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WSJ: GM Shifts Its Strategy Into Reverse

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The composition of that photo of Mr. Dollinger is interesting: taken from angle, showing a depth between him and Mr. Wagoner, with Mr. Wagoner out-of-focus and leaning (ducking?) to his right.

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To be fair to Rick, he was doing a good job of leading the company before the CAFE and environmental challenges presented themselves. Now that he must rise to the challenge to lead the company through an upcoming troubled era, he is beginning to perhaps prove himself incompetent and unsure. He had a clear plan of what to do, but he didn't make it fail safe sadly.

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The composition of that photo of Mr. Dollinger is interesting: taken from angle, showing a depth between him and Mr. Wagoner, with Mr. Wagoner out-of-focus and leaning (ducking?) to his right.

Interesting... I wonder if what happened next is that security tackled Dollinger and tasered him..

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The composition of that photo of Mr. Dollinger is interesting: taken from angle, showing a depth between him and Mr. Wagoner, with Mr. Wagoner out-of-focus and leaning (ducking?) to his right.

I found it quite hilarious when I had first seen it. :P

Edited by YellowJacket894
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I don't know... I'm getting less optimistic on GM's future for whatever reason... I'm starting to get images of a bankruptcy that they will emerge from as Chevrolet-Opel-Cadillac and Maybe Buick, Maybe Holden.

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To be fair to Rick, he was doing a good job of leading the company before the CAFE and environmental challenges presented themselves. Now that he must rise to the challenge to lead the company through an upcoming troubled era, he is beginning to perhaps prove himself incompetent and unsure. He had a clear plan of what to do, but he didn't make it fail safe sadly.

GM had enough cars in the pipeline. He announced today that 18 of GM's next 19 debuts will be cars or crossovers. Only 1 truck (Colorado). If still in the works as they were a couple years ago, GM will have tons of small cars and crossovers. By my count, we could be getting 7 or 8 Global Delta vehicles (Astra, Cobalt replacement, possible Buick, possible Pontiac, 9-1, and a couple others that I'm probably not supposed to have any idea exist), 5 EPII models (Malibu, Aura, LaCrosse, 9-3, 9-5), 3 or 4 Global Gamma models (Aveo, Pontiac, Corsa as a Saturn, small SUV), Equinox, GMC Theta, BRX, 9-4X, and don't be surprised to see some 7 seat TEs, either.

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>>"The struggling auto maker must now try to rapidly reduce its dependence in North American truck sales, once seen as the key to its turnaround.

The abrupt shift, outlined at GM's annual meeting, is an acknowledgment that Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner miscalculated in 2005 when he bet big on trucks.

As far back as 2005, when gas prices were rising past $2 a gallon, SUV sales were falling, and many in the industry were saying the SUV era was coming to an end. Mr. Wagoner disagreed. That year, he accelerated the launch of the company's new trucks and SUVs by six months."<<

When has GM EVER stated trucks were key to any turnaround plan?

And accelerating the launch of a series of trucks ALREADY DONE in the face of rising fuel costs was the only thing TO DO; the alternatives would be: DELAY the launch past when originally due- debuting the models under even HIGHER fuels costs, or scrapping the redesign totally and continuing the old models indefinately and flushing all that R&D money straight down the drain. Yeah.

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>>"The struggling auto maker must now try to rapidly reduce its dependence in North American truck sales, once seen as the key to its turnaround.

The abrupt shift, outlined at GM's annual meeting, is an acknowledgment that Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner miscalculated in 2005 when he bet big on trucks.

As far back as 2005, when gas prices were rising past $2 a gallon, SUV sales were falling, and many in the industry were saying the SUV era was coming to an end. Mr. Wagoner disagreed. That year, he accelerated the launch of the company's new trucks and SUVs by six months."<<

When has GM EVER stated trucks were key to any turnaround plan?

And accelerating the launch of a series of trucks ALREADY DONE in the face of rising fuel costs was the only thing TO DO; the alternatives would be: DELAY the launch past when originally due- debuting the models under even HIGHER fuels costs, or scrapping the redesign totally and continuing the old models indefinately and flushing all that R&D money straight down the drain. Yeah.

Valid point.

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GM had enough cars in the pipeline. He announced today that 18 of GM's next 19 debuts will be cars or crossovers. Only 1 truck (Colorado). If still in the works as they were a couple years ago, GM will have tons of small cars and crossovers. By my count, we could be getting 7 or 8 Global Delta vehicles (Astra, Cobalt replacement, possible Buick, possible Pontiac, 9-1, and a couple others that I'm probably not supposed to have any idea exist), 5 EPII models (Malibu, Aura, LaCrosse, 9-3, 9-5), 3 or 4 Global Gamma models (Aveo, Pontiac, Corsa as a Saturn, small SUV), Equinox, GMC Theta, BRX, 9-4X, and don't be surprised to see some 7 seat TEs, either.

What I meant did not concern a lack of future product. I know GM has a good deal of future products coming down the way.

What I meant was concerned with what seems to be a lack of future innovation to ensure that North America can have more realistic options outside of compact cars in the face of the future and the current CAFE, environmental, and fuel concerns. The current attitude at GM seems to be that if you can afford something that is the size of a Malibu or Aura in the future, you must be a fairly affluent individual. I do not think it has to be that way and it should not be that way.

Edited by YellowJacket894
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When has GM EVER stated trucks were key to any turnaround plan?

