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Posted: 11/21/2005 4:50:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2005 4:50:53 PM EDT by Striker]
Link Posted: 11/21/2005 6:15:06 PM EDT
Needless to say, this cannot bode well for the General. They've made some piss-poor decisions in the past, killing the Caprice/Roadmaster/Fleetwood line, and the Camaro among them.
Link Posted: 11/21/2005 6:21:49 PM EDT
I think that Rick Wagoner is just pissing in the wind - the board right now is desperate to keep share price from plummeting. Problem is, at this point, doing the same as his short-sighted predecessors - cutting plants and other assets to drive up share price - is not going to work well this time. There's blood in the water and Wall Street knows it.

The only thing that can save GM is for them to shut down the bean counters running things and pull out the stops for the design team (preferably a new design team) and spend what they have left for products that 1) meet what the market wants 2) have better reliablity (although this can be subjective - I've seen junk imports as well) 3) the products had better knock people's socks off - I mean they need some damn cool cars from the lowest cost to the highest.

GM relied on trucks and SUVs and with recent gas prices, it became 1974 all over again. Right now, GM has no competitor for the Mustang, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum, or even the Crown Victoria. And with photos floated of a possible Challenger (Could a 'cuda be far behind? - even with Plymouth gone?) that looks like a winner, they're just a little more behind.

Most want to blame the Unions, but the truth is, if GM were selling product, then they would be able to meet all of the obligations. Bottom line - no sales, can't meet obligations.

GM hasn't had any leadership in over 25 years and it has taken that long to almost hit bottom. They better get some damn car people in there PDQ.
Link Posted: 11/21/2005 6:41:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/22/2005 3:39:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Striker:

Originally Posted By TodaysTomSawyer:

Most want to blame the Unions, but the truth is, if GM were selling product, then they would be able to meet all of the obligations. Bottom line - no sales, can't meet obligations.



My thoughts exactly..



+1

Max
Link Posted: 11/22/2005 9:56:40 AM EDT
I agree most of the problem is with GM management, but the unions aren't blameless either. There is absolutely NO reason assembly-line workers should get paid the amount they do, for the work they do. None whatsoever. This places a HUGE burden on auto companies' bottom lines.

That out of the way, GM needs to kick their entire design team out he door, with the possible exception of the corvette design team. They need to bring new people in, get some fresh ideas, and build cars people want to buy, instead of fugly little FWD bubblecars, and they need to change their management to accept new ideas, instead of "cavalier 4.0, also known as the cobalt"

Ford is no better off, although instead of the corvette, they kept the mustang. But the rest of their cars aren't really worth a look. They're either boring, or, in the case of the focus, stupid AND fugly.

I guess its too much to ask that either company introduce a midsize, RWD, sedan along the lines of BMW's 3 series, but with better styling.
Link Posted: 11/22/2005 10:42:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/22/2005 11:47:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2005 11:47:25 AM EDT by Janus]
They're about to get passed up:

www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051121/BUSINESS01/511210405/1014/BUSINESS


Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to release 2006 sales targets next month that, if realized, would push it past General Motors Corp. as the world's largest automaker, according to a report in Saturday's Wall Street Journal.

The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said Toyota's plan could set a production goal in 2006 of 9.2 million automobiles, 11% more than it expects to make in its current fiscal year.

GM made 8.99 million cars and trucks in 2004 and has projected it will build 9.1 million this year. The company hasn't made projections for 2006. GM has been the world's No. 1 automaker for more than 70 years.

Toyota officials have publicly said they're concerned about U.S. backlash from dethroning GM. Industry experts also worry about quality problems if the company expands too quickly.

But an 11% growth rate wouldn't be that far off what Toyota has done for the past few years. Worldwide sales grew 10% each year in 2004 and 2005.

Toyota would likely gain much of the ground through increases in U.S. sales. The company's U.S. sales are up 10% through October 2005 compared to the same period last year, according to Autodata. The Camry, already the top-selling car, will be redesigned for next year.

GM's car and truck sales in the U.S. have fallen 3.4% through October, compared to the same period last year.

"We're working very hard on our plans for our future, and if we do that well, it takes care of itself," GM spokesman Tom Kowaleski said Sunday.

Link Posted: 11/22/2005 3:44:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Striker:
<snip>
Don't tell me what I want to buy...you are there to sell me what I want to buy!!



I agree, gone are the days of long option lists where you could order the exact car you want, now it's all trim levels and 'packages.'

