because they were not
interested in selling a very well priced car package GM had run a full
page ad on. So off I went to buy a Chrysler and later realized I got
the better car.
Perhaps I should thank that ugly GM dealership for chasing me away. <:)
Nevertheless these are top notch cars that are selling extremely
well...despite the fact that you and your friends aren't interested in
them. GM's costs are far too high (thank you UAW) and their Job Bank
program is ridiculous. Imagine, any UAW member that is 'laid off' from
GM still gets over 90% of their pay and all they have to do is show up
at the idled assembly line. With no work to do, they sit and read the
paper. This was a program designed to protect people during brief
economic downturns when the plant may be closed for a week or 2 to
reduce inventory. Now GM and Ford have thousands of workers that have
no work to do as the plants are closed but they still get paid until
their contract with the UAW expires in 2007. Ford is even offering
$100,000 buyouts for anyone on the assembly line, in addition to
benefits. No company including Toyota, Honda, or BMW, can afford this
kind of over head.
Good analysis. GM does make some fine vehicles in the U.S., the world-beater
Corvette comes to mind immediately, pretty much the entire Cadillac line is
very good, as is the Buick line. (Although Buick owners have such a horrible
reputation as drivers and being near-dead, I don't see how anyone but a
"Buick" person would ever buy one. Certainly no one under 50 .) The new
large S.U.V.'s are excellent in their niche, but how could GM be so DUMB as
to increase the weight of the Tahoe/Yukon by 500 lb. from the previous
generation. And where are the high efficiency diesels that the new SUV's
In the end, GM, can and does make some good product, but their costs are
just too high thanks to moronic management decisions in the past (The ghost
of Roger Smith) and a tremendously greedy UAW. The later is illustrated by
the reaction of the butt-head who runs the UAW to questions about what
concessions the union might make after GM announced big salary cuts for
company management and a dividend cut recently - paraphrasing: "oh, we told
them to do this long ago, and we've done all we're going to do to help".
I suspect what it will come to is the old scorpion crossing a river on a
frog's back story with GM playing the frog and the UAW the scorpion that
stings the frog killing them both because "it's my nature".
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