And accelerating the launch of a series of trucks ALREADY DONE in the face of rising fuel costs was the only thing TO DO; the alternatives would be: DELAY the launch past when originally due- debuting the models under even HIGHER fuels costs, or scrapping the redesign totally and continuing the old models indefinately and flushing all that R&D money straight down the drain. Yeah.

I seem to recall that something else was sacrificed to bring them to market sooner. Perhaps that wasn't so much something explicit as it was that one had to assume that the money/effort could have been put towards actually making a competitive smaller car.

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GM had no choice but to defend it's truck market. If the Tundra launch had gone better last year and GM's truck dominance had been toppled, Rick's head would have toppled for different reasons.

It isn't like GM hasn't been planning for the shift away from trucks. From where I sit, it looks like the Board was hedging its bets and betting on both small cars and trucks. It was during $2 a gallon (for you guys) that they bought Daewoo, after all. Isn't Ford scrambling in the small car market now?

The mortgage implosion and the doubling of gas prices is not his fault. (Doesn't it look like GM hoodwinked Cerebrus over GMAC now? :scratchchin: )

I admit 2008 looks grimmer than hoped for, but assuming GM weathers this, they do have quite a few smaller vehicles in the pipeline. Let's hope that none of them (especially the Volt) are delayed or prove to be losers.

At least this WSJ article showed some balance, pointing out that other manufacturers bet on trucks, too, and the market is largely to blame for this current mess.

After all, the Board would have looked like heroes if gas was still at $2.50 a gallon, wouldn't they?

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>>"Perhaps that wasn't so much something explicit as it was that one had to assume that the money/effort could have been put towards actually making a competitive smaller car."<<

That's a mile-wide assumption, IMO.

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I seem to recall that something else was sacrificed to bring them to market sooner. Perhaps that wasn't so much something explicit as it was that one had to assume that the money/effort could have been put towards actually making a competitive smaller car.

Weren't the Zetas delayed to get the 900s to market sooner? Of course, with conditions now, the spending on the 900s seems like a collosal waste of time, what with 5000-6000lb SUVs and trucks out of fashion...

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Weren't the Zetas delayed to get the 900s to market sooner? Of course, with conditions now, the spending on the 900s seems like a collosal waste of time, what with 5000-6000lb SUVs and trucks out of fashion...

Let's think about this from the other side of the coin. Wouldn't it have been much worse if they didn't pull them ahead, at which point the investment in the 900s would have still been made, but they would have spent less time on the market and sold less? So... the way I look at it, they made the most money out of the 900s that they could have.

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Putting out the 900s was the only choice they had. That was their last bastion of hope as far as volume goes.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again - they need to get the message out about their small cars and gas mileage like right this second. Those dumb fuc*s advertise their trucks and SUVs to death and never talk about their cars. They need to be on mainstream TV with real honest to God commercials about their cars. They should have had intelligent commercials about their cars on every mainstream TV program known to us for the last 5 years - even while they were churning out Tahoes and Yukons, at least the public would realize they had cars too.

Moreover, GM needs to come up with some advertisments that reflect on all of the safety and technology innovations they've developed over the years. In fact, I can't believe they haven't done that! I'd be willing to bet that 97% of people between the ages of 30 and 40 don't know that a 71 Riviera had electronic traction control. Imagine a smart, Lexus like commercial that showed how traction control was developed by GM, featured on Buicks then and is featured on Buicks now - and of course, in our C&G nerd wet dream, a 2009 Buick Park Avenue (er, Holden Park Avenue) comes racing around an oval track to Chemical Brothers. Of course, if gmcbob were CEO, you'd have witnessed this commercial and subsequent product this year - on TV now - and of course the Astra would be advertised on every major science network, as well as on Comedy Central and in Rolling Stone magazine -complete with the $1000 Guitar Center gift certificate - which would the attention of every 25 year old in America. But no, you get nothing. You get silly ads with cars with giant green arrows over them. WTF??? :angry2:

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Lutz said that "SUV buyers dont care about gas prices" back when the 900's were coming out, and acted as if this was the only way to get ship straight. Well, turns out pouring $$ down the pipe is something people do not care to do anymore.

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After all, the Board would have looked like heroes if gas was still at $2.50 a gallon, wouldn't they?

Bingo!

The only unfortunate issue here is that there could have been more emphasis on marketing their new car platforms. While general introductions and typical seasonal sales were flaunted, GM could have put themselves in a position to capture more attention during the times when gas prices were initially rising. Even then, there wasn't a soul out there forecasting that gas prices would ever stabilize.

Well, this is all just should have -could have - would have in the end. The only nagging point is that there was enough evidence to help point GM in a safer direction; albeit, if they weren't already waist-deep in development of the 900 series.

... I just hope they don't do now what was done in the early 80s; taking popular cars with good power ratings and turning them into low-buck, no-frills four bangers like the Mustang II. *shudder*

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GM had enough cars in the pipeline. He announced today that 18 of GM's next 19 debuts will be cars or crossovers. Only 1 truck (Colorado). If still in the works as they were a couple years ago, GM will have tons of small cars and crossovers. By my count, we could be getting 7 or 8 Global Delta vehicles (Astra, Cobalt replacement, possible Buick, possible Pontiac, 9-1, and a couple others that I'm probably not supposed to have any idea exist), 5 EPII models (Malibu, Aura, LaCrosse, 9-3, 9-5), 3 or 4 Global Gamma models (Aveo, Pontiac, Corsa as a Saturn, small SUV), Equinox, GMC Theta, BRX, 9-4X, and don't be surprised to see some 7 seat TEs, either.

Where did he announce that? And I thought the 9-3 was being changed to Delta II or something.

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