Unfortunately that problem isn't limited to GM.
Link Posted: 11/22/2005 4:39:41 PM EDT
GM needs to find thier K-car. It wasn't that pretty, but you could interchange parts across all platforms with few exceptions. Even then it would only take an exta part here or there to make any combo work. I should know, I have a drive train out of an 87' tona, brakes off of a minivan... all on my omni. It must have really cut costs when chryco. used on A arm on every car/minivan it made. You would not have known it by looking at some of them either.

As far as the quality debate goes, I have seen more late 80s, early 90s pontiac bonnevilles come into the shop with over 200K miles than all 200K+ mile cars of any type from another manufacturer. Other than that one car, it pretty much comes down to who takes good care of thier cars.
Link Posted: 11/22/2005 4:45:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By killingmachine123:
GM needs to find thier K-car. It wasn't that pretty, but you could interchange parts across all platforms with few exceptions. Even then it would only take an exta part here or there to make any combo work. I should know, I have a drive train out of an 87' tona, brakes off of a minivan... all on my omni. It must have really cut costs when chryco. used on A arm on every car/minivan it made. You would not have known it by looking at some of them either.

As far as the quality debate goes, I have seen more late 80s, early 90s pontiac bonnevilles come into the shop with over 200K miles than all 200K+ mile cars of any type from another manufacturer. Other than that one car, it pretty much comes down to who takes good care of thier cars.


Exactly. Something that is very uniform.

I wasn't too crazy about the K-Cars, we had 2 of them-('85 Plymouth Reliant and '87 Dodge Aries) but something simple.
Link Posted: 11/23/2005 10:22:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:

Originally Posted By killingmachine123:
GM needs to find thier K-car. It wasn't that pretty, but you could interchange parts across all platforms with few exceptions. Even then it would only take an exta part here or there to make any combo work. I should know, I have a drive train out of an 87' tona, brakes off of a minivan... all on my omni. It must have really cut costs when chryco. used on A arm on every car/minivan it made. You would not have known it by looking at some of them either.

As far as the quality debate goes, I have seen more late 80s, early 90s pontiac bonnevilles come into the shop with over 200K miles than all 200K+ mile cars of any type from another manufacturer. Other than that one car, it pretty much comes down to who takes good care of thier cars.


Exactly. Something that is very uniform.

I wasn't too crazy about the K-Cars, we had 2 of them-('85 Plymouth Reliant and '87 Dodge Aries) but something simple.



Half my friends in college drove various K-cars. The really funny part was they were all in varying stages of falling apart, and often when someone would replace a part, it'd get handed down to someone else to use to replace the one on their car which was in even worse shape. A couple of them were talking about trying to find a cheap donor car and use it as a parts store to pull stuff off of whenever they needed something.

Those cars are like the energizer bunny though, they just keep going.
Link Posted: 11/23/2005 10:28:25 PM EDT
GM needs to make/bring back some decent stuff.

The only 2 cars they make I like are the Z06. far out of my range and the GTO which can be in my range but not my comfortable range.
Link Posted: 11/24/2005 4:48:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Janus:
They're about to get passed up:

www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051121/BUSINESS01/511210405/1014/BUSINESS


Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to release 2006 sales targets next month that, if realized, would push it past General Motors Corp. as the world's largest automaker, according to a report in Saturday's Wall Street Journal.
<snip>




Toyota's going for the kill and creating jobs! Damn ricers !!

Indiana factory to make Toyotas
Subaru plant enlisted in challenge to GM

Associated Press
Published November 24, 2005

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. is quickening its quest to unseat General Motors Corp. as the world's biggest automaker, with reported plans to start manufacturing as many as 100,000 Toyota vehicles at a Subaru factory in Lafayette, Ind.

Word of Toyota's ramped-up production schedule comes just days after GM said it will close 12 facilities by 2008 in a move that will slash the number of vehicles it is able to build in North America by about 1 million a year.

The combined developments could help Toyota surpass GM in worldwide production, though it is unclear if that would happen because GM is growing rapidly in Asia.

Toyota expects to produce 8.1 million vehicles this year, while GM expects 9 million, according to Greg Gardner of Harbour Consulting, a manufacturing consulting firm.

Toyota also will chip away at GM's lead with a new pickup truck plant scheduled to open next year in San Antonio that will add an additional 200,000 vehicles to Toyota's annual capacity.

The Japanese company's output will be boosted by another 100,000 vehicles in 2008, when Toyota's new RAV4 plant comes on line in Canada.

Under the latest expansion plans Toyota has asked Fuji Heavy Industries, maker of Subaru autos, to start building Toyotas in 2007 at a Lafayette factory operated by Fuji's wholly owned subsidiary, Subaru of Indiana Automotive. The plans were reported in a Japanese newspaper Wednesday.

Company representatives were not available for comment Wednesday, a national holiday in Japan.

Ann McConnell, a spokeswoman for Subaru of Indiana, said Fuji Heavy Industries and Toyota Motor Corp. have been in discussions, but that there has been no word of a decision yet.

There are five to six candidate models for production, the newspaper said, with the number manufactured annually to gradually increase to 100,000 vehicles. Earlier reports have suggested that Toyota might produce hybrid vehicles at the Fuji plant. The plant produced nearly 120,000 Subaru models last year.

It was not immediately clear if Subaru production would be reduced or what the factory's total vehicle output is expected to be.

Fuji teamed up with Toyota in October after ending a five-year tie-up with GM, which sold its 20 percent in the Japanese company. Toyota bought an 8.7 percent stake from GM for about $315 million to become Fuji's top shareholder.

Overall, GM lost almost $4 billion in the first nine months of this year, hit by falling sales and rising health-care costs. Its share of the U.S. market has shrunk to 26.2 percent from 33 percent a decade ago.


Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:08:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 9:10:16 PM EDT by mo4040]

Originally Posted By FanoftheBlackRifle:
I agree most of the problem is with GM management, but the unions aren't blameless either. There is absolutely NO reason assembly-line workers should get paid the amount they do, for the work they do. None whatsoever......



While I respect your opinion, I have to disagree with your point of view.

Should'nt the people making the product be able to afford them?

Your sentiment is exactly why jobs are being exported out of this country. Do you think a guy in Asia working in a Nike shoe factory can afford a pair of Nike shoes? It is not costing Nike a lot of money to make their shoes, but, they choose to still charge $79 and up for some basketball shoes. This equals windfall profits for them. So, GM closes plants here in the US, farms out production off-shore. When GM reports record losses again, who are we going to blame then? The unions and their "over-paid" workers?

What about the top management of these corporations? Take the average UAW assembly-line worker, for the sake of this, let's say he makes $20/hr plus benefits (about $40k per yr). Now, compare him with the CEO of GM (G. Richard Wagoner), he makes $2.3 million per year. Is he worth 1000's of times more than the assembly line worker? Does he do 1000's of times more work?

On top of this, Mr. Wagoner has arranged a pension package that will pay him $4.6 million per year. Do the math..a pension package that will pay hime TWICE the amount of his current salary!! Wow!! and they say retirement is under-rated!!! Last time I checked, most folks got LESS money when they retired. Google G. Richard Wagoner and read all about it.

So....lets not blame the working man for the down-fall of GM. Those at the top do not give a shit...they have Golden Parachutes that guarantee them the good-life, no matter what happens to the companies they run.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 12:09:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mo4040:

Originally Posted By FanoftheBlackRifle:
I agree most of the problem is with GM management, but the unions aren't blameless either. There is absolutely NO reason assembly-line workers should get paid the amount they do, for the work they do. None whatsoever......



While I respect your opinion, I have to disagree with your point of view.

Should'nt the people making the product be able to afford them?


Your sentiment is exactly why jobs are being exported out of this country. Do you think a guy in Asia working in a Nike shoe factory can afford a pair of Nike shoes? It is not costing Nike a lot of money to make their shoes, but, they choose to still charge $79 and up for some basketball shoes. This equals windfall profits for them. So, GM closes plants here in the US, farms out production off-shore. When GM reports record losses again, who are we going to blame then? The unions and their "over-paid" workers?

What about the top management of these corporations? Take the average UAW assembly-line worker, for the sake of this, let's say he makes $20/hr plus benefits (about $40k per yr). Now, compare him with the CEO of GM (G. Richard Wagoner), he makes $2.3 million per year. Is he worth 1000's of times more than the assembly line worker? Does he do 1000's of times more work?

On top of this, Mr. Wagoner has arranged a pension package that will pay him $4.6 million per year. Do the math..a pension package that will pay hime TWICE the amount of his current salary!! Wow!! and they say retirement is under-rated!!! Last time I checked, most folks got LESS money when they retired. Google G. Richard Wagoner and read all about it.

So....lets not blame the working man for the down-fall of GM. Those at the top do not give a shit...they have Golden Parachutes that guarantee them the good-life, no matter what happens to the companies they run.



I really don't think so.

What about the guys who hand-roll fenders for Aston Martin? Should they be able to afford a DB7? Should the guy who installs seats in a C6 'Vette be able to afford one?

In a capitalist job market, your pay is based on:
1) How much your individual work contributes to the bottom line.
2) How difficult (or easy) you are to replace.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 12:19:40 PM EDT

GM has been bad for decades and it's not the workers fault.

I have had other cars with over 100,000 miles and a good looking interior.

But I have never had a GM make it to 100,000 without the interior fall apart. The seat cracks and opens up, the headliner falls down, the carpet wears out, rthe plastic covers on everything get brittle and crack, pot metal door handles break, and the list goes on. That's not the workers, that's in the design.

I have driven a few GM rentals and the lack of quality materials on these new vehicles was shocking.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 12:35:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mo4040:
Should'nt the people making the product be able to afford them?


That is the single most assinine sentence I've read on arfcom today.

I'm currently working on a 15 story condominium on the beach. Prices start at $1.7 million for a 1/1. Can you imagine how much they'd cost if every beaner on the site could afford one?

The rest of your post is the usual "managment takes advantage of the fact that I dropped out of high school and had 12 kids so now I have to work a shitty manual labor job that the unions have guaranteed will bankrupt those evil management guys" drivel.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 1:47:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 1:53:18 PM EDT
Why do you think I had to pay 6 grand for this.


Had they not screwed up and killed it, I coulda had it for 3,500 tops.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 1:53:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
How much does the typical assembly line worker at GM make?


A LOT.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:17:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:47:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 2:49:56 PM EDT by in_burrito]
The below is from www.socialistaction.org so you can bet they lowball the figures. The important part here is that "$25-$27 is standard with the big three". If you take that $50k/year figure, I made $40k/year when I got out of college with a master's degree, in a town with a very high cost of living. The cost of living in most towns with auto factories is unbelievably low.


Today, newcomers starting out in the auto industry under UAW contract earn close to $18 an hour. After three years, in accord with previous UAW contract concessions that reduced starting wages by 30 percent, they eventually, in six-month increments, reach the approximate $25-$27 hourly rate that is standard with the Big Three.

Based on a 40-hour week, that works out to an annual gross income of roughly $50,000.



ETA:
It is also important to realize that in a truly free-market ecconomy, it's not your skill set that determines your pay, it's how difficult you are to replace. This is why a secretary makes $8/hr while a doctor makes much more. To replace the secretary is a breeze, to replace the doctor is much more difficult.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 5:53:12 AM EDT
To me it's about product. GM doesn't make anything I like except the Vette. That goes for Fords too, I only like the F250/350 and the Mustang.

All I see are 4 door cookie cutter cars with F**kedup styling and little if any choice of drive train.
Although Toyota and Honda are the big sellers they have hohum styling but their cars have a reputation of being very reliable.

The big 3 gave away the car market to the Japanese and just went after the light truck and suv market. Now that the fuel prices are up sales of suvs etc are down.

Build quality, reliablility, unions and bonehead management. I don't want to leave Chrysler out either they turned out some real crap and almost went under a few times.

6 out of the 20+ cars that I have bought new have been foreign. 2 Volvos, 2 VW and 2 Nissan. Of those only the Nissan was worth anything. The VW and Volvos are crap. My most reliable vehicles have been my F250 Ford and the 6 Chrysler/Dodges that I have bought since 1991.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 2:40:17 PM EDT
Holy shot! I know a lot of guys who work in those plants.

GM has mad some poor decisions but I always thought they made a good product. Of course the unions have helped price themselves out of a job.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 3:36:53 PM EDT
Like it's been said before, build the right product and you won't have to worry about discounts and programs. the 'Vette is the only interesting car at GM, with the possible exception of the GTO, but I'm sure it's depreciation makes it a no-go. My next car will either be a Charger or 300C, there is no comparable/desireable car at GM. Imapala? nope. malibu? nope. Grand Prix, maybe but I doubt it. Buicks are for retired old folks. Caddys aren't bad, but not in my price range.
I'm not getting a 14MPG, 5000lb SUV either, I already have an old pickup.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:25:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 9:40:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
Holy shot! I know a lot of guys who work in those plants.

GM has mad some poor decisions but I always thought they made a good product. Of course the unions have helped price themselves out of a job.

Yes,what a shame! I wonder how many of the Jap assembly plants are still getting sweet tax breaks? Betcha the big 3 never did! Remember,these are American workers,working for AMERICAN companies! The suppliers are also,for the most part,AMERICAN.(Most,if not all,of the suppliers,for the Jap assembly plants,are either in Japan,or,are Japanese companies with factories in USA).
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